Category Archives: Mortgage

Money Monday: Americans are paying more than they can afford for housing

Rising housing costs are putting a major squeeze on Americans.

“Nearly 39 million households can’t afford their housing, according to the annual State of the Nation’s Housing Report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies.

“Experts generally advise budgeting about 30% of monthly income for rent or mortgage costs.

“But millions of Americans are far exceeding that guideline.

“One-third of households in 2015 were “cost burdened,” meaning they spend 30% or more of their incomes to cover housing costs.”

Read more of Money.CNN.com’s article here: “39 million households are paying more for housing than they can afford.”

 

Money Monday: Increase your credit score

Quick ways to up your credit score.

“Most people don’t put much thought into their credit scores until the time comes to apply for a loan. If you expect to need financing in the next few months and aren’t convinced your credit score is high enough to get you approved, you’ll need to act quickly to improve your chances. Thankfully, there are several things you can do to boost your credit score in record time.” (“4 tips to increase your credit score fast.” Maurie Backman. 8 May 2017. http://money.cnn.com/2017/05/08/pf/credit-score-tips/index.html?iid=Lead)

One way to increase your credit score? Ask for an increase in your credit limit. But read CNN’s article for more tips! 

Read all of CNN’s article on increasing your credit score here: “4 tips to increase your credit score fast.”

Money Monday: Reasons Not to Purchase a Home with All-Cash

Even if you have the financial means to put in an all-cash offer, you may not want to do so.

All-cash offers can be more appealing to home-sellers, but you also need to take into consideration the other aspects of paying so much cash upfront.

All-cash offers in today's real estate market

  1. Will you have enough liquidity left? At least a few thousand dollars left in your pocket is ideal. You may have repairs, upgrades you desire to make, and increased utility and maintenance costs for your new house — not to mention your typical costs and unexpected financial needs (such as medical bills or suddenly losing employment).
  2. What if you easily qualify for a mortgage? Interest rates are still on the low-side, and by obtaining a mortgage to purchase a house, you would be able to keep a large chunk of your finances.
  3. Paying all-cash means you miss out on a tax break. When you have a mortgage, you are able to receive a tax break on the interest paid to the mortgage lender.
  4. & 5. reasons are available to read at Finance.Yahoo.com: “5 Reasons Not to Purchase Your Home With Cash.”

Money Monday: Preparing to Buy a Home

Buying a home — it’s a big decision; one that you should prepare for in advance.

buyers and sellers real estate disclosures“One of the most important things a first-time homebuyer can do is prepare their budget for this big financial event.” (“How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”. http://finance.yahoo.com/news/prepare-budget-buying-first-home-123000854.html)

And there’s a few key ways that you can get your budget in order:

  1. Work on getting your credit score up
  2. Save for a down payment on a house
  3. Prepare for extra costs when buying

Read more on Yahoo’s financial advice on prepping your budget before buying here: “How to Prepare Your Budget for Buying Your First Home”.

Money Monday: California Housing Affordability

Higher wages and seasonal price declines affect California housing affordability.

housing market forecast

• “Thirty-one percent of California households could afford to purchase the $511,360 median-priced home in the fourth quarter, unchanged from third-quarter 2016 and up from 30 percent in fourth-quarter 2015.” (“4th Qtr 2016 Housing Affordability”. CAR.org. 9 Feb 2017)

• “A minimum annual income of $100,800 was needed to make monthly payments of $2,520, including principal, interest, and taxes on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage at a 3.91 percent interest rate.”

Read all about 2016’s housing marketing in the fourth quarter, in the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’ article here: “4th Qtr 2016 Housing Affordability“.

 

Money Monday: Investing in real estate

As with all investments real estate investment has it own risks and the decision to invest should be carefully considered.

As a landlord there are certain costs that you will need to cover, potential vacancy problems that may strain your ability to pay your mortgages, and liability issues. It is important that you speak with an expert before putting yourself in a situation where you can potential over-extend yourself.

With that in mind, I have included some of the basic property types and benefits associated with real estate investment.

Single-family residence. First time real estate investors are usually advised to buy a single family detached home and rent it out as it’s market value appreciates. The reason for the popularity is that they are relatively easy. They are easy to buy, easy to finance, and they hold appeal to buyers and renters. Also, if you find that the real estate investment game was not the right choice for you they are relatively easy to turn over. Mortgage brokers know this-so these properties are also usually easier to finance and refinance.

Vacation property and second homes. Investment options in this category are myriad, from outright purchase to fractional-interest contracts and timeshares. Even if the property isn’t income producing, it can appreciate into a worthy investment, and mortgage interest is fully deductible. If you do rent the property when it’s not in use, realized income and tax obligations depend on what percentage of the year it’s kept for “personal use”-a tightly defined term you should discuss with a real estate attorney.

Apartment properties. Apartment properties require a long-term commitment, as well as a substantial investment of borrowed and equity capital, but due to the availability of professional managers they often don’t demand a lot of personal time. If you are the do-it yourself type then you might find yourself spending your weekends painting, advertising vacancies, and repairing faucets – though the higher return might be worth it for you. They can have mortgage loans of up to 100% of value, while other investment types may require all cash. Loans can be amortized or paid with the income generated by rents.

Condominiums. Condominium investments provide a bit of extra risk. Their market value appreciates more slowly than for detached single-family residences, and rental rates usually aren’t high enough to cover mortgage, property tax, and maintenance fees.

Vacant land. Vacant land is probably the least liquid and therefore usually the weakest choice for a profitable shorter-term investment. While undeveloped land is easy to maintain, it nearly always takes longer to appreciate and longer to sell.

Commercial property. To reduce personal liability and offset the greater expense of these properties, some investors form or join a limited liability company. Because of the extremely high risks involved with this type of agreement, consulting a real estate attorney is essential before taking this step. You probably shouldn’t consider this arrangement if you aren’t personally familiar with the other partners and their business expertise.

Money Monday: Mortgage rates decline for the third week

mortgage ratesMortgage rates dropped for the third week in a row after rising significantly after President-elect Donald Trump won the election, however, the 10-year Treasury did see an increase.

“After trending down for most of the week, the 10-year Treasury yield rose following the release of the CPI report,” Freddie Mac Chief Economist Sean Becketti said.

The 30-year fixed-rate mortgage decreased yet again to 4.09 percent for the week ending Jan. 19, 2017. This is down from last week’s 4.12 percent but still up from last year’s 3.81 percent.
The 15-year FRM decreased from last week’s 3.37 percent to 3.34 percent this week. This is still up from last year’s 3.1 percent.

Read the full story: www.housingwire.com/articles/38992-freddie-mac-mortgage-rates-hit-third-straight-week-ofdeclines

Money Monday: What does FICO have to do with my Home Loan?

Your FICO score is the yardstick by which most lenders measure your credit worthiness.

debt calculationThe major credit bureaus keep track of loans that you have taken out in the past and how well you managed this debt. A high FICO score indicates that you have been responsible with the credit extended to you and will reflect positively on applications that you submit, while a lower score indicates that you have had credit issues in the past. Continue reading