Info On Down Payments for Torrance Home Buyers

One of the big misconceptions with home buyers, especially first time home buyers, is that you need at least 20% down.  That’s often not the case with lenders offering FHA loans with as little as 3.5% down and traditional lenders funding loans with as little at 5%.  The lower amount is much easier if it’s a single family home but there are options:

See the Homes That We Have Sold in Southern California

By Keith Kyle

We are so fortunate to have worked with so many wonderful people and in such a great area.  It just doesn’t get much better.  See the map below to view all of our local home sales. Although we’ve sold more homes in Torrance and Redondo, we have been lucky enough to sell throughout the area, from Santa Monica to Huntington Beach. Many of these were first time buyers and are now happy homeowners. The red marks are home sales in which I represented the buyer, the orange marks represent homes that I listed, and the blue marks represent homes in which I represented both buyers and sellers.  Click on the marks to see pictures of the various homes and properties.

You can also see the interactive map of our South Bay home sales on Google.

Flipped Homes Becoming Commonplace in North Torrance

By Keith Kyle

You don’t have to look far to see that investor owned “flipped” houses are a significant portion of the active home listings in North Torrance. Investors have long sought out homes in this area as many homes, most built post WWII in the late 1940’s and 1950’s, have not been updated in any significant way but are usually well built and structurally in good shape. Those factors, along with great schools and highly sought after neighborhoods, have made North Torrance a fairly ideal market with low inventory and prices on the rise since early 2013. Gone are the days of distressed sales and short sales, so the margins have grown much tighter but given the demand, expect to see an abundance of remodel and flipped property in 2015.  Below are just a few of the recent flips but there are certainly others and will be more coming to the market.   Contact us about any of these homes, to find out about upcoming remodels or to look for potential investment/”as is” opportunities.

For Sale at $594 - 400sq feet added

For Sale at $594,ooo – 400 sq feet added

Sold in 2012 for $270

Sold in 2012 for $270,000

3318 Artesia Blvd.

For Sale at $624,000 550 sq ft added

For Sale at $624,000 550 sq ft added

Sold in 2014 for $472,000

Sold in 2014 for $472,000

4171 W 172nd Street

For sale at $699,000 1000 sq ft added

For sale at $699,000 1000 sq ft added

Sold in 2012 for $250,000

Sold in 2012 for $250,000

4348 W 179th Street

Sold 12/14 for $596K

Sold 12/14 for $596K

Sold July 2014 for $456,000

Sold July 2014 for $456,000

4312 W 178th Street

Current homes for sale in North Torrance

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(all data current as of 2/21/2019)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.


Neighborhood Spotlight – Southwood

Sitting between West Torrance and South Torrance is the wonderful neighborhood of Southwood.  This small area also sits just east of Redondo Beach and the proximity to the ocean means milder weather and great Southwood Torrance Homesocean breezes that other parts of the city don’t enjoy.  Comprised mainly of 1940s and 1950s beach style bungalows, the area is still more affordable than some of the nearby beach cities while still having a certain charm lost in some of these other areas with oversized homes, makes a statement type architecture and over development.  Some homes have gone the route of maximum square footage, but the majority still look like homes that belong in the neighborhoods and give homeowners a bit of space and separation.  Although prices are still below neighboring South Redondo, they have risen dramatically in the past 2 years with most original smaller 3 bed/1 bath homes starting in the mid to low $600’s for fairly original, but nice condition, and the larger 3 bed/2 bath 1400 foot (many homes added a family room accounting for the extra square footage) selling anywhere from the mid to low $700s up to the low $900’s depending on location and condition.

What makes the area so special is the community feel, with an abundance of parks, dog parks and schools all within walking distance.   A quick drive down just about any street says it all with pride of ownership being quite apparent.  Manicured lawns, updated homes, tree lined streets and an abundance of neighbors walking the area makes for a great atmosphere.  Contact us if you are interested in learning more about Southwood or would be interested in receiving free email updates with the latest listings.

Current Southwood homes for sale

Sorry, but we couldn't find any results in the MLS that match the specified search criteria.

What Will Your Tax Savings Be By Owning a Home?

One of the more frequent questions lenders get when pre-approving a client for a new home is “How much will this new home save me on my21345_Hawthorne_Blvd_#415_bed1 copy tax bill each month”? Many home buyers use the monthly tax savings to offset the increase in housing expense that a new home can bring. The savings can help the buyer to budget for a higher priced home which could make it possible to live in a more desirable neighborhood, possibly reap the benefits of higher property appreciation and help the buyer to have better resale options.

To help illustrate a home buyers potential monthly tax savings, the below chart shows the loan amount, monthly tax savings and how the monthly tax savings could be used to increase purchasing power.

Loan Amount   Monthly Savings Increase in Purchase Power
$250,000 $297 $56,000
$300,000 $356 $67,000
$350,000 $416 $80,000
$400,000 $475 $94,000
$450,000 $534 $103,000
$500,000 $594 $113,000
$550,000 $653 $124,000
$600,000 $712 $137,000
$650,000 $772 $146,000

• Above based on mortgage interest rate of 4.75%, and a Federal Tax Brackett of 30.%
• Source: – Figures to be verified with your CPA

Who Pays for What During Escrow in Torrance?

By Keith Kyle21345_Hawthorne_Blvd_#415_bed1 copy

Closing Costs – Who Generally Pays What In a Torrance CA Escrow

Keep in mind that the charts below are based on the standard allocation of costs in Torrance.  As with any detail of buying a home everything is negotiable including who pays what costs during the transaction.  In addition not all of these costs exist in every transaction and many are dependent on the lender, escrow company and the details of the offer.

Title Fees


Customarily Charged By/To:
Owners Title Policy Title:To Seller Fee for the title policy. Calculated using the sales price.May be reduced if home was purchased or refinanced inthe last 5 years. Insures that the title is as agreedto at closing
LendersTitle Policy Title:To Buyer Title policy issued to lender to cover the amount of the loan.Based on the loan amount unless it is a negative amortizationloan.
Sub Escrow Fee Title:to Buyer & Seller Fee to administer the payoff of loans or property taxes of the seller and collection of funds from the new lender
Document Transfer Tax County: to Seller at $1.10 per thousand of sales priceCity:  No transfer tax in Torrance Fee charged on all properties that transfer title – based on sales price.
Record Release/Reconveyance County:To Seller Charge to record the release/reconveyance
Federal Express/Messanger Fees Federal Express: to Buyer & Seller Charge to deliver all time sensitive documents and monies
Title/Wire Fee Banking Instituion: to Buyer & Seller Charge to wire funds to escrow, seller, lenders, etc
Electronic Recording County: to Buyer Charge to electronically record the document
Record Grant Deed County: To Buyer Charge to record the grant deed
Record Trust Deed County: To Buyer Charge to record the trust deed.
Messenger Messenger Service: To Buyer and Seller Charge to special messenger documents during the escrow: Fee
varies with distance
Lender’s Endorsement Title: to Buyer Charge for endorsements required by lender to cover “outside
the normal” risk circumstances

Escrow Fees

Customarily Charged By/To:
Escrow Fee Escrow: Each pays own Covers liability assumed as well as standard processing costs.
Demand Fee Escrow: to Seller Charge to request a statement & process involved in getting a payoff figure
to escrow on the outstanding amount of the current loan. One demand fee per loan.
Process HOA Docs & Transfer Fee Escrow: Seller Fee for processing required to assign membership for HOA a& copying all governing documents
Document Fee Escrow: to Buyer Covers the cost of all processing required to meet new lender requirements
Loan Tie-In Fee Escrow: to Buyer Covers the cost of all processing required to meet new lender requirements
Federal Express Federal Express: to Buyer For document packages to out of County Lenders.

Lender Fees

Charged By/ To
Origination Fee Lender: to Buyer Charge for lending money at 1% of the loan amount
Documentation Preparation Lender: to Buyer Paid to lender for preparation of final loan documents
Tax service Tax Service: to Buyer Fee charged to buyer to set up property taxes with the state
Wire Banking institution Charge for the wiring of funds to title for closing
Underwriting Lender: to Buyer Fee to direct lender for the process of approving
Tax impounds Lender: to Buyer Collected to create an impound reserved account for the lender to pay property taxes twice a year
Prepaid Insurance Lender:to Buyer Generally 1yr of hazard insurance collected for impound reserve
Appraisal Appraiser:to Buyer Paid directly to appraiser for appraisal of property
Credit Report Lender: to Buyer Paid to credit bureau for report containing 3 credit scores
Processing Lender: to Buyer Paid to mortgage broker for processing loan package from application to closing


Customarily Charged By/ To
HOA Transfer Fee HOA Management: to Buyer To transfer ownership and handle new accounting set up
HOA Dues HOA Management: to Seller Paid through month of closing
Fire Insurance Insurance Agency: to Buyer 1 year prepaid premium for Homeowners insurance
Notary Notary: to Buyer


Customarily Charged By/ To
Recording Fee Existing Lender: to Borrower Charge for having reconveyance recorded.
Statement forwarding fee Existing Lender: to Borrower Charge for issuing a payoff statement

Credits and Prorations

Customarily Charged By/ To
HOA Dues Seller: to Buyer Calculated from date of COA through month-end
County Property Taxes Seller: to Buyer Calculated from the date of payoff through end of period paid for.

Be Wary of Low Quality Home Flips

With the South Bay housing market in a frenzy and so many “flipped” homes for sale, buyers need to be very cautious rushing into the purchase of a home based on the beautiful cosmetic updates.  Flipped homes are often originally bank owned or distressed sales in very poor condition and it is usually purchased by investors looking to do the least amount of work to get the greatest return.  Updates are often primarily cosmetic and it is absolutely in the buyers best interest to have a home inspection.    The picture below was a recent home that I saw and in my eyes if they can’t even properly paint the outside this is a pretty good indication that this was done quickly and cheaply.  Buyer beware!

Flipped Homes
This doesn’t mean that many flips were not done very well but heed the warning signs.

Welcome to Torrance Real Estate

By Keith KyleTorrance real estate

Welcome to Torrance real estate.  We have strived to offer the very best information and home search features on a local website designed specifically for Torrance home buyers and sellers.  As local Torrance and Redondo Beach real estate specialists we understand how unique Torrance is and how different and distinct the various areas can be.  From oceanfront homes in the Hollywood Riviera, to duplex and income properties in the County Strip area…..we can help.  Search for homes with our free Torrance MLS access or allow us to do the hard work for you with our FREE daily listing updates and know about new homes first.  Our website offers information on real estate markets and trends in each neighborhood, recent home sales and prices, current off market homes and MLS listings, short sales and foreclosures and information for home sellers to find out what their Torrance home is worth and how we have been so successful at marketing and selling homes in the area.  We hope that our website is a great place to start for all of your Torrance real estate needs.  Contact us as any time for questions or more information.

Torrance Real Estate Map

See the most recent listings below but browse through the menus above to search Torrance homes by neighborhood, price, or home type.

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(all data current as of 2/21/2019)

Listing information deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Read full disclaimer.


Great Short Sale Opportunity in South Torrance – In Escrow

Short sale opportunities have just about dried up in the South Bay with homeowners quickly regaining any lost value after the bubble burst.  Although no longer  commonplace and not the deals they once were, short sales and foreclosures still do occasionally come along.

Just listed is a very nice sized home in a great South Torrance neighborhood at 4026 W 234th Street 90505.  The home features 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and an impressive 2171 square feet.

We're sorry, but we couldn't find MLS # 7529016010 in our database. This property may be a new listing or possibly taken off the market. Please check back again.

Pocket and Off Market Listings are All the Rage in Torrance CA

By Keith KyleWest Torrance Homes

If you’re a home buyer at the moment, you’ve probably been a little frustrated with just how little housing inventory there is, how quickly the good homes sell, and how often they sell for far more than they were listed.  You’ve probably also heard the terms pocket listings and off market listings as those are definitely the buzz words of the moment.

So what do these words really mean and how do you find out about them?

Pocket listings and off market listings can mean several things, but basically they are homes that agents may, or may not, have formal agreements to sell, but are aware the sellers are interested in selling.  Most often the realtor has a written agreement to represent the sellers, but for one reason or another, the sellers either don’t want their home to be put on the MLS or perhaps they just aren’t quite ready.  In other situations it may be far more informal with either the homeowner telling a realtor “bring me a buyer and maybe I’ll sell” or something in which the owner would only consider selling at a price over the market value of the home.

So how does this help you?

The concept is pretty simple….the fewer buyers that know about a home the better the chances of having your offer considered and accepted.  Without the buyer frenzy that comes with most new listings these days the price may be kept at a reasonable level as well.

Torrance Home UpdatesSo how do you find these homes?

The best way to find these off market listings is to work with a successful local agent that specializes in the area you’re interested in.  It’s all about networking and the more owners, sellers and other agents the realtor is in contact with the more likely they may have ways of finding listings the public isn’t aware of.   Good agents will also actively seek out some unknown sellers with letters or even by door knocking.  Buyers can certainly try this on their own as well, but just won’t have the same reach as a well connected local agent.  If you would like us to help simply fill out our “let me know about pocket listings form” and specify if you want us to update you on all listings….or just the homes not on the market.

Be realistic

Although many deals are happening off market and it is a very good way of trying to find a home in a very challenging sellers market, buyers must be realistic.  Finding something off market generally doesn’t mean paying 70% of it’s value.  In our very high end market in which sellers have resources and information to know what their homes are worth, sellers are very savvy and often only willing to sell their homes off market if the price is right.