Down payment shrinkage not due to eased credit squeeze

A new study says the down payment amount home buyers are paying to buy a home is down nearly 10 percent over the past two years, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can fritter away money you’ve been saving for 20 percent down.

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Contingencies for real estate contracts

LILLIAN MONTALTO - Anticipate potential problems, include these contingencies in your offer and, whether you're a first-timer or a seasoned homebuyer, you'll save yourself some headaches. A contingency is


Mortgage reform targets home appraisals

Appraisal rules from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) soon will give consumers additional rights to information on how a home value is determined as well as new


Home buyers’ interactive, online tool sorts 230 CA home buyer asssitance programs

More than 230 assistance programs in California can help home buyers overcome a top obstacle to home buying - the down payment. But finding them can be a dilemma. That's


San Francisco Bay Area home prices set to surpass pre-crash record highs

Remember predictions that forecast San Francisco Bay Area home prices wouldn't return to pre-crash levels for five, 10, 15 years or more? Fugedabouddit. If the current rate of home price


VA home loan appraisal standards strict, but not insurmountable

Q: Veterans Affairs loans? Aren't those impossible to get through escrow? A: Not according to the 540,000 people who obtained VA loans in 2012. Q: Doesn't a home have


Home much home can you afford? Redux

CHIP POLI – As long as Americans have had enjoyed the opportunity for homeownership, they've had to consider how much they can afford to spend on what's likely


Silicon Valley real estate listings nearly double, inventories remain low

Encouraged by rising home prices, more sellers are coming to market in Santa Clara County. Santa Clara County has seen its active inventory almost double in the first four


How to house hunt with kids in tow

HANS BRINGS - Buying a house is equally exhilarating and nerve wracking. Unless you have that perfect house just waiting for you, financing ready to go, and no competing


Need a school to go with that new home? Do your homework

KRISTIN BROWN - If you're planning to move and you have children, you certainly want to learn all you can about the school districts in your desired home


First-timers, existing homeowners driving the housing recovery

Forget the golden goose investor-element that's helping fuel the housing recovery. Potential buyers? Your fence sitting days are numbered. Many investors are largely bottom feeders (buy low, rent and or


Pause for the clause; a little something extra for sales contracts

Even in a sellers' market as hot as it is today, contractual risks lurk, but there are ways sellers can contractually protect themselves. Conventional home sale contracts typically include


Is your real estate agent really working for you?

"You need to use a little truth serum to get prospective real estate agents to come clean." BECKI SALTZMAN - Before you sell your home, agree to a listing


California’s home prices at highest level in 5 years; competition intensifies

CALIFORNIA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS - Strong sales in higher-cost coastal regions and heated market conditions drove home prices in California to the highest levels in March since May


Jekyll-Hyde real estate agent force closes deal

There's something both benevolent and sinister about this real estate agent. You'd like to join him for a spot of tea, but you wouldn't want to meet him in

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