Zero down home loans are not as popular as they were five years ago but they are still around. Lenders have gotten a lot more strict when it comes to qualifications and eligibility, so buyer that comes along wanting a zero down home loan does not look too attractive to potential underwriters. Having additional funds, reserve funds and a down payment is much more attractive and may offer lower interest rates and better terms. [Read more…]
I get this question all of the time because buyers think that if they have an all cash offer they can naturally offer less for the home. But is this a wise move?
It all comes down to the house you’re buying, the current market conditions, and the seller. Let’s go over some scenarios where it would be appropriate to offer less in a cash situation and other situations where you shouldn’t even consider offering a penny less than full asking price.
Consider the sellers net. This is the amount the seller is going to walk away from. This is also where your buyer’s agent and the listing agent need to come together to negotiate the best price. If the seller is already at their lowest possible price that they can go and walk away either breaking even or with barely any net profit, you probably will not get accepted on a lower-priced offer regardless of whether it’s cash or not. Sellers don’t want to bring money to the table; they want to walk away with a profit.
You also have to consider the market. In the Tri-Valley area, there are micro markets throughout Pleasanton, San Ramon, and Livermore. Within those cities, there are even smaller micro-markets where the real estate industry is doing very well and other areas where homes take longer to sell. It’s going to depend on the house that you are buying, the net profit, and what the market is doing in that particular community or neighborhood.
If the home is in a popular neighborhood where homes sell within a week or two, you probably can’t offer much less than the asking price if any discount at all. You may also need to increase your price in a hot market. You will have plenty of competition and if there are other cash buyers in your area, coming in with a lower price than your closest competition will get your offer thrown out.
Read More: What is the New SB800 Home Warranty?
Alternatively, if you are buying a home in the neighborhood or community where the properties don’t move as quickly, it will depend on how long the house is on the market and if it has been already reduced. You may have a little bit of negotiating power when it comes to cash in these types of markets. Again, talk to your buyer’s agent about the net profit for the seller and if they can even afford to go any lower.
Terms also matter. When presenting a cash offer the terms will also be either attractive or unattractive. If you’re offering a quick closing, no contingencies, a high earnest money deposit and you’re not lowballing the seller too much, your offer may be considered. Plus, if there are no other offers on the table, regardless of whether it’s cash or a finance offer, you might be more likely to get an accepted offer.
What about a short sale or foreclosure?
If you’re offering cash, this is very attractive to banks, which hold power to accept or decline the offer. Even though you offer less with cash doesn’t mean it will naturally be accepted. Banks will typically respond faster, however, if you’re offering cash. The lender or the bank will need to evaluate their net profit as well to see if they can walk away with as much as possible or as little loss as possible.
[Read More: Should You Always Pay Cash if You Can?]
It also will come down to the condition of the house. If the seller has chosen to list the house as-is, and it is in great need of repair or upkeep, it seems reasonable to offer a lower price if the market does not support its current asking price. This is where a qualified, knowledgeable and experienced real estate agent comes into play. Only professional real estate broker or agent will be able to tell you if the home is priced appropriately as is or if a low price offer would be an acceptable move.
So, you can see that there are a lot of different factors when it comes to offering a lower than the asking price if you have all-cash. Using a real estate agent to find you the best home and off of the best advice when it comes to negotiations and offer is really the key to getting the price you want on a home you love.
While it is a well-known fact that there are a million and one questions when it comes to buying a home, the truth remains that we might not fully be aware of what those questions truly are. Of course the list of possible questions is longer than any of us care to read, however, we are left wondering what questions are the most common and the most likely to be asked. With the chaos and unavoidable stress that comes with buying a home, unfortunately even the simplest and most common questions can sometimes get missed. Whether you are selling your home and are hoping to get an idea of what questions you should be prepared to answer, or you are searching to purchase a home and want to be sure to hit the nail on the head, here are a few common questions to keep in mind.
What Can I Afford: If this isn’t a loaded question then I don’t know what is. There are multiple factors to look at when you are budgeting for a home. While we would like to believe we can spend our full income on our homes that isn’t necessarily the case. With recurring payments on vehicles, daycare bills, medical bills, household utilities, prior obligations, and more you need to make sure you are deducting your allotted funds from your income to get a true and accurate idea of where your budget truly lies. There are many different home calculators available online that will even factor in your revolving debts for you!
When Can I Make an Offer and How Many Homes Should I see First: Sometimes it is hard to know when you can and/or should make an offer. The best answer to these questions is simple; it’s completely up to you! While it is unlikely that homebuyers tour one home and immediately make an offer it is definitely possible. Whether you tour one home or twenty homes, putting an offer in is something that ultimately you should be comfortable with. After all, it will be your home and nobody else’s.
When Do I/We Get Keys: The closing process can often be a long waiting game. While the closing process varies depending on the state of the home, inspections, banks, etc. the average time to wait for a home to close after your offer has been accepted is generally 30-45 days.
What is Fair: We all like to save our finances when possible which can leave us wondering what a fair offer could be. Generally speaking, taking 5% off the asking price of the home is an offer than typically won’t cause any havoc. By offering anything below that you could be offending the homeowners and find yourself in quite the pickle.
Can I sell my Home while Buying a New One: While the answer to this question is yes, you need to be aware that this process is not an easy one. There are many different factors that make the equation of selling and buying a tricky one. The main thing to understand when selling your home is that the timing might now work in your favor either leaving you homeless for a certain amount of time before your new home closes, or stuck with a home that hasn’t sold and being solely responsible for two mortgages. Ask your realtor for more information!
Is a Home Inspection Needed: While we may not see the need for an inspection it could save your butt in the long run. An inspector will look at any underlying problems that we wouldn’t be able to see with the naked eye. Checking things like the roof, electrical systems, heating and air, plumbing and more you can save yourself a pretty penny by foreseeing any issues that could potentially arise in the future. This also allows you to negotiate sale price with the seller should there be any problems.
I Changed my Mind, Can I Back Out: This is common don’t panic. Sometimes we are so caught up in the moment that we don’t realize we put an offer in on a home that might not be the right fit for us. Luckily you are able to back out at any point during the home buying process. The only downfall to this is the possibility is losing your earnest money. Of course, if there is a valid reason to why you are backing out your earnest money will be refunded.
While the questions could continue on until we’ve written a novel with multiple volumes, these common questions are the ones that many people focus on or want and need answered. If you have any further questions regarding either buying or selling a home discuss them with your realtor.
If 2017 is the year you are going to be a homeowner or perhaps you’re going to sell your house and purchase a new one, start now before you’re even looking at any homes.
Let’s start with first-time homebuyers; if you’ve never purchased a property before but you’re tired of renting in 2017 is your year to be a homeowner, start now, immediately, by saving up some money and getting your credit in good condition. [Read more…]
Protecting Your Credit Score
Your credit score; that magical little number that tells lenders how big of a risk you are when they take you on as a borrower. It can literally mean the difference of getting a loan or not. Your credit score can also affect your interest rate and how much you’ll be paying monthly in a mortgage payment or any type of loan. You’ll want to protect your credit score and increase it if possible and here are some ways to do that.
Sarn Ramon is a great place to call home and as the Tri-Valley area grows more and more new communities pop up all the time. Finding a home may be easy; finding the right home is the tricky part. I want to make your home-buying experience something to remember – in a good way, of course. I am a dedicated buyer’s agent in the Tri-Valley area helping folks find the right home at the right price on their own terms. [Read more…]
Baby Boomers are Buying in California’s Tri-Valley area more and more.
Good idea or scary move?
It all depends on where you are in life, financially and physically. Should you downsize or invest? Move out or move up? These can be a lot of scary questions as baby boomers hit their retirement age. You may have made a lot of money over the past 30 years but with the drop in home prices over the last 8 years you may have lost a lot of it too. So where does that leave real estate investments today?
Many baby boomers have actually been delaying retirement for the basic fact that selling and downsizing just isn’t an option. They may owe more than the home is worth and this keeps them hanging onto it until it bounces back. Well, it has. Maybe not with the vengeance some would like but stronger certainly than we have seen in the past 4 years. The number of existing homes sold is up about 8% nationwide according to the S&P and prices have reached over 12% higher than they were this time last year. So now baby boomers are toying with the idea of selling or renting out and downsizing. Which is the best option and which makes the most sense financially? – How to Choose the Right Lender
[Related Post: Do Tiny Homes Make Good Retirement options?]
Generally speaking, we know it’s better to own than rent but that’s usually if you are going to stay in your home more than 5 years. Is that something baby boomers want to consider at this time? It all comes down to ease of living which has many implications as far as maintenance, finances and responsibility. If age 65 is no longer the retirement age, keeping a home or investing in new real estate may be well within the realm of possibility for baby boomers. Buying a new home is sometimes a strain on the cash flow, not just in the down payment but in monthly taxes, insurance, fees and the mortgage payment. Even if buyers plan on paying cash, they must consider the inevitable costs associated with owning real estate. One smart plan may be to buy a good rental investment, live in it for a while, and then rent it out when you are ready to move on. The equity remains and collects while the retirees are off enjoying the freedom.
So what makes the most sense for you? It really comes down to all the many variables associated with your specific retirement plan. I would love to talk to you about the options that might work when it comes to real estate in San Ramon, Pleasanton, Danville or Dublin. Call me today and let’s talk.
When it comes time to shopping for a mortgage, I would strongly encourage you to start with a local and trusted lender. – Jonathan Fox – Washington Post
You can’t get any clearer than that.Big business, large corporations, and big banks have been selling and buying mortgages for decades but when it comes to the individual homebuyer, going local, and going personal is always best.
It’s surprising how little value many homeowners, especially first-time homeowners, put into shopping around for the best home loan. They should be just as careful about this process as they are the home itself. However, many people simply go with whomever the real estate agent suggested or the local bank. While this might work out just fine, you can really benefit from shopping around for the best loan, the best rate, and the best terms. These really do change and you want to make sure that the lender knows you are shopping around. People get competitive when they know that they have others to compete against.
Terms, interest rates and details of a mortgage loan are not always set in stone. You would be surprised at what you can actually negotiate with. Everything is important when it comes to dealing with contracts including inspections, timelines and of course who you are dealing with.
Mortgages in today’s society are getting easier but we still need to be cautious about applying for the right home loan and only applying for a mortgage we can actually afford. In order to avoid a housing bubble burst, living within our means is really the key to maintaining our home and living comfortably with the mortgage we have.
Large banks, credit unions, and even hometown banks can be a great partner in managing basic financial details such as your checking and savings accounts or even credit cards. But when it comes to borrowing money for a large purchase such as a house, finding a mortgage officer the deal specifically with this type of loan is essential to getting the best rate.
Competitiveness also plays a big factor in getting the right loan for your needs. Shop around to a couple of different loan officers or mortgage brokers as well as your own bank or credit union. Find out what terms you can expect and different programs that different mortgage brokers can provide. Housing markets are competitive so lender should be as well.
Terms and price are not the only factors when it comes to choosing the right lender. Large banks that have multiple mortgage officers can tend to bog down the system, extending out timelines and deadlines that could cost you your home. Individual and private mortgage lenders and personal loan officers have more invested in the game, so that are more likely to pay attention to timelines and get things done in a timely fashion.
It’s Okay to shop around. Don’t worry about your credit getting hit. Having the loan officer run the numbers for you and then offer you the best plan and wait for your needs is essential to getting the right loan and saving you as much money as possible.
Feel free to give me a call as I have a lot of mortgage lenders in the Bay area and the Tri-Valley area that might work for you. Remember, shop around to get the best loan and the best deal for your needs.
Buying a house with the idea of selling it isn’t usually something most homebuyers think about when browsing properties and looking through listings. However, there are things that you might not think about as being bothersome as a homeowner but could be someone else’s nightmare when it comes time to sell. Here are five resale issues many buyers don’t think about when purchasing property.
#1. Power lines.
Myths, perceptions and superstitions carry enough weight to make a buyer back out. Power lines are one of those issues. You might not have considered power lines being a problem when you moved in but many people feel that living too close to high-voltage power lines could make them sick or even give them cancer. However, there has been no research found that supports this claim. However, perception is an issue and if people don’t like power lines, you may have a heckuva time selling your home if you live close by. You might want to consider this before purchasing a property close to high-voltage power lines.
#2. Close to a business.
This is a tricky one; studies have shown that homes close to a Starbucks or Trader Joe’s actually increase in value but being too close could have the opposite effect. Living close to a grocery store that gets its deliveries all night long could be a nightmare for people trying to sleep. Businesses can be loud and disruptive so take this into consideration when purchasing a home close to just about any type of business.
#3. New subdivisions and developments.
This again might not seem like an issue at all. Many homebuyers love brand-new properties but, they can also be a drawback if the development is still being constructed. Construction noise, construction workers, large trucks and dangerous equipment could be a drawback to many potential buyers. If you’re planning on buying and then selling within a couple of years, you might face a lot of problems, especially if the subdivision is still being developed. Many buyers will simply go to a brand-new home in the development rather than a resale home in the same neighborhood.
It’s important to consider privacy when purchasing a home and how future buyers would perceive it as well. A home that backs to a busy road or highway might be private but you also have to deal with the noise. Some buyers prefer a long, private drive but this can also have it’s issues with safety; a well-lighted neightborhood may seem much safer than a dark and quiet road.
#5. Environmental issues.
This all depends on where you are located, but things to consider would be a home in a forest it area could run the risk of forest fires or downed trees during windstorms; and exposed home with no trees and a west facing backyard that gets blisteringly hot in the summer. These are subtle features for sure, but they can be a big deal once you’ve lived there for a while.
It’s not my job to choose the home for the buyer but I do want them to know that if they purchase a home with an unchangeable adverse situation, it could potentially sell for less than similar homes. Buying with the idea of selling can help you make a wise decision not only now but for your future.
For sale by owner or FSBO, as they are often referred to, is when a homeowner decides to list and market their own home for sale instead of going through a real estate broker or agent. Most homes are listed by real estate agents under a brokerage of some type but occasionally buyers come across the for sale by owner home. This may be someone you know or just a random listing in the newspaper or drive by a sign in the front yard. You might think this is an easy way to get a home without involving real estate agents but actually, it’s the opposite of simplifying the process. Conducting a real estate transaction with people that may not know the process or the legalities, can turn into a nightmare and make you and the seller liable for certain issues.
Here are five things to know before jumping into a for sale by owner real estate transaction.
1) many homeowners will work with a buyers agent.
Even if you have your own buyer’s agent but find a for sale by owner home, the seller will typically work with the buyer’s agent so you don’t need to go behind your buyer’s agent’s back in order to complete the transaction. Talk to your agent about finding the home and let them do the negotiations for you. Often times, homeowners will pay the buyers agent a commission simply for helping facilitate the transaction.
2) Pricing may not be accurate.
Talk to your agent about the accuracy of the list price. Many homeowners price their home where they think they should be listed and it may be completely off the market value. Homeowners typically don’t do a lot of research when it comes to pricing their homes. They may be overpriced or underpriced but rarely at market value. Talk to your buyer’s agent about the accuracy of the price and if you should negotiate a lower asking price.
3) Check the integrity of the house.
There could be a variety of reasons the owner is choosing to sell themselves. Perhaps they don’t want to pay a seller’s agent commission, there could be something wrong with the house, or they just don’t like working with real estate professionals. However, the house might be perfectly fine. You shouldn’t discount a for sale by owner home by thinking there something wrong with it. Many homeowners take very good care of their properties but you’ll also want to verify building permits, local codes, and have a home inspection.
4) All laws still apply.
Just because the owner is selling the home themselves doesn’t mean that they are exempt from typical state and county laws. Laws typically stipulate that the seller must disclose any problems with the home and perform any repairs upon negotiations. If there’s a hazardous issue, it should be taking care of before the buyer takes ownership. Homeowners should also allow the buyer to have their own home inspection.
5) understand your legal rights.
If you’re not working with a real estate agent on a for sale by owner home you could be liable for issues in the future if you don’t understand all the legalities. This is why it is so crucial to have a buyers agent on your side that is familiar with local codes, tax laws, and regulations. If information is conveyed in writing it must be signed and documented by both the buyer and the seller. Do not do any negotiations verbally without everything being in writing and signed off. The last thing you want is for the previous homeowner to negate any repairs that they said they would do simply because it was not in writing.
Buying a for sale by owner home is not impossible but it does take a little bit more research for both the buyer and the seller. If you have found a home in the Tri-Valley area that is for sale by owner and you need help facilitating the deal contact my office today.
Image adapted by Mark Moz