Closing Costs when buying a home

closing costs

One of the first questions most homebuyers ask is “What are the closing costs?”   It’s an important discussion, because buyer’s are often stretched to come up with more than just a down payment.  Certain fees are automatically assigned to either the buyer or the seller and other costs are either negotiable or dictated by local custom.  Here’s what you … Read More

What is Title Insurance and why do I need it?

Title Insurance

I find that many home buyers and borrowers lack a fundamental understanding about title insurance. While most past clients have admitted to briefly discussing the topic with their real estate agent, they don’t seem to understand its purpose or function–only that it will be an additional expense on the settlement sheet for which they are responsible. What is Title Insurance? … Read More

Joint Tenancy vs. Community Property

joint tenancy

Most California married couples own their homes as “joint tenants,”  because they want the surviving spouse to own the entire home, without any formal court proceeding to confirm the transfer. Unfortunately, owning property as “joint tenants” can seriously affect the taxation of any subsequent sale of the property after the death of one spouse.  This is because the U.S. Internal … Read More

Should I Impound my Taxes and Insurance?


Is it better to impound my property taxes and homeowners insurance into my monthly mortgage payment? Many of our clients prefer to have their taxes and insurance impounded in their monthly loan payment (the lender adds 1/12 of your property tax and homeowners insurance bills to the normal payment, sets them aside in an escrow account and then pays the … Read More

Homeownership Information


Links to information related to home ownership and mortgages. Topics include “What is Title Insurance and Why do I need it?”, “Ways to hold title to a property”, “Property taxes and Proposition 8”, “Homestead Declaration” and more.

How Interest Rates Move

interest rates

Here’s a great video discussing how interest rates move. Although produced in 2010, the principles still apply in our economy today and should for the foreseeable future.

Property Tax Information

property taxes

California Property Taxes – useful information and links to County Tax Assessor websites. Property taxes are typically paid in two installments, the first in the fall (usually before December 10th) and the second in the spring (usually before April 10th). Click on the link below to see the property tax calendar for California. Property Tax Calendar for California Here are … Read More

Understanding No-Cost Mortgages

mortgage points

Is it really possible to get a mortgage and pay no points or closing costs?  Yes and no . . . The reality is, you won’t pay any closing costs up front – but you will pay for them over time. In a no-cost mortgage, lenders charge a higher interest rate to compensate for the fact they’re not collecting any … Read More