Specializing in Southern California Real Estate Financing

In the News

Secure Your Rate While Still Searching For A New Home

Very excited to announce this new program I can offer to clients. You can now lock in your rate before purchasing your home. This is a new benefit of getting pre-approved which was already a great option to start with. You can now find out what your interest rates will be and lock them in while still searching for that dream home. Home buyers do not need to place a formal offer on a property to secure their rates and they can be locked in for 60 or 90 days. This can give home buyers peace of mind while they are still in the house hunting process. No more worrying about a sudden change in interest rates that could hurt their chance of buying their perfect home. If you are interested in this opportunity give me a call today to get started. Like always, I’m here for all your mortgage and loan questions.

5 Questions To Ask Before Buying A Home

1. How long do I plan to live in this house?

Knowing this can help you plan what the next few years will look like. If you are not planning to spend a long time in a house, you might be able to spend less money in order to be ready for your next move. This will also help you to determine what expectations you will have when house hunting. If you are not yet looking for that “forever home” you might be able to make some trade-offs with items you had on your must have list. Don’t worry too much yet about having all that you want in a dream home.

2. Where do I see myself in five or ten years?

This again goes back to planning. If you know that in five or ten years you will be starting a family, you may want to look for a home with space to grow into. This can mean looking for a yard for kids to play in or extra bedrooms. Financially speaking, it can be harder to make a plan on where you will be. However, if you know you will be changing jobs or possibly relocating you need to consider this when deciding on a home and how much you want to spend on it.

3. Do I have to or want to make home improvements?

Many people look for homes that need some renovations for various reasons. One of those reasons is saving some money. Homes that are outdated or need major functional repairs will sell for less than homes that are move in ready. Buying a fixer-upper also gives you the opportunity to customize your home to have the look you want or add any technological updates you may be interested in. These changes tend to be easier in a home that may already need to be gutted and fixed up. For others, home renovations are not a thing to consider. Many homebuyers will want a house that is move in ready so they do not have to spend too much time on renovations and can enjoy their new home sooner.

4. Do I want to keep cash on hand for other investments?

When purchasing a home, buyers will typically need to place a down payment which can be a large amount of money. For many people, this will be most or all of their savings. One thing to consider is whether buyers are ready to give up that money or if they prefer to save some of it for other investments that will benefit them in the future and perhaps lead a cash inflow. This decision will have an impact on what loan option buyers will be choosing. There are some options that allow borrowers to place less than the typical 20% of purchase price. These options are something to discuss with your mortgage broker, and something I’m happy to help with.

5. How quickly do I want to be debt-free?

This is another financial decision that needs to be considered before starting to look at homes, so buyers can have a realistic idea of how much they want to spend. This also comes back to the question of planning for the future. If you know that in the near future you may have other expenses such as sending kids to college or other large life expenses you may want to pay off your mortgage quickly. Discussing various loan options with your lender will help determine what is the best course of action for paying off your mortgage in the time frame that is ideal for you and your family.


Technology Creating “New Normal” In Real Estate

With the many changes occurring in real estate that have been brought on by technology, it can be difficult to keep up with the latest trends. This article discusses the way real estate has changed and how brokers have used technology to build better relationships with clients as well as creating a better experience for them.

Read more about it on RISMedia.

An FHA Loan Could Be Right For You

An FHA loan is a great option for potential homebuyers who do not have the typical 20% of a purchase price saved up and ready to be given as a down payment. This can be an option for people who are still renting or for first-time homebuyers. Many homebuyers can achieve this loan, with as little as 3.5% down but there are of course requirements that need to be met. One of those requirements will be a good credit score, typically over 650. Having a credit score above that will help you achieve this loan with a smaller down payment amount. This option could be the right one for you, so don’t wait any longer if you are thinking of buying a home. Rent in San Diego keeps increasing, and it not not likely to slow down any time soon. Give me a call today so I can help you get started or let someone who may be interested know. As always, I’m here for all your mortgage questions and needs.

2018’s Cities with the Most Overleveraged Mortgage Debtors

Buying a home represents an important milestone for most consumers. But for those who dive in to the deep end of real estate without a financial safety net, the decision could lead to buyer’s remorse in the long run. Mortgage rates are slowly climbing after reaching historic lows in 2013, but still are close to the lowest they’ve been in the past 3 decades. This makes 2018 a tempting time to buy a home. But some industry experts believe 2018 is friendlier toward sellers than buyers because there’s much more demand than supply.

As with any major financial decision, it’s wise to improve one’s credit score before applying for a mortgage in order to qualify for the best possible rates. Using a Mortgage Calculator can also help to determine an affordable monthly payment and realistic payoff timeline, whether borrowing for the first time or refinancing an existing loan. Without a good grasp of how to pay off mortgage debt, consumers might find that debt unsustainable.

In this report, WalletHub determined which cities are home to the most overleveraged mortgage debtors by comparing the median mortgage balances against the median income and median home value in more than 2,500 cities. Read on for our findings, expert homebuying advice and a full description of our methodology.

Read More At Wallethub.com


Ask the Experts – Mark H. Goldman

As one of the biggest financial transactions of our lives, the purchase of a home requires careful assessment of our finances as well as the potential impact of a mortgage. For advice on both buying and owning a home, we asked a panel of experts to weigh in with their thoughts on the following key questions:

  • Is now a good time to buy a home?
  • What are the most common financial mistakes people make when buying a home, and which are most costly in the long-term?
  • If someone is currently overleveraged and has trouble affording their mortgage payments, what steps should they take?
  • Is there any way for an individual to tell if his or her local housing market is overpriced?
  • Are there certain housing markets or circumstances in which it is acceptable to be overleveraged in mortgage debt? If so, how much is too much?


Is this a good time to buy a home?

It depends on how long someone plans to live in the home. As a rule of thumb, if someone plans to stay in their home more than five years and their anticipated income is stable, this is a good time to buy. Interest rates are heading up. In most markets, home prices are outpacing inflation. The longer people wait, the more expensive a home will likely become. In addition to the probable appreciation, homeowners enjoy a place to live with very predictable costs. Also, a landlord is no longer a major influence on housing decisions from rental increases or the term of occupancy.

I suggest planned ownership for a few years to recover the acquisition and disposition costs. Speak to people who have and have not owned their homes. I find many people get priced out of their neighborhoods over time as home prices increase beyond their means. Many people regret ever selling a property, since equity usually increases over time. Many people buy a home and live in it for a few years. They move out, rent it and buy another home. It can be a great way to accumulate wealth.


What are the most common financial mistakes people make when buying a home and which are most costly in the long term?

I find most people should use a competent real estate agent to get informed advice about the price to offer. The financing is a subtle issue. Buyers should evaluate the comparison of loan origination points to the interest rate. Over a long period, it may be beneficial to pay some points to buy down the rate. A competent loan officer can help advise on this issue.

Also, buyers might wish to consider adjustable rate loans if they are fairly sure the will be selling or refinancing in the next 5-10 years. If a buyer expects to refinance in 6 or 7 years, then perhaps a 7-year fixed rate loan would be appropriate. But, remember, we cannot forecast interest rates into the future. So, rates may be higher.

In addition to financing, family issues matter. Young couples should consider space needs if they are starting a family. Of course, schools and proximity to employment, amenities, transportation and shopping are also important. Lifestyle is another important consideration. Do people want an urban or rural environment? “Walk Scores” are increasingly more important to younger and older households.


If someone is currently overleveraged and has trouble affording their mortgage payments, what steps should they take?

Financial difficulty may be temporary or long-term. It is imperative to make an objective assessment of the root cause of the difficulty. Act quickly before the financial burden is compounded. If a sale of the home is indicated, do it before credit is impaired with additional late payments or even foreclosure. In my experience, people who are confronted with financial peril become paralyzed to act. The longer people wait, the fewer options they will have.

I have also seen distressed homeowners use loans from family or friends to fend off immediate financial distress. It may be better to get out from under a home someone cannot afford and use those resources for a new housing solution. For example, borrowing from family for a temporary solution that will not solve the problem may only postpone the inevitable loss of the home. In that case, the family resources may be exhausted and/or unavailable to help with a move. So, make a very realistic evaluation of the financial difficulty and try to form a prudent long-term solution.

Basically, if a home is too expensive to keep, you may need to get a less expensive place to live.


Is there any way for an individual to know if their local housing market is overpriced?

Some indicators of overpriced homes are if marketing times for listings are getting longer. Also, are homes selling above or below list prices? Use several samples to avoid list prices that may have been unrealistic to start with for a particular property. “The signs are everywhere.” If a neighborhood has a lot of “For Sale” signs in the lawns, the market may be slowing down or the market may be losing jobs. It is a healthy indicator if properties are listed and sold in a fairly short time.


Are there certain housing markets or circumstances where it is understandable to be overleveraged in mortgage debt? If so, how much is too much?

If “overleveraged” means someone borrowed more than they can afford to repay, they will likely get into trouble. Time heals many wounds in real estate. If you can hold on long enough, it is probable values will eventually be restored (depending on the reasons for the market decline). If a family purchased a home with a big loan and small down payment without the capacity to support the home, they will likely experience difficulty. This often occurs in markets where there is over optimism for price appreciation. Even though a lender may be willing to make a big loan for the purchase of a home, the most important issue is how much can the buyer afford for their home payment. The month to month value of a home is less important for a family that can afford to live in their home and does not need to sell.

Many homebuyers only consider the home as an investment. I suggest to consider the cost of shelter as a component of their price decision. Shelter costs money whether we rent or own. Consider the utility of the shelter component of owning a home as part of the evaluation of what price and financing to select. It may sound trite, but it is good to live within ones means.

Read More At Wallethub.com

V.A. Homebuyers Often Turned Away

CHULA VISTA, Calif. (KGTV) — Hundreds of thousands of veterans and active duty military call San Diego County home, but a group says they are facing big disadvantages when trying to buy a house here.

The San Diego Veterans Association of Real Estate Professionals says more than 60 percent of listings in the county won’t accept offers with V.A. loans.

The federally backed loans don’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance. Those eligible in San Diego County can borrow up to about $650,000 without any cash down.

“We have served, and the V.A. loan is a guaranteed loan,” said Andre Hobbs, a San Diego realtor and veteran who heads the association.

Hobbs says the benefit is backfiring for some home seekers in San Diego’s ultra-competitive housing market. It’s because he says sellers are opting for offers instead that include cash down payment because of a misperception about V.A. applicants.

“They assume that this buyer is ready to walk,” Hobbs said. “He’s not motivated.”

Mark Goldman, a real-estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said there are some misconceptions about V.A. loans, such as that they are more complex. He added there are a few extra disclosures, but they aren’t cumbersome.

But V.A. buyers can also have an advantage if the current owner also served in the military.

“Luckily we may meet another veteran seller that understands, ‘hey, I’m willing to do that,'” Hobbs said.

Read More At ABC Channel 10 News

San Diego home price starts year at $529K

The San Diego County median home price was $529,000 in January, down by $11,000 since December, said real estate tracker CoreLogic on Tuesday.

The big picture: In a year, the median price increased 6.9 percent. San Diego County’s median home price hit an all-time high in June of $545,000. While January’s median is not far from the record, it might take a while to return to that level.

How prices could change: Rising interest rates and other factors could slow the pace of home price increases in the coming year, some experts say.

“The price is already pretty high and now you put higher interests rates on top of that,” said Alan Gin, economist at University of San Diego. “That’s going put home purchases out of reach for some people.”

The rate for a 30-year fixed mortgage was 4.52 percent Tuesday, up from around 4 percent at the end of last year, said Mortgage News Daily.

Mark Goldman, a real estate lecturer at San Diego State University, said he expected median price increases to slow as the market comes down from last year’s highs.

“The market is slowing down, in general,” Goldman said. “Prices are topping out and I don’t see a reversal. (Prices last year) were increasing at a very aggressive rate.”

Read the complete article on the San Diego Union-Tribune

Last Year’s Housing Market Broke Records


The housing market reached new price peaks in 2017, shattering records left over from the 2005 housing boom.

Home prices rose as the number of homes for sale continued to drop — even more so than previous years. Meanwhile, the number sales stayed about the same.

Strong job growth, low unemployment and historically low-interest rates all contributed to rising prices, said Mark Goldman, finance and real estate lecturer at San Diego State University.

“If you look back at 2017, it was a robust year,” Goldman said. “Interest rates were quite good, the economy was continuing to barrel ahead, wages were strong, employment was strong and millennials were aging into the homebuying market.”


Read complete article on the San Diego Union-Tribune

Best Way to Walk the Balance Transfer Tightrope

Balance transfer credit cards have a lot of moving parts, including a balance transfer APR, balance transfer fee, annual fee and, potentially, introductory rates and fees. Plus, offers change regularly. And choosing the best balance transfer credit card for your needs is only half the battle. You also need to get approved for a high enough credit limit and pay off your balance before high-interest rates start costing, rather than saving, your money.
To help you navigate the process successfully, we posed the following questions to a panel of experts on paying down debt.

What’s the best way to find the best balance transfer credit card?

People with good credit often get invitations and offers from their own bank, credit union or credit cards, inviting them to transfer balances. It is always good to check offers on the Internet. Although, be very careful about entering private information (Social Security number, etc.) into forms from advertisements that have been received in your email. If an ad looks good, do not follow a link in the ad. Find the bank’s website to ensure private information goes to a reputable vendor.

Why do you need good or excellent credit to get the best balance transfer credit cards?

High credit scores translate to lower interest rates. Do not take high-interest loans to restore credit scores. That can bring your score down. Credit management will impact scores. If you have limited credit (perhaps only one credit card), consider opening another account and try to pay balances in full each month to establish a good payment history.

What’s the biggest mistake people make with balance transfers?

A major pitfall is to reduce monthly minimum payments on transferred balances and getting stuck at the end of the introductory period with a balance, plus the accrued interest from the beginning of the transfer. Many credit cards allow 0% interest for an introductory period. However, if the balance is not paid in full during that period, they assess interest back to the beginning of the introductory period. The purpose of transferring a balance is to reduce the interest cost to help repay the debt. Avoid using transfers to get additional debt. Take advantage of the low interest to get debt paid off.

Why aren’t there more 0% balance transfer credit cards with $0 transfer fees?

Banks offer transfers to make money. They offer good deals to attract good, creditworthy customers.


Go to the full article on Wallethub.com

San Diego median home price drops to $537,750 in July

The San Diego median home price cooled slightly in July, ending a three-month streak of record-breaking peaks.

Experts attribute the high prices to a lack of homes for sale and intense demand. The relatively small reduction in home prices from last month does not have anyone thinking prices are heading south.

“I don’t see anything pushing prices back at this point,” said Mark Goldman, a finance and real estate expert at San Diego State University.

Read complete article on San Diego Union Tribune