By Heather Soldonia
Despite the condition of the nation’s real estate market, California still holds some of the strongest property values in the country.
Forbes Magazine recently released its annual article of America’s 500 Most Expensive Zip Codes. And it’s actually easier to identify which San Francisco Bay area towns aren’t listed. The median home price in Sunnyvale (#498) was $499,000 and the median home price for Atherton (#2) was $3,850,000.
Simply put, the San Francisco Bay Area is one of the toughest housing markets for first-time home buyers to break into. Entering this market requires strategy. It’s not for the faint-of-heart and it’s not for the uninformed.
The following are things I believe will help your clients succeed in this, and any market:
- Manage your clients’ expectations.
- Get them pre-approved before you show them a $700,000 home when they are only approved to finance a $500,000 home.
- Remind them that their first home DOES NOT NEED TO BE THEIR DREAM HOME!! It is just a step to get them in the game.
- Direct them to ethical mortgage brokers.
- The Life of the Loan is the most important aspect to consider. If they have no intention to grow old in this starter home, it’s not imperative to obtain a conservative loan.
- Creative Financing is what will get them into a $500,000 home here. It’s important that you direct them to someone who will educate them about the financing process and potential problems so that they can make informed decisions.
- Suggest Home Buyer Programs.
- Local Programs: http://www.hud.gov/local/ca/homeownership/prgmscity.cfm
- State Programs: http://www.calhfa.ca.gov/homebuyer/programs/index.htm
- Federal Programs: http://www.federalhousingtaxcredit.com/2009/index.html
Heather Soldonia is a Broker/REALTOR® in the San Francisco Bay area with Windermere Welcome Home. She can be found at www.heathersoldonia.mywindermere.com.