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Buying a Condo in Bay Area – It won’t be easy getting a mortgage!

A lot of surge in current real estate market in San Jose & rest of San Francisco Bay Area is being driven by First Time HomeBuyers. Some sources estimate that they now account for 50% of the market. A lot of First Time HomeBuyers end up buying condominiums since it fits into their budget. In this market of low property prices, you may be able to buy a condo for almost the same mortgage payment as the rent that you are paying. However, in last few months Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac have…continue reading →

June 09 Home Sales Trend in Bay Area

Starting this month I will be writing about the monthly Home Sales/Real Estate trends in Bay Area. Look out for this update between 15th and 20th of every month. The update will be for month before. Data Quick reported that Home Sales in the Bay Area jumped to their highest levels in 3 years. The median price paid for a home also increased month-to-month for 3rd month in a row.A total of 8,644 new and resale houses and condos sold across the nine-county Bay Area in June. That was up 16.1 percent from 7,447 in May and up 20.4 percent from 7,178 in June 2008, according to San Diego-based MDA Data Quick. The table below breaks down the numbers: (more…)

San Jose Weekly Mortgage Market Commentary 7/19/2009

Starting today, I will be writing a weekly mortgage market commentary to take a quick look back on what happened last week and a preview of the coming week. Look out for this post every Sunday or Monday. The week that was: Freddie Mac released it's results of weekly Mortgage market survey on July 16th. The 30 year fixed rate mortgage rates averaged 5.14% with 0.7 points, down from last week when it averaged 5.20% Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.26 percent. Five-year Treasury-indexed hybrid adjustable-rate mortgage rates (ARMs) averaged 4.83 percent this week, with an average 0.7 point, up slightly from last week when it averaged 4.82 percent. A year ago, the 5-year ARM averaged 5.80 percent. Note that this is for conforming loan amounts below $417,000. (more…)

FHA Loan Requirements in San Jose & Bay Area

If you are a First Time HomeBuyer in San Jose or the rest of San Francisco Bay Area, you would have most likely heard of FHA loans. But like most of the other potential First Time HomeBuyer I meet and advise, you may not be sure whether you qualify for FHA mortgage or not. Below I have mentioned some of the major requirements that you should know of: Maximum Loan Amount - Varies by county. For Santa Clara, Alameda, Contra Costa, San Mateo and San Francisco counties it is $729.750. This loan amount…continue reading →

6 Myths of FHA Loans – What’s True What’s Not!

Though FHA Loans now represent more than 30% of mortgages, there are still a lot of misconceptions that both real estate agents and the borrowers have about this program. All the myths that I have listed below have been raised to me numerous times. I finally decided to post a blog on this so that I can clarify this to a much larger audience. 1. It takes longer to close an FHA Loan- Towards the 2nd half of last year when FHA loans started exploding, most of the lenders were caught off guard. They did not have enough trained underwriters to take decisions on the loans that were being sent their way. That resulted in longer turn times for FHA loans. Within months, lenders realized that this was soon becoming the fastest mortgage product on the block. Since then they have staffed themselves adequately on the FHA underwriting side and hence it's not atypical anymore for FHA loans to close in 30 days or less. (more…)

FHA Vs. Conventional Loans – Which one is better?

FHA Loan vs Conventional Loan - which one is better? I was speaking at an FHA seminar for real estate agents in Fremont, CA recently. The topic was "How FHA loans are playing a big part in qualifying more First Time Home Buyers". At the end of the presentation, I was asked this question - "Are FHA loans really better than conventional". I had similar questions asked by Buyers and Real Estate agents in other forums in San Jose and rest of the San Francisco Bay Area too. There is no black & white answer to it - because it all depends on your situation. Below, I have compiled a table to compare the loan features of both the programs. As you would see depending on your specific situation, either one could be better. ** Since I wrote this post FHA Up front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) requirements have changed** (more…)

CA $10,000 Tax Credit for San Jose First Time Buyers is almost over

This is not a good news for first time home buyers in San Francisco Bay Area and rest of the state. CA state tax credit of $10,000 for First Time Home Buyers has reached the $100 million limit. Background - In April this year California government made the $10,000 tax credit (or 5% of the purchase price whichever is less) available to qualified buyers who purchased a qualified Principal Residence that has never been occupied,after March 1, 2009 and before March 1, 2010. The buyer must reside in the new home for a…continue reading →

Stated Income Jumbo Loans now available for Contra Costa, San Mateo & San Francisco counties

Great news for homeowners and buyers in Contra Costa, San Mateo and San Francisco counties. Stated Income loans are now available for borrowers in these counties. This type of loan could specially be very useful for Self-Employed borrowers who find it difficult to document their "real" income via Tax Returns. Also, commissioned employees who have wide swings in their income could benefit from a program like this.Below are the highlights of the program: MINIMUM Loan Amount $400,000 3 year and 5 year ARMs (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) only No maximum number of financed properties.…continue reading →

Low mortgage rates gone already for Bay Area?

And why you should rush to buy Low mortgage rates are Going..Going...Gone for Bay Area!! FNMA-30 4.5% coupon went down again today - by a whopping 100 bips. Over last couple of weeks mortgage backed securities have been in a free fall, pushing the mortgage rates up - substantially. According to Freddie Mac 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 5.29 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending June 4, 2009, up from last week when it averaged 4.91 percent. 15 year fixed rate mortgages and 5 year adjustable rate mortgages moved up too. Note that these averages are for conforming loans under $417,000. The rates for conforming jumbos (loan amounts upto $729,750) and jumbos are higher than these averages. Yields on long-term Treasury bonds have been rising despite the Fed's efforts to push them down by purchasing Treasury securities. The Fed wants Treasury yields lower because they are a benchmark for many other private-sector interest rates -- including rates on mortgages. Concerns about large federal deficits, are one cause of the unwanted rise in yields. The wider the deficits, the more the Treasury borrows and the higher rates go. Wider deficits also stir inflation fears, which also push Treasury yields up. (more…)

FHA allows $8000 tax credit for down payment in San Jose

But can you really use it? Not so fast.... Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced today that the first time home buyer credit of $8000 can be used as down payment in San Jose & rest of the Bay Area. If you are a first time buyer with limited down payment and you are the type who doesn't read fine prints, it certainly is a great news. But I have my reservations - some serious ones. I see some very basic issues with the announcement which would either delay the implementation or may have…continue reading →