IPO and SFO

Sounds a bit like a robust airport code, or two of them at least.  Although the city may have to ultimately build another airport if this accelerated wealth trajectory continues, as things are already 10x more crowded (and pricier) for just about any place or thing.  Waitlists at restaurants, traffic, longer lines everyone – it’s only going to continue.

Lots of talk about the big year of IPO’s hitting the San Francisco market this year – Uber, Lyft, Slack, Airbnb, Pinterest and Postmates all are due to splash the public markets. There is no question there will be impacts, socially and financially, to the city and its surrounding areas.  Just how much of an impact and whether all of it will be good/bad is where you get some different opinions.    Even on the conservative scale, there will be hundreds of millions of dollars flooding into the city and with that will be many more millionaires.  Most of them very young (under the age of 40) and many will be ready throw money around like a Biggie music video.

Food and beverage industry certainly stands to make out well, right?  Yes, of course.  Retail, in general, should continue to thrive here in the city, as well, with people ramping up shopping habits for luxury items like watches and shoes, to revamping their entire wardrobe of casual-but-overpriced-clothing (the new “suit” in the tech industry).  What about real estate?  Surely it floods the market with more buyers and frothy-mouthed sellers, right?  Most likely, in both cases.

Already there are plenty of sellers that have pulled unique properties off the market that maybe had a tougher time selling, with visions of selling them to a millennial that doesn’t mind that the home is not suited for a family, etc.  Some pulled them in hopes of bringing a higher offer price out of would-be buyers if they simply stay patient for another year.  As for buyers, they will be flush with cash and naive (in a good way) to real estate leverage and simply pay what they need to in order to get the place they want.   This equation means a real estate market that goes from being strong to even stronger.  Like, “steroids” stronger.

It is no forgone conclusion, though that every IPO hits it out of the park and has a subsequent ripple effect of economic and real estate euphoria.  Remember SNAP and Groupon?  Both hyped as public splashes that would go down in history, but they ended up doing so for the wrong reasons, with ultimately neither having any major impactful touch on the markets.    As well, one must consider the lock-up periods that shareholders of these companies are attached to.  With many of them for nearly half of a year, it comes down to the company continuing to post positive news, growth, and (dare I say it??) a PROFIT.  So, while going public is a great thing and is to be celebrated in the free market and for its ingenuity, it is not always a sure bet that it pans out.

Let’s watch and see this year, but there is no question that the market (real estate) is going to benefit, regardless of what happens.  It will just be a question of how much.

 

To figure out what you need to do as a potential buyer to get your piece of this market, get in touch with me to talk about what steps you should take.

Email me for more information.

Post Mid-Term Update

Some nervous jitters were becoming prevalent in the housing market here in the Bay Area leading up to the election in attempts to sort out the possibilities.  The 3 scenarios at the Federal level all had different potential outcomes in terms of market reaction – specifically mortgage rates.
The end result of a split Congress appears to had already been priced into the market and mortgage rates.  After trending up for weeks leading up the election, they have been flattening as of late.  Certainly lots to attribute to the volatility, but to keeps things simple – chalk it up to lower oil prices, subdued wage growth, and a roller coaster in the stock market precipitated on tech and trade anxiety.   With inflation remaining tame at the moment, it appears that a Fed Funds rate increase next month is no longer the sure shot bet that it once was a few weeks ago.  Chairman Powell’s comments this week were not direct in either direction, but left many feeling that the rate increase next month is no longer a guaranteed lock.  The administration has been very vocal in public comments and interviews that the Fed should not raise rates and has criticized the board by saying they are threatening to derail the economy by raising them.   Although most of the Bay Area and San Francisco is immune to such hiccups and typically ignores this rhetoric, the reasoning behind all of this is actually simple.
Recessions have historically been caused by one of two events.  An economic shock, like we had during the dot.com 90’s and also the housing market crash in the mid 2000s.  The other event that causes them has been by the Fed raising rates to a point where the economy tips backwards, essentially “cradling the baby so much and so forcefully that they ultimately cause harm.”  With little consensus on what the potential “shock” could be and where it would come form (industry, sector, etc.), there is more chatter that the Fed could ultimately “raise “ us to a point of real slow down.  Of course the administration is weary of this because of re-election motivation, so that makes sense when you hear them blasting the Fed for even contemplating more raises.
What does that mean here in San Francsico?  At the moment, inventory remains tight and prices are still high.  Although leveling in some areas and neighborhoods, there is still loads of capital flying out of banks and accounts towards real estate.  Despite rates having trended up to a point where they are nearly 1 full point higher than they were exactly a year ago, homebuyers are taking advantage of market anxiety about the future and getting more offers accepted while not having to overpay.  Bottom line, it remains a great time to get into the market, despite your credit or down payment situation here in the Bay Area.  Waiting certainly is not a bad thing, but if you are motivated and ready to make the jump, your timing is still great.  Email me to discuss options and strategy anytime!

Millennials Getting THIS Right

For all the sh** we give millennials about not being serious about anything in life, data is showing that here in the Bay Area, they are taking home ownership quite serious. 2018 closing data is showing that buying a home is actually trumping nearly every other early life milestone – such as getting married, having children and even traveling in some instances.

Bank of America conducted an insight survey on millennials nationally and the concept of homeownership was the top priority or life goal for millennials surveyed, ranking out around 70%. Marriage was the next highest ranking life goal, with 50% of those surveyed saying it it was their top priority, followed by having children.

Equating homeownership with personal and financial success appears to be the driving motivation for this group. Strong guidance coming from corporate culture in encouraging workers to invest in their futures and put down roots, as well as parents assisting with down payments and/or co-signing for financing to help their kids qualify.

In the San Francisco and surrounding markets, many millennials are held up in the buying decision or process by the down payment they “think” they need, as well as myths about how much of a down payment is truly required, credit scores, and private mortgage insurance. Many younger buyers that I speak to feel that they need “perfect” credit to buy, or have misconception of what exactly affects credit. Others had no clue until we spoke that down payments can be as little as 5%, in some situations, and that getting “in” the market now and letting appreciation momentum do the rest of the work for them in building equity is actually better than waiting to save up a larger down payment. Perhaps most eye-opening for myself in these conversations with future/aspiring homebuyers are the gaps in knowledge on the debate of renting vs owning. Many still feel that renting will be either just as or even less expensive than owning in the long run. For these situations, I share “rent vs own” illustrations that show the tax benefits and long term wealth creation from owning real estate in this market.

For more information on the benefits of owning over renting, or clarying myths about the barriers to entering the market,   contact me anytime!

Finalizing An Offer For Your SF Home

There are a lot of voices out there, some online and others actually telling consumers – that you can buy a home in San Francisco or Marin without an agent helping you.  That it’s easy to do on your own, you can use the Internet to guide you, or even a realtor syndicate like an online brokerage to handle.  Some stretches of research can surely be handled on your own, especially in the initial stages of seeking out a home.  In fact, doing your own homework is recommended, such as learning about neighborhoods, schools and amenities that are in proximity, etc.  But when it’s time to be serious and actually land the home you want, there is no replacement for a good agent representing you.  Many buyers are averse to using an agent to buy home because they are hearing/reading it can be done without one.  While that may be true, unless you have a real estate or legal background, there are surely areas where the counsel and advice from an experienced agent is going to prove invaluable.  Others try to acquire property on their own because they feel that an agent offers no real value to them.  Like with anything when it comes to offering a service, there are average professionals and there are exceptional ones.  A great real estate agent will provide insight and value to you well beyond the transaction, and in most all cases (as a buyer) they cost you absolutely nothing to use.  Their compensation is paid by the selling party.

 

There are three requirements when you buy a home:

  1. An offer and acceptance
  2. Purchase agreement (in writing)
  3. Consideration (or, money being exchanged for the property)

 

These items are walked through or executed with the help of a good agent.

 

When you’re ready to pull the trigger on a home, you need to make an offer.  Your agent will help put this together and present it in the best possible way that will make you look strong as a buyer.  That is where I come in to help, which is ensuring that your approval is in place and well documented for your offer.  (Click here to get pre-approved and underwritten).  Once accepted, you and the seller will then sign a ratified agreement or contract, thus finalizing your offer and making it legally enforceable in San Francisco or whichever city in the Bay Area you purchase in.  While oral offers can be made, they are difficult to enforce and prove, and most selling agents in San Francisco will not accept them.

 

The purchase agreement in San Francisco is also referred to as a real estate contract.  This is the official agreement between you (the buyer) and the seller to conduct the real estate transaction.  This agreement spells out terms that both sides have agreed to, including:

  • Price
  • Closing Date
  • Key deadlines in the contract period for appraisal, offer expiration and closing
  • Deposit (or Earnest Money)
  • Details about who pays for what, adjusting utilities, property taxes and other fees.

 

Lastly, in San Francisco, is the “consideration.”  This refers to the actual item of value that each party brings to the transaction.  For the seller, this means the real property or house/condo itself.  For the buyer, it means the purchase price being paid.  This could come in the form of cash, proceeds of the loan, or even other real property.

 

Again, in the Bay Area (which includes San Francisco of course, a well as the East Bay, Marin, South Bay) the use of a good and reliable realtor will prove to be a strong resource for you in in guiding you through the offer process and ensuring that your interests are protected during the course of the transaction.  For help on connecting with an exceptional agent or to get pre-approved, please email me here.

 

Stock Market Jitters & How it Impacts SF Real Estate

The sky is falling!  Well, maybe not quite, but there has definitely been some buzz about the roller coaster this week that is the stock market.  The Dow fell more than 1800 points over two sessions (Friday and Monday).  The 4.6% tanking on Monday, alone, was the biggest since 2011’s Euro debt crisis and is rippling through all of the International markets at this point.  More importantly for you (as a consumer), was the impact to mortgage rates, which shot up to near 3 year highs and could very well continue the trajectory. As for the impact to the San Francisco area housing market?  Tough to say in a singular response, but first, we should review what exactly is causing the sell off in stocks.
First reason is that the stock market is likely just doing what is has been long expected to do – pull back or correct itself.  Stocks have been rising in a straight line UP since November 2016, which can often be dangerous.  The pace and intensity at which the market has been driving had many analysts predicting that the market was in line for 5-10% pullback.  Like the old saying, “what goes up must come down,” but that may not be the worst thing in the economy.  Cheaper stocks means they are more affordable and attractive to investors, more so now because companies are in healthy shape at this time, by and large.
Second reason is that there is wide concern that the Fed will raise rates more.  Stocks have been spiking since the election because the economy is in overall strong health.  Unemployment is at historic lows and hiring is opening up.  This leaves companies having to pay workers more so they can retain them, but also attract new ones.  Ultimately that causes companies to raise prices in some shape or form to afford the swell in payroll and that is what is defined as INFLATION.  To combat inflation, the central bank (or FED) will raise rates, which leads to the third reason for the stock market jitters.
When the FED raises rates, the cost to borrow money increases, which means that companies pay more for their loans.  At the end of the day, this cuts into corporate profits and that can scare investors into thinking that companies are not as healthy as they had presented themselves to be.  More expensive loans also mean that homeowners and aspiring home buyers pay more for mortgages.   Mortgage rates are affected by the bond market and mortgage backed securities.  US Treasury bond yields have been so low, in large part, because the central bank was purchasing so many of them to keep rates low during the economic recovery and through.  As well, stocks were offering a much more attractive return, despite being higher-risk investments.  So there wasn’t much appeal in the safe-haven of bonds as of late because of the tear that the stock market had been on.

Impact on Local Real Estate

Knowing these catalysts to the stock market sell off, what is the impact on real estate here at home in the Bay Area?  More expensive mortgages could certainly affect affordability and buying power, but the middle ground is that this could temper demand and cause price increases to slow. How much remains unknown and time will tell since we are so early in this new reality of slightly higher rates, but at the end of the day, purchasing a home or taking out a mortgage are personal decisions and the macro market caveats discussed here don’t always rank high for a person when deciding what to about moving their family, settling down, or upgrading their living space.   To check your affordability or pre-qualify for a mortgage in this market, email me at arjun@lendclear.com.
More to come in the following weeks of the first quarter of 2018……

Would Government Shutdown Hurt Bay Area Housing?

Would Government Shutdown Hurt Bay Area Housing?
Short answer is ABSOLUTELY.  If the DC stand off continues and forces an actual government shutdown – no matter how short term it might ultimately be for – people in real estate transactions will be affected here in San Francisco.  The reason is that workers at the IRS and Social Security Administration would be furloughed and this would start a backlog of correspondence going unanswered.  Why does that matter, you might be asking?  While mortgage lenders have to use federal guidelines for mortgages, the approvals are still ultimately up to us (as lenders).  However, a large part of the mortgage approval process involves verifying tax returns that were submitted by borrowers.  This applies on just about every single kind of mortgage.   So while some IRS workers will be exempt from furlough, those employees that would be needed for verifying tax info for borrowers would not be in that group of employees carry out what are deemed “essential” duties by the IRS.
As well, those borrowers that apply for VA or FHA loans would run into the same potential delays, as these government departments have to verify and process portions of such loans.  The backlog from the shutdown and how long it eventually lasts in the end will still cause even further delays.  A loan could also be delayed if a lender tries to verify a Social Security number.  This is often required is some information in a loan application does not end up matching the information associated with a Social Security number in a credit report or other type of database, even it is just a typo-mistake.  If the mortgage lender tries to verify the number with the Social Security Administration and there is no one there at the agency to answer the phone, the borrower is going to be stuck and the lender cannot proceed in the process.   While there may be some work-around from bank to bank, at the end of the day, this is potentially going to cause some chaos in an already high-octane market and some serious delays in transactions.
Here in San Francsico, where multiple offer situations are still common, delays in a buyers financing could lead to deals falling through.  Hopefully, for the sake of those buyers – since this is not their fault in any way – contracts can just be extended.  But there are those sellers that are in tight positions and need to move forward quickly, so back up offers will become more important and relevant.  It is very possible that someone in second position could ultimately land in the batters box for their chance to perform on a contract.   It is also likely that once word of financing delays gets out there, that borrowers who would have been throwing their hats in the ring to make offers might decide to sit out until the shutdown has sorted itself out and things have caught back up in normal time for lending transaction timelines.  The last time the government shut down, many transactions were botched and several sellers reported in San Francsico that they lost bids on their homes as a result of it.  Some 3% of Bay Area sellers stated they received a weaker-than-expected offer because of the uncertainty that buyers were faced with.  As we always say, markets – especially real estate- hate uncertainty.  More to follow, but if you want to run a pre-underwrite on yourself in advance of a potential shut down, please Email Me.

Easing Lending Standards Could Help More Bay Area Buyers

While getting a mortgage has been considered difficult (at best) these last few years, some reprieve may be coming to applicants for mortgages here in the Bay Area markets.   Two significant changes in the lending market go into effect this month and both could impact millions of homeowners trying to qualify for a loan.  While these changes also add a degree of risk to the market, they would help reduce the feeling of the marathon-like process that borrowers go through and often feel is more difficult than a Tough Mudder race.

There are roughly 220 million Americans with a credit profile and score, and nearly 7 percent of them have liens or judgements on their credit which impact their ability to obtain mortgage credit.  This segment of the market is now getting some assistance as a result of the three major credit rating agencies (Equifax, TransUnion, and Experian) deciding to drop these negative reporting marks on credit profiles if the information isn’t complete.  What this means is that the date must include a person’s full name, address, date of birth and social security number.  Most liens don’t have such or even most of the info attached to them from the individual they are reporting on, so this will undoubtedly bring more people back into the market that had been previously denied credit or just assumed they were never going to be credit worthy.
Credit reports, however, can have mistakes on them that end up sidelining consumers from qualifying for loans. Roughly 20% of consumers have at least one mistake on one of their three credit reports, according to a Federal Trade Commission study. The concern is that those who do have legitimate liens and judgments against them will get credit that is undeserved, and this is what those citing the risk factors to the market will claim is wrong with this move by the credit agencies.
Along the lines of credit, the second major shift that could positively impact the market is that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have decided to allow borrowers to have higher levels of debt and sill be allowed to qualify for a home loan.  Both government sponsored enterprises are raising their debt-tin-income ratio limits to 50% of pretax income.  Previously, this threshold was at 45%.  The move is designed to help borrowers that carry high levels of student debt.  The other side of this is that consumers are potentially taking on more debt, which ultimately increases the likelihood of default.
At the end of the day, I feel that the argument for the move is best substantiated by the fact that risk in the market is unbelievably low and default rates are back to historical non-factor levels.  During the last housing run-up, anyone was able to receive credit for a mortgage loan.  Literally, anyone.  But corrections to the underwriting environment have corrected defaults, so much so to the point that younger borrowers with high levels of student loan dict have been left to either wait out the market or try to take on a co-sighner in order to finally own a home.  So while there is more risk in expanding the market pool and invite more in, the changes effectively are coming at a time when lenders and investors are fighting over an ever shrinking pie of a market of borrowers.  More to follow on this as some data on applications and ultimate approvals will come in the 4th quarter of this year.
For more info or to learn if you can benefit from these market changes, feel free to Email Me

Big Market Week for Bay Area Mortgage Shoppers

Those in the Bay Area looking to buy or refinance their current mortgage should look no further than the present for signs; the present WEEK, that is.  Some consequential reports and news are due out this week on the economy and the future of interest rates that would have a big potential impact on those shopping for a mortgage in this SF/Bay Area market.

The “Fed,” or the Federal Open Market Committee as they are referred to formally, is adjourning this Wednesday for its 2-day meeting.  Experts say there is less than a 5% change of a rate hike, but people are more interested in what is said at the conclusion of the meeting, as investors look towards June to see what the chances of a hike are at that time.  It is widely expected there will be a hike at that meeting, and they will also provide their outlook for the rest of the year with respect to hikes.  In March, the Fed said they could see two or three rate hikes in 2017.  This means that the rate would double in the span of 6 months, which is the same number of hikes in 6 months that there have been in the last 11 years combined.

As for the impact on mortgage rates here in the Bay?  Home loan rates have been down nearly 30 basis points since the election “pop” that rates spike to multi-year highs.  A correction has definitely occurred since that time, and the mortgage rate market appears to have risen too far, too fast.  At the present time, its fair to say we are seeing the lowest rates of 2017, and rates are resting at this place for the time being.  The Federal Reserve is in a tough spot, where it is trying to protect the economy from too much growth all at once.  It is there to seek balance between growth and inflation.  Rates rising too quickly can shake up the economy by causing job losses and put companies into freeze-mode.  But it it doesn’t raise rates at an appropriate rate, it can lead to high inflation in the economy.  So, as you can see here, its a tough spot to be in.

Mortgage hunters here at home are going to be watching the results of the meeting, as well as the upcoming jobs report on Friday, as well as additional commentary from Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen.  We will be watching closely, ourselves here, to update you on the impact for mortgages and their subsequent rates.  Stay tuned……

Email Me anytime for a mortgage quote or to discuss programs.

5 Benefits to Owning a Home in San Francisco

Posted by Arjun Dhingra

There are obvious benefits in home ownership in the Bay Area. Not least, you get somewhere to live. But there are a number of other upsides that are slightly or considerably less apparent, and they aren’t all about money. There are seven “hidden” benefits of owning a home in San Francisco that most renters may not yet be aware of.

  1. Owning Property in The Bay Area Is Just a Good Investment

The U.S. Census Bureau has a table of historical home values on its website that starts in 1940 and ends in 2000. It uses constant year-2000 dollars for all figures to account for inflation. The Bureau indicates that housing prices increased the fastest (43 percent) during the 1970s and slowest (8.2 percent) in the 1980s. The report shows that the median home price in 1940, adjusted for inflation, was $30,600. The same figure in 2000 was $119,600. While some will say that investing in stocks has a higher payoff, there are other considerations in the way of risk. Owning real estate in one of the world’s most sought after city, not to mention one of the most stable job markets is sure to serve you well over the long run. More recently, CoreLogic’s home price index showed a nationwide year-over-year change of +6.0 percent in August 2016. Not too shabby, considering the Bay Area was at or above this differential for most of this year.

  1. Ownership Gets Easier Over Time

In the Bay Area, buying a house often involves financial strain. You have to come up with a down payment and cope with unexpected homeownership costs. You may feel the pinch for a few years. But gradually things get easier for two reasons. First, mortgage payments won’t increase with a fixed mortgage. And as you establish your career, those payments become more affordable. Meanwhile, tenants get rent raises to go with their higher salaries. Also, paying your mortgage over time means you’re building equity each month. An asset you can sell or borrow against in the future.

  1. Tax Breaks in these crazy times!

Mortgage interest and certain closing costs are generally tax deductible (check with your CPA or tax preparer about your individual situation). You get most of this relief during those early years when you’re paying the bulk of your mortgage interest. Mortgage insurance and property taxes may also be deductible. That applies to your federal taxes, and many states allow similar deductions. Even better, when you sell your property, you can take up to $250,000 in profit, tax-free ($500,000 for couples filing jointly).

  1. Improve Your Credit Score

Buying a house can improve your credit score, especially if you don’t have a long credit history or many installment accounts. That’s because your mortgage –provided it’s managed well — helps drive up your credit score in three ways:

* Consistent payments show you’re a responsible borrower

* Credit bureaus often give more weight to a mortgage payment history than to revolving accounts like credit cards

* Few landlords report rental payments, so your mortgage gives you an extra account on your credit report

  1. Forced Savings: Wealth Accumulation

You can view the equity you build in your Bay Area home as you make payments every month as a type of saving. Unlike renters, you’ve no choice but to increase your net worth. The Stanford University Joint Center for Housing Studies confirms this. In fact, on of their studies showed that homeowners acquire 46 times as much net wealth as renters. For every $1,000 accumulated by non-homeowners, those who own a home acquire $46,000. Almost 60 percent of the wealth of Bay Area homeowners is in the form of home equity. Of course, renters are free to save too. However, for most folks who do not have portfolios of stocks, mutual funds and other investments, homeownership is the most reliable way to accumulate wealth.

To find out how you can qualify for home ownership, email me.

This Crazy Election And Our Crazier San Francisco Housing Market

Posted by Arjun Dhingra

So much attention has been on the debates and the campaigns of two of the most polarizing candidates to run for President.  But what will be the impact on housing if either is elected?   Republicans and Democrats have approved party platforms with fundamentally different views on the role of government in housing and housing finance. As the presidential election shifts into high gear, I’ve looked at what both parties and the presidential candidates have to say about the future role of government in housing finance.

The Republican platrump-clintontform makes the case for cutting regulations and the government’s role in housing. The document sharply criticizes the sweeping financial reforms under Dodd-Frank, calling the 2010 law the Democrats “legislative Godzilla” that is “crushing small and community banks and other lenders.” It also singles out the consumer watchdog agency created by Dodd-Frank, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB). According to the Republican platform, the CFPB is “a rogue agency” that if “not abolished, it should be subjected to congressional appropriation.”

Republicans also directly blame the government-sponsored enterprises Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for sparking the 2008 housing crisis. “The utility of both agencies should be reconsidered as a Republican administration clears away the jumble of subsidies and controls that complicate and distort home-buying,” the document says. Republicans also say the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) should not be involved in guaranteeing loans for high-income earners. Policies should be put in place to encourage market-based solutions that promote sustainable homeownership and reduce the government’s footprint on lending.

Republicans want to end the lending quotas placed on Fannie and Freddie meant to encourage affordable housing. Republicans also want to put a stop to the use of disparate-impact theory in anti-discrimination cases, which basically has allowed the government to sue companies, including several lenders, if it can be statistically proven that the companies have underserved minorities.

Click here to apply now.

As for the candidate himself, Trump has said little about housing or housing finance while on the campaign trail. His seven-part strategy “to Make America Great Again” doesn’t address housing policy. Trump has been critical of Dodd-Frank. A Trump administration would support actions “close to dismantling Dodd-Frank,” he told Reuters in May. During that interview, however, he declined to provide specifics. Trump previously has criticized Obama-era regulations that he says ceded control of the banks to federal regulators and limited access to credit. His revisions to the tax code would keep the deduction on mortgage-debt interest intact.

Democrats, on the opposite end, make the case for tough regulations on banks and lenders, and aggressive government intervention in the housing market, particularly to expand opportunities for minorities and lower-income residents. “Disparities in wealth cannot be solved by the free market alone, but instead, the federal government must play a role in eliminating systematic barriers to wealth accumulation for different racial groups and improving opportunities for people from all racial and ethnic backgrounds to build wealth,” the platform says. Democrats also say they will vigorously defend, and build on, Dodd-Frank to “tackle dangerous risks in big banks and elsewhere in the financial system. Democrats will not hesitate to use and expand existing authorities as well as empower regulators to downsize or break apart financial institutions when necessary to protect the public and safeguard financial stability, including new authorities to go after risky shadow-banking activities.”

Democrats will also fight Republican attempts to weaken the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Democrats oppose the Republican calls to change the CFPB’s structure from a single director to a commission, and oppose eliminating the Bureau’s independent source of funding by making the agency’s budget subject to Congressional approval. Democrats also say the federal government should intervene to stop predatory lending and protect minorities against discrimination.

Hillary Clinton rolled out a housing plan in February while still battling Sen. Bernie Sanders for the nomination. One priority is to address the low homeownership rates among black and Hispanic families. Clinton said she would invest $25 billion to promote sustainable homeownership. She would continue the Obama Administration’s federal initiatives, such as the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, which provides grants for communities to move foreclosed properties back on the market.

Her plan also calls for providing up to a $10,000 down payment match for first-time homebuyers who earn less than an area’s median income. As for supporting affordable-rental units, Clinton said she will defend the current level of Low Income Housing Tax Credits, which has been the primary tool for propelling development of affordable-apartment units. She said she will provide additional credits in communities where the demand for these credits far exceeds the supply. As for the financial industry, Clinton said she will fight a rollback of Dodd-Frank and favors expanding its reach. She also supports policies that expand access to credit, particularly in poorer neighborhood.

Of course, congressional action and process is sure to add to or amend some of these platforms, so we shall see what the future holds.  For now, let’s just see who wins this crazy race and what it will ultimately mean for our crazier SF housing market.

For more information on getting pre-approved or learning about loan programs, email me.