2 min read


By Chris on Jan 19, 2021 8:08:39 AM

Home prices jumped by a whopping 7.8% from the third quarter of 2019 to the third quarter of 2020 according to the Home Price Index published by the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Click here to view the full report. This marks the fastest year-over-year increase in house prices since 2006 as demand continues to outpace the supply of homes available for sale. This also signifies that house prices have risen for 37 consecutive quarters (9 years straight), since September 2011. Here are two ways to benefit:

1: Sell Your Home with Tax-Free Capital Gains
If you’ve lived in your house as your primary residence for two out of the past five years, you may be able to sell it at a profit without having to pay capital gains taxes.  The limitations on this are $500,000 of tax-free gains for married couples filing a joint tax return and $250,000 of tax-free gains for individuals or married couples filing separate tax returns.  For more info, see my article: How to Get the Primary Residence Capital Gains Tax Exclusion.

Topics: Real Estate WeAreBrokers Mortgage Loans EstaR Mortgage reverse mortgage alameda Home Buying Home Appraisal mortgage rates home prices
3 min read


By Chris on Jan 5, 2021 7:40:48 AM

A home appraisal is an estimate of your home's value.  It's simply a professional appraiser's opinion of what he/she thinks your home may be worth.

Topics: Real Estate WeAreBrokers Mortgage Loans EstaR Mortgage Mortgage Alameda Home Buying Appraisal Home Appraisal
2 min read

3 Ways to Improve Home Buying Power

By Chris on Dec 10, 2020 6:53:25 AM

If you or anyone you know is buying a house this summer, chances are you’ll be dealing with competing for offers and low inventory issues.  Here are three ways to avoid getting priced out of the house you want:

1 – Consider Your Overall Debt Strategy
For example, what would it look like if you used some of your down payment funds to pay off other debts instead of using those funds for a down payment?  This may open the door to getting you qualified for a larger mortgage so you can bid higher on the house. Plus, home loans often carry a lower after-tax interest cost than other debts that may not be tax-deductible. Please see a CPA for details on the tax-deductibility of mortgage debt in your situation.

2 – Consider an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM)
Depending on bond market conditions, the interest rate (and monthly payment) on an adjustable-rate mortgage can often be lower than a fixed-rate mortgage.  If this is the case in your situation, you may be able to use an ARM to comfortably afford the home.  Keep in mind that many ARMs have interest rates and payments that are fixed for a period of 5 years or 7 years.  This means the only risk to you is that you keep the house for longer than the initial fixed period AND interest rates go up considerably after that timeframe.

3 – Consider the Use of Gift Funds
Gifts from friends and relatives can often be used for a down payment.  Gift funds could be very useful if you find yourself in a bidding war where you’ve maxed out your mortgage options and the only other option is to come to closing with more cash.

Contact me for further details and to explore your mortgage options!


Topics: Real Estate WeAreBrokers Mortgage Loans Credit Home Mortgage Alameda