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Trouble Buying a House? FastTrack Can Provide the Boost You Need!

Buying a home is tough right now, but the FastTrack program can provide a solution.

Just how hard is it to have your offer accepted? While everyone’s home-buying experience will be different, and it is entirely possible to land a dream home on your  first attempt, many people are experiencing frustration with home shopping. It’s really hard to purchase a home, and you can find plenty of people with stories that support this claim.

But stories only go so far. To really understand how hard it is to buy a home right now, it helps to dive into the number. Specifically, the numbers on inventory, time on the market, and overall buyer activity show that it’s a tough time to purchase a home, which is why people are doing anything they can to increase their chances of having an offer accepted.

Finding a House in a Hot Market

Much of the problem has to do with low inventory. While you may be able to find a few cities or markets with a typical or even higher-than-usual supply of available houses, most markets are experiencing a significant shortfall of for-sale properties. San Diego, for example, has roughly 85% less inventory than it did just a two years ago.

The problem persists across the area. In October of 2018, San Diego County had 8,021 active listings according to the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Although there appears to be a slight increase in numbers, there were only 3,227 in April of 2021.

In September of 2019, Los Angeles County had over 17,000 active listings. By April of 2021 the county had less than 11,000.

But it’s not just a problem for Southern California. In Cook County, Illinois, where Chicago sits, there were over 20,000 listings in September of 2019; that number now sits at less than 11,000. In Fulton County, Georgia, the home of Atlanta, there was a recent high of 11,175 active listings in July of 2019; by April of 2021 that number had fallen to just over 4,300.

It’s not just a problem for major cities and dense urban centers. Take Linn County, Iowa for example. In this county of roughly 225,000 people (the second largest in the state), there were over 1,100 active listings in late 2016 and over 1,000 in late 2019. As of April 2021, there were 284 listings.

Another stat that shows how difficult it is to purchase a home is time on the market, which is related to low inventory. Currently, time on the market is extremely low. In San Diego, the median time on the market is 9 days according to Redfin. In the United States as a whole, the median days on the market is only 19, which is 16 days lower than last year.

All of these problems might be manageable for buyers if there was less competition, but while the inventory of available housing has gone down, the number of aspiring buyers appears to be steady. (And may have gone up.)

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association, purchase-loan applications for April of 2021 were up 31% compared to last year. Of course, last year we were dealing with the frontend of the COVID crisis, but this stat shows that activity is picking up, all at a time when inventory is low. With reinvigorated competition, low inventory, and homes flying off the market, buyers need to do everything possible to increase their chances of having their offer accepted.

Solution: FastTrack Program

While the FastTrack program from San Diego Purchase Loans certainly can’t guarantee a successful result when you are searching for a home, it can go a long way towards increasing your chances of having your offer accepted.

To understand why FastTrack is so important, it helps to understand the typical home-buying and mortgage-approval process.

How the Typical Mortgage Process Works

For most home buyers, the process starts with pre-qualification through your lending agent. You’ll go to their office or meet with them over the phone, give them your basic financial information, and get an unofficial statement saying that, if nothing else changes and all the information is accurate, you’ll be approved for a certain amount. Most of the information is not verified at the time, and while most pre-qualifications turn into final mortgage approval, there is a real chance that a mortgage could be denied.

The FastTrack program could give you an advantage on your next purchase offer.

Next, you will shop for a home, browsing inventory and trying to find the house that fits your needs. Once you find a place that you want, you make an offer, go through negotiations, and hope the offer is accepted. If the offer is accepted, you then go through final mortgage approval, which requires a specific property.

Final mortgage approval involves verifying documents and information. Your income will be scrutinized through bank statements, paystubs, tax returns, and other financial information. Your debts will also be verified, and a final credit check is usually performed. The application is sent to the mortgage company who performs their work and then sends final approval (usually) to the lending agent. This process, however, can take time; as long as two weeks or more, which can hold up the sales process.

How FastTrack Works

FastTrack essentially jumpstarts the process. Instead of going through the detailed approval process once a home is found, you go through the process of approval before you make an offer on a home. This expedites process and can significantly reduce the time required. In many cases FastTrack can help buyers (and sellers) reach close of escrow in 15 days!

It can also help waive contingencies, especially contingencies related to financing.

Essentially, the FastTrack program will underwrite a mortgage loan without an offer to purchase. The loan will be underwritten and approved subject to the actual property, which eliminates many roadblocks.

This is an extra step from a standard “pre-approval;” it’s an actual underwritten loan approval that is subject to a property.

Once a loan has been FastTrack approved, a buyer can submit an offer to purchase. The FastTrack approval is a great way to increase the chances of getting an offer to purchase accepted in a competitive market like San Diego, Los Angeles, and many other cities across the country.

If you are interested in the FastTrack program to jumpstart your home-buying efforts, contact our staff today!

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Chad Baker, CrossCountry Mortgage   
NMLS# 329451 | CCM NMLS# 3029