First Time Home Buying

Mae is chatting with CEO,President of Catalyst Mortgage in Sacramento Brandon Haefele about the housing market in the Sacramento region.

Fewer than half of the households in the Sacramento region can afford to buy a home, according to a California Association of Realtors report.

In fact, wanna-be homebuyers would need to earn at least $66,000 a year in order to qualify for the median-priced home of $320,000 in Sacramento County. The annual income minimum increases to $89,400 for the $435,000 median-priced home in Placer County.

Yep, buying a home here is pricey – and qualifying for a mortgage is tough for many families. But a couple of actions could make qualifying for a mortgage a bit easier:

  • Fannie Mae, the nation’s largest purchaser of mortgages, will soon raise its debt-to-income ratio from 45% to 50%. Debt includes credit cards, car loans, students loans and, of course, mortgage payments. It doesn’t seem like 5% would make that much of a difference, but it could be the deciding factor between getting approved for a home loan – and opening the door to homeownership for more families.
  • Starting next month, the nation’s three credit reporting agencies will not include certain negative information related to tax liens and civil judgments if the data does not include a person’s name, address, Social Security number, or date of birth. This could boost a consumer’s credit score by 20 to 40 points, which can make the difference between approval and denial, and likely the interest rate on the mortgage.
  • An increasing number of lenders are offering 1% down payment mortgages to some consumers, depending on their credit rating and income. For some consumers, just a few thousand dollars could make homeownership a reality.