How long has Own Sweet Home been in Business?
Own Sweet Home has been in Business since 2001. We have helped many home buyers, sellers and owners requiring financing of their new, current or investment properties.
Do you focus on buyers, sellers or loans?
Real Estate Sales business is about negotiations, finding the right buyers or right homes and having our client make an informed decision. Our knowledge of the market place and financing helps our clients in various ways. For example, we leverage our loan knowledge to prequalify the buyer clients and also structure the real estate contracts to effectively use buyer funds. Similarly when we represent a seller we make sure the buyer is well qualified to get into contract and there will be no fallout due to buyer’s loan. We can help sellers make buy first or sell first or leasing decisions. So the answer to the question above is yes!
Which areas do you focus on?
We work all around the bay area. Specifically we work in and the neighboring cities of Fremont, Cupertino, San Jose, Sunnyvale, San Ramon and Pleasanton.
Are you any particular area expert?
The concept of area expert faded away with the internet and availability of demographics and real estate for sale.
As you know there is lot of information available on internet. We help you maneuver through the vast information so you can focus and make an informed decision. We pride ourselves in being your real estate and market consultant.
Is it a good time to buy?
It depends. Call me and I will tell you.
What is your advice on buying a home?
One should always buy a home. It’s a dream of every American. If you qualify, you should buy. If rates go down, you refinance. If rates go up, you made a good buying decision.
What should I focus on? Home Prices or Interest Rates?
Interest rates! Most home owners will not payoff their mortgage in a short period of time. As a matter of fact, many of them will upgrade to a new home before paying off their existing home. Interest rates can go up quickly, however home prices do not fall in proportion. For example, with rates going up from 4% to 5% there is a 25% jump in the rates. That means your monthly interest payments will jump up by 25% (remember I=P*R*T?). Do you think the home prices will fall by 25% in the same period if the rates jump up by 25%?
As a buyer, how do I start working with you?
I provide all my buyers, especially the first-time home buyers, a 45 minute presentation to give an overview of the real estate market, buying process and real estate contracts. Once you know the home buying process, you are ready to work.
Do I need a prequalification before I start working with you?
One stop service! During our first meeting I will pre-qualify you for the loan. This will give me an idea about your financial situation and help us plan the home buying activity. You get all the answers and services at one place, what more can you ask for?
What interest rate do I get when I buy a home from you?
We have access to over 100+ mortgage lenders. We shop for the best rate for you. You will get the same or a better rate when working with me. I encourage all my buyers/borrowers to shop for rates. When it comes time to lock, you will get the best possible rate available in the market place.
Do you have a network of property inspectors and home repair/improvement specialists?
Yes. We work closely with licensed and bonded inspectors during your buying process. When you own a home, we can always refer you to the people we have worked with in the past and those who have good references from our other clients.
Do you provide home staging services?
Yes, we have dedicated staging professionals ready to help you prepare your home for sale.
Who prepares the home for sale?
We have access to various quality professionals for painting, flooring, landscaping, gardening, kitchen remodeling and more. Call us so we can preview your home and give you special advice on what needs to be done before you put the home on the market.
Do you do open houses?
Of course. Open homes is a great way to get the home exposed to prospective buyers. Additionally we make sure your home gets shown to buyers who are prequalified to purchase a home in that price range.
What would you recommend if I already own a home and want to upgrade.. Do I sell first or buy first?
Great question. It depends on your individual situation. This needs to be carefully planned. When the mortgage environment is tough, the decision is based on your earnings, rental rates for departing property if you want to keep it, price of a new home you could buy and restructuring of your existing mortgage.
What kind of returns do I get on various home improvements?
It depends on the improvement. I have a chart of various home improvement projects and return on the investment at the time of sale.
If I have many improvements, do I get a better price than comparable square feet properties?
Mostly yes, however it depends on the market, available properties in your neighborhood, recent sales and few other factors. One thing for sure, your property will get sold faster than other comparable square feet properties in the same neighborhood.
What kind of loan programs are available?
We have loan programs to fit a wide variety of needs. Some programs require at least 20% down payment and others require as low as 3.5% down payment. These programs spread the loan payments over 10, 15, 30 or 40 years. There are short-term adjustable loans available with fixed rate loan periods of 3, 5, 7 or 10 years.
What are fixed rate mortgages?
In fixed rate loans, your interest rate stays the same for the whole amortized period of the loan. For example 30 yr fixed rate loan rate will remain the same for the next 30 years. Additionally, there are 10 yr fixed, 15 year fixed and 20 year loans available that are paid off completely during 120, 180, and 240 months respectively.
What are adjustable rate mortgages (ARM)?
Adjustable rate loans are those whose rate changes after initial fixed rate period. For example, 3/1 ARM has interest rate that is fixed over first 3 years and adjusts after that every year. There are 5/1, 7/1 and 10/1 ARMs available. They are usually amortized over 30 years.
Many ARMs have 5/2/5 or 2/2/5 conditions. What are these?
If your 5/1 ARM has 5/2/5 condition, it means your interest rate may go up as much as 5% during first adjustment over your initial rate. Any adjustment after that the rate cannot go up or down by more than 2%. The last 5% is the CAP on the maximum interest rate you will pay. It is always desirable to get 2/2/5 terms on the adjustable rate mortgages.
What is the minimum down payment required?
Even in today’s market you can purchase a home with 3.5% down payment.
What credit score is required to get a loan?
These requirements change from time to time. Generally loans are easily available for credit scores of 640 and above.
What credit scores are considered good or excellent?
Typical credit score range is 300 to 850.
760 or Higher: Excellent
725 to 759: Very Good
560-659: Not Good
Under 560: Bad