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Get your credit score ready for the home-buying process

Dear Liz: What score do you need to be approved for a mortgage? Is 520 even close? If not, how do I get that score higher quickly? Answer: A score of 520 on the usual 300-to-850 FICO scale is pretty bad. Theoretically, you might be able to get a mortgage if you can make a large down payment, but...

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  • Sale of Smokey Robinson's former estate was Encino's chart-topper of 2017

    Sale of Smokey Robinson's former estate was Encino's chart-topper of 2017

    Encino – Spanish for “oak” – found its name after Spanish soldier Gaspar de Portola sat his donkey near a 700-year-old oak tree that now sits at the heart of the San Fernando Valley community. Hollywood began using the ranch land for filming locations in the 1920s, and now, tear-downs and new construction...

  • Waterfront homes in Long Beach's Naples Island brought in big bucks in 2017

    Waterfront homes in Long Beach's Naples Island brought in big bucks in 2017

    Settled in 1784 by Spanish soldier Manuel Nieto as part of a land grant, Long Beach has since grown into the 39th most populated city in the U.S. The Port of Long Beach is the second busiest container port in the country, and the city offers a variety of luxury homes on the water. In 2017, the...

  • Most expensive homes to sell in 2017

    Most expensive homes to sell in 2017

    La Jolla and Rancho Santa Fe continued to be the place for the most expensive home sales in San Diego County in 2017. The most expensive house to sell in the county was a beach front property in La Jolla for $12 million. Built in 1993, 6106 Camino de la Costa features panoramic ocean views and...

  • Newly built contemporary was Hermosa Beach's high-water sale of 2017

    Newly built contemporary was Hermosa Beach's high-water sale of 2017

    Hermosa Beach has worn many hats during the last century. What started out as a small downtown area to serve residents of five permanent homes in 1903 eventually evolved into a full-fledged beach town, becoming a hot spot for jazz and surfing along the way. Modern homes now line the boardwalk area...

  • Ex-Charger Orlando Franklin takes a loss on Poway estate

    Ex-Charger Orlando Franklin takes a loss on Poway estate

    Orlando Franklin, a former San Diego Chargers and Denver Broncos offensive guard, has sold his home in Poway, an affluent community in San Diego County, for $1.5 million. Franklin bought the property two years ago for $1.85 million, records show. The sale price was $395,000 less than the $1.895...

  • Southern California home prices surge, tying an all-time high

    Southern California home prices surge, tying an all-time high

    Southern California home prices surged 8.6% in November compared with a year earlier, tying an all-time high that underscores a drum-tight housing market with few properties for sale, according to a report released Wednesday. The six-county region’s median home price hit $505,000 last month, a...

  • U.S. home prices surge, outpacing wage growth

    U.S. home prices surge, outpacing wage growth

    U.S. home prices climbed a robust 6.2% year-over-year, amid strong demand from would-be buyers and a shrinking supply of properties for sale. Standard & Poor's said Tuesday that for October, its S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller national home price index stood a solid 6% above its previous 2006 peak....

  • NFL quarterback Carson Palmer hands off his Del Mar home for $5.85 million

    NFL quarterback Carson Palmer hands off his Del Mar home for $5.85 million

    Carson Palmer has completed a quick strike in the San Diego County real estate market. The professional football quarterback listed his Del Mar home for sale in November and in about a week was in escrow, records show. The five-bedroom, 3.5-bathroom house sold for $5.85 million, or $100,000 shy...

  • Commercial property industry is in a 'good place' with latest tax legislation, analyst says

    Commercial property industry is in a 'good place' with latest tax legislation, analyst says

    Analyst Spencer Levy has tracked the latest tax legislation through Congress, keeping a watchful eye on its potential impact on people who invest and work in the commercial real estate industry, a multitrillion-dollar driver of the U.S. economy. Levy took time out from his vacation in Sausalito,...

  • San Diego luxury housing could see a boost under tax plan

    San Diego luxury housing could see a boost under tax plan

    Major changes to the tax code approved Wednesday by Congress could mean luxury homes in San Diego County will have more buyers, or at the least, see no noticeable change in sales. The new tax plan reduces the mortgage interest deduction on new loans up to $750,000, down from $1 million. But, it...

  • Shopping mall giant Westfield being sold to French real estate firm in $16-billion deal

    Shopping mall giant Westfield being sold to French real estate firm in $16-billion deal

    Westfield Corp., which operates upscale shopping malls in Los Angeles and in dozens of other U.S. cities and in Britain, agreed to be acquired for nearly $16 billion by French commercial real estate giant Unibail-Rodamco, the companies said Tuesday. The deal underlined how even operators of marquee...

  • Recession could be coming, says chamber economist

    Recession could be coming, says chamber economist

    Bad economic times may be coming, an economic forecast panel learned last week. The downturn will be short and San Diego will suffer less.Housing is a growing problem, especially for military families.Employees want hotel-like services at the workplaces.San Diego will get over the departure of...

  • Will San Diego finally adopt regulations legalizing Airbnb rentals?

    Will San Diego finally adopt regulations legalizing Airbnb rentals?

    San Diego’s elected leaders on Tuesday will weigh two rival proposals for regulating the city’s thousands of short-term rentals, following years of heated debate. Short-term rentals on platforms like Airbnb are currently deemed illegal by the City Attorney’s office.One proposal, drafted by four...

  • How to find your way out of difficult financial circumstances

    How to find your way out of difficult financial circumstances

    Dear Liz: I desperately need your help! My husband, who is 91, is in the early stages of dementia. I just turned 88 and for the first time am responsible for making all the financial decisions. We are deeply in debt and I don’t know the best way to proceed. We owe more than $40,000 on credit cards,...

  • LeBron James' $23-million purchase among L.A.'s priciest home sales in November

    LeBron James' $23-million purchase among L.A.'s priciest home sales in November

    An NBA superstar was among those making a mark in L.A.’s luxury real estate scene in November. Other highwater deals include the sale of a Bel-Air spec mansion with a Motown connection and an ocean-view house in Pacific Palisades. Here’s a larger look. $24 million — Bel-Air On Bellagio Road, the...

  • Tax bill's impact on San Diego: Lots of downsides

    Tax bill's impact on San Diego: Lots of downsides

    Question: Will the congressional tax bill, either the Senate or House version, be good for San Diego’s economy? Phil Blair, Manpower NO: As a state with very high state income taxes and high real estate costs, resulting in high mortgage interest costs, the lack of deductibility of these costs will...

  • Housing forecast 2018: More money for renters, inventory low

    Housing forecast 2018: More money for renters, inventory low

    Next year could feature more money for renters but increased difficulty for potential first-time homeowners, said experts at a housing outlook conference at University of San Diego. The shadow of pending legislation in Congress colored much of the discussion Thursday, as did continued concern over...

  • Californians might retain a state and local income tax deduction — but with limits

    Californians might retain a state and local income tax deduction — but with limits

    Californians still might retain their ability to deduct state and local taxes from their federal returns under the Republican overhaul — but with a catch. The total annual deduction would be capped at $10,000, which is the same level as a limited deduction for property taxes that both the House...

  • How the Senate tax plan affects San Diego housing

    How the Senate tax plan affects San Diego housing

    The Senate passed a sweeping tax bill Saturday morning that has housing advocates, real estate agents and industry groups worried. At the same time, Republicans who led the tax reform push are celebrating it as a boon for economic growth — ultimately helping the housing market. It’s not a done...

  • Special report: Can we build our way out of the housing crisis?

    Special report: Can we build our way out of the housing crisis?

    The Union-Tribune examined if San Diego County can build more housing to slow the pace of rent and home price increases.   What we found: - Zoning changes, emphasis on townhomes and reduced regulation would likely speed up construction; - Biggest hurdles continue to be anti-growth sentiments and...

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