Santa Cruz Real Estate Blog

Will FHA Loans Save Homebuyers Money in 2023?

Will FHA Loans Save Homebuyers Money in 2023?If you are looking for a home but do not have a large sum of cash to make a down payment an FHA mortgage program can be beneficial to you. According to the government's latest numbers, FHA loans may be very lucrative for those looking for some help in purchasing a home over the next year.

FHA stands for the Federal Housing Administration and they are the ones that back FHA loans to help a larger number of borrowers with a focus on first-time homebuyers to obtain mortgage loans to purchase homes. An FHA loan gives a borrower a chance to purchase a home by making a lower down payment of 3.5% as long as they have a credit score of 580 or above.

The FHA does not originate or fund the loans directly they work through agency-approved lenders. The FHA does however ensure these lenders against loan default. When you take out an FHA loan to purchase a home you will need to pay mortgage insurance premiums often referred to as MIP to help cover this default insurance.

MIP gets expensive and some mortgage and financial advisors have raised concerns about the monthly cost of mortgage insurance. But the latest FHA balance sheet can help to address insurance problems and may look more favorable for taking out an FHA loan in 2023.

FHA fund according to the numbers

The fiscal year for the FHA ending in September 2022 reported that there was $141.7 billion in cash on hand and the mutual mortgage insurance fund. This number increased by 41.2 billion from just the previous fiscal year. This fund is required to have a 2% raise or ratio. This means that it must maintain 2% of all possible insurance claims at the end of September 2022 the fund had a reserve ratio of 11.11% which...

Important Information About Assumable Mortgages

 Important Information About Assumable MortgagesAn assumable mortgage not only provides funding for a home buyer to purchase a home and move into the former seller's house but the opportunity to take over the former homeowner's loan. The buyer has the opportunity to take on the remaining balance of the current mortgage on a home as well as the repayment schedule and interest rate of that mortgage.

As mortgage rates are soaring much higher than anyone expected back in January of this year assumable mortgages are becoming more attractive to buyers that are hoping to find ways to get their interest rates down. For example, if a buyer takes on a mortgage loan originated in 2016 when the average rate was around 4% this could save a hopeful buyer a whopping 3% in interest points.

There is a twist to taking on the current mortgage on a property and that is that assuming the mortgage can only be done through a government-backed mortgage. These are loans including Federal Housing Administration FHA loans, Department of Agriculture USDA loans, and other government-backed loans. And in addition to assuming the home's current mortgage debt, the buyer will be responsible to pay off the difference between the mortgage balance and the home's current fair market value. This may cause a need for a second mortgage on the property.

How to assume an assumable mortgage

For a buyer to assume a current mortgage it requires the approval of the current loan servicer. If the buyer and seller enter into an agreement to assume the mortgage without the lender's knowledge they take a huge risk. If a lender finds out that a new homeowner has...

Santa Cruz Senior Real Estate Guide

Santa Cruz Senior Real Estate GuidePurchasing real estate in your golden years is a unique and exciting process and experience. Mature real estate clients have different real estate needs that require a more customized approach to help meet buying goals that are important in a different stage of life. 

Hiring a real estate professional that is aware of these needs and has gained the certification of Senior Real Estate Specialist is important. A senior real estate specialist (SRES) can help senior adults to make more in-depth informed decisions about their specific real estate needs including relocating, purchasing rental properties, selling a family home, downsizing, and more. 

What is an SRES Realtro®?

In 1997 the Senior Advantage Real Estate Council or SAREC was formed. This council was put together with a focus on providing real estate professionals the education necessary to meet the distinct needs and interests of Americans over the age of 50 interested in buying or selling real estate. 

The designation of Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) is awarded to Realtors® that have completed training offered through the SAREC. Realtors® that are members of the SAREC have demonstrated they have the necessary knowledge, experience, and expertise through their focused specialized training to guide their senior clients in the buying and selling processes of both residential and investment real estate properties with their specific and unique goals at the forefront. These include all of the major lifestyle and financial transitions of all stages of life. 

Additional Resource: ...

An Overview of Prop 19 and How it Benefits Homeowners

An Overview of Prop 19 and How it Benefits HomeownersProp 19 in California is a tax benefit for certain homeowners. The Act has recently been expanded to be more beneficial to those who qualify for the benefits. 

What is Prop 19?

Prop 19 is the Home Protection for Seniors, Severely Disabled, Families, and Victims of Wildfire or Natural Disasters Act. This is quite the mouthful so most people refer to the Act as Prop 19. 

This is a property tax benefit that allows a homeowner of a primary residence in the state of California who is over the age of 55, severely disabled, or the victim of wildfire or natural disaster to transfer the primary residence (first home, lived in a majority of the year) taxable value to a new primary residence as long as that home is within the state of California. 

This act allows for transfer regardless of the location or value of the new primary residence home. It can be a home that is newly constructed or purchased as their new principal residence within 2 years of the sale of the first primary residence. 

Recent Prop 19 Expansions that Began in April !, 2021

The tax measure has expanded to be more beneficial for California homeowners needing to utilize the benefit. Prop 19 now allows replacement home purchases anywhere within the state of California. This means that a homeowner can retain a lower property tax bill that they paid on their first home when moving anywhere else in California to find a new or replacement home. 

The benefits also allow a homeowner to purchase a more expensive property. Eligible homeowners could make use of the new expansion rules to purchase a more expensive property. This does not mean that...

More Buyers are Now Considering Adjustable Rate Mortgages

More Buyers are Now Considering Adjustable Rate MortgagesAn adjustable-rate mortgage most often known as an ARM has been an alternative mortgage product for some time. Often a majority of buyers will choose a more traditional loan type such as a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. But since mortgage rates have been significantly climbing just in the past year more and more homebuyers are beginning to look into the possibility of taking out an ARM mortgage.

Home buyers are looking into ways to bring down their housing costs especially when it comes to purchasing a home and their monthly mortgage payment. The reason adjustable-rate mortgages are coming back into play for many potential homebuyers is that they offer a lower interest rate which turns into a lower monthly mortgage payment.

How does an adjustable rate mortgage work?

An adjustable-rate mortgage offers a fixed interest rate for a set period of time at the beginning of the mortgage. This period of a fixed and guaranteed rate can be anything from one year to 10 years. The most common type of adjustable-rate mortgage is a five-year fixed rate at the beginning of the loan life. After this initial guaranteed fixed rate period ends the rate becomes adjustable and will change to the current average mortgage rate at the time.

Depending upon your mortgage contract terms an adjustable rate mortgage can adjust your interest rate once per year or every six months. The fixed-rate portion of an ARM mortgage is almost always lower than the current average fixed-rate mortgage interest rate. The current average fixed rate for adjustable-rate mortgages is 4.6% as compared to the...

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