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

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

The Housing Market Will “Spring Forward” This Year!

Just like our clocks this weekend, in the majority of the country, the housing market will soon “spring forward!” Similar to tension in a spring, the lack of inventory available for sale has been holding back the market.

Many potential sellers believe that waiting until Spring is in their best interest. Traditionally, they would have been right.

Buyer demand has seasonality to it. Usually, this falls off in the winter months, especially in areas of the country impacted by arctic conditions.

That hasn’t happened this year.
Demand for housing has remained strong as mortgage rates have remained near historic lows. Even with an increase in rates forecasted for 2019, buyers are still able to lock in an affordable monthly payment. Buyers are increasingly jumping off the fence and into the market to secure a lower rate.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR) recently reported that in 2018 the top 10 dates sellers listed their homes all fell in April, May, or June.

Those who act quickly and list now, before a flood of increased competition, will benefit from additional exposure to buyers.

Bottom Line
If you are planning on selling your home in 2019, meet with a local real estate professional to evaluate the opportunities in your market.

Posted on March 4, 2019 at 6:52 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: Home Seller Advice, Real Estate News

No Worries… Home Prices Coming in for a SOFT Landing


Home prices have appreciated considerably over the last five years. This has some concerned that we may be in for another dramatic correction. However, recent statistics suggest home values will not crash as they did a decade ago. Instead, this time they will come in for a soft landing.

The previous housing market was fueled by an artificial demand created by mortgage standards that were far too lenient. When this demand was shut off, a flood of inventory came to market. This included heavily discounted distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales).

Today’s market is totally different. Mortgage standards are tighter than they were prior to the last boom and bust. There is no fear that a rush of foreclosures will come to market. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association just announced that foreclosures are lower today than at any time since 1996.

Case Shiller looks at the percentage of appreciation as compared to the same month the year prior.

Home price appreciation is softening as more inventory comes to market. This shows that real estate prices are not crashing, but merely returning toward historic appreciation numbers of 3.6% annually.

Bottom Line
Home prices are leveling off. Long term, that is a good thing for the housing market.

Posted on February 28, 2019 at 4:21 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: 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

3 Reasons Why We Are Not Heading Toward Another Housing Crash

With home prices softening, some are concerned that we may be headed toward the next housing crash. However, it is important to remember that today’s market is quite different than the bubble market of twelve years ago.

Here are three key metrics that will explain why:
Home Prices
Mortgage Standards
Foreclosure Rates

HOME PRICES
A decade ago, home prices depreciated dramatically, losing about 29% of their value over a four-year period (2008-2011). Today, prices are not depreciating. The level of appreciation is just decelerating.

Home values are no longer appreciating annually at a rate of 6-7%. However, they have still increased by more than 4% over the last year. Of the 100 experts reached for the latest Home Price Expectation Survey, 94 said home values would continue to appreciate through 2019. It will just occur at a lower rate.

MORTGAGE STANDARDS
Many are concerned that lending institutions are again easing standards to a level that helped create the last housing bubble. However, there is proof that today’s standards are nowhere near as lenient as they were leading up to the crash.

The Urban Institute’s Housing Finance Policy Center issues a quarterly index which,

“…measures the percentage of home purchase loans that are likely to default—that is, go unpaid for more than 90 days past their due date. A lower HCAI indicates that lenders are unwilling to tolerate defaults and are imposing tighter lending standards, making it harder to get a loan. A higher HCAI indicates that lenders are willing to tolerate defaults and are taking more risks, making it easier to get a loan.”

Last month, their January Housing Credit Availability Index revealed:

“Significant space remains to safely expand the credit box. If the current default risk was doubled across all channels, risk would still be well within the pre-crisis standard of 12.5 percent from 2001 to 2003 for the whole mortgage market.”

FORECLOSURE INVENTORY
Within the last decade, distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales) made up 35% of all home sales. The Mortgage Bankers’ Association revealed just last week that:

“The percentage of loans in the foreclosure process at the end of the fourth quarter was 0.95 percent…This was the lowest foreclosure inventory rate since the first quarter of 1996.”

Bottom Line
After using these three key housing metrics to compare today’s market to that of the last decade, we can see that the two markets are nothing alike.

Posted on February 26, 2019 at 6:00 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Real Estate News

Thinking Of Selling Your Home In 2019? 4 Reasons why now is better than later!!

Want to sell your home in 2019 but now sure when is the best time? Actually, now is the best time and here is why:

• On average, more properties come on the market during April-June. If you can, avoid listing your property during these months because when selling your home, competition is not your friend. The more choices buyers have, the more they will negotiate to lower your price and/or get you to make more costly repairs on your house. Buyers are also more willing to walk away from negotiations if they don’t get their desired price because they know there are other properties to choose from.
• Right now there are buyers eager to become homeowners before interest rates go up and they projected to go up incrementally each quarter of 2019. Since inventory is still somewhat low right now, buyers are less willing to walk away from a transaction.
• If you are going to wait to sell your property at the end of the year to make more money, if you buy another property after the sale of your home, that future home is going to cost more at the end of the year than it would cost now.
• Since interest are predicted to go up, there will be fewer buyers able to purchase your home as the year progresses. The fewer buyers for your home, the less likely buyers will compete against each other to buy your home for top dollar.

If you’re thinking of making a move, call me today to start a conversation…

Posted on January 11, 2019 at 10:38 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Home Seller Advice, Real Estate News

In case you wanted to know where the real estate market is headed in 2019

Posted on January 4, 2019 at 11:37 pm
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Real Estate News

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

Here is what to expect from the Real Estate Market in 2019.


# Mortgage rates will continue to rise in 2019. Every time interest rates go up, buyers lose a little purchasing power, but the barrier maybe more psychological than financial. Buyers are starting to push back, they are saying “enough”.

# Homebuyers will have more negotiating power and sellers will need to make more compromises. Expect bidding wars to become less competitive, and price reductions to become more common.

# As price gains slow, home values will still appreciate at 2-3% depending on neighborhood

# Upscale neighborhoods will soften while demand for entry level housing remains high (source: forbes.com)

Thinking of selling your home? Let’s talk! 323-717-2262

Posted on November 19, 2018 at 4:49 am
Steven Galindo | Category: A Thought About Real Estate, Real Estate News