Category Archives: Buyers

Rent vs. Buy: Either Way You’re Paying A Mortgage

Rent vs. Buy: Either Way You're Paying A Mortgage | Keeping Current Matters

There are some people that have not purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent free, you are paying a mortgage – either your mortgage or your landlord’s.

As The Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University explains:

“Households must consume housing whether they own or rent. Not even accounting for more favorable tax treatment of owning, homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord plus a rate of return.  

That’s yet another reason owning often does—as Americans intuit—end up making more financial sense than renting.”

Christina Boyle, a Senior Vice President, Head of Single-Family Sales & Relationship Management at Freddie Mac, explains another benefit of securing a mortgage vs. paying rent:

“With a 30-year fixed rate mortgage, you’ll have the certainty & stability of knowing what your mortgage payment will be for the next 30 years – unlike rents which will continue to rise over the next three decades.”

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

The graph below shows the widening gap in net worth between a homeowner and a renter:

Increasing Gap in Family Wealth | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Whether you are looking for a primary residence for the first time or are considering a vacation home on the shore, owning might make more sense than renting with home values and interest rates projected to climb.

California Real Estate: Who Pays For What?

RE Fees

Customary Fees

In most areas in California, at close of escrow the buyer pays:

  • escrow fees (50/50 split)
  • title insurance fees (for 2 policies protecting the interests of themselves and their lender)
  • loan origination fee and discount points
  • miscellaneous doc drawing and courier fees
  • inspection and appraisal fees
  • loan closing costs, like prepayments of property taxes, interest, insurance and homeowner’s insurance or HOA dues, when the buyer is obtaining a loan with an impound account or as otherwise required by the buyer’s lender.

And the seller pays:

  • escrow fees (50/50 split)
  • broker commissions
  • a re-conveyance fee to their lender
  • buyers home warranty

However, ALL of this is open to negotiation. These are standard practices, but vary more and more in this market climate.

Also, be aware that with bank-owned properties the standard allocations are somewhat different. For example, banks often will pay for the buyer’s title insurance policy, assuming the buyer uses a title provider the bank chooses. Or, the bank may defer to the buyer to elect the title company at which point the buyer is responsible for title and escrow fees.

Also, costs like HOA transfer and documentation fees, city and county transfer taxes, and even escrow fees are often negotiated between buyer and seller. Additionally, many times buyers agree to “pay” their customarily allocated fees, but then negotiate a closing cost credit from the seller that covers some or all of that.

Loan closing fees vary significantly by loan type (i.e., FHA vs. conventional). Also, transfer taxes also vary widely in different California counties; I see transactions where buyers need to be prepared to pay anywhere from 2 to 6% of the purchase price in closing costs – depending on the location. Again, this can be reduced if the buyer is able to negotiate for the seller to pay some or all of their closing costs.

Millennials: What FICO Score is Needed to Buy a Home?

Millennials: What FICO Score is Needed to Buy a Home? | Keeping Current Matters

In a recent article by the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania, it was revealed that some Millennials are not looking to purchase a home simply because they don’t believe they can qualify for a mortgage.

The article quoted Jessica Lautz, the National Association of RealtorsManaging Director of Survey Research, as saying that there is a significant population that does not think they will be approved for a mortgage and doesn’t even try. The article also quoted Fannie Mae CEO Tim Mayopoulos :

“I do think that there’s a sense out there in the marketplace among borrowers that credit may not be available, especially for people with lower credit scores.”

So what credit score is necessary?

A recent survey reported that two-thirds of the respondents believe they need a very good credit score to buy a home, with 45 percent thinking a “good credit score” is over 780.

In actuality, the FICO score on closed loans (as reported by Ellie Mae) is much lower and has been dropping over the last several months.

FICO Score Requirements | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

Millennials who are considering a home purchase should get advice from a local real estate or mortgage professional now. They may be surprised how much the requirements for a mortgage have eased.

JUST LISTED: 3 Bed 2 Ba in Elk Grove, CA

**JUST LISTED**

8737  Springhouse Way,  Elk Grove: Located in the beautiful Seasons community, this lovely 3 bed 2 bath home is ready for your buyer. Near new hickory laminate flooring throughout, high cascading ceilings, wildly popular open floor plan, and for the cook in the family, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the large counter and cooking spaces for those gourmet meals! So much to see, near great schools, close to fine dining, entertainment, highways, and more.

3 bed,2 ba
1,667 sq ft
Listed at: $277,000

Contact Nick Lacy for showings and more info:
(510) 734-6136 direct
(916) 509-7110 office

JUST LISTED: $212,000 – 6912 Tierra Green Way 3 Bedrooms 2 Baths, 1395 sq ft

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Pride of ownership – one owner and it shows. In the community of Florin Glen, this 3 bedroom 2 bath one-story is ready for a wonderful new owner. Popular open floor plan concept reveals a spacious living room dining room combo upon entering the home, beautiful parquet hardwood flooring throughout the lovely kitchen which opens up to a large family room with wood burning fireplace, spacious bedrooms, and an incredible backyard complete with covered patio, perfect for entertaining and more.

OPEN HOUSE SAT & SUN 1-4
Sept 26 and Sept 27

 

 

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Annual Street Repairs Scheduled to Start in Elk Grove Neighborhoods

Public Information Office, Elk Grove Police Department

**New slurry seal and asphalt overlays will restore neighborhood streets to like new condition**

Preventing potholes and keeping local streets in good condition is the goal of the City’s annual Street Repair Project. The City’s Public Works Department has announced that pavement maintenance work scheduled in several neighborhoods throughout Elk Grove will begin next week and extend through November.

Annual pavement maintenance projects extend the life of the pavement and avoid more costly repair or replacement of streets. The pavement maintenance being done this year includes asphalt slurry seal and asphalt overlay. This work includes replacing small areas of damaged pavement, sealing cracks, placement of the slurry seal or asphalt overlay treatment, and replacing striping as needed. The work will restore the surface quality to like new condition.

This work requires temporary full street closures. During the closures, residents will need to park their vehicles on adjacent streets until the roads are reopened to traffic. Barricades with “No Parking” signs will be placed on affected streets 48 hours in advance of the street closures. Residents affected by the work will also receive door hanger notices not less than 3 days in advance of the scheduled operations. A complete listing and map of the streets scheduled for repairs can be found on the City’s web site at http://www.elkgrovecity.org/street-repair.

Preparation activities such as crack sealing and replacement of damaged pavement will begin as early as Monday, September 28th. Slurry seal operations are expected to begin on October 22nd and continue through November 5th. Asphalt overlay and final striping will take place in late October and early November.

The City appreciates the public’s patience during these pavement maintenance activities. For more information regarding the project, please visit the web page or call the City’s Public Works hotline (916) 478-2256.

Do I Need Perfect Credit to Buy a Home?

Do I Need Perfect Credit To Buy A Home? | Keeping Current Matters

Some Highlights:

  • The average FICO score of Approved Conventional Loans was 757 in May
  • The average FICO score of Approved FHA Loans was 688 in May
  • Since April 2013, the ability of Americans to obtain a mortgage has increased substantially!

Contact one of my lender partners below to see if you qualify, today!

Phillip J. Hinojoza, Branch Manager
Land Home Financial Services
9381 E. Stockton Boulevard, Suite #208
Elk Grove, CA 95624
Office: 916.239.7186
Mobile: 916.549.9536
Fax: 916.273.5663
phillip.Hinojoza@lhfs.com

Eddie Johnson Jr.
Paramount Equity Mortgage, LLC.
8781 Sierra College Blvd
Roseville, CA 95661
916-218-7009 Office
916-549-3412 Cell
916-988-8132 Fax
ejohnson@paramountequity.com
http://www.paramountequity.com

David J. Boliard, Branch Manager
Coastal Pacific Mortgage
A Division of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage
5530 Birdcage Street Suite 110
Citrus Heights, CA 95610
916-844-1292 Office
916-844-1299 Fax
916-601-3567 Mobile
dboliard@pcmloan.com

First-Time Homebuyers Led the Way in May

First-Time Homebuyers Lead the Way in May | Keeping Current Matters

The National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report revealed that first time homebuyers made up 32% of all sales in the month of May; marking the highest share since September 2012 and up from 27% the same time last year. NAR’s Chief Economist, Lawrence Yun, cited “strong job gains among young adults, less expensive mortgage insurance and lenders offering low down payment programs,” as contributing factors to the increase in first-time buyers. Existing-home sales rose 5.1% to a seasonally adjusted rate of 5.35 million. Total housing inventory for sale remains under the 6.0 months needed for a historically normal market at a 5.1 month supply. Homes sold quickly in May, as 45% of homes sold in less than a month. May also marked the 39th consecutive month of year-over-year price gains as the median existing home price rose 7.9% above May 2014 to $228,700. Below is a chart showing the breakdown of price increases by region:

Existing Home Prices by Region | Keeping Current Matters
Yun went on to say,

“Solid sales gains were seen throughout the country in May as more homeowners listed their home for sale and therefore provided greater choices for buyers.” “However, overall supply still remains tight, homes are selling fast and price growth in many markets continues to teeter at or near double-digit appreciation. Without solid gains in new home construction, prices will likely stay elevated — even with higher mortgage rates above 4 percent.”

Bottom Line

“More first-time buyers are expected to enter the market in coming months, but the overall share climbing higher will depend on how fast rates and prices rise.” If you are a homeowner considering a move this year, meet with a local real estate agent who can show you the opportunities available right now! Don’t miss out on the influx of new buyers entering the market every day.

Buy vs Rent: What Really Creates Family Wealth?

Buy vs Rent: What Really Creates Family Wealth? | Keeping Current Matters

There has been recent press regarding whether or not it makes better financial sense to rent rather than buy in today’s housing market. As an example, the recently released June Summary of the BH&J Buy vs. Rent Index reported:

“…as of the end of the first quarter of 2015, the housing market in the U.S. and all cities in the index are trending either closer to renting being the superior option or strictly favoring renting over purchasing a home.”

The summary goes on to explain that:

“The index conducts a “horse race” comparison between an individual that is buying a home and an individual that rents a similar quality home and reinvests all monies otherwise invested in homeownership.” (emphasis added)

Though the math may be correct, we are not as sure of the conclusion. Even if you check the methodology offered by the BH&J report itself, you will find that they realize:

“…any extra savings from renting might be spent on non-wealth enhancing goods resulting in any benefits from renting versus owning disappearing in a cloud of consumption spending rather than savings.”

The Concept of ‘Forced Savings’ and Wealth Accumulation

Many believe the wealth accumulation of homeowners is tied into the concept of “forced savings”. The New York Times late last year published an editorial entitled, Homeownership and Wealth Creation, which discussed this concept. The article explained:

“Homeownership requires potential buyers to save for a down payment, and forces them to continue to save by paying down a portion of the mortgage principal each month.” “Even in instances where renters have excess cash, saving a substantial amount is difficult without a near-term goal, like a down payment. It is also difficult to systematically invest each month in stocks, bonds or other assets without being compelled to do so.”

Many of the points that were made in the article are on track with the research done by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which agrees that “forced savings” is a major advantage of homeownership. In a paper, The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America, they concluded:

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

The Truth is in the Historical Data

Edwards Deming once said: “Without data, you’re just another person with an opinion.” Let’s look at the data on this subject. The Federal Reserve has conducted a study titled: Survey of Consumer Finances. The study found that the average net worth of a homeowner ($194,500) is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($5,400).

Bottom Line

The New York Times editorial articulated it best:

“Homeownership long has been central to Americans’ ability to amass wealth; even with the substantial decline in wealth after the housing bust, the net worth of homeowners over time has significantly outpaced that of renters, who tend as a group to accumulate little if any wealth…As a means to building wealth, there is no practical substitute for homeownership.”

If you are a renter who is considering making a purchase, sit with a local real estate professional who can explain the benefits of signing a contract to purchase over renewing your lease!

Homeownership Still a Great Investment

(Courtesy of

Homeownership Still a Great Investment | Keeping Current Matters

Four recent news articles confirmed that most Americans still see real estate as a great long term investment. The Gallup organization polled the American people and discovered that they believe that real estate is a better long term investment than stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings or bonds:

Americans: Real Estate is Best Long Term Investment | Keeping Current Matters

A second survey was done by Edelman Berland which showed that:

Importance of Real Estate to Long-Term Investing | Keeping Current Matters

At the same time, Tim Rood, chairman of the business advisory firm The Collingwood Group, explained that real estate is:

“…one of the last legitimate wealth creation opportunities…The leveraged return if you put down 10 percent on a house, the trajectory of appreciation lately is you’re going to get your money back inside of a year and then after that 5 to 10 percent appreciation rates. It’s phenomenal.”

Bottom Line

Real estate continues to be a sensational long term investment. If you need help with any of your real estate needs, contact a local real estate professional and discuss the opportunities available in today’s market.