Seattle Real Estate News

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.


Posted in:Home Financing and tagged: Home Financing
Posted by Sam Kader on April 28th, 2023 11:47 AM

Why are home prices in Seattle so high so quickly?  The answer is simply - supply and demand.  There are just not enough inventory for sale. In King County last month, 2,000 homes were for sale last month (on average for the last two decades, the region had more than 7,800 homes for sale.)  On average, today's homeowner who sells has owned the home for about 10 years and makes about 64% return on investment (4th highest in the nation). The problem is people who are staying in the area would have to turn around and buy in the same crazy market. Thus, only people who are moving to a cheaper area or downsizing have real financial incentive to sell reducing the number of home sellers. Seattle homeowners also wait longer to sell than anywhere else in the country.   

In addition to not having enough inventory for sale, the demand side is not helping either. King County's population has grown 26% and job growth of 28% which translates that people who are moving here  are financially well off to buy a house. It all adds up to people making a lot more money fighting over a lot fewer houses. Historically, the county had 1 home for sale for every 230 people. Now, there's one home available for every 1,060 people creating bidding war beyond what a home should be worth. 

Are we setting ourselves for another real estate market bubble? Most critics agree that there are not clear signs of another crash because the elements causing previous housing collapse i.e. rampant subprime lending and home owners over extending themselves with  a "liar (stated income) loan"  are not presence this time around. Lenders now are lending to people with good credit and full income and asset documentation. 

Start your Seattle home search here



Posted by Sam Kader on April 28th, 2023 11:39 AM
The basic premise of negotiations is to work together to advance on outcome that works for both parties. Here are 6 useful points in negotiations:

1) Take personality clashes out of the equation and create a third party and focus on finding a solution rather than becoming defensive and unreasonable.
Offer price must be within reasonable range on the listing price. Listing comps that listing broker used to generate the listing price would help selling brokers understand the pricing process - an honest home seller trying to secure fair market value and not a greedy home owner trying to make a killing on his home.

2) Look for the "why" which can be invaluable strategy as it gives the opportunity to create a solution.

3) Avoid getting personal because no one likes to be attacked personally. Keep it polite, stay calm, and be respectful. Playing the blame game or reacting negatively will work against our goals.  Always assume the best of the other person negotiating.

4) The more flexible we can be toward the other party, the more likely they will be willing to give us what we want. Decide ahead of time what you can or can't waver on. You often can give the other party what they want without having to sacrifice your position. Both sides must be willing to make some concessions such as giving up on certain repair request from a home inspections report, lowering the closing costs subsidy, offering a home warranty, closing early or taking a home sale contingency. For everyone to win in the end, everyone has to have some skin in the game.

5) Having some empathy for the other person will often ease the pressure in a negotiation enough to get them across the line on the other things that are important to achieve our goals.

6) Use silence as it can be give time needed to "cool off". When we remain silent, we automatically get the "ball in our court" which gives us the power to make the next call. When we do come back to the table with a counter-offer, their anticipation of closing the deal immediately will make the seller more willing to sacrifice items that they have fought hard to get in earlier negotiations because they've seen the light at the end of the tunnel.  When certain parties become unreasonable in the negotiation process -  always be ready to walk away. You can't love something that is unable to love you back.

Ideally in negotiation - we would like to strike for a win-win solution. To achieve this goal - both sides must have their egos in check. "Winning at all costs" mentality should be confronted with "walking away" attitude.  Negotiation is about coming to the most out of someone for the least amount of budget, it's about coming to the most positive outcome for all parties involved.

Posted by Sam Kader on June 11th, 2016 8:20 PM


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