I’m on a small committee of Realtors that works to increase access to homeownership within our community. Last year, we worked with the City of Oakland to help them streamline the City’s Mortgage Assistance Program (MAP), which offers down payment assistance of up to $75,000 to qualifying homebuyers.
Planning for our eventual and inevitable death isn't sexy but it can save our families plenty of trouble. There are ways to avoid your property going through a probate procedure but usually, there's a process and expense to setting that up.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau just released this online worksheet and booklet and it's my new favorite thing. Everyone who is thinking of buying a home with a loan should read this and consider filling out the worksheet.
Lending can be confusing but understanding it is a critical piece of making sure that you know what you are taking on financially when you purchase a home.
You might not think so but buying a house in the fast and complicated East Bay market is not that different than double dutch. Just like in double dutch, from the sidelines (ie watching friends try to buy, trolling Zillow, etc), the market looks fast and confusing. And just like a double dutcher newbie who gets slapped around by the ropes the first few times they jump in, if you're making offers in this market, you'll probably feel like you're being slapped around by the competition.
Ultimately, the same rules for succeeding in buying a home here apply in double dutch: persistence, preparation and fast movement pay off. In double dutch, if you have your tennies laced up tight, you're mentally prepared and you keep trying, eventually you'll get the hang of it. As for buying a home, if you're preapproved and ready to pounce and looking at homes that are more or less within your price range, if you keep at it, you will eventually succeed.
I know it's rough but don't give up!