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Current Real Estate Financing Programs

by Jenny Brantlee

When times are tough, as they have unfortunately been for many people in the real estate world, there's ALWAYS a silver lining. That silver lining is the loan programming sponsored by the FHA and the USDA. These are programs that get trotted out only in the difficult times--and they are better loan products than what someone could have gotten 5 years ago at the height of the real estate boom. FHA insured loans allow a buyer to put down only 3.5%. That is a big difference from the conventional loans requiring 20% down. Also, FHA is a little bit more lax on credit scores--they are there to insure the loan, and so the lenders like to work with these otherwise "riskier" buyers. In my experience, these buyers are regular folks, usually couples buying their first home--super excited--both of them working hard and doing what they have to do to make it happen. The FHA program at last makes it possible for them, for the first time in years, and it's a beautiful thing. This is really changing people's lives.

Another really good program is the USDA loan program. Because San Luis Obispo County has many homes that qualify as "country" living, buyers can take advantage of the terrific terms offered by the USDA. These are no-money down loans, with no mortgage insurance needed-which is could normally a big expense to potential buyers. Then, after all that good news, the interest rate is fixed at 5%! Who has a 5% loan? It's a great rate. Now these loans aren't for big, expensive houses--usually for those appraised at under $500k - but the other positive about this "down" market is that prices are down and inventory is that house you loved 5 years ago at $600k is now at $475k or less and available for for a USDA loan. It's a happy day for some lucky buyers. It's true that many of these homes are priced low because of foreclosures as this practice does drive prices down in all markets. Unless you bought your house between the years of 2003 and 2006, you're still likely to be ahead of the drop in prices. Translation - you'd still make a profit if you sold your home today compared to the price you paid for it years ago. However, for those of us who did buy during the peak years of 2003 and 2006, if extenuating circumstances aren't driving you to bankruptcy and you can hang on to your home, then enjoy your home and live the life you imagined there.

We can try to live our lives outsmarting the market or letting the market dictate to us what's possible, but my real estate motto has always been "buy, sell, be happy." Think of your life and what would please you and serve you best--be it buying, selling, renting, or vagabonding--and do that. These days, I am confident that whatever your dream is, it can happen in this real estate market! Please call me to get started.

Jenny Brantlee 805.234.7279 Best Of Bay Real Estate Ca. License #01471394 "Buy. Sell. Be Happy."

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