18 Jan

Insight on Rising Mortgage Rates in Sacramento

As mortgage rates climb, would-be home buyers and homeowners looking to refinance should know there are still ways to get very low rates, even close to 3%. Catalyst Mortgage CEO, Brandon Haefele, shared his insight with Fox40 News on how to cut your interest rate as mortgage rates rise.

01 Dec

Compete with Investors in the Sacramento Housing Market

Investors account for one in five homes sold in Sacramento — a 60% increase from a year ago. How can you compete when inventory is scarce and prices are high? Local housing and lending expert Brandon Haefele, CEO of Catalyst Mortgage talked with Fox40 about how local home buyers can build a winning game plan for todays’ market.

04 Nov

Mortgage Rates Drop To Historic Lows!

For the first time in history mortgage rates have dropped below 3%. Catalyst Mortgage CEO, Brandon Haefele spoke with FOX40 about what this means to consumers shopping for a new home or refinance. Rates in the mid to high 2% range can boost buying power and save consumers an average of $400 on monthly payments compared to just two years ago. Haefele also reminds viewers of the importance of shopping around before signing to fully understand costs and fees. If you’d like more information or have any questions, please call 916.287.7777 or visit us online. We’re happy to help.

04 Nov

Sacramento Refi Craze!

Homeowners from Land Park to Lincoln are tapping into their homes and refinancing. In fact, the average household in the Sacramento region made almost as much money in home appreciation than they did going to work during the past year! Find out more from Brandon Haefele, CEO of Catalyst Mortgage, as he talks about the refi craze and the current housing market on FOX40 News.

28 Sep

Sacramento Housing Market Cool Down

The decision to buy or rent in the Sacramento region has been turned upside down with fast-rising apartment rents and record-low mortgage rates in recent months. Brandon Haefele, CEO of Catalyst Mortgage, joined FOX40 News to share data and insights about where we could go from here as signs are finally starting to show a cooldown.

To get more information on your options in the Sacramento housing market, call Catalyst Mortgage at 916.287.7777.

09 Jun

How to Compete in the Sacramento Housing Bidding War

You’ve heard the horror stories – bidding wars with dozens of other home-shoppers – and seen the headlines where a buyer pays $100,000 or more over the asking price for a home. Yeah, it’s a crazy, super-competitive housing market.

A couple of quick home buying facts and figures in the Sacramento region just to increase your anxiety:

  • Almost three of every four homes sold face bidding wars.
  • Two of every three homes sold for more than the asking price.
  • Homes are selling at a record-setting pacesix days in Sacramento County; five days in Placer County.
  • Home prices are up 23% from a year ago to a record $625,000 in Placer County and $490,000 in Sacramento County.

But even amid all of the craziness and record prices, buying a home now and taking advantage of the near-record-low mortgage rates likely makes more financial sense than purchasing down the road when rates are higher, says Brandon Haefele, CEO and President of Catalyst Mortgage in Roseville. Plus, there are some tax advantages of owning a home compared to renting.

So, how can you compete and increase the chances of being the winner in a bidding war without going crazy?

ESTABLISH A PLAN

  • Be honest with yourself and know how much house you can afford, based on your down payment – and know the total monthly cost of owning a home, including the mortgage, property taxes and homeowners’ insurance.
  • Get pre-qualified (your creditworthiness) and pre-approved for a mortgage. Then you know your budget and how much house you can comfortably afford – or any potential trouble.
  • Establish a list of must-haves – like four bedrooms – and the nice-to-haves but can live without or add later, such as wood floors or a fully landscaped backyard.

HOW TO MAKE YOUR OFFER STAND OUT – AND WHEN TO WALK AWAY

  • Cash is often king, but only 15%-20% of homes are all-cash deals.
  • So, for the rest of us, a bigger down payment – for example increasing from 20% to 40% — will attract more attention.
  • Write a letter to the homeowners, listing the things you love about their house (everyone likes compliments and a connection).
  • If possible, reduce the time frame on the inspection, appraisal and loans. Be flexible on the closing date (the homeowners may be buying another home as well).
  • When you make an offer, don’t haggle over relatively minor repairs like a cracked window or chipped tile. However, DO NOT ignore major repairs, like a broken air conditioner or roof damage.
  • Perhaps the most important advice from real estate experts – don’t become too emotional about a house and overpay. If you spend too much, even with near-record-low mortgage rates, the house of your dreams will eventually become a financial nightmare.

Congratulations. You had the winning bid and can move into the home. A few things to keep in mind about owning a home but are often forgotten, and to take into consideration when budgeting.

TRUE COST OF HOMEOWNERSHIP 

  • If you buy a home in a neighborhood with a homeowners’ association (HOA), consider the monthly cost.
  • Ask any homeowner, and they will say things happen – and never at a good time. A broken garbage disposal, a leaky water heater or a garage door that comes off the track and bends like a soda can. A good rule of thumb is to set aside about $1 to $2 per square foot – or about $170 per month for a 2,000 square-foot home. Of course, costs depend on the age and condition of the house.
  • If you have ambitious plans to buy and then do some home-improvement projects, remember the cost will likely be much more than you planned – and likely take more time than you want. For example, replacing an entry door can cost $2,000, while replacing windows can top $22,000, according to Remodeling magazine’s West Coast report.
19 May

Sacramento Housing Market Bubble

The Sacramento housing market “bubble” is big news. People can choose to live and work anywhere now. They are choosing the Sacramento region and home prices keep going up. Brandon Haefele, CEO of Catalyst Mortgage, appeared on FOX40 to break down this market change and how it impacts potential home buyers.

Call us at 916.287.7777 to learn how we can help.

05 May

Mortgage 101

Are you getting ready to buy a home or refinance your current mortgage? Our CEO, Brandon Haefele appeared on Fox40 news recently to talk about some of the lesser known terms you might want to know. Take a look at the terms below and watch the video for more in depth information…

Annual Percentage Rate (APR): This number reflects the total annual cost of taking out your mortgage loan. It’s different from your mortgage interest rate and includes some extra fees.

Underwriting: When a loan professional evaluates your application and verifies all your financial details, that’s underwriting. It’s important to ensure that you have the means to manage your new monthly payment.

Escrow: An escrow account is used to hold funds prior to closing, including your earnest money deposit. You might also pay into an escrow account to cover property taxes, homeowners insurance and private mortgage insurance (if you have it).

Closing Disclosure: This is a document that you’ll be given at least three days before your closing date. It should detail all the final costs of your loan, as well as what you’ll be expected to pay on closing day.

Mortgage Note: You’ll sign this document at closing. It outlines the terms of your home loan and includes how much you’re borrowing, whether it’s a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage and more.

Prepaid Costs: These are estimated expenses for closing that and will be put into your escrow account. They usually cover mortgage interest, property taxes and homeowners insurance expenses that occur between your closing date and the date your first mortgage payment is due.

For more information on starting your mortgage process, call us today at 916.287.7777

19 Apr

Advantages to Singles Buying Homes in Sacramento

The Sacramento housing market is booming, but for one group in particular, now is the perfect time to purchase your dream home.

On KTXL FOX40 News, Brandon Haefele, CEO, Catalyst Mortgage speaks on these opportunities for home buying and how singles are the one category of home buyers surging in the Sacramento region.