Real Estate Information Archive


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Complex Transactions

by Steve Bradley Indpendent Consultant

Complex Transactions:


Complex transactions are tough for everyone concerned.  They are hard for the buyer, the seller, and the agent(s).  Here are some guidelines if you get involved in one:

1.Patience is the watchword in these transactions.  Complex transactions may blindside you; they always require patience, and keeping your eye on the goal. You may get involved in a boundary dispute. There may be a legal battle, or an appraisal issue. A few years ago, I personally had one where there was no road maintenance agreement.  It took time to work through. The buyers wanted the house, and recognized it was the best thing they had seen, so we walked through it together.

2.Realize that we will walk through these transactions with you. Unless there is nothing we can do (you’re in the middle of a divorce), we will stand with you and make every effort to smooth out the rough spots.

3.Know that, if we don’t personally have the answers, we will find the right experts to help us make your transaction work.  For example, a recent transaction involved someone who wanted to do an exchange on their rental property.  They were told that a 1031 (that’s the IRS code #) Exchange wouldn’t work, because the properties were not “alike.” We were able to find a more knowledgeable expert, who correctly counselled the seller (long story short: The properties ARE alike, acc to IRS). Many times, we’ve found, a complex transaction becomes simple when we hire the right experts.

4.Some commercial transactions may be complex.  Most of them are not.  There is property. There is a buyer, and a seller. In these apparently bewildering transactions, we’re here to help.

5.Our guiding light is now, and always has been, the “Golden Rule;” we want to treat you as we’d like to be treated in similar circumstances.  That’s more than just “integrity.” It involves us standing with you in every transaction, earning your trust, and your future business, because you know that we’ll do what you really need in each circumstance.


by Steve Bradley Indpendent Consultant



Price is what decides IF your house will sell.  One of our agents has done research, and discovered that virtually every house sells within 15-30 days of its last price reduction. Freely interpreted, that means, “Once you reach the price a buyer will pay, offers start to arrive.”

Price is the most important factor in the real estate equation.


If you say,

“I have to have…(put your number in here)...

“I’m willing to wait…”

“My house is worth more than the comps…” (It may be, but will the buyer pay the extra?)

“I need this for my retirement…”

And a host of other things, you’re going against the most powerful force in the real estate universe:

The Market. What decides pricing is the market in your area, and if your home has had no offers, reduce the price until you start to get offers.

It’s pretty common, if the price is right, to get multiple offers--that’s right, more than one person will want to buy your house if the price is right.

If you get NO offers, the price is wrong. Always. It’s never anything else, unless you’ve had a meth lab in the house, or unless it’s infested with giant spiders that can eat buyers in one gulp.

How to set pricing for the property you’re trying to sell:

1.Get with your Mitchel agent and study the comparables together.

2.Set an initial price that is in line with the market.

3.If the property does not sell, begin staged reductions, that occur every so often (I’ve used daily, weekly, monthly--all work, if used correctly).

4.DON’T fight with your agent about this. They are on your side. Remember, they don’t get paid until that house sells.

5.IF your house (property) doesn’t sell, accept the responsibility. Don’t blame the agent.  YOU were the one who fought the market.  We’ve had some ex-clients who refused to reduce their prices, only to find the property did not sell--and then they list with another broker at the right price (often much lower).  Guess what!!?? The property sells. Why? Because the new agent wouldn’t list the property for the price you forced the first agent to use. Don’t do that. You waste your time, your effort, and the agent’s expertise and time.


SELL your house. Don’t just list it. Work with your Mitchel agent. He is experienced. A “Doctor of Real Estate,” if you will.

First Time Buyers, Part 1

by Steve Bradley Indpendent Consultant



If you’re buying real estate for the first time, it’s probably something you’d like to be able to live in, and most likely you’ll be facing the same problem nearly every other first time buyer faces, namely, “I really can’t afford what I want.” So the right house usually is the house you can afford. In many cases, that’s a condo or some other property that you can buy with your money and credit. Your agent will help you with that decision, but the main thing to do is to condition yourself to the reality that you’re not going to get the perfect house when you make your first purchase. 


Buying the perfect home is usually a 3-4 step process: you buy the first house, live in it 3-10 years, make it nicer than when you bought it, then buy the next one using the equity you’ve acquired in the first house, and so on. That is a process that has worked for a couple generations in San Diego County, but that may be coming to an end.  Prices are flattening, and the signs are that they will continue to do so, perhaps even declining a bit over the next decade or so.  I know that the “puffers” of real estate pricing want to tell you that prices can only go up, but we’ve recently all seen that’s not true. The problem, as you’re acutely aware, is affordability, which is near the historic low for our part of the world.


So here are a couple of strategies to make sure that, if you have to stay in your house for the next 30 years, you’ll like it.

1.Always buy the best neighborhood you can afford.  Neighborhood always trumps home size and quality.  I’d rather be in a “dog of the street” in the best neighborhood than in a beautiful home in the worst neighborhood.

2.Always look at schools.  Schools tell you great deal about a neighborhood.

3.Always drive the neighborhood you’ve chosen at dusk.  If you’re afraid to get out of your car in that neighborhood, it’s probably not the place for you.

4.Watch distances.  I’ve lived in the East County for much of my real estate career and I’ve had friends who moved from there to Temecula, when they worked in Point Loma.  VERY bad idea, as they soon found.  The commute kills you.  You need to be as close as you can to where you work and play, or know how long it takes you to get to the places you need to be, and be completely comfortable with those distances.

5.If you’re buying a condo, get as much information as you can about the homeowner’s association.  Being in a condo or P. U. D. with an active homeowner’s association can be a wonderful thing, IF the association is a good one.  The opposite is also true.  Finding that information is probably impossible for your agent, since everyone who wants to sell will lie if it’s not a good association, so you should do some research on your own. Ask your agent how to do that, and be comfortable with the association before you buy.  Your agent can’t control the homeowner’s association, but if you see that change is needed, you can usually help by getting elected to the board.

Reverse Mortgage

by Steve Bradley Indpendent Consultant


Definition: A reverse mortgage is a mortgage based on the equity in your property. You make no payments, but the payments accrue over time, and become part of your loan balance.  In most reverse mortgages, even if the mortgage amount goes over the value of the property, you may still live in your property until you leave it by choice.

How to use a reverse mortgage to help you through retirement (and a few other ideas):

When we hear the term “reverse mortgage,” most savvy people used to think, “run the other way.” “Only get a reverse mortgage when there’s no other option.” And lots of other negative things.

However, under the new FHA guidelines, and with the new rules, a reverse mortgage can be a huge benefit to you as a person heading into retirement, or if you just want to have no payments.

Remember, you have to be at least 62, and have sufficient equity in your property to obtain one. There are also costs and fees associated with a reverse mortgage, so although it’s in some respects like a line of credit (which is much less expensive), it has its issues. However, in many cases, it’s the perfect solution . It’s like any other tool in a financial planning scenario.  It’s just right in some cases, but is not the right choice in others.

Here are some ways you can use a reverse mortgage:

   1.  You can use a reverse mortgage to stay in your home and make no payments (except for taxes and insurance, which you must still maintain), for as long as you live in your home.

   2.  You can use a reverse mortgage to draw equity from your property as needed , without having to pay it back for as long as you live in your home. In this way it’s like a line of credit for which you make no payments.

   3.  You can use a reverse mortgage, with its relaxed credit requirements, to get a mortgage that’s lower in interest than the one you now have, and then pay it off over time , just like a regular mortgage (no, the lender doesn’t mind. He either gets his payments now or later, when the home is sold). In other words, you can use a reverse mortgage to buy another home (you have to put enough down to give yourself sufficient equity).

   4.  You can use a reverse mortgage as a financial planning tool .  If you own a home with enough equity, you can get a reverse mortgage, and then draw it down only as needed, and pay it back if you like. So perhaps you don’t have any current financial needs. You can still get a reverse mortgage, and use the money available as you need later.  All this, and you don’t have to make a payment on that loan nless you choose to do so.  Payments are caught up when you sell or leave the home after your death.

   5. You can use a reverse mortgage as an investment tool .  Suppose you want to downsize, and you also want to take advantage of the benefits of owning investment property. You can sell your current home, then put enough down to get a reverse mortgage on your new home, get that mortgage, and have no payments to make on the home you live in, and then you can also use the remainder of your funds to buy an investment property that pays you rent and appreciates at the same time .

The most important first step, though, is to find someone who is competent and who has sufficient integrity to honestly explore the entire situation with  you. We can help with that.  We know people who do reverse mortgages, do them well, and will put you, not their own commissions, first.

What to know before you get a reverse mortgage:

   1.  There are costs and fees associated with reverse mortgages, and they are added to your loan balance , so they become part of the money that accrues interest.

   2.  While you are not required to make payments, each of those payments is “made for you,” and added to your loan balance, where it accrues interest, just as the money you originally borrowed does. So if you have a reverse mortgage of $200,000, and your payments are $1,000 per month (this is only an example), and you let the payments accrue, the first month your balance increases to $201,000, and your new payment is calculated on that balance, at the same interest rate. So next month, your payment will be slightly higher, and THAT payment gets added on, and so forth. However, even if the mortgage balance rises above the value of the property, the property can never be sold out from under you, as long as you live in the property.

   3.  You must continue to live in the property for as long as you have the reverse mortgage. You are allowed  “time off” for hospitalization or other purposes, but you must maintain that as your principal residence for as long as you have that mortgage.

   4. If your spouse doesn’t sign on the mortgage, he/she may still continue to live in the property once you die, under certain circumstances.

   5.  You must continue to pay the insurance and property taxes on your reverse mortgage, for as long as you own the property.

   6.  You may make payments on the reverse mortgage, so that it becomes like an amortizing loan, or you may pay it off, at any time.

   7.  You will have to undergo counseling from a counselor certified to do that work, so that you understand the benefits and issues with reverse mortgages in full.  Be sure to ask the counselor any questions you have (write them down!) before you sign for the mortgage.

   8.  There is a “cooling off” period for reverse mortgages.  In other words, you can decide, within a 3 day time period, that you don’t want the mortgage and cancel it.

Reverse mortgages are a good deal for a lot of people. They work well, and the do what they are designed to do. If you go into your reverse mortgage with your eyes open, you’ll probably be very pleased with the results.  After all, who doesn’t want “no payments for life?”


Steve Bradley Independent Consultant


Displaying blog entries 1-4 of 4




Contact Information

Photo of Glenn D. Mitchel Realtors® CA BRE# 00856461 Real Estate
Glenn D. Mitchel Realtors® CA BRE# 00856461
Glenn D. Mitchel Realtors
1089 El Cajon Blvd. Ste A
El Cajon CA 92020
(619) 442-8833
Fax: (619) 442-8039