Living the California Dream – Orange County Home Equity Loans

Who knows how Orange County got its name? People have made up so many stories about O.C that over the years, separating fact from fiction has become as time-consuming as peeling an orange. One thing is certain about the place, though. It is easily one of the most beautiful and picturesque in the United States. Because of its desirable location, Orange County home equity loans understandably come with steep price tags.

Orange County Home Equity Loans: Expensive or Economical?

If your goal is to find a budget-friendly home, do not shop for Orange County home equity loans. Orange County is the country’s second most-expensive housing market. It is second only to San Francisco. In fact, as far as houses are concerned, the average Orange County home will cost you three times more than the average American house. According to the National Association of Realtors, Orange County home loans start at $710,000. The national median, on the other hand, is only $215,900.

Orange County Home Equity Loans: Selling Like Oranges

Despite its steep price, a house in Orange County remains a highly coveted property. Why shouldn’t it? An Orange Country address is synonymous to money and a life of privilege. Forget the place’s sandy coves, chiseled bluffs, and foam-covered oceans. There are other places in the United States that are just as beautiful but are much cheaper.

People take out Orange County home equity loans for two reasons: the natural beauty of the place and the O.C lifestyle. To many, an O.C home means you have well and truly made it big.

Orange County Home Equity Loans: In Perspective

Just how high could Orange County home loans go? Visualize this. In Coldwell Banker’s annual Home Price Comparison Index, a 2,200-square-foot Newport Beach house, with four bedrooms, 2.5 baths, a family room, and a two-car garage can set homeowners back by a whooping million and a half!

If you cannot imagine how well and truly expensive this is, take a look at these figures plucked from the same Home Price Comparison Index.

Washington, D.C – $727,250.00

Wilmington, Delaware – $377,250.00

Pensacola, Florida – $222,258.00

Atlanta, Georgia – $303,000.00

Honolulu, Hawaii – $745,454.00

Des Moines, Iowa – $247,000.00

Boise, Idaho – $213,808.00

Chicago, Illinois – $815,000.00

Munster, Indiana – $329,300.00

Boston, Massachusetts – $1,260,000.00

Chevy Chase, Maryland – $829,750.00

Wilmington, North Carolina – $286,650.00

Rye, New York – $869,125.00

Dayton, Ohio – $173,475.00

Clearly, Orange County home equity loans are not something you take out lightly. They are payments you would be making for a long, long time. Thus, it pays to do your research thoroughly and accurately. Find the properties that give you the best value for your money. After all, Orange County living is the golden California dream.

Are Atlanta Home Mortgage Lenders And Brokers Being Squeezed Out Of The Mortgage Market?

Mortgage guidelines and rules are changing daily because of the current mortgage crisis. Foreclosures are up, and the Atlanta market is eighth in over-all foreclosures nationwide. Larger investors are turning down four times as many loans and have dropped more than half of the programs as they less than a year ago. This isn’t a very optimistic picture for those smaller lenders and brokers that are trying to keep their heads above water.

Atlanta mortgage brokers operate as a virtual lending arm for larger banks like Countrywide, Chase and Bank of America. Basically they capture business that the larger banks retail divisions miss or can’t handle. Larger banks, by in large depend on loan originators with less experience to process loans. The loans are then processed through their financial assembly line to obtain a closed loan. Each person within the chain has a specific job but rarely has time to change programs, rates and terms in the middle of the process that would upset the assembly line.

For the most part, this is where smaller lenders and brokers carved out their living. These mortgage companies have the time, personnel and experience to “shift gears” on more difficult loans. Now that a large percentage of the “difficult” loans are non-existent in today’s market the rules are changing. Larger banks are beginning to give emphasis to their retail departments while tightening the rules for the broker relationships they have established. Many smaller broker shops are feeling that this is the larger investors’ way of closing down their wholesale divisions.

However, some Atlanta mortgage brokers are seeing the glass “half full” during this time of crisis for most people in the lending industry. Jeff Stephens, president of Global Lending in Atlanta Georgia sure seems to think so. “Before the mortgage boom brokers provided a real service for a certain segment of the market. Our services are needed now more than ever. There are a dozen different investors with a hundred different products each having 30 or more pages of guidelines. A professional broker will know which programs will save the borrowers the most time and money”.

He continued, “the very fact that banks are turning down 4 out of 15 loans makes our services almost indispensable. More than half of the loans that are turned down by one investor may very well work with another investor. Applying to the wrong lender, or having your application presented without all of the facts can cost you thousands in today’s changing market.”

-Hundreds of small brokers and lenders have thrown in the towel as a result of the looming mortgage crisis and many more are expected to follow. The number of smaller broker shops that are still in business are roughly the same amount there was before the refi-boom. Some are seeing this as a market correction, in effect the hangover after the party. Still others are taking a more legislative view point by asking elected officials to reenact GAFLA (Georgia Fair Lending Act) laws that were passed by Governor Roy Barnes during the middle of the boom.

The editors of believe that this is a market correction and further legislation will only slow down or halt the recovery process. Historically, when law makers dismiss foreclosure remedies and raise lending liabilities lenders simply stop lending their money. During the “hey-day” of GAFLA we saw a mass exodus of lenders from the state of Georgia based on their inability to sell their loans with Georgia laws attached to them. Adding this stipulation to lenders in this market will be disastrous to our economy and bring lending to a screeching halt for lenders small and large. If we let the “wound” heal, the “band-aid” can be removed in a year or two and you can bet lenders will be more conscious of their lending practices.

Advice on Purchasing Your New Home

2009 is a new year and we are starting to see marked improvement in the Atlanta home sale market. If you are considering purchasing a home, there will never be a better time. Rates are low and there are great values in homes in Atlanta and surrounding areas. As you begin your home buying adventure, let me offer some advice to make this process a pleasant and rewarding experience.

A home purchase is possibly the largest financial transaction to date, so it is important to make good decisions and to be well informed. Your Real Estate Agent and your Loan Officer will be valuable assets to you as you begin to research the area. Whether you are looking at Atlanta new homes for sale or you are looking at the Atlanta home sale market, in general, surround yourself with knowledgeable, helpful real estate and mortgage professionals. They are the keys that will make this a happy, memorable event in your life. Your Real Estate Agent and your Loan Officer will work together to help you buy the home of your dreams.

Where do you begin? Your first step is to meet with a reputable, knowledgeable Loan Officer for your pre-qualification. Your Loan Officer will help you find the best loan program to meet your personal situation and needs. Once your pre-qualification is complete, you will meet with your Real Estate Agent and starting looking for the home of your dreams in the Atlanta home sale market. With your pre-qualification letter in hand, your Real Estate Agent can negotiate the best deal for you. Work closely with your winning Realtor/Loan Officer team and you will be celebrating the purchase of your new home before you know it. In the Atlanta home sale market, there are many beautiful homes for you to choose from so start looking for an Atlanta new home today. Ask your friends to refer a Loan Officer or realtor they were happy doing business with.

Good Luck in your search and enjoy your new home!