Mortgage Standards Easing TOO MUCH? NO!!

17 Sep 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog


There is no doubt that getting a mortgage is easier today than it was right after the housing crash a decade ago. However, the easing of credit availability has led to some questioning of whether or not we are headed for another housing crisis.

Let’s put everything into the proper perspective.

Mortgage Credit Availability Over the Last Three Years

Getting a home mortgage has definitely gotten easier over the last three years as evidenced by the Mortgage Credit Availability Index, issued by the Mortgage Bankers Association, in the following graph (the higher the index, the easier it is to get a mortgage):


Mortgage Credit Availability Today Compared to 2006

The graph below shows the index going back to 2004, and the first graph we showed you above is represented by the small, orange, triangular section all the way in the lower-right corner.


As this visual easily illustrates, today’s index is nowhere near the levels it shot up to in 2006.

Bottom Line

Mortgage credit is definitely easing. However, we are not coming close to the lax standards that caused the housing crisis of last decade.

Source: KCM.com

Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step

15 Sep 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog


In many markets across the country, the amount of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved for a mortgage before starting your search.

Even if you are in a market that is not as competitive, knowing your budget will give you the confidence of knowing if your dream home is within your reach.

Freddie Mac lays out the advantages of pre-approval in the My Home section of their website:

“It’s highly recommended that you work with your lender to get pre-approved before you begin house hunting. Pre-approval will tell you how much home you can afford and can help you move faster, and with greater confidence, in competitive markets.”


One of the many advantages of working with a local real estate professional is that many have relationships with lenders who will be able to help you with this process. Once you have selected a lender, you will need to fill out their loan application and provide them with important information regarding “your credit, debt, work history, down payment and residential history.”

Freddie Mac describes the 4 Cs that help determine the amount you will be qualified to borrow:

  1. Capacity: Your current and future ability to make your payments
  2. Capital or cash reserves: The money, savings and investments you have that can be sold quickly for cash
  3. Collateral: The home, or type of home, that you would like to purchase
  4. Credit: Your history of paying bills and other debts on time

Getting pre-approved is one of many steps that will show home sellers that you are serious about buying, and it often helps speed up the process once your offer has been accepted.

Bottom Line

Many potential home buyers overestimate the down payment and credit scores needed to qualify for a mortgage today. If you are ready and willing to buy, you may be pleasantly surprised at your ability to do so as well.

Source: KCM.com

Interest Rates Remain at Historic Lows… But for How Long?

13 Sep 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog


The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment; The higher the rate, the greater your payment will be. That is why it is important to look at where the experts believe rates are headed when deciding to buy now or wait until next year.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate has fallen half a percentage point since the beginning of the year and has remained at or below 3.5% for the last 11 weeks according toFreddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey.

The chart below shows how far rates have fallen this year (on the left), and uses an average of the projections from Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and National Association of Realtors (on the right). As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily over the course of the next 12 months.


How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly.

According to CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index, national home prices have appreciated 6.0% over the last year and are predicted to be 5.4% higher next year.

If both the predictions of home prices and interest rate increases become a reality, families will wind up paying considerably more for their next home.

Bottom Line

Even a small increase in interest rate can impact your family’s wealth. Meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate your ability to purchase your dream home.

Source: KCM.com

14,767 Homes Sold Yesterday… Did Yours?

06 Sep 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog


There are some homeowners that have been waiting for months to get a price they hoped for when they originally listed their house for sale. The only thing they might want to consider is… If it hasn’t sold yet, maybe it’s not priced properly.

After all, 14,767 houses sold yesterday, 14,767 will sell today and 14,767 will sell tomorrow.


That is the average number of homes that sell each and every day in this country, according to the National Association of Realtors’ (NAR) latest Existing Home Sales Report. NAR reported that sales are at an annual rate of 5.39 million. Divide that number by 365 (days in a year) and we can see that, on average, over 14,767 homes sell every day.

The report from NAR also revealed that there is currently only a 4.7-month supply of inventory available for sale, (6-months inventory is considered ‘historically normal’).

This means that there are not enough homes available for sale to satisfy the buyers who are out in the market now in record numbers.

Bottom Line

We realize that you want to get the fair market value for your home. However, if it hasn’t sold in today’s active real estate market, perhaps you should reconsider your current asking price.

Source : KCM.com

Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap!

31 Aug 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog


There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage.

Don’t Become Trapped

Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, reported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis.” He warns that,

“Low rental vacancies and a lack of new rental construction are pushing up rents, and we expect that they’ll outpace home price appreciation in the year ahead.”

In the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University’s 2015 Report on Rental Housing, they reported that 49% of rental households are cost-burdened, meaning they spend more than 30% of their income on housing. These households struggle to save for a rainy day and pay other bills, such as food and healthcare.

It’s Cheaper to Buy Than Rent

In Smoke’s article, he went on to say,

“Housing is central to the health and well-being of our country and our local communities. In addition, this (rental affordability) crisis threatens the future value of owned housing, as the burdensome level of rents will trap more aspiring owners into a vicious financial cycle in which they cannot save and build a solid credit record to eventually buy a home.”

 “While more than 85% of markets have burdensome rents today, it’s perplexing that in more than 75% of the counties across the country, it is actually cheaper to buy than rent a home. So why aren’t those unhappy renters choosing to buy?”

Know Your Options

Perhaps you have already saved enough to buy your first home. HousingWire reportedthat analysts at Nomura believe:

“It’s not that Millennials and other potential homebuyers aren’t qualified in terms of their credit scores or in how much they have saved for their down payment.

 It’s that they think they’re not qualified or they think that they don’t have a big enough down payment.” (emphasis added)

Many first-time homebuyers who believe that they need a large down payment may beholding themselves back from their dream home. As we have reported before, in many areas of the country, a first-time home buyer can save for a 3% down payment in less than two years. You may have already saved enough!

Bottom Line

Don’t get caught in the trap so many renters are currently in. If you are ready and willing to buy a home, find out if you are able. Have a professional help you determine if you are eligible to get a mortgage.

Source: KCM.com

San Francisco – August 2016 The Real Estate Update

30 Aug 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

In the fast paced and ever changing world of San Francisco real estate, reviewing yearly market trends with monthly breakdowns is the most viable way of staying on top of the market. Monitoring yearly data enables buyers and sellers to fully understand where the market has been and where it is going.

Overall, the real estate market has achieved a “Soft Landing’ this year, with the best evidence of this being the modest increase in median sales price. Over the past twelve months, condo prices have increased by 2.76%, and single-family homes by 6.25%. On a month-to-month basis, condo prices have remained relatively constant, while the price of single-family homes has varied by as much as $235,000.


Median Sales Price



Average Days on Market – 14% 23.3%



# Units Sold – -16.1% -9.7%



More Insights

Over the last 12 months, there has been a very slight increase in Days on Market. To a seller eager to sell their home, an increase in Days on Market sounds daunting, but in reality, it has only taken 7 more days to sell a condo and 4 more days to sell a single-family home. This directly reflects the fact that inventory has increased 29% for single-family homes and 56% for condominiums. This translates to an increase in the Month’s Supply of Inventory (MSI), a term statisticians use to tell us how long it would take to sell out our current inventory, with single-family homes at 2.2 months and condominiums at 2.5 months. An MSI of 4 – 6 is considered a balanced market, thus we are still experiencing a strong seller’s market.

When looking at statistics, seasonality always has to be considered. The market is more active in spring and fall, and slower in winter and summer. However, even considering seasonality, the difference between list price and sale price has tightened over the last 12 months. When compared to last July, the average list price/sale price ratio for single-family homes is down by 8 points and down 4 points for condominiums. Although inventory has increased July over July, the number of sales has decreased, which helps explain the modest increase in appreciation. (These increases, by the way, would be considered good in most parts of the country). This is further evidence of the soft landing we’re experiencing.


% List Price Received



Months Supply of Inventory



SFRs – For Sale vs Under Contract + Sold



Condos – For Sale vs Under Contract + Sold



2 Myths About Mortgages That May Be Holding Back Buyers

24 Aug 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog


Fannie Mae’s “What do consumers know about the Mortgage Qualification Criteria?” Study revealed that Americans are misinformed about what is required to qualify for a mortgage when purchasing a home.

Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment”

Fannie Mae’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan. According to the report, 76% of Americans either don’t know (40%) or are misinformed (36%) about the minimum down payment required.

Many believe that they need at least 20% down to buy their dream home. New programs actually let buyers put down as little as 3%.

Below are the results of a Digital Risk survey of Millennials who recently purchased a home.


As you can see, 64.2% were able to purchase their home by putting down less than 20%, with 43.8% putting down less than 10%!

Myth #2: “I need a 780 FICO Score or Higher to Buy”

The survey revealed that 59% of Americans either don’t know (54%) or are misinformed (5%) about what FICO score is necessary to qualify.

Many Americans believe a ‘good’ credit score is 780 or higher.

To help debunk this myth, let’s take a look at the latest Ellie Mae Origination Insight Report, which focuses on recently closed (approved) loans. As you can see below, 54.1% of approved mortgages had a credit score of 600-749.


Bottom Line

Whether buying your first home or moving up to your dream home, knowing your options will definitely make the mortgage process easier. Your dream home may already be within your reach.

Source : KCM.com

San Francisco Median Sale Price: Single Family and Condominiums

23 Aug 2016 Posted by NooshiAdmin in Blog

San Francisco’s Peaks and Valleys.

Over the last three years steep peaks and valleys have typified price fluctuations in San Francisco single-family homes and condominiums. However, as extreme as these swings have been, several trends stand out. First and foremost, prices peaked in May of 2015 – for the time being anyway. They will peak again, we just don’t know if it will be later this year, or two years from now. Another trend is that since February of this year, prices have remained relatively flat. This is in stark contrast to the previous three years. This flattening of prices is not unexpected and is actually an indicator that we might be entering a healthy, more balanced market. Some refer to it as a “soft landing.” Finally, and this should not be a shock to anyone, prices generally peak in spring and fall.


Condo Median Sale Price 01.13 - 07.16 SFH Median Sale Price 1.13 - 7.16