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House PuzzleWelcome to Bridgepoint Funding Learning Center. This page is a gateway to some of our most useful content. You’ll find housing market news, mortgage tips, home buying advice and more!

Home Buying Tips

Buying a Home in 11 Steps
The home buying process can seem overwhelming at times, especially for first-time buyers. To help you make sense of it, we’ve broken it down into 11 steps.

Is 2017 a Good Time to Buy?
The California real estate market has changes dramatically over the last few years, leaving many to wonder: Is 2017 a good time to buy? Here’s our take on it. Part two of this series covers five important things you should know about buying a house in California in 2017.

Renting vs. Buying in California
A new study showed that renters in many parts of the state could actually own a home with only a minimal increase in their monthly housing costs — or no increase at all.

Mortgage Loan Basics

Types of Home Loans in California
As a borrower, you have a lot of different options when it comes to choosing a home loan. This article will help you narrow the field and make a smart choice.

Mortgage Pre-Approval Process
If you plan to use a mortgage loan to buy a house, it’s wise to get pre-approved before you start housing hunting. Here’s an explanation of the pre-approval process.

Low Down Payment Options
Can’t afford a 20% down payment? You still have options. This article explains some of the ways to buy a home with little or no money down.

Buying With No Down Payment
This article is a continuation of the one above. In this tutorial, you’ll learn about some of the no-down-payment mortgage options in California.

Loan Programs (FHA, VA, Conforming)

Conforming Loan Limits in California
This page lists the conforming loan limits for all counties in California. A “conforming” loan is one that can be sold to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

FHA Loan Limits in California
Are you planning to use a home loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). If so, you’ll want to research the limits for your county.

FHA Loan Requirements in 2017
This article explains some of the basic requirements for FHA loan approval, including down payments, credit scores, size restrictions and more.

FHA Down Payment Guidelines
Borrowers who use the FHA program to buy a house in California must put down at least 3.5% of the purchase price or appraised home value, whichever is less.

Contra Costa County Loan Limits
The conforming loan limit for Contra Costa County was $625,500 in 2016. But there’s a chance the county could see higher caps in 2017 due to home price gains.

California Housing Market

Home Price Predictions for 2017
In lieu of using a crystal ball, we turned to the California Association of Realtors (CAR) and Zillow for their predictions regarding California home values in 2017.

Housing Market Predictions for 2017
This article compiles various forecasts and projections for the California real estate market. Statewide, the market is expected to slow down a bit in 2017.

Home Prices Cooling in 2018?
House value appreciation in the Golden State began to slow down in 2017, as many economists had previously predicted. One forecast suggested that prices will rise by less than 2% from May 2017 to May 2018, which is a far cry from the 7% increase of the previous 12 months.

Bay Area Housing Market

Bay Area Housing Forecast 2017
The Bay Area real estate market has been red-hot in recent years. But that may be starting to change. Recent forecasts suggest that home values in the region will rise more slowly in 2017.

Leaving the Bay Area for Sacramento
A 2017 report by the real estate brokerage Redfin revealed that many home buyers who are leaving the Bay Area are heading to Sacramento, in search of lower house prices. But they might be surprised by how hot the housing market is in the state capital.

How Much Can I Afford in the Bay Area?
The Bay Area includes some of the most expensive real estate markets in the country. So it’s important to have a budget on paper before you start house hunting.

Three East Bay Housing Predictions
We might see a bit of slowdown in the East Bay real estate market in 2017. That seems to be the general consensus among housing analysts and economists.

Local Housing Markets

Fresno Real Estate Forecast
Fresno has avoided the tumultuous price swings seen in some other California cities. As a result, analysts expect home values to rise steadily during 2017.

Oakland Market Slowing in 2017?
The Oakland real estate market was red hot in 2016, as buyers priced out of San Francisco moved into the surrounding cities. But things could cool down in 2017.

Is Riverside a SoCal Standout?
The housing market in California’s Inland Empire, which includes Riverside, is getting a boost from home buyers relocating away from the pricier coastal cities. Perhaps that’s why real estate forecasters expect prices in Riverside to rise more than the statewide average, over the next year.

San Diego Housing Outlook
House prices in San Diego are expected to rise more slowly in 2017, compared to the last two years. Most of the market activity is in the lower price ranges, including the “starter” homes preferred by first-time buyers. And here’s a related forecast for San Diego house values that extends into spring of 2018.

San Jose Market Outlook
As with much of the Bay Area, home values in San Jose have risen steadily over the last couple of years. But that could change in 2017. Analysts are predicting that prices will level off in this market.

Mortgage Rate Updates

Mortgage Rate Trend Analysis
Each week, we analyze current and past mortgage rate trends in California, to help you make informed borrowing decisions. This page includes the latest news and developments.

Mortgage Rate Forecast for 2017
On this page, you’ll find two long-range mortgage rate forecasts. One comes from the economists at Freddie Mac; the other from the Mortgage Bankers Association.

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