The Mortgage Coach T

he year has been fly- ing by. Already it is December, and at this writing we are still

waiting for rain, and hoping not to sit in the dark waiting for the evacuation notice. I cannot express enough gratitude for the courageous work done by the first responders and their success at saving the town of Windsor, and holding the line of the Kincade Fire. The evacuation may have been in- convenient, but we took it in stride, and made it an adven- ture.

Now, with climate change more seasonal concerns: Fire storms in the west, tornados in the Midwest, and hurricanes in the South. I hope the world finds the solutions needed to maintain the fish bowl we live

Upbeat Home & Real Estate Find Affordability with Others!

in. We have enough problems just finding an affordable place to live.

When considering afford- able housing, we need to con- sider monthly cost. To an underwriter, affordable housing is determined on a percentage of gross income.

This is

where the rules for calculating your income come into play. If you can’t

show your income on your taxes, it can’t be used. The maximum debt-to-in- come ratio an underwriter can approve is 45%. So if you have a household income of $80,000 a year or $6,667 a month, you could qualify for a monthly payment of $3,000. This payment would need to include your taxes, insurance, any Homeowners Association fees and any other debts you

have. This would include any student loans, car payments, or minimum credit card pay- ments. With Sonoma County hous- ing market on solid ground, scarcity and demand have played havoc on home prices. The distressed properties that once flooded our market have disappeared. Losing over 5,000 homes in the Tubbs fire didn’t help.

by Barry O'Meara of Santa Rosa, CA • of reach.

Good news! There are New construc-

tion has come back, but not fast enough. Homeowners are reluctant to list their home and not being able to find a re- placement property. Demand is outpacing the supply. Displaced homeowners and

renters from the fires, along with the emerging young first- time buyers represent our de- mand side. The supply side is trying to keep up, but has its limitations. This supply and demand at play at present, is keeping affordability just out

many ways to help someone qualify for a home loan. One way is to bring more income to the equation. This may mean owning a home with someone, whether family or friends. You can always hold title as “tenants in common” (TIC). This is not a whole lot different than living with a roommate. For most young people it is the only way to af- ford rent, or a house payment. People you can live with, may also be people you can buy a home with. Combining incomes can be the answer to buying a home. Another way would be to add a fam- ily member as a non-occupant co-borrower. In order to qual- ify you need to show the in- come of all parties involved. This steady increase in home prices we have been experiencing is not a bubble.

It is sustainable because of the strict underwriting guide- lines. A community’s ability to provide affordable housing is a never-ending problem. Strict government regulation, such as rent control, does not provide for more housing. Lowering fees for new con- struction targeting affordable housing could help, but it will take time.

Owning a home is a ba- sic foundation for building wealth. With an amortized loan, a portion of the monthly payment is paying down your principal, and adding to eq- uity. This is a built-in savings plan that provides you with shelter and stability in our community.

As we look to 2020, take everything in stride and make your next move an adventure.


Throw caution to the wind and just do it. ~ Carrie Underwood

B. O’Meara

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