The iLoan Lock and Shop Program

Many buyers are concerned about rising mortgage rates and the implications on their plan to buy a home or sell their home and then buy another home.  The frequent question is, “Can I lock in my interest rate before I find my home?”  Typically one can’t do this until they have a fully executed purchase agreement and this amplifies a homebuyer’s fear prior to going under contract to buy their dream house.  Now, with the iLoan Lock-N-Shop program, this fear can be put to rest. Here’s an outline of how it works: The lock may be for 60 or 75 …

Planning Your Home Purchase With a Mortgage Recast

Often times, seemingly in a fantasyland, home buyers might want to buy their new home first non-contingent on a home sale and sell their retained home shortly after moving into their new one without a financial inconvenience.  They might want to do this to get a better price due to negotiating from a position of strength or it might simply be a matter of logistical convenience.  Whatever the reason, the difficulty arises when they want to use the equity from the home that they’d be selling to achieve a lower payment on their mortgage for their new home.  Most would …

New Rules: If You Want an Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) You Better Have Cash

Rest assured, if homebuyers or Realtors think they may have a good idea for a low down payment purchase loan program, they needn’t bother thinking since Fannie Mae has decided to make that executive decision on their behalf.  As of October 20th, the new choice will be between a fixed rate mortgage, fixed rate mortgage or fixed rate mortgage.  What’s best for the homeowner has now been mandated by Fannie Mae. The maximum Loan to Value for ARM’s (Adjustable Rate Mortgages) is being dropped from 97% to 90% for all purchases and no cash out refinances (seriously, this is not …

How to Choose and Calculate Your Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)

Saving an eighth of a percent on interest rate can save a little on your monthly payment and shopping around on closing costs can save a little on your down payment but perhaps the most overlooked and costly mistake when buying a home is not choosing the right mortgage insurance if the down payment is less than 20%.  The wrong decision on this choice can cost thousands of dollars. Let’s take a generic purchase of 200,000 dollars with the minimum down payment and compare them but before that, here are some definitions that you’ll need: Borrower Paid Monthly Mortgage Insurance …

Seller Contributions Towards Closing Costs on a Home Purchase

Doesn’t the Seller Pay for All of Our Closing Costs? We all have to remind buyers that they are responsible to pay the required down payment percentage (3.5% for FHA or 3-10% etc for Conventional) AND their closing costs/pre-paids too. Even if you stipulate that the sellers contribute towards “closing costs and pre-paids” in the purchase agreement it may not cover ALL of those fees. If you want a smooth purchase transaction make sure that you ask your favorite mortgage guy if there is a NEED to try to get all/most of the closing costs/pre-paids included with the offer. It …

The Statistical Relevancy of the 7/1 ARM vs. the 30 Year Fixed

Each person’s personal circumstances and long term objectives determine the type of mortgage they choose. For the past couple of years, the clear favorite has been the 30 year fixed rate mortgage because the yield curve between short term and long term bonds has been flat.  When this happens, there is very little difference in the interest rates between adjustable rate mortgages (ARM’s) and fixed rate mortgages.  But things are changing.  That yield curve is bending and significant differences between fixed rate mortgages and ARM’s are emerging.  What’s more, people are becoming more and more mobile.  Consequently, they don’t need as …

What are extenuating circumstances?

Many people trying to buy a home after a short sale find it difficult to navigate through loan programs that they may be eligible for and various waiting periods that may be applicable.  If late payments occur, most people are told that the waiting period for buying a home after a short sale is 3 years because that’s what FHA requires if late payments occur.  Then they learn that Fannie Mae will back a loan for someone after a short sale after 2 years with a 10 percent down payment if there are “extenuating circumstances.”  But what are extenuating circumstances? Fannie …

Fannie Mae Guideline Changes – Gifts, 97% Financing and Mortgage Insurance

There has been some recent excitement about Fannie Mae (FNMA) changing her guidelines on down payments and allowing gift funds as an acceptable form of down payment in lieu of a borrower’s own funds. Before we all get excited about FNMA getting a little FHA in her with respect to gift funds, we need to realize that the guidelines for mortgage insurance and FNMA are not aligned. So long as they aren’t, this change will only have minimal effect. This chart outlines the new accepted forms of down payment from FNMA’s perspective: Here’s the Fannie definition of acceptable donors for …

Waiting Periods on Bankruptcy, Foreclosure and Short Sales for Mortgages

Since late 2007 and the MORTGAGE MELTDOWN started we’ve had many “inquiries” from prospective MN & WI buyers who’ve wanted to get into a new home or BACKinto home ownership.  The last couple years have been hard on many people even though the Federal Government says that the recession is behind us.  People have had their incomes cut back, lost jobs, bankruptcies, foreclosures and short sales. What I wanted to share with you is a current (as of today) crib sheet of how long certain negative things need to be “seasoned” before different types of mortgage financing can be offered. Let’s …

FHA vs. Fannie Flex 97 for Low Down Payment Buyers

For those of you who are such industry dinosaurs that you remember how to do a FLEX 97 loan with Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI), you’re in luck because, aside from 95% conventional with single premium financed mortgage insurance (SPMI), the time has come where this is the best high loan-to-value product for purchases. Soon, allowable seller concessions for FHA loans will be lowered from six percent to either four or three percent. When that happens, there will nearly no instance where FHA is superior to this loan product choice.  Take a 200000 dollar purchase for a buyer with a …

Monthly Private Mortgage Insurance – It Doesn’t Make Any Sense. . .

Few know that there are more than 22 different types of private mortgage insurance that can be used what a homebuyer puts less than 20% down on a conventional loan.  Most assume they’ll be saddled with monthly mortgage insurance which, more often than not, makes the least mathematical sense.  A different application of private mortgage insurance to a conventional loan can reduce monthly payments, add tax advantages, increasing a homebuyer’s purchasing power and save many thousands of dollars. As though there isn’t already enough to know, real estate professionals need to know the differences between the mortgage insurance providers (i.e. …