Summer is traditionally the right time to list a home for sale, but this summer the real estate market is on fire.

To help our readers better understand the market right now, The Press sat down with some managers from Loan Depot to discuss loans, interest rates, and strategies to get into contract in a sellers’ market.

Loan Depot offers customizable mortgages for a variety of needs and circumstances. They are currently looking for space in Brentwood to open a new office.

“We are looking for a Brentwood location because we are expanding so quickly and we are very much new builder-centric and that’s where a lot of the building is going on,” said Branch Manager Darrin Matthews. “There is a lot of growth in the East Bay, and we want to be a part of it.”

Matthews referred to the large amount of new construction currently available in East County. He said one of the perks of buying from a builder is a set price.

“That’s why we do so well and have concentrated for years on new construction, giving people the option to go and pick out a house and not worry about getting overbid,” he said.

Getting outbid is a real concern for many homebuyers right now. With an aggressive market and rising home prices, sellers are seeing 15-to-25 bids on a home, offering tens of thousands over asking. To make themselves more attractive, sales manager Jaime Joyner suggested buyers go into an offer with their loan underwritten.

“Our office is big on getting a loan underwritten without a property attached to it,” said Joyner. “It allows us to close the property much quicker and assures the seller they are selling the house to a borrower where they don’t have to wait another 21 days to find out if they qualify. Those loans get priority.”

Many people are looking to purchase a new home because of the historically low interest rates available this year. Joyner noted low rates are excellent, but they aren’t the only thing to take into consideration when securing a loan.

“I would say don’t wait, but do your budget first,” she said. “People get so interest rate driven, that they wait and they play the market, but find out what your budget is first. Know what you are comfortable with paying, what you can pay and still have a comfortable lifestyle and go with a mortgage that will suit your needs. Lenders can customize your mortgage plans now, so it’s really important not to just focus so much on rate. Focus on your payment.”

Matthews speculated one of the reasons for the booming market is the number of people who changed the way they worked during the COVID-19 pandemic. While offices across the country were closed, many people were able to successfully continue their work from home, eliminating the need to live near the office.

“We had a big influx of people that have realized they don’t have to go to an office every day,” said Matthews. “They realized they don’t have to spend $5,000 a month for a studio apartment in San Francisco and are moving out of the city and into the suburbs and working from home.”

Joyner agreed, adding if you can’t find the perfect home, Loan Depot offers loans to fund a remodel to make your home just right.

“The resale industry is so hard right now,” said Joyner. “Loan Depot can help you make your home perfect. If you can’t find that perfect home, we can help finance the renovation costs to help make your home perfect.”

Sales Manager Brittnay Sills offered buyers a note of encouragement.

“The market is on fire,” said Sills. “But I would say there is a positive outlook. There are a lot of opportunities for people right now. I would tell people to hang in there.”

For more information, call Loan Depot’s Concord branch at 925-326-1460, Internal Loan Consultant, Maria Bruno for your lending needs at 925-457-3211, or visit https://www.loandepot.com/branches/concord-ca.

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