Working with local home buyers in Truckee, North Tahoe
There's no denying the impact second home buyers have on our economy here in Truckee and North Tahoe.
We are a tourist town and without them, we have no sustainable businesses. That is, at least if we want the town to continue to operate as it is, at its current rate of growth.
In short, we don't have a single large company, like a Google or an auto manufacturer or similar such big-industry presence to offer jobs and salaries and retirement plans.
Our big industry is tourism, and the seasonal dollars of second home owners.
Working With Locals
All that being said, the skeleton of that economic body is made up of full-time locals. The restaurant managers, teachers, fitness instructors, ski guides, real estate agents, and gear shop owners are at the heart of our authentic mountain town culture. They provide the core support needed to sustain the vibe and spirit of our beloved mountain town.
This is why I find it important to work with them. While they make up the vast majority of residents, our locals are drastically underrepresented in the homeowner community. I believe a lot of this stems from the fact that a good deal of local agents focus too much on our visitors from the west.
In the spirit of full disclosure, of course I work with out-of-town buyers. I have to. I can't turn down business, and I like to help people. Moreover, many of the second home owners are coming here for the same reason I did—to live a high mountain lifestyle. They deserve the guidance of a local agent, too.
Our locals often need a little more guidance, however.
With a lower per-capita income among residents, it's often harder for full-time Truckee residents to understand their home buying options. Are there any homes out there they can afford? If so, can they qualify for it? What kind of loan programs are there to help those who may not have 20% to put down on a home?
Low Down Payment Mortgages
The truth is, there are lot of options for those not flush with cash, and I want to help share what they are.
For example, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development has a state-by-state list of grants and lending alternatives for first-time buyers. Here is California's.
FHA loans were designed to help people with less cash on hand, and can be the ideal mortgage plan for a young family that may have lower credit scores. Learn more here.
Truckee has a number of older homes in need of work. If that's something you can do, then a 203K Home Loan may be your ticket. This mortgage builds in the cost of repairs to the mortgage, making payback less complicated and helping finance the construction from the start of ownership.
The "Conventional 97" mortgage allows a down payment of 3%, which can be a gift or loan from a family member.
You can also look into the HomePath ReadyBuyer mortgage. HomePath, a division of Fannie Mae, allows for first-time buyers in Truckee to be eligible for a 3% down home loan after taking an online buyer education course.
So, in summary, the options for our locals are out there.
Granted, it's not super easy to find a home in Truckee and North Tahoe for under $500,000, but there are a few, and you need to act quickly.
Helping home buyers at all levels of income and financial status is my job. One group of people is not more deserving of a home than another.
And finally, living a High Mountain Lifestyle has nothing to do with what you can afford. It's all about what you can dream.