Millennials could keep the real estate market robust in 2020, Jumbo Loans can assist Bay Area home buyers

The millennial generation continues to shape the real estate market.

It wasn’t too long ago millennials were fighting for a spot in the market. Eventually, they became power buyers, and 2020 will be no exception. They are expected to be as active as ever in the months to come, according to data from

These young buyers are poised to either buy their first home or upgrade into an exciting new location like the San Francisco Bay Area market, where it’s highly desirable and fiercely competitive.

There are a number of reasons why. Millennials will become more active as they hit key life milestones, such as reaching the age of 30. Another key milestone some will reach is an age that coincides with migration into homes with more family-friendly amenities.

The market is maturing right alongside millennials, who may fuel a robust, buyer-driven market in 2020. The market may also benefit from an anticipated softening of prices in some of the largest cities in the United States, including San Francisco, and a continuation of low interest rates.

One of the tools many Bay Area home seekers need are Jumbo Loan programs. Being a banker and broker, Guarantee Mortgage represents nationwide Jumbo Loan products at great rates and a multitude of qualifying options.

These loans are more flexible than some may believe, meeting the qualifications of a wide range of buyers. A Jumbo Loan features various financing options, fixed of course, but also  shorter-term fixed loans at competitive rates that can adjust after their fixed-rate period, and 15, 20, or 30-year terms.

Aspiring homebuyers can also take advantage of delayed purchasing financing, or a competitive conforming loan with a piggyback second, which may bridge the gap that could exist in their pursuit [...]

3 reasons to be optimistic about buying a Bay Area home in the fall

Buying a home in one of the most desirable areas in the nation can be intimidating.

While luxury homes in the San Francisco Bay Area typically are in high demand and sell for above listing price, you may find them increasingly within reach.

Here are three reasons to be optimistic about entering the Bay Area market this fall and purchasing your ideal home.

New listings this fall
The Bay Area market differs from others. The start of the home-buying season is one way.

In San Francisco, generally speaking, it’s fall that sees the highest number of new listings. Available homes begin to pour in after Labor Day and they tend to sell quickly, just in time for the winter months so folks can get settled before the holidays and onset of the rainy season.

Take advantage of the activity by planning your house hunting accordingly. You may be surprised and pleased at what you find on the market!

Entering the market around this time of year has its benefits, and if your timing is right, you may get a rare Bay Area discount.

Motivated sellers
We know you’re motivated to purchase a home, but things can move very smoothly if the sellers feel the same.

This time of year, people selling their homes in the colder months may be more ready to make a deal knowing the buying season tends to slow up toward the end of the year.

As listing periods reach their maturity, sellers may be open to further negotiating on a price and other factors to avoid withdrawing their listing.

Use a Jumbo Loan
If these reasons aren’t enough to convince you that there’s no better time to enter the market, here’s one more: Our Jumbo Loans program. Rates have steadily [...]

5 of the most family friendly, unique parks in San Francisco

The sights and sounds, the history and the things to do. There are so many reasons why raising a family in San Francisco is special.

There will be big days, like the first day of school and prom, but there will also be the quieter moments, like a picnic at the park.

San Francisco is home to an array of unique and fun green, open spaces. Here’s a list of five family friendly gems.


Mountain Lake Park

Perfect for the toddler, the recently renovated Mountain Lake Park features a self-contained area for the smallest of children. Sitting just south of the Presidio, it’s perfect for big kids, too. They can climb stairs, walls and make their way down a slide and repeat the process.

The most exciting element may be the great rope climbing area, which rewards its high-climbers with sweeping views of Mountain Lake.


Hilltop Park

Children who like to move on wheels will love Hilltop Park, which is known for its impressive 70-foot sundial and skatepark. In addition to the area to roam by skateboard, Hilltop Park’s recent renovations transformed the park’s base with a merry-go-around, rubberized flooring and adventurous playground. Of course, there’s plenty of benches for parents who may need an occasional breather.

The park still features its large cement slide, too.


Mission Playground and Pool

In the heart of the Mission area, this park has two primary play areas with water and climbing features. It’s the perfect place to cool off (it’s the only outdoor public pool in San Francisco), but there’s more than just splash and climb.

Tennis courts, a basketball court and a black-top soccer pitch are also available if children want to partake in team activities and competition.


Helen Diller Civic Center Playgrounds

Experience one of the newest and [...]

After years of growth, Bay Area home prices fall

For the first time in several years, home prices in the San Francisco Bay Area have fallen.

This spring, the median price of a home in the Bay Area was $830,000, down 0.1 percent from the same time a year ago, breaking an 83-month streak of consecutive price gains.

Leading up to this downshift in prices, the market went through a steady shrinking of price gains over several months. It was just about a year ago in May and June that prices reached the largest ever median sales price of $875,000.

The market is also bearing a slowdown in home sales and an increase in inventory, which began about a year ago. Since last March, home sales are down 15 percent.

These market realities are providing new opportunities for potential homeowners who had been priced out or turned off by ever-growing prices. In addition, mortgage rates have been on a slow downward trend assisting in home affordability. While conditions are more favorable than they were a year ago, homebuyers still need a strategic approach to home-buying in the Bay Area. That is because this is part of the typical real estate cycle when windows of opportunity for home buyers open up.

A pre-approval through our Keys on Time* and SecureLock** programs helps boost a buyer’s standing in the market.

The Keys on Time Program is a fully underwritten preliminary pre-approval that hands mortgage seekers the confidence to enter the market because they’ll know how much home they can afford. This program also removes any doubt about the strength of their qualifications for a potential seller.

Here are some program highlights:

It is fully underwritten.
It allows buyers to waive the loan contingency, boosting the appeal of the offer.
It [...]

Inventory is up across the San Francisco metro area

Buying a home in the Bay Area may be getting slightly easier.

The frantic pace of Bay Area home sales have slowed a bit and may mean potential buyers see more homes for sale and potentially enjoy lower prices.

That’s the latest word out of desirable areas, including San Jose, where home availability has increased by 43 percent. Elsewhere in the greater San Francisco metro area, inventory is up by 25 percent this year, according to a study by Zillow.

It wasn’t too long ago that inventory tightened, and competition soared, leaving would-be buyers in real estate limbo. That’s no longer the case. The sudden shift toward a more buyer-friendly market provides a greater window of opportunity. And while buying a home in the Bay Area is still competitive, it may be more attainable than in recent years with good preparation and a strong mortgage partner.

Jumbo Loans remain indispensable for the Bay Area home buyers. The availability of Jumbo Loans with various financing options to meet all buyers’ qualifications have grown substantially. With a Jumbo Loan, buyers also enjoy the flexibility of opting for a fixed rate or an adjustable rate and various options for qualifying. If you haven’t been pre-qualified in a while it’s worth a conversation with your Guarantee Mortgage loan officer to explore the options.

The time may be now for individuals and families yearning to buy a home in the Bay Area. Guarantee Mortgage offers MANY options besides Jumbo Loans, including VA Loans which have qualification enhancements for our Veterans!

These favorable conditions help buyers, especially with the backing of Guarantee Mortgage’s knowledge of the area and unique financing programs.
*The views, articles, postings and other information listed on this website are personal and do [...]

As we enter 2019, Bay Area real estate prices are Moderating

Home sales across the Bay Area’s nine counties dropped in 2018, and that isn’t the only change we are seeing in the market.

Homes are staying available longer with 51 days being the average timeframe a house is on the market, compared to 21 days earlier in 2018. Price cuts provide further evidence of a real estate market that may be easing up slightly on buyers heading into 2019.

While the changing landscape can entice buyers eager to take advantage of the lower prices, the truth remains: The market remains competitive.

Borrowers can get an upper hand by getting pre-approved for a home loan first.

If you get pre-approved utilizing our exclusive Keys on Time Program, you can shop for homes confidently because your financing is complete with a fully underwritten preliminary pre-approval. This will give you an idea of how much you can afford in the market, which will help you narrow down your search. In addition, a seller would likely view your offer with a favorable eye should you face competition from other bidders. A financing pre-approval takes the questions out of your qualifications as a buyer, gets your offer to the front of the line and increases your chances of closing the loan on time.

Our Keys on Time program delivers the following:

A pre-approval that is fully underwritten.
An opportunity to waive the loan contingency when an offer is put in (because a complete pre-approval has occurred), which will make the offer more appealing.
More confidence for the seller when it comes to closing on, or prior to the escrow close date, and that delays won’t happen.

Plus, if you combine the Keys on Time program with our SecureLock program then you can lock [...]

Three predictions for the 2019 Bay Area Real Estate market

Posted: 12/07/2018

As we approach the New Year, there are some changes on the horizon for the Bay Area real estate market.

Quick sales, tight inventory and skyrocketing prices may no longer be the norm in 2019.

Here are three predictions for the Bay Area real estate market to watch out for.

Fewer Buyers

Record-high prices and sales – hallmarks of the booming real estate market in the Bay Area – are slowing down. This new reality, however, isn’t generating more buyers.

Other conditions forecasted for 2019 could further hinder new buyers. According to the California Association of Realtors, rising interest rates and the lack of affordable housing are just some of the ingredients in its forecast.

Since prices remain high, many future homebuyers are having a difficult time entering the market, a trend that’s likely to continue into the New Year.

Slight Price Increase

A slowed-down housing market doesn’t necessarily mean lower prices. In fact, real estate experts are forecasting home prices to go up by 3 percent in 2019. Should the economy continue an upward trajectory, that could also be a factor.

Such a price increase would still be smaller than what we have seen over the last couple of years, however.

Downturn in Sales

Prices are still increasing, albeit at a slower pace. This trend, however, may not result in more sales in 2019. Already, homes are taking longer to sell and not reaching the stratospheric prices common in the market earlier this year.

After years of high-octane growth, the market is finally appearing to cool off. The cool-off, however, is likely not enough to immediately bring in more buyers, lower prices or interest rates.

Since the economy remains strong and buying a home is still expensive, future homebuyers may want to act before any [...]

Bay Area real estate market shows signs of change – here’s how you can benefit

Posted: 11/06/2018

The housing market as we’ve come to know it may be changing.

Overall flattening and a downtick in sales are a part of the current trend, which could lead to an uptick in inventory and a transfer to a buyers’ market.

As these symptoms of a changing market become more prominent, a fundamental shift may be brewing. These changing dynamics mean individuals entering the market as buyers may be gaining the upper hand.

Evidence for the change is mounting in the Bay Area

In August, total sales for Bay Area homes fell nearly 10 percent. While sales increased from last year by 1.8 percent, the total volume of sales fell nearly 20 percent of average. This hasn’t been seen since 2011. In addition, summer sales were the slowest in seven years, the traditional “busy season” for real estate.

There’s a direct line between these numbers and home affordability. A flattening of home prices in the Bay Area is not uncommon after a period of accelerated appreciation and is actually good for a healthy sustainable market. The current climate could lead to a boost in inventory.

For some, the changing market provides a new outlook.

Take advantage of today’s market and get preapproved

If you have been waiting for the market to take a turn, now might be the right time for you to purchase a home. The first step to buying a new home is getting pre-approved.

If you get pre-approved utilizing our exclusive Keys on Time Program, you can enter the housing market knowing that your home financing comes with a fully underwritten preliminary pre-approval. As a result, you will have an idea of the amount you feel comfortable spending on a home, which will assist you as you view [...]

Now may be a good time to buy as Bay Area home prices decrease

Posted: 09/25/2018

As summer winds down, there may be some change happening in the real estate market.

As seen in San Jose, sellers are lowering the prices of their homes, and some economists think a substantial cooling period is possible.

The data backs it up as nearly 10 percent of listings saw a price reduction in June, up nearly 3 percentage points from a year ago. Other areas, including San Francisco and Oakland, also experienced price cuts this summer.

Because of these indicators, economists believe a slowdown is probable in the coming year. Prices are still expected to climb, albeit at a slower pace.

If you are considering taking advantage of this slower market and purchasing a home in the Bay Area, here are a few things to keep in mind.

Get Approved for a Loan First

Though it may be tempting to jump right into shopping for available homes, you will have better purchasing power if you get approved for a loan first. In the high-priced markets of the Bay Area, many home buyers choose to go with a Jumbo Loan. A Jumbo Loan, also known as a non-conforming loan, describes a mortgage loan exceeding the conforming loan limits set by Freddie Mac (FHLMC) and Fannie Mae (FNMA). In most U.S. counties, the conforming loan limit is $417,000, anything over that is a jumbo loan. In the San Francisco Bay area, the limit amount varies by county and can range from $453,100 to $679,650. If your desired loan amount exceeds the non-conforming loan limits in your county, a Jumbo Loan will cover the full amount.

 Financial Preparedness

Buying a home requires financial resources for large expenses like a down payment and closing costs. Buying a home also means you’ll have a monthly [...]

What Bay Area buyers and sellers should know about bidding wars

Posted: 08/20/2018

The Bay Area continues to be characterized by low inventory, increasing prices and a lot of competition.

In fact, a recent study shows housing prices leaping by nearly 15 percent from just a year ago. In March, the Bay Area entered a new price stratosphere: a median price of $820,000.

Despite rising prices, future homeowners continue to mobilize with hopes of landing their very own home in one of the world’s most beautiful regions. Many homes in the Bay Area, due to the type of market, are selling for over asking price, and in many instances, sellers are reviewing dozens upon dozens of offers, which prompts competition.

Here are some things both sellers and buyers should know when it comes to bidding wars.

 Things sellers should know:

Some real estate agents representing the seller will list the home lower than market value to create bidding wars.
Real estate professionals cannot predict what areas will produce offers well over asking price. There are always surprises.
Real estate professionals are using a range of pricing strategies. Therefore, as a seller, work with real estate professionals who know Bay Area inventory in and out to maximize your property.
Some agents who understand the over-performing market may not price the homes well under market price in an effort to not mislead buyers.

 Things buyers should know:  

Follow the market patterns, and work with Guarantee Mortgage to secure a loan before doing any shopping.
Take advantage of your resources and come ready with cash, if you can. The best-case scenario may be to submit an all-cash offer, especially in an investor-saturated market. If you do finance with partial cash, consider waiving some contingencies that may speed up [...]

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