Buyers Facing Less Competition From Cash Buyers

Buyers Facing Less Competition From Cash Buyers

The percentage of cash sales fell to 33 percent of total home sales in June, marking the lowest share since September 2008, CoreLogic reports. A year ago, cash sales stood at 36.3 percent of the market; they have been falling steadily since January 2013.

Historically, cash sales make up about 25 percent of total home sales, according to data prior to the housing crisis. In 2011, cash sales peaked at 46.2 percent of sales nationwide, CoreLogic reports.

Buyers are using cash mostly to purchase real estate–owned properties, or REOs. Fifty-five percent of REOs are all-cash transactions, followed by nearly 33 percent of resales, about 32 percent of short sales, and 16 percent of newly built homes.

The following states had the largest share of cash sales in June, according to CoreLogic:

  • Florida: 50.9%
  • Alabama: 48.1%
  • New York: 44.6%
  • Kentucky: 40.1%
  • Nevada: 40%

At a metro level, Cape Coral-Fort Myers, Fla., had the highest number of cash sales at 61.2 percent in June. On the other hand, Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, D.C.-Va.-Md. had the lowest share of cash sales at 15.6 percent, among the 100 metros tracked.

Source: “Cash Sales Accounted for One in Three Home Sales in June,” HousingWire (Sept. 9, 2014)

 

My two cents. Now that the market has cooled and in the Bay Area we have exceeded 2007 prices, we’ve seen a cooling off on cash buyers since prices have steadily risen. But as the busy months pass and we enter the holidays – I wouldn’t be surprised to see an influx of cash buyers while the market is a bit slower.

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/09/10/buyers-facing-less-competition-from-cash-buyers?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BUEI4dB88V4GC6&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

 

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The Wish List of Your Future Buyers: Gen Z

The Wish List of Your Future Buyers: Gen Z

Many within today’s generation of teens, 21 million strong, say they’ll be willing to give up modern luxuries for a more mainstream view of the American dream of homeownership, according to a new study from Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, which reveals the home ownership wish lists of the children ages 13 to 17, part of Generation Z.

Eighty-nine percent of Gen Z teens surveyed say owning a home is part of what they believe the American dream is, followed by graduating from college (78%); getting married (71%); and having children (68%).

They’re optimistic that they’ll become home owners one day, too. Ninety-seven percent say they’ll own a home one day, and they say they’d even be willing to make some unusual sacrifices in order to put them on the path to home ownership. For example, 53 percent say they’d be willing to give up social media for a year or would be willing to do twice as much homework every night in order to become a home owner one day. Forty-two percent would go to school seven days a week, and 39 percent would even be willing to take their mom or dad to their prom if it meant they could be a home owner one day, the survey showed.

“We have a clear view of tomorrow through our millennial consumer research; now it’s time to look at the day after tomorrow,” says Sherry Chris, president and CEO of Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate. “Today’s teens are fiscally literate and realistic when it comes to their future. It’s quite profound that a generation that has never known a world without social media is willing to give up such a staple in their modern lives to achieve their dream home.”

Among other findings from the study:

  • The majority of the Gen Z teens surveyed say they are aiming to own their first home by age 28, which is three years earlier than the median age of first-time home owners. But before they purchase their first home, they expect to have an advanced college degree (60%), gotten married (59%), own a pet (58%), and have children (21%).
  • Of the 97% who say they will own a home one day, they estimate paying an average $274,323 for their first home.
  • 95% of Gen Z teens surveyed say they believe they would start their future homebuying process online. They would view home listings and take virtual tours, but 29 percent also say they’d expect to be able to video chat with real estate agents.
  • 59% say they believe they will undertake the search process for their future home with a real estate professional’s help.
  • 47% of respondents say they’ll likely pick their future home in a suburban neighborhood, followed by 23 percent who say they’ll choose a city and 20 percent who say they’ll live in a country or rural area.

Source: Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate

 

I like the sound of that!

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/09/10/wish-list-your-future-buyers-gen-z?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BUEI4dB88V4GC6&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

 

Rush to Buy Homes During the Holidays? YES YES YES!

Rush to Buy Homes During the Holidays?

 

Home owners may be doubtful that the months of November and December will bring about a home sale. After all, aren’t potential buyers sidetracked with the holidays and likelier to postpone their house hunt due to bad weather and shorter days?

But sometimes the “off-peak” time to sell can actually be the perfect moment for sellers. Several studies show that, on average, homes listed in November and December are more likely to sell, sell more quickly, and more closely approach the asking price, according to an article at Forbes.com.

A 2011 study conducted by realtor.com® found that 60 percent of real estate professionals advise their sellers to list a home during the holidays because they believe it’s an opportune time to sell. Nearly 80 percent of the real estate professionals surveyed said that more serious buyers emerge during the holidays, and 61 percent say less competition from other properties makes it an ideal time to sell.

Thanksgiving is particularly good, the article notes. Buyers may have held out through the busy summer months hoping to find a better deal, but now they may be searching with increased urgency. Some buyers may be motivated to close before the end of the year for tax purposes. They can purchase a home late in the year to deduct home purchase costs on their taxes, such as points, interest, and property taxes. Also, certain sellers who sold their homes during the summer season may be facing a capital gains tax. They may be highly motivated to buy in November to avoid paying capital gains tax (since closing on the purchase of another house is required within 180 days).

Source: “Why November Is the Best Month to Sell Your Home,” Forbes.com/Trulia (Nov. 14, 2014) 

 

Considering a sale – call us – The Caton Team has a wonderful marketing plan for you – 650-568-5522 or email me at Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/11/17/rush-buy-homes-during-holidays?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BUaky7B89pUcTC&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

Why Millennials Are Having Trouble Buying Homes

Why Millennials Are Having Trouble Buying Homes

This topic is near and dear to my heart of two reason – the cost of real estate on the San Francisco Peninsula – and the fact I’m experiencing the same frustrations!

There are many reasons why the millennial generation – young adults in their 20s and early 30s – are either having trouble buying a home or have decided to delay their purchase. Recent troubles in home purchasing have left many millennials feeling discouraged and wondering if they will ever become homeowners. Many experts are also worried about the lack of homes being purchased by millennials, because the housing market is fairly dependent on young first-time homebuyers.

The census bureau has reported that only about 36 percent of Americans below the age of 35 have become homeowners. Despite the fact that this number is so low, at least 90 percent of millennials would rather buy a house than continue to rent. If the percentage of millennials that would prefer to own their own home is so high, then why is the percentage of actual homeowners so low?

Why millennials are not buying

One major factor is the trickle down of expensive college educations. As the price of college continues to rise, more students are forced to take on the load of student debt. Millennials rack up student loans throughout their college career, not realizing that it will one day affect their ability to purchase a home. This is especially sad because the mortgage on an average priced home is cheaper than renting an apartment in most cases.

While student loans provide recent graduates with the advantage of establishing their credit history, they can hurt them when it comes time to apply for a home loan. Lenders consider an applicant’s debt to income ratio as part of the loan application. A hefty student loan can greatly hurt what the bank views as an ability to make payments on a mortgage.

This is particularly true for someone that has private student loans, because private loans tend to have higher interest rates and shorter payment terms, meaning that their monthly payment is much higher than that of someone who only has government student loans. Another problem that people run into is multiple student loan payments. If you are making five $70 dollar payments to separate lenders as opposed to one $150 dollar payment to one lender, you weaken your ability to prove that you can afford to take on a mortgage payment.

If that is not enough to worry about, there is still the fact that you have to save for a down payment. Many millennials barely have a savings account, much less a 20 percent down payment. Those who do decide to buy will rely on their parents and other family members to help with the expense of their down payment.

Another reason why millennials are having trouble buying homes deals with the job market. The country is finally making its way out of one of the biggest recessions we have seen in a long time, and finding a job can still be difficult for some people, especially for those who are new to the job market and lack experience. While a college degree can help get one in the door, it still does not warrant the pay level that many millennials need in order to cover their student loans and a mortgage.

It might take a little time, but, hopefully, we will start to see more millennials buying homes sometime in the near future. If you have trouble buying a home and would like credit counseling and loan information, contact The Caton Team

I read this article at: http://activerain.trulia.com/blogsview/4486707/why-millennials-are-having-trouble-buying-homes

My two cents – I’ve been able to work with several millennial buys who have either saved their pennies or were given investment assistance. It can be very discouraging on the San Francisco Peninsula to be a 1st time buyer – but options are out there – If you think outside the box and open your mind. Curious how you can become a homeowner – contact The Caton Team and we can come up with a plan to turn your dreams into Realty!

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

 

Here’s What Happens to Your Data After You Die???

As I was checking my email I came across this article and thought I would share it – sorry it is a bit morbid, but in this day in age – the digital age – there is more to our legacy than just a last will and testament.  I thought this would be good for individuals and families planning ahead and for those handling estates.  I wish you all the best in health in life. – SC

Here’s What Happens to Your Data After You Die???

A couple of years ago. I logged on to one of my many social network accounts and encountered a familiar face under the People You May Know section: Emru Townsend.

Emru was indeed someone I knew. A talented writer, a good friend, and a true mensch, beloved by many. He was also dead. He had succumbed to leukemia a few years earlier at the age of 39.

Yet there he was, smiling at me just like he did in life. But it wasn’t just a social media account that survived Emru. There’s his personal blog, where he recounted in sometimes-painful detail his battle against cancer, and his professional one, featuring some of the hundreds of articles he wrote on technology and animation. There’s his Flickr account, featuring photos of him in the hospital. There’s the site his family set up in an effort to find a stem cell donor, which ultimately proved unsuccessful. Today, nearly seven six years to the day of Emru’s passing, he still receives email at his pobox.com account, maintained by his widow, Vicky.

In addition to leaving a mark on everyone he met, Emru also left a footprint on the Internet, which his family struggled to deal with because they did not have access to all of his accounts.

This is a problem all of us on the Internet will encounter eventually, whether we want to think about it or not.

What can go wrong? Lots. Your loved one may have died leaving photos and videos behind that you can’t get to. He may have locked essential financial or other information away with passwords and not left those with you. She may have online financial accounts with money or credits leftover, or social media accounts that continue to generate painful reminders of her absence.

And, each year, the personal information of more than 2.5 million dead people is abused by identity thieves, according to ID Analytics.

Data of the dead
So you want to deal with this now, before you die and leave your family a mess of locked-down digital assets. There are three key things you need to do, says Evan Carroll, co-author of Your Digital Afterlife.

  1. Make an inventory of all your digital assets. That includes the documents on your computer, the photos on your phone, any data stored on thumb drives or backup disks, and every online account, including the ones you no longer use. It’s a big job, but you don’t have to do it all at once, Carroll says. Start with the most important things and work your way down the list. Odds are your primary email account will be number one, since that’s typically where online accounts send password resets. Keep reading for advice on where to store this data.
  2. Figure out what you want to happen to all of this stuff after you’re gone. Do you want your family to have access to all your emails? How about photos? Videos and other material you’ve downloaded? There may be some things you don’t want your loved ones to see. Decide now, and make your wishes known to those you care about.
  3. Assign someone to be your digital executor. Be explicit in your will about what you want to happen to your assets. Don’t assume your survivors automatically have a right to it all, because the law varies greatly from state to state, Carroll says. On his blog, The Digital Beyond, he offers some sample power-of-attorney language to include in your will.

And if like more than half of all Americans you don’t have a will, it’s time to whip one up. Will-making software starts around $30, and some extremely simple last-will-and-testament templates are available online for free.

Things to do on Google when you’re dead
You also want to take a look at your online accounts. Of all the major online service providers, only Google lets you plan for the inevitable ahead of time. Using the innocuously named “Inactive Account Manager,” you can designate a beneficiary who will inherit access to any or all of your Google accounts after a specified period of inactivity (the default is three months).

The beneficiary will then have an additional three months to download your data before it gets pulled offline for good. You can even set up an auto-responder from the grave, so to speak, to alert emailers of your passing.

Facebook is probably the next best at this, though your options are more limited. Once a family member has passed, you can ask the network to either delete the account or “memorialize” it, essentially freezing it in time but removing it from features like birthday reminders or People You May Know. You’ll have to provide proof of death via certificate or a published obituary, however. And if you want to download content from the account, you’ll need to obtain a court order.

As for the other main social accounts, some allow you to request that a deceased person’s account be closed, once you provide proof of their demise. Others are totally silent on the matter. LinkedIn makes it pretty easy to delete a dead member’s profile; you can fill out a DocuSign form, digitally sign it, and email it in. There’s no way to preserve any blog posts or other material your loved one has shared, however.

You can ask Twitter to close the account of a deceased family member, but you’ll have to mail it paper copies of your ID, the death certificate, a copy of the obituary (if you have one), and proof that the account actually belongs to the decedent if his Twitter handle doesn’t match his legal name. If you want to remove images of your loved one posted by others, you can request that by emailing privacy@twitter.com (but Twitter makes no guarantees it will honor every request).

Sadly, Yahoo’s death policy is rather stark. It will delete the account upon request and presentation of the death certificate. There are no options to download your loved one’s email, blog posts, or photos, nor can you create a memorial. According to Yahoo’s official policy statement, this is an effort to honor the original privacy choices of the deceased.

Still, that’s better than Amazon or Apple, which offer no way to officially close an account post mortem. (An Amazon spokesperson says you can close the account of a deceased family member by contacting Amazon customer support.) Worse, you can’t bequeath any of the music, videos, ebooks, and other digital materials a deceased customer paid for. That’s because you don’t actually buy these things, you license them; your right to them expires when you do.

Grave matters
As a practical matter, the best way to ensure that your digital assets pass into the right hands is to share them and your login data before you shuffle off this mortal coil.

(This may violate some terms of service agreements, but why should you care? You’ll be dead.)

Don’t insert login information into your will, advises Carroll; those documents usually become part of the public record, allowing any stranger to gain access to your accounts. Instead, indicate a secure place where your digital executor can find them, like a safe deposit box or an encrypted file in a service like SecureSafe.

PasswordBox’s Legacy Locker offers another option. This password manager lets you designate a “digital heir” who will inherit access to your Password Box account — and, by extension, all the logins contained in it. It can also store your credit card, driver’s license, and membership card data and let you securely share your logins before you kick. The advantage here is that if your passwords change or you add accounts, your information is always up to date.

What happens if PasswordBox goes belly-up before you do? The company has secured enough funding and cloud storage to maintain users’ account data “for years to come,” a company spokesperson says.

Whatever you choose to do, start doing it now. Because you never know if your next log-in will be your last.

“Death is the final log off,” Carroll says. “You don’t have the opportunity to go back and fix it.”

 

I read this article at:  https://www.yahoo.com/tech/heres-what-happens-to-your-data-after-you-die-101447039569.html?soc_src=mags

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

6 Creative Open House Ideas To Sell Your Home Fast

6 Creative Open House Ideas To Sell Your Home Fast

With autumn and winter creeping upon us – many homes will still come on the market and in order to gain maximum exposure – these off season listings can use a little something-something…

It’s easy to see the value of an open house—a designated time for real estate agents and prospective buyers to scope out your home while on a Sunday spree of house tours.

But if you’re worried about getting lost among the competition, creative open house ideas are a must if you want to make a sale.

There are some special strategies you can implement to set your home apart. REALTORs® and homeowners who think outside the box can increase the number of prospective buyers who see the home. And by using a bit of imagination to showcase the property’s best features, a home with unusual features has time to shine.

Creative Open House Ideas

Match your open house plan with the characteristics of your home. Here are a few ideas to spark creative thinking.

Address all five senses

While prospective buyers naturally use their eyes to look at your home, remember they can use their other senses to react to your residence.

Some may bake chocolate chip cookies to entice buyers’ sense of taste and smell, but you should also consider playing some background music to set a mood and enhance the feel of your home. If you live in a modern home and your buyers are likely to be young, play something contemporary; if you live in a historic home, play something a little more classical.

To address the sense of touch, provide buyers with a stress-relieving squeeze ball, and they’ll always remember your home.

Turn your home into an art gallery

If your home is vacant or has a lot of blank wall space, you can work with your agent to identify a local art gallery to host an exhibition. Artists receive additional recognition, and you may attract some visitors that wouldn’t normally attend an open house.

The art can also enhance your home while it’s on the market.

Let your home showcase local interior designers

A vacant home is a great backdrop for interior designers to show off their skills. Whether you turn your home over to one designer or several, their work can be the focal point for an interesting series of open house events to bring more visitors to your home.

Have a party instead of an open house

While you don’t want to spend too much on caterers and wine, an evening reception at your home can bring in a different crowd of prospective buyers who aren’t always available during the day.

This works particularly well if your property has elegant entertaining spaces or excellent exterior lighting.

Host a workshop or charity event

If your home is likely to appeal to first-time home buyers, ask your agent and lender host a how-to seminar in your living room.

If your home offers the space and sophistication to attract donors to a local charity, consider hosting a fundraiser and make sure your sales brochure is prominently displayed.

Hold a fishing contest

If your home sits on a river or lake and is likely to appeal to buyers who want to live on the water, set up a water-based event to bring attention to your property.

These six ideas offer a starting point: now it’s time for you and your selling agent to brainstorm about the types of open house events that work best with your home.

 

The Caton Team truly enjoys hosting our open houses and have utilized several of these idea in our own business.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/6-creative-open-house-ideas-to-sell-your-home-fast/?cid=eml-2014-09-bob-blog_3_open_house-blogs_sell&MID=2014_09_BoB_2013&RID=9851214

Remember to follow our Blog at: https://therealestatebeat.wordpress.com/

Got Questions? – The Caton Team is here to help.  

Email Sabrina & Susan at: Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Call us at: 650-568-5522 Office: 650-365-9200

Want Real Estate Info on the Go? Download our FREE Real Estate App:  http://thecatonteam.com/mobileapp

Visit our Website at:   http://thecatonteam.com/

VISIT OUR NEW INSTAGRAM PAGE: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

Visit us on Facebook:   http://www.facebook.com/pages/Sabrina-Susan-The-Caton-Team-Realtors/294970377834

Yelp us at: http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-caton-team-realtors-sabrina-caton-and-susan-caton-redwood-city

Or Yelp me: http://www.yelp.com/user_details_thanx?userid=gpbsls-_RLpPiE9bv3Zygw

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

 

The Fastest Way to Get Pre-Approved

The Fastest Way to Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved for a loan can make the whole home-buying experience go smoother.

When you’re pre-approved, REALTORS® are more likely to want you as a customer, sellers are more likely to accept your offer, and—by knowing what you can afford—you’ll know what homes to look at.

And it doesn’t have to be a hassle either. With these easy tips, you can get a pre-approval without ever leaving your sofa.

Get Your “Pre-Approved” Facts Straight

Applying for a pre-approval doesn’t require nearly as much paperwork as applying for a mortgage, but you’ll still need to be as accurate as possible if you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal—and the most offers.

Start by gathering the information you’ll need:

  • Estimated purchase cost.If you have a home in mind, look up the seller’s asking price to get an idea of how much you’d need to borrow.
  • Down payment amount.Knowing how much you can put down will have a big effect on your pre-approval.
  • Personal information. You’ll need basic info like Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers for anyone on the application.
  • Proof of income.Gather recent paystubs, tax returns and paperwork from your employer.
  • Proof of assets.Gather bank statements, retirement accounts, CDs and other documents showing your assets.

Estimate Your Credit Score

While any prospective lender will pull your credit score, you’ll also be asked to estimate your credit score on your application.

To make things easier, you can order a copy of your credit scores for a small fee from one the three credit bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion and Experian—before you apply for a pre-approved loan. By law, you’re entitled to one free credit history report a year from each of the credit bureaus.

You can also use your credit report to make an educated guess about your credit scores. For example, if you have low-to-no debts, active credit lines and a history of timely payments, you probably fall in the “good” credit score range.

Apply Online

Once you have your information and credit scores together, you have two options to apply for a pre-approved loan. If you have a particular lender in mind, you can visit the lender’s direct website to see if you can apply online.

Many lenders have this feature, but you’ll have to fill out an application for every lender you want to use.

If you want to go the faster route, try a pre-approval service like the one featured on the realtor.com® individual listings page. By checking the box that says, “I want to get pre-approved by a lender”, you’ll be connected with up to three lenders right away.

Staying Safe

Before you apply online, read through the company’s privacy settings. Look for companies who state this information:

  • Clearly list how your personal information will be used
  • Explains their pre-approval process
  • Guarantees not to sell your personal information to third-party companies or vendors

Knowing what you can expect while getting pre-approved will keep your identity safe.

 

My two cents – Your Home Loan is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of your home purchase – second to the actual home! You need to work with a reputable lender who picks up the phone nights and weekends. I prefer my clients do not work with an online lender since their customer service lacks greatly during the most crucial part of the transaction – the escrow period. And that could cost the buyer money for not performing in time per the contract. If you are looking for a great lender – give The Caton Team a call and we’d be happy to connect you with client approved and Caton Team tested lenders.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/fastest-way-get-pre-approved/?cid=eml-2014-09-bob-blog_2_pre_approval-blogs_finance&MID=2014_09_BoB_2013&RID=9851214

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