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La Canada Flintridge Fire August 29, 2009

I can see the San Gabriel Mountains from the upstairs window of my home; this was my vantage point yesterday evening as I witnessed the progress of the La Canada Flintridge fire.

This photo of a giant smoke cloud was taken at approximately 6:50PM PDT.


This photo was taken at approximately 7:30PM PDT.  The flames have now crossed the ridge.  (Note the shot is zoomed in closer - compare the size of the palm tree in the foreground.)


This photo was taken at approximately 7:50PM PDT, just an hour after the first photo:


Infomation on La Canada Flintridge here.

Map here

VA Jumbo Mortgages Help Finance Million-Dollar LA Properties

I stated at the beginning of the year that VA jumbo mortgages could very well be the product that helped stabilize the middle-market ($500,000- $1,000,000) in Los Angeles real estate.  Let me share with you how they work and give you some cases where we were able to fund loans this year.

The current zero-down VA jumbo mortgage limit is $737,500.  This means that a qualified veteran is eligible to purchase a a home, up to that limit, with no down payment required.  That's pretty straightforward.  Did you know that VA loans go up to $1,080,000 with a down payment?  The down payment requirement for a VA jumbo mortgage is essentially 25% of the difference between the purchase price and the county loan limit ($737,500 in Los Angeles County).  

Here are some examples of funded VA loans, in LA county, this year:

  • We funded a purchase for $1,080,000 in Rancho Palos Verdes.  The down payment requirement, combined with closing costs, was less than $100,000.  The rate was 6% (which is typical for jumbo mortgages). What made this transaction unique was that the loan amount was 92% of the purchase price and VA loans have no mortgage insurance.
  • We funded a three-unit transaction for about $700,000 with no down-payment requirement, in Los Angeles. That rate was 5.5% for a 30-year, fixed rate loan.
  • One veteran and his wife bought a townhouse in Redondo Beach for $800,000.  Their downpayment and closing costs were just under $40,000.  The rate was 5.75% for a 30-year fixed rate loan.

Most veterans who served after 1980 are eligible for the VA home loan benefit.  While eligibility doesn't guarantee approval, if the veteran's credit and income supports the loan, a VA jumbo mortgage might very well be the loan solution that allows for a low down payment for a seven-figure purchase price.

Many Californians are eligible for VA home loan benefits.  Some of the more famous veterans include Easy Rider Dennis Hopper, Kirk Douglas, Sidney Poitier, Chuck Norris, ER's Troy Evans, and Pat Sajac.  All are eligible for a VA home loan (although I doubt they need one).

Community Meeting Re 710 Freeway Extension Through Glassell Park

When:  Saturday August 29, 10:30AM

Where; Glassell Park Community Center, 3750 Verdugo Road, Glassell Park, 90065

On Saturday, August 29, 2009, the Glassell Park Improvement Association Land Use Committee is hosting an educational forum regarding the 710 Tunnel Feasibility Study.

The 710 Tunnel Feasibility Study currently being conducted by Cal Trans could result in a tunnel portal opening in our community. The feasibility study has been engaged in order to determine whether or not a tunnel could be constructed to complete the 710 gap closure for northbound traffic via a "route-neutral" plan.

The meeting is free to the public.

Here is the Caltrans web site: