Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Primary Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is an added insurance policy for homebuyers who make down payments on their homes that are less than 20%. The monthly PMI fee you pay protects the lender if you are unable to pay your mortgage.

How It Works

If you make a down payment of less than 20%, PMI will be part of your monthly mortgage payment.

  • The cost of PMI varies based on the amount you owe on your mortgage compared to its value and your credit score. You can expect to pay between $200-$300 per month In addition to your mortgage.
  • You’ll have to pay PMI until you’ve built up more than 20% equity in your home. Borrowers with FHA loans are responsible for paying FHA mortgage insurance premiums for the life of the loan.
  • If you’re current on your mortgage payments, PMI will automatically terminate on the date when your principal balance is scheduled to reach 78% of the original value of your home. That date will be given to you in writing on a PMI disclosure form when you get your mortgage.

    You can request that your lender cancel your PMI if you’ve made additional payments or if rising home values have increased your home equity to more than 20%. Your request must be in writing and meet additional criteria that your lender specifies.

Some Perspective

It’s a fact that the more you put down as a down payment, the lower your monthly mortgage payment and the less you’ll owe the bank. It’s also a fact that homebuyers who put down at least 20% don’t have to pay PMI. However, if putting down 20% will deplete all of your savings and leave you with no financial cushion, it’s probably not in your best interest.

PMI is no doubt an added cost, but it enables you to buy now and begin building equity versus waiting 5 to 10 years to build enough savings for a 20% down payment. 

Know your loan options before you start looking for a home. Every buyers personal situation and finances differ so it’s not “one loan fits most”. Do your research before you buy. Work with a Realtor that can guide you in the right direction.

Proposition 60 and 90

Transfer of Base Year Value for Persons Age 55 and Over

The Propositions allow a person who is over age 55 to sell his or her principal place of residence and transfer its base year value to a replacement dwelling of equal or lesser value that is purchased or newly constructed within two years of the sale. These propositions are implemented by Revenue and Taxation Code section 69.5.

Proposition 60 allows for the transfers of a base year value within the same county (intracounty). Proposition 90 allows for the transfers of a base year value from one county to another county in California (intercounty) if the county has authorized such a transfer by an ordinance.

As of today, the counties that fall with the Proposition 90 inter county transfer are the following: Los Angeles, Tuolumne, Alameda, San Diego, Orange, San Mateo, Santa Clara, El Dorado, and Ventura Counties. These are subject to change so make sure to check with your assessor before buying or selling a home. 

You or your spouse residing with you, must be at least 55 years of age when the original property is sold. This is a one time benefit. The new home must have been purchased within two years before or after the sale of the original, low-tax based property. If the new home was purchased within one year of selling the former home, the new home must be 105%, or less, than the value of the former home. If the new home was purchased between one and two years after selling the former home, the new home must be less than 110% of the former home’s sale price. The original property must be subject to reappraisal at its current fair market value at the time of sale.

Be aware of these deadlines when shopping for your dream home in retirement.

Fed leaves rates unchanged

The long-awaited decision in – Fed holds steady on rates but hints at a rate cut if the economy warrants it, in the near future.
Meanwhile, the recent stock market rally and positive earnings reports have lead to homes flying off the market after a soft past couple of weeks.
Stocks rally after decision 🙂

Washington, DC (CNN)The Federal Reserve on Wednesday held rates steady but raised the prospect for two potential rates cuts this year, as policy makers continue to weigh the right time to act amid concerns over President Donald Trump’s trade policies.Jerome Powell, the president’s choice to run the world’s most influential central bank, is facing considerable pressure to keep the US economy steady. Concerns are intensifying that Trump’s tariff strategy may end up hurting global growth. The decision also comes as Trump continues to criticize Powell, suggesting he might still be willing to try to demote the country’s top central banker.”Let’s see what he does,” Trump said to reporters at the White House as he left for his re-election kickoff rally on Tuesday, a day before the Fed was set to announce its next decision on interest rates.The Fed voted to leave its benchmark rate hovering between 2.25% and 2.5% with only one objection by St. Louis Fed President James Bullard, marking the first dissent in Powell’s chairmanship. Bullard had previously suggested a rate cut “may be warranted soon.”Fed officials are now split between whether to continue indefinitely holding rates level for the remainder of the year or to make at least one, if not two, potential rate cuts in the second half amid intensifying trade tensions that have shown signs of damage to the US economy. Eight out of the 17 officials were in favor of keeping rates the same.For the last several months, Powell has preached patience when it comes to rate-setting policy. But with increased uncertainty over on-again, off-again trade negotiations between China and the United States, the world’s two largest economies, and the threat of tariffs on nearly all remaining Chinese goods, the Fed is now beginning to signal a more a nimble approach.Analysts anticipated the Fed would punt on a rate cut this week until there was greater clarity of how trade talks between the United States and China would unfold. Trump announced on Tuesday he and Chinese President Xi Jinping would hold an “extended meeting” later this month at the Group of 20 leaders summit in Osaka, Japan, and negotiators would resume talks.Officials in their statement noted that risks to growth had increased amid “uncertainties,” and reaffirmed that they would move as needed to continue the US economy’s expansion.”In light of these uncertainties and muted inflation pressures, the committee will closely monitor the implications of incoming information for the economic outlook and will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” the Federal Open Market Committee said in its statement.The expected shift echoed a similar message made by Powell weeks earlier in Chicago when he spelled out to investors that the Fed was prepared to respond if the Trump administration’s trade strategy ends up threatening the American economy.”We are closely monitoring the implications of these developments for the US economic outlook and, as always, we will act as appropriate to sustain the expansion,” Powell said speaking at a Fed conference.Those comments have helped to fuel expectations that the Fed may cut rates at least once, if not more, before the end of the year due to the trade war.Seven out of the 17 participants on the Fed’s policy-making board now anticipate that two rate cuts may be necessary this year with one member estimating a single rate cut may be sufficient to keep the economy humming.June’s updated forecast is a significant downward shift since the projections were last updated in March.At the time, the Fed had effectively put a pause on lifting interest rates with 11 out of 17 participants in favor of being patient until the central bank had a better handle on where the economy is going for the rest of the year.

Google investing $1 billion to fight Bay Area housing crisis

San Francisco (CNN Business)Google is pledging $1 billion to help fight the housing crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area.The company announced Tuesday it will repurpose at least $750 million of the land it already owns in the Bay Area for residential housing. In a blog post, Google (GOOG) CEO Sundar Pichai said the land — most of which is currently zoned for commercial or industrial use — will be used to create at least 15,000 new homes at different income levels, including for middle and low-income residents.Google will also create a $250 million investment fund to incentivize developers to build at least 5,000 affordable housing units in the area.A shortage of affordable housing across the Bay Area is pushing out middle and low-income workers like teachers and restaurant employees. Critics say the influx of tech companies such as Google and Facebook, and their well-paid workers, have contributed to the ongoing housing crisis. In San Francisco alone, more 7,000 people are homeless, according the the city’s most recent survey.”We hope this plays a role in addressing the chronic shortage of affordable housing options for long-time middle and low income residents,” said Pichai wrote in a blog, the company’s philanthropic division, will give an additional $50 million in grants to nonprofits focused on homelessness and displacement.

Home Inspections, Why?

What is the purpose of a Home Inspection?
Many people misunderstand the purpose of a home inspection.

Home inspections are an instrumental part of the home buying process that can save you a lot of time and money in the long run.

Here are some great reasons to have a home inspection before you buy:

1.Don’t Judge a Home by Its Facade

Especially for those buying newer construction, a home inspection may feel like a waste of money. No matter the age of the home, there can be costly troubles unknown to the average buyer. Problems with wiring, plumbing or structural issues may not be visible during a showing and you’ll want to get an expert opinion.

2. Save Money

Home inspection costs vary depending on size and age of the home. Those who skip out on the expense may realize in a few years that an inspection is much cheaper than rewiring the entire house.

3.Know What You’re Buying

In the end the most important reason to have a home inspection before you buy is to really know what you’re buying. Research your potential home like you would any other major purchase. The more you know, the fewer surprises there will be down the road. Home inspectors can help you make a decision based on your current budget as well as your future time and money investment.

Your home is your biggest investment. Get connected with an experienced team such as Team SKYE to guide you through the homebuying process.

Top 4 Renovations for Greatest Return of Investment

If you are planning on listing your home in the next three to six months, and don’t know what project you should invest in, consider the following top 4 renovations for greatest return of investment.

  1. Garage Door Replacement – A clean and good looking garage door tops the list when it comes to getting cash back on your investment when you decide to sell your home, according to the 2019 Cost vs. Value Report. (Source: BANKRATE) Remember, your driveway and garage are the first things buyers will see when they pull up to preview your home. (First impression is lasting)
  2. Manufactured Stone Veneer – If your home has vinyl siding, consider replacing part of your home with stone veneer at the front entry as this will add a big curb appeal to your home.  For stucco siding, we recommend homeowners to seal all the cracks, power wash and paint.
  3. Minor Kitchen Remodel – The kitchen is one of the most used area of a house. Thus, creating a modern looking and functional kitchen will add more than just value to your home. Studies show that a beautiful, open, functional and bright kitchen can boost your enjoyment of everyday activities like cooking, entertaining friends and the sharing of your daily meals with your family.
  4. Deck Addition – Plain big back yard is boring!  If you own a home with a large backyard, a wooden deck will be eye pleasing and an extra enhancement to enjoy the outdoors around your home.  Depending on your budget, you can build with cover or without. If your backyard gets a lot of sun/heat, consider having a cover.

There are more ideas we can share with you if you are interested. Our SKYE Real Estate Team members will be happy to assist you with your options.  Call us today for your free and NO OBLIGATION consultation.


23394 Klamath Rd., Hayward

Welcome to 23394 Klamath Road, Hayward! If you are already renting in Hayward or neighboring cities or, you have been thinking of owning your own home and you are priced out in the area you like, consider this neighborhood in Hayward as an option.

This beautifully maintained home at an affordable price in the Longwood/Winton Grove neighborhood, comes with all the conveniences of living in the Heart of the Bay. This ranch style home is located on a corner lot just minutes to a shopping mall, movie theater, restaurants, grocery stores, BART, 880 and 92.  Perfect for commuters!!!

This home comes equipped with New Pergo laminated water resistant flooring, dual pane windows, workbench in two car garage, a cute storage shed, new yard fencing, newer roof, solar panels, 2 fireplaces and skylights, FOUR spacious bedrooms and TWO bathrooms. The master suite has his and her closets (walk in). There are built in book cases in the living room and a built in oak desk, and entertainment center in the large family room. Patio slider leads to a low maintenance backyard that is perfect for entertaining family and friends.

The City of Hayward may not offer Blue Ribbon Schools, but it has a couple of State Funded (Free Fee) Charter Schools that are receiving good ratings as well as nearby Private Schools for families that are concern with “school ratings”. For more detailed information, contact our Listing Agent, Kristina Lum  at 510-427-3230.


Freesia Ct – Luxury redefined..

Stunning North-East facing Home, over *$500k in upgrades in rarely available, exclusive, Riverwalk community, close to award winning **PARKMONT** elementary, walking distance to biking, hiking trails near Quarry Lakes. Upgraded heavily with HIGH-END designer touches from BEDROSIANS and PORCELANOSA – glass tile mosaics in kitchen and baths, Custom kitchen cabinetry, Carrera porcelain slabs w/ miter edges, Crema Bordeaux kitchen counters, BOSCH Oven Microwave combo, water softener, Porcelanosa European style tiles, Travertine floors, Italian Carrera marble flooring, Tigerwood hardwood flooring, NEW Calacatta laza Waterfall Island, New contemporary backsplash, New paint, New carpet, built in speakers, PLANTATION SHUTTERS, so much more **Bedroom & FULL bath** downstairs! BONUS MEDIA ROOM! Huge back, side yards w/water fountain, pond w/ cascading waterfall, full-size outdoor kitchen, gazebo! LARGE PALM TREES**RESORT like**Excellent commute to 880, 84, NEW FACEBOOK* campus, HUB, Whole foods. Video Tour

China economy cooling.. will impact California home prices.

We here in the west coast get a significant source of home buyers from China.. a sustained negative environment there will impact house prices here. BUT, the tech job market is equally robust, per various internal company projections, so there is some leeway, If job markets are stable, no adverse news on H4-EAD visa and trade dispute gets settled with China, we are in for a very strong early 2019..

Is it a good time to Buy? (in SF Bay Area)

If you are buying it as an investment, then I would say hold-off bit longer.. even though prices have softened, the rent to value ratio is still low.

But, if you are looking for a primary residence, getting squeezed by rents, your job profile is strong, then yes, this is a very good time.. We are seeing more choices, willing sellers are open to taking offers as they come..