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Santa Clara County Home Prices Reach An All Time High

In April 2017, the median price for single-family, re-sale homes in Santa Clara county climbed to $1.16 million, which is a new all-time high. The median price for condos/townhomes crossed $700,000 which too, is a new all-time high. Median price means half the homes sold for a higher price and half of them sold for lower dollars. Buyers had a double whammy to contend with. Not just the home prices were going up, they were selling like a hot cake. Average days on the market for a listed property to sell has plummetted…continue reading →

Reduce Interest & Pay-Off Mortgage Faster – All In One Loan

Do you want to reduce interest cost, pay off your mortgage faster without making a significant difference to current spending or saving habits? If your answer is yes, then the revolutionary new loan, called "All in One" is your answer. The two biggest problems with conventional mortgages are: The majority of the payment in the initial years goes towards interest, substantially increasing the total cost of borrowing. A $500,000 mortgage at 3.5% will have an interest cost of $308,000 in 30 years. That cost goes up to ~$360,000 at 4%. Most 30-year loans take…continue reading →

Mortgage Rates Reach Their Highest Levels In Three Years

Mortgage rate spike that started after the presidential election results has now gone into the overdrive. Today, the rates reached their highest level in almost three years. The impending Fed rate hike coupled with fear of rising inflation has pushed the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) yield lower. MBS prices and mortgage rates have an inverse relationship. Lower the price of MBS, higher the mortgage rates. See the chart below (red sticks indicate days where MBS fell in price). Most major banks are quoting 4.5% on a 30-year fixed mortgage for a Refinance and 4.375% for…continue reading →

FHA Loans Insurance Premiums (MIP/PMI) – Rates + Calculator

Ultimate guide to Upfront and Monthly Mortgage Insurance Premiums (MIP/PMI) rates for FHA purchase loans and (streamline) refinances. FHA charges both an upfront mortgage insurance premium and monthly mortgage insurance on almost all the loans it insures. On December 23, 2011, President Obama signed into law the Temporary Payroll Tax Cut Continuation Act of 2011 which required FHA to increase the annual mortgage insurance premium. However, changes were made again in January 2015 to reduce the mortgage insurance premium to make FHA loans more affordable to First Time Home Buyers. The most recent…continue reading →

Get Your Offer Accepted in a Seller’s Market

Even with a minor slow down in home sales during recent months,  desirable properties are still getting multiple offers. Make no mistake, we are still very much in a seller's market. Available housing inventory ranges from low to non-existent in many neighborhoods. With low mortgage rates still pervasive and rapidly increasing home values - buyers and soon-to-be sellers are eagerly hitting the market in search of a home. It might be their first home or it might be a long awaited move-up home purchase, regardless the buyers are ready and waiting for any…continue reading →

Conforming and FHA Loan Limits Finally Raised for 2017

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA have always had maximum loan amounts for loans they secure or insure respectively. In regards to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they are restricted by law to purchasing single-family mortgages with loan balances below a specific amount, known as the “conforming loan limit.” Loans above this limit are known as jumbo loans. Outside of a few tweaks for high cost areas; 2006 was the last time Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA touched their loan limits. In fact, the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 established…continue reading →

Mortgage Rates Reach The Highest Level Since January On Trump’s Election

Donald Trump's stunning presidential election win hasn't just spooked the poll pundits, it has spiked mortgage rates too. And the spike is fairly substantial. Between Wednesday, Thursday and Today (Market being closed on Friday), mortgage-backed securities have lost a whopping 236 basis points (bps). And we are not even done for the day (see the chart below). MBS and mortgage rates move in opposite directions. When MBS prices go up, rates go down and vice versa. A loss of ~12 bps on MBS pricing typically means that a borrower will pay .125% more…continue reading →

What’s Really Going On With the Housing Market?

The fall 2016 home buying season is in full swing with winter -  and 2017 - quickly approaching. Like most, we start our next year housing hypothesis late-summer of the prior year. With 16+ months of 2016 housing and mortgage prognostication in the books - I’m feeling more and more like a broken record. Inventory. Inventory. Inventory. Get Pre-Approved to buy a Home So, let’s see if this is yet another inventory post shall we? Spoiler Alert - yep, it is more inventory although with a twist that we’ve been predicting and wanting…continue reading →

Is Affordability Becoming a Problem for US Real Estate?

What do you do when the free market prices the average - sometimes even the exceptional - American family out of owning a home? The answer used to be simple, people would just rent. In many markets - most major metro area - rents are increasing at rates equal to, or higher than, home values? Something has to give. You have to have somewhere to live whether you own it, rent or - in some cases - drive it. So how do we approach the affordability issue that many markets are experiencing? Where…continue reading →