Every year the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announces their conforming loan limits for the upcoming year immediately following the November release of their House Price Index (HPI). FHFA uses this data on home price appreciation to set the new loan limits for the upcoming year. For areas in the country that are considered high cost, FHFA increases loan limits further and will go up to 150% of the baseline conforming loan limit.
In 2023, the new conforming loan limit for most of the US for one-unit properties will increase to $726,200, an increase of $79,000 from $647,200 in 2022. This means in areas of high-cost or with special statutory provisions, the loan limit can reach as high as $1,089,300. An example in Washington State would be the counties of King, Snohomish, and Pierce, where the loan limit will increase to $977,500, an increase of $86,250 from $891,250 in 2022. This significant increase will help home buyers access more credit in many markets where home prices are still seeing double digit appreciation year-over-year.
If you have any questions or want to find out if you qualify for a conforming loan, please reach out today!
See the full 2023 Conforming Loan Limits map here.
In our community outreach effort for Homeseed of Hope, the Pelayo Lending Team at Homeseed is proud to be partnering up this holiday season with Toys for Tots in order to collect new and unwrapped toys for kids in need. Toys for Tots began in 1947, when Major Bill Hendricks’s wife, Diane, asked Bill to donate her homemade doll. When Bill determined that no agency existed, Diane told Bill that he should start one and he did. Since 1980, Marines have collected and distributed new toys. The goal is to deliver a message of hope, which will assist in building self-esteem and, in turn, motivate less fortunate children to grow into responsible, productive, patriotic citizens, and community leaders. A new toy of their own accomplishes this goal. The Pelayo Lending team will be working to collect toys at 4 locations listed below. We will be accepting donations until December 10, 2022 so that the kids may get these toys in time for Christmas.
Donation Box Locations Homeseed HQ – 3633 136th Pl SE Suite 210, Bellevue, WA 98006 Keller Williams – Kirkland – 11109 Slater Ave NE #200a, Kirkland, WA 98033 Vida Integrated Health – 11901 NE Village Plaza, Suite 261, Kirkland, WA 98034 Vida Integrated Health – 606 120th Ave NE Suite 100, Bellevue, WA 98005
About Homeseed of Hope
Community reciprocity and reinvestment have long been goals of Homeseed since we first launched in June of 2016. In addition to providing a uniquely empowering mortgage lending experience, Homeseed wanted to use its platform to support the individuals, businesses, and programs in the communities we serve. That desire remains true today and led to us creating Homeseed of Hope – an initiative to guide our community outreach efforts.
Many of us in the housing industry were busier than ever throughout the pandemic, which often came with the added stress. Homeseed believed it was important to take breaks and recharge, so we wanted to develop a weekly time and space to allow our team to do so. That led to the creation of our Homeseed Zen Breaks where a professional guided us in a virtual class through relaxation exercises and techniques.
Our instructor for Zen Breaks is Maria Tran, who is a certified yoga and mindfulness instructor here in the pacific northwest. Maria teaches the 20-minute virtual class beginning with gentle movement and stretching to increase blood flow to the muscles, followed by breath work to encourage stress release and relaxation. She then ends with a brief mindfulness practice that will give you the tools you need to practice anytime you need.
Homeseed has decided to open our Zen Breaks up to our industry partners, clients, and community in hopes you will benefit from the therapeutic technique Maria provides. Our Zen Breaks occur every other Wednesday between 12:10-12:30 PM.
I am a yoga and mindful movement instructor who values stillness and rest as much as mobility and strength. I am fascinated by the human body and the effects our busy lives have on our mental and physical health. To me, healthcare is self-care. I aim to bring forward nourishing practices that will help connect you to your own unique needs and help you find the balance between effort and ease.
Purchasing a home should be an exciting process, but having to worry about interest rates rising in this market can dampen some of the joy. That is why Homeseed is offering our Lock & Shop program to clients. Potential homebuyers will now be able to lock in your rate before you have a fully executed purchase contract, so you can have peace of mind that your interest rate will not go up while searching for your home.
Homeseed has developed our Lock & Shop program to allow for your rate to be protected for up to 60 days. Extensions are also available for more time. By locking in your rate now while you look for your home, the Lock & Shop program gives you the opportunity to save money should interest rates continue to rise as many experts predict they will throughout 2022. Locking in a rate now also helps you manage your home budget by removing any surprises of a higher monthly mortgage payment if interest rates were to rise.
Please reach out today with any questions. The Homeseed Team is ready to get you pre-approved and help strengthen your offer by letting sellers know you are certified for financing with an interest rate that is already locked!
PROGRAM ENHANCEMENT: We have increased our closing guarantee to $10,000. Homeseed’s Cash Committed Closing™ program will guarantee the seller we close on time or we’ll issue $10,000 to them!
Homeseed’s goal is to reduce the stress of the mortgage process by helping our clients pre-pare early, and make our clients’ offers stand out in a competitive market. To do so, we’ve developed our Cash Committed Closing Program to help achieve this. We’ll provide you with a fully underwritten pre-approval for financing before you find your home so you can shop with confidence. Additionally, sellers will find your offer that much more attractive knowing that you’ll close on time or our Cash Committed Closing™ program will issue a $10,000 credit to them. Please see rules for eligibility below.
TERMS & CONDITIONS (as of 3/9/2022)
Transaction must be for a home purchase
Borrower(s) must fully complete a loan application and request to enroll in Cash Committed Closing™ with their Loan Advisor prior to making an offer
Borrower(s) must provide a copy of the purchase contract and the closing date must be scheduled no sooner than 28 calendar days from the date of executed purchase and sales contract
VA loans will require 30 calendar days
Jumbo loans will require 35 calendar days
Required disclosures must be executed and returned to Homeseed within two business days
Initial loan documentation and information requested by Homeseed must be received within five business days
Any additional documentation and information requests by Homeseed must be received within two business days
Borrower(s) may not request loan term changes within ten business days from the scheduled closing date. Loan changes include, but not limited to, loan program, term of loan, or down payment amount.
Borrower(s) must lock the loan rate and complete all loan requirements and conditions at least seven business days prior to the closing date
The final appraisal, completion certificate, and/or all revisions must be received five business days prior to the closing date
Loans with subordinate financing must have secondary loan approval five business days prior to closing
Borrower must be available for the in person signing of final loan documents with the title company on a date requested by Homeseed
The loan must close and fund with Homeseed in order for the Cash Committed Closing credit to be paid
Any delays attributable to the borrower(s) outlined in terms, a third party, or the seller that cause the missed closing date
Information provided by the borrower(s) that could not be verified or was inaccurate
The loan amount is $2,000,000 or greater
The loan does not meet federal and state regulatory requirements and/or agency guidelines
The closing date is missed due to acts outside the control of Homeseed. Acts include, but not limited to, inclement weather, natural disasters, catastrophic events, or other public emergencies.
The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announced today that it will be no longer be collecting a fee on refinance transactions that was known as the “Adverse Market Refinance Fee” effective August 1, 2021 for all qualified mortgages. The lending industry is welcoming the news as this change will help more families take advantage of the low-rate environment and save more money.
If you have considered refinancing this past year but the costs did not justify the savings, now is a perfect time to reconnect to reevaluate your scenario. This is also a great opportunity to leverage your home’s equity to consolidate debt or fund the remodel you have been wanting. It is an extremely inexpensive time in mortgage lending for consumers and you can save even more by acting before rates increase as projected.
Please share this news with your neighbors, families, and friends. I very much appreciate the opportunity to answer any questions and serve your community.
Home appreciation continues to reach historic highs as tight supply and strong demand lead to an extremely competitive housing market. According to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller home price index, prices in February rose 12% year over year across the US. This 12% gain is a 15-year high, and Seattle is one of the top cities with a gain of 15.4% year over year.
Those trying to enter the housing market are feeling the frustrations and disappointments of a competitive low inventory market. In many cases, buyers are having to make over five offers on homes before getting one accepted. However, the risk and rewards can quickly make sense when you consider the yearly equity gains with appreciation being higher than most full-time annual salaries. With a 15.4% gain in home prices year over year in Seattle, a person purchasing a $750,000 home last year would have gained $115,500 in appreciation on average. Historically low interest rates are also helping give a small boost to your purchasing power, so long as they remain low.
In the end, the most important thing prospective homebuyers need to consider is if are you in a position to responsibly take on a mortgage payment. Make sure you are evaluating a range of factors including your finances, personal life, and future. Connect with us today if you have any questions. If you have anyone looking to get pre-approved to purchase a home or refinance, we’d love the opportunity to serve them!
Homeseed is constantly looking for ways to provide value for our clients and industry partners that extends past the transaction. Our goal is to be your trusted advisor for life and provide ample opportunities to engage and communicate with us regarding your home. To help support this goal, we will soon be launching a tool that provides dynamic financial reports to clients about their home or any other potential real estate endeavors.
For most individuals, 83% of wealth comes from real estate at the average age of retirement. Therefore, it is important to provide homeowners with the appropriate tools and the guidance of a Homeseed Loan Advisor to manage wealth through the largest asset they will likely ever own, their home. Our monthly reports will provide you with information regarding your home’s value, financial strategies in connection with your equity position, and plenty of engagement opportunities with your Loan Advisor to help you grow your real estate portfolio and continue to build wealth.
Homeseed is excited to be providing this service to all our clients and partners, even those who have already financed a home through us in the past. We want to empower you to take ownership of managing your wealth in a simple, engaging, and meaningful way. Communicating with our Loan Advisors will also always be a simple click away as well.
Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about this new tool we will be offering. If you also have anyone looking to get pre-approved to purchase a home or refinance, we’d love the opportunity to serve them!
In our competitive housing market, most homes are receiving numerous offers and sell for over the listing price. But what happens when the home appraises for less than its selling price? In a seller’s market, it’s often left to the buyer to cover the difference between the purchase price and the appraisal. And what happens if an appraisal comes in short by $50,000? Or even $100,000? If the borrower does not have extra funds to cover the appraisal gap, Homeseed has a back up plan to help your borrower save the deal.
A scenario we’ll use to go over our appraisal gap strategy is a purchase price of $700,000 with a 20% down payment. If the appraised value comes in $50,000 or $100,000 below the $700,000 purchase price, our loan to value ratio will increase above 80% and the borrower will be required to purchase a mortgage insurance policy. What we can then do is finance a single-premium mortgage insurance policy into the loan amount that helps us cover the appraisal gap. This also allows us to keep the required cash to close similar across all three scenarios. Financing the mortgage insurance premium will increase the loan amount and thus the monthly payment, but not by much. On a $50,000 short appraisal value, monthly payment only increases by about $28. On a $100,000 short appraisal value, monthly payment increases by about $41. This is a relatively inexpensive way to cover up a large appraisal gap in this market.
Please reach out if you’d like to learn more about this financing strategy and other ways to help you clients remain competitive in this market. If you also have anyone looking to get pre-approved to purchase a home or refinance, we’d love the opportunity to serve them!
Finding and getting an offer accepted on any home is tough in today’s housing market, but what if you could build your own dream home? You could design it how you want and potentially build your own equity in the process. Either buy land and finance it into the costs of the loan or build on land you already own while using its equity as a down-payment. With a construction loan from Homeseed, there are plenty of options and adjustments available throughout the process as you build your dream home.
“Nothing worth having comes easy” is the mantra to remember when going through the building process. The whole process can be daunting but having a can-do attitude will be your ticket to success.
Here’s a simplified checklist for the construction process:
Research land: location, available utilities, cost for development
Research type of home: layout, cost to build, finishes
Research builders: reputation, easy to work with, attention to detail, cost per square foot
Research loan options: which loan option fits your project and financial goals.
Doing your own research will help you prepare for the challenges ahead. Depending on how you like to organize a project, you will want to keep a digital or paper record of all the details and information you discover. Tip: check out the local jurisdiction in the location you are wanting to build for building requirements and costs. Some building departments have super helpful websites as well.
Getting the financial piece nailed down is one of the early important steps. Here at Homeseed, we offer Conventional (conforming and Jumbo loan amounts), FHA, VA, and USDA construction loans. Speaking with a loan advisor about your financial goals will help you decide which loan option is best.
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