What Can Stall the Mortgage Closing Process?

Two Person Shaking Each Others HandsOnce an offer has been accepted by a seller, you need to go through the mortgage closing. As long as everything goes right, it will only take about 21-28 days or about a month on average. But, if even one problem arises, it can set the closing date back weeks – maybe even months! Here are some of the things that can stall the mortgage closing process:

1. Expensive purchases for the home

If you’re the buyer, you might want to hold off on making any big purchases for the new home (sofas, beds, dining sets, etc). The lender will pull your credit before the closing date and if you’ve made any big purchases on a credit card, it will show up and reflect as you taking on more debt. The lender may want to change their loan offer.

2. Death of original homeowner

The home might need to go through probate court to authenticate the former owner’s last will and testament if something happens to them. In some states, this could take months or even years!

3. HOA issues

If the former owner has outstanding fees or fines, it could cause issues with the closing. The best bet is to negotiate those costs with the seller and/or pay off the fees.

4. Verification issues

The borrower’s landlord, mortgage company, employer, or source of the down payment might drag on providing necessary verification.

5. Down payment issues

The lender may require the home buyer to put more money down in some instances, which can take some time if the buyer lacks the necessary funds.

6. Lender needs more information

For different circumstances, the lender may ask for additional information to be requested later in the process. If the lender loses documentation, they may also need to request it again from the buyer.

7. Schedule problems

For any party involved in the closing, they may not be able to meet on a previously agreed time.

8. Buyer delays

There are many buyer delays that could stall the closing: if they are self-employed, if they have multiple sources of income, if they are getting a down payment from an “unconventional” source or gift. These could require more documentation.

9. Flood insurance requirement

If living in a flood zone, the buyer might need to acquire flood insurance and complete the benchmark survey which could take up to 3 weeks to process. It then needs to be reviewed by the mortgage underwriter.

10. Appraisal disparities

Before the mortgage is approved, the bank must appraise the home and – if their appraisal is lower than asking price – they may require a negotiation.

11. Title issues

Any tax liens against the property will need to be resolved before the closing can happen.

12. Property damage

If there is damage to the property, the lender may require repairs to be finished prior to the closing.

13. Contract disagreements

Either party may not agree to the requests may in the contract, which means it will need to be changed and rewritten.

14. Foreclosure

If the house is in foreclosure, it could take up to 10 days to get the payoff information from the mortgage company including legal fees.

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Why Buyers Need Proof of Funds

Black Calculator Near Ballpoint Pen on White Printed PaperProof of funds is a document that proves a home buyer has enough liquid cash to purchase a home. Many – if not all – home sellers want to see a proof of funds, so they know the buyer is truly able to afford it. If you’re considering buying a house, find out who needs proof of funds, what counts, and how to get it.

Who needs proof of funds?

All buyers need proof of funds. Even if you are getting a mortgage to finance your home purchase, you’ll still need enough money for a down payment (about 20% of the house price) and closing cost (3-4% of the home price).

Lenders look at your finances to mathematically learn how much money you can truly afford with all your other obligations, but the sellers also want to see where you have the funds for closing.

Even if you are paying for the house in all cash, you still need to provide proof you have all that cash.

Proof of funds vs. pre-approval letter

The mortgage pre-approval letter is different than proof of funds. The pre-approval letter is from the lender to the buyer stating that they are committing to providing a home loan to the buyer.

Proof of funds is a separate document that shows you have funds for the closing and where those funds are located.

What counts as proof of funds?

A proof of funds can be from the institution where the money you plan on using for closing cost is located: bank, open credit line, money market. Mutual funds and stocks don’t count as proof of funds because they can fluctuate based on the market conditions. If you plan on using those funds to pay for closing cost, you should relocate them to and account that is proof sooner rather than later.

If you have funds coming from several different accounts, you should put them into one just for the sake of simplicity and it will make it easier on you.

In the end, sellers don’t care where the money is coming from, just that it actually exists somewhere.

How to get proof of funds

Getting the proof of funds is actually pretty easy. All you have to do is contact your bank or institution where your money is located and request it. It can take about 1 to 2 days to receive it, but plan on waiting a week as some banks can take longer. You can provide your proof of funds at the time you offer your bid, or 24-48 hours after the bid is accepted.

What to include

You can find a few template options at Realtor.com’s article that help your layout a proof of funds letter. Make sure your document includes the account holder’s name and balance, all on a bank letterhead signed by a bank official. Even a simple bank statement would suffice.

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Coastal Country Beach Home Listing!

If you or someone you know has been looking for a coastal country home located in Encinitas, my newest listing could be the house for them. Located at 1675 Noma Lane in Encinitas, this gorgeous home is located in the Leucadia community near award winning schools, beaches, and restaurants.

Listed at $1,595,000, this country beach home has been completely renovated from top to bottom and sits on a 10,100 square foot lot. With over 2,000 square feet and a re-built, oversized 2-car garage, this home comes with 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths, and 1 half bath.

Built in 1978, this beautiful home has been completely renovated from the inside to the backyard. With amazing vaulted ceilings in the living area, updated kitchen, fireplace in the living room, and hardwood floors, you’ll have a home with charm and character.

The backyard pool has been remodeled with pebble tech finish, and the backyard has new landscape and hardscape. There is even new drainage, irrigation, and electronic gated entry and fencing. You can check out the listing and even take the virtual tour!

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6 Tips to Organize Your Tupperware

blur, candies, chocolatesTupperware and other food storage containers tend to take up entire cabinets. No matter how you try to stack the different sizes with the lids, they are always falling out or moving out of place. To keep your cabinets organized and to make more room, here are some tips on organizing your Tupperware!

1. Use a Plate Rack

By stacking your lids vertically in a plate rack, you could create a lot more space to organize the actual containers and keep the lids separate. Divide them by size and it can make them easier to find instead of testing the lids to make sure they are a match to your container.

2. Book Bins as Dividers

Keep containers and lids of variance neat by using book bins in your cabinets and drawers. By turning them on their sides, they act as dividers and holders to separate the lids and containers from other sizes.

3. Tension Rods for Lids

Small tension rods work great for keeping your lids in line. Instead of them slipping and sliding around the drawer, keep them all lined upright with the tension rods.

4. Drawer Dividers

Keep it simple and use drawer dividers to separate the containers and lids. This allows for smart stacking with your containers while keep the lids organized by size.

5. Magazine Rack

Add a magazine rack to the inside of your cabinet door for a hidden but easy-to-reach storage. Whenever you need to find your lids, they’ll all be stacked nicely inside the rack right on the door.

6. Invest in an Entire Storage System

You could purchase an entire storage system to convert your drawer into a massive Tupperware organizer. Online shops like Wayfair and Overstock both have multiple options with measurements, so you can make sure everything will fit. You can install them yourself, or you could be inspired to build your own system.

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New Farmhouse Style Listing & Open House in Encinitas!

This weekend, I’ll be having an open house at one of listings – 1285 Crest Drive, Encinitas! The open house will be from 1-4 PM on Saturday 4/21 and Sunday 4/22. You’ll want to see the views this beautiful house has to offer.

Currently priced at $2,350,000, this coastal country, farmhouse style home is located in the canyon rim with breathtaking mountain views. It sits on 1.53 acres of land nearby the beach, town, schools, and shopping. With almost 3,000 square feet of space, 4 bedrooms, 3 bathrooms, 1 half bath and a lot of multipurpose space, this home is perfect for the family!

Built in 1970, everything about this home is modern and updated. Hardwood flooring and a modern fireplace in the living room are just some of the qualities this Encinitas home has to offer. Not only is there a multipurpose room, but you also have a sunroom that looks out into the backyard and gives you a great view of the mountains.

The backyard has gorgeous landscaping, a picnic area, and a BBQ grill right in the center of it all. With a three-car garage and long, massive driveway, this home is perfect for anyone who loves entertaining or throwing big family festivities.

You can view the listing or come visit me this weekend and experience the views in real life.

1285 Crest Drive
Encinitas, CA 92024

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6 Castles for Sale!

Interior of BuildingIf you ever dreamed of being a prince or princess as a child, you may have a chance to fulfill your dreams. Across the world, there are hundreds of castles for sale that anyone can purchase – as long as they can afford it! These are currently the most popular on Castles for Sale.

1. Rieti, Italy – $13,640,00

Floor: 46,230 sqft
Plot: 4 acres
BR: 19

This castle was a former Cistercian abbey built around the 8th century. Even though it still has the architecture from its time period, it has a completely updated, contemporary property with modern luxuries. There is a church with a bell tower, monastery, basement parking, and condos with various size apartments.

2. Poitiers, France – $2,356,000

Plot: 51 acres
BR: 5
BA: 5

With a completely renovated “Logis”, guest lodge, office, stables, and outbuilding, this 13th century castle comes with many unique qualities. Built to be used as a fortified defense against any invasions, it has a dungeon, tower, dining hall, and draw bridge. The previous owners renovated the castle to have more of a sympathetic home-feel rather than a defensive castle.

3. Noetzie Beach, Knysna, South Africa – $6,000,000

BR: 5
BA: 6
3 Separate Castles

The Main Castle has a garden with private access to the beach, a heated rim flow pool, thatched gazebo against the cliff, gym, and huge terrace. The Honeymoon is the perfect romantic getaway with a private, secluded heated plunge pool. The Cliff Castle is beside the Main Castle against the cliff face, but also with a lot of privacy. Not to mention the castle comes with an executive butler!

4. Siena, Italy – $3,100,000

Floor: 6,459 sqft
BR: 6
BA: 7

Located in the heart of the countryside, this castle comes with all the authentic historical features you’d need spread across 5 levels. A reception hall and ancient cellar are just a few of the exciting qualities this castle brings, not to mention the original cotto floors that date back to the year 1000. It also has a separate guest house with 753 sqft of space between two levels, as well as equestrian facilities.

5. Passignano sul Trasimeno, Perugia, Umbria – $ 4,900,00

Floor: 5,747 sqft
Plot: 1.6 acres
BR: 7
BA: 8

While the origins of this castle ae uncertain, the largest part of it dates back to the 11th – 12th C., and they know for sure the walls were restored in 1313. The watch tower has 6 levels while the main castle has 2. The castle is currently under restoration for a project that will make it more livable and homey.

6. Alessandria, Italy

Floor: 25,564 sqft
Plot: 9.8 acres
Terrace: 8,761 sqft
BR: 10

Circa 900 AD and completed around 1200, this Italian castle is full of rich architecture, paintings and history with a C-shape courtyard in the 1700s Baroque style. It comes with 3 main levels – a basement, main level, and attic – as well as a terrace below garden level and at basement level. It’s completely livable, restored, and secured.

All pictures acquired from https://www.prestigeproperty.co.uk/castles-for-sale-138/p-Castle/s-p/
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5 Ways to Teach Your Kids About the Importance of Earth

daylight, environment, forestThis Sunday, April 22nd, humans will celebrate Earth Day all across the world. With all the information we have about our Earth and how we affect it, it’s important to teach the next generation of children why we need to save our planet in any little way we can. Here are 5 ways you can educate your children – and maybe even yourself!

1. Instilling a Green Thumb

One way to teach your kids the importance of the Earth is to teach them the magic of plants and how such small leaves or flowers can make the food chain go ‘round. Take them to your nearest hardware or gardening store and let them choose a few flowers or edible plants to grow.

Create interest with all the special tools that come with gardening and let them play in the dirt. If you’re just as interested in planting, plan a tulip tree or lemon tree to get just as involved as they are!

2. Adopt an Endangered Animal

Depending on your child’s age, they may already be aware of what an endangered animal is and how many there are in the world. If not, this is the perfect opportunity to educate them. Your child will especially love this if they’re an animal lover.

You can donate to the World Wildlife Fund to help protect endangered species and their habitats. Allow your child to choose which animal to help and you’ll receive a plush version in the mail.

3. The Circle of Life

What better way to teach children about life and the Earth than butterflies? Using this butterfly kit, you’ll have all you’ll need to raise and care for a larva. Once it has turned into a butterfly, you can release it to enjoy your yard.

In order to create an environment for a butterfly and to collect any larva, you can purchase and plant buddleia to attract butterflies to your yard (and possibly hummingbirds). You could also plant bee friendly flowers to educate them on the workings of a bee – as long as you or your family isn’t allergic to their stings.

4. Educate

There are many other ways you can educate your kids while entertaining them. There are plenty of books out there that engage your kids with colors, pictures, and interaction that help teach them about plants, compost, recycling, and more.

You can also get crafty with them and create recycled material art projects. If they prefer coloring over large projects, you can purchase them a recycled paper notebook.

5. Spend Time Outdoors

Detach the family from phones, TV, and tablets and just play outside! Go to the park, climb trees, play sports, or visit your local forest preserve and take a nature walk. If you’re feeling adventurous, take a camping trip to the local campground and enjoy the fresh air and nature around you.

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Top 8 Family Vacations for Summer 2018

car, children, dad

In about a month, the kids will be out of school and free for the summer. If you’re a family that likes to take advantage of their days off during the summer, then you’ll need to know where the hottest vacation destinations will be this summer! Here are the top 10 for 2018:

1. Ocean City, MD

Ocean City, Maryland is an affordable, kid-friendly, and classic American beach. You’ll find the amusement park rides, stretches of sand, and carnival lights the perfect entertainment for your family.

Popular Attractions:

  • Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Museum
  • Assateague Island National Seashore
  • Ocean City Beach & Boardwalk
  • Trimper’s Rides & Amusements
  • Jolly Roger Amusement Park

2. Puerto Rico

With all the resorts and clubs, Puerto Rico makes a great destination that is like a home away from home. Large waves for surfers and clear waters are just some of the amazing attractions Puerto Rico has to offer.

Popular Attractions:

  • Bioluminescent Mosquito Bay
  • El Morro (Fuerte San Felipe del Morro)
  • Flamenco Beach
  • Sun Bay
  • El Yunque National Rain Forest

3. Niagara Falls, Canada/NY

This summer, visit one of the top natural wonders of the world. Niagara Falls is a mouth dropping attraction that will have the entire family amazed.

Popular Attractions:

  • Maid of the Mist
  • Niagara Parks Botanical Gardens & Butterfly Conservatory
  • Old Fort Niagara
  • Niagara Glen Nature Reserve
  • Journey Behind the Falls

4. Myrtle Beach, SC

Myrtle Beach has been a top family vacation spot for many, many years. It boasts amusement parks, outlet malls, golf, and pirate-inspired revues.

Popular Attractions:

  • Myrtle Beach
  • Mt. Atlanticus Miniature Golf
  • The Carolina Opry
  • Ripley’s Aquarium Myrtle Beach
  • Family Kingdom Amusement Park

5. Bahamas, Caribbean

There are approximately 700 islands that make up the Bahamas! They are a hot destination all year round, luring visitors with their white-washed shores, scuba-diving, and luxurious accommodations.

Popular Attractions:

  • Atlantis Bahamas (Paradise Island)
  • Lucayan National Park (Grand Bahama Island)
  • Queen’s Staircase (New Providence Island)
  • The Glass Window Bridge (Eluethera)
  • John Watling’s Distillery (New Providence Island)

6. Minneapolis/St. Paul, MN

The artistic, architectural, and theatrical renaissance of Minneapolis and St. Paul has made this region of the Midwest culturally abundant. This make Minneapolis and St. Paul a fun and educational journey for the whole family.

Popular Attractions:

  • Chain of Lakes
  • Stone Arch Bridge
  • Guthrie Theater
  • Mill City Museum
  • Mall of America

7. Virginia Beach, VA

Split between a party spot for local college kids, a haven for families, and a renaissance beach town, Virginia Beach lures people from Ocean City, Outer Banks, and Myrtle Beach.

Popular Attractions:

  • Virginia Beach Boardwalk & Beachfront
  • First Landing State Park
  • Sandbridge Beach
  • Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center
  • Cape Henry Lighthouse

8. Hamburg, Germany

If you’re looking for a destination to take the family out of the country this summer, look no further than the bubbly, northern Germany city of Hamburg. You’ll enjoy its historical beauty and cosmopolitan vibes.

Popular Attractions:

  • Alter Elbtunnel
  • Planten un Blomen
  • Fish Auction Hall & Market
  • Town Hall (Rathaus)
  • Miniatur Wunderland
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What to Do in San Diego This Weekend!

Group of People Enjoying Music ConcertIf you won’t be participating in Coachella 2018 in Indio this weekend but still want to enjoy the wonderful weather, there are many other fun events going on that you can enjoy in San Diego!

Taste of Hillcrest

When: Saturday, 4/14
Throughout Hillcrest

With cuisines from more than 3 dozen restaurants of Hillcrest, the 17th Annual Taste of Hillcrest allows you to sample pad Thai, sashimi, Italian antipasto, and classic American comfort food. To take a break from all the eating, there will also be beer tasting and a refreshment stop at Rich’s Nightclub at 1051 University Ave.

Pre-sale tickets are $30, and they’ll be $35 the day of the event. Free shuttle service will be available, running every 15 minutes.

San Diego Beach & Bay Half Marathon, 5K, and 8K

When: Saturday, 4/14
Where: Throughout Mission Bay

Enjoy this sea-level course with views of the beaches, bays, and resorts of Mission Bay. At the finish line, you’ll be able to end the marathon with live music, a beer garden, and snacks! To participate, it costs:

  • $50 for the 5K, $25 for ages 3-17
  • $55 for the 8K, $35 for ages 3-17
  • $110 for the Half Marathon

Silent Disco at Uptown Tavern

When: Saturday, 4/14
1236 University Ave., Hillcrest

You don’t need to be a professional to dance at this disco. Hosted every second Saturday, the Silent Disco means you get to wear wireless headphones and dance in what onlookers would take as “silence”. Check out the Uptown Tavern for deals, prices, and times.

32nd Annual Fallbrook Avocado Festival

When: Sunday, 4/15
Main Street, Fallbrook

If you like avocados and guacamole, this festival is the place for you to be this weekend. Between the guacamole contests, inflatable avocados, and a race featuring vehicles made from SoCal’s signature fruit. Admission is free!

San Diego Padres

Enjoy one of America’s favorite past times by attending the San Diego Padres’ home games this weekend against the San Francisco Giants! Games are today, Friday, until Sunday this weekend!

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Luxury Listing in Cardiff-By-The-Sea

One of my current listings is a luxury home, located in Cardiff in the heart of the Composer District. Built in 2001, this custom, contemporary home located on a .8-acre gated estate. A private, serene detached house with an expansive ocean and westerly views.

There are many unique features that come with this gorgeous home. On top of the wine cellar, there is a rear loggia with an outdoor fireplace, BBQ area, 2 large upper decks, and a relaxing pool. Just imagine the ocean breeze slipping through the landscaped trees while relaxing in the pool with the smell of BBQ.

For those colder, rainy nights in this Southern California, you can huddle inside in any of the rooms with a fireplace like either living room or the master bedrooms. Enjoy the updated and custom furnishings that will make this place your home.

Overall, this home comes with 4 bedrooms, 4 bathrooms, and 5,600 square feet. It is also split into an East and West wing which allows for 2 separate living spaces all with their bedrooms, kitchens, bathrooms, and living rooms. Going for $3,999,000, you won’t only get this wonderful home but the advantages of the surrounding Composer District.

The Composer District is a neighborhood of homes developed in the early 1900s by Victor Kremer, a music publisher and land developer. He was very fond of music, so all the streets in the area are all named after composers like Anton Rubenstein, Gershwin, Bach, Mozart, Liszt, Verdi, Chopin, Vivaldi, Haydn, Schubert, Rossini, and Brahms.

Conveniently located near the Cardiff downtown, it may be small, but it has a good number of restaurants and shopping all in walking distances of one another, as well as beaches nearby. The George Berkich Park offers a place to relax and play ball. For those with children, those K to 3rd will attend on the Cardiff Elementary School, grades 3 to 6 will attend the Ada Harris Elementary School, and beyond grade 6 will go to Encinitas schools.

For more information on the Rubenstein listing or to see more pictures, visit 1366rubensteinave.com!

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