Rates are moving south again! We’ve officially hit the lows of the 2011 on poor economic and employment reports. If you’ve been putting off a refinance, don’t wait. And, it is better than ever for home buyers with home values at a five-year low.
3% down, no Mortgage Insurance
Fannie Mae has a program for home buyers called Homepath, offering minimum down payments of 3% with no mortgage insurance, and no appraisal! This is for a new primary residence only, but they also allow 15% down for a rental property purchase. The program only applies to homes owned by Fannie Mae. Find out more at www.homepath.com
Reverse Mortgage News
Reverse loans aren’t only for refinancing…they are becoming a more popular way for seniors to buy a “retirement” home or new primary residence. I actually closed a reverse mortgage purchase loan for a client a few years ago, and I was told it was the first in California.
Depending on the buyers’ ages (and they must be 62) these loans will provide anywhere from 60% to 75% of the purchase price in a reverse loan. The buyer must provide the balance of purchase price in cash, typically from the sale of their existing residence. Assuming they own their home outright, or have a low-balance mortgage, this frees up cash for investment/liquidity, and eliminates the need to “qualify” for the payments associated with a new mortgage.
Best of all, the rates are as low as 4% fixed.
I visited my son Kenny in early May in Berkeley. He was there to present a paper at a conference in the School of Architecture. We had only a few days together, but we had a great time, and glorious weather. I’d forgotten how beautiful the UC Berkeley campus is, with the creek running through it, rolling lawns, huge old trees, and expansive views down to the Bay and beyond, to the skyline of downtown San Francisco.
Our first stop Sunday was the outdoor deck of the Paragon Café at the Claremont Resort for an afternoon cocktail and a view of San Francisco in the distance. Afterwards, we took a stroll at the Cesar Chavez State Park on the Bay. During our time Monday, Kenny preferred to hang out in coffee houses, studying and talking to students.
We had dinner Monday evening at an old favorite, ẦCộté, a charming tapas restaurant in the Oakland Rockridge district, on College Avenue. It felt a little like old home week for me, since I had visited Berkeley so often while Katie was in school there.
This was my first sighting of Kenny since last September, when he left for Europe for his graduate program. So far, he’s been to Cottbus and Berlin, Germany; Tallinn, Estonia; Lisbon, Portugal; Wroclaw, Poland, and London in-between. He’s been in each location for at least six weeks studying architecture at various universities participating in his program. He won’t be home until this September for his brother Drew’s wedding! Best Man...
I’ve seen my daughter Katie, who lives in Ann Arbor, a number of times this spring around her visits here to Cali, most notably on her 27th birthday in April while she was out here with her team for water polo games in San Diego and Claremont. The Claremont campuses were wonderful to visit on a warm April Sunday. You sort of feel like you’re back East on an Ivy campus. Katie’s also been out to visit for Mothers’ Day and Memorial weekend. What a treat!
Sunset’s is still our favorite local haunt in Capo Beach. As the name implies, it has great sunset views and offers music and dancing every Thursday through Sunday. Walking distance from our home, we frequent it for happy hour, or after dinner and almost always run into friends there! They are hosting a special event this Saturday with music and dancing all day, a live band starting at 6:00 p.m. and a caribbean themed buffet with mojito and sangria bar. Join us! www.sunsetsbar.com
The California Wine festival at Doheny State Beach, held the end of April, was a great time as usual. They hosted even more wineries than last year’s event, more breweries, and the food selections were fantastic! We found a new local restaurant that was serving a killer salmon ceviche…the Next Door. Steve and I visited the restaurant last week and sampled the ceviche, and bacon wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese. Yummy!
Steve continues to commute to Dallas regularly for consulting on Museum Tower, a high-rise luxury residential development. I’m planning to visit again soon, but in the meantime we have a camping trip planned to our favorite Beach campsite at El Capitan overlooking the Pacific with panoramic views. We take our kayak and bikes, and fill our days with exercise, reading, relaxing…and Steve paints. We are hoping for warm weather!
Hope your Memorial holiday weekend was wonderful! Happy June!