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2015 California Housing Market Predictions

2015 Housing Market Well, it's that time of the year when we reflect on the state of the California housing market over the past year (2014), and try anticipate what to expect come the new year. I polled Local Real Estate Experts in California, and have compiled some of those responses for you here. Thank you in advance to the Local Pros that will contribute to the survey throughout the year. Local Real Estate Professionals will be reporting from the trenches about the state of different Real...

How Does Downpayment Assistance Work?

Free Money? Downpayment assistance is absolutely not free money. However, it is an incredibly valuable and accessible resource for homebuyers in the State of California in 2015. Even though we tend to talk in terms of "downpayment" assistance, most of the programs I will be talking about can be used toward the downpayment, or closing costs for the purchase of a home. Acceptable Sources for Down Payment Where you have to be aware with down payment, is where the money comes from.  If it does not...

Fannie Mae Opens Door for 100% Home Loan?

First Time Buyer Fannie Mae continues to impress me with it's "make sense" approach to making qualifying guideline changes. The last big change to Fannie Mae Guidelines was over the weekend of August 16th, 2014, when new qualifying guidelines were released regarding buying a home after short sale. Over the weekend of December 13th, 2014, Fannie Mae is going to make another of those potentially very impactful qualifying guideline changes. Fannie's data analysis looked at default rates between loans that were made between 90%...

Broadview Community Access Allows 3% Down Payment

Effective 12/13/2014 Fannie Mae has finally set the date for underwriting guideline changes being made to encourage more California home buyers into the market. These changes directly affect the Broadview Community Access (BCA) program that offers discounted rates and fees to borrowers whose income does not exceed 140% of the Area Median Income (AMI). Applications taken after the weekend of December 13th, 2014, will allow California home buyers to use Conventional financing with as little as 3% down payment. Beware of Mortgage Acronyms There are many...

What is Tax Advantage Mortgage Insurance?

Tax Deductible 2013 was the last year that Mortgage Insurance was tax deductible for California taxpayers. Still, for some homeowners, it makes sense to consider Tax Advantage Mortgage Insurance as an option for buying or refinancing a high Loan to Value (LTV) mortgage. Tax Advantage Mortgage Insurance gets it's name by "rolling in" the mortgage insurance into a higher interest rate, making it tax deductible as mortgage interest. There is no special tax break associated with this structure of paying for Private Mortgage Insurance.  I strongly...

Why is it So Hard to Finance a California Condominium?

Market Crash Aftermath There are a couple of significant contributing factors that have deeply impacted California Condominiums in the past few years.  Let me start by explaining why it's so challenging to get financing on these homes. When the Real Estate market plummeted in 2007, as described at the opening of this article, many homeowners were caught up in the economic aftermath. As you know, many homeowners lost their homes through bankruptcy, foreclosure, short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure beginning around this...

How to Buy a Home Using a Reverse Mortgage

Planning for Retirement This article is as much for homebuyer and homeowners 62 years or older, as it is for the adult children of aging parents. Reverse mortgages are primarily about providing financial options that include allowing you to leverage your home's equity to help subsidize increasing health costs, or supplementing retirement income to realize a higher quality of life. I encourage adult children of aging parents to educate themselves about reverse mortgages as an opportunity to allow, and encourage your parents to...

3 Creative Ways to Finance a California Condominium

Eligible for Financing Condominiums are always the first domino to fall when a Real Estate market goes south, and tend to lose value faster than single family homes in that same market. These same Condominiums also tend to be the last to increase in value once a local Real Estate market recovers. In a recovering Real Estate market like we are in today, Condominiums are very attractive to first time homebuyers because they stand out as being much more affordable than your typical...

Are Student Loans Stopping You From Buying a Home?

Lesson Learned In the Real Estate Industry, we are always trying to explain why housing is slower than it should be, or why buyers are not entering the market. To be quite honest, most of the stuff they come up with for why business is slower than normal seems like it's just taking shots in the dark for some elusive explanation. However, when the conversation turns to today's first time homebuyers, which are affectionately called "Millennials", the problem of high student loan debt...

5 Things You Might Not Know About VA Loans

Home Loan Benefit The VA Home Loan Benefit is becoming more and more popular as market changes have brought to light the features of this loan that make it so incredible. It's not that VA Home Loans have not been used in the past, they are being used.  But before the mortgage meltdown, lenders used higher paying methods for reaching 100% financing, that were not in the Veteran's best interest. Now that the dust has settled, and mortgages are what they are today, the...

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