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Author Archives: Coastal Housing Partnership

About Coastal Housing Partnership

For over 25 years, Coastal Housing Partnership has been helping local families in Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties realize their dreams of home ownership. Through home buying education and benefits, non-profit Coastal Housing Partnership has helped over 10,000 local employees become homeowners.

30 Home Buying Tips for 30 Years, Part 2

For 30 years, Coastal Housing Partnership has been working to keep home ownership within the reach of local workers. Since 1987, the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit has helped more than 10,000 employees become homeowners through home buying education and savings on home buying costs. The tradition continues for its 30th Anniversary Year with 30 tips to help get you started on your own path to home ownership.

Press Clipping - 30 Home Buying Tips for 30 Years, Part 2

Published in Santa Barbara News-Press House & Home!

“Our work as a partner with local employers helps companies and nonprofits successfully attract and retain employees in a region known for its high cost of housing,” said Corby Gage, Coastal Housing Partnership executive director. “The partnership approach is the foundation of this unique model – we have created a network of hundreds of local real estate professionals, lenders and others who are dedicated to helping local employees become home owners.”

The following 15 tips for potential home buyers are the second set Coastal Housing has released as it celebrates its 30th anniversary. The first 15 tips were published in the August 6th edition of House & Home and can also be viewed below on the coastalhousing.org blog.  Looking for more advice? Stop by our Home Buying Fair, 5-8 p.m., September 19th at the Deckers Rotunda, 6601 Hollister Ave., Goleta. RSVP today at homebuyingfairs.org!

Part Two

    1. Work with a real estate agent
      With so much access to property listings on the internet, it is tempting to think that a buyer doesn’t need an agent. Not so. In a competitive market with multiple offers, having the expertise and advice of a real estate agent can be highly beneficial. The agent should be familiar with the market that you are interested in, help you find a house that meets your needs, recommend how much to offer on the home, negotiate the price and terms of the transaction, and stay involved throughout the term of your escrow – helping you release contingencies and deal with any challenges that arise during the escrow period.
    2. Needs & wish list
      Make a list of what you want in a home – needs, wants and dreams. You may have to compromise on some of the wishes, but not on the needs.
    3. Home Comparison Worksheet
      Make a home comparison grid to help evaluate potential homes.
      Balance your wish list with budget constraints. Take a photo of the homes that you like and label them with the address, so the homes don’t all blur together.
    4. Know the market
      Take the time to research the market, so you feel confident that you are making a wise decision on your home purchase.
    5. Explore the neighborhood at all different times
      Check out the street and the neighborhood at different times during the day and on weekdays, as well as the weekends. What seems like a quiet neighborhood during the day may be quite different at night.  Or there may be plenty of parking on your street on the weekend, but the weekdays might be a different story.
    6. Lead with your head, then your heart
      You want to fall in love with the house you’re going to buy – but don’t let that love blind you to aspects of the home that might not be suitable for you and your family. Be realistic with what you can afford.  This is a big investment and you want to be thinking with your head before reacting with your heart.
    7. Understand your commute
      Before you make an offer on a home, drive to work from the house at your usual commute time to determine what your realistic commute time would be.
    8. Research the schools
      Even if you don’t have children of school age, the quality of the schools can often have an impact on the future marketability and value of your home.
    9. What’s around the home
      Understand the zoning in and around the neighborhood – what could be built that could affect the value of your home.  That open space that you love next to your home may be a new residential or commercial development in the future.
    10. Home inspection contingency
      It is at the buyer’s option to order a home inspection, but it is an important aspect of your transaction. A home inspector evaluates the structural, mechanical, electrical condition of the property you are purchasing.  This report can help you negotiate an adjustment to the purchase price, if necessary, or enable you to get out of the purchase agreement if the report reveals too many physical problems with the house.
    11. Select an escrow company
      Once your offer has been accepted and you sign a purchase agreement, escrow is opened. An escrow company is a neutral third party that works with the buyer, seller, agents, loan officers and other parties to your transaction to coordinate the obligations and paperwork necessary for closing. Your deposit goes into escrow, not to the seller or to one of the agents.
    12. Understanding title insurance
      A title insurance company conducts a title search to make sure that the property is free of any legal claims against it. You will need to buy a title insurance policy that insures your lender for any loss caused by a discrepancy in title to the property. In addition, an Owner’s title policy protects the buyer from title defects.
    13. Obtain the proper home owner’s insurance
      Home owner’s insurance is not only a good idea, but is also required by the lender. Home owner’s insurance protects you and the lender in the event of destruction, damage, theft and liability.
    14. Keep an eye on interest rates and on market values
      After you purchase your home, if you have private mortgage insurance (PMI), make sure to petition to eliminate the mortgage insurance once your loan to value ratio is at 80% (ask your lender the requirements for eliminating mortgage insurance). If you have an adjustable rate mortgage that you are seeking to refinance, keep an eye on interest rates to determine if refinancing is right for you.
    15. Attend a Home Buying Fair!
      A Home Buying Fair is a great way to get the information, tools, and resources to become an informed home buyer.  You will have the opportunity to meet and interview potential members of your home buying team and attend educational sessions by real estate professionals.

    Upcoming Home Buying Fairs:
    Tuesday, September 19 in Goleta
    Saturday, October 28 in Ventura
    For more information, go to www.homebuyingfairs.org.

30 Home Buying Tips for 30 Years, Part 1

For 30 years, Coastal Housing Partnership has been making the dream of home ownership possible. The local nonprofit has assisted more than 10,000 local workers become home owners, allowing these talented residents to continue serving the Central Coast. And to help more local employees live where they work, Coastal Housing Partnership is sharing 30 tips to help you start on your own path to home ownership.

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Published in Santa Barbara News-Press House & Home!

“While it is certainly more challenging to purchase a home in our high-priced community, it’s definitely possible,” said Corby Gage, Coastal Housing Partnership Executive Director. “Coastal Housing Partnership is here to help. We provide home buying education and financial assistance benefits to make buying a home more achievable.”

To help potential home buyers, here are the first 15 tips. Look for 15 more next week.  Looking for more advice? Stop by our Home Buying Fair 5-8 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Deckers Rotunda, 6601 Hollister Ave.Goleta. RSVP today at homebuyingfairs.org!

Part One

    1. Analyze if buying a home is the right step for you now
      Understand the obligations and benefits of home ownership
      Analyze the pros and cons of renting vs buying
      How will home buying affect your lifestyle?
    2. Determine your goals for buying a home
      What is important to you?  Not having to worry about dealing with a landlord?  Being able to do what you want with your home?  Stability in a community? How long would you be planning to own this property?
    3. Attend a Home Buying Seminar!
      Learn the steps to buying a home from the lending process to working with a real estate agent. Take the time to become a more informed home buyer.
    4. Understand the tax consequences/benefits of owning a home
      Meet with a tax accountant to determine how your income tax obligations will be impacted if you become a home owner and take on a mortgage loan.
    5. Get your credit score in shape
      Establish good credit behavior – pay your bills on time – at least the minimum amount due on every credit card or credit obligation you have each month.   Don’t “max-out” the credit limits on your credit cards.  When you talk to a mortgage lender, ask his/her advice on how to improve your credit.
    6. Get organized
      You will need to provide various documents to the lender in order to get pre- approved including:

      • two previous years of federal tax returns and W2s
      • paycheck stubs for the last 30 days
      • proof of other ongoing income such as pension, social security etc.
      • two months most recent bank and brokerage statements (all pages)

      Of course, your loan officer will let you know what you information he/she needs.

    7. Money for down payment
      Do you have a plan for saving for a down payment?  Will you be borrowing money from your 401k or other retirement account?   Understand the implications of borrowing from your retirement account. Are you receiving a gift from parents or other relative?
    8. Get pre-approved – Find out how much loan you can afford
      Before you start to look at homes, meet with a loan officer to obtain a pre-approval – provided free of charge. Once you determine the amount of your down payment and the amount of loan for which you are approved, you will have a good idea of your price range and can more efficiently begin looking for a home.
    9. Listen to local real estate professionals
      Rather than relying on internet generalities, talk to local real estate professionals about the real estate market and loan requirements and options.
    10. Low down payment Loans
      You don’t need a 20% down payment to purchase a home.  Determine if it makes sense to buy now rather than waiting to save the entire 20% down payment. If you have less than 20%, make that one of the first questions you ask a lender in your initial conversations:  what kinds of low down payment loan programs do you have?
    11. Know different types of loans
      Understand the advantages and disadvantages of loan types – what works for you, your financial situation and your risk tolerance.  Ask your lender about the variety of loan options available in order to select the loan that is right for you.
    12. Understand how a loan is priced
      The interest rate is not the only cost of a mortgage loan.  There are also points and fees – these costs are paid upfront as part of your closing costs.  Ask your lender how much they charge in fees.  Does your loan pricing include point(s)?  A  point is 1% of the loan amount.  Since points are prepaid interest, if you pay point(s), you pay should pay a lower interest rate on your loan.
    13. Mortgage insurance – is this the right strategy for you?
      Typically, if you do not have a 20% down payment, a lender will require you to pay for mortgage insurance.  This adds to your monthly housing expense.  Talk to your lender about your options to determine if it makes sense for you to secure a loan with mortgage insurance, get a piggyback loan or wait until you have saved a larger down payment.
    14. Don’t make any new purchases or open new credit cards
      Opening new lines of credit while in the home buying process will affect your credit score. It may also impact your debt level, which will affect how much loan you can qualify for.
    15. Coastal Housing Partnership Member?
      Check to see if your employer is a member of Coastal Housing Partnership.  If so, you have the ability to significantly reduce your closing costs.  Coastal Housing Partnership, a nonprofit organization, works with a network of service partners (real estate agents, lenders, home inspection firms, residential developers) who offer savings on the cost of their services for employees of member companies.  In addition, Coastal Housing Partnership offers home buying education at no charge to employees of its member companies.

The Coastal Housing Partnership Employee Member Benefit

Santa Barbara and Ventura counties are among the most beautiful places to live and work…

Forward-thinking employers are investing in Coastal Housing Partnership to make it easier for you to live here.

The following video explains this unique benefit.

 

Coastal Housing Partnership is a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping employees by providing housing solutions.

Here are the benefits you are eligible for as an employee of a member company:

• Home buying benefits
• Home buying education seminars that can open the door to homeownership
• Resources as you navigate your way through the home buying process
• Mortgage refinance benefits
• Rental assistance benefits

Since 1987, Coastal Housing Partnership has helped more than 10,000 local employees become homeowners. We offer free educational seminars on financial readiness and the home buying process. There are significant savings for you when purchasing a home as well.

Coastal Housing Partnership currently serves more than 45,000 employees from Thousand Oaks to Santa Maria. Housing benefits can be used in Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo Counties.

Call Coastal Housing Partnership today to get your letter of authorization or go to coastalhousing.org for more information.

2017 Home Buying Fairs- Goleta and Ventura

Join Coastal Housing Partnership for our upcoming home buying fairs!

Tuesday, September 19 from 5pm – 8pm at the Deckers Rotunda in Goleta, California and Saturday, October 28th from 10am – 3pm at the Ventura Beach Marriott in Ventura, California.

Get all of your home buying questions answered in one place!

  • Learn how to navigate the home buying process and today’s real estate market
  • Get information and resources to help you save money and make informed decisions
  • Meet with home buying experts: local real estate agents, lenders, credit & financial advisors and residential builders
  • Attend free education sessions on key aspects of the home buying process and local market conditions

To RSVP for the September 19th or October 28th Home Buying Fairs, click here. If you have other questions or are interested in sponsorship, click here to contact us.

May 14th Home Buying Fair Schedule

The schedule for this year’s home buying fair is live on our website www.coastalhousing.org.

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When you attend the 5th Annual Home Buying Fair on May 14th 2016, you can also attend our free home buying seminars offered throughout the day!

Learn from local experts who have partnered with Coastal Housing Partnership in our commitment to helping you realize your dream of home ownership. They will help you understand what you need to know – and the questions you should ask – so that you are the strongest home buyer you can be. The information will give you the tools and confidence to compete effectively in today’s real estate market.

Click here to see the schedule: http://www.coastalhousing.org/home-buying-fair/schedule.php

Home Buying Fair in Ventura California

Coastal Housing Partnership’s 5th Annual Home Buying Fair is May 14, 2016, 10am – 3pm at the
Ventura Beach Marriott. Whether you are a first time home buyer, a move-up buyer, getting back into the market or just thinking about buying a home, this Fair is for you! You can RSVP online or via phone at (805) 969-1025! We look forward to seeing you!

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