Down Payment – 10 Things to Know Before Buying a Home

For many Americans, coming up with a down payment for their first home can be a major roadblock—and quite often the reason for renting, rather than owning a home.

A down payment is the difference between the home’s purchase price and its mortgage amount. This percentage of the sale price must be paid up-front and can vary by lender, location, and loan program. A higher down payment generally translates into lower loan interest rate requirements.

Typically, a down payment comes from personal cash savings, but it can also be a gift that is not to be repaid, or a borrowed amount secured by assets.

While conventional loan down payments may be close to 20% of the sale price, government loans typically have lower down payment requirements. This allows potential homebuyers who normally cannot meet down-payment requirements an opportunity to qualify for a mortgage. Keep in mind that down payments that are less than 20% of the sale price typically require mortgage insurance payments.

10 things to know before buying a home

  • Before you start looking for a home, get pre-qualified for a loan. This will help you determine how much home you can afford and will give you an advantage over buyers who do not have their financing setup in advance.

 

  • If you have marginal or bad credit, consult your lender. You may be able to qualify for a loan depending on how long ago and what reason(s) caused the bad credit.

 

  • You will need a down payment. Down-payment requirements vary depending on the type of loan.

 

  • You will need funds for closing costs. Closing costs are charges for services related to the closing of your real estate transaction. They include, but are not limited to: Escrow fees, title policy issuance fees, mortgage insurance fees, fire, flood, and homeowners insurance, county recorder fees, and loan origination fees. Consult your lender for an actual estimate of these costs.

 

  • Some loans have “points” and some do not. A point is a loan origination fee equivalent to 1% of the loan amount. Together with the interest rate, they constitute the yield on your loan for the lender.

 

  • Mortgage rates can be fixed or adjustable. Which one is right for you depends on whether mortgage rates are at a high or a low point when you purchase, and on how long you plan to live in the home.

 

  • There are two main types of loan categories. Conventional mortgage loans are available with fixed or adjustable interest rates. Government loans include FHA fixed and adjustable rate mortgage loans, and VA fixed rate mortgage loans.

 

  • If you are a low-to-moderate-income homebuyer, there are special programs designed to help you. These loans are available through private lenders, as well as local and state housing agencies.

 

  • You may have to pay mortgage insurance. Mortgage insurance protects the lender from potential loss if you should default on your mortgage loan payment. Mortgage insurance is always required on FHA mortgage loans.

 

  • Many organizations offer home loan counseling to prospective homebuyers. They will cover home selection, REALTOR® services, lenders, loan programs, homeownership responsibilities, saving for a down-payment, and other important pieces of information.

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Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

www.realestatebynicole.com

South Bay Local Events for January

Do you have the holiday hangover blues? While we are sad the holidays are gone for the next 361 days we are excited to share a list of some great events going on around the South Bay in January. Lots of fun things to do including family friendly events, music, sporting events and theater. Hope you get out and enjoy some of these events this month!

January 3 – January 7
Artist-Image-Figure-Skating-963e5d5e6a.jpg2018 Prudential US Figure Skating Championships
SAP Center, San Jose
http://www.sapcenter.com/events/detail/2018-prudential-us-figure-skating-championships

January 4 – 7
svas_gallery_06.jpgSilicon Valley International Auto Show
San Jose Convention Center
http://www.svautoshow.com

January 6
Logo-hero@2x.pngSesame Street Live! Let’s Party!
City National Civic Center, San Jose
https://sanjosetheaters.org/event/sesame-street-live-san-jose-2018/

January 9, January 14, January 21
mock-up-event_harlem2018_0.jpgHarlem Globetrotters
SAP Center San Jose
https://www.ticketmaster.com/harlem-globetrotters-sap-center-at-san-jose-san-jose-ca/venueartist/229393/806223

January 13
cad18842-8acd-44a4-9837-18204e171ccb_27271_CUSTOM.jpg
San Jose Sharks v. Arizona Coyotes
SAP Center San Jose
https://www1.ticketmaster.com/san-jose-sharks-vs-arizona-coyotes-san-jose-california-01-13-2018/event/1C0052D6ABAF3079#efeat4212

January 13
EnglebertHumperdinck.jpgEngelbert Humperdinck
San Jose Civic Auditorium
https://www.ticketmaster.com/engelbert-humperdinck-city-national-civic-san-jose-ca/venueartist/229461/742499

January 20CrabFeed-660x430-sRGB-V4.2-10323a9bf3.jpgMountain Winery Annual Crab Feed
The Mountain Winery, Saratoga
http://www.mountainwinery.com/events/detail/crab-feed-4

January 20, January 21
Avatar2015-2016-200px.jpgSymphony Silicon Valley Schumann’s Cello Concert
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
http://symphonysiliconvalley.org

January 20
cad18842-8acd-44a4-9837-18204e171ccb_27271_CUSTOM.jpgSan Jose Sharks vs. Pittsburgh Penguins
SAP Center
https://www.ticketmaster.com/San-Jose-Sharks-tickets/artist/806018

January 21
c9a17cc1-3c32-44a0-a4a4-f10f199f377a_19181_CUSTOM.jpgBill Maher Live
Flint Center, Cupertino
https://www1.ticketmaster.com/bill-maher-cupertino-california-01-21-2018/event/1C00535ABAD486C7?artistid=821441&majorcatid=10002&minorcatid=51&tm_link=venue_msg-1_1C00535ABAD486C7#efeat4212

January 23 – January 27
rent-1.jpgRENT
San Jose Center for the Performing Arts
https://sanjosetheaters.org/event/rent-broadway-san-jose-2018/?instance_id=9323

January 23
20150629_114738_sharks25logo.jpgSan Jose Sharks vs. Winnipeg Jets
SAP Center
https://www.ticketmaster.com/San-Jose-Sharks-tickets/artist/806018

January 25
cad18842-8acd-44a4-9837-18204e171ccb_27271_CUSTOM.jpgSan Jose Sharks vs. New York Rangers
SAP Center
https://www.ticketmaster.com/San-Jose-Sharks-tickets/artist/806018

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Nicole Emanuel Real Estate
Coldwell Banker
(408) 410-2060
www.realestatebynicole.com
nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com
BRE# 01899594

Pantone Has Chosen a Color of the Year…and You’re Going to Love It!

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Drum roll please….and the pantone color of the year for 2018 is officially Ultra Violet! Looks like they have chosen a fun and funky color for your new home decor or fashion trends. When looking at staging homes for sale, a pop of color such a ultra violet in a pillow or a chair can make a home feel more modern and provide a bit of fun.

Here’s an excerpt from the Pantone website (www.pantone.com) on why they chose this color this year.

“Complex and contemplative, Ultra Violet suggests the mysteries of the cosmos, the intrigue of what lies ahead, and the discoveries beyond where we are now. The vast and limitless night sky is symbolic of what is possible and continues to inspire the desire to pursue a world beyond our own.

Enigmatic purples have also long been symbolic of counterculture, unconventionality, and artistic brilliance. Musical icons Prince, David Bowie, and Jimi Hendrix brought shades of Ultra Violet to the forefront of western pop culture as personal expressions of individuality. Nuanced and full of emotion, the depth of PANTONE 18-3838 Ultra Violet symbolizes experimentation and non-conformity, spurring individuals to imagine their unique mark on the world, and push boundaries through creative outlets.

Historically, there has been a mystical or spiritual quality attached to Ultra Violet. The color is often associated with mindfulness practices, which offer a higher ground to those seeking refuge from today’s over-stimulated world. The use of purple-toned lighting in meditation spaces and other gathering places energizes the communities that gather there and inspire connection.”

Will you be using ultra violet in your home decor this year?

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Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

http://www.realestatebynicole.com

BRE 01899594

 

Home Inspections – Specialists You May Want to Check Out

While most folks settle for a home inspection, pest (termite) inspection and possibly a roof inspection, there are a myriad of specialists you can hire to investigate just about anything home-related when you are purchasing a home. The California Association of Realtors put together this short list of the most popular, but some common inspections we see  also include:

Pool & Spa – If the home has a pool and spa, its a must to get it inspected. This is often an overlooked item and failing pool pumps and heaters can be very expensive.

Arborist – Does the home have a huge tree in the front yard? Is one of the trees looking overgrown? Sometimes, it makes sense to call an arborist to make sure the trees on the property are healthy and not in danger of falling limbs or needing to be uprooted (all of which can be rather costly).

Contractors – Are you considering doing some renovating to a home after purchase? Its smart to have a contractor walk the home before you purchase to ensure you can do all the items you want. Sometimes structural modifications might not work or will be very expensive due to the placement of load-bearing walls and foundations so its something you might want to know up front if you are planning on adding on to a home or re-arranging.

Specialist-Wanted-hi-res

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Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

http://www.realestatebynicole.com

Local Christmas Tree Farms 2017

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Our family has a wonderful tradition of heading out to a local Christmas tree farm with friends and family and cutting down our own tree. Although its left us rainy and muddy some years, we love the experience of it and it really puts us in the holiday mood! The photo above is of our favorite local spot in the Los Gatos mountains — Lone Star Tree Farm.

If you are and your family are looking to try something new this year, consider cutting down your own tree! We’ve compiled a list of local tree farms to make things easy (but maybe not less muddy!)

Crest Ranch Choose and Cut Trees 

12200 Empire Grade

Santa Cruz, CA 95060

 

Summit Christmas Tree Farm 

23868 Summit Road

Los Gatos, CA 95033

 

Patchen California Christmas Tree Farm

22217 Old Santa Cruz Highway

Los Gatos, CA 95033

 

Lone Star Tree Farm 

20514 Gist Road

Los Gatos, CA 95033

 

Black Road Christmas Tree Farm

20259 Black Road

Los Gatos, CA 95033

 

Four Winds Christmas Tree Farm 

19679 Skyline Blvd.

Los Gatos, CA 95033

 

Hester Creek Christmas Trees 

25507 San Jose-Sequel Road

Los Gatos, CA 95033

 

Peacock Tree Farm 

17950 Mountain Charlie Road

Los Gatos, CA 95033

 

Skyline Farms 

20514 Gist Road

Los Gatos 95033

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Nicole Emanuel Real Estate

Coldwell Banker

(408) 410-2060

nicole.emanuel@cbnorcal.com

http://www.realestatebynicole.com

 

3 Rules to Remember When Shopping for a Mortgage

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3 Rules to Remember When Shopping for a Mortgage

Since you’re in the market for a new home, you’re probably in the market for a new mortgage. Here are 3 critical shopping tips for anyone looking for a new loan.

  • Know the Terms
    All the terms of a loan matter. Unfortunately, shopping for a mortgage is not as simple as finding out how much a lender will let you borrow and at what interest rate. You’ll want to get a complete breakdown of what any offer your receive means to you on a monthly basis as well as how much money you’ll be spending over the life of the loan.
  • Not all Mortgages are the same
    There are several mortgage types available to residential home buyers. Most people will shop for a traditional fixed rate mortgage, but other options are available including adjustable rate loans (ARMs), Federal Housing Administration loans (FHAs), and Veteran’s Administration loans. You’ll want to be sure to understand what kind of loan a lender is offering you.
  • Fees, Fees, Fees
    Most loans have fees associated with them in additional to the principal amount bowered to buy the home. You can sometimes borrow the money need to cover these fees, but that will obviously increase the overall amount of debt you undertake. Some fees are paid up front, and others are not due until closing.

If you’d like to chat with personally about how to shop for a mortgage and what other questions you can ask lenders to find the best deal, give me a call at any time. I’m happy to get you started on the right path so we can start looking for your new home!

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Boosting Your Home’s Curb Appeal

What would buyers see if they drove up to your home? Go ahead, take a look. Stand outside your home and try to look at it through a buyer’s eyes. First impressions are lasting impressions. If buyers see paint peeling, a crack in a window or an unkempt yard, they are apt to speculate that there are other, more substantial things wrong with the home.

That first impression, or curb appeal, can make the difference in the amount of money a buyers is willing to offer on a home listed for sale.

Here are some suggestions to enhance the curb appeal of your home to get ready for sale or even just to spruce things up a bit this summer: 

  • Mow the lawn, clean up and yard and prune shrubs and trees 
  • Scrub or paint the front porch and door. Sometimes an interesting pop of color on the door can really modernize the look of an older homea-little-front-door-love-curb-appeal-doors-painting.jpg
  • Check the porch or deck and hand railings to ensure they are secure 
  • Wash the windows, make them sparkle!! 
  • If you have time time and money, paint the exterior of the home. Try to stick to more neutral palates as some bright colors can be an immediate turn off for some buyers. Add color by painting the door a different color, instead. Exterior-before-after.jpg
  • Pick up and put away toys and bikes, outdoor bins are also great for storing these items 
  • Check that the lawn furniture is in good shape or, if not, store it away 
  • Add charm to the front and backyard by adding flower pots and planting fresh plants 

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  • Repair and paint the fence, if needed 
  • Repair the roof, gutters, and downspouts if needed 

These improvements are essential before a home sale and could mean an increase in sales price.  Feel free to call or email and let me know if I can answer any questions for you or make suggestions on how to improve your homes curb appeal!