First-Time Home Buyers: Help from City of Pasadena


In previous posts, I’ve discussed federal help for first-time home buyers. First-time buyer means anyone who has not purchased a home in the past 3 years.

All financial aid programs have financial limits, but  a variety of  LOCAL programs are available for low-income first-time home buyers.These programs are offered in many Los Angeles, San Bernardino and Orange County cities. These counties also all have programs to aid first-time home buyers.

In this area, the City of Pasadena has a program for buyers under certain income limits. And, buyers who meet these limits can receive up to $200,000 on a home price of up  to $425,000! That’s terrific! Here’s the chart:

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At the moment, the City of Pasadena’s program, like most of the other ones offered, is OUT OF MONEY. Beginning in the new fiscal year, July 1, City of Pasadena program and several others in our area will be funded again.

Right now, I am gathering a list of buyers so we can prepare and be ready with a property set to go as soon as the program funds again. Working closely with a local lender who specializes in these programs, I plan to help my clients be among those who benefit from these plans BEFORE THE MONEY RUNS OUT.  The money does run on fairly quickly, so, if you think you might qualify, call now!!

Call me to get on the list of buyers. Call me for info about programs in other cities and other counties.

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SoCal Home Prices-December 2008

Home values in L.A. County for the past year have gone in one direction only–DOWN. How good it would be to hear that surrounding counties had escaped the carnage. Alas! Such is not the case. The most recent home values from MDA Dataquick as reported in the L.A. Times tell the same tedious tale: prices have sunk quickly and deeply in all the Southland. Not one single county has escaped…

Orange County, for instance, long-considered a bastion of opulence,  has done better than most with median home value losing only 25%  over 2008 to $513,000 for a single family home. As always, some areas are harder hit than others. Anaheim has lost 40% for a median home value of $330,000 bested only by Santa Ana with losses of 45% and 47% in its two ZIPs to a median of about $295,000 to gain the title of worst performing area in the county. Best performances were turned in by parts of Huntington Beach and the entire City of Irvine with a median value of over $650,000 showing that it is still a most desirable city to live in. Super best performance accolades go to the perennial winer, Newport Beach with 2 ZIPs [92663, 92657] actually gaining in value 13% and 3% to attain medians of $2 million and $2.34 million respectively.  Wow, talk about your rich getting richer….


Our neighbor Riverside has maintained its titel of Sick Man of  Southland by losing 37% of its median home value in the past year, sinking to $245,000. That has happened, of course, because Riverside until recently was one of the fastest growing counties in the US adding thousands of new homes to its existing housing stock over the last 10 to 15 years.  Recent buyers, of course, are the most likely to have exotic financing, zero down financing, option ARMs and the rest of the panoply of financial instruments that have gotten us into this mess in the first place.

Some areas of Riverside County are doing far worse than even the dismal median. Many areas have lost over or close to 50% of value in one year: Moreno Valley, Hemet, Perris, North Palm Springs, Nuevo, Mountain Center.  The City of Riverside itself has lost in most ZIPs more than the median of the county. The desert communities, Cathedral City, Palm Desert, LaQuinta, Indian Wells and Palm Springs,  populated by well-off seniors, has so far escaped the worst of the downturn. Can that immunity last?


Then, there’s beautiful Santa Barbara County so much of which is rural. Countywide, the median home value has plummeted 45% with areas like Santa Maria and Guadalupe leading the way with dips of 30% and 50% to about $275,000 and $178,000 median respectively. Even Summerland has slipped 59.5% to a median of a measly $1.18 million. Santa Barbara City with its 7 ZIPs shows all losing value yet 4 still have medians over $1 million and the others all have medians over $700,000.  We’re crying for you, Santa Barbara, but not too much.

Last year Fun City, San Diego, had already lost plenty, so this year’s figures are piled on previous losses. Countywide, San Diego’s median home value  has decreased 25% to $385,000.  Of course, San Diego County has many beautiful and pricey beach cities which aren’t doing too badly. Solana Beach, for instance, just north of Del Mar, actually gained 17% to a median home value of $1.7 million while Del Mar dipped 3% to $1.4 million. La Jolla dipped 11% to $1.5 million. Point Loma is down 3.6% to $825,000. Oceanside really hit the skids this year, though with losses over 30% in all ZIPs to medians on the mid $300,000. The beach cities saved San Diego County which otherwise would be posting much greater median slides as San Diego also has many new homes built in the past 5 years.


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Update on Prop 98 NO, Prop 99 Yes

Well, once again the forces of light have prevailed against the dark as the people of California have resoundingly defeated Prop 98 and voted for Prop 99. Perhaps the era of tricking the dummy voters has really passed and proponents of such measures will have to clarify exactly what their measures will mean in the future. As it is, smart voters have got their number.

Statewide, the NO vote to Prop 98 was 61% to a meager 39% yes, so the defeat of this tricky measure was overwhelming. To seal the deal, voters came out 63% YES on Prop 99 to 38% no. Voters clearly DID understand what they were voting for and made their feelings completely clear. L.A. County, which does have several large cities which voted in rent control years ago, including the City of Los Angeles itself and Santa Monica, followed statewide trends in voting almost identically. Orange County, predictably, was split almost 50/50, while San Bernardino, Riverside and Ventura Counties all more or less reflected statewide proportions.

What does it all mean? It means for sure that Orange County is apparently at war with its previous incarnation as a far-right bastion. Maybe we’ll see some surprises there in the next election which is, of course, the BIG ONE in November. It may mean that statewide voters are sick of tricky politics. It may also mean simply that voters were willing to delineate eminent domain back to the point we had all thought it belonged prior to the Supreme Court’s shocker Kelso decision in 2005. It may also mean that statewide voters think that rent control decisions belong with the individual communities where they have always been.

So, if you want to abolish rent control, do it in your local city council. If you don’t have the patience or can’t see that happening where you own property, then, the best choice is to buy rental property in areas where there is no rent control. Those areas include almost all the San Gabriel Valley, from Pasadena, Monrovia, Arcadia to Glendora, Azusa, Pomona, Claremont as well as San Bernardino and Riverside County cities. I am here to help. Right now, we have outstanding properties available in Pasadena…In fact, amazing deals. Just give me a call at 626-641-0346.