7 Things To Avoid After Applying for a Mortgage!

Congratulations! You’ve found a home to buy and have applied for a mortgage! You are undoubtedly excited about the opportunity to decorate your new home! But before you make any big purchases, move any money around, or make any big-time life changes, consult your loan officer. They will be able to tell you how your decision will impact your home loan.

Below is a list of 7 Things You Shouldn’t Do After Applying for a Mortgage! Some may seem obvious, but some may not!

1. Don’t change jobs or the way you are paid at your job! Your loan officer must be able to track the source and amount of your annual income. If possible, you’ll want to avoid changing from salary to commission or becoming self-employed during this time as well.

2. Don’t deposit cash into your bank accounts. Lenders need to source your money and cash is not really traceable. Before you deposit any amount of cash into your accounts, discuss the proper way to document your transactions with your loan officer.

3. Don’t make any large purchases like a new car or new furniture for your new home. New debt comes with it, including new monthly obligations. New obligations create new qualifications. People with new debt have higher debt to income ratios… higher ratios make for riskier loans… and sometimes qualified borrowers no longer qualify.

4. Don’t co-sign other loans for anyone. When you co-sign, you are obligated. As we mentioned, with that obligation comes higher ratios as well. Even if you swear you will not be the one making the payments, your lender will have to count the payment against you.

5. Don’t change bank accounts. Remember, lenders need to source and track assets. That task is significantly easier when there is consistency among your accounts. Before you even transfer money between accounts, talk to your loan officer.

6. Don’t apply for new credit. It doesn’t matter whether it’s a new credit card or a new car. When you have your credit report run by organizations in multiple financial channels (mortgage, credit card, auto, etc.), your FICO score will be affected. Lower credit scores can determine your interest rate and maybe even your eligibility for approval.

7. Don’t close any credit accounts. Many clients have erroneously believed that having less available credit makes them less risky and more likely to be approved. Wrong. A major component of your score is your length and depth of credit history (as opposed to just your payment history) and your total usage of credit as a percentage of available credit. Closing accounts has a negative impact on both those determinants of your score.

Bottom Line
Any blip in income, assets, or credit should be reviewed and executed in a way that ensures your home loan can still be approved. The best advice is to fully disclose and discuss your plans with your loan officer before you do anything financial in nature. They are there to guide you through the process.

Posted on March 14, 2019 at 2:10 am
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Home Buyer Advice, Real Estate News

There are less Bidding Wars in this real estate market and this is why

In a strong seller’s market, like the one we have experienced over the past few years, bidding wars are common and expected. This makes sense! A seller’s market is defined as a market in which the inventory of homes for sale cannot satisfy the number of buyers who want to purchase a home.

According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, bidding wars occur when two or more parties repeatedly outbid each other as they compete to purchase something- in this case, a home.

In some areas of the country, first-time buyers have been met with fierce competition throughout their experience. Some have been out-bid multiple times before finally winning a bid on a home to call their own.

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), there is currently a 3.7-month supply of homes for sale.

With the current number of houses listed for sale and the level of demand from buyers, this means it would take 3.7 months for all the homes listed to sell if no additional listings came to market. Any supply number under a 6-month supply is considered a seller’s market. According to NAR, the housing market hasn’t had a 6-month supply of homes for sale since August 2012.

Good News for Buyers
A recent report shows that the percentage of houses sold including a bidding war before settling on a final price decreased from 53% in January of 2018 to 13% this year.

One reason for the decline is an influx of homes being listed for sale. Even though the month’s supply number is not increasing, the number of homes for sale is.

The number of homes for sale has started to build over the last eight months. Prior to this reversal, inventory levels had fallen for 36 consecutive months when compared to the year before.

Danielle Hale, realtor.com’s Chief Economist, gave some insight into why bidding wars are less common on a local level this year,
“[Last year] you might have been the only listing in your neighborhood, and you could put your home up at a certain list price and you would likely see multiple offers at or above that list price. That tide is turning this year. It’s going to depend on what neighborhood you’re in, but we expect it to be more common this year that you won’t be the only listing.”

Inventory in the luxury and premium markets (the top 25% of listings in an area by price), is increasing at a greater rate than the starter home market. As the choices buyers have continued to increase, the likelihood of a bidding war will decrease.

Bottom Line
If you are debating listing your house for sale this year, you may not want to wait for additional competition as inventory continues to rise.

Posted on March 12, 2019 at 2:20 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Home Buyer Advice, Home Seller Advice

4 Reasons to Buy a Home in the Spring


Spring has sprung, and it’s a great time to buy a home! Here are four reasons to consider buying today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise
CoreLogic’s latest U.S. Home Price Insights reports that home prices have appreciated by 4.4% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.6% over the next year.

Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase
Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage came in at 4.41% last week. Most experts predict that rates will rise over the next 12 months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting rates will increase by this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You Are Paying a Mortgage
Some renters have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage – either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to have equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move On with Your Life
The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Examine the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, greater safety for your family, or you just want to have control over renovations, now could be the time to buy.

Bottom Line
If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

Posted on March 11, 2019 at 3:31 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Home Buyer Advice

How To Prepare To Spring Forward

Some Highlights:
In the majority of the country, this weekend marks the start of Daylight Savings Time as we set our clocks forward an hour on Sunday at 2:00 AM EST.
Whether you plan on buying or selling this spring, these tips could help you ‘spring ahead’ of your competition!
Spring brings two things: more buyers & more sellers! Get prepared now to stand out in the crowd!

Posted on March 8, 2019 at 6:54 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Home Buyer Advice, Home Seller Advice

Why an Economic Slowdown Will NOT Crush Real Estate this Time

Last week, the National Association for Business Economics released their February 2019 Economic Policy Survey. The survey revealed that a majority of the panel believe an economic slowdown is in the near future:

“While only 10% of panelists expect a recession in 2019, 42% say a recession will happen in 2020, and 25% expect one in 2021.”

Their findings coincide with three previous surveys calling for a slowdown sometime in the next two years:

The Pulsenomics Survey of Market Analysts
The Wall Street Journal Survey of Economists
The Duke University Survey of American CFOs
That raises the question: Will the real estate market be impacted like it was during the last recession?

A recession does not equal a housing crisis. According to the dictionary definition, a recession is:

“A period of temporary economic decline during which trade and industrial activity are reduced, generally identified by a fall in GDP in two successive quarters.”

During the last recession, prices fell dramatically because the housing collapse caused the recession. However, if we look at the previous four recessions, we can see that home values weren’t negatively impacted:

January 1980 to July 1980: Home values rose 4.5%
July 1981 to November 1982: Home values rose 1.9%
July 1990 to March 1991: Home values fell less than 1%
March 2001 to November 2001: Home values rose 4.8%
Most experts agree with Ralph McLaughlin, CoreLogic’s Deputy Chief Economist, who recently explained:

“There’s no reason to panic right now, even if we may be headed for a recession. We’re seeing a cooling of the housing market, but nothing that indicates a crash.”

The housing market is just “normalizing”. Inventory is starting to increase and home prices are finally stabilizing. This is a good thing for both buyers and sellers as we move forward.

Bottom Line
If there is an economic slowdown in our near future, there is no need for fear to set in. As renowned financial analyst, Morgan Housel, recently tweeted:

“An interesting thing is the widespread assumption that the next recession will be as bad as 2008. Natural to think that way, but, statistically, highly unlikely. Could be over before you realized it began.”

Posted on March 7, 2019 at 4:28 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Home Buyer Advice, Home Seller Advice, Real Estate News

Interest Rates Hit New 12 Month Low!


According to Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey, interest rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage are currently at their lowest for 2019. Rates like these haven’t been seen since February 2018!

Last week’s survey results reported an interest rate of 4.35%. This is a welcome change from the near 5% rates seen in mid-November. At 4.32%, the second week of February 2018 was the last time rates were this low.

Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, Sam Khater, had this to say:

“Mortgage rates fell for the third consecutive week, continuing the general downward trend that began late last year.

Wages are growing on par with home prices for the first time in years, and with more inventory available, spring home sales should help the market begin to recover from the malaise of the last few months.”

Bottom Line
If you plan on buying a home this spring, meet with a local real estate professional who can help prepare you for today’s market before rates increase!

Posted on February 27, 2019 at 4:24 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: Home Buyer Advice, Real Estate News, Today's Mortgage Rates

How Can I Increase My Family’s Net Worth?

Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts their Survey of Consumer Finances. Data is collected across all economic and social groups. The latest survey data covers 2013-2016.

The study revealed that the median net worth of a homeowner is $231,400 – a 15% increase since 2013. At the same time, the median net worth of renters decreased by 5% ($5,200 today compared to $5,500 in 2013).

These numbers reveal that the net worth of a homeowner is over 44 times greater than that of a renter.

Owning a home is a great way to build family wealth.
As we’ve said before, simply put, homeownership is a form of ‘forced savings.’ Every time you pay your mortgage, you are contributing to your net worth by increasing the equity in your home.

That is why Gallup reported that Americans picked real estate as the best long-term investment for the fifth year in a row. According to this year’s results, 34% of Americans chose real estate. Stocks followed at 26%, and then gold, savings accounts/CDs, or bonds.

Bottom Line
If you want to find out how you can use your monthly housing cost to increase your family’s wealth, let’s get together to guide you through the process.

Posted on February 25, 2019 at 6:01 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Home Buyer Advice

Four questions pet lovers need to ask before buying a home.


1) What are the local pet laws? Check state laws for breed restrictions and limits in the number of animals allowed in the home. Check the homeowners association if there are any pet weight limits.
2) Does the house have pet friendly floors? Carpets are bound to be destroyed by claws and dirt. Distressed hardwood floors would be the best bet.
3) Can your pet handle the stairs? Old or pets may have trouble getting up and down stairs.
4) Is the neighborhood safe for pets to roam. Check if the home is close to parks and trails. Check if there are coyote sightings. (Source: Realtor.com)

Posted on December 3, 2018 at 3:10 am
Steven Galindo | Category: Home Buyer Advice, Real Estate News

3 Things To Prepare For BEFORE You Buy A Home:


1. Know your Realtor, This is one of the most important criteria when purchasing a home. All realtors are not created equal. Find a listing agent that will meet your family’s needs and will work for you. This person should be your advocate and supporter along your journey. Buying a home can be stressful and complicated, but it doesn’t have to be if you hire an experienced agent with a long list of happy clients. Your agent will always put your needs first and negotiate in your best interest for price, house repairs, inspections, disclosures, contracts and much more

2. Select a trusted lender: Make sure that you do your homework if you are securing a loan for your home. Don’t think that you need to go through a national lender to get the best deal. You’ll find that the best deal may actually be with working with a local lending agent who would save you a lot of time and money while also making the process much easier. They’ll deal with the larger banks and have the contacts, negotiating power and process in place to potentially get you a lower rate and ideal program.

3. Hire a trustworthy moving company: Moving expenses will quickly take up a big chunk of your budget. One of the ways to maximize your budget is to hire a local trustworthy moving company instead of one of the pricey national chains. They can save you hundreds of dollars, and the movers can have your items moved within several hours. (source: gobankingrates.com)

Posted on September 20, 2018 at 9:25 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Home Buyer Advice

Buying a home? Don’t do it alone!!


Buying a first home is scary, overwhelming and exciting. The largest hurdle is where and how to start. Most buyers do not know that realtor’s services are free to the buyer. So they are fearful to hire an agent. A realtor has fiduciary responsibilities to protect buyers. They assist buyers with everything from financing and finding that dream home to negotiating the best price, and a smooth close. Time to buy a home? Call today 323-717-2262
(source: forbes)

Posted on July 24, 2018 at 7:38 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: Home Buyer Advice, Real Estate News