Category Archives: buyers in california

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

Why Does A Seller Need to Know How I’m Financing My Purchase: What’s the Best Financing Method?

Puzzled LookAs a buyer, have you wondered why is what type of financing you use important? Or why does the seller need to know how you are financing your purchase? Or both?

The type of financing you use is important because, as a seller, you have the right to know how someone plans to purchase your property as well as to see evidence of that person’s ability to purchase. In addition, certain types of financing may not be accepted.

As a seller, you can choose what financing terms you will accept or will not accept. Most sellers are, of course, open to as many financing types as possible. However, in rare instances, specific financing types are sometimes prerequisites to being able to make an offer to purchase. For example, pending HOA litigation in a condo development would trigger this prerequisite. The HOA company will only allow sellers to accept owner occupied buyers with all cash offers or conventional financing.

Additionally, financing has its strengths and weaknesses. A general rule is outlined below recognizing there are always exceptions, and the seller has the final say.

STRONGEST
Cash
Conventional Loan
FHA Loan
FHA with DPA (Down Payment Assistance)
VA Loan
WEAKEST

As you can see, cash is at the top of the list – it is still and will always be king. The VA loan is at the bottom of the list and it is bitter sweet.

Nicknamed the “No-No Loan” the VA loan is structured to be a great tool and benefit to allow our vets to become homeowners. No down payment, no closing costs. The VA buyer isn’t even allowed to pay certain costs associated with closing the loan. Sounds great in theory, however, those costs get passed on most times to the seller who gets to say yes or no to paying them. In a competitive market, this offer gets placed on the bottom of the pile because the seller is netting the least from these offers.

The other loans in between have varying resemblances to the VA loan because they require the seller to give up potential proceeds to make the loan happen for the buyer.

Ultimately, the more cash the buyer puts in, the more of the risk they are taking. The less cash the buyer puts in, the less risk. To a seller, the seller would rather see more risk to ensure your commitment and to increase the possibility of closing.

The above is offered as a guideline and is not set in stone as to what will always happen. There are many other ways your broker/agent can ensure you are making a strong offer no matter what your financing. In all that you do as a buyer, choosing a savvy broker/agent will ensure you are making the strongest offer for your money and budget.

One More Time…You DO NOT Need 20% Down

One More Time You Don't Need 20% Down | Keeping Current Matters

A recent survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.

1. Down Payment

The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 36% think a 20% down payment is always required. In actuality, there are many loans written with a down payment of 3% or less and the number has increased through the first quarter of the year as shown by the graph below:

Percent of Low Down Payments | Keeping Current Matters

2. FICO Scores

The survey also 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 average FICO scores of approved conventional and FHA mortgages are much lower:

Average FICO Scores | Keeping Current Matters

Bottom Line

If you are a prospective purchaser who is ‘ready’ and ‘willing’ to buy but not sure if you are also ‘able’, sit down with someone who can help you understand your true options.