It is 8 a.m. and you just completed school drop off and head to get your morning coffee. It is noon and lunchtime when you drive to a local restaurant to pick up a sandwich. Your day is finally winding down and you head downtown to grab cocktails. I bet if you are quiet enough in any of these environments, you will hear people talking about real estate and specifically, “what is today’s interest rate and how is the real estate market?”

I asked two very seasoned lenders to share their perspective of the market.

Roni Gonzalez, Senior Loan Officer with Diversified Capital Funding shared the following information:

“Interest rates are ticking up right now with the Fed (Federal Reserve) meeting again in November to discuss rates further. It is expected that even if interest rates increase, that they will remain attractive for a while. We need to remember that as fantastic as it is, interest rates in the 2’s are not considered normal. It is a rare occurrence caused by unfortunate times. We all want to get back to ‘normal,’ and as unsure we are of what normal is, we do know that interest rates will need to rise to get there.

“Higher interest rates will impact the real estate market, with the cost of homes leveling off. Expectation is for values to continue to increase but not as rapidly as we have seen in the last 12 months. A more normalized market should create more opportunities again for home buyers using down payment assistance programs and low to no down payment programs such as FHA and VA, whereas right now buyers using conventional loans are winning the bidding frenzy.

“Homeowners that want to move but are contingent on the sale of their home should have more opportunities as well. As for financing options, putting our clients in homes is our No. 1 priority. Interest rates are something we cannot control but we are continuously rolling out new loan programs to meet the ever-changing landscape of buyer’s needs.”

Charles Sterni, Area Manager with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation shared that 2022 holds many great promises for the future of lending!

“Mortgage companies will continue to grow in areas of technology for the consumer for more direct information. The speed of qualification to closings will be a key for all lenders to put their focus on. It will be a struggle for some of the big banks to keep up with this growth and still compete with their internal tuff guidelines.

“The new generation of quick closing will be a much bigger thing in 2022 and with housing prices continuing to grow in the next few years, I feel that buying a home will be the best investment a family and/or savvy inventor can make for their future retirement opportunity.

“At the end of the day, it always comes back to one big thing: ‘It’s always about the service to the customer!’”

Bottom Line:

As a realtor, I make sure that my clients acknowledge that I am not an attorney or an accountant. During a transaction I remind my clients to consult with an attorney and/or an accountant if there are any legal or financial questions. I also make sure that my clients know that “I sell homes, not loans,” whereby when they have mortgage payment, interest rate or how much money is needed I direct them back to their lender.

• Donna A. Baker, CRS ABR SFR CDPE is the Broker-Owner of At Home Real Estate Group selling real estate for 21 years. Her memberships include National Association of Realtors, California Association of Realtors, Certified Residential Specialists, Central Valley Association of Realtors, Accredited Buyer's Representative, Certified Distressed Property Expert®, and Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource. In addition, Donna teaches monthly at the Central Valley Association of Realtors New Realtor Member Orientation and serves as the Chairman for the Tracy Real Estate Marketing Council and as a Board member for the McHenry House a local rehab shelter.

Donna has lived in Tracy since 1989 with her patient husband Tom of 32 years and has two awesome children, Trevor and Ally. Contact her at

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