In the Market: Picking homes, picking agents

Nneka Madus
Posted by Nneka Madus
Mortgage Market Analyst

This feature is a real estate news and information roundup from a millennial’s point of view. When a young professional moves from Indianapolis (median home price $125K) to San Francisco (median price $1 million), you can expect an adventure.  Nneka Madus, an analyst in Bank of the West’s Mortgage Division, did just that and has plenty to share in her quest to own a home in San Francisco.

Well-dress man and woman, both holding phones, scouting a neighborhood for a home.As a first-timer, you may already have an idea of the type of home you could see yourself settling into. It is one thing envisioning your dream home, but actually making an offer on one is a different ball game! Will you still love where you live in a year? Luckily, in this article, Angela Colley describes six types of homes first-timers may want to skip to potentially minimize buyers’ remorse.

By now, we’ve all heard of a few reasons why buying a home has become a challenge, and student loan debt seems to be at the top of the list for many potential buyers. Student loan debt is troubling because lenders factor it into your debt-to-income ratio (DTI), which includes the percentage of your monthly income spent on debt payments. Your DTI ratio is crucial because this formula helps determine loan approval and the maximum amount you may qualify to borrow. A lower DTI ratio is usually beneficial. With that said, student loan debt doesn’t necessarily spell the end of homeownership. In this Bankrate article, Marcie Geffner outlines how potential homebuyers may overcome DTI concerns with some time, motivation, and a little research.

Whenever I’m in need of a professional, I go to my friends for a recommendation. Whether I’m searching for a dentist, a new nail shop, or mechanic I go to my girlfriends – they haven’t steered me wrong yet. But when I want to choose a real estate agent to help me find a home, I definitely won’t rely only on my network of friends. As you can imagine, having the right real estate agent can go a long way to finding the right home for you. As Hal Bundrick describes in this USAToday article, getting a real estate agent may seem like a no-brainer, but picking the right one can be tricky.

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