Tag Archives: down payment

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: Renters have affordability challenges when buying a home

Renters value homeownership but face affordability challenges when it comes to buying a home, C.A.R. survey finds.

upside-downCurrent renters value homeownership and want to buy a home, but many are encountering affordability and financial obstacles that prevent them from buying, according to the CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS®’ (C.A.R.) “2016 Renter Survey. Making sense of the story:

  • Nearly half of renters (48 percent) plan to buy a home in the future, with 10 percent saying that they plan to buy within a year.
  • For those not planning to buy, an improvement in finances, lower housing prices, and saving enough for a down payment would motivate them to buy now.
  • Of the 28 percent of renters who don’t plan to buy in the future, 50 percent said they can’t afford to buy, 20 percent will not buy because they prefer to rent, 19 percent said they can’t qualify for a mortgage, and 15 percent lack a down payment.
  • Job uncertainty (9 percent), economic uncertainty (12 percent), and housing market uncertainty (6 percent) were among other reasons renters cited for not buying a home.
    Homeownership remains important to renters, with nearly half (45 percent) rating it 8 or higher in importance on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being extremely important. The average was 6.8.
  • Nearly all renters (95 percent) see advantages to homeownership; freedom to do what you want with your home, building equity, and having permanence and stability were the top benefits mentioned by renters.
  • One of the surprising findings of this survey is that more than one in four millennial renters said they plan to purchase a home that will accommodate their parents, and about one in five millennials indicated they plan to pool funds with family members to buy a home.

Read the full story from KPCC: www.scpr.org/news/2016/06/08/61459/homeownership-is-valued-but-remains-expensive-and/

Money Monday: 5 things homebuyers need to do

If you’re looking to purchase a home in the near future, start planning now on what you need to do before actually looking for a home.

buyers and sellers real estate disclosures

There’s a lot on your to-do list when it comes time to buy a home, but you can avoid making some big mistakes and hurdles by realizing these five helpful pieces of information (tips from the Bankrate’s helpful article here: “5 first-time homebuyer mistakes“):

  • Realize that you’ll be paying more than just mortgage payments
  • Get loan preapproval before starting the house hunt
  • Get professional help from a real estate agent (In San Diego County and don’t have a Realtor? Call me at (619) 890-3648!), loan agent, and perhaps a lawyer)
  • Don’t use all your savings on the down payment
  • Wait until you’ve officially closed to make any other big purchases

Bankrate’s article is full of many more details and information on these tips, so click over to their website and read their article here: “5 first-time homebuyer mistakes“.

Real Estate Purchases in 2015

In 2015, the majority of home buyers financed their real estate purchase.

In 2015, 86% of home buyers used financing (first-time buyers were more likely to utilize financing) to purchase their homes, but there were also high numbers of all-cash buyers.

CallingAllFirstTimeBuyersThis infographic is from CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS, at CAR.org.

Money Monday: Buying a home without a 20% down payment 

Are you thinking of buying a home, but don’t have 20% of the purchase price for a downpaynent?

That doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re out of luck. 
  

With the national average listing price for a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home at $302,632, according to Coldwell Banker Real Estate, home buyers need to come up with $60,526 to put 20% down.

A recent article from Money.CNN.com has some helpful ideas for hopeful homebuyers:

1. Apply for an FHA loan. These require as little as 3.5% down. 

2. See what your options are through the government. 

“The Department of Veteran’s Affairs guarantees VA home loans with 0% down to former and current service members… 

“The Department of Agriculture has a home loan program to increase homeownership in more rural and less-populated areas…

“Many cities and municipalities offer down payment assistance programs to help potential buyers…”

3. Ask family members for a loan.

4. Get the money as a gift 

5. Use retirement funds 

Read CNN’s full post on this here: “How to buy a home without a 20% down payment“.

Amount of First-Time Home-buyers is Down

Share of First-Time Home Buyers Hits 27-Year Lowbuy home

According to the Wall Street Journal, first-time home buyers represent a traditionally reliable slice of the housing market, but they now comprise the smallest share of U.S. buyers in nearly three decades. Their absence in the market is raising questions about the impact of the crash on potential homeowners. Continue reading

Six must-haves for mortgage approval

Interest rates are hovering around historical lows, and low interest rates increase affordability, making it easier for buyers to qualify. Yet stories of buyers waiting months to gain loan approval and home purchase transactions not closing on time due to lender’s strict underwriting are all too common.

Some buyers are turned down for illogical reasons. For instance, if you have investments — even if they’re performing well — an underwriter might deny the mortgage because your portfolio doesn’t fall into the underwriter’s risk assessment model.
checklist
One couple was turned down because the husband had worked at his current job for less than a year — even though he was making more money at the new job than he was before.

These buyers were well-qualified. The wife had worked several years for one employer and was able to qualify for the loan on her own. So, the transaction closed, although two months late.

Generally, it’s more difficult to qualify now than it was a year ago. Most conventional lenders require a 20-25 percent down payment. For the lowest interest rates, your credit scores need to be in the 700 range. You need to have verifiable income and cash reserves in addition to your down payment and closing costs.

You could run into underwriting problems if you’re self-employed, as W-2 income is much easier to verify. Other hurdles are lapses in employment and owning a lot of property. Some lenders won’t lend to buyers who have more than three or four residential properties.

If you’re buying a new home before selling your current home, you’ll need to have 30 percent equity in your current home. This needs to be verified by the lender’s appraiser. Also, the lender will want to see a copy of the cashed check from the tenant for the first month’s rent to verify rental income if needed to qualify.

HOUSE HUNTING TIP: As soon as you’re serious about buying a home, find the best mortgage broker or loan agent you can to assist you. Don’t make your selection based on interest rates alone. A good track record counts for a lot.

Closing the deal should be your primary goal. If you have to pay 0.25 percent more to assure your transaction closes on time and that you’re not turned down at the last minute, it’s worth it.

Be candid with your loan professional about anything in your financial picture that might impact loan qualification. A good loan agent or broker will be able to assess your financial situation and anticipate what you’ll need to do to satisfy the underwriter.

Be aware that appraisal issues can impact your loan approval. For example, if a previous owner added square footage without a building permit, the additional square footage probably won’t be included as livable square feet.

If the appraisal comes in for less than the purchase price, the lender might not lend you enough to close the deal. Include an appraisal contingency in your contract.

There are more jumbo financing options available now. Adjustable-rate mortgages that are fixed for 10 years and then revert to an adjustable have a starting rate about 0.25 percent less than a 30-year fixed jumbo. A five-year fixed starts about 0.5 percent to 0.75 percent lower, but is riskier.

THE CLOSING: Because of the risk factor, the lender may want you to have a large cash reserve. Your retirement account counts toward this.

Dian Hymer is a real estate broker with more than 30 years’ experience and is a nationally syndicated real estate columnist and author.

Getting a mortgage after foreclosure

There are some additional hurdles for homeowners who have gone through a foreclosure, short sale or bankruptcy, but a little patience and some financial hard work will go a long way.

MortgagesBuying a home is a challenging goal for most hopeful homeowners. But for those who have experienced a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale, the hurdles are even higher.

Still, it’s not impossible to buy a home after financial difficulties, says Dan Keller, a mortgage banker with Hometown Lending in Everett, Wash. In fact, Keller says, people who have cleaned up their credit and are otherwise qualified to get a mortgage can buy a home as soon as they have outlasted a prescribed waiting period after the bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale.

Wait a while
The waiting period can last one to seven years, says Kirk Chivas, chief operating officer at First Commerce Financial in Wixom, Mich. The one-year requirement applies to buyers who complete a Chapter 13 bankruptcy, have a spotless subsequent credit history and want to get a new loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration or guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. The seven-year requirement applies to buyers who experienced a foreclosure and want to get a new conventional loan that can be sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

In between are a number of two-, three- and four-year timelines based on similar criteria and other factors such as whether the buyer’s previous mortgage was current at the time of a short sale or the size of the buyer’s new down payment as a percentage of the home’s purchase price.

Generally speaking, the waiting periods after a bankruptcy tend to be more black and white while the waits after a foreclosure or short sale have more gray areas, Keller says. And in some cases, a waiting period can be waived or shortened if the buyer’s bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale was due to extenuating circumstances or a hardship beyond his control.

Technically, it is possible for a buyer whose prior loan wasn’t in default at the time of a short sale to get a new FHA-insured loan with no waiting period, Chivas says. But he adds that he’s never encountered anyone in that situation.

Clean credit
Buyers must have very clean or perfect credit histories before they can buy homes after bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale. A slip-up as small as one late credit card payment could disqualify a post-bankruptcy buyer from some loan programs, even if the waiting period has been completed, Keller says.

“Bankruptcy is a serious word,” he says. “If you do it, it’s a get-out-jail-free card. But once you get out of bankruptcy, you need to be flawless in your credit. Don’t even drop a gum wrapper.

Credit dings can be difficult to sort out for buyers who experienced a loan modification or short sale, in part because, as Chivas says, there’s “no consistency” in how lenders report those events to the credit bureaus. Buyers should review their credit reports and correct any errors or clarify the circumstances of adverse items.

Stable employment can be a plus, too, Keller says, noting that some loan programs are more lenient than others. “If there was a gap,” he says, “it needs to be explained.”

Consult a loan pro
Given these complexities, buyers are advised to consult a loan officer or mortgage broker early on for advice that applies to their situation.

“They may think they’re fine, but if they’re not talking to a professional, their hopes can get dashed or crushed,” Chivas says. “That’s why you want to speak to someone as soon as you start dreaming it up in your head” that you want to buy a home after a bankruptcy, foreclosure or short sale.

This article is by RealEstate.MSN.com, and is viewable here: “Getting a mortgage after foreclosure.”