We LOVE hearing success stories from local employees who achieved their dreams of home ownership with the help of Coastal Housing savings. It’s so inspiring – that’s why we come to work every day! Here’s one we received recently.
“Yes, I am a Coastal Housing success story! We bought a beautiful 10-year-old home and moved in last June.
We attended a very helpful and informative Coastal Housing seminar at their Home Buying Fair, and we were very impressed by one of the featured speakers. It was Ruth Ann Bowe of Village Properties, and we chatted with her after the seminar. We told her that if we were ever in the market, we would want her to represent us. She kept in touch.
Later, we found out that we were going to have to move because our landlords were moving back from the east coast into their place here in Santa Barbara. Thanks to the Coastal Housing seminar, our eyes had been opened to the possibility that we could actually afford a place in this very difficult market. When we realized we had to move, Ruth Ann was there for us when we really needed her. She and her assistant, Kristen, were both very kind, patient and helpful. We later found out that her team had sold 4 different properties that month—ours being the least expensive by far—but they treated us as though we were their only clients.
Because my employer is a member of Coastal Housing Partnership, I was able to access its savings program. We saved several thousand dollars because of contributions from our realtor, the lender and even the inspection company. My fiancee’s goddaughter also ended up purchasing a condo after attending the same seminar. Going to that seminar was one of the smartest financial decisions we ever made, and we are now very happy in our own home!
Thank you again for the wonderful service that you provide!”
The Home Buying Fairs are designed to give attendees the opportunity to find out more about the home buying process, the real estate market and to meet real estate professionals in an efficient, no-pressure environment. Hundreds of potential home buyers attended the three fairs held in Santa Barbara, Goleta and Ventura.
Attendees received valuable information from real estate professionals as exhibitors and in the education sessions offered throughout the fairs.
Dozens of exhibitor booths provided attendees the opportunity to easily and informally interview potential partners of their home buying team, including real estate agents, lenders, residential developers, escrow companies, and credit & financial service professionals. Education sessions were offered to help attendees understand the home buying process, regardless of where they are in the home buying process – whether working to build better credit, trying to purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment, or learning how to negotiate the real estate transaction.
For nearly 30 years, local nonprofit Coastal Housing Partnership has been helping employees of local companies realize their dreams of home ownership through home buying education programs and benefits provided through a network of local real estate partners.
The Home Buying Fairs are designed to give attendees the opportunity to find out more about the home buying process, the real estate market and to meet real estate professionals in an efficient, no-pressure environment.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Learning to navigate the home buying process can be daunting if you don’t have the right tools and resources. If you are looking or wanting to buy a home in Santa Barbara or Ventura County or other neighboring communities, then you can’t afford to miss Coastal Housing Partnership‘s 4th Annual Home Buying Fair Saturday, May 9th at Fess Parker’s Doubletree Resort in Santa Barbara.
-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 good decisions
-Meet with local home buying experts: local real estate agents, lenders, credit and financial advisors, and residential builders
-Attend free educational sessions on key aspects of the home buying process and local market conditions (there will be a session in Spanish as well)
-Leave with great information
The Newest Phase of the Ventura Orchard Collection has just been released! The Grove at the Ventura Orchard Collection offers beautiful brand new townhomes for less than $400,000. The Grove, consisting of 60 new townhomes, features either 3 bedrooms & a loft or 4 bedrooms. Read more about the new Ventura townhomes and see how Coastal Housing Partnership members save! https://www.coastalhousing.org/blog/?p=246
New Apartments Added to Rental Program in Santa Maria! Siena Apartments in Santa Maria is excited to release its exclusive discount to The Coastal Housing Partnership. Siena features an ample list of amenities. CHP Members will receive a $50 discount on their one bedroom apartments or $75 discount on their two bedroom apartments. Read more: https://www.coastalhousing.org/blog/?p=243
Home Buying in Your Future, But Don’t Know Where to Begin?
Come to a free home buying seminar to help you on your path to homeownership.
Upcoming seminar dates:
-February 24 in Goleta
-March 19 in Goleta
-March 24 in Ventura
-April 21 in Goleta
All seminars scheduled from 5:30 – 7:00 pm To sign up for a home buying seminar, visit our site or call the Coastal Housing Partnership office at 969-1025. Read more about our upcoming events.
HOME BUYING FAIR Save the date! Coastal Housing Partnership’s fourth annual Your Path to Home Ownership Home Buying Fair will be held on Saturday, May 9, 2015 at The Fess Parker Doubletree. The Fair is an opportunity to meet with real estate professionals and to learn more about the home buying process to get you on your path to homeownership, whether you are a first time home buyer, move-up buyer or getting back into the real estate market.
Your Housing Benefits
As an employee of a Coastal Housing Partnership company, you are eligible for savings and benefits whether you are purchasing a home, refinancing your mortgage or renting an apartment. Check out the Coastal Housing Partnership site for more information on how you can save on your closing costs.