cash_in_on_foreclosuresAs a soon-to-be home buyer, you want to do everything you can to find the best mortgage rates before you apply for a home loan. So shopping around is an obvious first step.

What types of loans are available?

Many people are surprised to hear that there are a variety of loan options available for home buyers. In addition to conventional mortgage loans, you’ll find:

  • Loans for first time home buyers (including some that offer 100% financing)
  • Loans for people with less than perfect credit
  • Loans that require minimum down payment
  • Special loans for state employees and teachers with CalPERS and CalSTRS
  • Loans for veterans
  • Plus more!

What are points?

Points (or discount points) are pre-paid interest that you pay to a lender to reduce the interest rate attached to your loan. In other words, you may decide you want a lower monthly payment, so you pay a lump sum up front to get that lower payment. Often a lender will give you several options when you are trying to find the best mortgage rates. For example, you might have the option to choose between a 6% interest rate with no points or a 5.75% interest rate with one point. One point is equal to one percentage point of the loan. So, one point on a $300,000 loan will be equal to $3,000. When you pay points, you usually pay them along with your closing costs when you purchase is finalized at the close of escrow. so you’ll need to have cash available to you if you are considering this option.

Get Pre-qualified – it is so important!

It really is in your best interest to meet with a lender and get pre-qualified before you began your property search. Getting pre-qualified means that you provide information about your financial information (income, debts, checking and savings accounts) to the lender. The lender will review that, do a credit check on you and let you know how much money the bank will loan you for the purchase of a home. They will provide you with a “pre-qualification letter” which you can include when you make an offer on a property. There are several reasons why this is important.

  1. You will know exactly what the bank will lend you and what price range you should consider when looking at properties.
  2. You’ll have an good idea of how much of a down payment you will need to buy a home.
  3. You will know what your monthly payment will be before you fall in love with a house. You can decide objectively if you want to make this commitment.
  4. You will be in a better position to have your offer on a home accepted, especially if you are vying against other buyers for the same home.
  5. A pre-qualification letter is required by most banks before they will look at any offer that you make on one of their bank-owned foreclosure properties.

So when you ask, “Where can I find the best mortgage rates?” keep in mind that you should not only consider interest rates, points and terms. You also want to make sure you are selecting a lender who will be looking after your best interests.

I am happy to provide you with a list of lenders who have done an excellent job of assisting my clients.

Located in the popular San Luis Bay Estates and only minutes to the Pacific Ocean, golf course & walking trails!
This two bedroom, 2 1/2 half bath condo is light and bright with unobstructed views of oak-studded hills from the kitchen, dining room and living room.  You’l experience the serenity and privacy the minute you walk into the home.  There is an Italian country, custom designed kitchen and a beautiful, custom designed master bath.   You’ll find cathedral ceilings, decks on both the upper and lower levels, a downstairs family room, lots of storage and built-ins throughout the home plus a bonus room that can be used as an office, playroom or exercise room.  To learn more, visit

Offered at $680,000.

This week, I ventured out to view the list of luxury homes for sale in Templeton, California. EddiesList includes 5 homes in Templeton, located on Bunkhouse Ct, Cobble Creek Way, South El Pomar, Gates Field Road and Spanish Oaks Lane.

I often have my favorites on EddiesList, and this week’s favorite in Templeton is 3015 Gates Field Road. This custom built home, inspired by Wallace Neff, has it all, plus 39 acres with producing grapes, which includes just under 7 acres in Pinot Noir. Located off Highway 46 a few miles outside of downtown Templeton in a gated community called Hidden Valley Ranch, this area is known by vintners for an incredible climate that is typically 10 degrees cooler, called the Templeton Gap.

The European style home sits on a higher elevation above the vineyards, surrounded by the beautiful majestic oaks. The spacious floor plan, measuring over 5900 square feet, features Spanish accents throughout, outdoor entertainment oasis with hot tub, bar-b-q and fireplace. For the car lover/collector, or artist, it’s fully insulated for your comfort of working all year long indoors. It will easily fit 4 or 5 cars.

If location is up there on your list when purchasing, Hidden Valley Ranch is spectacular, gated, wooded and remote. All of Templeton has so much to offer, including the other 4 homes for sale, all great choices, depending on your taste. This particular one goes on top my list, if you’re interested in viewing it, call me and let’s go see it.


Eddie Stanfield is a Broker Associate, General Partner of Century 21 Hometown Realty and member of the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing.  He specializes in representing buyers in the purchase of luxury real estate in San Luis Obispo County. Stanfield maintains a thorough knowledge of the inventory of fine homes and assists discriminating buyers in finding homes that complement their lifestyles.  EddiesList features premier homes for sales starting at $1,500,00.00.

If you are serious about obtaining the American dream of owning your own home and willing to take a little time. your chances of being approved for a home loan after experiencing a short sale will increase tremendously.

The following steps will help guide you and bring some understanding to this, at times, order to improve your chances of approval here are some preliminary steps you can do to reach goal of owning your own home.

Traditional guidelines require that two to three years must pass after as short sale.  For a conventional loan it is three years with no exceptions.  With an FHA loan, though it is more expensive, allows more flexibility with its guidelines in regards to short sale and credit grading.  The first is guidelines state two years should pass in order to qualify.  There is an exception to this time-frame if we can prove extenuating circumstances (a onetime event).

After we have proved your onetime event was not financial mismanagement and not to be duplicated, you will need to provide a history of established good credit since the time of your short sale.  If traditional credit such as credit cart installment loans are not available or not reflecting on the credit report we can use nontraditional credit items to satisfy this conditions.  These nontraditional items can include nontraditional credit references like cell phone bills, high rent payments, monthly contributions to a 401 k, cable or monthly subscriptions which are not documented.

Another hurdle we must contend with are any late payments prior to you short sale.  The only way to get through this condition, without having to wait the allotted time frame, is to prove under no circumstances were you able to pay until the sale was final. Please review this information with your selected loan officer.

How much can you afford is another important factor.  This is also known as your ability to repay.  Being that your ability to repay has been compromised in the past you must be able to present a strong case showing you ability to repay now.  What this means to you the buyer is that solid work history is needed to satisfy continuance of pay. Also, in order to maximize your buying power you need take a good look at your liabilities before any application as no exceptions to your debt to income ratios will be made.

Want to know what homes are currently for sale on the Central Coast of California?  You can see up-to-date listings of properties for sale here.


For more information about current interest rates and mortgage loan options, call Sarah Bradley from Wells Fargo Mortgage in Pismo, Beach, CA

We offer these tools to give you some general ideas about your mortgage payment questions.? However, we strongly recommend that you talk with one of our recommended lenders?to get the most accurate information and to find the best mortgage rates


Additional payment calculator

How much do you save by paying more or making additional payments than your initial mortgage terms?


Monthly payment calculator

Want to know how much your monthly payment is for your mortgage?


How much do I have to earn?

Not sure how much money you’ll have to earn to afford your house payment and accompanying expenses?


How much can I borrow?

Want to know how big of a mortgage you can take on?


Should I pay discount points?

Not sure if you should pay discount points on your mortgage loan


How much will I save by refinancing my loan?

How long will it take to recoup the costs of refinancing my home mortgage?


How much will my tax deduction be?

Want to know how much your home mortgage will save you in taxes?


Bi-weekly mortgage calculator

Want to know how much time and money you’ll save paying off your loan on a bi-weekly payment plan?


APR calculator

To find out the annual percentage rate of your loan, enter the loan amount, interest rate, points, other costs and year-length term.


Interest only monthly payment calculator

To find out the monthly savings you could gain from an interest-only payment plan.

If you’re in the market to purchase a home but have been sitting on the fence waiting for the “perfect” one, you may want to hop off soon.  Interest rates have been creeping up lately (as have the prices of homes for sale on the Central Coast) and all that is going to affect your pocketbook.

For example, if you were to buy a $500,000 single-family owner-occupied home, a 30-year fixed loan at today’s interest rate of 4.25% will mean a monthly mortgage payment of $1967.76.  Two months ago, when the interest rate was 3.5%, the monthly payment for the same price purchase was $1,796.18.

We all know the anxiety and stress this “rate gambling”  can cause and I intend to give you some insight and knowledge that will ease stress and create a comfortable decision process. It is important to understand how your mortgage rate itself is determined and what will affect its fluctuation in the market. With this information it’s easier to make a secure and educated decision on when is the right time to act.

What influences rising interest rates?

The best way to answer that question is to start with some other questions:

  • Where does your money goes after you make your payment?
  • Who gets the money from my interest payment?
  • Who is profiting from this transaction every month?

Is it your servicer, the bank, maybe even the lending officer?  No….
The answer is your loan investor.

All mortgage loan are sold on the secondary market in the form of mortgage backed securities. These securities are low risk investment vehicles that typically yield a slightly higher rate than US Treasury Bonds, as to appeal to investors looking for a conservative option on the market. This creates a direct link between US Treasury bonds rates and Mortgage rates. Hence, when US bond rates go up then mortgage securities follow suit seeing as how they have a higher risk and yield a higher return. The same goes to be said if US Treasury Bond rates go down.

With this being addressed our next question is “How do we make the US Treasury rates go down?”  As with most things in the economy the price is determined by the “supply and demand” concept.

For example: When there is a shortage of milk in the market, the price of milk goes up and the dairyman yields more profit or return. When there is a larger supply of milk introduced to the market, the price of milk drops and the dairyman makes less.

This is the concept that was used and has been keeping mortgage rates down recently. The plan is referred to as Quantitative easing and allowed the government to buy large quantities of US Treasury bonds, in essence controlling the supply and keeping the rate down. These dealings with the US treasury bond advertently lowered rates for mortgage consumers and pushed investors to seek low risk investing opportunities other then the US treasury bonds.

Recent Changes in the Market

Now that we know who is receiving the benefits our interest payments and what can dictate the fluctuation, let’s look at what has recently occurred in the market. According to USA Today on June 02, 2013, it seems that the government will be tapering back on the purchase of US bonds earlier than the original stated year of 2014. This created a higher rate of return on US Treasury Bonds and in essence mortgage backed securities. This increase of rate is then passed onto us, the consumer.  Based on this information we can assume that unless the US Treasury bond rate of return drops drastically we cannot anticipate any new the dip in the rate. If anything prepare ourselves for the continuous increase to come.

Knowing that this gradual increase is coming to mortgage rates and comparing them to the overall rates of the past, now more than ever it is important to lock in the rate and find the home at an affordable rate. Rates are still low and home values are increasing, if you are debating and don’t know where to start as always I suggest with questions! Thank you for your time and until next time…
Happy Hunting!


For more information about current interest rates and mortgage loan options, call Sarah Bradley from Wells Fargo Mortgage in Pismo, Beach, CA

There are an increasing number of new articles that are helping people to be more optimistic about the real estate market..  We all know that the the last few years have been less than optimal.  Considering the trends viewed thus far in 2013, it does seem that California and the Central Coast is posed to have a good market in the coming year.

Relative End to the Doom and Gloom

Thankfully, the year 2012 saw a large decline in the number of foreclosures in California.  Added to this decline were significantly fewer bank-owned properties and foreclosure sales.  All of this information points to a recovery that is well under way and that the majority of homeowners are able once again to afford to keep their homes.

Low Rates Continue to Help

Thanks to the historically low mortgage rates it is expected that demand for homes will continue to surge throughout the rest of 2013.  Home prices should continue to increase due to the constant demand and low inventory.  All of the news that has come from the Federal Reserve over the past few months indicates that mortgage rates will continue to remain very low for at least the upcoming year.

Mortgage Lending will stay the Course

The loose credit loans that led to the housing crisis in the first place are still having an effect on today’s mortgage lending.  Most lenders are still being very conservative in their approval process.  People will still need to do all they can to increased their credit scores, save for a modest down payment and avoid any unnecessary borrowing in order to get approved for a home loan.

Short Sales May Increase

Although the number of foreclosures has dropped, there are still lots of properties with loans higher than the property’s value.  This means more people will likely make the choice to cut their losses and sell their homes via short sale.  Most lenders would rather accept a short sale offer compared to going through the expense of a foreclosure.  Since the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act of 2007 is scheduled to end on December 31, 2013 many lenders are feeling compelled to work out as many short sales as possible in the coming year.

Home Prices Should Continue To Rise

With the low mortgage rates, more people will be enticed to purchase a home.  This will increase demand for housing.  However, since many homeowners are choosing to stay in their homes, the supply of houses will be decreased.  These two factors should cause an overall price increase in homes throughout California.
Considering the fact that many areas in California have seen rent prices rise above the average price to purchase a home, it looks like it will be a great time for people to shop around and purchase a good home at a fair price.


Posted by JoJo Stanfield, Century 21 Hometown Realty

Not so long ago California residents saw their home equity increase each year instead of holding steady or even declining.  If the current trends continue, it is possible for Central Coast of California homes to once again see significant gains and put homeowners back in the black.

The main advocate of the price increase is Bruce Norris.  Mr. Norris has been an analyst of real estate based in Riverside for several years and he is also the founder of The Norris Group.  If past predictions are any indicator of the future, Mr. Norris could be on to something.

Strong Track Record

In 1997 Mr. Norris accurately predicted the revival of the California real estate market and the subsequent boon that followed.  Again, in 2006, he stated that the market was primed to make a large correction due to several factors and he was right again.  His ability to look into the future and depict long term scenarios is once again in the limelight.

Main Reasons for Increased Prices

Mr. Norris points to three criteria that will significantly increase California home prices

  •  Prior foreclosure customers are ready to buy – From 2008 to 2009 the state of California saw a record number of foreclosures.  In certain areas, the foreclosure transactions actually outnumbered the number of homes sold.  These people suffered through a great hardship and have had 3 to 4 years to get their financial affairs back in order.  They are now ready to begin looking for a home to purchase.  Thanks to favorable FHA lending rules, these people can reasonably expect to purchase a home with a modest down payment
  • Lack of homes for sale – Short sales, foreclosures and refinances have led to fewer homes available for sale.  Across California many cities only have enough inventory to last about 30 days.  Large group investors have bought up many homes and turned them in to rentals.  Thus, the number of home owners that have actual equity in their home, and are willing to sell, is quite low.
  • Historically low mortgage rates – The incredibly low mortgage rates that have existed for the past few years will lead to higher prices on homes.  This allows homeowners to increase the asking price without having a significant impact on the payments.

The influx of more buyers, fewer homes for sale and great financing all point to significant price increases across all of California, including the Central Coast, in the upcoming year.  For current homeowners, this is great news since they will see their equity increase.  For people looking to purchase a home soon, it could mean that their investment will see an increase before the end of the calendar year.


If you are thinking of selling but first want an idea of its current market value, we offer a free report called a “Comparable Market Analysis”.   Learn more.

Over the past 5+ years the real estate market has witnessed some real struggles.  Numerous foreclosures in almost every market were quite normal.  Home prices dropped to the point that many homeowners found themselves owing much more on a home than the current market value of the property.  These two conditions led to fewer homes being sold.  Thankfully, the overall real estate market has seen signs of stability and even some recovery in the past 4 months.  Homes on the coast are seeing even more improvement.

Definite Improvement

A recent report from Standard & Poor shows that home prices are actually increasing for the first time in several years.  When looking at home prices from one year to the next the average price in October of 2012 is 4.3% higher than prices from October 2011.  This type of increase makes people excited about buying a home.

Along with an increase in the prices of homes, the number of homes sold has also increased.  Some states are reporting a level of sales transactions that we have not witnessed since the year 2005.

While all of these figures are related to residential properties, commercial sales are also showing signs of improvement.

Coastal Towns Still Have Highest Valued Real Estate

With all of the improvements in the real estate market potential buyers are wondering where the good markets are.  The best place to buy a home that will see a rise in value is along the coasts in California and Florida.  More investors have turned their attention to beach properties which is causing home prices to rise.

There are many reasons why coastal properties offer such a good value for homeowners.  The most obvious reason is limited supply coupled with the beautiful views.  There are only so many homes located on the coast of California.  When one of these homes comes up for sale it represents a good opportunity for a homeowner or an investor.

A second reason is the built-in pool of potential vacation renters.  People from out of state who wish to vacation along the coast typically like to rent a nice home for a few days or as long as a week.  These people are looking for accommodations that will usually house multiple people comfortably with the amenities that they have back at home; multiple TV’s, wireless internet, full kitchen, multiple bathrooms and laundry equipment.  Investors that wish to purchase a home and allow tourists to pay for the bulk of the mortgage via rentals can recover the investment in 10 to 15 years and then have a nice home on the beach for their retirement.

The Central Coast has been a destination for home buyers, business owners and vacation seekers for many years.  Thanks to the improving economy it seems that trend will continue to remain strong for the foreseeable future and help the overall property values continue to increase.

Everyday we hear  real estate agents saying, “Oh no, they passed on the home warranty because it was an REO property and sold as is.”  Or, “They can’t afford the home warranty.”  However, these are actually the best reasons to purchase a home warranty for the property.

For example, a home inspector may tell the prospective homeowner they are looking at $200 in A/C repairs, $150 in plumbing work and $200 in electrical work after closing.  Once these systems are brought up to good, safe and working order (even after the closing), the systems are covered by Old Republic Home Protection’s home warranty Plan for a full year.

This means if a compressor blows, a condenser needs to be replaced, or a slab leak erupts, these systems will be covered either for repair or replacement.  This is what home warranties are designed to do – cover the major systems in the home (plumbing, electrical, A/C & Heating) and the built-in appliances within the living space of the home and the garage that fail due to normal wear and usage.

The systems and appliances should be in good, safe working order on the effective date of the Plan.  We know that many banks will not allow prospective buyers to conduct any repairs on these major systems until after closing. However, once the homeowner has addressed the issues flagged on the inspection after the closing, these items will be covered for the term of the Plan.

This very valuable coverage can potentially save homeowners thousands of dollars in unforeseen repairs or replacement of the major systems and appliances in their home. So, just when you think you can’t afford it, just remember–you can’t afford to be without it.


This article is provided courtesy of Old Republic Home Protection, a leader in the home warranty industry, providing superior service, comprehensive coverage and competitive pricing.
Should you have any questions regarding this article or home warranties in general, feel free to contact local area representative Amanda Wood, serving Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo and Kern Counties.