Saturday, June 27, 2009

Oakland Revises its Down Payment Assistance Program!

Great News!

20% Down Payment Assistance from City of Oakland

The City of Oakland has revised the income limits for its MAP down payment assistance loan. Effective July 1st, the family income limit is being revised upward to 100% of AMI (Area Median Income). This loan will be subordinated to a first mortgage and is payment deferred for the life of the loan. Income limits will be as follows:

Maximum Family Income
Family of 1 $62,500
Family of 2 $71,450
Family of 3 $80,350
Family of 4 $89,300
Family of 5 $96,450
Family of 6 $103,600

Although there is some additional paperwork involved, the conditions are easily met:
1. Must be a first-time homebuyer (no home ownership in the past three years)
2. Must buy in Oakland
3. All borrowers must attend a First-Time Homebuyers workshop
4. Single family home only
5. Down payment assistance limited to 20% of purchase price ($50,000 max)
6. Contract must include provision for an Independent Home Inspection
7. Contract must include provision for One Year Home Warranty
8. First mortgage must be 30 year Fixed
9. Borrowers own money of 3% of sales price must be included in the transaction. If gift money, it must be seasoned.
This represents a great opportunity for your first-time homebuyers. A 20% down payment means NO MORTGAGE INSURANCE

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Berkeley is MakingSolar Panels Affordable

The city of Berkeley beign one of the more progressive entities in our country is often leading the way when it comes to social issues. so its no surprise that they are trying to find ways to help their homeowners cut down on the use of fossil fuels. I came across this article and thought some of you out there might be interested in reading it. Let me know if posting this sort of thing is useful to you.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

A Word About Short Sales

If you are planning on attempting to purchase a home through the short sale process be aware that at the present time every lender has their own process for approval or disapproval. This is supposed to be remedied some time this summer as the Obama Team comes up with a plan to unify the process. Right now though, be advised that some lenders will approve a short sale only on the condition that they reserve the right to collect the balance from the seller at some later date if they choose. In these cases it seldom makes sense for the seller to proceed with the short sale and have that potential debt hanging over them. It rather makes a great deal more sense to allow the proerty to go into foreclosure and be totally free of it. The bottom line on short sales is that really nobody cares except for the buyer. Take this into account when scheduling and paying for your inspections and appraisal.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Summer Heat

Right now in the many different East Bay Markets we are seeing consistently that well priced homes are getting multiple offers. It doesn't seem to matter if they are traditional sales, REO's or short sales. Even with rates going up investors and first time buyers are seeing this as a golden opportunity. And it is! We've rolled back prices, in some cases, 20 years! My office sold a liveable house in Oakland for 36K just a little over a month ago. The difficulty right now is for FHA buyers who have little downpayment. they just can't compete in many cases as iinvestors often with all cash offers snatch up these properties. Yet for the patient buyer there are opportunities. You just have to have your ducks lined up and be ready to pull the trigger without hemming and hawing. This year I've helped two clients purchase homes before they ever went on the Multiple Listing Service. The benefit is that in these cases there was no competition and we were able to buy two very good homes, One, a three bedroom 1 bath Mediteranean in Berkeley for under 375K and the other a 2 bedroom one bath in North Oakland with a studio for 300K.