Mortgage Expert offers tips to buyers navigating Valley's hot housing market

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Real estate these days continues to be a seller's market with bidding wars and homes going for well over the asking price.

While the market continues to be white-hot, there are a number of tips for those looking to purchase a new home.

"If you're talking real estate, it's the best investment of your life," said Tony Alvarez.

Interest rates remain historically low but the lack of inventory along with rising prices has made it a challenge for many -- especially first-time buyers.

"You need to have good credit, you need to have a good credit history, you need to have a pretty solid down payment, 5% minimum. You need to not go for an FHA loan right now. An FHA loan is a wonderful product, it's a great product but unfortunately, it's not so great to the seller," said Alvarez.

Tony Alvarez is a mortgage adviser with RWM Home Loans.

In his 20 years of experience, Alvarez has never seen a seller's market quite like this but believes the highly competitive housing climate has become a barrier for those who don't have both good credit and at least 5% to put down.

"When they look at the offer and they're seeing 3.5% FHA loan and there are 30 other offers over here, they're going to go with the one that looks more solid," he said. "So if you're putting the minimum amount down, you're no longer competing with the market."

Even if you have all your ducks in a row, there is still no guarantee for securing the home of your dreams.

Many people are still learning what they qualify for only to find out the house was sold to someone else who offered tens of thousands of dollars over the asking price.

While the housing market remains ultra-competitive and stressful for many, experts do not expect it to slow down anytime soon, especially with Summer right around the corner.
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