First Time Home Buyer Loan Programs

Happy New Year!

I wanted to share this article about loan programs becuase owning your own home is a goal near and dear to my heart.  If you’re looking to make homeownership your goal – contact The Caton Team – we love what we do and we love helping people achieve their goal of homeownership!

Summary: First-time homebuyer loans and programs

  1. FHA loan program: A loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Good for those with low credit scores and little money saved for a down payment.
  2. USDA loan program: A loan program 100 percent guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for lower-income borrowers in eligible rural areas.
  3. VA loan program: A loan backed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs that allows no down payment for military personnel, veterans and their families.
  4. Good Neighbor Next Door buyer aid program: A HUD program that provides housing aid for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and teachers.
  5. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac loan program: Conventional loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac require 3 percent down. Good for those with strong credit.
  6. HomePath ReadyBuyer Program: A program that provides 3 percent in closing cost assistance to first-time buyers. Must complete an educational course and buy a foreclosed Fannie Mae property.
  7. Energy-efficient mortgage program: Backed by FHA or VA loan programs and allows borrowers to combine the cost of energy-efficient upgrades onto a primary loan upfront.
  8. FHA Section 203(k) loan program: Borrow the funds needed to pay for home improvement projects and roll the costs into one FHA loan with your primary mortgage.
  9. Local first-time homebuyer programs and grants: Many states and cities offer first-time buyer programs and grants for down payment or closing cost assistance.
  10. Native American Direct Loan: This VA-backed program provides direct home loans to eligible Native American veterans to buy, renovate or build homes on federal trust land.

1. FHA loan

Best for: Buyers with low credit and smaller down payments.

Not having enough money for a 20 percent down payment may deter you from buying a home, but it shouldn’t. Insured by the Federal Housing Administration, FHA loans typically come with smaller down payments and lower credit score requirements than most conventional loans. First-time homebuyers can buy a home with a minimum credit score of 580 and as little as 3.5 percent down or a credit score of 500 to 579 with at least 10 percent down.

FHA loans have one big catch called mortgage insurance. You’ll pay an upfront premium and annual premiums, driving up your overall borrowing costs. Unlike homeowners insurance, this coverage doesn’t protect you; it protects the lender in case you default on the loan.

Learn more about finding the best FHA lender for you.

2. USDA loan

Best for: Borrowers with lower or moderate incomes purchasing a home in a USDA-eligible rural area.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture, or USDA, guarantees loans for some rural homes and you can get 100 percent financing. This doesn’t mean you have to buy a farm or shack up with livestock, but you do have to buy a home in a USDA-eligible area.

USDA loans also have income limits based on where you live, meaning they’re geared toward folks who earn lower to moderate incomes. Typically, you need a credit score of 640 or higher to qualify for a streamlined USDA loan. If your score falls short, you’ll have to provide extra documentation on your payment history to get a stamp of approval.

3. VA loan

Best for: Active-duty military members, veterans and their spouses.

Many U.S. military members (active duty and veterans) are eligible for loans backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA. VA loansare a sweet deal for eligible borrowers because they come with lower interest rates than most other loan types and require no down payment. A funding fee is required on VA loans, but that fee can be rolled into your loan costs and some service members may be exempt from paying it altogether.

Other VA loan perks include no PMI or minimum credit score. If you struggle to make payments on the mortgage, the VA can negotiate with the lender on your behalf to take some stress from the equation.

4. Good Neighbor Next Door

Best for: Teachers, law enforcement, firefighters and emergency medical technicians.

The Good Neighbor Next Door program is sponsored by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). It provides housing aid for law enforcement officers, firefighters, emergency medical technicians and pre-kindergarten through 12th-grade teachers.

Through this program, you can receive a discount of 50 percent on a home’s listed price in regions known as “revitalization areas.” Using the program’s website, you can search for properties available in your state. You must commit to living in the home for at least 36 months.

5. Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac

Best for: Borrowers with strong credit but minimal down payments.

These government-sponsored enterprises, or GSEs, set borrowing guidelines for loans they’re willing to buy from conventional lenders on the secondary mortgage market.

Both programs require a minimum down payment of 3 percent. Homebuyers also need a minimum credit score of 620 (or higher, depending on the lender) and a relatively unblemished financial and credit history to qualify. Fannie Mae accepts a debt-to-income ratio as high as 50 percent in some cases. You’ll still pay for PMI because you’re putting less than 20 percent down, but you can get it canceled once your loan-to-value ratio drops below 80 percent.

6. Fannie Mae’s HomePath ReadyBuyer Program

Best for: First-time homebuyers who help for closing costs willing to buy a foreclosed home.

Fannie Mae’s HomePath ReadyBuyer program is geared toward first-time buyers interested in foreclosed homes that are owned by Fannie Mae. After taking a required online homebuying education course, eligible borrowers can receive up to 3 percent in closing cost assistance toward the purchase of a HomePath property. The trick is finding a HomePath property in your market, which might be a challenge since foreclosures account for a smaller chunk of listings today.

7. Energy-efficient mortgage (EEM)

Best for: Homebuyers who want to make their home more energy-efficient but lack up-front cash for upgrades.

Making a home more energy efficient is good for the environment, and good for your wallet by lowering your utility bills. Making green upgrades can be costly, but you can get an energy-efficient mortgage, or EEM loan, that’s insured through the FHA or VA programs.

An EEM loan lets you tack the cost of energy-efficient upgrades (think new insulation, a more efficient HVAC system or double-paned windows) onto your primary loan upfront — all without a larger down payment.

8. FHA Section 203(k)

Best for: Homebuyers interested in purchasing a fixer-upper but who don’t have a lot of cash to make major home improvements.

If you’re brave enough to take on a fixer-upper but don’t have the extra money to pay for renovations, an FHA Section 203(k) loan is worth a look.

Backed by the FHA, the loan calculates the home’s value after improvements have been made. You can then borrow the funds needed to pay for home improvement projects and roll the costs into one loan with your primary loan amount. You’ll need a down payment of at least 3.5 percent, and improvements must cost more than $5,000.

9. State and local first-time homebuyer programs and grants

Best for: First-time homebuyers who need closing cost or down payment assistance.

In an effort to attract new residents, many states and cities offer first-time homebuyer grants and programs. The aid comes in the form of grants that don’t have to be repaid or low-interest loans with deferred repayment to cover down payment or closing costs. Some programs may have income limits, too. Before buying a home, check your state’s housing authority website for more information.

Contact a real estate agent or local HUD-approved housing counseling agency to learn more about first-time homebuyer loans in your area.

First-time homebuyer programs by state:

10. Native American Direct Loan

Best for: Eligible Native American veterans wishing to buy a home on federal trust land.

The Native American Direct Loan provides financing to eligible Native American veterans to buy, improve or build a home on federal trust land. This loan differs from traditional VA loans in that the VA is the mortgage lender.

The NADL has no down payment or private insurance requirements, and closing costs are low. And you’re not limited to only one property; you can get more than one NADL. Not all states are eligible, though.

Learn more:

I read this article at: LOAN PROGRAMS

Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

First-Time Home Buyer Workshop – Get to know the HEART – 5% Down Payment Loan Program for San Mateo County

* If you cannot attend the workshop, please do not hesitate to contact The Caton Team. We’d be more than happy to help you.*

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Are you a First-Time Home Buyer?  

Does saving 20% for the down-payment seem daunting?  

Does paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) frost your cookies?  

Then you need to learn about the HEART LOAN of San Mateo County and this workshop is a must!

Get to know the HEART San Mateo County Loan Program – on Wednesday October 30, 2019 at the San Carlos library. 

If you’re buying your first home in this market, you know how painfully hard it is to save for the 20% down-payment.  Must banks require 20% and anything less requires expensive and pointless Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).  Well the HEART loan – Housing Endowment and Regional Trust of San Mateo is here to help.  They are offering 5% down with NO PMI.  You carry a 30 year, 80% 1st mortgage and a 15 year ,15% 2nd mortgage.  This loan covers single family homes, condos and townhomes anywhere in San Mateo County for a vaule up to $908,156.

The Caton Team has helped several families get into their first home with the HEART program through Meriwest. 

For more information – HEART and Meriwest are hosting a FREE loan workshop at the San Carlos library at 6pm on Wednesday October 30th.  Register Here

Buying and Selling Real Estate doesn’t have to be scary – contact The Caton Team at any time for more information.  We love what we do and would love to help you!

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

For more information or to Register – click here. 

 

 

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Got Real Estate Questions?   The Caton Team is here to help.

We strive to be more than just Realtors – we are also your home resource. If you have any real estate questions, concerns, need a referral or some guidance – we are here for you. Contact us at your convenience – we are but a call, text or click away!

The Caton Team believes, in order to be successful in the San Fransisco | Peninsula | Bay Area | Silicon Valley Real Estate Market we have to think and act differently. We do this by positioning our clients in the strongest light, representing them with the utmost integrity, while strategically maneuvering through negotiations and contracts. Together we make dreams come true.  How can The Caton Team help you?

A mother and daughter-in-law team with over 35 years of combined, local Real Estate experience and knowledge – would’t you like The Caton Team to represent you? Let us know how we can be of service. Contact us any time.

Call | Text | Sabrina 650.799.4333 | Susan 650.796.0654

Email |   Info@TheCatonTeam.com

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina
A Family of Realtors
Effective. Efficient. Responsive.
What can we do for you?

The Caton Team Testimonials | The Caton Team Blog – The Real Estate Beat | TheCatonTeam.com | Facebook | Instagram | HomeSnap | Pintrest | LinkedIN Sabrina | LinkedIN Susan

Want Real Estate Info on the Go?  Download our FREE Real Estate App:  Mobile Real Estate by The Caton Team

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

DRE # |Sabrina 01413526 | Susan 01238225 | Team 70000218 |Office 01499008

The Caton Team does not receive compensation for any posts.  Information is deemed reliable but not guaranteed. Third party information not verified.


 

8 Things First-Time Homeowners Never Realize

8 Things First-Time Homeowners Never Realize

 

You did it! You bought your first house and it’s yours and you can do whatever you want with it! Well…not so fast. Here, eight things that first-time homeowners often don’t realize before it’s too late.

THAT YOU MIGHT NEED TO MAKE IMPROVEMENTS STAT

If you just plunked down a ton of money to buy the house (closing costs, whaaaa), it can seem ridiculous to shell out again right away. But even if you’ve passed inspection and are moving into a well-built abode, there’s a good chance you’ll have to do something big (a new boiler… a roof fix) within your first year. Keep a cushion of cash on hand, even if it means waiting to buy that farmhouse table you’ve been coveting.

AND THAT THOSE IMPROVEMENTS COULD REQUIRE PERMITS

It depends on where you live and the extensiveness of your plans, but plenty of renovations–say, a kitchen remodel or a window installation–might require a permit from the city government. Do your research, talk to your contractor, ask your Realtor and don’t risk starting anything that’s not good and legal.

BUT THAT OTHER IMPROVEMENTS COULD SAVE YOU MONEY

Did you know that you could earn a 30 percent tax credit by installing a geothermal heat pump? Or that you could save on monthly energy bills by getting a solar panel and selling electricity back to the grid? Hooray for going green!

THAT YOUR NEIGHBORS MIGHT NOT BE AS JAZZED ABOUT YOUR 4TH-FLOOR ADDITION AS YOU ARE

You’ve been excited to install that gargoyled turret since the day you moved in. Frank next door is terrified you’ll obstruct his views and park a dumpster in front of his house. Have him over for sangria to discuss any big-ticket renovations that could disrupt his life–and proceed with serious caution when it comes to projects that are likely to piss off more than one neighbor.

THAT YOU HAVE TO FOLLOW TRASH LAWS

Recycling goes out on Tuesdays. Big electronics on the first Friday of every month. Anything glass must be in a clear bag. Learn your city’s trash laws, and follow them to a T. (Unless you love getting hit with fines.)

THAT LAWNS REQUIRE ATTENTION DURING EVERY SEASON

Once the temps rise, you are all about that lawn-mower life. But news flash: You also have to take care of your yard from September to May. Keep your lawn raked and tidy in the fall (or risk turning your property into a slip-and-slide) and your grass short and debris-free come winter.

THAT YOU MIGHT BE LIABLE FOR STUFF THAT DOESN’T SEEM LIKE YOUR PROBLEM

Got a tree that overhangs Frank-the-neighbor’s driveway? Got a sewer line that runs beneath your yard? Got an icy sidewalk that you just don’t feel like salting? All of those things are your responsibility to maintain and keep safe for others.

THAT YOU DON’T HAVE TO DO EVERYTHING AT ONCE

You have a new house! You want to make it beautiful and homey and full of cheery wallpaper right away. But slow down there, hotshot: If you pace yourself and tackle one thing at a time, you’ll make your money and energy go a lot further. Plus, it’s fun to always have a next project on the horizon. Isn’t that why you bought a house in the first place?

 

I read this article at: http://www.purewow.com/home/things-home-owners-dont-realize?utm_medium=email&utm_source=national&utm_campaign=Homeowner_Things_2016_05_24_a&utm_content=Food_editorial

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

Top 10 Cities for First-Time Home Buyers

Top 10 Cities for First-Time Home Buyers—and Not Just Because They’re Affordable

 

OK, let’s get it right out there: It’s a seriously tough time to be trying to buy your first home. Yes, in most respects the housing business is doing great. But the dazzling nationwide sales boom cuts both ways: Across the U.S., low inventory has put the squeeze on potential home buyers, driving prices up to nosebleed-inducing levels and sparking scary bidding wars. And first-time mortgages? They’re harder than ever to snag.

The numbers tell the tale: The National Association of Realtors® reported in November that the share of first-time buyers had declined in 2015 for the third consecutive year and remained at its lowest point in nearly three decades. First-time buyers made up 32% of all buyers in 2015, down from 33% the year before.

So where can today’s committed-but-oh-so-frustrated housing newbies turn?

We’ve got you covered! Bypassing today’s unabashed and unbowed metro seller’s markets (See ya, Seattle! Don’t let the door hit you on the way out, Dallas!), we set out to find  places that are still newbie-friendly. But we weren’t just looking for the cheapest places. Yes, affordability is key, but if you’re doling out your life savings on a new home, you want an area where you’ll actually enjoy living! Right? So we made sure that our top 10 cities bring something extra special to the party, lifestylewise.

We focused on the 25-to-34 age group, which is the vast majority of first-time home buyers. We filtered the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas using the following criteria:

  • Affordability, measured by home price to income ratio for 25- to 34-year-olds (the lower the better)
  • Inventory, with enough houses available that you don’t have to camp out at open houses or sell your firstborn to get your chance—measured by the number of homes for sale per 1,000 households
  • Mortgage availability, measured by the share of home loans purchased by 25- to 34-year-olds
  • Job growth, measured by lower-than-average unemployment rate (because unemployment and new homes are a lousy combo)
  • Livability, measured by the number of restaurants, schools, retailers, health care facilities, and arts and entertainment venues per 1,000 households

 

  1. Portland, ME

Median price: $304,000

Unemployment: 3.3%

What you don’t know about Portland: Yeah, sure, the West Coast’s Portland gets all the press, the hipster cred (and notoriety), and even a decent TV show to call its own. But here’s the deal: The largest city in Maine is no less hip, cool, and fun to live in. And it has way better lobster.

A foodist’s paradise nestled on the Atlantic coast, Portland has a slew of catch-of-the-day seafood restaurants and a thriving microbrew scene—Allagash Brewing Co. produces 45,000 barrels of beer each year. And check out that unemployment rate—one-third lower than the national average of 5.2%.

 

  1. Philadelphia, PA

Median price: $222,000

Unemployment: 4.8%

What you don’t know about Philly: Plenty of New Yorkers are fleeing the City So Nice They Named It Twice for Philly, with almost 27,000 people making the transition per year, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Many seem to relish escaping the crazy real estate prices of NYC without giving up big-city amenities.

So what’s the appeal?

Well, you’ve got Ukee Washington, Denzel‘s second cousin and quite possibly the coolest news anchor in America. You have perhaps the most loyal sports fans in the country. And you can get a “citywide special”—a can of PBR and a shot of Jim Beam—for just a few bucks across town. The United States’ first capital is rich in history and has recovered from a bad patch—no longer known as “Killadelphia,” its violent crime rate declined 20% from 2009 to 2014, according to the FBI.

 

  1. St. Louis, MO

Median price: $164,000

Unemployment: 5.2%

What you don’t know about St. Louis: Besides the Cardinals and the city’s namesake barbecue, there’s plenty more to celebrate in St. Louis.

Led by Washington University, more than a dozen universities and colleges boost the city’s IQ and keep the vibe young. You dig nature? You can spend weeks hanging in Forest Park, which is nearly 50% bigger than Central Park. And the city has two separate downtowns, each with its own gestalt. Housing prices have been low, partly because of the sluggish economy after the recession that erased thousands of jobs. But the city has finally made a comeback, adding 6,900 jobs in February and posting a declining unemployment rate. Eight Fortune 500 companies now call St. Louis home.

 

  1. Allentown, PA

Median price: $188,000

Unemployment: 5%

What you don’t know about Allentown: While the song “Allentown” by Billy Joel reminds us of the decline of the coal and steel industry (and still makes us sob), Allentown is en route to aggressive economic redevelopment.

Today the city hosts multinational companies such as Pennsylvania Power and Light and Air Products & Chemicals. Allentown also has Pennsylvania’s highest beer production by volume, and the Lehigh Valley area makes up the state’s fastest-growing wine region. And contrary to its grungy/gritty rep, there are more acres of parkland here than in any other city of this size. Take that, Billy!

 

  1. Albany, NY

Median price: $238,000

Unemployment: 4.5%

What you don’t know about Albany: The capital of New York state is having a renaissance. The effort to build a “Tech Valley” since 1998 has paid off with thriving new businesses, residential development, entertainment, and a cultural scene. Every spring, Albany celebrates its Dutch heritage with the Tulip Festival, featuring more than 200,000 tulips, fine art shows, crafts, and gardening exhibits. And you haven’t lived until you’ve tried an Albany fish fry. Or at least you haven’t lived well.

 

  1. Harrisburg, PA

Median price: $168,000

Unemployment: 4.2%

What you don’t know about Harrisburg: Tech may not be something this central Pennsylvania city is known for, but it may be in the future. In the past few years, at least 18 tech companies have sprouted in this midsize city. Benefiting from the tech wave, downtown Harrisburg has become a hugely popular northeastern destination stop for great live entertainment, especially music—from jazz to indie to hip-hop.

 

  1. Baton Rouge, LA

Median price: $217,000

Unemployment: 4.8%

What you don’t know about Baton Rouge: With a median age of 34.7 for its population, Baton Rouge is Louisiana’s youngest major metro area (the credit goes to Louisiana State University, which is based there).

About 80 miles from New Orleans, Baton Rouge knows how to do Mardi Gras right. Each year thousands flock to the city for festive carnivals, costume balls, and six different parades (including one just for pets). Increasingly a nouveau hipster haven, the city has the highest share (52%) of mortgages purchased by 25- to 34-year-olds among all the markets we studied.

 

  1. Dayton, OH

Median price: $115,000

Unemployment: 5.2%

What you don’t know about Dayton: Bike culture may be awesomely hip now, but Daytonians have been biking en masse for a long, long time. They drafted the nation’s first regional bikeway plans, which were adopted in 1973. Since then, the 300 miles of scenic Miami Valley Trail—the nation’s largest paved trail network—have seen generations of cyclists. With a median home price of just $115,000, Dayton is no longer a place to fly over or drive through—it’s a place to stay and live large.

 

  1. Minneapolis, MN

Median price: $294,000

Unemployment: 3.9%

What you don’t know about Minneapolis: America’s second fittest city, Minneapolis boasts more than 200 miles of bike lanes and 5,000 acres of parkland. Twelve Fortune 500 companies, including Target, and numerous small businesses keep unemployment low and income high.

America’s (purportedly) most literate city also hosts Open Book, the country’s biggest book art center, and the Chanhassen, its largest dinner theater. And Mary Richards lived here. Questions?

 

  1. Virginia Beach, VA

Median price: $256,000

Unemployment: 5%

What you don’t know about Virginia Beach: Pharrell Williams was born and raised here, and his song “Happy” could easily serve as the official town anthem . After all, with sun-drenched beaches dotted with swimmers, sunbathers, and volleyball players, how could anyone not be happy? Plus, the city’s majority of low-density neighborhoods are perfect for those who hate crowded city living.

———

We’re in such a celebratory mood, we almost hate turning our eyes to the worst markets for first-time home buyers. Almost.

New York and San Francisco, you say? If the two cities had a penny for each time someone complained about their sky-high housing prices, the money could probably fund many buyers’ down payments. But for many people, the excitement and job opportunities of those cities are worth the price.

By our calculation, the worst markets are where climbing home prices and plunging inventory are not sustained by employment and infrastructure—or any real sense of fun. Because fun rules!

Spoiler alert: The bottom five markets are all in California. As Jonathan Smoke, our chief economist, points out, those markets are affected by the “spillover” effect of being in California—filled with people looking for alternatives to Los Angeles and San Francisco.

  1. Stockton, CA

Median price: $340,000

Unemployment: 8.8%

  1. Fresno, CA

Median price: $262,000

Unemployment: 10.5%

  1. Bakersfield, CA

Median price: $222,000

Unemployment: 10.9%

  1. Sacramento, CA

Median price: $428,000

Unemployment: 5.4%

  1. Riverside, CA

Median price: $344,000

Unemployment: 5.8%

What are your thoughts on the subject?

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/news/trends/top-10-cities-for-first-time-home-buyers/?identityID=9851214&MID=2016_0415_WeeklyNL-comafter23&RID=353497822&cid=eml-2016-0415-WeeklyNL-blog_1_topcities-blogs_trends

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

A Cinderella Story – Anna – From Renter to Owner

A Cinderella Story – Anna – From Renter to Owner

First time homebuyers bring us joy!  Not only are they the corner stone of the real estate market – they are the fuel.  Without the first time homebuyer, it would be hard for owners/sellers to move on to their next home.

But with great responsibility comes work.  And in the San Francisco Bay Area – it’s hard work.  2013 has been an interesting year in local real estate.  We know prices hit bottom in 2009 and many buyers, sitting on the fence for the past several years, were unsure where the market was going.  Early in 2013 these buyers got off the fence and changed the dynamic of our local real estate market.

After the New Years Eve confetti was brushed away, many buyers started looking.  Earlier this year, we had very limited inventory.  In fact, we’ve had low inventory since our prices dropped.  Amazing low interest rates, coupled with low prices – generated some excitement.

Over the holidays, a friend and fellow Notre Dame alumni reached out to me with a question.  Could she buy a condo?  Before the local real estate bust, condos and home prices steadily rose.   Back then a one-bedroom condo ran close to a half-a-million bucks.  Not an easy price for a first time homebuyer.  So when prices fell – opportunity was knocking.

With her pre-approval in hand we took Anna out for her first tour.  At first, she expected her house hunt to take one month.  Quickly we explained that with the current low inventory and high buyer demand, we were looking at closer to 6 months than 1 month to find and acquire a home.  A frown – but she held tight.

Our first problem – there wasn’t much to look at.  Once we looked at older inventory – it became a race to see the new ones.  As soon as a new condo came on – I was on the phone with her setting an appointment to show it.  I have got to say – Anna understood the importance of the early worm.  She didn’t push the most expensive and important purchase of her life to the end of her day, or only on the weekend.  Anna understood that the market waits for NO ONE!  So during her lunch break or between her appointments, we’d take a look.

Earlier this year, with demand high, most units had offer dates set after the first open house.  Making it a mad dash to the finish line to get her offer in.  Being that we looked during the week, Anna had the opportunity to show the unit to her family and friends over the weekend and write her offer with confidence.

We must have written 5 offers in a few months.  It felt like we wrote offers once a week.  And slowly, as units were closing escrow – we saw it – she saw it – the market price was inching upwards and eventually she’d be priced out of the market.

Now Anna is a very savvy young woman.  She saw the writing on the wall – I didn’t have to tell her it was a matter of time before we had nothing to shop for.  So Anna did what all smart buyers have to do – she took a look at her ‘wants vs. needs’ list and made some reality adjustments.  In the end, location was her most important attribute.  She didn’t want to live in the fringes of the Bay Area just to say she had more space.  Anna wanted to be close to work and near a downtown to enjoy her life.

Then a junior one bedroom came on the market in Santa Clara.  Right in the heart of it – it was a great location.  And you know what how important location is in Real Estate!  We were quick to write an offer.  Up against three others – she was out bid.  Thankfully The Caton Team, with 25+ years in the business has earned a nice reputation among local agents.  With a clean offer and backed up by our expertise, Anna was given a counter offer and my next call to her would prove to be most joyous.

Congratulations Anna!  You were a joy to work with and The Caton Team is honored to have been the Realtors to turn you from renter into owner!

 

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina