Buying a home? Here’s what the Equifax breach could mean for you.

Buying a home? Here’s what the Equifax breach could mean for you.

We should all be paying attention to the recent Equifax data breach, estimated to potentially impact the personal data of 143 million U.S. consumers. Not great odds considering that’s one third of the entire country. But, if you’re currently applying for a mortgage or buying a home, you need to stay extra alert.

Back up. So, what happened?

On September 7, Equifax revealed that hackers gained access to company data that contained sensitive information including social security and driver’s license numbers. You go to Equifax’s cybersecurity page to see if your data may be included in the breach, but there’s really no definitive way to tell. Just assume your data was impacted and play it safe.

Why is this such a big deal?

While data breaches are nothing new in recent years (think Target and TJMaxx), this one is especially sensitive due to the nature of the data as well as the shear number of consumers impacted. As one of the country’s three credit reporting companies, Equifax holds the keys to A LOT of your personal data — enough to do major damage including stealing your identity or even purchasing a home in your name.

At the same time, in today’s online, cloud-based world, any organization could be at risk.

“I’m not surprised that anyone gets hacked these days. If the Pentagon and White House can be hacked, any of the three credit agencies could, too,” said personal finance expert and syndicated real estate columnist Ilyce Glink, publisher of ThinkGlink.com.

What does this mean for homebuyers?

If you’re in the process of applying for a mortgage or buying a home, this credit breach couldn’t have come at a worse time. Housing columnist Ken Harney recently laid out a few scenarios that could impact your home purchase.

Hackers could create new accounts in your name that put you into debt and drain your FICO credit score. We know your credit score is at the center of your purchase–it determines what type of loan you qualify for and your interest rate. That’s a big deal considering most first-time homebuyers choose a 30-year loan.

Fraud can ultimately impact your ability to qualify for a home loan. Furthermore, getting your credit file corrected can take time and cause you to lose out on your home contact.

What can you do?

Check your credit report. The most important first step is to check your three credit reports free at annualcreditreport.com to determine if anyone has tampered with your accounts. It also provides you with a baseline credit report as you monitor for any changes.

Review your monthly statements. Don’t rely on auto payments for your credit card or other bills. Review your statements and be on the lookout for anything out of the ordinary.

Review your bank statements. Review your bank statements weekly. Set up mobile banking alerts so you know if any unplanned transaction takes place.

Fraud alerts. Consider placing a fraud alert on your files. It warns creditors to take extra steps to verify your identity before issuing credit in your name. To set up, contact one of the three major credit reporting companies and they will send your request to the other two bureaus.

Credit freeze. Although credit freezing isn’t typically recommended before a major purchase, experts including Terry W. Clemans, executive director of the National Consumer Reporting Association, now give this guidance. A credit freeze makes it harder for someone to open a new account in your name. Keep in mind that a credit freeze won’t prevent a thief from making charges to your existing accounts. You’ll have to contact each company to set it up and costs may vary.

File your 2017 taxes ASAP. This is the year to file your taxes early — take action before any scammer can. Tax identity theft happens when someone uses your Social Security number to get a tax refund or a job.

Credit reporting companies

Equifax: 1-800-525-6285 or www.equifax.com

Experian: 1-888-397-3742 or www.experian.com

TransUnion: 1-800-680-7289 or www.transunion.com

I read this article at: https://downpaymentresource.com/buying-home-heres-equifax-breach-mean/

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/

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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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Click Here for Help with Down Payment Assistance Programs in California

Hello Fellow Californians!

I personally understand that struggle of coming up with the down payment to buy a home.  20% in any price range can be a daunting figure to save up for.  And if you’re buying in an appreciating market, for instance, the Silicon Valley – then sometimes you can’t save fast enough!

Thankfully the California Association of Realtors created a website where you can search for downpayment assistance programs statewide.  We added it to our website – please check out the link below…

http://thecatonteam.com/downpaymenthelp

We know you’ll have questions – so please feel free to contact us any time.

Call our desk at 650-568-5522 – you can also leave a message or email us at Info@TheCatonTeam.com

Prefer to send a text – happy to share my private cell!

 

The Caton Team Realtors is here to guide the way.  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

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

Co-borrowing on the rise: What makes for a smooth deal?

With so much talk about “Equity Share” and helping buyer get into homes – it’s time to talk about how it works.  Thought I would share this article BY LEW SICHELMAN

Co-borrowing on the rise: What makes for a smooth deal?

The most important consideration isn’t getting into a co-borrowing deal, but how all parties plan to get out of it.

Ever since Ugh married Meg and they could barely afford their first cave, there have been co-signers named Mom and Pop making mortgages possible.

But co-signers can come in many forms. Another relative, friend, employer, roommate, significant other or even an investor can agree to be on a mortgage that someone can’t qualify for on his or her own.

Nowadays, slightly more than one in every five houses purchased with financing in the first quarter — 22 percent — involved co-borrowers, according to Attom Data Solutions. That’s up from 20 percent for the same period last year and in 2015, when the real estate information company first began tracking the phenomenon.

The incidence of co-borrowers is even higher in 11 of the country’s largest cities. In Miami, a whopping four out of every 10 single-family dwellings purchased in January, February and March were bought with an unmarried co-borrower. In Seattle, the share of co-borrower purchases was 37 percent; in San Diego and Los Angeles, 28 percent.

The main reason homebuyers need co-borrowers is because they can’t qualify to purchase the house they want, says Attom Chief Economist Daren Bloomquist, who co-signed for his wife’s sister and her husband so they could afford to buy in pricey Southern California.

Housing prices are so expensive in some locations that without help, many buyers might be relegated to the rental market forever.

And some buyers don’t have the credit scores, credit histories or the debt-to-income ratios to buy, even at a reasonable price. On top of that, many buyers are looking at houses beyond their means.

Blomquist is seeing a rise in companies offering to help young buyers in exchange for a piece of the action in the form of shared appreciation. Outfits such as unison.com “are institutionalizing the idea of co-borrowing and shared equity,” he explained.

All of this begs the question: How should you approach a co-borrowing situation, both as a buyer and as a co-signer?

When co-borrowing gets complicated

The most important consideration isn’t getting into a co-borrowing deal, but how all parties plan to get out of it.

While clear heads prevail — when both sides are excited about the deal and there have been no disagreements yet — you should sit down together and decide how and when it will end.

It might make sense for the agreement to last long enough for the buyer to build up credit, income and cash reserves to eventually buy out the co-signer. But what if interest rates rise, and it’s unwise for the buyer to seek a new loan? In that scenario, the deal might include some kind of buffer, either a period of time or a certain mortgage rate.

The main point to parse is what share of the profits the co-borrower will be entitled to, if there are, indeed, any profits to split. A relative may not want anything in return — thanks, Mom and Dad! — but a less partial signer might want a healthy chunk.

It’s easy to identify profit if a buyer agrees to sell and move on. But if there is no sale, the parties will need to know the home’s value at the time the deal is to be dissolved.

An appraisal, the cost of which should be borne equally, is in order in this case. But if one side or the other disagrees with the valuation, it might be a good idea for each party to pay for their own appraisal. If there is any difference between the two, one option could be to split the difference down the middle.

The parties should also have a plan for if the value of the property goes down: Will the co-signer share in the loss, and to what extent?

Another aspect of the deal that people tend to forget is improvements made to the property during the co-owner period. Usually, the buyer foots the bill for things such as landscaping and an addition. But will he or she have to share in the value these and other features that add to the home’s worth?

Co-signers on the mortgage are not on the title and have no ownership interest in the place. Yet their own debt-to-income ratio could take a hit because they have incurred debt by co-signing. Consequently, their ability to obtain their own mortgage, home equity loan or even a credit card could be limited.

Remember, too, that if a buyer doesn’t make the house payments as promised, the lender will come to the co-signer, who will be responsible not just for the payments but also late fees and, if it comes to that, collection fees and lawyer’s fees. Late payments are likely to take a heavy toll, as is a co-signer’s personal relationship with the buyer.

To protect themselves and keep tabs on “tardy alerts,” co-borrowers should insist that both they and the buyer be billed separately by the mortgage company.

Lew Sichelman’s weekly column, “The Housing Scene,” is syndicated to newspapers throughout the country.

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: https://www.inman.com/2017/08/30/co-borrowing-on-the-rise-what-makes-for-a-smooth-deal/

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

5 Little Tips That Will Save You So Much Money

Saving money for a downpayment on a house is a huge task.  I know – I’m doing it.  So when I saw this article – I had to share it!

5 Little Tips That Will Save You So Much Money

By Beth

Saving money is the key to a successful life. You need to have money stashed away for a rainy day, just in case you want to take a trip, plan the wedding of a lifetime, buy a car or something unexpected happens. When you’re looking for the best way to save money quickly, it’s easy to try too hard or put too much of your income away. Like all things in life, the best way to save money fast is to do it little by little. Don’t forget the 50/20/30 rule and do the rest as you go…

1. Have a no spend weekend

You’re less likely to spend money at work, besides lunch and travel expenses. It’s during the weekend when most of us go shopping crazy. From eating out to buying new shoes, it feels good, but it’s better to have a no spend weekend once in a while. Don’t order food, don’t eat out, and plan your meals beforehand. Go out and do something that doesn’t involve spending money, and put aside what you were planning to spend on new clothes once the weekend is over!

2. Automate it

If you’re truly terrible with money, set up a direct debit from one account to another. Start small and build it up. The less you feel it coming out of your account, the easier it will be to build-up large amounts in savings. If you add up the automated payments you make to subscription services you’ll probably be surprised how much you’re spending a year.

3. Waste less food

Plan your meals on a Sunday, eat your leftovers for lunch and keep track of your food waste bin. It might not feel like you’re saving money by eating yesterday’s dinner over your desk but it’s estimated that you’ll save around $500 a year. It doesn’t feel like much but it goes a long way.

4. Learn delayed gratification

It’s something that we forget as we get older, but when you see something you really want, part of the reward of adulthood (and working hard) is that you can actually get it. But if you delay that gratification, save the money for it first and buy it at the very end of the month (before your next paycheck), you get to feel like you’ve earned it, which makes the treat much sweeter.

5. Get a financial advisor on your phone

My must have when I’m keeping track of my incomings and outgoings is Daily Budget. Career Girl Daily’s co-founder Ellen introduced me to it a while ago and I haven’t looked back. It’s come in handy when buying my first ever house, paying bills, and saving money to buy expensive coffee tables. It tells you how much you should spend a day, and how much you should save in order to reach your savings goal. Genius.

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://frame.bloglovin.com/?post=5817666551&blog=13517561&frame_type=none

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

 

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

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 Makes a Good Mortgage Applicant

Came across this article and felt it was timely – being in the summer swing Real Estate Market…  

What Makes a Good Mortgage Applicant

Lenders use specific criteria to determine whether applicants qualify for a mortgage and what the terms of the loan should be. The Motley Fool highlights several metrics lenders value the most when it comes to approving borrowers for a loan.

How does your client’s income compare to the amount they want to borrow?

Many lenders believe housing costs—which also include property taxes and homeowners insurance—should be less than 28 percent of a person’s income. Lenders may allow borrowers with less debt to take on larger mortgages.

What is your client’s debt load?

Many lenders consider the maximum debt-to-income ratio to be between 36 percent and 43 percent. Lenders expect total debts—which include the cost of the mortgage, other housing expenses, and unpaid debts—not to exceed that percentage. Otherwise, a borrower may not get approved for a loan.

Does your client have good credit?

Lenders will look at your client’s credit score to determine whether they’re a responsible borrower. People with credit scores higher than 740 often get the most favorable mortgage terms. A credit score below 620, on the other hand, could result in the denial of a mortgage. Some subprime lenders may be willing to lend to a borrower at a higher interest rate. But your clients might be better off taking steps to improve their credit and qualify for a more favorable loan, experts say.

What’s your client’s employment situation?

Borrowers who have been employed for only a short time at their most recent job or who have a history of changing jobs frequently may be a red flag for lenders. Many want to see two years of steady income on a borrower’s financial record.

believe Home Ownership is key to long term financial health.  We all need a place to live and fixing that cost over the long term is so important.  Saving for the downpayment is a journey I too am going on.  Maintaining a healthy credit score, cutting down costs and increasing saving each much is part of my regular diet – so I wanted to take a moment and share this article since it was short and concise.  If you are considering a purchase, The Caton Team is happy to sit down with you and map out the way.  Contact us any time – Info@TheCatonTeam.com

– Sabrina 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2017/06/14/what-makes-good-mortgage-applicant?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 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