CalHFA 5% Down Payment for San Jose First Time Home Buyers

California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) recently launched it's new program called Cal 30 - Conventional for First Time Home Buyers in San Jose, the San Francisco Bay Area and the rest of the state. This conventional first mortgage features a fixed interest rate, fully amortized loan over a 30-year term. It has a maximum Loan-to-Value (LTV) of 95%. Below are some of the other highlights of the program: Maximum Loan Amount -The loan amount is limited to the maximum Fannie Mae conforming loan limits. Currently, this is $417,000. Fannie Mae high balance loan…continue reading →

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 →

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 →

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 →

Buying a foreclosed home in San Jose with an FHA Loan?

So are you planning to buy a foreclosed home in San Jose with an FHA Loan? Foreclosed properties can be sold by 2 entities: Directly by the Mortgagee (The bank that held the mortgage), or By entities that purchase foreclosed properties either singly or in bulk for resale FHA has a property flipping rule that says that the new owner has to own the property for 90 days before he/she can sell again. FHA on Friday 5/15/2009 extended it's Property Flipping Waiver to 5/10/2010. Meaning, a bank can foreclose on a property today…continue reading →

4 Cs of Home Loans in Bay Area

If you are planning to get a Home Loan in Bay Area, you should be aware of the 4Cs of Lending. Capacity Lenders usually look for a minimum of 2 years of work history in the same line of work. Any employment gaps or extended time off must to be explained. If you had a recent job change or if your income is derived from seasonal work, your income may be considered for qualifying purposes in certain situations. However, less than 2 years of work history may be acceptable if you have been…continue reading →

Are Foreclosure Properties a Good Deal in Santa Clara?

DataQuick said 43 percent of all homes sold in Santa Clara County was in foreclosure upon sometime in the previous 12 months. The number for Alameda county is 46.2 percent. Evidently, most of the current sale is being driven by foreclosed properties; that also explains the falling median prices in these counties. But before jumping on the bandwagon be cautioned that not all foreclosed houses are good deal. Most foreclosures sell at a discount, but the benefit of a lower sales price is often negated by the cost of repairs required to restore…continue reading →