Homebuying Hacks & Strategies

Purchasing a home is a significant, exciting milestone that can help you build generational wealth. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or looking to upgrade, achieving this dream is possible, but there are several hurdles to navigate in today’s housing market. Limited housing supply and ongoing affordability challenges are common obstacles that potential homeowners must overcome. In this blog, we’ll explore various challenges that homebuyers are facing in today’s market and provide housing hacks and financing strategies to help you overcome these common challenges.

1. Buy Before You Sell

One of the biggest dilemmas for homeowners looking to upgrade is buying a new home before selling their current one. Our “Buy Before You Sell” program addresses this by allowing you to make a non-contingent offer on a new home before selling your existing property.

How It Works:

  • You receive financial backing to purchase your new home without needing to sell your current one first.
  • This enables you to make a stronger, non-contingent offer, which is often more attractive to sellers.


  • Avoid the stress of timing two transactions perfectly.
  • Have the comfort of moving into your new home before dealing with the sale of your old one.

2. Down Payment Assistance

Saving for a down payment can be a daunting task, especially if you have limited savings. Or perhaps you want to keep some of your savings to furnish your home after closing. Fortunately, our Homeseed 100 Program is available to help with down payments and reducing your cash-to-close, even if you’re not a first-time homebuyer. We also offer down payment assistance through the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, where there are additional programs with income restrictions that could be potentially better suited for underserved and low-income communities.

Homeseed 100 Program Highlights:

  • No income restrictions.
  • Minimum credit score of 620.
  • Repayable and non-repayable assistance
  • Up to 5% assistance for the down payment and closing costs.
  • Manufactured homes allowed.
  • 2-1 interest rate buydowns available.

3. Stronger Offers with a Cash Committed Credit Approval

Homeseed’s goal is to reduce the stress of the mortgage process by helping our clients prepare early and make our clients’ offers stand out in a competitive market. To do so, we’ve developed our Cash Committed Credit Approval™ program to help achieve this. We’ll provide you with a fully underwritten credit approval for financing before you find your home so you can shop with confidence. Additionally, sellers will find your offer that much more attractive knowing that you’ll close on time or our Cash Committed Credit Approval™ program will issue a $10,000 credit to them. Please see full terms and conditions at bit.ly/homeseedccc.

How It Works:

  • Complete a loan application and request to enroll in our Cash Committed Credit Approval program prior to making an offer.
  • Respond to all of our requests on time as outlined in our terms and conditions.
  • We will guarantee the transaction closes on time or we will issue $10,000 to the seller.

4. Multi-Family Property Purchase

Purchasing a multi-family property offers numerous benefits, making it an attractive investment option. One of the key advantages is that potential rental income from the other units can be used when qualifying for the mortgage. For individuals looking to get into real estate investing, purchasing a multi-family property provides an opportunity to build wealth and financial stability as you live in one unit and rent out the others to offset living expenses.

Imagine Jane, an aspiring real estate investor, decides to purchase a duplex for $800,000. She secures a mortgage with a 20% down payment of $160,000, leaving her with a loan of $640,000 at a 6% interest rate. Sarah plans to live in one unit while renting out the other.

The rental market in her area is strong, and she finds a tenant who agrees to rent the second unit for $2,000 per month. The monthly mortgage payment for her loan, including principal and interest, is approximately $3,837. Adding property taxes and insurance, her total monthly housing cost comes to about $4,500.

With the rental income of $2,000 per month, Sarah’s out-of-pocket expense for housing is reduced to $2,500 per month. This makes homeownership more affordable for her. Additionally, Sarah benefits from potential property appreciation and tax advantages such as deductions for mortgage interest, property taxes, and depreciation on the rental unit. By renting out the second unit, Sarah not only reduces her living costs but also builds equity in the property, paving the way for future investment opportunities and financial growth.

5. Funds for Investing: HELOCs

A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) offers significant benefits, particularly if you are looking for a quick way to tap into your home’s equity. It provides flexible access to funds by leveraging the equity built up in your current home, allowing for the financing of a new home purchase or another investment. This flexibility can ease the stress of timing for your particular goals, offering funds that cover down payments, renovations, and much more.

HELOC Highlights:

  • A flexible credit line secured by your home’s equity and allows for periodic access to funds when needed.
  • Adjustable interest rates, providing flexibility but requiring careful financial planning.

6. Utilizing a Rent-Back Agreement When Selling

A Rent-Back agreement allows the seller to remain in the home for a specified period, paying rent to the new homeowner. It provides the seller with additional time to secure a new residence and complete their move, potentially saving time and money as they would not need to move into new temporary housing before purchasing a new home.

Imagine John just closed the sale of their home in Seattle but needs an additional 30 days to finalize the purchase of a new property. He enters into a rent-back agreement with the buyer, agreeing to pay a monthly rent equivalent to the new homeowner’s mortgage payment, property taxes, and insurance costs. The terms are clearly outlined in a written agreement, including a refundable deposit to cover any potential damages. The buyer, now the official homeowner and temporary landlord, benefits from an additional rental income that can help offset moving and closing costs. Meanwhile, the seller enjoys the stability of remaining in their home while they transition to their new one, avoiding the inconvenience and expense of temporary housing.

Get In Touch With Your Homeseed Loan Advisor

Your Homeseed Loan Advisor is here to offer innovative solutions to common homebuying obstacles, making your path to homeownership more accessible and manageable. By leveraging strategies such as Buy Before You Sell, down payment assistance, cash committed credit approvals, HELOCs, and other creative financing ideas, you can navigate the challenges of today’s real estate market with confidence. Explore these options to take control of your homebuying journey and turn your homeownership dreams into reality.

Mortgage Market Update (6/3/24)

Welcome to Homeseed’s Mortgage Market Update, where we dive into the latest trends, insights, and changes shaping the dynamic landscape of the housing and lending industries.

Mortgage Rate Trends & Forecasts

  • Mortgage rates moved higher in the early half of last week, but have since moved back down.
  • April’s Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) report was released last Friday, which showed inflation slightly below expectations and helped rates move lower.
  • Today’s weaker manufacturing data further supported the decrease in rates and we essentially back to where we were for rates about a week ago.

Personal Consumptions Expenditure

  • The Fed’s favored inflation measure, Core PCE, rose 0.2% from March to April, coming in slightly below estimates.
  • On an annual basis, Core PCE remained at 2.8% for the 12 months ending in April.
  • While this is well below 2022’s 5.6% peak, progress toward the Fed’s 2% inflation target remains stalled.

All-Time High for Home Values

  • Two of the most notable home price indices, Case-Shiller and FHFA, show that home values continue to rise on a year-over-year basis in their most recent reports for the end of March 2024.
  • Case-Shiller reports that home prices rose 6.5% year-over-year while FHFA reported a year-over-year gain of 6.6%.
  • Strong demand and tight supply will continue to push home values higher and help homeowners build wealth through equity.
  1. ERASING LAST WEEK’S SPIKE – Lower inflation and weaker manufacturing data helped rates return back to where they were about a week ago.
  2. MOST HOMES FOR SALE SINCE JULY 2020 – Recent data shows that active inventory and new listings are up significantly year-over-year.
  3. TURNING CAUTIOUS ON SPENDING – Consumers and businesses are slowing down on the rate of purchases made according to banking data.
  4. CFPB REVIEWING JUNK FEES – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) is assessing how “junk fees” directly impact the health of consumers.

Leverage Your Money and Build Wealth Through Real Estate

Investing in real estate has long been considered a smart move for building wealth. Two key reasons for this are the steady home appreciation and the ability to leverage your initial investment. In this blog post, we’ll explore these concepts in detail, showing why real estate remains one of the top ways to build wealth.

Understanding Home Appreciation

Home appreciation refers to the increase in a property’s value over time. Historically, real estate has shown a steady trend of appreciation, making it a reliable long-term investment. Looking at data from the US Census Bureau, homes have appreciated at about 5% annually in the US for the last 40 years.

In our current housing market, demand from homebuyers surpasses the supply in inventory, which have been supportive of home prices and are this trend is expected to keep home values appreciating in the future. At the end of Q1 2024, home prices appreciated by 6.6% year-over-year in the US with the breakdown by state you can see in the chart below.

Lastly, a recent Home Price Expectation Survey by Fannie Mae, which polled over 100 housing experts across the industry, projects an expected increase in home values by 20.8% from Q1 2024 to Q4 2028. This means a home purchased for $750,000 at the beginning of 2024 is expected to rise in value to $906,000 by the end of 2028.

The Power of Leverage in Real Estate Investment

When you purchase a home, you typically provide a down payment and pay closing costs, while the rest of the purchase price is financed through a mortgage. This means you control an asset’s full value with your initial payment, which is considered a form of leverage. As the property appreciates, the return on your investment is calculated based on the property’s entire value and its market exposure, not just your down payment. If we compare this scenario to investing in the stock market, we can see the power of leverage even though the S&P 500 has provided a higher average annual rate of return at about 10%. This leverage magnifies the potential for wealth accumulation through real estate.


  • Purchase price: $750,000
  • Down payment: 5% ($37,500)
  • Closing costs: $7,500
  • Total Initial Investment: $45,000

With this initial investment of $45,000, you gain control of a $750,000 asset.

Real Estate Gain:

  • Total Initial Investment: $45,000 (down payment and closing costs)
  • Value of Home When Purchased: $750,000
  • Average Annual Rate of Appreciation: 5% (Home Values Last 40 Years)
  • After 5 years, the Home Value Increases to: $957,211
  • 5-year Gain in Value: $207,211
  • Return on Investment (ROI): 460%

Stock Market Gain:

  • Total Initial Investment: $45,000
  • Value of Stock When Purchased: $45,000
  • Average Annual Rate of Return: 10% (S&P 500 Last 30 Years)
  • After 5 Years, the Stock Value Increases to : $72,473
  • 5-year Gain in Value: $27,473
  • Return on Investment (ROI): 61%

Homeseed Can Help You Get Started

Discover the possibility of owning a home and investing in real estate with some of our exclusive loan programs that require little to no down payment. This means you can potentially start building equity and wealth with very little upfront investment. Our commitment is to make homeownership accessible and financially advantageous for you. Contact us today to discuss your goals, explore available opportunities, and make informed decisions about your real estate investment.

Mortgage Market Update (5/20/24)

Welcome to Homeseed’s Mortgage Market Update, where we dive into the latest trends, insights, and changes shaping the dynamic landscape of the housing and lending industries.

Mortgage Rate Trends & Forecasts

  • Mortgage rates have been on a consistent downward trend the last two weeks due to weakening economic data from reports such as the BLS Jobs Report, CPI, and Retail Sales.
  • With the weaker data, the financial markets are now expecting two rate cuts from the Fed this year.
  • The next market moving data will likely be the Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE) report at the end of the month, which is the Fed’s favorite measure of inflation.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

  • The Consumer Price Index continues to be the biggest source of momentum for mortgage rates as it measures inflation.
  • The April report released today showed overall inflation rose 0.3% for the month versus the expected 0.4%, while year-over-year inflation decreased from 3.4% to 3.5%.
  • Much of the core rate, which excludes food and energy, is coming from motor vehicle insurance (+22.6% YoY) and shelter (+5.7% YoY).

New Home Construction

  • Housing starts rebounded in April, rising 5.7% from March.
  • Building permits, which represent future construction, declined.
  • Completions did rise in April, but the numbers were a bit softer than expected and could limit much-needed supply down the road.
  1. RATES ON A DOWNWARD TREND – Mortgage rates have consistently moved lower the last two weeks after multiple reports showing weakness in the economy.
  2. INFLATION EASES IN APRIL – Today’s CPI report showed inflation in line with expectations and the lowest 12-month core reading since April 2021.
  3. UNLOCKING MORE HOME EQUITY – Freddie Mac, one of the US’s government-sponsored enterprises, is proposing that it be allowed begin purchasing home equity loans which would help unlock equity for homeowners.
  4. INVESTMENT FROM HUD – The US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced it has secured approval for $1.1 billion in funding to help with tribal housing and community development.

Temporary Vs. Permanent Buydowns

In today’s real estate market, the landscape may seem daunting to would-be homebuyers. Elevated interest rates, coupled with negative media speculation, have cast a shadow of doubt over the feasibility of homeownership. However, amidst these challenges lies a strategy that could help you become a homeowner: interest rate buydowns. We’ll explain how this strategic tool can empower you achieve homeownership and begin building wealth through real estate.

Understanding Interest Rate Buydowns

Interest rate buydowns offer a strategic approach to securing a lower interest rate, thereby reducing monthly payments and long-term borrowing costs. At Homeseed, we provide both temporary and permanent buydown options tailored to meet your unique financial goals and circumstances. Clients can also combine the benefits of both temporary and permanent buydowns to lower their monthly payment even more.

Temporary Buydowns: A Gradual Path to Affordability

Temporary buydowns are financing options that allow borrowers to lower their initial mortgage interest rates, which gradually increase over a specified period. The four most common types of temporary buydowns offered by Homeseed are the 1-0 buydown, 1-1 buydown, 2-1 buydown, and 3-2-1 buydown. This gradual approach allows you to ease into homeownership, mitigating financial strain and providing breathing room to adjust to your new responsibilities. Additionally, any unused financing credit put towards the temporary buydown will be applied to your principal loan balance if you refinance before the buydown period is over.

Permanent Buydowns: Securing Long-Term Savings

For those seeking lasting benefits, permanent buydowns offer a compelling solution. By purchasing discount points upfront, you can permanently lower your interest rate for the entire loan term. While this requires an initial investment upfront with no possibility of a refund when refinancing, the long-term savings and financial flexibility it provides can be significant, especially for buyers needing a lower monthly payment in order to qualify for the loan. Payment towards a permanent buydown can also potentially help lower your taxable income when filing taxes.

A Comparison Between Temporary and Permanent Buydowns

Leveraging Seller Concessions

In some situations with today’s market, sellers can be motivated to offer seller concessions toward closing costs, including fees associated with buydowns, to further enhance the attractiveness of purchasing their home. By leveraging these concessions, buyers can minimize their out of pocket expenses and expedite their path to homeownership.


Despite the noise surrounding the real estate market, interest rate buydowns stand as a highly useful strategy for aspiring homeowners. Whether opting for a temporary or permanent solution, the benefits are clear: increased affordability, financial flexibility, and long-term savings. With the support of a Homeseed Loan Advisor, you can confidently navigate the complexities of the current real estate landscape and embark on the journey to homeownership with optimism and assurance.

Homeseed’s 2024 Mortgage & Real Estate Spring Update

Welcome to Homeseed’s 2024 Spring Market Update! We are in the thick of the spring market and  there have been many promising shifts in the real estate and mortgage markets recently. Whether you’re a seasoned homeowner or a hopeful buyer, the current market presents ample opportunities worth exploring. Let’s delve into the latest trends shaping the spring market and what they mean for you.

Mortgage Rate Outlook

The trajectory of mortgage rates has been a focal point for many, and recent developments shed light on what lies ahead. Since the outset of the year, rates have shown an upward trend, influenced by factors such as inflation dynamics and the strength of the labor market. While initial projections hinted at multiple rate cuts by the Fed in 2024, the latest forecasts suggest a more conservative approach, with one potential cut on the horizon. Fed Chair Jerome Powell’s reaffirmation of a probable cut underscores the Fed’s commitment to stabilizing inflation. However, the timing of this adjustment hinges on forthcoming economic indicators.

Inventory Is Increasing

Recent data on inventory signals a welcomed uptick in available homes especially when compared this time a year ago. This surge in inventory translates into a plethora of choices for both homeowners seeking upgrades and prospective buyers eyeing entry-level properties. For first-time buyers particularly, increased options alleviate some of the affordability concerns exacerbated by fluctuating mortgage rates. Simultaneously, current homeowners looking to sell find themselves in a favorable position, with heightened demand and an array of properties to explore.

Home Values Are Expected to Continue Appreciating

The continued increase in the value of homes underscores the allure of owning a home as an investment. Unlike renting, homeownership offers the dual benefits of shelter and equity accumulation. As the housing market continues its upward trajectory, homeowners stand to bolster their financial portfolios through accrued equity. Projections from the Home Price Expectations Survey paint a promising picture of sustained growth in home values over the coming years. This steady appreciation not only solidifies homeowners’ positions but also presents a compelling case for prospective buyers weighing their options. By capitalizing on the potential for long-term wealth accumulation, homeowners can leverage their equity to unlock new avenues of financial stability.

Opportunities in the Spring Market

The spring market offers a wealth of opportunities for both homeowners and homebuyers alike. With mortgage rates poised for potential adjustments later this year, it is estimated that 5 million buyers will enter the market for every 1% drop in mortgage rates. Coupled with the expanding inventory landscape, now is the time to stay informed and consider strategic financial decisions. Whether you’re looking to upgrade your current home or embark on the journey of homeownership, reach out today and lets discuss the opportunities for you this spring.

Mortgage Market Update (5/6/24)

Welcome to Homeseed’s Mortgage Market Update, where we dive into the latest trends, insights, and changes shaping the dynamic landscape of the housing and lending industries.

Mortgage Rate Trends & Forecasts

  • After surging higher in early April, mortgage rates have moved lower in the last week.
  • Mortgage rates trended lower week-over-week after the Fed’s announcement of tapering their balance sheet reduction and a weaker BLS Jobs Report.
  • The financial markets now expect just one rate cut this year due to the persistence of elevated inflation.

The Fed Meeting

  • The Fed wrapped up its third of eight annual meetings yesterday that followed with its usual press conference.
  • The financial markets tune in to the press conference where Fed Chair, Jerome Powell, acknowledged that elevated inflation meant a delay for the Fed’s next move with rates.
  • The good news was Powell reiterated that the next move is more likely to be a cut rather than a hike as the Fed believes they are still on track to return inflation back to their 2% target.

BLS Jobs Report

  • April’s job growth missed estimates, as there were 175K new jobs created versus the 243K that were expected.
  • Revisions to the data for February and March also shaved 22K jobs from those months combined while the unemployment rate rose to 3.9%. 
  • Overall, the data suggests softening in the labor sector, which could pressure the Fed to cut rates if this trend continues. 
  1. RATES MOVE LOWER AFTER FED MEETING – Positive momentum following the Fed meeting continue for a second day after Fed acknowledges next move will likely be a rate cut.
  2. ACTIVE INVENTORY IS UP – Report shows that active inventory and new listings are up on both a year-over-year and week-over-week basis.
  3. FED MEETING HIGHLIGHTS – The Fed keeps rates unchanged as it notes lack of further progress on inflation, but did acknowledge its next move would likely be a cut later in the year.
  4. FHFA’S EQUITABLE HOUSING PLANS – FHFA announced their finalized plans to address barriers to sustainable housing opportunities for first-time and low-and-moderate income buyers.

+BuyerBenefit Strategic Financing Partnership Program

With the recent changes in the real estate world, we believe it is more important than ever for lenders and agents to work closer together to best serve buyers and sellers. Your ability to provide value-added services to your clients not only sets you apart but also strengthens your position in the market. That’s why we have enhanced our +BuyerBenefit program with the goal of providing you with more resources for helping clients. Below are some highlights of how our +BuyerBenefit will help you:

Empower Your Listings with Strategic Financing

Our +BuyerBenefit Strategic Financing Partnership Program empowers you to market special financing incentives on your listings using both physical and digital materials. Imagine being able to offer additional value to your clients through personalized mortgage rates and financing strategies tailored to their needs.

Capture Leads and Close Deals Faster

With our program, you can capture leads effortlessly using personalized co-branded marketing tools. Plus, our lead management systems ensure that you qualify leads efficiently with your preferred lending team, paving the way for quicker closings and more transactions.

Unveil Exclusive Savings for Your Clients

One of the standout features of +BuyerBenefit is the opportunity to offer your clients exclusive savings. Eligible clients can enjoy 0.5% savings on the loan amount towards interest rate pricing, further sweetening the deal and solidifying their satisfaction. Some restrictions apply, see full terms and conditions at homeseedloans.com/buyer-benefit.

Access Cutting-Edge Digital Tools

We provide a suite of digital tools, including custom live-rates flyers for your listings and a co-branded mobile mortgage app. These tools enable prospective buyers to run personalized scenarios and explore rate buydown strategies, fostering meaningful conversations and driving conversions.

Elevate Your Marketing Efforts

From exterior marketing materials like sign riders and yard signs to interior resources like our +BuyerBenefit Book and raffle flyers, we equip you with everything you need to attract more buyers and convert leads effectively.

Seamlessly Collaborate with Your Preferred Lending Team

Our program isn’t just about providing resources; it’s about fostering strong partnerships. That’s why we offer detailed partner reports to keep you informed about the status of every active lead and loan. Additionally, our “Meet Your Preferred Lending Team” flyer simplifies the introduction process, ensuring smooth collaboration every step of the way.

Reach out today to learn more about +BuyerBenefit!

Mortgage Market Update (4/22/24)

Welcome to Homeseed’s Mortgage Market Update, where we dive into the latest trends, insights, and changes shaping the dynamic landscape of the housing and lending industries.

Mortgage Rate Trends & Forecasts

  • Mortgage rates are flat but volatile week-over-week after surging much higher the week prior.
  • The pressure for higher rates was caused by a strong jobs report, more troubling inflation data, and a higher consumer spending.
  • The odds for the first rate cut by the Fed’s July meeting has now fallen below 50%.

Consumer Price Index (CPI)

  • The monthly report showed inflation was much hotter than expected in March, continuing a trend we’ve seen in recent months.
  • Rising energy, automobile insurance, and shelter costs were the main contributors to the increase in inflation.
  • Annual inflation still remains below the peaks in 2022, but stubbornly high inflation readings will likely delay the Fed’s timing for rate cuts this year.

Home Builder Sentiment

  • The most recent Home Builder Sentiment report by NAHB showed that sentiment among builders remains in positive territory.
  • Internal components of the report show that buyer traffic and current sales expectations ticked higher.
  • Forward looking sales expectations have softened a bit due to higher rates as some buyers remain on the fence.
  1. MORTGAGE RATES FLAT – Rates are relatively unchanged week-over-week but the daily changes have been volatile.
  2. RATE CUTS DELAYED – The Fed Funds Rate could stay higher for longer if inflation persists.
  3. WHAT HOMEBUYERS WANT – A recent study shows that a vast majority of homebuyers are looking for a home with at least one home office.
  4. HOME PRICES KEEP CLIMBING – Higher rates are keeping a lid on housing supply and putting pressure on home price appreciation.

Rent Costs Are Increasing

In recent years, the rental market has seen a significant trend: rent prices are steadily climbing year after year. According to a recent CoreLogic Index for US Single-Family Rent, February 2024 marked the highest annual increase in the last 10 months, with US single-family rents surging by 3.4% year-over-year. Many large cities, in particular, have witnessed spikes of over 5%, putting a strain on renters’ budgets as they also grapple with high inflation.

As rent prices continue to soar, many individuals and families are grappling with the question of whether renting or owning a home is the better financial choice. The answer becomes increasingly clear when considering the broader economic landscape and the long-term benefits of homeownership. In fact, data from the Federal Reserve reveals that the median net worth of homeowners is a staggering 40 times greater than that of renters.

Benefits of Owning A Home

  • Owning a home provides stability and predictability in housing expenses. Unlike renting, where landlords can raise rents at their discretion, homeowners enjoy fixed monthly payments, consisting of principal and interest, that do not fluctuate over time. This stability not only offers peace of mind but also serves as a hedge against inflation, as the cost of housing remains consistent regardless of economic conditions.
  • Homeownership enables individuals to build equity over time and leverage their asset. Home prices have historically appreciated, increasing in value in 74 out of the last 82 years. Additionally, as mortgage payments are made, homeowners accumulate equity in their property, which can then be tapped into for various purposes, such as funding home improvements, financing education, or even investing in additional real estate properties. This ability to leverage one’s home as an assets opens up a world of financial opportunities and contributes to long-term wealth accumulation.

In conclusion, as rent prices continue to rise annually, the case for homeownership as a superior investment becomes increasingly compelling. Not only does homeownership offer the potential for significant wealth accumulation, but it also provides stability, predictability, and the opportunity to leverage one’s assets for further financial growth. Aspiring homeowners should consider these factors carefully when making their housing decisions, as owning a home represents not only a roof over one’s head but also a pathway to financial security and prosperity.

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