Category Archives: Mortgage

Money Monday: The differences between fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages

If you’ve never bought a home before, the whole process can seem a little confusing. One of the first things you have to figure out is whether you should get a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage. Most people choose the fixed-rate mortgage without even thinking about it, but there are situations where an adjustable-rate mortgage may be a better fit.

mortgage rates and property taxes

Read CNN’s “Should I get a fixed- or adjustable-rate mortgage?” article to find out the differences between the two and to figure out what’s best for you personally when buying a home.

Money Monday: Leasing your home

The new American dream: Leasing your house

Source: The Orange County Register

In Southern California, detached, single-family rentals increased 29 percent over the last decade — vs. a 13 percent increase in apartment units, according to the most recent U.S. Census data.

Making sense of the story:

• The tally jumped to 736,400 rental houses in 2016, equal to one out of every four houses in the region. The increase matches trends elsewhere.

• California had a 27 percent gain to 1.8 million rental houses in the most recent decade. Across the nation, detached, single-family rentals jumped 30 percent to 12.5 million in 2016.

• Renters are moving into houses for space, for schools or for privacy, a recent survey by U.C.
Berkeley’s Terner Center for Housing Innovation found. Landlords, on the other hand, range
from small investors to gigantic hedge funds but also include retirees hanging onto their old
houses because they’re in high demand.

• The change could be contributing to a nationwide shortage of homes for sale. It also has
numerous implications for family wealth and for policymakers, since there now are 7 million
more renters in American than a decade ago, and nearly 414,000 more in Southern California.

• The Terner Center study found that while 80 percent of single-family tenants want to buy a home in the next five years, more than 90 percent have financial obstacles to buying.

• Nearly 27 percent of single-family renters who had been homeowners had lost a home to foreclosure. Other factors include student and consumer debt, difficulties in qualifying for a mortgage, or not being able to save for a down payment.

Read the full story: www.ocregister.com/2018/06/29/the-new-american-dream-leasing-your-house

Money Monday: Interest rate impact

As interest rates increase, it affects home buyers’ monthly payments, as well as the amount of income needed to qualify to buy a home.

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS. 

California Real Estate Market Update

Last year in Q3, there were slightly lower home prices. That and the steady mortgage rates helped a few more Californians to purchase a home.

  • The median price of a Californian home in Q3 2017 was $550,990.
  • The median price for a condo or townhome in California was $449,720.
  • The minimum annual income needed to qualify for the purchase of a median-priced single-family home was $111,260.
  • The minimum annual income needed to afford the monthly mortgage payments on a median-priced condo or townhome was $90,810.

This infographic is from CAR.org.

Money Monday: Should you upgrade from a smaller to a larger home?

Buying a house instead of renting is, depending where in the country you live, often more cost-effective. But upgrading from a smaller home to a larger home and mortgage? Probably not.

small house to mansion

“There are solid reasons to upgrade your home. For many, it was always the plan. You buy a starter home, and upgrade to a larger one once your family expands. Or your income expands, and you finally move into your dream home. Regardless of your reason, the typical first step is determining what you can afford. A standard rule for lenders is that your monthly housing payment (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) should not take up more than 28% of your income before taxes. A quick and dirty way to check how much you can afford is through calculators like myFico calculator.

“Lenders asses your monthly income, debt, credit score and a variety of other factors to determine how much you can “afford”. However, they don’t look at how your expenses will grow after upgrading to a bigger and better house. (“Forbes.com, “Upgrading to a bigger home? Beware of 6 expenses that will increase.”)

Read Forbes’ article on the 6 things that will increase with a larger place here.

Money Monday: The predicted 2018 housing market

Home buyers aren’t going to catch much of a break this year. According to CNN, that is. Here’s a brief blurb from their recent article ‘Is 2018 the year to buy a house?‘”

real estate market update for July 2017Sellers will remain in the driver’s seat as buyers continue to face affordability issues thanks to low housing supply.

“The challenges for buyers in the market haven’t changed that much from last year” said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of mortgage website HSH.com.

What’s more, home loans are expected to get more expensive as the year progresses.

Here’s what home buyers and sellers can expect from the housing market this year”:

Homes will remain in tight supply

Home prices will slow

Loans will get more expensive

Read CNN’s article in its entirety here: “Is 2018 the year to buy a house?

Closing Chaos Infographic

In escrow? Hopefully you don’t experience these closing frustrations.

While the majority of home sales close on time, there are some that are delayed or cancelled altogether for various reasons.

Here are the top 5 reasons for a delayed closing:

  1. Issues in obtaining financing
  2. Issues with the home inspection
  3. Issues with appraisal
  4. Issues related to title or deed
  5. Issues with sorting out the deal’s contingencies

Closing Chaos infographic CAR.org

This infographic is from the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS.

Money Monday: New Year, New Financial Resolutions

It’s the start of 2018, and a great time to make financial resolutions!

Need to save more? Check out my posts on saving (here), with topics on easy ways to save, changing your spending impulses, and saving for a house down payment, just to name a few.

If you’re delving into the life stage of buying a house, find all sorts of real estate financial tips and advice here.

For advice on spending money responsibility, click here.

Check out all of my Money Monday posts!

Photo from Pictures of Money