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:
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.
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.
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 Realtors’ Managing 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.
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.
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
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
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 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.
(Courtesy of on May 7, 2015)
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:
A second survey was done by Edelman Berland which showed that:
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.”
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.