First-time home buyers finding options

Posted by at 4:06 pm

According to a study by the National Association of Realtors, more than 70 percent of non-cash, first-time home buyers – and 54 percent of all buyers – made down payments of less than 20 percent over the last five years.

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Freeze and thaw credit report for secure home buy

Posted by at 12:35 pm

In response to many high-profile data heists over the last decade, many people now choose to lock up access to their credit history with a PIN-controlled “credit report freeze.” Once widely considered the province of the paranoid, personal digital security is now the calling card of the credit savvy. After a 2017 breach at Equifax exposed the information of 500 million people, the federal government passed legislation requiring all three credit bureaus to allow people to freeze their credit reports quickly. Credit reporting agencies must respond to online or phoned-in freeze requests within one business day (they get three days for snail mail). A freeze effectively closes access to your credit report, and since new credit can’t be issued without a credit check, hackers theoretically can’t get it for their own nefarious purposes, either. This is a great new piece...
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Cash-out refi can be a financial solution

Posted by at 8:05 am

Do you need money to pay off student loans, cover bills and expenses, or start a new business? With homes prices skyrocketing across the nation the last few years, maybe you are one of the many homeowners who could tap your increased home equity for a significant sum through a cash-out refinance. At Bay Equity Home Loans, our experienced loan officers can help you figure out if refinancing your current mortgage makes good financial sense. Home equity is the difference between a home’s fair market value and the outstanding balance of all liens on the property. It all comes down to how much your home is worth, your current mortgage balance and how much you want to borrow. Say you paid $200,000 for your house. You’ve been in the home for a while and have paid the principal down to...
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January 11th, 2019

Saving for retirement takes careful planning

Posted by at 12:12 pm

Remember the story of the grasshopper and the ant? In times of plenty, the grasshopper played and played, while the ant stashed and stored for the hard winter ahead. When it comes to retirement, you should be thinking like an ant, not a grasshopper. In 2018, long-stagnant wages are finally on the rise, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Earnings are up more than 83 cents an hour year-over-year, the largest such increase since 2009. The human – and grasshopper –  response to extra money in a paycheck is an accompanying increase in personal spending. Instead, experts recommend small sacrifices today to set up a better tomorrow. While everyone has at least some degree of control over income, they have a great deal of control over spending. Top areas of compromise are: Driving older vehicles Taking fewer and less...
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A New Year’s path to homeownership

Posted by at 12:44 pm

The New Year always begins with New Year’s resolutions – with a list nearly always topped by getting fit (i.e. giving up fatty food, alcohol or smoking), getting organized or taking better care of finances. Our Bay Equity Loan Officers are experts in helping customers make a similar list of resolutions. Let us help you make it a happy New Homeowner’s Year, too. Ready to get started? Credit Check:  Good credit is key to getting a mortgage but it takes discipline and planning. First, find out what your score is. Pay bills on time, and work to improve your credit establish it independently by opening up checking/savings accounts and using credit cards carefully. How much? Figure out how much you can spend with a handy mortgage calculator. Don’t forget to consider closing costs, ongoing maintenance and insurance, too. Experts recommend...
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December 15th, 2018

HUD announces new FHA loan limits for 2019

Posted by at 2:10 pm

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) is raising loan limits for most of the country in 2019. The FHA’s loan limit ceiling is increasing in more than 3,000 counties, with the loan limit in high-cost areas increasing to $726,525 from $679,650. FHA will also increase its floor to $314,827 from $294,515. Single-family forward loans are limited to 115% of median house prices, subject to a floor and a ceiling. FHA also set its maximum loan limit ‘ceiling’ for high-cost areas at 150% ($726,525) of the national conforming limit. Click here to see county-by-county limits and read the FHA letter to mortgagees...
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December 10th, 2018

The X Factor

Posted by at 10:46 am

Young homeowners who scuffled through the economic strife of the Housing Crash appear now to be reaping the spoils of their resilience. According to the Pew Research Center, Generation X (born 1965-1980) homeowners have seen their home equity nearly double since 2010.. In the same timeframe, Gen X household wealth has risen by 115 percent, surpassing 2007 levels. Baby Boomers (born 1950 to 1964) and the Silent Generation (born 1935 to 1949) have yet to recover their pre-crisis wealth levels. Members of Generation X were hit disproportionately hard by the Housing Crisis. At the time, most were in their late 20s – a sort of first-time homebuyer “sweet spot.” Credit access was running like water. They were excited at their prospects and starting to build a little equity. Just as things were looking up, several concurrent financial calamities resulted in...
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Conforming loan limits set to rise again in 2019

Posted by at 10:57 am

Due to generally rising home prices, the Federal Housing Finance Agency will increase conforming loan limits in 2019 for mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It’s the third straight year with an increase after nearly a decade without a change. Limits will rise to $484,350 from $453,100 in all but 47 counties in the U.S., an increase of 6.9%. Loan limits will also be increasing in what the FHFA calls “high-cost areas,” where median home prices are more than 115% of the baseline cost. Most of the high-cost counties in CA, CO, MA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, TN, UT, VA, WA and the District of Columbia will have a ceiling of $726,525, which is 150% of $484,350. In Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the baseline loan limit will be $726,525 for one-unit properties. For a county-by-county...
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Water Floods Future Real Estate Concerns

Posted by at 10:18 am

The construction and ongoing maintenance of utilities, roads and other infrastructure is essential to meeting the growing housing need in the 21st Century. First among these needs is ensuring the availability of usable water, especially in drought-stricken parts of the Southwest and West already dealing with supply issues. In May, California became the first state in the nation to pass laws permanently limiting indoor water use: 55 gallons per person per day by 2022, gradually dropping to 50 gallons by 2030. The Department of Water Resources says it will recommend standards for outdoor use by October 2021. Water districts who fail the to meet the goals face fines of up to $10,000. Officials say they put the onus on providers to motivate cleaning up overall system problems. Estimates say up to 30 percent of urban water loss comes from supplier...
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Housing taking a peak?

Posted by at 11:02 am

After rapid acceleration for most of the past two years, home prices in many parts of the country are slowing as interest rates rise and inventory in some markets increases. Evidence that the market is cooling can be seen in price drops. In October, 31.3 percent of homes for sale had at least one price drop of more than 1 percent after listing, 6.3 percent higher than last October’s level of 25 percent. Ten years after the financial crisis, the notion of a housing “peak” – which would naturally be followed by a downturn – seems downright spooky. Is it time to start talking about a “housing bubble?” Most economists say no. Historically, price crashes are usually caused by over-supply. In contrast, the present moment is probably a simple “cycle top” – the kind of correction normal in any consumer...
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