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.

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.

Is it a Good Time to Sell?

Hint- YES!

Last year, many homeowners thought twice about selling their houses due to the onset of the health crisis. This year, however, homeowners are beginning to regain their confidence when it comes to selling safely. The latest Home Purchase Sentiment Index by Fannie Mae shows that 57% of consumers believe now is a good time to sell.

Doug Duncan, Vice President and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae Explains:

“Overall, the index’s monthly increase was driven largely by a substantial jump in the share of consumers reporting that it’s a good time to sell a home, with many citing favorable mortgages rates, high home prices, and low housing inventory as their primary rationale.”

Normally, spring is the busiest season in the housing market- the time when many homeowners decide to list their houses. While this is obviously not a normal year since the pandemic is still very much upon us, experts are optimistic that consumer positivity around selling will lead to more homeowners making moves this year. Duncan continues to say:

“We will pay close attention to see if this newfound optimism develops into a trend.”

What does this mean if you’re thinking of selling your house?

The fact that there are so few houses available for sale today is one driver that’s encouraging consumers to think more positively about selling. The National Association of Realtors (NAR) states:

“Total housing inventory at the end of the January amounted to 1.04 million units, down 1.9% from December and down 25.7% from one year ago (1.40 million).”

With so few homes available to buy, your house will be more likely to rise to the top of an eager purchaser’s wish list in this competitive market. Today’s high buyer activity is creating upward pressure on home prices and more multiple- offer scenarios. According to the Realtors Confidence Index Survey from NAR, the average home for sale is receiving 3.7 offers today, up from 2.3 offers just one year ago. This makes selling even more enticing.

In this kind of seller’s market, you have a huge advantage in the process. And here’s another win- you can also use your equity toward a down payment on a new home when you move.

Wondering where you’ll go if you try to move while it’s so challenging to find a home to buy? Well, in many areas, there are more homes available at the higher end of the market, so finding a move-up home may be less of an issue if you’re ready to search for your dream home this spring.

Bottom Line

If you pressed pause on selling your house last year, now may be the best time to put your plans back into motion while inventory is so low. Let’s connect today to get the process started.

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.