As Bay Area market heats up, partner with Guarantee Mortgage to stand out

Preparation is perhaps your greatest ally when you enter the current real estate market, which continues to show increases in home prices. The sales numbers are picking up steam across the Bay Area, which has many buyers paying above asking price. In fact, most buyers in the region paid more than the asking price in March, according to a Redfin report, and that trend is likely to continue throughout the spring and summer months, when real estate transactions typically increase. Nearly 70 percent of homes sold above the listing price in San Jose during the month of March; in San Francisco, the number of homes that sold above asking price was nearly 67 percent. Home sales also increased during this time as the competition remained fierce. The robust activity aligns with a five-year run of home price increases, according to Redfin. In this type of climate, Bay Area buyers need to be prepared to stand out from the rest. Here are four ways to stand out in this active market. Partner with a Reputable Lender An agent noted the following in the Redfin report: “As a seller’s agent, the first thing I do when I receive an offer is ask who the lender is. The best offers come from buyers who are pre-approved by a local lender with a strong reputation for speed and reliability. If I’ve worked with the lender before and know they can fund the loan and close on time, I am sure to highlight that for my client.” Guarantee Mortgage has a well-earned reputation and has helped Bay Area families finance their homes for more than 20 years. We stand out from the rest because of the way we treat our […]

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Guarantee Mortgage – good people, using good loan programs to do good work in the Bay Area

There’s no doubt that people make the difference when you’re in the mortgage industry. The quality of people at Guarantee Mortgage have certainly demonstrated that time and again with each transaction. When our clients come to us, everything is at stake because getting a mortgage is one of the biggest financial decisions most people make in their lifetime. And it takes seasoned professionals and quality service to get the job done the right way, especially in the competitive markets of the Bay Area. Guarantee Mortgage has long been a Bay Area stand out as it relates to the service and knowledge of our local market. Here’s what sets us apart: We are committed to transparency so that our clients never encounter any surprises. We take a consulting approach to our clients’ mortgages, meaning we take the time and care to understand our client’s short- and long-term goals keeping them informed throughout the loan process. We’re fast and thorough. In a competitive market, timeliness is king and we’ve demonstrated the ability to move fast to close quicker and efficiently maneuver through the complex lending environment. And lastly, we’re local and have first-hand experience lending in your neighborhood All of these pillars are possible through the personal touch and expertise of our loan officers. We are very proud that each and every one of my colleagues lives up to these standards. When it’s put into practice, they are doing something very special. They inspire our clients to successfully reach for their home ownership goals, and fulfill them. When you work in this industry, you need the right people and the right tools to get the job done. Along with the reasons stated above that set us apart, […]

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Credit agency changes may increase credit scores for millions of people

Credit scores are vitally important to the home-buying process because your credit worthiness can dictate the terms of your loan. When you apply for a home loan, a pre-approval may reveal your credit blemishes, some of which could be fixed over a relatively short period of time, while some require additional work over a longer period of time. Those with credit problems may soon be getting some help. It was recently announced that millions of Americans are poised for a credit boost thanks to a new set of rules that credit reporting companies will follow when issuing negative points on credit scores. The large credit reporting agencies, Experian, Equifax and TransUnion, will be dropping tax liens and civil judgments in some instances as it applies to credit scores, both of which can lower a score. By July, as many as 12 million consumers could see a credit score increase because of this. The switch stems from claims that liens and civil judgments were being attached to the wrong person. Under the new rule, liens or judgments will be dropped if they do not match three out of the four following criteria: name, address, social security number or birthdate. At the very least, these changes could assist a large segment of consumers with a modest bump in their scores. Here are a few tips to help you get your credit in order. Find your Credit Score Sites like offer free credit scores. Some credit card companies offer customers a credit snapshot, which you may find on your statements. Federal law allows people to receive one free credit report from each of the major three bureaus each year. You can learn more about that here. The […]

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3 steps to get ready for spring buying season

Traditionally, spring is considered prime buying season. Various factors contribute to the spike in real estate activity during the warmer months of the year. Some families may prefer to wait for school breaks, for example, before beginning their journey into home ownership. Some may wait for the usual uptick in inventory that happens during this time of the year. Regardless of the reasoning, buying a home requires a lot of preparation, study and patience. Here are three steps you should consider as you enter the home-buying sweepstakes this spring and summer. Step 1: Get Pre-Approved When we talk about pre-approval and pre-qualification, it’s important to remember that each term means something different. Many consumers consider getting pre-qualified as the first step in the mortgage application process. You may get a pre-qualification when you discuss your debt, income and assets with a loan officer. However, this process does not assess your credit standing through a full credit report. Therefore, a pre-qualification could lead to some confusion because it is not weighing your credit worthiness into the equation. In short, a pre-qualification is not a sure thing. You also can get pre-approved, which carries more weight than a pre-qualification. When you fill out a formal application for a pre-approval, you will supply documentation so the lender can fully understand your financial standing. Pay stubs, credit reports and other financial documents will allow the lender to approve you for a specific mortgage amount. If you get pre-approved with our Keys on Time program, your offer will be the most attractive in a competitive market. That is because we will work with you to get full underwriting loan approval to ensure your loan will close lightning fast, even if […]

What the FHA rate cut suspension means

A lot of headlines came out of Washington, D.C. recently about mortgage insurance rates. The news is that a mortgage insurance rate cut on loans authorized by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which was scheduled to go into effect at the end of January, has been suspended. It is unknown what the future of the rate cut on FHA loans holds, but here are some numbers that may interest you – especially if you’ve decided to purchase a home later this year. Any prospective homebuyer who applies for an FHA loan today will have to pay the same premium insurance rate that’s held since 2015 (see below). Here is how the rate breaks down, according to the Chicago Tribune: ● Most borrowers pay an upfront insurance fee (be sure to ask your lender about this). ● Borrowers may pay 0.85 percent of the loan amount for premiums each year. ● The proposed rate would have dropped rate to 0.60 percent (this is the rate that was suspended). ● In 2014, the rate was 1.35 percent. Many of the characteristics that define an FHA loan remain in tact. Here are the characteristics of an FHA loan: • Low down payment, typically a minimum of 3.5 percent; which is great for first-time home buyers • Higher loan limits allow homebuyers to buy higher-priced homes with less down payment • Borrowers must live in the home as the primary residence • Requires a home appraisal by an FHA-approved appraiser* • Requires borrowers to pay mortgage insurance premiums* • Flip properties are allowed • Credit scores to 640, flexible debt ratios, and seller contributions permitted FHA loans are perfect for first-time buyers, and those who want a second chance […]

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