Mortgage Rates Today, Tuesday, Aug. 2: The Most Refinance-Eligible Homeowners in Nearly 4 Years

Thirty-year fixed mortgages are up Tuesday; so are 15-year fixed home loans and 5/1 ARMs, asmortgage rates continue to suffer sharp volatility.

A NerdWallet survey of national lenders this morning revealed some aggressive repricing by a number of lenders, reversing course from Monday’s abrupt discounts.

Low mortgage rates trigger largest refinanceable population in nearly 4 years

The “Brexit effect” — falling mortgage rates after Great Britain’s vote to exit the European Union — has had a significant impact on 30-year mortgage holders who can qualify for and benefit from refinancing.

A new report from Black Knight Financial Services says there are more than 8.7 million homeowners who are now refinance candidates — the largest number since late 2012.

“The reality is that, post-Brexit, mortgage interest rates declined by about 15 basis points — not significant in the grand scheme of things,” Ben Graboske, Black Knight data and analytics executive vice president, said in a news release. “But for 2.8 million borrowers with current rates right at 4.25%, this modest decline was enough to put them 75 basis points above today’s prevailing rate, the point at which we consider a borrower to have incentive to refinance.”

The NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular loan terms:

Purchase Mortgage Rates: Aug. 2, 2016

(Change from 8/1)

30-year fixed: 3.62% APR (+0.03)

15-year fixed: 3.01% APR (+0.02)

5/1 ARM: 3.45% APR (+0.04)

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Tuesday, Aug. 2: The Most Refinance-Eligible Homeowners in Nearly 4 Years originally appeared on NerdWallet.

Mortgage Refinance Rates Today, Friday, July 22

Thirty-year fixed mortgage refinance rates are unchanged Friday, while 15-year fixed loans are just a tick higher; 5/1 ARM refinance rates are unchanged, according to a survey of national lenders by NerdWallet.

NerdWallet compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular mortgage refinance terms:

Refinance Mortgage Rates: July 22, 2016

(Change from 7/21)

30-year fixed: 3.74% APR (NC)

15-year fixed: 3.08% APR (+0.01)

5/1 ARM: 3.46% APR (NC)

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop refinance lenders here.

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the published APR with the lowest points for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

The article Mortgage Refinance Rates Today, Friday, July 22 originally appeared on NerdWallet.

Mortgage Rates Today, Monday, July 11: Another Rapid Rise

Recent headlines have touted lower mortgage rates and while rates are still historically low, borrowers who are considering locking in a rate should know that home loan pricing has moved noticeably higher in the past two days, particularly for 30-year mortgages. And the rate hikes have affected purchase loans as well as refinances.

The NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index compiles annual percentage rates — lender interest rates plus fees, the most accurate way for consumers to compare rates. Here are today’s average rates for the most popular loan terms:

Purchase Mortgage Rates: July 11, 2016

(Change from 7/8)

30-year fixed: 3.58% APR (+0.03)

15-year fixed: 2.97% APR (NC)

5/1 ARM: 3.37% APR (+0.02)

Refinance Mortgage Rates: July 11, 2016

(Change from 7/8)

30-year fixed: 3.65% APR (+0.03)

15-year fixed: 2.99% APR (NC)

5/1 ARM: 3.38% APR (+0.02)

Homeowners looking to lower their mortgage rate can shop for refinance lenders here.

Wells Fargo, Chase and BOA mortgage rates

Three major components of the NerdWallet Mortgage Rate Index are leading lenders Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America. Their current purchase mortgage rates are:

Bank Mortgage Rates 7/11

30-year fixed 15-year fixed 5/1 ARM
Wells Fargo 3.66% APR 2.98% APR 3.42% APR
Chase 3.35% APR 2.79% APR 3.35% APR
Bank of America 3.57% APR N/A 3.32% APR

NerdWallet daily mortgage rates are an average of the lowest published APR for each loan term offered by a sampling of major national lenders. Annual percentage rate quotes reflect an interest rate plus points, fees and other expenses, providing the most accurate view of the costs a borrower might pay.

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 

The article Mortgage Rates Today, Monday, July 11: Another Rapid Rise originally appeared onNerdWallet.

Escrow: All You Need to Know

It’s one of the nitty-gritty details you’ll stumble upon when buying a home: the escrow account. And you probably won’t encounter one again anytime soon, at least until you buy your next house.

An escrow account is money held by a third party until all legally required conditions have been met. That trusted third party might be a real estate title company, an attorney’s office or an escrow agent. Once conditions are met, the money is distributed to the recipient(s).

Types of Escrows

In buying a home, there can be several escrows in play.

  • The earnest money escrow. This is the deposit you were required to pay to the seller upon the signing of the purchase agreement.
  • The seller’s deed to the property may be held in escrow until the sale is completed. Then it’s transferred to your name and recorded at the county courthouse.
  • The mortgage lender may hold the loan proceeds in escrow until the closing is finalized. At that point, the money is distributed to the seller, and perhaps to a prior lienholder — for example, to pay off the loan balance to the seller’s mortgage lender.
  • The monthly payment escrow, which is established at closing. More on that below.

Closing one escrow — and opening another

At closing, you’ll sign the loan and property transfer docs, and your signature will be witnessed by a notary public. That notarization verifies your signature as authentic and valid. Once all of the paperwork has been wrapped up, the funds held in the purchase escrow are distributed to the various parties involved in the sale.

Often another escrow account is then created. Called the monthly payment escrow, it holds the prorated property taxes and other fees that you and the seller have paid. In addition, this escrow often skims a portion from each of your monthly house payments to pay expenses such as annual property taxes and homeowners insurance premiums.

Each year, you’ll receive an escrow statement from your mortgage servicing company reporting the money it collected and the payments drawn from the account. At that time, your monthly note may be adjusted up or down to reflect higher or lower property taxes, insurance premiums or other expenses that are drawn from the escrow account.

What does escrow cost?

There is no fixed fee for escrow services, and escrow charges are not regulated. They often vary according to the value of the home sale. An escrow agent may begin with a fixed fee but then charge for additional services such as wire transfers, copies and office expenses. Escrow charges can also be rolled into the title insurance provider’s fee.

As a part of the closing costs, escrow services are detailed, along with all other fees, as provided in the official Loan Estimate. And you may have negotiated that a portion, if not all, of the escrow fee is to be paid by the seller, along with other closing costs. In some states, it’s typical for the buyer and the seller to split escrow fees.

Home at last

You know that “boy, I’m glad that’s over with!” feeling? Prepare for a rush of relief like no other! Once you’ve closed the sale and have those precious keys in your hands, all that stands between you and uncontrolled jubilation is that little matter of moving.

But the joy and feeling of accomplishment will stay with you long after the last box is unpacked. Congratulations on your new home!

Hal Bundrick is a staff writer at NerdWallet, a personal finance website. 
This article originally appeared on NerdWallet.

San Diego is getting Punked by the Chargers

San Diego is getting Punked by the Chargers

DowntownStadium

For being the 8th largest city in the U.S. and the 2nd largest city in California, the fact that we can’t get a commitment from the Chargers to stay in San Diego should not determine the future of the NFL and other professional sports in San Diego.

The Chargers have positioned themselves as an organization making a business decision. San Diego as a city should do the same. If the Chargers move to LA are they taking the San Diego NFL market rights with them? That is what San Diego should be fighting for, the right to remain a viable NFL market, even if the Chargers leave.

The Chargers may not be willing (or able) to invest in our city at this time, but should they leave I would hope that San Diego would be able to remain a “viable NFL market” and not be held hostage by the LA Chargers. This keeps the option open for the relocation or establishment of a franchise at some point in the future. I hope the city leadership has some foresight as we continue through the uncertainty of the NFL’s future in San Diego.

We shouldn’t compromise the financial priorities of the city to keep the Chargers in San Diego. I just hope that if they leave, they don’t lock San Diego out of being a future NFL city. I am sure if this opportunity is vacant, someone will see the potential to partner with our region in creating an amazing civic asset that will accommodate major league sports, be a profitable investment for the citizens of San Diego, and support the region more than drain it.

In other words, let the Chargers leave if they are determined on leaving…. Just don’t let them hold our city hostage from a NFL future if they leave. Keeping San Diego NFL viable is something I can get behind fighting for. If we detach from the Chargers timeline, we can go back to thinking about what type of stadium is really the best for our city not just the “best hope to keep the Chargers.”

 

Stadiumidea

What I learned by running for Downtown Community Planning Council’s Residential Owner Occupant Seat

Downtown San Diego’s East Village is the last frontier for Downtown San Diego. Some view the East Village as the center of debates regarding a new structure that could serve many roles from convention space to N.F.L. stadium. Others view the East Village as a future startup zone full of innovation and smart growth. Then there’s those of us who call East Village home. We get 3 seats out of the 27 available seats on the Downtown Community Planning Council as our resident voice for how Downtown develops moving forward.

 

 

I learned a lot yesterday running for a seat on the DCPC, here are some of the highlights:

  • I am convinced that there are few neighborhoods in San Diego County that are more diverse (Ethnically, Economically and occupant mix between commercial, industrial and residential use) than the East Village.
  • It was also evident that the makeup of homeowners downtown is not diverse at all. I noticed many LLC’s, Trusts and Corporations that had mailing addresses in very affluent areas owned a lot of rental inventory downtown.
  • Quartyard is such an amazing activated space, I have yet to see it empty since it opened.
  • Construction workers on the new SDG&E building from LA, were really looking forward to finding the “Gaslight District” after being disappointed the night before after wandering into the financial district after dark.
  • Excluding apartment units, of the over 1400 residential units available for individual ownership, it seems that at least half are rented out.
  • Most of the new construction downtown, is going to be apartments for rent rather than homes for sale.
  • Most of the condo buildings in the East Village have some pretty cool condo units for sale with some great amenities, views and locations.
  • Parking rules must not apply for really expensive cars while their owners workout at Fit.
  • The library is pretty busy most of the day, and don’t try to use the rest room right before they close. No matter how many floors you go to, they will either be locked by then or have a significant wait.
  • Voter turnout for CPG elections is even worse than general election turnout.
  • Most residents are unaware of opportunities to run for seats or vote in elections.
  • Most of the DCPC’s current makeup is from people who come from fields related to construction and development.
  • A young person of color can be stopped by police for “looking familiar” and sitting on a bench.
  • Market street has dramatically changed over the last 10 years.
  • I have a very supportive social network of friends.
  • Nextdoor is a great platform and HOA’s should encourage resident registration.
  • The Tilted Kilt’s bagpipe player can play for a really long time without taking a break.

 

 

After recently completing the San Diego Public Leadership Institute, I was excited for the first opportunity that presented itself for becoming a candidate for the East Village Owner Occupant Seat on the DCPC. Even after completing my eligibility documents, writing and re-writing my “200 word or less” bio (which didn’t appear to be enforced for incumbents and other candidates,) I was still hesitant to click send. As the 6pm deadline approached last week, I clicked send and promised myself to work hard at being the best candidate that I could be, the rest would work itself out.

 

So I ventured into this journey of candidate in the unfamiliar territory of CPG’s (Community Planning Groups.) It was actually relatively simple to go through the process and a great learning experience. The biggest hurdle that keeps most downtown residents from being involved and engaged in this process is awareness that the DCPC even exists. Most of the people that I talked to over the course of the last week, had no clue that a planning council existed, nor that they could vote for a person to represent their interests in the process of the continued development of Downtown.

 

I found the easiest way to get involved, was to join the CIVIC mailing list. As projects come through downtown, every public meeting and review is announced by e-mail. A quick glance is enough to stay informed as to what’s going on in the neighborhood. Most people that I spoke with, didn’t know there was an option to be fully informed about this public process. For me, being on the CIVIC/DCPC mainlining list also served as the reminder that elections were going on and as a catalyst to jump in the ring as a candidate.

 

This is where things got interesting. I arrived at the candidates forum just before 6:00pm and signed in as a candidate. I sat in the back of the room and reviewed my notes. I was welcomed by an existing community council member and the forum started with the seat I ran for. After the incumbent was given a warm introduction and gave an impressive speech about the need for more three bedrooms units downtown in order to attract more families to the neighborhood and things like walkable/bike-able streets it was my turn to speak.

 

Downtown has as many issues as it has opportunities. So rather than try to come up with solutions to complex issues in a short period of time, I decided to focus on connecting, engaging and listening to my neighbors by leveraging technology to make a more family friendly community as my platform. The time had come to show up Monday evening to the Lyceum theater in Horton Plaza and give a speech. My speech was simple, I wanted to use technology to connect and engage the residents of downtown so that there is a greater awareness as to what is going on in our community. My thought is that this type of communication and ability to provide feedback would result in a more family and resident friendly East Village of the future. My plan is to utilize platforms like Nextdoor to build a network of residents and inform them as to what is going on in the development of the community. My bio also mentioned that I would like to see amenities in my community beyond restaurants and entertainment and my speech highlighted the community benefits that projects like the new central library and the Thomas Jefferson School of Law have brought to the East Village.

 

I survived my speech and the bonus question I drew from a hat. I stopped by the registration table to remind them they had misspelled my name on the candidates page of the website and promptly rushed out to meet my wife so we could attend the Art show at Border X Brewery that was part of the Latino Film Festival. My bio also mentioned that we should be good neighbors to the surrounding communities, Barrio Logan and Sherman Heights come to mind. This is important because we are all connected by the port, freeways, trolley lines, city streets and social issues. After enjoying a celebratory Horchata Blonde Stout Micro-brew, it was time to get some rest for the big election day. Elections technically opened at the candidates forum, but as turnout was limited to the existing DCPC members and the candidates that chose to vote on site, my focus was on yesterday 3/17/15.

 

This was where I learned more about my community in one day than I had ever learned in the last 8 years of living Downtown. I started my day by taking my dog Sake for a walk. I grabbed a stack of voter registration forms and set out to spread the word about the elections. As I snaked my way around the condo developments of the East Village during my walk I realized how diverse the East Village truly is. The diversity of the East Village is something that I had always understood, but until you are walking on the streets on a mission to identify who might be a homeowner to approach, the reality of our neighborhood is insulated by the bubbles we create. Walk any street in the East Village from one end of the neighborhood boundary to the other and you can go from the financial district to ballpark or from the Gaslamp to the eastern fringes of the East Village along I5.

 

As I walked by Parkloft (the brick building overlooking Petco Park,) I was stopped by some construction workers on break from working on the new SDGE building. They wanted to see a flyer. I explained that I was trying to increase resident engagement and was out trying to get out the vote for the election. He then proceeded to ask me if I lived in San Diego, which at that point, he explained that they were from LA and trying to find the Gaslight District for some after work entertainment. I let them know that they were only a few blocks to the East of the Gaslamp District and explained why walking north didn’t take them anywhere exciting the day before.

 

Most neighbors had the deer in headlights look when I explained that there was an election that day and that if they were residents they could go out and vote as long as they provided the proper documents. Some people stated that it sounded too complicated to vote, while others said that they would make an attempt to get out. Some people complained about the recent Monster Jam and I had several conversations about the 4 story orange sign larger than the Petco Park sign, slapped onto the side of the new 6 story building on 10th Ave. Another person was concerned with the SDGE building setting a precedent for plain glass buildings that would water down the character of the East Village.

 

After the unusually long and obscurely routed dog walk, I made my way home to contact as many homeowners as I knew that lived in the East Village and reached out to as many as I could find contact information for through various platforms. I also had to run across the street and vote for myself!

Once again, with the goal of informing and engaging my neighbors so that they at least knew there was an election going on. After exhausting those contacts, I grabbed a stack of voter registration forms and hit the streets again to get out the vote until 7pm when the polling sites closed.

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I know that I was running against a highly qualified incumbent. I also know I didn’t win the election, but it wasn’t because I didn’t work hard enough. This was a great experience and well worth the effort exerted over the last week.

 

 

 

 

Próximo plan: comprar casa en San Diego – California

Downtown San DiegoSi estas en ese momento de tu vida en el cual andas buscando un lugar agradable para vivir, que te ofrezca todas las comodidades de una gran ciudad capital pero con la tranquilidad de los pueblos cercanos al mar, lee un poco más para conocer esas claves que te ayudarán a determinar que el lugar perfecto para mudarte es San Diego.

¿Qué ofrece San Diego en cuanto a su ubicación?

  • El clima perfecto: Al ser una capital costera, lo predominante es un clima templado todo el año (En promedio unos 70° Fahrenheit – 22° Centigrados) con la suave brisa del pacífico que caracteriza a las ciudades de este estilo.
  • Variedad en su gastronomía: Si eres un amante de la comida comprar casa en San Diego debe ser tu próximo plan, debido a su relativa cercanía con México, se ha popularizado la comida caribeña, excelente opción para pasar un domingo sin cocinar. Sin olvidar los mercados de campesinos que hay por todos lados para comprar las frutas y verduras más frescas.
  • Educación de calidad: Hay cientos de colegios públicos y privados para los niños. En el caso de los estudiantes universitarios las posibilidades son enormes. Con la Universidad de California en San Diego (UCSD), la Universidad Estatal de San Diego (SDSU), además, de cientos de muchos colleges a poca distancia, es el lugar perfecto para aquellos que quieren continuar profesionalizándose.

San Diego también es entretenimiento para la familia

  • El mejor Zoológico está en la ciudad: El zoológico de San Diego se encuentra dentro del parque Balboa (que por cierto es enorme, y tiene unos jardines espectaculares para relajarse en la tarde). El zoológico es famoso por tener una de los grupos más grandes de los adorables osos panda.
  • ¡Vamos al mundo lego!: porque nunca es tarde para volver a ser niños. Jugar en familia con las cientos de atracciones que hay en Legoland hace que ser padre, nunca fuese tan sencillo como en San Diego.
  • Play Ball: No hay nada más relajante que pasar una buena tarde de verano con toda la familia disfrutando de un juego desde la colina que hay en el Petco Park.

Las mejores urbanizaciones están en San Diego

San Diego se adapta a todos los gustos y presupuestos, desde los lugares más lujosos y extravagantes hasta los más cálidos y familiares, todos se encuentran en la misma ciudad, lo cual nos garantiza que siempre habrá algo nuevo para ver.

  • La Jolla es una verdadera joya: Además de ser uno de los lugares más exclusivos de la zona, ofrece a sus visitantes playas perfectas y ocasionalmente sitios llenos de leones marinos y fauna del mar para apreciar. Pero como si fuese poco, es el mejor lugar de la ciudad para disfrutar de los atardeceres.
  • Carreras en Del Mar: el lugar ideal para pasar el verano por cercanía a la playa ¡Está a unos pasos solamente! Donde además puedes ver alguna carrera de caballos en uno de los pocos hipódromos con vista al mar.
  • Pacific Beach, playa, sol y arena: Una combinación ideal de la vida de playa, los restaurantes y centros comerciales hacen de este sitio el mejor si lo que necesitas es un ambiente más movido y cercano a los sitios turísticos.
  • El downtown, lugar de trabajo: Si te estás mudando con fines laborales lo más probable es que quieras comprar casa en San Diego más cercana al centro, que te ofrece cientos de edificios de oficinas llenos de restaurantes y bares para pasar un buen rato con los amigos.

Como puedes ver, San Diego es la combinación perfecta entre la ciudad y el campo. Además, comparado con Los Angeles, es una zona más adaptada a presupuestos no tan grandes. Es momento de comprar casa en San Diego y cambiar tu vida y la de tu familia.

HUD’s PowerSaver Program “a FHA 203(K) Pilot Program” Expires 5/4/2015!

The FHA PowerSaver Program is a pilot launched to allow homeowners access through the 203(k) program  to low-cost financing so they can include energy saving improvements and upgrade projects when they purchase a home. Under this new pilot program,which expires May 4, 2015, homeowners receive the benefits of a more energy efficient home.

solarmodel

If you are a home buyer who would like to take advantage of this program, you have until 5/4/2015 to take full advantage of the program. After this date, or if you would like to work with a non-participating mortgage lender, you can still take advantage of the program utilizing the 203(K) streamline or standard mortgage. However, the PowerSaver program has grant money funding it, making it a more attractive option for the energy conscious consumer looking to buy a home in the next 30-60 days.

 

The PowerSaver and 203(K) are not difficult if you have an  experienced Realtor and Lender guiding you through the purchase and finance process. It is not recommended that you attempt to complete a 203(k) rehab or PowerSaver project without consulting with 203(k) experienced Real Estate professionals.

 

Working with an agent that has been involved in many successful 203(K) transactions gives you the benefit of past experience rather than the risk of being an unsuccessful guinea pig.

 

Please reach out with any questions regarding this program or to view some homes in San Diego that would be great 203k or PowerSaver candidates!

dreamhouse

What is “Sustainable Homeownership?”

What is “Sustainable Homeownership?”

By: Rafael Perez, Rafael@theHomeMap.com (619)333-0116

Prior to the most recent economic collapse, the one fueled by declining over leveraged real estate values, the American Dream was deeply rooted in homeownership. White picket fence, freshly cut lush green lawn, a nice car in the driveway, a pure bred dog, a bedroom for each kid and maybe a pool in the yard. There was no shortage of stories passed on for generations about the home someone bought decades ago for $30,000 and now is worth over $500,000.00.

Then there was the stories about the people who were buying up homes left and right and turning around selling them weeks later at a profit because the market had moved so much. “You can’t go wrong with real estate, it always goes up in value.” That is the fundamental belief that an entire economy bet the house on until it collapsed under it’s own weight. As the real estate market was skyrocketing across the USA, people believed they were financial geniuses.  Real estate ALWAYS goes up in value, it’s the safest investment in the world, until it’s not.
Small time real estate investors were making hundreds of thousands of dollars while institutional investors couldn’t create enough financial products to fuel the insatiable appetite for more. Everyone wanted a piece of the pie, from main street to wall street. Even if it was just the home they would live in, it did not matter how much it cost, or how it would be financed. Real estate always goes up in value, there was nothing to worry about. If you had a heartbeat and a social security number then there was a loan for you. Stated income, stated assets, just short of stated FICO, just sign the dotted line and the home is yours.

As with any investment, the higher the risk the higher the premium borrowers will have to pay. When a blue collar service worker with a “six figure income” can get a 3/4 of a  million dollar loan, on a brand new home in the newest suburb without a single dollar down, based on a payment that doesn’t even cover the high interest that was accumulating monthly, based solely on the principle that the home WILL go up in value no matter what, it’s a clear indicator that something had gone terribly wrong with homeownership in America.
Real estate loans had become the product for unscrupulous salespeople to “turn and burn” the most vulnerable with false promises of sustainability. Some people made sound financial decisions during this time while others, who were financially vulnerable, trusted the advice they were given and bought in to the “American Dream” they were sold. Real Estate always goes up in value right? The idea of homeownership, one of the core principles this country was founded on, had been distorted so badly that it would have to crash and burn to the ground before it ever stood a chance of being at the core of the American dream.

Over a half dozen years after the financial collapse, home prices remain low as do historically low interest rates. There’s been substantial recovery from the bottom of the market but overall the scars still sting and people are still afraid of the dangers of homeownership. The housing market will continue to turn around and go up and down.
True sustainability will only be fueled by one thing and that is SUSTAINABLE HOMEOWNERSHIP. The idea of a home being a thing to buy so that it eventually makes you money when it appreciates in value, sounds too much like the belief that led us to this post mortgage market meltdown. However, the principles of owning your own property are too deeply rooted to stop being fundamental to the way this country functions.

A home is the combination of people and property otherwise it’s just a house. The people who are in control of their home are those who own their home. If you rent, you are just a tenant in someone else’s plan. This country was built by property owners on the backs of those who were not property owners. We’ve come a long way, and if the will is strong enough I know that there is a home for anyone in this country. Even for a single federal minimum wage earner can qualify for a $500 monthly mortgage if they have decent credit and little to no debt. That is still $50-$70K in buying power, which will buy you a home in many communities across the country.

So then what is sustainable homeownership? Some experts will tell you that it is buying a home you can afford, based on an accurate financial assessment, with affordability that will continue for the life of the mortgage. It is making a decision to buy and own your own home. An investment that will leave you with a mortgage free home after 30 years that will carry you into retirement. It is investing into a property that while creating a stable home in a  community for your family, can be the foundation your legacy is built on.

Great, but that concept is already built into the system. The mortgage market was rebuilt with consumer protection in mind. The market is already built to only give you enough financing to buy a home you can afford to make payments on. The underwriting is thorough enough to verify that your income will continue at current levels or higher through the foreseeable future. Mortgage programs are designed with the safety and security of having a fixed rate option that includes interest and principle so that it will be paid off after 15 or 30 years, depending on the amortization of the mortgage. Down payments require “skin in the game” of at least 3% or a government guarantee in lieu of a down payment if you served in our nations military.
So if the system fixed all the problems with mortgages and is designed to deliver sustainable homeownership to all those who are motivated and qualified, then why has the market still not recovered? Scar tissue. The word foreclosure and crisis are still deeply etched into the recent memory of most adults in the USA.

So when does the American Dream come back? When will people go back to dreaming of the white picket fence, lush green lawn and Mercedes in the driveway? That dream may be dead, or dying for many Americans. Wall street killed the dream. What isn’t dead is the opportunity to dream again. A new dream is rising out of the ashes, it is an opportunity to redefine the American Dream.
The civil rights movements had many heroes, one of them being Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Before he was tragically killed, he had been preaching a belief that economic empowerment was the last leg of the civil rights movement. Real Estate was the primary source of wealth creation for many diverse communities. People had confidence that there was equal access and opportunity for anyone to achieve the American dream. In the blink of an eye, that generational wealth was stripped along with the sense of dignity it was providing to families across America.
“Sustainable homeownership” is systematically embedded into the system of mortgage lending. The mortgage system has been overhauled so that there is a national licensing system intended to filter out the “bad guys.”  Congressional acts like Dodd-Frank, have changed the entire landscape of the industry and spawned new agencies like the CFPB.  The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is one of the most powerful agencies in the country, yet people are still afraid to make the move into sustainable homeownership.

Which brings me back to the concept of “Sustainable homeownership.” The concept is in as much need of an overhaul as the mortgage system was. The time is NOW for a remodeled, retooled version of “Sustainable Homeownership” incorporated into a modern day American Dream. As communities we just can’t afford to carry ideas that are wasteful into our future as stakeholders in our cities. California’s recent drought is a reminder that natural resources . This awareness is just as an important part of the puzzle as the finance piece. It all determines how we go about paying for these resources delivered to our home. Not only is this minimizing the footprint a home has on the environment environmentally friendly, it is also an investment into hedging against rising utility costs.  In California, a zero-scape yard is more remarkable these days than a lush green city fine causing lawn. Solar panels and energy efficient windows are the new badges of pride. One step closer to being off the grid, independent. Your home is working for you just as you are working for your home.

There’s also the urban planning impact of concepts like living in a high density community like a condominium near transit or in a walkable neighborhood. With shared walls and shared resources the energy impact of condo community living is also more efficient than a detached single family home through pooled resources. Sustainable homeownership, what does the redefined dream look like? Non wasteful homes are more affordable homes. A fixed mortgage payment is guaranteed for up to 30 years, an annual rental agreement is not. Making good use of your land can result in generation of energy, recycling of resources, growth of drought tolerant landscaping and homegrown food.

Are you in control of your future and own your own property, or are you just a component of some else’s business plan?

Rafael Perez

REALTOR®  CalBRE #01479670
theHomeMap at Team Aguilar Real Estate

(619)333-0116 Direct
www.theHomeMap.com