Homeownership Rate Moves to Highest Level Since 2014


More Americans are becoming homeowners. The national homeownership rate increased slightly to the highest level since 2014 in the fourth quarter of 2018, reaching 64.8 percent, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this week. The homeownership rate has been gradually increasing since reaching an all-time low of 62. 9 percent in the second quarter of 2016. 

© Thomas Barwick/Getty Images
Researchers at data analysis firm Corelogic attribute the housing market’s “healthy path of recovery” to three main factors: An uptick in homeownership that has been persistent “despite the existence of low housing affordability and inventory;” household formation that has been on the strongest streak in more than a decade; and an increase in the rate at which young households-who represent the largest pool of potential buyers-are entering homeownership.
The homeownership rate of young adults ages 34 to 44 rose 1.2 points year over year to reach 61.1 percent in the fourth quarter, the largest gain of any age group. 

“American households, especially young households, are becoming confident enough in their financial and familial circumstances to take the plunge into homeownership, despite rocky outcrops of affordability and sparse inventory,” says Ralph Mclaughlin, deputy chief economist at Corelogic. “This is good news for proponents of homeownership in the United States since young households represent the largest pool of potential homebuyers since their parents, the baby boomers, came of homebuying age over three decades ago. The future of homeownership in this country indeed looks bright.”
Young adults are increasing their stake in the housing market, but it’s not happening everywhere. Millennials are buying homes at the highest rates in more affordable areas, and they’re buying homes at the lowest rates in the priciest pockets, such as coastal California and Florida. Millennials comprise the largest share of purchase mortgage applicants in Pittsburgh 

(57 percent); Provo, Utah (56 percent); and Rochester, N.Y. (55 percent). However, they make up the lowest share of mortgage applicants in Sarasota, Fla. (24 percent); Cape Coral, Fla. (30 percent); and Ventura, Calif. (32 percent), according to Corelogic research. 

Overall, the Census Bureau data shows that in the fourth quarter of last year, owner-occupied households rose by more than a million, to 1.7 million new owner households. Also, the number of new renter households is decreasing, which suggests that some households are switching from renting to owning, according to Corelogic.
Source: Corelogic and “Homeownership Is Highest Since 2014,” Mortgage News Daily (Feb. 28, 2019)

Kathleen Winter Banner


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What is an FHA Loan?



An FHA loan is a government-backed mortgage insured by the Federal Housing Administration or FHA. Popular with first-time homebuyers, FHA home loans require lower minimum credit scores and down payments than many conventional loans.

You can qualify for an FHA loan with a credit score as low as 500 with 10 percent down. To get FHA’s maximum financing, you need a credit score of 580 or higher and 3.5 percent down. FHA borrowers pay for mortgage insurance, which protects the lender from a loss if the borrower defaults on the loan.

FHA loans vs. conventional mortgages
Credit score minimum 620 500
Down payment Between 3% to 20% 3.5% for credit scores of 580+; 10% for credit scores of 500-579
Loan terms 10, 15, 20, 30 years 15 or 30 years
Premiums PMI: 0.5% to 1% of the loan amount per year Upfront premium: 1.75% of the loan amount;
Annual premium: 0.45% to 1.05%
Interest type Variable rate, fixed rate Fixed rate


FHA loan requirements in 2019

To be eligible for an FHA loan, borrowers must meet the following lending guidelines:

  • Down payment of at least 3.5% of the purchase price. The down payment can come from a verified gift from a relative or government program.
  • FICO score of 500-579 with 10% down or a FICO score of 580 or higher with 3.5% down.
  • Steady employment history or 2 years work experience with the same employer.
  • Income is verifiable through pay stubs, federal tax returns, and bank statements.
  • Loan is used for a primary residence.
  • Property is appraised by an FHA-approved appraiser and meets HUD property guidelines.
  • Your front-end debt ratio (monthly debt payments, excluding a mortgage) should not exceed 31% of your gross monthly income. Lenders may allow a ratio up to 40% in some cases.
  • Your back-end debt ratio (mortgage, plus all monthly debt payments) should not exceed 43% of your gross monthly income. Lenders may allow a ratio up to 50% in some cases.
  • If you experienced a bankruptcy, you must wait 2 years to apply. If you experienced a foreclosure, you must wait 3 years to apply. In the interim, you must also have re-established a positive credit history. Lenders may make exceptions on waiting periods for borrowers with extenuating circumstances.

Who is an FHA loan best for?

FHA loans are ideal for borrowers with little cash saved up for a down payment, and those who have less-than-ideal credit and cannot qualify for a conventional loan. FHA loans tend to be popular with first-time homebuyers, as well as those with low to moderate incomes. Repeat buyers can get an FHA loan, too, as long as they use it to buy a primary residence.

Can I get an FHA loan with bad credit?

People with credit scores under 500 generally are ineligible for FHA loans. However, there may be some wiggle room there. The FHA does make allowances, under certain circumstances, for applicants with “nontraditional credit history or insufficient credit” if other criteria are met. Ask your FHA lender or an FHA loan specialist whether you qualify.

What is the minimum down payment for an FHA loan?

FHA requires a down payment of at least 3.5 percent of the home’s purchase price, but you need a credit score of at least 580 to be eligible. For example, if you bought a $200,000 home, the minimum down payment would be $7,000.

FHA borrowers can use their savings, a financial gift from a family member or a government grant for down-payment assistance. States, cities, counties, local housing authorities and nonprofits are all potential sources for down-payment help. The National Council of State Housing Agencies is a good resource for assistance programs.

Are there closing costs for an FHA loan?

HUD limits how much FHA lenders can charge in closing costs to no more than 3 percent to 5 percent of the loan amount. The total for closing costs will vary based on the state you live in, the size of your loan and whether you pay points to lower the interest rate.

The FHA allows home sellers, builders and lenders to pay some of the borrower’s closing costs, such as for an appraisal, credit report or title expenses. For example, a builder might offer to pay closing costs as an incentive for the borrower to buy a new home.

Is an FHA loan right for you?  Call me today and let’s see!

Kathleen Winter Banner


Do You Want to Work for the County?

On Mar. 9, all job seekers are invited to the 2019 Sacramento County Career Fair to meet County department representatives and get details on available jobs, day-to-day work activities and what it is like to have a career with purpose!
As the region’s third largest employer, Sacramento County has more than 12,000 employees working across 30 departments and offices in fields such as technology, health care, finance, waste management, social services, law enforcement, parks, and voter registration. The jobs County employees do, and the services they provide, improve the lives of our residents and our community. Check out this video to discover why you should work for Sacramento County.
Last year’s career fair attracted more than 500 local job seekers. It is anticipated that this year’s event will have greater attendance and includes workshop sessions about navigating the application and exam process, and an onsite computer lab available to participants to apply for positions.
The Sacramento County Department of Personnel Services provides job/employment information, and is hosting the 2019 Sacramento County Career Fair:
  • Mar. 9, 2019
  • Career Fair: Attend any time between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m.
  • The Path to County Service Workshop One-Hour Sessions: 10:15 a.m.; 11:30 a.m.; 1 p.m.
  • 2860 Gateway Oaks Dr., Sacramento, CA 95833
Can’t Attend the 2019 Career Fair?
Keep connected with Sacramento County employment opportunities:
  • Visit the Sacramento County online job opportunities page. There, you will find all positions currently accepting applications and subscribe to the Job Interest Card feature to get an email when a specific job is available. The website also has an informative employment application guide, FAQs and Helpful Hints.
  • Social Media: Be sure to like/follow the County’s FacebookTwitter, and LinkedIn to see regular postings of available employment exams.
Sacramento County is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Kathleen Winter Banner
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National Plan for Vacation Day


National Plan for Vacation Day, celebrated on the last Tuesday of January, is a day to encourage Americans to plan their time off.

Join us on January 29, 2019, and help get Americans to commit their time off for the rest of the year at the start of the year. Regardless of travel style, our country offers something for everyone.

U.S. Travel will provide creative resources to help you build your campaign and reach your followers and travelers. Inspire them to plan their vacation time through your channels.

Encourage your audience to plan out earned time off with our easy-to-use Vacation Planning Tool. It can be embedded in any website and customized to fit your brand.



Kathleen Beck

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com
West Coast Mortgage Group
NMLS #5084  # 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395   (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818


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5 Home Appraisal Questions Answered:

Written by Norman, Hubbard and Associates, INC. Appraisal Management Services

From time to time I come across some good information written by industry experts that I like to share with you. Hopefully, this article will answer some of your appraisal questions.

1. Does the appraiser know the price stated in the sales contract? Yes, the appraiser is always supplied with the sales contract which lists the Buyers, Sellers, sales price and any sales concessions or special amendments to the contract. An appraiser must have a contract that is signed and dated by both parties before he can submit his appraisal report.

2. Will the appraised value of property vary depending on whether the appraisal is conducted for the buyer or the seller?

The appraiser must conduct an objective, independent service where he has no vested interest in the outcome of the appraised value.

3. Do real estate appraisers use a formula, such as a specific price per sq. ft., to figure out the value of a home? Price per square foot is only one of the many items considered. Appraisers make a detailed analysis of all factors pertaining to the value of the home including location, size, style of home, quality, condition and proximity to local facilities. The most recent comparable sales, however, play the largest part in determining a property’s estimate of market value.

4. Is an appraisal the same as a home inspection? An appraisal does not serve the same purpose as a home inspection. The appraiser forms an opinion of value during the appraisal process and in the resulting report. A home inspector determines the condition of the home and all its major components and reports on these findings.

5. What happens if the appraisal price is higher than the contract price? Congratulations! This means that your home is worth more than what you’re paying for it! And don’t worry – there should be no more price negotiations with the seller. Sometimes buyers worry that the seller will find out and want to renegotiate the price for a higher amount. However, you’re paying for the report, so there’s no reason to ever share the results with the seller in the instance that you get a higher appraisal price than expected.

If you are considering buying or refinancing a home give me a call.

Sacramento Mortgage Lender A person you can count on!


Kathleen Beck
Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | http://www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com
West Coast Mortgage Group NMLS #5084
# 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395 (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818

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Thinking About Buying an Investment Property?


You may be interested in buying an investment property if you want to diversify your holdings beyond stocks and bonds. While stories of quick flips—buying a home, renovating it, and reselling at a much higher price—dominate TV reality shows, renting is the true core of real estate investing. Historically there has been very little real price appreciation in houses nationwide.

Renting generates a steady monthly paycheck, like a classic dividend-paying utility stock. Any price appreciation is a bonus. Choosing the right property, maintaining it, dealing with tenants—all that takes work. Think hard about whether you’re prepared to put in the time. Can you handle after-hours calls? What if your tenant doesn’t pay rent? Veteran real estate investor Leonard Baron says landlords ought to be handy and enjoy making repairs. He also cautions people who are already juggling 60-hour jobs with kids to be wary. “Things may go well with your properties and you might not have too many issues, but that’s the exception, not the norm,” he says. Baron also suggests anyone considering getting into the rental business make sure they have enough savings to handle unexpected repairs early on before the rent checks start coming in. Even though home prices have bounced back, deals can be found—if you’re careful. Underestimating the costs of renovation and ongoing maintenance is the biggest rookie mistake and will quickly tank your returns.

If you are considering buying an investment property, give me a call. Let’s look at how much equity you have in your current home or one of your existing rental homes, and see what will work best for you. Call me at 916 722 0395 or email me at kathleen@wcmtg.com .


Kathleen Beck

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com

West Coast Mortgage Group
NMLS #5084  # 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395   (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818






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What Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover?

2ba20ffafed5604f05694eb7801182a8--insurance-humor-insurance-agencyMany homeowners do not know exactly what their homeowner’s insurance covers.  Each insurance policy is different depending on coverage and deductibles.  Essentially homeowner’s insurance covers the following;

Your Property: Protection for your home and it’s contents.

Liability: Financial protection against costly claims and lawsuits.

It is a good idea to have your current homeowner’s insurance policy reviewed annually to make sure your home is not underinsured.  Also, please note there are many exclusions on most insurance policies such as floods, earthquakes, mold to name a few.  Make sure you know your insurance policy’s limits

Make sure you talk with your insurance agent and ask what is included in your policy and what you may need to add to your homeowner’s insurance policy.  Such as:

Do you have expensive work tools, jewelry, or collectibles?

Do you need higher liability insurance to protect your other assets?

Are you in a high fire zone?

Make Sure You Prepare for the Future:

Your home and neighborhood may evolve over time.  Keep informed about any changes that may affect your insurance coverage, such as:

  • Changes in occupancy or ownership of your home.
  • Improvements and/or remodeling of your home.
  • Adding a fire or security system.
  • Purchasing items such as computers, jewelry, collectibles that may exceed your coverage.
  • Changes in building costs in your area, if you lose your home to fire or a natural disaster.

Finally Document the Contents of Your Home

Take pictures and videos of your home and the contents of your home and store them offsite in the cloud or a safety deposit box so you will have proof of what you own.



Kathleen BeckCall Kathleen Today 916-722-0395Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com
West Coast Mortgage Group
NMLS #5084  # 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395   (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818




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Sparkles in the Neighborhood

Are you looking to add a little sparkle into your Holiday?  Check out these neighborhoods all decked out with lights.  Let me know which was your favorite!

Kathleen Holiday Lights



As the temperature drops and we all brace for the winter, there are major advantages to finding the home of your dreams during the cold season.

During the warmer seasons there tends to be an increase in inventory on the market but with that increase comes a hefty increase in price and contract competition. More buyers are looking and when it comes time to put an offer in, chances are you are not the only buyer interested.

Research has found that by home hunting during the colder months, buyers are more likely to find that prices have decreased, and competition has also lowered.

  • Sale prices decrease in the autumn and winter months.
  • In the 50 metro areas, home sale prices dropped 2.96% on average (that’s a drop of $8,300 on the median home).
  • Home sale prices are usually the lowest in winter.
  • Faster Closings.
  • Seller’s paying more of the buyer’s closing costs.

When discussing winter buyers, Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist of Realtor.com outlined “You have 50%-60% more inventory relative to the number of buyers, so there’s basically more options per buyer, and that translates into less competition.”

We found that NerdWallet backed up Smoke’s statements with data on how home prices usually bottom out in the winter months, providing an opportunity to save money.

The main advantages of less competition translate into lower home prices allowing buyers the opportunity for a lower down payment. During traditional market peak months, there tends to be more inventory on the market but with that inventory, buyers pay a higher premium.

We find that buying a home really depends on when you as a buyer are comfortable and prepared and that time is different for every buyer. When the numbers are crunched, winter statistically is the best opportunity for buyers as competition tends to fall away.

The best thing for all interested in purchasing a home is to connect with an experienced Loan Officer and discuss the home buying process. Every buyer has different needs and sitting down and discussing your home buying goals is the best first step. Call or email me to talk about it.


Call Kathleen Today 916-722-0395

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com
West Coast Mortgage Group
NMLS #5084  # 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395   (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818


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Lock and Shop!


Home Buying Dreams Delivered Without the Worry.

 Announcing a great new interest rate program that offers rate protection while you shop for your new home.  Now you can lock your loan at the time of loan pre-approval and shop for your new home without worry of the interest rates going up.

The process is simple;

  1. Call me for a loan pre-approval.
  2. Once you are pre-approved, I will lock your interest rate for 60 to 90 days on a Conventional and conforming FHA or VA loans.
  3. Shop for your home worry-free.

Please note your new home must be identified at least 30days prior to lock expiration.

Call Kathleen Today 916-722-0395

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
Kathleen@wcmtg.com | www.BeckHomeLoanPro.com
West Coast Mortgage Group
NMLS #5084  # 243181 | CA BRE #01058848
(C) 916-722-0395   (F) 1-888-776-5642
2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818



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