What Does Renewing Your Tabs in MN Have to Do With Buying a Home

If you’re like most people this year, then auto tabs have nothing to do with buying a home but if you’re planning on buying a home in MN, then the state’s new requirement that you show proof of insurance to renew your tabs gives you an excuse to talk to your insurance agent on upcoming insurance savings on your home.  We’ve discussed saving money on utilities but homeowner’s insurance is an overlooked element of saving money on your monthly mortgage payment. Each person’s situation is unique but here’s a sample of some things you can learn about on your call: …

Your Monthly Housing Payment Beyond Principal Interest Taxes and Insurance: Utilities

Nobody wants to be house poor.  Therefore, understanding what your mortgage payment will be when buying a house is only part of what should be considered when contemplating one’s housing costs.  Getting quotes on phone service, security systems, internet and cable are easy enough but utilities like heating and cooling costs can be a little trickier.   Taking these costs into consideration is important though because miscalculation can lead to unexpected payment shock.  Should that payment shock occur, it’s often too late to do much about it so it’s necessary to be proactive. Some of the required seller disclosure items are …

A Permanent Extension of the Private Mortgage Insurance Deduction?

The tax deduction on private mortgage insurance has been bounced around like hot potato ever since 2007. The problem with the lack of predictability in tax deductibility of mortgage insurance is that when people are make decision on which of the four types of mortgage insurance they want on their loan, it’s typically with long term considerations in mind.  This lack of certainty has turned some mortgage insurance decisions into guesswork.  To date, the tax code has provided no long term predictability to aid the consumer in this important and difficult decision. With the help of Senators Debbie Stabenow and Mike …

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 …

Why Some Refinancing Borrowers Leave Money on the Table: The Issue of Reissue Rates

Re-Blogged with permission via: http://www.mtgprofessor.com/A%20-%20Title%20Insurance/Reissue%20Rates.html posted February 25, 2012 Ten years ago, Kenneth Harney wrote an excellent series of articles on why many refinancing borrowers pay too much for title insurance. In one article, published June 9, 2002 in the Baltimore Sun, Harney stated: “No one knows how much American homeowners lose annually by overpaying title premiums when they refinance their mortgages. Even title insurance industry officials admit the problem is substantial. They say some consumers could save 50 percent or more at refinancing if they’d simply memorize two words: “Reissue rate.” Use them as a mantra at your next refinance.”  Not much seems to …

Can You Qualify in Today’s Market? Introducing the Professor’s Mortgage Qualification Tool

Reblogged with Permission VIA: http://www.mtgprofessor.com/Qualification/About_the_Qualification_Page.html Posted October 29th, 2011 View the Mortgage Qualification Tool One major difference between the housing finance system today and the system that prevailed prior to the financial crisis is in loan underwriting — the set of rules and procedures governing who is approved for a loan and who is rejected. The swing has been from lady bountiful to Mr. Scrooge. Rules have been tightened across the board. Where the major mistake before the crisis was approving loans to borrowers who should have been rejected, the major mistake today is rejecting loans that should be accepted. …

FHA’s Short Refi Program

The FHA Short Refinance Program has always existed in an unofficial form but became a formal program on December 16, 2009 with Mortgagee Letter 09-52.  It was “refined” on August 6th of 2010 with Mortgagee Letter 2010-23.  It was designed to provide more mortgage options to those that owe more than their house is worth.  There are many requirements for this loan but for most borrowers who are upside down on their home and have good credit; these criteria are likely to be met with the cooperation of the existing lenders about to be paid off. For these transactions to …

How Often Do Seller’s Pay Closing Costs? . . . . . Never.

The role of closing costs in a purchase agreement can be confusing both for buyers and sellers.  In the present market, it is customary for there to be sales concessions.  A real estate sales concession can be many things including but not limited to price, repairs and yes, . . closing costs.  Asking the seller to pay for closing costs, pre-paids and discount points is common.  At the end of the day though, a buyer may have several value added considerations such as seller paid closing costs and repairs after an inspection contingency but the seller will (or at least should) always negotiate …

The New Real Estate Boom(ers): Purchasing with Reverse Mortgages

In October of 2008, HUD rolled out their reverse mortgage product and in March of 2009, they perfected it. With rates expected to rise and the tax credit setto expire, many real estate professionals are looking for new and under-served markets to reach out to. Since HUD has perfected their reverse mortgage, the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) and the market for US residents 62 or older is expected to nearly double between now and 2050, perhaps now is their time. A reverse mortgage is a loan where home equity is converted into a lump sum payment or series of payments to …

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 …

FHA Premium Rate Increase Makes PMI a Better Option for Many Borrowers

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) implemented a 25 bps increase to its annual premium rates on April 18, resulting in a payment increase for FHA borrowers. With this change, RMIC (an iLoan preferred mortgage insurer) offers equal or lower monthly premium rates on all LTVs with no upfront premium. RMIC Monthy PMI vs. FHA MIP · Lower Total MI Premiums 30-Year Fixed · Purchase1 Unit Primary Residence Loan Amount £ $417,000 > 95% LTV · 35% Coverage 95% LTV · 30% Coverage FICO 720+ FICO 700+ RMIC FHA RMIC FHA Upfront — 1.00% — 1.00% Year 1 1.15% 1.15% 0.94% …

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 …

What is a HO-6 Policy?

An HO-6 policy is insurance covering the interior of a condominium.  In most cases, the association’s master policy does not cover the interior and only applies to common areas.  By “interior” we mean: carpet, cabinets, drywall, fixtures, and doors, upgrades, personal liability, and personal property. For this reason alone, an HO-6 can be well worth the low cost of $15-$30 per month.  But for many home buyers, an HO-6 policy is a precondition for underwriting approval.   Under the new lending rules, an HO-6 insurance policy must provide coverage for no less than 20% of the condominium unit’s appraised value.   A …

Two Thirds of Minnesotans Will be Affected by Flooding in 2011 – Act Now!

If homeowners don’t act in ways not common in the past, many will stand to lose a fortune due to flooding in Minnesota in 2011.  It’s likely that sandbagging won’t do it this time and we need to start thinking about flood insurance and in some cases act quickly on flood insurance.  According to expert guests on a Minnesota Public Radio show two days ago, two thirds of Minnesotans will be affected directly or indirectly by flooding this year.  If someone thinks their house won’t be affected, they can at least count on traffic being a mess. Just try 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 …

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. …

So Banks Think There’s No Such Thing as “Too Big to Fail” – The Audacity of Dopes

On Friday the 13th, the Chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan Chase decided to weigh in on whether a bank could be too big to fail. I’m sure you’re on the edge of your seat wondering which side of this argument he’d be on. I know I’ve been breathlessly waiting for one of the titans of Wall Street to tell me what the best way to regulate their businesses would be. Thank heavens I finally know what to think! Before we evaluate the points, let’s consider the timing and the source. This op ed wasn’t benevolently shared with us in …