Buying a new home – how to spot a real estate bubble

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When it comes to buying a new home, there are many factors that will influence when you buy, the type of property, and the location in which you choose to purchase. One factor which people don’t always consider when buying a new home, however, is whether there is a real estate bubble in place. A bubble is when property prices are artificially inflated for any of a number of reasons, and this carries the risk that when conditions change the value of properties can fall rapidly, potentially resulting in negative equity and, in extreme cases, foreclosures. Property bubbles can be national in nature – caused by broader economic conditions – but they can also be localized. Here are some of the warning signs that the real estate market may be entering a bubble or prone to a crash.

1.     Look out for shaky loans– Loose lending practices in the past have included interest-only loans and adjustable-rate mortgages which borrowers may not be able to afford if interest rates go up. These and other forms of so-called subprime lending were prime factors behind the 2008 housing crash and subsequent global financial crisis. While lenders have almost universally tightened up lending practices in the years since, it still pays to keep an eye on a rise in more “creative” lending products and practices as a sign of a pending bubble.

2.     Decreasing down payments– Simply put, the more money you put down as a percentage of the purchase price when buying a new home, the smaller the risk to the mortgage lender in the event that either housing values crash or the borrower can’t keep up with the repayments. Conversely, smaller deposits equal higher risk. If the real estate market shifts to homebuyers putting down smaller down payments, it could be a sign of an approaching bubble.

3.     Cost of living outstripping salaries – Real estate bubbles can occur when living expenses start rising faster than salaries. Where runaway price inflation outstrips wage growth, there is the potential for a real estate bubble and subsequent crash. This can be particularly evident in fast-growing cities.

4.     Flipping and real estate investment– At times and in locations where a lot of people are buying property to renovate and flip, or are purchasing a new home for saleto lease out rather than live in, that can have a big effect on driving up house prices and creating a real estate bubble. Once again, widespread house flipping and investment purchases were the norm in the years leading up to the 2008 property crash.

5.     Rising interest rates – Lower interest rates make mortgages more affordable for would-be homebuyers, and help keep real estate market demand high. Rising interest rates, on the other hand, cause housing demand to fall, sinking the housing market and potentially signaling the end of a property market boom.

While most experts agree that we aren’t currently in too much danger of a national property bubble – interest rates are still relatively low and tighter lending practices in the past few years have acted as a brake to higher-risk lending – it’s still worth keeping an eye out for the factors outlined above before making a decision to buy a new home for sale.

Mortgage basics – how to qualify for a new home

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Buying a new home for the first time can be a fantastic adventure and the start of an exciting new chapter in your life – but it can also be quiet a daunting prospect. Dealing with realtors and attorneys can be intimidating if you’ve never done it before, not to mention the question of whether you will even qualify for a new home. The truth is that the process of getting a mortgage and buying a home can be quite straightforward, but it can pay to do your homework in advance.

The first stage in getting a mortgage is to review your credit report. Your credit score is one of the main factors in determining whether you qualify for a new home, in terms of both whether you will be able to get a mortgage and how much you will actually be able to borrow. A high credit score, for example over 700, will make lenders see you as a lower-risk borrower, and this can open up both the number of lenders and the number of mortgage deals available to you. A lower credit score might not stop you getting a mortgage, but it may limit the lenders and deals that you will be able to choose from.

There are three major credit reporting companies in the States: Equifax, Transunion and Experian. As well as providing a credit score, your credit report will include details of any current and past debts and credit commitments. It’s important to check your credit report for any errors or disputed debts. Errors can affect your credit score, but the good news is that you can write to the credit reporting company or the business that reported the debt to have the error corrected.

Part of the process of applying for a mortgage involves the lender assessing your income to ensure you can afford the mortgage amount you’ve applied for. Typically they will want to see your two most recent paycheck stubs and your past two years’ worth of income tax returns, as well as your past two months’ bank account statements. You will also be asked for documentation for any other form of declared income, such as commissions, investments or alimony payments.

There is a lot of choice in the mortgage market, and it’s a good idea to do a bit of research to decide what your best options are. Will you opt for a fixed interest rate or variable? How many years do you want to take the mortgage over? There are also more specialized types of mortgages aimed at specific profiles of customer. For example, armed forces veterans may qualify for a VA loan, a mortgage with no down payment and typically a lower interest rate than many standard mortgages. If you are on a lower income or have a less than perfect credit score, then you may qualify for an FHA insured loan to help you qualify for a new home.

When it comes to looking for a mortgage, you can either approach lenders directly, or use a mortgage broker who has access to multiple lenders and deals. If you are buying a newly built property, you should be aware that most homebuilders have preferred lenders. Once you have chosen a lender, you can apply to be pre-approved for a mortgage. Once you have your pre-approval letter, this can be submitted with your purchase and sale offer, demonstrating to the seller that you have the financial backing to buy the property.

And that’s pretty much it! If you’re looking for new homes for sale and perhaps wondering whether you will even qualify for a new home, don’t panic. Take your time to do your homework and to make the choices that will be best for you in the long run, and you’ll be well on the path to new home ownership.

Are you looking for a multigenerational new home?

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According to figures from the Pew Research Center, around 51 million Americans live in a home with at least two adult generations, or a grandparent and at least one other generation. There can be any number of reasons why multiple generations of families might choose to live together – it may be for financial reasons, driven by an event such as a job loss or house foreclosure. Or it may simply be driven by a desire to live as a closer extended family unit. Whatever the reason behind it, this type of arrangement is often referred to as multigenerational living, and is becoming an increasingly important consideration when people are looking to buy a new home.

The reasons for multigenerational living have also shifted over the years. While in the past it would have been more likely to be the older generation’s financial position that necessitated moving in with younger relations, today it is more likely to be the younger generation struggling to keep up with the modern costs of living and home ownership. According to a 2012 survey by a national home builder, 32 percent of adult children expect to end up sharing their house with a parent.

While it’s true that financial necessity is often the driver for multigenerational living, many families find there are many emotional and practical advantages in multiple generations living in the same house. That might take the form of built-in elder care or child care, or simply more hands to help out with cooking or other household chores.

Some housebuilders have begun to specifically make provisions for multigenerational living in their plans for new developments. It is becoming more common for a new home for sale to have features such as two master bedrooms, a downstairs room that can be converted into a guest room, or other flexible floorplans that can be utilized to adapt to changing family needs.

The new homes for sale in our development at Miraval at Mesa Verde have floorplans that feature a full-sized master bedroom on the first floor, ideal for an extended family with elderly parents. From the creators of the award-winning communities of Collective, Westreef and Miraval in Costa Mesa, phase two of our Miraval at Mesa Verde development offer spacious single-family houses designed for a contemporary coastal California lifestyle ideal for an extended family.

If you are looking to buy a new home for multigenerational living, Miraval at Mesa Verde offers a range of attractive features for any potential homebuyer. Our original Miraval community sold all of its units quickly, and was awarded the National Association of Homebuilders Gold Award for Best Architectural Design in its class Nationwide for 2017. 

Taking contemporary design influences from local coastal Southern California, Miraval brings exceptional attention to detail to every new home for sale in our development. We pride ourselves on the fact that we don’t just build homes, we build vibrant, family-friendly communities. For more information regarding sales, please call or text our realtor Valerie Torelli on 714-313-3241.

Get your new home ready for summer

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Summer is just round the corner and with it comes a season that can mean sunshine, barbecues and entertaining guests. But is your new homeready for the coming season – especially if it is your first summer in a new house? Here are a few chores that it can be helpful to do in advance to get your home ready for the season, so that when summer does arrive, you can just kick back and relax!

1.     Prepare for rain– We’re starting with a less obvious one, but in some states summer is as likely to bring heavy rain as it is sunshine, and it’s important to make sure your new home is prepared. Check for any damage to gutters and downspouts, and ensure your gutters are clear of leaves, debris or anything else that might prevent rainwater from flowing freely.

2.     Get your yard ready for outdoor living– Check and clean any outdoor furniture that needs attention. Summer is also barbecue season, so make sure to clean your grill and ensure your propane tanks are full, or that you have a sufficient supply of charcoal.

3.     Check your decking– Wood decks can be susceptible to damage over the winter, from snow, ice and cold temperatures, even if you’re in a new home. First you’ll want to clean your deck with a brush and a low-pressure hose or washer; high pressure has the potential to damage the wood. Inspect the deck for splinters, raised fibers or cracks. If necessary, sand the deck down and re-stain or reseal.

4.     Inspect your HVAC system– If you’re expecting a warm summer (and bear in mind that the last three years have been the hottest on record) then you’ll want to know that your air conditioning is up to the job. Check and clean away any leaves or other debris on the outside compressor, and make sure the air filters are cleaned or replaced as appropriate.

5.     Attend to your greenery– Time to apply the old green thumb: trim your shrubs and fertilize your lawn. Get out your hoses and make sure both hoses and nozzles are in good repair; replace any that seem problematic. If your lawn has a sprinkler system, it’s also a good time to check that it’s in good working order.

There you have it. This list is by no means exhaustive, but these five tips will help you to ensure that when summer is in full swing, you will be able enjoy your new homeand yard, whether that’s just you and your family or if you are entertaining guests.

Here are some signs it might be time to search for a new home

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Not everyone enjoys the prospect of moving to a new home, but when the time is right, it is definitely a good idea to start searching for a new house. But how do you know when the time is right? There are any number of factors that can prompt a home move, and they differ for every unique individual or family. Still, there are a few common factors that can be a trigger for people wanting to find a new home. In this blog we’ll look at some of the signs that it might be time for you to get off the fence and start a new house search.

1.     Financial– Any financial advisor will tell that it’s important to review your finances periodically. But that doesn’t just mean your income, outgoings, cash savings and other investments; you also need to consider your property wealth. How much is your current home worth and how much equity do you have in it? Examining your finances can give a good indication on whether it’s time to upsize to a new homeor to stay put, to concentrate on saving a deposit or on paying down an existing mortgage.

2.     A fresh start– Most considerations on this list are practical in nature, but this one is more emotional. Are you happy with your current life and where you are living? Or is the time right for a fresh start in a new housein either just another neighborhood, or another part of the country entirely. Perhaps you are considering a change of career, or just a change of scenery. It’s important to be sensible and practical when considering a house move, but it’s also important to listen to your heart.

3.     Storage space– This is a big one. We all accumulate what might generally be referred to as “clutter” in our lives, but that word can also devalue our treasured belongings. If your book collection, wardrobe, music collection, or kids’ toys are taking over your home then sometimes it may come down to a stark decision between having a thorough clear out, or considering upsizing to a bigger new home with more storage space.

4.     Changing relationships– When a couple start getting serious, it’s common for one to move in with another to begin their life together. But buying a new housetogether can also be an option for some. There can be a real bonding experience in house-hunting together, choosing furnishings, and setting up a new home that reflects the compromise and agreement between two partners.

5.     An expanding family– Another one of the big ones. If you are planning having your first or further children, it may be necessary to think seriously about upsizing to a new home. But it’s not always just the size of the property that’s a consideration – you may simply want to move to a new house in a more appealing neighborhood, or one with a better rated school district.

At Miraval we have built a beautiful community of luxury new homes featuring award-winning architectural design. Contact us today to find out more.

How to have a great 4th of July party at home

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Here at Miraval we passionately believe that we don’t just build new homes, we build new home communities. With the 4thof July just around the corner, the families who live at Miraval will be making plans for how they are going to spend their Independence Day, whether that’s with family, friends or their new home community neighbors. The holiday is a great opportunity to celebrate our nation, its history and what makes it great; here are a few of our ideas for how to have a great 4thof July celebration.

Kid-friendly fun

The 4thof July is a great opportunity for adults to hang out and chill out, but if there are going to be kids at the gathering, it’s important to give them lots of things to see and do. Set up fun, traditional games like cornhole – and for an extra bit of Independence Day patriotism consider getting a board and bags sporting the good old Stars and Stripes! Alternatively, what could be more American than a game of baseball? A whiffle ball (for safety), a bat and throw-down bases and you’ve got fun for adults and children alike. Not all kids are sporty or competitive, though, so be sure to have entertainments for them, too, whether that’s coloring books and pencils, or a fun craft table where they can get creative.

Food and drinks

Whether you’re throwing the traditional 4thof July barbecue or not, there are a whole host of Independence Day party foods to please adults and children alike. For sweet treats, it can be fun to keep the theme going with those patriotic colors. Cookies, cupcakes or even ice-cream sandwiches bedecked with red, white and blue sprinkles make great treats for all the family. For something just a little bit healthier, how about skewers with alternating strawberries, marshmallows, and blueberries? As for drinks, what could be more traditionally American than a lemonade stand … homemade, of course!

Well, we hope that’s given you some ideas. At our Miraval new home development, we know that families will be taking advantage of our indoor/outdoor floorplan to enjoy the day to the max. Miraval wishes all of our residents – and everyone else – a happy and joyful 4thof July.

Arranging the furniture in your new home

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Different people take different approaches to arranging furniture in a new home. Some homebuyers are meticulous planners, thinking long and hard about it and even sketching out ideas based on the property floor plan. Others take a more organic approach, waiting until they move in and trying different arrangements to see what setup best suits their new house. In this blog, we’ll give a few hints and tips on what you might want to consider when thinking about furnishing your new home.

First of all, ask yourself practical questions about your space. What activities will be taking place in this room? How many people does the room have to accommodate? If you are, say, a family of four, do you also need to take visitors into account when planning living and dining rooms? Once you’ve thought about the practicalities, you will have a better idea of what furniture you need for each room, whether you are moving pieces from an existing home, buying all new furniture, or somewhere in between. 

If you are so inclined, experimenting with various arrangements in advance can save avoidable hassle after you move into your new home. In the old days, we used to do it by drawing out floor plans and even using little cutouts to try different furniture arrangements. Today, there are various interactive online tools available that make the job much easier. Try out websites like Homestyler.com and SketchUp.com to experiment with various arrangements for your new house and get a feel for how things will look.

A good interior design tip is to remember the concept of focal points. Focal points in a space may be a natural part of the room’s design – for example, that bay window or fireplace that your eye naturally goes to. Alternatively, you may want to create a focal point, whether that’s the corner of the room where the television will go, a painting in an alcove, or an ornate mirror on a wall. Remember to take the focal point into account when deciding how to orientate the furniture in the room.

As a final tip, beware of creating too big a void in the center of rooms. While some may be inclined to push all the furniture up against the walls to create more space, in reality, this can have the effect of a gaping, uncomfortable void in the middle of the room. Consider moving the furniture away from the walls, or alternatively filling the void with another piece of furniture, such as a coffee table, which can create its own focal point.

So there you have it! We hope that we’ve given you something to think about and that when it comes time to move into your new home you'll find the job of choosing and arranging your furniture in each room of your new house just a little easier.

Reasons Your New Home Should be a Modern Home

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When looking for a new home, there are a number of important choices to make from the outset. The first is whether you want a home that has already been lived in or a new home that has recently been built. 

The good news is that today’s modern homes draw on a wide range of influences and are becoming increasingly popular for both first time and experienced buyers. New home sites, such as those at the Miraval site in Mesa Verde, create not just stunning properties but wonderful communities, brilliant places for families to set up home and prosper. 

Designers and architects are able to bring a wide pantheon of different styles to modern homes today. Not only can they include all the latest energy saving and sustainable technology your property needs, they design with aesthetics in mind. That means you get a great looking modern home that feels right from the moment you step over the threshold.  

Many properties go for large glass walls that can open onto stunning vistas or enclosed gardens depending on the location. Surrounding garden walls are also part of the design for many a modern home and provide the architects with plenty of opportunity to be creative. 

It’s the interior where the midcentury design of today’s modern homes make all the difference. Architects and builders create spaces that not only stand out but which each have their own individual character within the community. 

In places like the Miraval community in Mesa Verde, you’ll find plenty of modern properties designed to give you space and comfort. Built with southern coastal California in mind, each property has it’s own contemporary feel and a sense of timeless comfort. You can contact us today to find out more.