Hot Tip! Don’t Forget to Budget for Closing Costs!

When buying a home, it’s important to have a budget and make sure you plan ahead for certain home-buying expenses. Saving for a down payment is the main cost that comes to mind for many, buy budgeting for the closing costs required to get a mortgage is just as important.

What are closing Costs?

According to Trulia: “When you close on a home, a number of fees are due, They typically range from 2% to 5% of the total cost of the home, and can include title insurance, origination fees, underwriting fees, document preparation fees and more.”

For example, for someone buying a $300,000 home, they could potentially have between $6,000 and $15,000 in closing fees. If you’re in the market for a home above this price range, your closing costs could be greater. As mentioned above, closing costs are typically between 2% and 5% of your purchase price.

Trulia gives more great advice, explaining:

“There will be lots of paperwork I front of you on closing day, and not enough time to read them all. Work closely with your real estate agent, lender and attorney, if you have one, to get all the documents you need ahead of time.

The most important thing to read is the closing disclosure, which shows your loan terms, final closing costs, and any outstanding fees. You’ll het this form about three days before closing since, once you (the borrower) sign it, there’s a three- day waiting period before you can sign the mortgage loan docs. If you have any questions about the numbers or what any of the mortgage terms mean, this is the time to ask- your real estate agent is a great resource for getting you all the answers you need.”

Bottom Line: As home prices are rising and more buyers are finding themselves competing in bidding wars, its more important than ever to make sure your plan includes budgeting for closing costs. Let’s connect to be sure you have everything you need to land your dream home.

Will the Housing Market Maintain Its Momentum?

Last week’s Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows sales have dropped 3.7% compared to the month before. This is the second consecutive month that sales have slumped. Some see this as evidence that the red- hot real estate market may be cooling. However, there could also be a simple explanation as to why existing homes sales have slowed- there are not enough homes to buy. There are currently 410,000 fewer single family homes availed than there were at this time last year.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist at NAR, explains in the report:

“The sales for March would have been measurably higher, had there been more inventory, Days-on-market are swift, multiple offers are prevalent, and buyer confidence is rising.”

Yun’s insight was supported the next day when the Census Bureau released its Monthly New residential Sales Report. It shows that newly constructed home sales are up by 20.7% over the previous month.

Buyer demand remains strong. With more of the adult population becoming vaccinated and job creation data showing encouraging signs, existing- home inventory is expected to grown in the coming months.

What will this bean for homes sales going forward?

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) have all forecasted that total home sales (exist homes and new constriction ) will continue their momentum both this year and next. Here’s a graph showing those projections:

Bottom Line

Living through a pandemic has caused many to re-evaluate the importance of home and the value of homeownership. The residential real estate market will benefit from both as we move forward.

How Much Time do you Need to Save for a Down Payment?

One of the biggest hurdles homebuyers face is saving for a down payment. As you’re budgeting and planning for your home purchase, you’ll want to understand how much you’ll need to put down and how long it will take you to get there. The process may actually move faster than you think.

Using data from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and Apartment List, we can estimate how long it might take someone earning the median income and paying the median rent to save up for a down payment on a median- priced home. Since having a down payment can be a great time to practice budgeting for housing costs, this estate also uses the concept that a household should not pay more than 28% of their total income on monthly housing expenses.

According to the data, the national average for the time it would take to save for a 10% down payment is right around two and a half years (2.53). Residents in Iowa can save for a down payment the fastest, doing so in just over one year (1.31). The map below illustrates this time (in years) for each state:

What if you only need to save 3%?

What if you’re able to take advantage of one of the 3% down payment programs available? It’s a common misconception that you need a 20% down payment to buy a home, but there are actually more affordable options and down payment assistance programs available, especially for first time buyers. The reality is, saving for a 3% down payment may not take several years. In fact, it could take less than a year in most states, as shown in the map below.

Bottom Line:

Wherever you are in the process of saving for a down payment, you may be closer to your dream home than you think. Let’s connect to explore the down payment options available in our area and how they support your plans.

Just Listed For Lease!

For $3,000 per month, this wonderful corner unit located in the heart of downtown can be yours!

Get ready to fall in love with this bright and fun 1Br/1Ba + office at the One Hawthorne. Built in 2010, this coveted corner unit is characterized by a spacious open floor plan, floor to ceiling windows on two sides, lots of wall space for art, and stylish wood floors throughout. Enjoy cooking and entertaining in a sleek open kitchen with high-end Bosch stainless steel appliances,  including gas range, handsome gray quartz counters with breakfast bar, and Studio Becker soft close cabinetry. There is a spacious bedroom, large bathroom, in-unit washer dryer, and additional den space that could be used as a home office or child’s play area. One Hawthorne is a well maintained building with great amenities, including  24-hour staffed lobby, valet parking and on-site management. Offering a fitness center with cooling deck, bicycle storage, and impressive roof deck that has a deluxe barbecue, dining and lounge areas.  Close to wonderful cafes, shopping, theaters and nightlife easily.  Enjoy living in the center of the city near the new SF MOMA, Metreon and Yerba Buena for the Arts. Close to BART, MUNI and freeways.

February 2021 Market Activity

Check out market activity from February!

While there is a decrease from previous years in New Listings, the number of pending sales is up by 51.6% compared to the previous year and sold sales is increased by 35.2%.
Looking at this February compared to past years, the number of condos/TIC/coop on the market has decreased by 16.7%. If you thinking of selling, now could be the time with a decreased number of condos on the market.
The number of pending condo/TIC/coop sales has skyrocketed this February compared to previous years, explained by the current hot real estate market.
The number of sold listings was increased for February, again explainable by the increased market activity in recent months

The real estate market, specifically focusing with condos, tic, and co-ops for February continues to be hot. In the past few months, the market has seen much increased activity with the number of pending and sold sales. If you are considering buying or selling your condo or home, there is no better time than now! Feel free to reach out to discuss the current market, or for any advice!

Sources: San Francisco Association of Realtors

How to Make a Winning Offer on a Home?

Today’s homebuyers are faced with a strong seller’s market, which means there are a lot of active buyers competing for a relatively low number of homes and condos available. As a result, it’s essential to understand how to make a confident and competitive offer on your dream home. Here are five tips for success in this critical stage of the homebuying process.

  1. Listen to your Real Estate Advisor

An Article from Freddie Mac gives direction on making an offer on a home. From the start, it emphasizes how trusted professionals can help you stay focused on the most important things, especially at times when this process can get emotional for buyers:

“Remember to let your homebuying team guide you on your journey, not your emotions. Their support and expertise will keep you from compromising on your must- haves and future financial stability.”

2. Understand Your Finances

Having a complete understanding of your budget and how much house you can afford is essential. The best way to know this is to get pre-approved for a loan early in the homebuying process. Only 44% of today’s prospective homebuyers are planning to apply for pre-approcal, so be sure to take this step so you stand out from the crowd. Doing so make it clear to sellers you’re a serious and qualified buyer, and it can give you a competitive edge in a bidding war.

3. Be Prepared to Move Quickly

According to the latest Realtors Confidence Index from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the average property sold today receives 3.7 offers and is on the market for just 21 days. These are both results of today’s competitive market, showing how important it is to stay agile and alert in your search. As soon as you find the right home for your needs, be prepared to submit an offer as quickly as possible.

4. Make a Fair Offer

It’s only natural to want the best deal you can get on a home. However, Freddie Mac also warns that submitting an offer that’s too low can be lead sellers to doubt how serious you are as a buyer. Don’t make an offer that will be tossed out as soon as it is received. The expertise your agent brings to this part of the process will help you stay competitive: “Your agent will work with you to make an informed offer based on the market value of the home, the condition of the home and recent home sales prices in the area.”

5. Stay Flexible in Negotiations

After submitting an offer, the seller may accept it, reject it, or counter it with their own changes. In a competitive market, it’s important to stay nimble throughout the negotiation process. You can strengthen your position with an offer that includes flexible move-in dates, a higher prices, or minimals contingencies (conditions you set that the seller must meet for the purchase to be finalized) Freddie Mac explains that there, are, however certain contingencies you don’t want to forego: “Resist the temptation to waive the inspection contingency, especially in a hot market or if the home is being sold as-is which means the seller won’t pay for repairs. Without an inspection contingency, you could be stuck with a contract on a house you can’t afford to fix.”

Bottom Line: Today’s competitive market makes it more important than ever to make a strong offer on a home. Let’s connect to make sure you rise to the top along the way.

New Condo Listing!- 199 New Montgomery #1007

Sunny 1-BR/1-BA in Vibrant Yerba Buena

Located in the heart of the vibrant Yerba Buena, this sunny one bedroom corner unit enjoys a rare floor plan and expansive windows that capture views of downtown and bring the space to life. Filled with natural light and high up on the 10th floor facing historic New Montgomery Street, the home features glistening hardwood floors and a flexible open floor plan, ideal for living, working, and entertaining (post covid). The kitchen seamlessly flows into the living and dining space, with handsome wood cabinets, lots of granite counters space along with breakfast bar, stainless steel appliances, and views of downtown. The bedroom has its own set of windows and a large walk in closet great for storage. A large bathroom, in unit washer and dryer as well as parking make the home all that more comfortable. Building amenities include a 24 hour front desk attendant, incredible Roof deck with wrap around views, barbecue and lounge area. Constant activity and entertainment surrounds the building including Michelin rated restaurants, museums and shopping. Near the Financial District, Union Square, Embarcadero. Easy access to Muni, Bart, and highways.

Just Listed- 355 1st Street #S1808

Spectacular 1 BR/1 BA overlooking the city at the Metropolitan

Property Website

Experience luxury highrises condo living at its finest on the 18th floor of the exquisite urban-modern Metropolitan. This 1 BR 1 BA condo offers a flexible live/work space in the heart of San Francisco. The floor to ceiling windows invite in an abundanc of natural light filling the open space and bedroom. The expansive chef’s kitchen features state of the art stainless steel appliances, granite countertops and opens to the living space, wonderful for cooking and entertaining post COVID. The upgraded condo has gorgeous bamboo floors throughout, freshly painted walls, in unit washer and dryer as well as storage and a coveted parking space. The unit is located in the luxurious Metropolitan with an abundance of wonderful amenities including a 24 Hour Doorman, movie theater, indoor pool, huge gym, business center, conference room, bike parking, and concierge services. Not to forget, the prime lotion of the unit in the heart of south beach, this condo is in walking distance to world class restaurants, the Embarcadero, the Ferry Building, Financial District, Union Square, AT&T Park, and CalTrain.

It’s a Sellers’ Market

  • Over the past year, homeowners have gained an unprecedented opportunity to sell with great success while buyer demand is soaring.
  • With homes selling twice as fast as they did last year at this time, getting multiple offers, and rising in price, homeowners are in the driver’s seat.
  • Let’s connect today if you’re ready to learn about the leverage you have as a seller in today’s housing market.

Where Have all the Houses Gone?

In today’s housing market, it seems harder than ever to find a home to buy. Before the health crisis hit us a year ago, there was already a shortage of homes for sale. When many homeowners delayed their plans to sell at the same time that more buyers aimed to take advantage of recording- low mortgage rates and purchases a home, housing inventor dropped even further. Experts consider this to be the biggest challenge facing an otherwise hot market whole buyers continue to compete for homes. As Danielle Hale, Chief Economist at realtor.com explains:

“With buyers active in the market and seller participation lagging, homes are selling quickly and the total number available for sale at any point in time continues to drop lower. In January as a whole, the number of for sale homes dropped below 600,000.

Every month, realtor.com releases new data showing the year- over-year change in inventory of existing homes for sale. As you can see in the map below, nationwide, inventory is 42.6% lower than it was at this time last year:

Where Have All the Houses Gone? | MyKCM

Does this mean houses aren’t being put on the market for sale?

Not exactly. While there are fewer existing homes being listed right now, many homes are simply selling faster than they’re being counted as currently inventory. The market is that competitive! It’s like when everyone was trying to find toilet paper to buy last spring and it was flying off the shelves faster than it could be stocked in the stores. That’s what’s happening in the housing market: homes are being listed for sale, but not at a rate that can keep up with heavy demand from competitive buyers.

In the same realtor.com report, Hale explains:

“Time on the market was 10 days faster than last year meaning that buyers still have to make decisions quickly in order to be successful. Today’s buyers have many tools to help them do that, including the ability to be notified as soon as homes meeting their search criteria hit the market. By tailoring search and notifications to the homes that are a solid match, buyers can act quickly and compete successfully in this faster- paced housing market.”

The Good News for Homeowners

The health crisis has been a major reason why potential sellers have held off this long, but as vaccines been more widely available, homeowners will start making their moves. Ali Wolf, Chief Economist at Zonda, confirms:

“Some people will feel comfortable listing their home during the first half of 2021. Others will want to wait until the vaccines are widely distributed.”

With more homeowners getting ready to sell later this year, putting your house on the market sooner rather than later is the best way to make sure your listings shines brighter than the rest.

When you’re ready to sell your house, you’ll likely want to sell as quickly as possible, for the best price, and with little to no hassle. If you’re looking for these selling conditions, you’ll find them in today’s market. When demand is high and inventory is low, sellers have the ability to create optimal terms and timelines for the sale, making now an exceptional time to move.

Bottom Line

Today’s housing market is a big win for sellers, but these conditions won’t last forever. If you’re in a position to sell your house now, you may not want to wait for your neighbors to do the same. Let’s connect to discuss how to sell your house safely so you’re able to benefit from today’s high demand and low inventory.