It’s the beginning of a New Year. So begin, I tell myself. My goals and marketing plan are finished (finally) and I’m off to a semi-start it feels like since my daughter hasn’t returned to school yet. I’ve caught up on a lot of work reading material and the market in San Diego is beginning to shift as we’ve seen for several months as interest rates have been on the rise. I’m thinking of all the stories I’ve heard lately on first time homebuyers and their experiences. Some are nightmares, a notary at the loan closing asking the borrowers to come in with more money than the down payment and closing costs due to the loan officers lack of communication. Not ok, ever. I’ve read about and spoken with renters not able to save enough for the down payment and that stay renting, spending large amounts of their income on rent and becoming house poor. There are loan programs available that have payments less than or equal to rent (ahem…California). It’s a fresh start at the beginning of the year to know your options and start saving now or simply understanding the process.
5 Item Loan and Real Estate Review
FHA Loans-3.5% down payment, private mortgage insurance, upfront fee that you can finance into the loan. This loan program allows higher debt-to-income ratios, non occupant co-borrower/signer, and a host of other flexible options to help you get into your first home. Not to mention the 203k loan that allows you to purchase AND renovate.
Grants-They are available. Lenders have access to reviewing the location you’re looking to purchase in along with qualifying you on your income. You may meet both and be offered a grant AND a lower rate. Yay YOU! You’ve got to inquire on this one, now!
Closing Costs-Lenders can offer a slightly higher rate and “credit” you back money towards your closing costs. Your agent can negotiate closing costs with your purchase price. Working with a professional in this area can really benefit your bottom line.
Gifts-Family can gift you money towards a down payment and closing costs as long as the lender understand it is a GIFT and doesn't require repayment. You can receive GIFTS from multiple family members. Ask away!
Real Estate Market-With rates rising, is it a good time to buy? The simple answer is Yes. Lock in a price and rate now and start earning equity and paying off a loan that brings you closer to owning your own home.