Top Three Housing Concerns of Millennials

The millennial generation is the largest one in US history, even larger than the baby boomer generation. You are considered a millennial if you were born between 1980 and 2000. This age of the population, has very different world views because they have grown up in a world filled with fast-paced technological changes, along with some great economic disruption. Millennials haven’t been eager to leave their parents home and many have found buying conditions difficult. 26843056822_74210651b1

As Jed Kolko, Senior Fellow at the Terner Center for Housing Innovation, writes:

The share of young adults living with their parents increased in 2015…. One contributing factor is that 25-34 year-olds are decreasingly likely to be married or cohabitating with a partner, and – unsurprisingly – married or cohabitating young adults rarely live with their parents (just 2% do) compared with 31% of those who aren’t living with a spouse or partner. The decline in marriage among young adults is a long-term trend, pre-dating the recession.

But now is the time to buy!

Below are the top 3 housing concerns faced by many millennials. My hope is to help you see (if you are a Millennial) that these fears aren’t great enough to keep you from taking the plunge into homeownership.

The “Trust Crushing” Housing Crash

Many millennials have lived through a major economic disaster with the collapsing economy, their parents losing jobs which forced many of them to leave their comfortable homes for parts “unknown”. The psychological affect this has had on them has created trust issues, and that may be one reason that Millennials are in “no hurry” to buy a home.

The great news is that times have changed. The economy, especially here in the Greater San Francisco Bay Area, has rebounded nicely. This makes now an excellent time to consider homeownership.

Many Parents Can’t Afford College

While many parents suffered from an economic downturn, to make “ends meet” they blew through any college savings that had been set aside, just trying to stay afloat.  This meant that many Millennials had to finance their own college education. They wanted a college education to be able to meet technological demands in their world, but mom and dad could often no longer provide that to them. So what then?

After graduation, these Millennials, who were just entering into the work force, ended up doing so with a “mortgage-sized” student loan having to figure out how to pay that back.

While financing another large purchase might be a scary step to take, it’s far more affordable to buy than to rent in many situations. Taking the time to understand the long-term benefits is something every Millennial needs to see in detail.

Economic Trend Fear

Millennials wonder where the world will be in 5, 10, and even 30 years, because so far, the trends they remember have not been economically positive. With the housing market crash, why would they want to invest in a thirty-year loan when it could crumble at their feet at any moment?

Helping Millennials understand the stability within today’s marketplace is the key to moving them from their parents’ home and into a home of their own.

Millennials have a completely different view of the world around them than their parents. They are slow to marry and move out, but that doesn’t mean they don’t deserve the American dream.

There is plenty to be optimistic about within today’s housing market, so take the time to find out why “now” might be the perfect time to actually “buy a home”. Contact me today!



Ways to Help Your Mortgage Transaction Close Faster

In this article, we discuss some of the different ways in which you are able to speed up your mortgage application process, and get to “the close” in a shorter amount of time.4893848724_0f53240699

Making the decision to buy your dream home is a huge step in life, although it’s one that you should be proud of taking. It may be stressful at times, but you should be proud of your home and happy to be living there.  The biggest stress of buying is coming up with the down payment. If you’re part of the minority, you will have managed to save up over the years and will be able to buy your dream home without having to worry about where that money will come from.  But most people will need to really discuss the options with their mortgage professional to see how much they will need, and then save, get money from family, or sell something to come up with cash.

Taking out a mortgage can be very stressful if the process is not explained well to you.  You need to understand the monthly payments, the terms of the loan, how you can pay it back sooner, if possible, and how the tax deduction of the interest and property taxes can help you going forward.  In order to do that, you’ll want to make sure that the mortgage transaction is closed as quickly and painlessly as possible.  

The Home

Finding the right home for you can be a difficult task and can often be frustrating.  Low inventory in the Bay Area has made this process more difficult than in other parts of the country. Through the property searches that you will do, it’s important that you keep your hopes high and look at all properties that come up in your price range, as the perfect home often comes available.

When you do find a home, you will have a property inspection to ensure that the home has no issues. An appraisal will ensure that the price you are paying is fair market value, and you will need to get the lender all income and banking information necessary for the loan approval process.


Getting a pre-approved mortgage is a MUST DO in this market.  This will show the seller that you are able to buy his/her home, and the lender is willing to give you the money to do so.  You should start with this “before you start shopping for a home” so that you can show your Realtor that you are qualified to buy in the price range he/she is showing you homes in.

Once you have a pre-approval, you will know your maximum buying price, and you can then decide if that is how much you want to spend. Or you may choose to spend less for your new home.

To Conclude…

The overall message here is that before you take out a mortgage, sit down and think about whether you’re ready to do so. It does not need to be a stressful/last minute ordeal if you prepare yourself and work with a professional mortgage banker throughout the process.  Buying the home of your dreams is possible, but you need to prepare for the financing and do so upfront. If everything is processed properly from the start, you should have no delays.

Karen Cimera

Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Home in the San Francisco Bay Area

In this article, we discuss some of the things which are important to consider before you move forward and purchase a home in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Purchasing a house for the first time is a fantastic feeling. The sense of freedom that you will have from owning the house, which will be “your home” and you can make it “just as you like”.  Before deciding on buying a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, there are a few things to think through:28377589876_43b1893a97

Are You Financially Stable?

This is the big one, and while it’s not something that we like to think about too often, it’s something that must be considered. Taking out a mortgage is a very common thing for home buyers to do, but it’s important to remember that a mortgage is a legal agreement and that if you can’t make the necessary payments in time, you’re going to find yourself in a bit of trouble.  Ensure you know everything about the loan you are considering and are comfortable with the monthly payments.

Don’t let finances get you down. If you find that finance is a struggle, make an appointment with a financial advisor/loan consultant, and have them help you walk through all the questions you may have.  You will soon be on your way to buying your Dream Home.

Are You Feeling Pressured?

It’s easy to feel pressured into situations based on how your friends are progressing in life. Just because one of your friends have decided to take out a mortgage and purchase a home, that doesn’t mean you have to!  This doesn’t mean that you’re slacking, it simply means that they may be ready before you are. Don’t feel pressured into buying a home, it’s a big commitment so make sure that it’s something you want to do, something you can afford, and that you are comfortable with what you find and would “like to really live there”.

Do You Travel Often?

This is very situation dependent. If you have a family and have been renting, perhaps the idea of purchasing your own home isn’t so bad. Although, if you live alone or just with your partner and you travel a lot for work, it may be worth sticking with renting for the time being. If you prefer to have your own place though, a condo may be a better option that a single family, due to lower maintenance.  Look closely at all options to see what is best for you.

What’s Best for You?

You must think about yourself.  Where do you want to live?  Where will you be comfortable, and with what payment range are you going to be able to manage? Are you ready to take on some of the stress that comes with purchasing a home? These are the kinds of things that you need to think about when it comes to looking to buy a home.

Think about “what is best for you”.


It’s important to consider the location of the home that you’d like to purchase. For example, if you’re planning on starting a family and having kids in the near future, then it might be worth looking at homes available near a certain school district. If there are many homes available in or near a school district, then go a step further and look at homes which are near playgrounds and parks. Drive the neighborhoods and see how many kids are there already.

If a family is not something you are looking at right now, you may want a different environment.  Take the time to look at where you might call “home” and how you fit in.

To Conclude…

To sum it up, at times purchasing a home, can be stressful, it’s inevitable. However, it’s important that when the stress does get to you, you take a step back and look at the bigger picture. If your focus is  on your career, and you want to hold off on buying for now, that’s completely alright. Focus on yourself and what’s best for you. If the time isn’t right, you can go back to the idea of purchasing a home in the San Francisco Bay Area, or wherever you choose, later on in your life.  Think it through and decide what is best for you.

Karen Cimera

Common Mortgage Terms You Should Know

A mortgage can help you achieve the reality of home ownership, while giving you a tax deduction. But while a mortgage might be beneficial in more ways than one, it can also be complicated.

If you have a vague idea of how the mortgage process works, get familiar with a few of the most common mortgage terms and what they mean. This will make it easier for you to understand the process and will allow you to make a well-informed decision.

Fixed and Variable Rate Mortgages


These are two of the most important, and common, mortgage terms that you need to know. Fixed rate mortgage simply means that the Principal and Interest portion of the payment will remain the same throughout the duration of your loan. With a variable rate mortgage, they can increase or decrease, depending on external conditions, such as market performance, after a set period of time.


Simply put, this will provide the lender with the security they need to insure your loan. When you apply for a mortgage, lenders will require a full appraisal of the property and, at times, a proper home inspection. The value of the home is the collateral, and together with this, they will review your money for the down payment and where it is coming from.

Loan Estimate (LE)

This is the estimate of fees you will pay in the loan transaction. Each County and State have different fees paid by buyer and seller and this document will break it all down for you.


Amortization refers to the fixed repayment schedule over the lifetime of the loan. The longer the amortization (e.g. 30 years), the lower your monthly payments will be. With an amortization schedule, you’ll be able to track the amount you’re paying towards principle and interest each month. Most mortgages are 30-year and do allow for additional principle payments, which will lead to an earlier payoff and lower overall interest paid through the life of the loan.

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio indicates how much home you can qualify for based on current income and debt. Your monthly liabilities will be divided by your monthly income (before tax). When it is high, it means that your debt is too high compared to what you are earning. This can be a red flag to the lender as it could send a message of your financial incapacity and inability to repay your debts. Standard debt ratios are capped at 43% of your gross income, however, there are other programs available which will allow for higher so be sure to ask your mortgage consultant about this.

Getting a mortgage in this competitive market doesn’t have to be hard. Call us today and let us guide you through the process!