5 tips for buying a house in Seattle

Buying in Seattle can be discouraging. It’s a hot seller’s market, and buyers are buying homes quickly and aggressively. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t still tons of great homes out there! You just have to be willing to dig a little deeper and be prepared to make multiple offers—and possibly a few sacrifices. Is it a bad time to buy in Seattle then? We don’t think so.

Ready to started looking at houses and putting in offers? Here are our five tips for buying in Seattle. Continue reading “5 tips for buying a house in Seattle”

How Much House Can I Really Afford?

Knowing what you can afford is one of the first things you’ll need to figure out if you’re thinking about buying a house. The best way to find out how much house you can afford is by getting pre-approved with a mortgage lender. The lender’s loan officer will be trained to ask you the right questions to get the most accurate picture of your financial health. Continue reading “How Much House Can I Really Afford?”

How to Choose a Real Estate Agent as a Buyer

You don’t necessarily have to use a real estate agent, but if this is your first time buying a home, it’s always a great idea to get one. Your agents’ entire job is to get you a good deal on a home you’re happy with. Since they work off commission, it’s always in their best interest to make your homebuying process as easy and stress-free as possible. Continue reading “How to Choose a Real Estate Agent as a Buyer”

Realtor Highlight: Carla & Kale, Keller Williams, Use Loftium to get Buyers into the Seattle Market

Carla Clark and Kale Corey of The Results Team at KW went from skeptical to true fans after helping first-time homebuyers Mike and Kacie get in the Seattle market using Loftium’s down payment.  Now they’re working with multiple buyers who see Loftium as the leverage they need beyond a wait and save approach to home-buying. Here’s how Loftium went from being “mysterious” to actually simplify the financing process.

Loftium CEO Yifan Zhang spoke with The Results Team to get the full story.

Yifan (YZ): Your team has extensive experience in real estate. Can you share a bit more about your background and approach?

The Results Team (RT): The Results Team is made up of 7 of us at the moment. What we believe is that purchasing a home is one of the most stressful decisions you’ll make. But it doesn’t have to be. We work toward understanding what our clients need and being able to walk them through the process, and that takes away the apprehension.

Our team has represented over 1000 families, practicing real estate for over 20 years.

YZ: How did you hear about Loftium initially?

RT: We heard about it through Mike and Kacie, who said they saw [Loftium] scrolling through Instagram. So we were super skeptical!

YZ: I bet! What were some of those concerns, besides the Instagram part?

RT: With many down payment programs, everybody’s first thought is: “What’s the catch?” A lot of lenders offer down payment assistance but they raise the interest rate or just hide the cost in fees the consumer doesn’t understand. We often say, “If it seems too good to be true, I’d be nervous.”

The biggest concerns were a) How transparent will this process be, and 2) How will any lenders wrap their minds around this.

Kacie and Mike and everyone on our team involved with Loftium and Dulcie felt like you were additional team members. We were extending ourselves with the same goal of benefiting Mike and Kacie.

YZ: What alleviated these concerns for you about Loftium?

RT: The transparency concern was immediately gone – Mike was able to go in and talk with a human being, which was very helpful in alleviating fears. The other piece was solved because you already had the relationship with the lender [Umpqua Bank].

I honestly expected that we were going to have to have two lenders going through this. Two different parties with different agendas, asking different questions, different documentation. But it did not turn out to be a problem at all. Loftium and Dulcie [Patner of Umpqua] were so in sync, it actually simplified the financing process.

Everything [Dulcie] said she would do she did, and all timelines were met. A couple of instances we thought “this is where it’s going to get tricky”, and it never did.

YZ: What was that tricky moment and what was the process like working with Loftium and Umpqua?

RT: There was a term in our contract that was not a standard term. Mike and Kacie needed to be able to prove that they had the funds 10 days before closing. This was a relatively new process for Loftium but it wasn’t a problem at all. Mike made a call, [Loftium] made it happen, within a day we had funds sitting in title and escrow. It turned out to be easy.

YZ: What was your favorite part of working with Loftium?

From the consumer perspective, [real estate] is a business that people forget the end result is always the satisfaction of the client. Kacie and Mike and everyone on our team involved with Loftium and Dulcie felt like you were additional team members. We were extending ourselves with the same goal of benefiting [Mike and Kacie]. That doesn’t happen as often as it should.

We’d all like to believe that if we just practice discipline and save, we’ll make a better investment.  The truth is over time it is almost impossible for an average person to save at a level that puts them ahead of the increasing market.

YZ: Why do you think your clients wanted to use Loftium, and how are they feeling now?

RT: For Mike and Kacie, trying to maximize their buying potentials given interest rates and in geographic area and trying to make numbers work, they either have to pay significantly more or get less house. [Loftium] enabled them to take current rates and get exactly what they were looking for in their desired area. For them as an amazing byproduct, they’re only a month in but every conversation we have with them, Kacie tells us how much she’s enjoying the process of being a host and a homeowner.

YZ: Do you think Loftium would apply for other clients too?

RT: We often have conversations with buyers, especially younger ones, who because of prices of homes going up, it’s hard to have a conversation when they don’t have a down payment but understand that time is of the essence. It’s hard to not have a good option for them.

We’d all like to believe that if we just practice discipline and save, we’ll make a better investment.  The truth is over time it is almost impossible for an average person to save at a level that puts them ahead of the increasing market.  We’ve run the numbers over and over but where and what they want to buy is often out of reach.  Saving does not give them enough leverage.

It’s a net zero at best, wait for 3 years and end up at the same spot.  Most of the time you have less buying power after waiting.

Loftium for Mike and Kacie provided that leverage. It made them feel like the deck was stacked in their favor this time.

YZ: How are you using Loftium now for your clients?

RT: We’re talking about it a lot right now. It’s an opportunity to touch point, and very early on in the conversation there doesn’t exist other opportunities to do so. This is a real opportunity for people who don’t see Airbnb as a burden – This is free money to them. It’s a very different conversation than trading off rates vs down payments. Everyone is very interested in the idea because it feels very different, fresh, hip.

There a generation that has the desire to live in the city and it’s getting expensive. A lot of people buy a house and don’t use half of it so why not just use it. We’re working with 2 other buyers using Loftium now.

Questions? Reach out to The Results Team at josh@results.team or (206) 437-8341
Sign up for Loftium at www.loftium.com.

Loftium is now launched in Greater Seattle to help with your down payment!

We are so excited to introduce all of Greater Seattle to Loftium! Loftium provides you with down payment funds in exchange for a share of future Airbnb income. Homebuyers who need Loftium’s down payment help simply agree to rent out a spare bedroom and split the income with us for 12-36 months after buying their new home.

Loftium has been working with Umpqua Bank to bring our down payments to Seattle homebuyers, and we are excited to continue that work from Everett and Lynnwood in the North to Tacoma, Puyallup in the South to Redmond, Bothell, and Snoqualmie in the East.  If you’re looking to buy a primary residence home (not an investment property) in Greater Seattle, Loftium can offer up to $50,000 (not to exceed 10% down) on a conventional mortgage. Best of all, Loftium does not have income limits or home price restrictions.

Here’s how it works:

  • You choose the home, qualify for the loan amount with Umpqua Bank, and put at least 1% toward the down payment.
  • Loftium will estimate the income potential of renting the home’s spare bedroom on Airbnb and will then offer a lump-sum prepayment to use toward the remaining down payment.
  • In exchange, you’ll be required to list a bedroom(s) on Airbnb and manage the rental process for a fixed period of time, ranging 12-36 months.

Benefits to the homebuyer:

  • Only 1% down payment is required by the homebuyer.
  • Homebuyer will receive approximately 10%-40% of the Airbnb income each month.
  • Loftium provides a starter supply kit, software, pricing and support in kickstarting your Airbnb hosting!

This down payment assistance is not a loan, financing, or other extension of credit to the purchaser. The homebuyer must still meet the lending requirements of Umpqua Bank.

Sign up at www.loftium.com to see your down payment offer! 

Have questions? Send us an email at hi@loftium.com or call/text us at 844-LOFTIUM.

Buying a Home Takes Longer Than You Think – See the Timeline to Buy

One of the biggest surprises for first-time homebuyers is how long the homebuying process can take, especially in the Seattle area. Even if you’re thinking about buying a home 6 months from now, the reality is you should probably start the process now. Here’s an overview of how long the home buying process can take. Continue reading “Buying a Home Takes Longer Than You Think – See the Timeline to Buy”