1. What does my credit score need to be for me to buy a house? We preferred if you have at least 720 to obtain optimum rates. However, a minimum score of at least 620 is required by most banks. We offer FHA insured loans with imperfect credit score with as low as 550 with 10% down. Please consult with me if you have lower than 620 for special options available for you.
2. How much do I need for a down payment? We preferred if you have 20% to avoid paying for mortgage insurance. However, we also have low down payment options as well as no down payment options that you may qualify for.
3. What are closing costs, and how much are they? Closing cost are the cost incurred to close a loan and consist of bank charges, third party fees such as escrow, title and prepaid items such as property insurance and property taxes. In general, on a $200,000 house - the rule of thumb is between 2-3% of the sales price depending on the variables.
4. I want my monthly mortgage payment to be $X per month... how much house can I afford? Excellent question. Ideally, your Debt-To-Income (DTI) ratio should be at 45%. Since each property is taxed at a different rate - please consult with me for details. Live within your means and do not over leveraged yourself.
5. Should I pay off my car and installment loans so that I can qualify for more? Please consult with me for free consultation before paying any debts off or doing anything that will affect your FICO score.
6. I don't have enough cash for closing costs AND a down payment... Can I still buy a house? Closing Cost can be paid by the seller, in addition taking a premium rate the lender can credit back some closing cost help as well. USDA and VA loans do not require any down payment.
7. What type of loan product is best for me? It depends on several factors, such as your down payment, credit score, and DTI ratio. If these factors are not a concern - then a 15-year loan will save money due to lower rates and lower maturity/duration than 30-year loans. 8. Rent Vs. Buy - Analytical tools to assist you in evaluating both options. 9. Be patient during underwriting. Don't charge up your credit cards and don't apply for new credit while the mortgage is going through the underwriting process. Lender will soft-pull your credit shortly before closing to survey your credit again. If there is a substantial change, the lender might have to delay your mortgage closing. Please consult with me to
evaluate your options. It's free and you don't even have to sacrifice
your hectic schedules. You can email, text me at 408-605-5927 or swing by my office in Seattle at your convenience.
In February 2023, King County home prices tumbled 7% with the median home sold for $800,000. The biggest difference in 2023 is the increase in mortgage rates. Higher rates mean less purchasing power for potential homeowners and in turn creating less competition for homes. Some home sellers are waiting to see if rates would dip down again and markets would pick back up. Others want to make sure their jobs are safe before making a move.
The inventory was already tight before but now with homeowners with lower mortgage rates – they are staying put longer and not listing their homes. Others are becoming a landlord instead of selling especially if they have extremely low interest rates on their current property.
To attract potential buyers, sellers are taking on more home improvement projects such as painting, upgrading carpets or replacing light fixtures and faucets before listing their properties. Buyers are demanding more to compensate for higher mortgage rates.
Find an experienced local mortgage broker. If you find yourself in a bidding war, a local broker as opposed to a big bank can make all the difference.
Since March of 2020 and the COVID-19 Pandemic, "normal" has been difficult to describe and for those thinking of buying a home over the last few years, the market has been anything but what used to be though as "normal". Property appreciation ascended rapidly due to high demand and lack of inventory and mortgage rates jump significantly due to economic concerns.
To buy now or wait. Higher mortgage interest rates generally mean a larger monthly payment. Mortgage rates change daily and PLEASE do not expect rates will come back down to 2021 level again. There are options to lower your rate such as with temporary rate buy-down option or with an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM).
Your goal is to have a monthly mortgage payment that is within your budget and not to overstretch yourself financially leaving nothing for repairs, living expenses and emergency savings. If you can comfortably afford the mortgage payment, then now is the time to buy. Else, waiting would be more prudent.
Timeline. If you are planning to stay put for only a year or two, in this current economic cycle, waiting would be more prudent.
Housing market. Buying a house in a more balanced or "normal" market when you are up against 1 or 2 other buyers rather than 20 and where you can actually inspect the house may be better fit your risk appetite than buying during the 2021 housing market.
Winter is an excellent time for making improvements to your home. Temperatures might be cooler but contractors' schedules are lighter. The season is perfect for making changes to your home that improve your comfort as well as your resale value. Here are six ways to bring more comfort to your home and give you better chances to sell during the homebuying and selling season.
Updated Wood Floors - Wood floors provide a timeless, classy look to any home. Plus, they're built to last. A well-cared-for wood floor can be a beautiful part of your home for more than 100 years. These floors also collect less dust and debris than carpets which is good news for allergy sufferers. If you are planning to have a professional do the installation, you should plan on investing about $6,000 to $12,000 per 1,000 square feet.
Updated New Appliances - A relatively inexpensive upgrade would involve replacing your kitchen appliances. Not only will you enjoy the streamlines look of matching and more energy-efficient appliances, but you can also see about a 3% to 7% increase in home valyue. This upgrade usually costs roughly $3,000 to $8,000 depending on how many pieces you replace, what brands you choose and whether you DIY or have them professionally installed.
Upgraded HVAC system - New requirements have emerged for air conditioners so newer models are more efficient than previous ones. While new HVAC unit can run anywhere between $5,000 to $10,000 - Money Magazine reports you can get between 5% to 10% ROI on your home value.
Finished Basements. Finishing your basements can give your home the extra space you need such as adding bedrooms or playroom while increasing your home value. According to HGTV, you can get about a 70% ROI for your basement remodeling costs (assuming your budget is between 5% to 10% of your house's current value).
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) adopted a new rules recently against robocallers which let phone companies crack down on these spoofed numbers. Here are some additional steps on what you can do now:
Here are some additional tips on how to protect ourselves online.