Every Tuesday, I go into detail a question I frequently get asked. What do you need to know about Bay Area Home Lending?

This is the first step that needs to be done before looking for a home! You want to understand what your loan ceiling is as this is what I call a hard ceiling. There isn’t a point of looking at properties above this amount unless you are able to get gift money or financial support from others. Nevertheless, there are alot of lenders and loan programs out there, so what do you do?

Banks constantly change their guidelines and take turns being the most competitive but there are a few things to be aware of. I do what I can to constantly monitor and track the strengths/weaknesses of each bank so that my clients can get an advantage.

There are two common types of loan programs. A 30 year fixed rate, or an Adjustable rate mortgage. Many people decide between the two based off of how they feel about interest rates changing in the future and their time horizon of owning the property. If you are certain that you will be using the home as a tradeup and plan to sell within 5-7 years, many people opt for the ARM rate and save money on their monthly payments. ARM rates are typically lower by 0.25% to 0.5% from a 30 year fixed rate.

When it comes to home purchases that require at least a $250k+ down payment, Wells Fargo is currently very hard to beat. They still have a program called Assets Under Management which allows clients to buy down rates with money that they would’ve used for down payment anyways! Other private client programs require the money to stay in the account after the transaction takes place so this is a great benefit for those that know about it.

Physician loans, especially tied with companies like Kaiser, has some of the best programs out there. Depending on what kind of offer you receive from a local Kaiser, many physicians at Kaiser have down payment assistance where Kaiser covers 10% of your down payment. Physicians, without support from their company have loan programs that can buy with 5% down, will have no mortgage insurance, and can buy up to $1.2M. Mortgage insurance is a extra monthly cost that you pay since you don’t have much skin in the game initially in the home. You may ask, wait if Kaiser can cover 10%, and a standard physician loan requires 5%, does this mean I don’t need to put any money down? Bingo! You can reach out to me to learn more about this as to how this process works but you can note for all of your physician friends, there isn’t much of an excuse to not be a homeowner! BBVA has the best programs for this.

If you are a first time buyer, you don’t have to buy with 20%. That is a misconception. There are plenty of programs for as low as 3.5% down for everyone to take advantage of. There is a max of your purchase amount of up to $765,600 but there are plenty of properties all throughout the Bay Area to get in this category. People ask me, but there is mortgage insurance? It’s always better to get into the homeownership side of the table than as a renter where that is a guarantee sunk cost. As the value of your home rises over time, you also have the option to refinance the PMI out since the PMI is needed due to initially having very little equity/skin in the game. It also accelerates you and frees up that capital to do other things with your money. Mortgage brokers are great candidates for this and tend to be more flexible than banks.

— Want to talk about your real estate goals? Find a time on my calendar! www.Calendly.com/sphsu04