Top Three Reasons to Feel Good About Buying a Home in the Twin Cities

It doesn’t happen very often where, in a compact period of time, I see a wealth of reliable data released that shed such sunny light on the decision to buy a home in the Twin Cities but lately that has been the case.  If you’ve been contemplating such a decision, here are 3 great reasons to feel good about your decision and its timing in ascending order. Reason 3: CNBC Ranks Minnesota as a Top State for Business. CNBC’s announcement may seem boring, and it definitely is, but from the perspective of a homebuyer or homeowner, it’s critical.  This is …

Know Someone Who Needs Assistance With their Mortgage Due to Unemployment?

Anyone you know struggling with mortgage payments due to unemployment? Forbearance Terms Eased for Freddie’s Borrowers Freddie Mac gave unemployed homeowners who are struggling to pay mortgages owned or guaranteed by the company a break on Friday when it eased its temporary forbearance restrictions. Effective February 1, Freddie Mac servicers will no longer need prior approval from the government sponsored enterprise (GSE) before extending forbearance of up to six month’s duration to its borrowers who have lost their jobs. Servicers can also seek preapproval for a second six month period of forbearance for those borrowers if needed.Read the entire article from …

Do’s and Dont’s with Credit During the Home Buying Process

When buying your next home, changes to your credit (additional accounts, closing accounts, fluctuating credit card balances) can result in the lowering of your credit score. If your credit score changes, that can affect your interest rate and even the loan approval itself. Therefore, it is imperative that there are no major changes to your credit and information provided, during this process. In order for your loan to reach final approval and fund, you’ll want to adhere to the following: DO NOT charge any new items on your charge cards (higher balances will lower credit scores). DO NOT apply for …

What are Compensating Factors When Qualifying for a Mortgage?

Although we wouldn’t know it from watching the six o’clock news, mortgage underwriting guidelines and mortgage insurance underwriting guidelines have been in a pattern of loosening, not tightening.  This trend started in late 2009 and continues today with such examples as lower minimum credit scores for mortgage underwriting guidelines and fewer declining markets for mortgage insurance guidelines.  As this has happened, another trend has emerged.  The phrase “underwriting exception” is coming back in practical contexts rather than a nostalgic reference to days gone by.  These days, underwriting exceptions are more and more common where a mortgage loan file has “Compensating …

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 …

Do’s and Don’ts with Credit During the Home Buying Process

When buying your next home, changes to your credit (additional accounts, closing accounts, fluctuating credit card balances) can result in the lowering of your credit score. If your credit score changes, that can affect your interest rate and even the loan approval itself. Therefore, it is imperative that there are no major changes to your credit and information provided, during this process. In order for your loan to reach final approval and fund, you’ll want to adhere to the following: DO NOT charge any new items on your charge cards (higher balances will lower credit scores). DO NOT apply for …

Minnesota Home Prices Headed for a Double Dip? – Don’t Believe the Hype

If you’ve been watching the evening news or reading what’s been coming off the press, you might be thinking that the sky is about to fall on Minnesota home prices. You’ll hear a lot of doom and gloom and a lot about the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices. I assure you that the media will not do an adequate job of explaining what this does and more importantly does not mean to you as a Minnesotan. Since the great recession hit, metropolitan areas have increased in home values 3 percent from their lows. There were 5 major metropolitan areas that bucked …

Wanna Be a Good Mortgage Applicant? . . Then it’s Time to Get Naked!

Qualifying for a Mortgage, we went from one extreme to the next!  3 years ago, if you had a social security number, stated your income and ordered an appraisal (with practically a stated value), you were good to go. Today, when The Mortgage Lady meets with a potential client, one of the opening statements is “we are going to be required to document your documents” and, ask them to not be insulted when the investor has conditions that are beyond what they would expect. We live in a country where our justice says, we are innocent until proven guilty, everyone …

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 …

It’s High Noon on Shadow Inventory as Banks Halt Foreclosures

So Ally’s GMAC, Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase are halting foreclosures in 23 states. More importantly, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have stepped in to outline correct foreclosure processes and are demanding lenders adhere to them. What’s more, many more lenders are sure to follow the big 3’s changes. That’s great but what does it mean for us?

Are Realtors Ready for the New Self-Employed Borrower Guidelines?

For all loans this year where the borrower has ANY kind of self employed income feature, they will have extra steps to go through after 2010. This means that even if they have a very passive (anything more than 5% or total income; positive or negative) business or a rental property or anything like that, they’ll be put through the Spanish Inquisition of income documentation. What’s more important as a Realtor, is that you’re working with a loan officer that is very proficient in tax transcript analysis and knows how to prepare an accurate Self Employed Income Analysis quickly (an …