Santa Cruz Lenders

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Frequently, there are news stories that impact our Santa Cruz  real estate market.  Here are two I want to share with you this month:

Rising Interest Rates Could Get Buyers Moving

Rising interest rates may finally push Santa Cruz  real estate buyers off the fence and into the market.

In December, after President Obama agreed to extend tax cuts for two years, the financial markets  indicated this event would most likely push mortgage interest rates higher.

Analysts predict that buyers will move quickly when it looks like rates are going up and are unlikely to come down. "Once people see this might actually be the bottom, they’ll go for it," says Paul Dales, U.S. economist at Capital Economics Ltd.

For an example of interest rate increases, note what

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FHA loans are mortgages issued by qualified lenders, including traditional lenders like Citigroup and Wells Fargo, and insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA).  The popularity of these loans are skyrocketing and for good reasons.  They feature low down payments, low closing costs and are easier to qualify for.

Despite this popularity, there are many misconceptions surrounding FHA loans.  Here are just a few myths and the facts behind them.

Myth #1: FHA only loans small amounts to buyers of Santa Cruz homes. 
Fact:  To help stabilize the real estate market, the government recently raised the maximum loan amount from its original cap of $362,790 to $793,750. The FHA loan amount a buyer can borrow varies by state and county.

Myth #2:  FHA

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One of the least understood aspects of Santa Cruz County home loans is the different types of lenders.  Many people assume they have to get a home loan from a traditional savings and loan.  Not so.  There are many different types of lenders.

Here are the main types of mortgage lenders and how they function:

1. Mortgage Bankers: Mortgage bankers are loan originators that operate with the sole objective to sell the loan they create to another source. Even though they will sell the loan they must have the ability to finance the loan in the first place and hold it until it is sold.

2. Mortgage Brokers: This type of lender does not originate loans for your Santa Cruz County home, they prepare the paperwork to submit to multiple lending institutions and get

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Don’t you just love it when the evening news finally shares some good news?  I do too!  So, I want to do my part and share some good news with you today:  Santa Cruz County homes and homes nationwide are becoming more affordable.   In fact, according to the National Association of REALTORS®, housing affordability is close to reaching an all-time high. 

Big Benefit to Buyers

Exactly how does this benefit the buyers of Santa Cruz County homes?  A typical buyer can pay much less in mortgage costs for the same home, or buy a better home without increasing their monthly payment.

Reasons for Improvement

There are several reasons housing affordability is improving:

1. Lower mortgage rates.  The primary reason Santa Cruz County homes are now more

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You know you’re going to pay a mortgage for however many years once you sign the paper on a Santa Cruz home. You know your agent is going to get paid for the absolutely wonderful, fantabulous job he or she did to help you find the home of your dreams. What you may not be expecting, however, are the closing costs.

The saying goes “nothing’s guaranteed except death and taxes,” but you can add “closing costs” in there. Now, I’m sure the mortgage was expected, and you don’t mind your agent earning a bit, but what the heck is this “closing cost” business? While the government forms explain them, they might as well have been written in chicken scratches; government lingo has never been exactly easy to understand.

Be Prepared to Pay
“Closing costs” is a catch

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When people think about buying one of the homes for sale in Santa Cruz, many first research mortgage rates, mortgage loans, how they work and what it might cost them. However, with the many loan types available and all the technical jargon used to describe them, how do you know which one is best for you?

Fixed-rate mortgages are one of the most popular and classic form of loans for those buying homes for sale in Santa Cruz. Why?

Pros and Cons of Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Like anything else, fixed-rate mortgages have pros and cons.  Understanding the benefits and issues can help you decide whether the fixed-rate mortgage is the right loan for you.

Pros
• Fixed-rate mortgages protect you from rising interest rates, which is especially helpful if you plan to

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One of the more frustrating aspects of buying Santa Cruz real estate is qualifying for a mortgage that will allow you to buy the home of your dreams. Lenders use terms to describe your loan status that may be confusing.

For example, what is the difference between being pre-qualified, pre-approved or approved for a mortgage on your Santa Cruz real estate?

• Pre-Qualified – This just means that the lender may approve you for a loan if everything checks out. Pre-qualification is based solely on information you give the lender about your income and debts. This is no guarantee that you will get a loan. People do lie about their finances, so the lender won’t even be able to give you a possible loan amount at this point.

• Pre-Approved – Once your lender

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With all the talk of the great deals you can get on foreclosures in Santa Cruz, you may be tempted to step into the investment market. Or, you may get the idea that buying a foreclosure is your best bet for a great deal on a home. Well, it’s possible, but remember that the foreclosure market is full of perilous pathways and competitive investment pros who know what they’re doing.

Whether you’re considering purchasing foreclosures in Santa Cruz as investments or as your personal residence, here are a few tips that will help you get a great investment and avoid a bad disaster.

• Gather a Team of Professionals:  Your team of professionals should include a home inspector, a real estate agent and an appraiser.  You may also want to include a professional

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As soon as you decide to buy a Santa Cruz home for sale you’ll be looking at loans. You’ll see balloon loans, fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable-rate mortgages and a few others. Fixed and adjustable-rate mortgages are the most common, but why and what’s the difference?

The biggest differences are in cost and security. Fixed-rate mortgages can cost more, but have a measure of security. Adjustable rate mortgages, or ARMs, can cost less, but have less security.

As with all things, ARMs and fixed-rate mortgages have pros and cons. Here are just a few:

The Pros and Cons of ARMs
When you buy a Santa Cruz home for sale with an ARM, your payments will be lower than a loan with a fixed-rate mortgage. Because the payments are lower, you can afford to buy a more

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Buying a new home takes a lot of preparation. Without knowing what you are walking in to, you are bound to run into road blocks. A good Santa Cruz real estate agent can help you understand the intricacies involved in purchasing your new home. Some of the most common problems that buyers run into are avoidable.

Buying the Best is Nice… but

If you’re looking at the most expensive house in the neighborhood, in the city or in the state, you’re asking for problems.  The chance that it will go down in value, be difficult to make payments on if anything changes in your lifestyle, or be hard to sell in the event of a foreclosure is high, which makes it tough to get a mortgage.

If you must have the most expensive home, pay the most you can as a down payment. 

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