Loads of houses are up for sale — but middle-class buyers are still shut out – Washington Post

Despite an uptick in homes on the market and weakening home sales across the country, home ownership is out of reach for a growing number of middle-class buyers, according to a recent report from real estate brokerage Redfin.

An analysis of U.S. homes on the market in 2017 and 2018 found that the number of affordable homes for sale has decreased in 86 percent of metro areas (of 49 included in the study), even as the number of homes on the market grew. While buyers normally benefit from better availability in competitive housing markets, it doesn’t help if the majority of available homes are priced for the wealthy.

“For the past few years, home prices have gone up faster than wages,” said Daryl Fairweather, chief economist at Redfin. “That kind of growth really isn’t sustainable. At a certain point, there won’t be enough buyers left for the homes left on the market.”

Home ownership has long been at the heart of the American dream, a means of accumulating wealth and securing financial stability. But ownership rates have fallen dramatically since the financial crisis — coming in at 64. 4 percent in the third quarter of 2018, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau — a telling sign that the traditional markers of middle-class life are getting tougher and tougher to hang onto.

To estimate affordability, researchers used the median income in each metro area, applied standard interest rates and assumed a 20 percent down payment and a monthly mortgage payment of 30 percent or less of the buyer’s gross income. Even adjusting for 10 percent down payment, just over half of homes on the market were affordable, according to the study.

In Seattle, the share of affordable homes fell 14 percent from 2017 to 2018, leaving only 46 percent of homes within the reach of middle-class families. In San Jose, Calif., the share of affordable homes fell from 26 percent to 14 percent over the same time.

According to the National Association of Realtors, existing home sales in December were down 10.3 percent year over year, the biggest drop since the housing market bottomed in 2011. At the same time, the median home sale price was $223,900, according to Zillow’s home value index.

Current conditions mirror what happened after the housing market collapsed. Prices tumbled and property was abundant, but the only people who could afford to buy were those who hadn’t been crippled by the financial crisis. Years later, a booming economy has yet to restore buying power to middle-class families, as mortgage rates and home prices have climbed. Prices surpassed their pre-crash peak in October 2017. And according to a December report from ATTOM Data Solutions, last quarter was the nation’s worst for home affordability in over a decade.

In metro areas, part of the issue is a lack of public investment in affordable housing, Fairweather said. The problem is often exacerbated in cities that serve as hubs to major tech companies, where an influx of highly paid workers has ratcheted up prices and cost of living. It’s fueling a flight from the coasts, as increasing numbers of people move inland in search of affordability.

Some states and cities are taking steps to correct this. California’s Gov. Gavin Newsom has an ambitious plan to oversee construction of 3.5 million new housing units by 2025. In November, the Minneapolis City Council signed off on $12 million in affordable housing investments throughout the city. Private companies are even stepping up to the plate — and Microsoft announced it’s offering up $500 million to build and protect affordable housing in Seattle.

The housing market is a cornerstone of  U.S. economic output, accounting for over 12 percent of the country’s GDP in 2017.  With the economy deep into an expansion, there’s been a rise in first-time buyers, but if conditions persist, many may be priced out and forced to rent instead. 

“Now the economy is doing better and more people are looking to buy a home for the first time,” Fairweather said, “but they’ve missed the boat on affordable deals.”

I read this article at: Washington Post

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.

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

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Presenting 2069 Shoreview San Mateo

2069 Shoreview San Mateo

Welcome home to this stunningly remodeled Shoreview home.  Luxury laminate flooring throughout the home is warm and inviting as you pass through the living room with wood burning fireplace and enter the contemporary dining room with garden view.  Designer lighting and fixtures can be found throughout the home. The exceptionally remodeled kitchen features white wood cabinetry with abundant storage, beautiful warm colored granite counter tops and deluxe stainless appliances including gas stove, dishwasher, refrigerator and built-in microwave.  The remodeled bath features pedestal sink with designer faucet and shower over tub with tile surround.  The front master bedroom is spacious enough for a king bed and the closet features an innovative barn door closure.  The rear second bedroom of the same size has views of the back yard.  Laundry and storage is located in the single car garage with access to the side yard and kitchen.  The front yard includes well manicured lawn, trees and shrubs.  The large back yard is perfect for family enjoyment and entertaining.  From the new patio wander through the tree-lined path to a rear entertainment or lounging deck.  A perfect retreat from the hustle and bustle of the day.  Storage sheds provide space for garden and yard equipment. The home is convenient to Bridgepoint shopping, Hillsdale Mall, Highways 101 and 92, and the San Mateo Bridge.  Employees of the new Coyote Point Facebook Campus will find an easy commute without driving on the freeway.

ml81740153 | 2069 Shoreview Ave, San Mateo Ca

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Shoreview Home Information  |  PHOTOS of Shoreview on Facebook

 

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.

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.
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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.

Why You Should Check Your Credit Score Before Buying A Home

Here’s how your credit score affects the home buying process.

While there’s no strict credit score minimum to get a mortgage and buy a home, there are guidelines most lenders follow. While your credit score is a major factor in buying a home, it’s not the only one. Lenders also consider your employment history, income, and current debts.

And, since credit scores fluctuate, following good credit practices can increase your score and help you get a mortgage or lower rate in the future.

Most first time home buyers are looking to understand how the credit process works. A good credit score can mean the difference between qualifying for a mortgage loan and having your application rejected.

It is important to understand what your credit score means, and how it is calculated. These factors directly influence your eligibility for a mortgage, in addition to your interest rate. Even if you qualify for a mortgage, a lower credit score means you’ll likely be stuck with a higher interest rate. And that high-interest rate will cost you more over the lifetime of the loan.

How does your credit score factor into buying a home?

To understand how your credit score factors into home buying, you first need to understand the credit score basics. You’ve probably heard the phrase “FICO score” in credit card commercials, but here’s what it really is. FICO (which stands for Fair Isaac Corporation) is one of the most common credit scores. It’s used by banks and other financial institutions to determine your creditworthiness.

So, what makes you worthy? The bank needs to believe you’ll pay back your mortgage loan, and that FICO score helps them decide whether or not you’re a risk.

For them, the higher the credit score, = the lower the risk, which means that you’ll enjoy lower interest rates. And, for those with lower credit scores, the opposite is true. Your credit score plays a huge role in determining whether a bank believes you a risk to pay back the mortgage loan or not. If you are deemed a lower risk (because you have a higher credit score), then you will have a lower interest rate and pay less for the loan. But if you have a lower credit score, the opposite will be true.

Factors that affect a Credit Report

FICO scores use several different factors from your credit report. This information comes from the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion), and it is used to assemble a score ranging from 300-850. Here are the factors that go into your credit score:

· New credit 10%
· Types of credit 10%
· Length of credit history 15%
· Amount owed (30%)
· Payment history (35%)

What credit score is needed to buy a house?

Your credit score plays a big role in your mortgage application, but it is important to remember that it isn’t the only factor. Financial institutions will also consider factors such as your employment history, your current debts, your income, the size of the loan you are asking for, and the total amount you are willing to offer in a down payment.

There are no hard lines when it comes to a minimum credit score. Instead of an exact answer on what is the right credit score to buy a house, most financial advisors use guidelines for home buyers. The guidelines help home buyers to determine if they are on the lower limits of an acceptable credit score or not. Here are a few credit score guidelines for the most common types of home loans:

Loan Types

When does your credit get checked in the home buying process?

When does your credit get checked in the home buying process? Well, once you send in your credit application to a lender, they are going to check your credit score. It is one of the first things they will do to determine whether you are eligible for a mortgage. If your credit score is too low for a particular lender, then they’ll use it to weed out your application before they go further and check things like your income and employment history.

Check your credit score for free by asking any of the three major credit bureaus (Experian, TransUnion, Equifax) for your credit report. Your credit report won’t just include your credit score — it will also include all of the factors that led to the final number. So you’ll be able to look and see if an account you forgot to pay, or a high credit utilization is dragging down your score. If your credit score isn’t as high as you’d like, don’t fret. You might not qualify for a mortgage right away, or you might not get the interest rate that you want right off the bat. But you can improve your credit score over time.

Types of home loans

Not all mortgages are made alike. There are several different types of home loans, and they have key differences. Here are the most common types of mortgages available on the market:

· Conventional loans
This is the most typical option — two-thirds of mortgages are conventional loans. Unlike FHA and VA loans, these loans aren’t backed by the government. Lenders will generally ask for a 20% down payment. If you can’t make that amount, you can pay as little as 5%. But going with a down payment under 20% means that you will have to pay for private mortgage insurance, which can be expensive. These loans typically have a 620 minimum credit score.

· FHA loans
FHA loans are a are a valuable option for those with lower credit scores, as the minimum score for an FHA loan can be as low as 580. FHA loans also allow homebuyers to put down as little as 3.5%. Still, you’ll need to pay PMI if you decide to put down less than 20%, similar to a conventional loan.

· VA loans
VA loans are limited to veterans and current members of the US armed forces. They are especially attractive because home buyers seeking this type of loan can put as little as 0%. In addition, there is no PMI penalty for putting down less than 20%. VA loans are backed by the federal government, and lenders are not required to use a minimum credit score.

Is there a risk in having your credit checked multiple times during the application process?

When you apply for a mortgage, the credit check is listed on your credit report as an inquiry. That means that you are looking at taking on new debt. A credit inquiry will have a small negative impact on your overall score, but there isn’t much you can do about it.

You should also know that shopping around for a mortgage isn’t going to harm your score. If you have multiple credit checks from mortgage lenders within a 45-day period, it will be reported as a single inquiry. You can shop around by completing mortgage applications, getting a preapproval, or getting an official loan estimate.

Other types of credit applications can also have a negative impact on your credit score. Applications for credit cards, car loans, student loans, personal loans, and business loans can also result in an inquiry on your credit report that lowers your score. If you are considering shopping around for a mortgage, then you want to make sure that you avoid applying for a car loan, credit card, or another type of debt so that a new inquiry doesn’t push down your credit score.

The difference between a hard and a soft check

There is a difference between the types of inquiries that get listed on your credit report. Inquiries are separated into two categories: hard and soft.
Hard inquiries occur when a lender uses your credit report to make a decision on whether or not they will provide you with credit. Credit card applications, car loan applications, and mortgage applications are all forms of hard inquiries.

Soft inquiries occur when a credit card company checks your credit to pre approve you for a new credit card or when you check your own credit online. Soft inquiries aren’t listed on your credit report and they don’t impact your overall credit score.

How to improve your credit score

If your credit score isn’t where you want it to be, don’t get frustrated. You can improve your credit score over time. The first thing you should look at doing is lowering your credit card balances. Your card utilization rate plays a factor in your overall score. You’ll also want to make sure that you pay any unpaid debts as well as paying your bills on time. By paying off old accounts and keeping your new ones in good standing, your credit score will rise over time. You should also avoid taking out new lines of credit if you don’t have to. If you are making multiple applications for lines of credit, lenders will think that you are strapped for cash.

It will likely take months, at the earliest, to have a dramatic positive impact on your credit score. But following good credit practices, you can improve your score and put yourself in position to qualify for a mortgage or get a better rate.

 

I read this article at: Open Listings

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.

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.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

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

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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

Testimonial of the Day – From Ashley

 “Sabrina and Susan of Berkshire Hathaway, were the perfect real estate agents for me. As a first-time buyer, I had very little knowledge of how the process of purchasing a home actually worked. They are friendly, approachable, patient, strategic and persistent. Sabrina maintained great communication throughout the entire experience. They always got back to me quickly and they were willing to meet or discuss potential condos that I selected as potential buys. She even recommended a lending agent in the area, which I ended up using. Without them edging me along, I’m fairly certain I would have given up, thinking this whole “buying a house” ordeal was not for me. It’s simply too difficult for a working person to complete on their own.

Now that I have purchased my condo, I’m happy to see that Sabrina is still involved. She has collected my new keys and mail, answered my escrow questions and will do the final walk through. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend or use them again.”

– Ashley

Working with Ashley was a true joy.  The Caton Team loves working with first time home buyers.  Contact us for a consultation if you’re considering buying or selling real estate.

To read all our testimonials visit The Caton Team Testimonials and Yelp!

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.

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.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call | Text at: 650-799-4333

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

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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

How to apply for a mortgage: Your 4-step guide.

Applying for a home loan is the first step to take when getting serious about buying a home. It will help you understand how much house you truly can afford. Get ready for the application process by gathering your financial info, finding a lender to work with, and getting pre-approved. You can always shop around and pick another lender once you get an accepted offer.

Mortgage loan pre-approval means approaching a lender with financial, credit, debt, and other information that will help them determine if you qualify for a loan at a certain amount.

There are four essential steps involved with mortgage pre-approval:

  1. Gather financial information
  2. Select a lender
  3. Get a mortgage pre-approval
  4. Close on your home

This article will give you an idea of how to get pre-approved for a mortgage and why pre-approval is important for buying a home.

 

How to get pre-approved for a home loan

Step 1: Gather financial information

Before heading to your lender’s office, gather and prepare the following financial information:

Credit Information: Your credit score and reports will determine the size of loan you may qualify for and the type of financing plan you will be offered. For example, a borrower with a credit score below 740 will usually have a higher interest rate associated with their loan. A borrower with a score below 580 will usually have to put down a higher down payment.

Pro Tip: Check your credit score for free with credit.com.

Debt Information: Gather and prepare any of your debt obligations. This includes student loans automobile loans, and credit card payments.

Pro Tip: If you have a significant amount of debt, the amount that you’re pre-approved will likely be smaller or rejected. Before applying for your pre-approved mortgage, try paying off your debts and minimize the number of new debts you take on.

Income Information: Gather and prepare income information from the previous two years. This includes tax returns, W-9s, pay stubs, and additional income information (from second jobs, overtime pay, social security payments, alimony or child support payments, etc.).

Asset Information: Asset information refers to assets you own other than your income. This involves gathering bank statements, property statements, investment information, and money received by family members.

Personal Information: Bring a personal ID such as a driver’s license or passport and your social security number to your lender’s office.

Employment Information: This includes your proof of employment and the length of time you’ve been with your employer.

Budget Information: Before going to see a lender, determine your budget for buying a new home.

Pro Tip: Your total housing payment budget should not exceed 35% of your pre-tax income. The ideal percentage is 25% of your pre-tax income.

Step 2: Select a lender to work with

There are two types of lenders you can work with (1) big lenders (aka the bank) or (2) small lenders (aka small, community banks or small mortgage lenders).

There are pros and cons associated with each type of lender:

Pros of big lenders:

  • Security: You can trust that big banks will protect your sensitive information as it’s a crucial part of their reputation.
  • Customer support: Banks usually offer 24/7 customer support.
  • Availability: Making an appointment for a loan will be easier with big banks as they have a larger number of loan officers available.

Cons of big lenders:

  • Rates: The rates of the big banks are usually higher than the rates at small loan offices.
  • Approval: Banks have a specific ‘credit model’ that they like to use as a guideline for approving people looking for loans. You may have a hard time being approved for a loan by a big bank if you don’t fit this ‘credit model.’

Pros of small lenders:

  • Rates: Small lenders tend to have better rates than the big banks. Furthermore, smaller lenders generally let their customers exit early. In other words, small lenders allow their customers to pay off their mortgage early and either sell their house or find a better mortgage.
  • Approval: Small lenders will generally approve loans to freelance workers, property investors, or someone who doesn’t fit the bank’s credit model.
  • Customer Service: Small lenders provide more personalized customer service and usually have faster response times.
  • Specialized Financing: Smaller lenders offer more specialized financing options than big banks. For example, if you’re looking for a small mortgage, most big banks won’t accept your application because it’s not worth their time. The smaller lender, however, will be happy to work with you.

Cons of small lenders:

  • Vulnerability: Due to their size, small lenders are more sensitive to market fluctuations.
  • Availability: Smaller lenders may not have as many available lenders as the big banks.

Should I get pre-approved by multiple financial institutions to compare rates?

  • Yes, because you can still shop rates before locking into a rate and accepting an offer. Research different lender’s reputation, search for their past clients, read their online reviews, and give them a call to get a ‘feel’ of whether or not you want to work with them.

Step 3: Get pre-approved

Most first-time home buyers are confused about the pre-approval process. So, to clear things up, we answer “how to get pre-approved for a mortgage” and the 6 other common questions first-time home buyers ask about mortgage pre-approval:

1. How do I get pre-approved for a mortgage?

  • Gather Documents: Gather the necessary documents (as listed in step 1).
  • Organize Documents: Create a Google Drive or Dropbox where you can organize all information in one, easily-accessible place.
  • Contact a Lender: Call, go online or visit a loan office/bank. The loan officer will review your documents and give you a preliminary estimate of how much house you can afford, your monthly mortgage payments, and mortgage interest rate.
  • Find out if you’ve been pre-approved: You will receive a pre-approval letter that secures your interest rates for the next 90-120 days (more on this below). On the other hand, your lender will notify you that you have not been pre-approved.

2. Why get pre-approved for a mortgage?

Benefits of Pre-Approvals:

  • Accurate: The best pre-approvals will give you an accurate idea of how much house you can afford. Furthermore, you’ll get an idea of your monthly mortgage payments and your short-term mortgage interest rates.
  • Protection: When you apply for a mortgage pre-approval, there is usually a 90-120 day protection against rising rates. In other words, pre-approvals lock-in interest rates and allow you to search for a home without worrying about interest rates increasing significantly.
  • Trustworthy: A pre-approved mortgage signals to sellers and real estate agents that you’re serious about buying a home.
  • Advantage: A pre-approved mortgage may be the deciding factor between you getting a home over another home buyer.
  • Free: Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is free, and there is no obligation to use the lender that pre-approved your mortgage.

3. What is the difference between pre-qualification and pre-approval?

  • Pre-qualification: During the pre-qualification stage of securing a mortgage, a lender will interview you to determine your income, expenses, and assets. The purpose of getting pre-qualified is to give you a rough estimate of how much house you can afford.
  • Pre-approval: During the pre-approval stage of securing a mortgage a lender will look through your income, expenses, and asset more thoroughly. A pre-approval is a more concrete estimate of how much house you can afford.

4. What if I don’t get pre-approved for a loan? Now what?

If you don’t get pre-approved for a loan, your lender can tell you why you were rejected. Lenders can also offer advice of how to get approved in the future.

For example, you may have to:

  • Build Credit: If bad credit was the reason you aren’t pre-approved, then pay off your credit cards and try not to miss your debt payments for the next 6-12 months.
  • Build Savings: Lenders usually want to see a significant amount of cash reserve in your savings account. Again, pay off your debts and try to save some money before applying for a pre-approval again.
  • Build Income: If your lender says that you don’t make enough income for a certain loan amount, either try applying for a smaller loan or, if you’re married, ask for a joint-loan with your spouse.
  • Build Employment History: Usually, lenders don’t like to see inconsistencies in employment history. Wait until you’ve been at the same job for two years before applying for a loan.

5. Does pre-approval guarantee a loan?
Pre-approval does not guarantee a loan. It is only a review of your qualifications for how much you might be able to borrow.

A buyer receives their pre-approval letters, searches for their dream home within their pre-approved amount, has their offer and financial structure accepted by the sellers, and then submits their proposal to the lender.

The lender then reviews the proposal, the buyer’s finance details, and the details of the property. If everything goes smoothly (i.e., the home doesn’t look like a money pit), the buyer will be approved for a mortgage.

However, the pre-approval letter alone does not guarantee a mortgage.

6. How long does it take to get pre-approved for a mortgage?

Depending on who you’re working with, you can get pre-approved for a mortgage in minutes. Sometimes all it takes is a phone call.

7. What impact (if any) will this have on my credit?

The short answer here is that it depends.

As mentioned above, lenders will look at your credit score and history to determine if you’ll be pre-approved. These are called credit report inquiries.

First-time home buyers usually don’t have to worry about inquires damaging their credit score. However, the more inquires your credit history shows, the more it can damage your credit score.

Inquires hurt your score because it shows lenders that you could be doing something with your credit that puts you at risk.

Step 4: Close on your home

Once you’re pre-approved for a mortgage, you can start the process of searching for a home, within your pre-approved amount.

The process of closing your home looks like this:
1. Application: The mortgage application involves submitting the documents outlined in step 1.

Time it takes: 1 day

2. Loan estimate: The lender analyzes your financial information and produces a loan estimate. A loan estimate describes the details of your loan including the terms and the predicted costs associated with your loan.

The loan estimate does not tell you if you have been approved for a loan. It simply estimates what your loan would look like if you’re approved and will help you determine if you would like to move forward with the mortgage application process.

Time it takes: The law states that you must receive your loan estimate 3 days after submitting your mortgage application.

3. Open a file: Your file is submitted to a loan processor who analyzes your financial documentation and property information. The loan processor places all this information into a loan package that is to be submitted to the underwriter.

Time it takes: 1 day

4. Loan underwriting: An underwriter analyzes your loan to determine the risk of approving your mortgage. Essentially, the underwriter is the key-decision maker and determines if you’re a good candidate for a loan based on the likelihood of you paying your mortgage each month.

The duties of an underwriter:

A. Assess: The underwriter assesses your risk by verifying that your credit, debt, income, and savings information is true. For example, they may call your employer to confirm that you do in fact work x amount of hours and are paid x amount of dollars.

B. Appraise: This is where the underwriter determines if your desired property’s price is comparable to the prices of similar properties. The purpose of the appraisal is to determine if the money you would like to borrow matches the value of the home you would like to purchase. If the appraisal is less than the loan amount, the underwriter will usually disapprove the mortgage or suggest another loan amount.

C. Approve or reject: The underwriter considers all this information and then approves or rejects your loan application.

Time it takes: 1-7 days

Pro Tip: The underwriting process generally takes longer and requires more documentation if you’re self-employed.

5. Mortgage Commitment: If the underwriter approves your loan, you are officially locked-into an interest rate.

Time it takes: 2-4 days

6. Closing: This is the step in the home-buying process where you sign all the necessary documents to own the home officially.

 

I read this article at: Open Listings

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.

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.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

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

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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

In the home stretch: what you need to know about house permits

Navigating the waters of building permits is no fun. As a buyer, it’s crucial to know whether the home you’re purchasing includes permitted work. If not, it’s even more vital to figure out what risks you could face going forward and how you should go about remedying the issue.

In an effort to help you sort this issue out once and for all, we took the liberty of answering some of your biggest permitting questions so you’ll have a much better sense of where your responsibility lies.

Q: How do you know if a space is permitted?

Luckily, building permits are public information. That means that anyone can access them at any time, including potential buyers.

If you’re interested in a home that features some substantial improvements and want to make sure that the work was done to code, your best bet is to check in with your local government. If permits were pulled at the time the work was done, they’ll be on file with the building and zoning department. Alternatively, some municipalities may also offer the option to check public records online.

Q: What does it meant to have unpermitted work?

Accepting a home with unpermitted work — or choosing not to pull permits on your own home improvements — essentially means that you’re taking a risk. Building permits are put in place for your safety. They’re an assurance that the work was done by a professional who adhered to current safety codes. Unpermitted work is unregulated. While it may be just fine, there’s also a chance that the work was done improperly.

Aside from the structural risks to accepting unpermitted work, there’s a financial component to consider as well. Most homeowners insurance companies will not cover unpermitted features, meaning that if you ever have to submit a claim that includes the unpermitted area, it could get denied.

Additionally, you could face penalties on a local level. If your municipality finds out about the work, they could issue a fine or even demand you get rid of the feature entirely. In the event that your future home includes unpermitted square footage, you could be subject to back taxes on the added space.

Q: How can I get permits for work done on the property?

Fortunately, there are ways to pull permits, even if you’re not the one responsible for the improvement in the first place. Again, this can be done by getting in touch with your local building and zoning office. If you’re working with a licensed contractor, he or she will likely take care of this step for you.

However, getting a permit is not always the easiest process, which is why many homeowners decide to risk going without one.

Though the exact steps you need to take will vary, depending on where you live, there are a few similarities.

Usually, the process will involve paying a fee, submitting the plans for your project to be approved, and having inspections done during and after construction to ensure the work is done to code.

Be aware that these steps have a tendency to slow down construction considerably.

Additionally, if part or all of the project fails inspection, the necessary changes will have to be made at your expense. That said, most buyers find it’s better to be safe than sorry.

Q: Which home improvements require permits?

This question is tough to answer. Since permits are handled at a municipal level, there can be a huge amount of variance in what’s required. You’ll need to call your local building and zoning office for specifics.

However, as a general rule of thumb, any new additions to the property need to be permitted. For example, increasing the square footage, adding another bathroom, or putting a deck on the backyard. Anything that requires a specific skill set — such as redoing extensive amounts of electrical wiring — may also be subject to permitting.

Q: Will permits affect my financing ability?

That depends. While unpermitted work is often accepted by mortgage companies, the work itself will need to meet certain qualifying standards. Those standards will vary, depending on the type of financing you’re using.

The final determination is usually made by the appraiser. VA loans and conventional loans tend to have the loosest requirements. Often, as long as the work done doesn’t change the building’s zoning and is done to a “workmanlike standard,” it can be given a pass. FHA loans feature additional regulations on whether or not the work done significantly changes the property value and, strictest of all, USDA loans do not allow for unpermitted additions.

If you find that a property you’re interested in includes unpermitted work, your best bet is to talk it over with your loan officer. He or she can help you determine the specific guidelines in your loan program and assist in figuring out the best next steps.

I read this article at: Open Listings

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.

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.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

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

The Caton Team Website

The Caton Team Advantage

How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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

Testimonial of the Day – From Kenny

 

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“Sabrina and team are fantastic.  Responsive, honest, transparent and efficient.  She’s also well-connected in the real estate community on the peninsula – whether buying or selling, you can’t ask for better representation.  I highly recommned her!”

– Kenny H.

We had the pleasure of meeting Kenny through our clients.  I assure you he is one of the best lenders I’ve met and he quickly made it to our top lender list!  I was humbled to hear how highly he thought of us and thrilled to find this fantastic Yelp review.  Thank you Kenny – we think you’re fantastic as well.

Looking for a great lender – contact The Caton Team for a personal introduction!

To read all our testimonials visit The Caton Team Testimonials and Yelp!

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.

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.

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call | Text at: 650-799-4333

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 | The Caton Team Website |The Caton Team Advantage |How to Buy While Selling Real Estate

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

Visit us at:  Our Blog * TheCatonTeam.com * Facebook * Instagram * HomeSnap* Pintrest * LinkedIN Sabrina * LinkedIN Susan

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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