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Home Buying in 94114 : Real Estate Advice

  • All44
  • Local Info2
  • Home Buying18
  • Home Selling2
  • Market Conditions3

Activity 17
Prime, Both Buyer and Seller in Denver, CO
Fri Jan 13, 2017
Prime answered:
I have purchased 3 houses for cash and I have never been asked to have my credit checked or copies of my bank statements. Yes, I have provided proof of funds in my bank account via letter from my bank, but that only proved that I had the ability to cover the purchase, not how much money I have. As for the Patriot Act, the compliance comes from having the money in the bank. You can't show up with a burlap sack full of $100s and just dump it in your bank. As long as you close escrow with a verifiable source of funds like a wire transfer or cashiers check from your bank, you're good to go.

If you are shopping for a home where the market is hot, you may very well be asked to provide proof that you can afford a home before it is shown to you. Don't take offense, it is a practice to reduce the number of people who just like to look and have no ability or no intention to buy. Just have your banker write a letter stating you have the facilities to purchase a home up to the limit you want to advertise (or the money you have available). If your banker won't do that, move your money to another bank. You then give that letter to your real estate agent, and they will assure the sellers agent or builder that you are financially qualified. If they won't do that, get a different agent.
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1 vote 62 answers Share Flag
Arpad Racz, Real Estate Pro in San Jose, CA
Sat Nov 28, 2015
Arpad Racz answered:
Scott has it correct below.

Kind regards,

0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
Karen and Pa…, Real Estate Pro in Cameron Park, CA
Thu Nov 19, 2015
Karen and Paul Catania answered:
Ryan Rudnick, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Tue Feb 24, 2015
Ryan Rudnick answered:
1. Ask your real estate agent if they were aware, and maybe see if you can get in touch with the seller or HOA for more information.

2. This is a question for a real estate attorney, and the answer may vary from building to building.

3. I am happy to provide contact information for contractors that might be able to help you eliminate the smoke smell issue. That said, I'd definitely suggest speaking with the HOA before moving forward with any renovations.
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0 votes 6 answers Share Flag
shiu227, Home Buyer in Hayward, CA
Mon Sep 30, 2013
shiu227 answered:
l would not buy in SF because of the sewage gas coming out of the ground into the homes.
This is a problem for me. I guess most people don't have any issue with that since they
are not as sensitive in their nose as I. I would rent, use the money to buy apartments
in some other cheaper city to collect rent as income.

Home prices are also way to expensive now. There are no more bargains left. If you bought one
today, you might be losing money later on when the the housing bubble in China bursts wide open.
Chinese investors must sell their holdings in the USA so they will depress prices again. Also, US national debt is way too much so government will continue to raise taxes for the middle class again and again.
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0 votes 12 answers Share Flag
Karen and Pa…, Real Estate Pro in Cameron Park, CA
Thu Nov 1, 2012
Karen and Paul Catania answered:
Title companies do not accept personal checks or cash when funds are due. The money would have to be deposited anyways to be turned into a wire transfer or cashiers check so if you are planning to buy it's time for a deposit. When it comes to auctions and winning bidders, the actions set the rules and you need to follow them or you won't be playing in the game. ... more
0 votes 7 answers Share Flag
Ivan Diaz, Real Estate Pro in 79936
Fri Sep 7, 2012
Ivan Diaz answered:
Specific Guidelines apply when it comes to FHA or VA 3-4 unit properties. You are right... You need a Loan Officer with VA experience. The bonus here is....We have amazing rates!

- Cash reserves totaling at least 6 months mortgage payments and

- Documentation of the applicants prior experience managing rental units or other background involving both property maintenance and

- Rental income to include the effective income based on 75% of:

o Verified prior rent collected on the units (existing property), or

o The appraiser’s opinion of the property’s fair monthly rental

Hope this helps! Feel to reach out to me if you have further questions.

Ivan Diaz
Home Mortgage Consultant
(415) 271-7740 direct/cell
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1 vote 2 answers Share Flag
Bill Sockolov, Other/Just Looking in Marin County, CA
Tue Aug 21, 2012
Bill Sockolov answered:
Hi Cheyenne,

The first step in purchasing a home is to get "pre-qualified" by a Loan Consultant. This process helps determine a few things:

1. How much the Lender will loan you based on your income, debt, credit profile, cash-to-close, reserves in the bank, etc.

2. The maximum price you should pay for a home based on how much you're comfortable spending each month on housing. Housing costs include the mortgage (principal, interest and possibly mortgage insurance monthly payments), hazard insurance and property taxes. This is known as PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) in the Real Estate industry.

Once you are pre-qualified by a Loan Consultant (I would welcome the opportunity to assist you), you will be ready to find a trusted Realtor. I do not recommend house hunting without the help of a qualified Realtor. A good Realtor will provide invaluable information to help you make the best decisions when purchasing a home.

In regards to your question about buying now vs. saving for a larger down payment...this depends on the 2 items listed above: how much you qualify for and what is your comfort zone for housing expense.

Although I cannot speak to the availability of $400K homes in San Francisco...from a lending standpoint, it's definitely possible to purchase a $400K home with $25K using an FHA loan. With an FHA (Federal Housing Administration) loan, you can get in with as little as a 3.5% down payment. There may or may not be additional closing costs depending on how the loan is structured.

Please fell free to contact me with any other questions.

Take care,
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0 votes 10 answers Share Flag
Matthew Goul…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Mon Aug 20, 2012
Matthew Goulden answered:
Hi Llowe,

I agree with the folks below, and Wells Fargo is good at these loans on the west coast so i can only assume the same for you. Ask around some friends to see if they have a lender or talk to you own bank / credit union.

Good luck
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Jeremy Lehman, Real Estate Pro in Garden Grove, CA
Wed Feb 29, 2012
Jeremy Lehman answered:
Hook up with a great agent in the area you're looking. Many times local agents have access to listings that may not be known to the general public. Also, beware of listings on Trulia that are not actual available inventory, rather homes being marketed as Notice of Defaults as lead generators for websites that sell information. ... more
0 votes 8 answers Share Flag
Lance King, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Fri Aug 13, 2010
Lance King answered:

This thread is an excellent example of why buyers and sellers in San Francisco need to seek advice from professionals who work and understand the market here. While a lease expiring in other areas may mean that all is needed is notice to vacate, that is NOT the case here.

Talk to a landlord-tenant attorney before you buy ANY tenant-occupied property unless you are prepared for them to stay a very long time.
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0 votes 17 answers Share Flag
Gregory Hayes…, Real Estate Pro in
Thu Oct 22, 2009
Gregory Hayes Garver answered:
About half way through 2007.

Gregory Garver - Commercial Real Estate Broker
Broker License# 01716531
0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Danielle Laz…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Thu May 7, 2009
Danielle Lazier answered:

I don't believe that there are income limits for FHA financing and you can actually put down as little as 3.5% OR as much as you want. There are loan limits. In San Francisco, it's $729,750 for a single family home or condo.

Where did you get this information? It sounds like you need the assistance of an experienced mortgage broker. If you need recommendations, check out my site or contact me offline.


PS. I help many first time buyers who use FHA loans (especially great products for single family homes). You need a great team (Realtor and Mortgage Broker) to make the process successful and enjoyable here in San Francisco. Look me up if you're not already happily working with someone. And if you are, they should be able to answer these questions for you! :)

Danielle Lazier, San Francisco Realtor
Zephyr Real Estate
415.731.5000 x158 danielle(at)
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0 votes 3 answers Share Flag
Linda Lorenzo, Real Estate Pro in McKinney, TX
Wed May 6, 2009
Linda Lorenzo answered:
Simple answer - nothing. The seller pays the commission not you. Does your surgeon, doctor or dentist negotiate their rates? As a professional neither do I. Good luck.
0 votes 16 answers Share Flag
Jennie Brode…, Home Buyer in San Francisco, CA
Tue Sep 23, 2008
Jennie Broderick answered:
Thanks for all of the feedback to this question. My husband and I were weighing out the benefit of having an agent and after reading all of your responses, its definitely clear that its in our best interest to be represented. Thanks again, we appreciate all of your help!
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0 votes 9 answers Share Flag
Bill Eckler, Real Estate Pro in Venice, FL
Fri Sep 5, 2008
Bill Eckler answered:

Our advice is to contact the auction company or bank for the auction prodess procedures.

A word of caution: preview the property and set a high number limit before you even go to the auction...don't get caught up in the bidding process and pay more then necessary.

Good luck,
The "Eckler Team"
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0 votes 4 answers Share Flag
Danielle Laz…, Real Estate Pro in San Francisco, CA
Sun Aug 10, 2008
Danielle Lazier answered:
Yes! There are a lot of great first-time buyer loans available right now. With the government's intervention earlier this year and the new legislation that goes into effect in January, there are many more options for San Francisco first time buyers.

I work with a lot of San Francisco first time buyers and know that FHA, CAL-FHA, Acorn and many other programs WITHOUT the income limits now exist. It's very exciting for our local market because finally the programs can work for nice homes here in the City. (aka, the loan limits are much higher now...)

Rather than go into the minutiae here, I think your best bet is to email/talk with a reliable and experienced mortgage broker who really knows first time buyer options.

Here are the 2 folks I work with frequently here in San Francisco. Check them out and let me know how it goes!

1. Frank Sandoval, Pacific Bay Financial

2. Monica Di Perna, Guarantee Mortgage

Good luck! It's an awesome time to be a first time buyer.
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0 votes 2 answers Share Flag
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