Is Mortgage Insurance Really Worth It?

Is Mortgage Insurance Really Worth It?

If you’re considering a low down payment mortgage—less than 20%–you may have heard you’ll need to pay mortgage insurance (also known as MI, private mortgage insurance or PMI, and mortgage insurance premium or MIP) in addition to your monthly mortgage payment. While it adds another monthly payment to your mortgage, it may also help you get in a home sooner. Let’s look at your options and some hidden benefits of MI.

What is mortgage insurance?

MI helps manage risk for your lender and protect them if you fail to repay the mortgage, making the loan safer for investors. Investors have set parameters that loans must meet before they are purchased. One key parameter is that the mortgage has a loan-to-value ratio of at least 80%, meaning that the borrowers have made a 20% down payment.

MI was created to help more buyers get over that hurdle and afford to buy a home. With MI, you can put down less than 20% and still become a homeowner.

But, is MI really worth it or should you wait until you have 20% down?

Benefits of mortgage insurance

Before you write off mortgage insurance, let’s look at how it may provide valuable opportunities and options to you as a homebuyer.

Increased buying power. Say you’ve saved $20,000. You can use that cash to put 20% down on a $100,000 home OR you could make a smaller down payment on a more expensive home — for example, 10% down on a $200,000 home.

Expanded cash-flow options. Using MI to finance your mortgage, you can elect to put less money down and still have funds for home-related purchases and repairs or investments. For example, rather than putting 20% down ($40,000) on a $200,000 home, you could put down 10% ($20,000) and use the other $20,000 to remodel.

Lower monthly payments. If you have good credit, you may be eligible for lower borrower paid MI rates.

Predictable monthly payments. A fixed-rate mortgage with MI provides you with a locked-in monthly payment that will not increase and that will be reduced when MI coverage is cancelled.

Mortgage insurance may be cancelled. On most loans with MI, coverage must automatically be cancelled by the lender when the loan reaches 78% of original value through amortization. MI also may be cancelled when extra payments bring the loan below 80% of original value. Contact your loan servicer for a full description of cancellation requirements.

FHA or Conventional loan?

FHA is known for their low down payments for first-time homebuyers, but consider all your options. Many conventional fixed rate loans offer lower than FHA’s 3.5% down. Plus, when you use a fixed rate loan and borrower paid MI, you can cancel your mortgage insurance when you reach 20% equity in your home. With FHA, you must continue to pay MI for the life of the loan.

Down payment programs can give you a boost

Don’t overlook the homeownership programs available in every community. These programs offer grants and loans that can fund your closing costs and down payments, helping supplement your down payment savings and get you closer to that 20% threshold faster. Find out what programs may be in your area.

How do you pay for MI?

Talk to your lender about MI plans available. There are borrower paid and lender paid plans. If you have a higher credit score, you may get a reduced rate with a borrower paid plan. With lender paid plans, the MI premium is usually built into the mortgage interest rate or the origination fee. If a lender says they have a “no MI” option, look at all the fees and ask how MI is calculated.

Should you buy now or wait?

Take some time to evaluate your personal situation. Interview multiple lenders and shop your loan. It’s important to get your financing locked down before you begin shopping for homes. MGIC, a mortgage insurance provider, offers a calculator that can help you assess whether you should buy now or wait.

Contact The Caton Team any time with all your Real Estate questions.

The Caton Team is comprised of Susan and Sabrina Caton – a mother/daughter in law team.  We are full time, local Realtors with over 25 years of combined Real Estate experience.  How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://downpaymentresource.com/mortgage-insurance-really-worth/

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula 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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

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5 Most Common Home Buyer Regrets

5 Most Common Home Buyer Regrets

You can imagine the importance I felt when I came across this article on Realtor.com. I never want my clients to experience buyer’s remorse. I know the key to preventing that is education and a game plan. The Caton Team is dedicate to educating our buying clients every step of the way. Please enjoy this article and my 2 cents in italics. – Sabrina

Half of recent home buyers say that if they could repeat the homebuying process, they’d do something differently, according to a survey by financial website NerdWallet.com. Respondents indicate that their biggest source of regret when buying a home was not preparing enough financially for homeownership. Here are some of the most common reasons for buyer regret, according to the survey.

  1. Purchasing a home that’s too expensive.Millennials and Generation X members were more likely than baby boomers to say they overspent on their home purchase, according to the NerdWallet survey. A 2015 MacArthur Foundation survey also found that more than half of consumers had to make sacrifices in order to afford their mortgage or rent. About 20 percent said they took an extra job, 17 percent stopped saving for retirement, and 14 percent accumulated credit card debt, according to the MacArthur survey.

Especially in the Silicon Valley where our real estate prices are 300%* higher than the average. So yes, those buyers had to bite the bullet if they wanted to stay in the Bay Area. However, they probably already have equity! Truly, for a first time homebuyer – getting into the first home is always a challenge, it is always costs more initially but in the long run – investing in real estate is a solid investment – where else can you live in your investment and gain equity!

  1. Purchasing a home that doesn’t fit their needs.About 5 percent of respondents to the NerdWallet survey say their home didn’t align with their homeownership goals. Housing experts recommend avoiding common homebuying mistakes like forgoing a home inspection, ignoring commute time, or choosing the wrong neighborhood. Also, consumers need to know what amenities they need. That’s not always easy: 7 percent of buyers say the amenities and features they valued most changed after buying a home.

Ouch – that is a tough one. I see this happen during the buying journey. Truthfully, in our experience, what a buyer wants when we sit down for our first appointment is often very different from the house they actually buy down the road. The key to not buying a house you do not need is to truly write down what you want in your home, what you feel you need in the home and then compare it to your price point and what homes in that area and price offer you. Then re-evaluate. Sometimes you don’t need the extra bedroom today – perhaps a smaller home in a better neighborhood will fill your needs today and down the road. You’ve got keep an open mind; you’ve got to evaluate every step and be open and honest with your communications to yourself and to your Realtors. Together – we’ll figure this out!

  1. Not putting enough money down.Low-down-payment loans can help buyers without robust savings get into a home, but some may later regret not saving more before taking on the costs of homeownership. Twenty-eight percent of millennials and 27 percent of Gen Xers say they wish they had saved more before buying their house, according to the NerdWallet survey.

The down-payment can me the hardest money to save! Having at least 20% is ideal– a buyer will avoid Private Mortgage Insurance with 20% down. (Although there are loans where you can bring in less that 20%, take out a second mortgage avoid PMI.) So don’t give up right away. Saving for the down is important but you most also factor in your current real estate market. If you cannot save money as fast as the market appreciates – then we have some strategizing to do. It’s best to get the most information you can before you start house hunting. The Caton Team offers our buyer clients an free, initial consultation to help you through the journey.

  1. Not being organized.Many home shoppers say they wish they had gathered paperwork before the mortgage application process and developed a system for keeping it organized. That includes W-2 or tax return forms, profit-and-loss statements for business owners, brokerage statements, proof of Social Security income, and evidence of child support payments. Home shoppers also need proof of their assets, such as documentation of down-payment gifts and copies of bank statements, as well as information on outstanding debts.

When you jump into buying a home, the first step is getting a home loan. That requires copious amounts of paperwork. And!!! That same darn paperwork will need to be sent, multiple times throughout the journey. I could go on and on about the paperwork. So let me be frank for a second. Buying a home will feel like a second job. There is only so much your Realtor and your Lender can do FOR YOU – most of the work must be down BY YOU. You will need to have your documents in order and easy to access. You will need to know your budget, your boundaries. It is a lot of work, it is your journey but let me assure you – it’s the best journey!

  1. Not shopping around for a loan.Half of borrowers take the first mortgage that’s offered to them, according to a survey by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. But shopping around for a mortgage with an interest rate that is even half of a percentage point lower can result in tens of thousands of dollars in savings over the life of the mortgage. Home buyers should compare more than interest fees, including the cost of private mortgage insurance and the loan’s APR (which is the interest rate, points, fees, and other charges all rolled into a yearly rate).

Here’s more work for the Buyer – but doing this work – this research – will pay off in the end. When The Caton Team meet with new buyers, we give them a list of our best lenders. Once you start applying for your home loan, you have 30 days to shop different banks and institutions. A Buyer will want to compare the Interest Rate offered (requires a formal loan application and credit check [Credit checks can cost the consumer money]), the fees charged by each bank, (loan fees, appraisal fees etc) and compare which is the best. Don’t forget to take into account customer service. The Caton Team would hate to see a deal fall apart because a buyer hired the cheapest lender they could find who didn’t respect the contract of the time lines. Time is of the Essence in the contract – it is even part of the contract. So don’t’ forget you get what you pay for.

 

Buying and Selling Real Estate is our Full Time Job – so if you have questions – we have answers. What can The Caton Team do for you?

 

Source: “The 10 Biggest Regrets People Have About Buying a Home,” CheatSheet.com (June 14, 2017)

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/06/14/5-most-common-home-buyer-regrets?tp=i-H43-Bb-Eg-32lY-1p-EHi7-1c-31VF-kLfrQ&om_rid=725620%20&Om_ntype=RMOdaily&om_mid=910

 

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula 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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

What You Need to Know before Shopping for a Mortgage

Buying a home doesn’t start with the house – it starts with the home loan.  I cannot tell you how important it is for Buyers to LOAN SHOP BEFORE they house shop!  It is a task only the Buyer can do.  Your Realtor cannot apply for home loans for you.  It is a LOT OF WORK!  Ask anyone who recently brought a home, you will be scanning and rescanning documents till you’re blue in the face.  I find many people shy from the responsibility which will only make their journey into homeownership much more difficult.  In our Silicon Valley Market – Time is of the Essence.  I say this because it is also a term in our legally binding contract – not just a sediment of our breakneck speed.   

So when I read this article, I knew I had to share it.  So here you go…

What You Need to Know before Shopping for a Mortgage

Buying a home is probably the largest purchase you will ever make. The best ways to ensure that you do not make a mistake that could cost you thousands or tens of thousands of dollars over the term of the loan is to shop around for the best possible mortgage for your circumstances. What should you know before hopping for your loan?

How is your credit?

Whether you get a loan or not is dependent on your personal credit situation. You must have a credit score that will assure you of meeting the lender’s requirements for approval. Also, the rates you are offered for the loan will be a direct result of your credit scores. Therefore, before going mortgage shopping, access your credit reports and scores. Just because your credit is not perfect does not mean you would not qualify for a mortgage. If there are negative entries on your credit reports, make sure that they are accurate. Errors are commonly made and they result in depressed scores. There are laws that govern what and how information is reported on your credit reports. These laws were passed toprotect you. If you do not know how to exercise your consumer rights, there are legitimate Credit Restoration companies who could do this for you (like New You Credit Repair). Look for the NACSO logo on their website to assure yourself that these companies are legitimate.

Want to know more about getting a mortgage or bettering your credit profile and scores, give us a call!  650.568.5522 / Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Comparison Shop

Before choosing a mortgage, do a little comparison shopping and get information from several lenders. You should ask for quotes from commercial banks, mortgage companies, and credit unions and compare the rates you receive for the types of mortgages offered. Most people are surprised to find significant differences in the offers they are given.

Clarify Costs

Make sure you know upfront all of the costs associated with a mortgage. You should ask for specific information concerning:

•Rates

•Points

•Fees

•Down Payments

•Mortgage Insurance

•Closing Costs

The goal is to avoid any surprises concerning hidden fees, so never feel as if you are asking too many questions. The more you know the less risk there is you will end up with a mortgage you cannot afford.

Negotiate

It is possible to negotiate a better offer than what you are initially given. If you like things about one mortgage offer and other things about another mortgage offer, let the lenders know what you have been offered and see if they will work with you to get you the exact mortgage you want.

Communication is key in this process.  Speak freely with your lender, your Reatlor and yourself.  Ask questions.  Do the ‘Homework’.  The Caton Team has over 25 years combined Silicon Valley Real Estate Experience.  We know what it takes!  Curious if you can buy – give us a call or email to set up a complimentary evaluation.   650.568.5522 / Info@TheCatonTeam.com

I read this article at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-you-need-know-before-shopping-mortgage-stephen-leifer

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula 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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

San Mateo County Farmers Markets, Events & Things to Do!

San Mateo County Farmers Markets, Events & Things to Do!

FARMERS MARKETS

Belmont
Year-round: Sun 10:00am-2:00pm
El Camino Real and O’Neill Ave

Brisbane
Year-round: Thur 2:30-6:30pm
11 Old County Road

Daly City
Year-round: Thur & Sat 9:00am-1:00pm
Serramonte Shopping Center 

Foster City
Year-Round: Sat. 9:00am-1:00pm
Sun. 2:30pm-6:30pm
791 Beach Park Blvd. 

Menlo Park
Year-round: Sun. 9:00am-1:00pm
1050 Chestnut St. 

Millbrae
Year-round: Sat. 8:00am-1:00pm
200 Broadway, Millbrae

Redwood City
Multiple Venues and Times – see link

San Mateo
Year-round: Sat. 9:00am-1:00pm
College of San Mateo

San Carlos
Year-round: Sun. 10:00am-2:00pm
700 Block Laurel Street

Events

Community Day in the Park
June 4, 2017
12:00pm-5:00pm
San Bruno City Park

Summer Foodfest
June 24, 2017
12:00pm
Facebook Headquarters

Biggest Little Airshow
June 3, 2017
10:00am
Hiller Aviation Museum
San Carlos

cityFEST
June 2-4, 2017
5:00pm
Leo Ryan Park
Foster City

Summer Concert Series – Beatles Tribute
June 14, 2017
6:30pm-8:00pm
Fremont Park
Menlo Park

Free First Fridays
June 2, 2017
10:00am-4:00pm
San Mateo County History Museum
Redwood City

Movies on the Square – Hidden Figures
June 1, 2017
8:45pm-11:00pm
Courthouse Square
Redwood City

St. Pius Festival
June 3-4, 2017
1:00pm-10:00pm
St. Pius Church
Redwood City

First Fridays
June 2, 2017
10:16am
Barracuda Japanese Restaurant
Burlingame

San Mateo County Fair
June 10-18, 2017
10:00am
San Mateo County Event Center

 

THINGS TO DO

Planet Granite Belmont
Crystal Springs Regional Trail 
San Bruno Mountain State Park
Half Moon Bay Brewing Company
Peninsula Museum of Art 
Hiller Aviation Museum 
San Mateo County History Museum
Filoli
Bay Area Ski Bus
Devil’s Canyon Brewing Company
Bel Mateo Bowl 
Half Moon Bay State Beach 
Poplar Creek Golf Course
Half Moon Bay Golf Links
CuriOdyssey
S
anchez Adobe
M
emorial Park  
Club Fox
U
nleashed Art Gallery 
Museum of PEZ Memorabilia
GoKart Racer

 

MOVIES COMING SOON

Friday, June 2, 2017
Wonder Woman
Captain Underpants
Churchill

Friday, June 9, 2017
The Mummy
The Hero

Friday, June 16, 2017
Cars 3
Rough Night
Resident Evil: Vendetta

Friday, June 23, 2017
Transformers: The Last Knight
The Beguiled

Friday, June 30, 2017
Despicable Me 3
The House

 

Courtesy of Chicago Title Company
17 Father’s Day Activities: Source.

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula 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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

What it takes to purchase a home…tips for planning

What it takes to purchase a home…tips for planning

When thinking about purchasing a new home, it’s always a good idea to factor in the closing costs so you can properly plan and manage your finances. In general, you can expect to pay 2-5% of the purchase price in closing costs in addition to the down payment.

 

Total costs at closing can typically include the following:

Down Payment  3.5% – 20% of the purchase price depending on a buyer’s qualifications and type of loan.

Earnest Money Deposit (generally 3% of the purchase price)  The money put down with a real estate purchase offer  – it usually goes into an escrow account upon acceptance of the offer by the seller and is part of the buyer’s total closing costs and down payment.

Lender Fees  Includes charges for loan processing, underwriting and preparation

Third-party Fees  Includes appraisal fees, inspection charges, home warranty, mandated state disclosure reports (not already paid by seller)

Government Fees  Includes deed recording, possible state and city taxes

Interest Fees  Includes mortgage interest and pro-rated interest

Escrow Fees  Includes owner and lender title insurance, escrow fees, document preparation

Property Taxes  Includes capital tax based on sale price, local taxes

Please do not hesitate to contact us when you are ready to take the next step. We can help you to get approved and guide you on the way to home ownership.  What can we do for you?

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula 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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

SPECIAL POST – Making an Offer: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

Making an Offer: 5 Mistakes to Avoid

I had to post this article the moment I read it. So timely – and allow me to add my Silicon Valley Realtor 2 cents in italics.  

In competitive housing markets across the country, making an offer that sticks has become increasingly difficult. Ensure your client doesn’t make the process even tougher by succumbing to one of these common mistakes.

The Caton Team works with Sellers and Buyers up and down the San Francisco Peninsula.  So we know – as a Seller’s Realtor  – what we want to see in an offer and supporting documents which only aids us when we represent Buyers.  

Delaying

“Time kills deals,” says Andrew Sandholm of BOND New York Properties in New York. “Dragging your feet means you could wind up paying more in a bidding war situation or missing out on the property altogether.” Buyers need to be ready with their paperwork, such as bank statements, a pre-approval letter, and documents supporting proof of funds, from the day they begin house-hunting mode. That way they can pounce quickly with an offer when they do find a home they like.

My goodness, this is the truth.  In fact, in order to ensure my Buyers a smoother experience, I no longer show homes until the Buyer has been pre-approved.  A Buyer MUST KNOW their own budget, how much they can afford, how much their lives cost BEFORE they start house hunting.  Once we find a home, we must focus on THAT HOME and the disclosures package.  When we sit down to write an offer, that is NOT the time to discuss budget.  That’s the time to discuss the home, condition, inspections, disclosures and how much it is worth to you.  To be frank – to be a successful Buyer in the Silicon Valley – a Buyer should have Under Writer Approval.  That is what it takes to be a strong and successful  Buyer in the Silicon Valley Real Estate Market.  Curious what that means – give The Caton Team a call.

Making an offer for their preapproved amount

Smart buyers are getting preapproved to show a seller they’re financially able to purchase a home. However, Chuck Silverston, principal at Unlimited Sotheby’s International Realty in Brookline, Mass., warns buyers against using that document to come up with an offer amount.

“Many buyers come in with a preapproval for the exact offer price, but when you’re competing against other offers, including cash offers, you want to show financial strength,” Silverston says. “An exact preapproval could make a listing agent nervous because not only does the buyer not have any wiggle room to negotiate, but they might no longer qualify if interest rates rise.”

There was a time in our Real Estate Market that we would customize each lender approval letter with the offer price.  It was a a way of not showing all your cards at once.  For instance, you are approved for $3 million but your letter and offer says $2 million.  Well when the Sellers Realtor lines up the offers and tries to determine financial strength – having no wiggle room in your lender letter will diminish your financial strength.  And sadly, though my lender calls on behalf of my Buyers to each offer we write – many lenders do not call.  I know this as my phone is radio silent on offer day – too bad more lenders don’t step up to the plate and offer wonderful customer service.  But that is a whole other blog!

Submitting a lowball offer

Lowballing a seller often backfires, particularly in a seller’s market. “A lowball offer that isn’t backed up with math or comparable sales data is disrespectful and could turn off the seller and possibly mean you will miss out on the property completely,” Sandholm says.

From time to time, as a Seller’s Realtor – we’ll get these mysterious faxed in offers.  (I joke, they are not faxed anymore) but you get my gist.  They are awful offers, terribly written, and low.  Too low.  Insultingly low.  As a Seller – don’t get offended.  As a professional Realtor – The Caton Team knows how to handle these delicate situations.

Waiving inspection contingencies

“I don’t care whether it’s new construction or even your mom’s house you’re buying from her – get it inspected,” urges Joshua Jarvis of Jarvis Team Realty in Duluth, Ga. Further, if you waive the inspection contingency in your offer, you may lose the earnest money if you later back out of the deal.

Well, if you are a Buyer in the Silicon Valley – and you’ve written more than one offer – you have learned the hard way that contingencies are deal killers in a sellers market.  If a Buyer is in a multiple offer situation – any contingency can and probably will throw you to the bottom of the stack.  HOWEVER, The Caton Team understands what a Seller wants in their offer and we understand what the Buyer needs.  The Caton Team has a great Buyer Strategy when these critical terms are at stake.  Come sit down with us and we’ll discuss our distinctive Buying in Silicon Valley strategy.  

Not presenting yourself well enough

In a seller’s market, buyers need to take steps to make sure they look good in the eyes of the seller. “In today’s highly competitive environment, the listing agent is trying to determine which buyer will be the easiest to deal with,” Silverston says. Buyers may want to avoid pointing out every defect, making nitpicky queries, or questioning the seller’s tastes.

“Basically buyers who act less than enthusiastic will see themselves at a competitive disadvantage when sellers are comparing multiple offers,” he says.

“The easiest to deal with”… Did you catch that phrase?  When the Caton Team works with Sellers and reviews offers – we are looking for the best offer, with the best terms that WILL CLOSE ESCROW!.  Taking a great – high offer – no contingencies blah blah blah – won’t matter a hill of beans if it does not close escrow.  

What sets The Caton Team apart from other Realtors is our level of hustle.  I don’t know another word for what I do when I represent a Buyer.  I hustle.  Ask my clients.  Read my YELP reviews.  I work hard.  Finding a home is no longer my principle job as a Realtor.  I know that sounds funny but with the internet and all the listings available online 24/7 – finding the home has become the Buyers Journey.  But GETTING THE HOME – is what I do best.  The Caton Team has exceptional  negotiating skills.  It starts with the first call to our fellow Realtor when we find the home, through the disclosure review, through the offer writing, through the offer presenting.  Yes, The Caton Team still presents their offers.  When possible we take the time to present the offer to the Sellers Agent, we ask questions before, during and after.  If you have ever worked with us – you will know and see the difference in our level of service.  Any agent can find a home, but The Caton Team will guide you on how to get the home YOU WANT! 

What does that mean?  Well you know – come sit down with The Caton Team and we’ll chat about it.  

How can The Caton Team help you?

Thank you for read,

Sabrina

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/05/10/making-offer-5-mistakes-avoid?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BZE0AQB9bqaWV2&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula 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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page:  http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedInhttps://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

http://ajourneythroughhomeownership.wordpress.com

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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

Help Clients Avoid House-Hunting Drama

Help Clients Avoid House-Hunting Drama

The Caton Team’s two cents is added in italics.

“Moving is one of the most stressful situations that a person can go through,” says Frank Schofield, an associate broker with Summit REALTORS® in Northern Virginia. “It’s one of the most rewarding, but also one of the most stressful.”

To make the house-hunt a little less stressful, real estate pros offer the following tips:

  1. Determine what you want upfront, and stick to that criteria.

What are your non-negotiables? What location do you desire? What educational opportunities are important? What do you want your daily commute to be? And what price are you willing to pay? “The first step to avoid house hunting drama is to really sit back and think about what is most important to you,” advises Jason Mitchell, founder and president of Jason Mitchell Real Estate. “This will narrow down your scope so you are not looking at hundreds of homes, just the ones that fit in your criteria. … Looking in an area that’s not going to provide the home type that you want is going to cause frustration.”

Being focused is most important. It is also easier said than done, especially if this is your first purchase. The Caton Team suggests you start with a broad scope when you first start off. We like to cover as many options for the start and work our way down quickly to a manageable list.

  1. Get preapproved for a mortgage.

Avoid delays once you do find a home by getting your loan preapproved. “If there is any issue, it is identified early on in the process and not the moment that you’re trying to submit a contract on the property,” says Schofield. Also, you’ll know your numbers and how much to expect on a monthly payment to make sure you’re house-shopping within your price range.

THIS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT STEP. So important – The Caton Team suggests you get pre-approved even before we meet. Knowing how much mortgage you qualify for, knowing any defects on the credit report before the hunt even starts ensures a smooth experience. And it helps us bring into focus what is most important, where that is and what it looks like in a home. 

  1. Communicate.

Share with your real estate agent the biggest stressors and fears you have in the home-buying process. “The more open the client is with the agent, the less drama is going to present itself in the transaction,” says Schofield. “You have to trust your agent and relate to them as a confidant, as an ally.”

We couldn’t agree more. Being comfortable with your Realtors takes some of the stress off the situation. It helps us too! If we feel we have open communication and trust – truly we (The Caton Team and you) can move mountains.

  1. Don’t linger too long.

“Believe me, procrastination causes drama,” Schofield says. For home buyers on a deadline, Schofield recommends beginning four to six months ahead of time to start learning more about the market. Plus, with mortgage rates forecasted to move higher this year, buyers who wait too long may find what they can afford lessen. “Have the right expectations, or else you’re setting yourself up for frustration,” Schofield says.

I always tell my clients – we are shopping now – with today’s rates, prices and market AND IT WILL CHANGE. Therefore together we plan accordingly.

 The Caton Team knows how much patience and work it takes for our clients to buy a home. We are happy to sit down, answer you questions and prepare a plan to turn your dreams into reality. How can The Caton Team help you?

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/01/03/help-clients-avoid-house-hunting-drama?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BYa-g2B9W3LGkZ&om_ntype=RMODaily

Remember to follow our Blog for the local real estate beat, a pulse on the San Francisco Peninsula 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

HomeSnaphttp://www.homesnap.com/Sabrina-Caton

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

Visit our INSTAGRAM page: http://instagram.com/thecatonteam

PINTREST: https://www.pinterest.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

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheCatonTeam

Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/sabrinawendtcaton

https://www.linkedin.com/in/susancatonrealtor

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

Effective. Efficient. Responsive.  What Can The Caton Team Do For You?

 

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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