Archive for June, 2014

HOME BUYERS QUESTIONS

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Absolute_Mortgage

Absolute_Mortgage (Photo credit: kathleenleavitt)

HOME BUYERS QUESTIONS

A recent study by THE INMAN GROUP showed that 90% of 1st Time Buyers felt they were well prepared when they started the home buying process. By the time they finished 56% said they should have known much more about the financial aspects of home buying.

The top problem areas were:

1. The Mortgage Selection options.

2. The Closing Escrow process, especially loan closing.

3. The Offer and negotiation process.

This supports my personal experience and justifies my firm policy of having a typically 2 hour initial meeting with new buyer clients to discuss these and a few similar areas. This allows us to deal with the probability that many hours spent on the Web has given them a toxic mix of good, wrong, ambiguous, and dangerous data, but no framework in which to analyze it.

The biggest single problem in my experience is the idea that house hunting should start with looking at houses.

WRONG

It should start with finding the optimal Mortgage FOR YOU based on your current circumstances and future plans.

When you have determined (accurately) how much you can afford and which type of mortgage is best suited for you, should you be using your valuable time to start viewing only homes which meet your parameters and pockets.

NOTE: It’s worth remembering that the 30 year fixed rate mortgage is seldom the best choice for the majority of buyers. However it is always the most expensive.

 

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API 2015

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We now know that API will no longer be updated, and will in fact be replaced from next year by a more valuable index.

Question is what will replace it for the missing year?

Latest I hear is that for one year only it will be by an index which will cause considerable misunderstanding in the minds of it’s users.

For one year only the index will be the average of the past 3 years API’s!!!

Because of the way API has always been measured 80% of all schools improved every year. Therefore the new score will be lower than 2014 as the calculation will include previous lower scores.

Home buyers checking out the schools which their children will be attending next year are almost certainly going to see that the “API” has gone down from it’s 2014 number.

We should hope that sanity is restored before this change is implemented but I’m not confident.

 

GOODBYE API

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Say farewell to the API as you know it. Welcome to new era of accountability, with at least a couple years of confusion in between. English: San Elijo Hills Middle School

 

The release Thursday of the results on the state’s Academic Performance Index marks the end of a decade of judging student performance based on test scores alone. Within three years, California will have moved to a very different system in which scores on the newly introduced Common Core assessments and other state standardized tests will be but one spectrum in the prism for evaluating schools and districts. 

 

There will be new, multiple measures that could include high school and middle school graduation rates, rates of absenteeism, reclassification of English learners, passage on Advanced Placement exams or a mix of other indicators.

 

How these measures will fit together, and whether the can even be combined into a single index, will be the State Board of Educations challenge.

 

The law gives them till Oct 2015 to have it in place. 

 

 

 

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