Buying While Selling

Buying your new home while selling your old home can seem daunting if not impossible. It is difficult to feel in control with so many factors at play. But there are really only three scenarios: You sell your old home before you buy your new home; You buy your new home and sell your old simultaneously (same day closings); You buy your new home before you sell your old home. Few people choose to sell their old home before purchasing the next for fear of homelessness. Moving your belongings into storage and finding temporary living accommodations is not for everyone. But it does …

How Underwriters View Owner Occupied Vs. Non-Owner Occupied Transactions

There are many times when a homebuyer truly intends to occupy a home as a primary residence only to be told by a mortgage underwriter and subsequently their loan officer that their claim of having the intention to occupy a property as a primary residence was not adequately credible. This often happens when a property purchase is being made while another property is being retained. The consequence of a decision on the part of the underwriter to not agree with a homebuyer’s intent to occupy a property as a primary residence can lead to larger down payment requirements and inferior …

How to Refinance Your LLC Properties’ Mortgages into Your Own Name

Attempting to navigate the process of refinancing mortgages out of the name of a LLC and into your own name with a conventional mortgage can be a lot like walking across a minefield with a blindfold on.  Perhaps one of the main reasons for this is that the guidelines that affect these transactions have trickled out here and there, over a long period and have been amended periodically.  Here is a summary of guideline considerations to take into account when considering refinancing your investment property loans from a LLC into your own name: Are LLC’s eligible to be refinanced from …

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Near Deal to Bring Back 3% Down Financing

The Wall Street Journal published that a deal between the FHA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is much closer to becoming real than had been anticipated. Nobody knows the exact timing of the implementation of the deal but there are two significant parts that will benefit the consumer. The first element has to do with making it crystal clear to lenders what is expected of them when delivering loans to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or getting them insured by HUD. This clarity will mean that lenders won’t be afraid of loan risk nearly to the extent that they now …

Fannie Mae Increases Down Payments on MyCommunity® and Standard Loans

In another backward-thinking move, Fannie Mae has very subtly announced that they will be increasing their down payment requirements by decreasing their maximum Loan to Value Ratios for MyCommunity® mortgages and for standard mortgages on 1-unit primary residences effective on or after the weekend of November 16, 2013.  The previous allowed down payments were at 3% based on a Loan to Value Ratio (LTV) of 97%. The difference between 95% LTV and 97% LTV financing may sound slight but on a macroeconomic level, it’s huge.  It will postpone purchases for multitudes of buyers; particularly first time homebuyers who might find …

The FHA 1 Year Waiting Period After Short Sale, Bankruptcy or Foreclosure – Back to Work

Where was this three years ago?  Better late than never I suppose.  FHA is now insuring loans to homebuyers who have experienced an Economic Event (Short Sale, Bankruptcy, Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure or Foreclosure) in the past and can document that (1) their certain credit impairments were the result of a Loss of Employment or a significant loss of Household Income beyond the borrower’s control, (2) the homebuyer has demonstrated full Recovery from the event and, (3) the homebuyer has completed housing counseling. FYI, in the event of a short sale, this is for buyers who DID have late …

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 …

The Only 10 Reasons a Lender Needs Tax Returns for a Fannie Mae Mortgage

Giving a pound of flesh in income and asset documentation has become the norm but it’s likely that unjustified lender paranoia has led them to ask for a bit too much of their clients.  My recent rant on this issue concerned verifying large, non-payroll deposits but now my rage has turned to the simple request of tax returns.  I’m not talking about FHA loans, VA loans, RD loans or Freddie Mac loans (although if you’re curious about Freddie, see attached), because if you’re looking for one of these, you’re going to be asked for a lot of paperwork.  I’m just …

Verifying or Sourcing Large Deposits for Your Mortgage – Make Sure You’re Not Being Asked for Too Much

In the last 4 years, an effort has been made on the part of mortgage lenders to ensure precise accuracy on income, liabilities but also on making sure that their money is really their money.  Consequently they look for “Indications of Borrowed Funds.”  One such indicator of potential borrowed funds is a large and irregular deposit on a bank statement and, when found, they can lead to the Spanish Inquisition of Letters of Explanation and documenting the origins of these funds.  When this guideline originally came out, it arrived without much clarity so naturally everyone took the strictest interpretation of …

If You’re Going to Claim to “Owner Occupy” Your Home, You Better Mean It

More and more, people are finding that their intent to occupy a home when getting a mortgage may not mean what they think it means.  More and more, loan officers are also finding out that it may not mean what they think it means.  One of the Mortgage Loan Officer national testing questions asked what intent to occupy meant and the correct answer, for testing purposes, was that the buyer would have to move in within 60 days.  Now, both on refinances and on purchases, it’s becoming important to know how long one will be staying there as well. While …

Fannie Mae Requirements for Investor and Second Home Borrowers with Five to Ten Financed Properties

Most lenders will restrict the number of properties an investor can finance to a total of four properties.  This restriction was recently loosened to allow for up to ten financed properties.  There are unique restrictions regarding credit score, Loan to Value (or LTV) and reserve requirements that make getting them funded very difficult. Here are a couple of bullet point guidelines you’ll need to be aware of: No foreclosures in the preceding 7 years No late mortgage payments within the last 12 months 6 months of mortgage payments in need to be in reserves for each other second home or …

Developing a Lease-to-Own Market

A lease-to-own (LTO) transaction is one in which a potential home buyer occupies the home as a tenant but has an option to purchase it within a specified period at a specified price. In exchange, the potential buyer pays a non-refundable option fee upfront plus a monthly rent. In a recent article, I noted the intense interest in LTO deals today by wannabe home buyers who can’t qualify for the mortgage they need to make a purchase now. Despite the large demand, not many LTO deals are being done. They are very complicated and most potential buyers and sellers don’t …

Buying a Home & Getting a Mortgage with a H-1B Visa

These days, any time a lender sees a square peg and a round hole, they tend to run for the hills.  In the case of homebuyers seeking a mortgage with H1B visa status, too often this is the case.  If they’d patiently take the “outside in method” of loan structuring (start with Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, then check mortgage insurance guidelines and then reference the lenders underwriting guideline overlays), they’d find that these waters are not that hard to navigate and that round hole isn’t as round as it may appear. An H1B visa is a work permit issued by a …

Fannie Mae Tightens Condo Mortgage Underwriting. . . . Again!

Many would say that perhaps Fannie Mae should have become tighter on their guidelines for condos back in 2008 and now that they’re seeing recovery, start to loosen up (kind of like the private mortgage insurance companies did).  The opposite is happening as clearly Fannie Mae wants to limit their exposure to condos in their portfolio.  Periodically, changes are made to Fannie’s underwriting guidelines and their automated underwriting software.  Some are small and some are large and impactful.  Condo buyers beware as they snuck this one in (effective October 20th): “A limited project review will no longer be permitted on …

The Return of the Subprime Mortgage

Fear, regulatory uncertainty, market instability and a lack of consumer confidence has kept the reemergence of these products at bay.  Make no mistake though; the money for these products is there.  Reemerging market stability has helped to abate the fears of some mortgage investors on the secondary market.  Consumer confidence has not recovered but it is up.  The big issue has been regulatory clarity.  Two significant events are unfolding that are likely to bring that to an end. The first is the move by the FDIC to provide the new definition of subprime mortgages.  The first thing they did was rename subprime loans as …

Buying a Home After a Short Sale using a VA Mortgage

I have had a lot of people ask me about how to buy a home after a short sale using FHA financing but it’s becoming more and more common that people are considering buying a home after a short sale using financing insured by the Veteran’s Administration.  These guidelines use to be murky but the issues concerning waiting periods after a short sale and underwriting guidelines are coalescing around an interesting blend FHA guidelines and Fannie Mae guidelines. There are six unique stipulations and they are as follows: The borrower must have made all mortgage and installment payments within the …

Fannie Mae Homepath Mortgage Loans…NO Appraisal, NO MI and NO Condo Certification!

Fannie Mae HomePath Mortgage Loans… NO Appraisal, NO MI and NO Condo Certification! Looking for a fix up property… with mortgage financing readily available? You believe you are either a handy person when it comes to home fix up projects or maybe you know someone who is handy. Shopping for foreclosed homes seems like a great idea for you, as foreclosed properties are the properties most likely to have some fix up projects that need to be completed. This is a great idea, right up until you are not able to get financing on that foreclosed property. You may qualify …

Can I Buy a Home While I’m Getting Divorced in Minnesota?

It has been widely and wrongly asserted that someone who is getting divorced in Minnesota cannot purchase a home prior to finalizing a divorce decree and at the same time prevent their soon to be ex-spouse from being entitled to marital property rights in the newly purchased home.  This used to be a serious problem that made the already long and painful process of getting divorced in Minnesota even longer and more painful yet.  In 2004, the Minnesota legislature put this recurring issue to rest. In 2004, the MN legislature enacted MS 507.03 PURHCASE-MONEY MORTGAGE; NONJOINDER OF SPOUSE.  Amongst other …

Before You Shop for a Condo, Pre-Qualify Your Lender First

If you’re a FHA buyer shopping for a condo, you’d better pre-qualify your lender first. If you’re listing a condo and a buyer gives you a FHA pre-approval letter, you’d better pre-approve that lender first. Because Spot Approvals are a thing of the past, it’s important to know which of the two remaining FHA condo approval processes your lender will be using: Direct Endorsement Lender Review and Approval Process (DELRAP) or HUD Review and Approval Process (HRAP) as outlined in MORTGAGEE LETTER 2009-46 B. DELRAP is only available to lenders who have unconditional Direct Endorsement authority and staff with knowledge and …

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 …