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  • Shorten your walk to Shul!
  • Find the right space for your growing family!
  • Discover the Kosher kitchen of your dreams!
  • Who will you invite to your first Shabbat in your new home?

Bruchim Habaim from your Jewish Community Leader and Neighborhood Realtor!

If you're looking for a home near a synagogue or thriving Jewish community in the San Fernando Valley, Los Angeles, CA, you've come to the right place! I'm your Real Estate Agent, and I'm here to help!

I'm Ben Vorspan. I'm a Rabbi's kid, Jewish community leader and local real estate agent specializing in Valley Village, Sherman Oaks, Encino and other areas of the Valley with large Jewish communities. I can help connect you with synagogues and Jewish community centers throughout the Los Angeles Area, as well as locate homes for your specific needs, such as Kosher kitchens, or in locations that are a short walk to shul.

Looking for a home in the Pico-Robertson area? It's a great place to live, and I spent several years in that neighborhood prior to moving to the Valley. While I don't specialize in that region, I can refer you to agents who can meet your needs in the city.

I'm not just about the Jewish communities -- Plenty of people contact me because they simply feel better about working with "a member of the Tribe." I'm happy to help in any capacity, including residential, commercial, investments, flips and raw land deals - both purchases and sales.

Learn more about me and my real estate work in Encino, Sherman Oaks, Valley Village, Studio City and other neighborhoods at at www.benvorspan.com.

Will Shopping Around for the Best Mortgage Rate Hurt my Credit Score?

creditscoreBorrowers need not avoid shopping around for the best mortgage deal out of fear that allowing multiple lenders to “pull,” or check, their credit will chip away at their score! The notion that a flurry of credit inquiries from lenders will lower a borrower’s score is a common misconception, experts say.

The truth is that five inquiries are likely to have no more impact than one, provided they are made within a compressed period of time. When it comes to home loans, as well as automobile financing and student loans, “in both the FICO and VantageScore credit ­scoring systems, there is logic in place that protects consumers’ credit scores from any negative impact caused by multiple inquiries as a result of rate shopping,” said John Ulzheimer, a credit expert with Credit Sesame, a website that helps consumers manage credit.

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The Unexpected Costs of Purchasing a Home

encino home buyer unexpected costsMany first-time homebuyers focus on saving the money for a downpayment, and fail to realize that there might be thousands of dollars in other various costs associated with purchasing your home.

Some of these costs are fixed and most are standard, but if you aren’t expecting them, they can be very discouraging.

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How Many Homes Should We See before making an Offer?

readytobuyahomeI recently started working with a few new clients looking to buy a home near a synagogue, a couple of which told me, before we even met in person, that it was entirely possible that they would put in an offer on the first day if they liked the house I was about to show them.  I’m assuming they felt the need to say this as if they needed to earn my business, rather than the other way around.  In the end, both of these clients looked at dozens of homes before making their first offers.

Some buyers find that home they love quickly, and then there are the other side of the spectrum where they need to see every home on the market before they can make a decision.

Some buyers find the home of their dreams on the first day out, but are nervous about making a quick decision for fear a better home is still out there.

There are buyers that do make a decision on the first day out and know what they want and are solid with their decision.     Some fall in love when viewing a home on the Internet and is even better when they actually see the home!  You will know the home is right when you get those “warm and fuzzies” once you enter the front door.   You can see your furniture and family living in the home.  

It is difficult for buyers from an area where the homes were much less expensive, and on the market for a longer period of time.   It takes a while to get their thinking aligned with the current market.    After 15-20 homes, buyers know what their money can buy, especially when the Realtor has a good vision of the home they are looking for!  

There are buyers that THINK they want to move, but after viewing a multitude of homes, we have to have the conversation about whether they really DO want to move.     After viewing what is available, there is a chance they want to stay put and make changes to the home they already own!    

Buyers always want to know — how many homes should we see before making a decision.    I think it depends on the buyer!  

What you should expect from your Realtor

You should never work with an agent who makes you feel uncomfortable about not putting in an offer.  This is the biggest purchase of your life, and you should be able to take as much time as you need to feel comfortable with the inventory, your agent and the buying process.

If you feel like your agent is putting too much pressure on you, speak with him about it.  Many times, your agent has been in this position with other buyers, and has found that buyers need an extra “nudge” to help them make the right decision.  What you feel is excessive pressure might be his way of trying to help.

What your Realtor expects from you

Communication is a two-way street.  Your Realtor expects you to give feedback about each house you see, so that he can monitor the inventory and highlight those homes that meet your needs. 

A good Realtor will work with you for as long as it takes, but expects your commitment to him.  Since you aren’t going to be paying any money for your Realtor’s services (the seller will pay his commission), it’s easy to forget that your agent’s time is valuable, and his livelihood (ie. keeping a roof over his family’s head, food on the table, kids tuition, insurance, etc) is at stake.  It can be devistating for an agent to invest dozens of hours, including nights and weekends away from his family, only to have a client jump ship for no apparent reason.  If you are going to work with an agent during the buying process, the expectation is that you will be open about your feelings and concerns, and give the same weight to the decision to fire your agent, as you would to firing a member of your office staff.

The most important part, however, is taking that first step and contacting me so that we can discuss your needs, your financing options, and start looking for your next home!

– part of this article was originally posted here.

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How External Factors are Affecting your Home Value

encinohomeexternalfactorsIf you ask this Los Angeles Jewish Realtor, all too often sellers focus on what meets the eye when it comes to pricing their  home, without taking into account huge external factors – and I don’t just mean the potholes on the street.  External factors include the general economy, interest rates, the time of year and what’s going on in other parts of the city. 

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Tu B’shvat Higiya… Chag la ‘Increasing your home value’!

increasehomevalue-planttreesThe Jewish holiday of Tu B’shvat (sort of a Jewish Arbor Day) just passed and to celebrate, I increased my home’s value!

Studies show that mature trees on your property can increase its value by as much as 10%! 

That means that if you spend a few shekels on some trees at your local nursery, plant them this weekend and maintain them properly, your home might sell for thousands of dollars more in a few years!

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Thanksgivukkah in Los Angeles Jewish Communities

thanksgivukkah-kippahWith all of the Jewish holidays coming “early” this year, we prepare to turn our sights to the massive and horrifyingly exciting Thanksgiving-Hanukkah mashup that is Thanksgivukkah (I hear that term is copyrighted, so please don’t allow me to make any money off this post or I could be in for a world of hurt). 

Some are calling it the greatest holiday celebration ever.  Ever.  Even bigger than the first Carmageddon! I’m trying to complete this sentence “the only thing that would make it better is if…”, but I can’t!  Maybe it really is the best holiday ever!

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