If you are a real estate agent who is helping homebuyers navigate today’s fast-moving housing market, you could probably use a trusted and reliable lender on your side. And City Lending could be the right preferred lender for you, for a whole host of reasons. Let’s delve into a few of these reasons and look at how they can help you sell more homes.
The Importance of Pre-Approval
As you surely know, we’re in a seller’s market — and a red-hot one at that. Most homes for sale get multiple offers these days and bidding wars are all too common. You’ve been in a few yourself and faced off against a selling agent who has ignited a bidding war. So, you understand the importance of a buyer having a pre-approved mortgage in getting a home deal done. We do too. That’s why we’re dedicated to providing a swift and smooth pre-approval process to make home-buying easier for both you and your clients.
Loan Products for Every Homebuyer
As homebuyers are as unique as the homes they seek, we have a wide-ranging selection of loan products to meet a variety of needs. Here are a few you can suggest to your clients.
FHA Loans. These can be perfect for first-time buyers or for those borrowers who might not qualify for conventional loans. Less money down is a big plus with an FHA loan, often requiring as little as a 3.5% down payment for borrowers with credit scores of 640 and higher. All your client needs to do is to show two years of W-2s and pay stubs going back 20 days. And City Lending doesn’t add overlays; we underwrite using FHA guidelines.
ITIN Loans. Chances are you’ve come across a potential client with worries that their immigration status will prevent them from getting a mortgage. But that’s not necessarily the case. Not if they choose an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) Loan Product. Foreign-born people who lack social security numbers may still quality for home financing if they are legally allowed to work in the U.S. Two years of tax returns and two months of bank statements is all it takes to get the approval process started.
Bank Statement Loans. Your roster of clients almost surely includes some people who work for themselves, from small business owners to workers who are a part of the ever-growing gig economy. So, you know the difficulty they can face trying to meet the financial documentation requirements of conventional mortgages. Enter Bank Statement Loans, which use a potential borrower’s bank deposits in determining their eligibility for a loan. With lenient requirements — people with credit scores as low as 620 and debt-to-income ratios as high as 50% can qualify.
VA Loans. If you’re showing listings to veterans or active members of the armed services, they’re likely to be interested in VA loans. These government-backed products have some serious selling points: the possibility of putting no money down, no need for mortgage insurance, eligibility for those with credit scores as low as 600, and more. All with a reasonable interest rate and possible for amounts up to 1 million dollars.
FHA 203k. Whether you have a client who is looking for a fixer-upper or one who just wants to make their new dream home a little dreamier, the FHA 203k Rehabilitation Loan Product might be right. This loan, insured by the Federal Housing Administration, allows homebuyers to finance their renovations — perfect for first-time homebuyers who may go the more economical route of buying a home that needs some work.
Rely on the Support of City Lending
You might not have heard of City Lending in 2014 when we were getting started with a small, but dedicated team. We’ve since grown to have over 200 employees, a success story that’s founded on our dedication to our clients, our investor relationships, and the ever-growing City Lending in-house team. Should you choose to work with us, you’ll be able to take advantage of our considerable resources.
With a dedicated staff of loan processors and assistants, our loan originators are never bogged down with paperwork, leaving those important but often cumbersome details to a team of pros. Who do it quickly. Our compliance team reviews content for turnarounds in 48 hours or less. For you, that means you can count on some of the fastest loan processing times in the lending business. We move so swiftly because we don’t outsource our work, handling everything from processing and underwriting to managing an appraisal roster in-house.
There may be no real estate agent on earth who hasn’t fielded calls from impatient homebuyers, fretting while they wait for the underwriting process to complete. While we can’t make underwriting time go away, we do have the high-tech tools to make it as expedient as possible. These include Optimal Blue, LoanBeam software, the ability to track the mortgage process with SimpleNexus, and access to fast financial verification through Birchwood services.
Fast Closings and Communication
What does all this tech and support staff mean for you? Fast closings, for one. We don’t want financing to linger in limbo any more than you or your clients do. So, we’ve assembled a team of highly skilled professionals and created an unrivaled system to streamline the process. As you probably know, there are lots of things that can spoil a real estate deal. We strive to make sure that financing isn’t one of them.
As with most relationships, communication is fundamental to maintaining a good lender-agent relationship. It’s why we put considerable attention and resources toward promptly answering every call, email, and text from agents. We know that in today’s market, homes sell fast. You need answers fast, to sell that current home and to move on to selling the next one.
It’s a simple fact: home prices are rising. Considerably. The combustible combo of low interest rates and low housing inventory has lit a fire under the housing market and brought it to a boil that won’t simmer anytime soon. Homebuyers have been, and will continue to, pay over list prices. But should you? Let’s delve into the details.
Why would one pay over the listing price?
It may seem like a real risk. If you pay more for a home than its listing price, and that price is fair for the area you are taking on negative equity. Therefore, building equity in your home will take longer, affecting a range of things: how long you may have to pay for private mortgage insurance, when you can refinance your mortgage loan; and when you’ll be able to get a home equity loan. Plus, if you decide to sell the home anytime soon, there is a chance you’ll take a loss. While all these things are true, it still makes sense for lots of homebuyers to pay above the appraised value of a home.
Rising home prices is one reason. While we may not get the record level of increases in home prices we’ve witnessed in the recent past, no experts expect we’ll see significant price drops. Rather, it’s more likely that moderate price rises are on the horizon, and that your home will one day be worth significantly more than when you bought it. Here are some things to consider when faced with the prospect of paying over the list price:
- Affordability. If your mortgage loan doesn’t cover the cost of the home, the shortfall is coming out of your pocket. This is in addition to the required down payment. If you can handle that cash outlay without depleting your savings, you might wish to pay.
- Longevity. Beyond the home’s price tag, you’ll have to consider closing costs, moving costs, and the possibility of home upgrades and repairs. If you plan to stay in a home for under five years, the investment may not pay off no matter where home prices are when you decide to sell. If you’re in it for the long haul, it may be the best investment you ever make.
How does paying over the appraised value affect my mortgage?
Lenders generally don’t finance mortgages for more than the appraised value of the home. Which makes knowing how much you can afford to spend with a pre-approved mortgage even more important. And as you’ve got about a 50/50 chance that the house you want to buy will sell above its listed price, you might want to shop just below your loan limit. That way, when you find the right house, you’ll know there’s a cushion and that the mortgage can come close to covering the selling price.
How much are home prices rising?
According to the National Association of Realtors, the median home price across all different types of housing was $350,300 in January 2022. That’s a rise of over 15% from January 2021. The jump wasn’t an atypical spike, a continuation of a long-running trend, marking the 119th consecutive month we’ve seen of increases, the longest-ever such trend in recorded history. And going forward? Based on analysis by the American Enterprise Institute’s Housing Center, the forecast for 2022 looks to be an overall rise in home prices of 12%.
Are things the same all over the country?
No. California is seeing some of the nation’s widest discrepancies between home list prices and selling prices, with Oakland, San Jose, and San Francisco reporting some of the nation’s highest divides. In San Francisco, a staggering 70.8% of houses sold for more than the asking price. Nationally, that number is lower, with about 50% of homes selling over their list prices in 2021, according to Redfin. Which was 23% higher than the previous year’s numbers for houses that sold over list prices.
How do I know if a list price is competitive?
You may go into the house-hunting process understanding that list prices are high these days, and you may very well pay more than the listed price. But how can you tell if the list price is competitive in the first place? Your real estate agent can do a comparative market analysis (CMA) of similar property sales in the area to make a side-by-side comparison. These reports are often used by sellers to set the prices, but prospective homebuyers can also use them to evaluate prices to make competitive bids.
Where is the housing market headed in 2022?
All signs say that the competition among home buyers will be just as fierce as it was last year. Homes are selling faster: in January 2022, the national average home sales time was 61 days, 10 days faster than in January 2021 and about a month faster than during the years prior to that. The prices of homes are rising, we saw a jump of more than 10% of median listing prices in January 2022 over January 2021. But the outlook isn’t dire — lots of market watchers expect this appreciation in home prices to slow over the course of 2022. Redfin’s chief economist Daryl Fairweather predicts that when average mortgage rates hit 3.6%, we’ll see competition cool to match the more moderate levels we had in 2018.
Buying Can Still Beat Renting
Even with the recent rise in home prices, buying a home can still be more affordable than renting in lots of places. According to Realtor.com, the per-month cost of buying a home is less than renting in over 75% of America’s largest metropolitan areas. Government data shows that rents are rising across the U.S., climbing 3.8% over the last year alone. The national average pales in comparison to some of the country’s hardest hit areas, such as Orlando with almost a 30% rise in rental prices, or Austin with rent prices jumping 40% and more. With rent high everywhere, and no indications they’ll drop, buying a home may make more sense now than ever.