Getting preapproved for a loan so you can buy a home in SF? What will those pesky banks ask for (or what documentation is needed for a home loan application)?

Situation: You're ready to buy a home in San Francisco and you need to get preapproved for a mortgage. Question: What will those pesky banks ask for (or what documentation is needed for a home loan application)? When you are buying a home in San Francisco, one of the first steps is loan preapproval. It's time to assemble your team (Realtor and Mortgage Broker). Keep in mind that there is a lot of smoke and mirrors in the mortgage market. It's absolutely crucial to work with a really good, … [Read more...]

A Brief History of the 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage, or If You Need Yet Another Reason to Buy a Home in SF

As if you needed another reason to get off your tush and buy a home in San Francisco... here's a brief history of the 30 year fixed rate mortgage or home loan. Average and approximate interest rates on the 30-year fixed rate home loan*: 1981 = 18.45% (Holy crap.) 1991 = 9% 2001 = 7% October 2010 = 3.875% (with 1 point) or 4.25% without October 2011 = ? Will interest rates be lower or higher next October? Check back next year and find out, but here's a sure bet: interest rates … [Read more...]

Want the lowest interest rate when buying your first home in San Francisco? Don’t do these things.

When it comes to buying a home, there is one word that becomes more important than almost all others: CREDIT. Unless you just cashed out your Google stock (and we're an early hire), you'll probably need to get a home loan in order to buy your first home in San Francisco. As a San Francisco first time home buyer, in order to get a mortgage with the lowest interest rate and the best terms, you'll need to have CREDIT, and good credit at that! Let's say you have good credit*. You've done the right … [Read more...]

This time, YOU are telling ME that it’s the right time to buy a home in San Francisco! The fun starts now.

Hmmm, maybe it really is the right time to be a first time buyer and buy a home in San Francisco, whether that's a starter condo in the Mission or 3 bedroom view condo in Pacific Heights. At least that's what I've been hearing straight from the horse's mouth, i.e. my first time home buyers in SF. Yeah, yeah, I know that I've been writing this for a while now. Point 1: Crazy low interest rates on safe mortgages like the 30 year fixed rate home loan. Point 2: Reduced home prices even in the … [Read more...]

The American Dream is taking a Disco-Nap but she ain’t dead yet!

Yes, the economy crashed. Yes, your home's value is down. Yes, things kind of stink right now and have for while. Yet, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. The economy will slowly recover and so will the value of San Francisco real estate. In fact, even now, many listings for sale in San Francisco receive multiple offers from ready, willing, and able home buyers. Just last week a Bernal Heights home for sale north of Cortland Avenue received 3 offers and is in contract over the asking … [Read more...]

San Francisco Real Estate – Buyer Beware or Get a Professional Home Inspection

Part of an ongoing series of San Francisco real estate & related guest bloggers, here is one of San Francisco's top residential home inspectors, Bill Thomson of the Thomson Builder Group, letting you know all about the home inspection process when buying a home in San Francisco. "ASK THE INSPECTOR… ABOUT HOME INSPECTIONS One of the most important processes in buying a home is having it properly inspected.  The inspector can give you information about the property so that you will be more … [Read more...]

San Francisco Real Estate FAQ: What is a Tenancy in Common or TIC?

If you are shopping for a home in San Francisco, no doubt you have seen the term "Tenancy in Common" or "TIC". A TIC is a form of property ownership but in San Francisco real estate, it also refers to a type of multi-unit building for sale that has not yet been sub-divided into condominiums. Click here for easy to understand articles and frequently asked questions about Tenancy in Common TIC home ownership in San Francisco. Note: TIC financing is specialized so make sure to work with a highly … [Read more...]

Powerful Home Buying Strategies: Don’t Be Pushed Into Any House. OR How Many Homes Should I See Before Making an Offer?

Powerful Home Buying Strategies: Don't Be Pushed Into Any House. OR How Many Homes Should I See Before Making an Offer? A common question from home buyers is, "How many listings should I see before making an offer?" … [Read more...]

Luxury Home Sales Bounce Back (especially in the San Francisco Luxury Home Market) – WSJ.com

Luxury Home Sales Bounce Back - WSJ.com...especially in the San Francisco luxury home real estate market. "After a near-disastrous 2009, the luxury market appears to be making a comeback, driven by growing buyer confidence, improved financing conditions and more-realistic seller pricing. Despite the housing downturn, attractively priced homes in some of the nation's most coveted neighborhoods are selling, sometimes fast and sometimes with multiple offers. Nationwide, sales of homes … [Read more...]

Real Estate Market Outlook – The Devil’s in the Details but Good News for the San Francisco Real Estate Market

Last week, I heard Robert Kleinhenz, Deputy Chief Economist from the California Association of Realtors (CAR) give an Economic Forecast Update. He talked about how the media continues to cover "the California real estate market" when there is really no such thing. What is happening in the major cities and coastal regions is not the same as what is happening inland. As the 5th largest world economy, California is large and diverse. We have many economies and many real estate markets. If you want … [Read more...]