Why a Mortgage in Walnut Creek?
Located in Contra Costa County in the East Bay region of the Bay Area and only 16 miles from Oakland, Walnut Creek is a commuter’s paradise. With two BART stations and easy highway access to I-680 and San Francisco/Oakland (SR-24), getting to the airport, downtown San Francisco, or anywhere in the Bay Area is easy as pie.
If you’re looking for something to do in the city, Walnut Creek has loads of high-end shopping, such as Neiman Marcus, Nordstrom and, Macy’s at the high-end outdoor mall Broadway Plaza. There are also over one hundred restaurants from new American cuisine to Spanish or simply great pizza. With celebrations like the historic Walnut Festival, art walks, and more you’ll be happy to call it your home.
Walnut Creek has over two dozen parks and over 3,000 acres of open spaces. In 1974 the city voted to set aside thousands of acres of grasslands for the enjoyment of its citizens, the idea being that these lands stay in their natural state in perpetuity. Today volunteers work to preserve and restore these natural wonders. With native grass, oak trees, and other vegetation, you can enjoy a stroll down a trail in one of four areas, including Lime Ridge, Shell Ridge, Acalanes Ridge, and Sugarloaf.
No matter the reason, whether you’re purchasing your first home or beginning your retirement, the process for obtaining a mortgage in Walnut Creek is no different than anywhere else, though there are some special things to consider.
It’s no secret that home values are on the rise in the Bay Area with rising demand, and it’s no different here. Mortgages for Walnut Creek are a complicated process even in a buyer’s market but when demand exceeds supply it’s important to set yourself apart from the pack and be as attractive to the seller as you are to their home.
Pre-Qualifying for Your Mortgage Walnut Creek
When CNBC listed Walnut Creek, CA one of the top ten best places to retire back in 2012, the average home price was just above $430,000. With a 6.1% increase in value just in the last year, home values now average $846,900, according to Zillow. Even with these increases, home values are estimated to rise another 1.2% next year, meaning that while the market is cooling some, it’s still a great time to buy.
In a hot market like Walnut Creek mortgage pre-qualification is a necessity, but also just the first step in making sure you get the home of your dreams. This conditional approval will give you an idea of how much you can borrow, reveal any hiccups that may come up along the way, and ensure you have all your documentation in order.
The Right Kind of Mortgage in Walnut Creek
People buy homes for many different reasons, and as a borrower you need to think about how long you plan to stay in your home. If your plan is to stay just a few years in your home, your mortgage in Walnut Creek may be different than someone planning their retirement in Walnut Creek. Mortgage programs should be tailored to the buyer’s individual situation.
If your plan is to stay for a longer period, a fixed loan may be right for you. An adjustable rate makes more sense if you’re planning to sell the house in a few years. An experienced mortgage professional familiar with the Walnut Creek market will be able to assist you in finding the loan that is right for you. They’ll help you better understand fees and closing costs, and help you through the application process.
Processing the mortgage in Walnut Creek begins once the application has been submitted. Credit reports, title reports, and appraisals will all be ordered and the processor will verify all the information you submitted on your application and readies it for submission to your lender. W-2s, bank statements, as well as a slew of other documents will be needed to go along with your application so make sure you have all required documentation ready.
Besides the normal loan process, there are a lot of things you can do to set yourself apart from other buyers to ensure you get the exact home you want. Having the strongest offer doesn’t just mean having the highest offer price. Choosing the right agent and increasing your down payment are all extra steps you can take to make sure you stand out as a buyer.
Be Flexible with Your Moving Date
Buying and selling a home is stressful under the best of conditions. Making the transition from one home to another can be a juggling act for anyone. Take the stress of moving off the seller by being flexible on your closing date. Find out if the seller wants to be out quickly or would prefer to stay a little longer. Is their new home ready? Are they just finishing up construction or are they itching to get in? Be flexible if the seller needs to rent back for 30 to 60 days. It’ typically calculated based on your total monthly payment of principal, interest, taxes, and insurance so that your new mortgage is covered.
It may be more inconvenient in the short term for you. Maybe your landlord is ready to lease to a new tenant. Maybe you’re in temporary housing and can’t wait to move into your new home. These are certainly stressful times but they are just as stressful for the person selling their home. Showing the seller that you’re willing to work with them and make the process as smooth as possible will not just curry favor but may be just the trick to make sure it’s your offer they choose. Our real estate agents are great at finding a balance of everyone’s needs.
Having a Large Down Payment for Your Walnut Creek Mortgage
In a market where you are likely to have interest from multiple buyers, having a down payment larger than 20% can give you an edge in negotiating and allow you to stand out from other interested parties.
Failure to secure a bank loan is a common concern for the buyer, of course, but it’s also a great concern for the seller. In their eyes, you’re more likely to successfully complete the loan process if you have a larger amount of cash to put down on the house. Jumbo loans are also easier to secure these days, because you can access them with just a 10% down payment and no mortgage insurance, so it’s a great option for a high-value area like Walnut Creek.
Having a larger down payment also gives you more flexibility if multiple offers have been submitted. While a goal in purchasing a home is always to secure the best price, sometimes it’s necessary to offer more than the asking price. In competitive markets, a pre-approval for a mortgage in Walnut Creek along with a large down payment may give you the muscle to nudge out the competition.
Foregoing an Inspection Contingency
Waiving an inspection contingency when making an offer on a home is a controversial issue, but with some planning it’s possible to mitigate the risk without opening yourself to issues down the road. An inspection contingency is a clause in an offer that states the offer is valid only on completion of a home inspection.
This is where a potential buyer will discover the true condition of the house not readily apparent to the naked eye. While having an inspection contingency can protect you, the buyer, eliminating it can set you apart from other offers and make yours most attractive.
A pre-inspection before you make an offer, can ensure that you are prepared to make a contingency free offer when the time comes while still protecting yourself and knowing exactly what you’re getting in your new home. Many sellers even provide inspections, termite reports, and other disclosures upfront that you can review. It’s a great first step to getting that mortgage in Walnut Creek so you can fully enjoy the area.
Finding the Right Agent
At Paymun, our goal is to remove the stress of buying your new home. Our team of qualified professionals will help demystify the entire buying process. We’ll make sure that you fully understand each step from determining your buying power, finding the right home, to qualifying for a mortgage in Walnut Creek that makes sense for you and your future plans.
Since 2004, Paymun, a family run company, has been the Bay Area’s number one solution for property and home mortgage loan seekers whether in Walnut Creek, Lafayette, or beyond. Customer service is our main goal and our clients always come first with no hidden fees, little to no closing costs, and the lowest commission rates in the Bay Area.
In the end, it’s all about finding the perfect home for you with a mortgage in Walnut Creek that works. Closing costs, loan applications, and credit reports all may seem like insurmountable obstacles when considering buying a home. Let us help take the pressure off and guide you through the process. With our years of building, lending and Walnut Creek mortgage experience, your home will soon become a reality.
(main image: John Morgan)