Looking to Buy a Condominium? What You Need to Know

Buying a condo in L.A.? What you need to know

If you're presently in a house hunt, or even just dabbling with the idea of buying a home, you've probably done some research and run across multiple articles regarding the current Mortgage Process ... and its challenges ... You've probably also heard that you'll be asked to submit plenty of documentation regarding your finances (savings, credit/debt), employment, down payment ability, and more to meet lending requirements.  And that the home your hoping to buy will need to pass muster (via … [Read more...]

Is Now the Time for You to Sell Your Home and Buy the Next?

Is now the right time to well your Los Angeles home

The final decision to Refinance your existing Mortgage (or  not), should be based on one simple thing.  It must make good financial sense ...That decision is often times determined by the length of time you, as a Homeowner, "guesstimates" you'll own your loan (i.e., stay in your present home).  A good rule-of-thumb is that the monthly payment savings received through the Refinancing (at minimum), should "pay back" your Closing Costs for your Refinance. Similar (and additional) considerations … [Read more...]

Heading to College? Protect Your Finances For The Future

How to protect your finances when going to college

It happens fairly frequently ...      While reading through a potential Mortgage Applicant's Credit Report, I'll discover that many of their reported debts and Credit Cards were first established while they were in college.  And now years later, they're still trying to pay off those debts. Yes, it's true.  The Credit Card Act (signed into law May 22nd of '09) is supposed to be addressing some of these issues by removing Credit Card companies ... and the temptations they offer to college … [Read more...]

Are You Self-Employed and Hoping to Get a Mortgage?

How to get a mortgage when self-employed

From a Mortgage Lender's perspective, the most complicated Mortgage Applicant is often the Applicant that is Self-Employed.      Why?      Full Documentation Loan Files are demanded in today's Mortgage lending.  IRS transcripts are requested (and received) on the vast majority of Mortgage Loan Applications.  With Self-Employed Borrowers, the only way to verify income (and expenses) is through an Individual U.S. Tax Return and the Tax Returns filed by the business they own.  And that is true … [Read more...]

Looking for Trends in Mortgage Lending During 2014

Mortgage Lending trends in 2014

Turn on the TV.  Read a newspaper. Check-out Social Media ... and you'll run into an article(s) regarding the latest "trends".  Heck, on Twitter they have a trend list that's constantly evolving and updating.  Trends ... and being able to report them ... are big news. That's certainly true in the Real Estate/Mortgage world too.  Whether a hopeful new Home Buyer, someone looking to Refinance, or a Real Estate or Lending professional ... being educated and capable of responding to the latest … [Read more...]

Balancing Risk with Affordable Financing

Lower loan limits can mean a higher cost of borrowing

Lower Loan Limits & Higher Costs of Borrowing An interesting phenomenon is taking place within the financing world these days ...      What "used" to be ... doesn't "remain that way" long! This has always been the case in quickly-changing JUMBO financing.  JUMBO loans are defined as those loans above $417,000 on Single-Family Residences (except in those areas considered as more high cost*  (*See me for more info).  JUMBO loans are typically financed through: Private … [Read more...]

A Pragmatists Guide to Qualified Mortgages (QM)

Los Angeles mortgage, new rules

A Pragmatists Guide to Qualified Mortgages (QM) On January 10, 2014, new mortgage rules will go into effect that will change the way home loans are originated by just about every institution.  These changes stem from the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act passed in 2010.  Here is what a buyer, seller and borrower need to know: Conforming Loans You are a buyer with more than a 5% down payment.  Your loan amount falls somewhere below the conforming loan limit of … [Read more...]

What Happens if the Appraisal Comes in Low?

Understanding Los Angeles Property Appraisals

I thought I would address a question that comes up either occasionally (or frequently, as the real estate market might dictate...):  "What happens if my appraisal comes in low?"  And so I'd like to cover the relationship between purchase price and appraised value while providing a few looks into your mortgage options should this dilemma befall your homebuying experience. In all of our examples to follow, we’re going to assume a purchase price of $500,000. We’ll change the appraised value of … [Read more...]

When Inaccuracies Show on your Credit Report

Buying a home in L.A. Inaccuracies on your credit score

When Inaccuracies Show on your Credit Report ... What Then? Credit Scores and Credit Reports are very important ... That's true whether someone is hoping to buy a home (or refinance) or not.  But should you be someone in the hunt for Mortgage financing to purchase or refinance a home, the stakes get higher.  Your Credit Scores and Credit Reports become paramount to the success you'll discover when financing and the end-costs you face. Most of my Mortgage clients understand this when we … [Read more...]

When Buying a Home in Los Angeles Check Your Credit First

Repair your credit before buying a home in Los Angeles

If you are considering buying a home in Los Angeles it is important to know what your credit history is going to show before you start the process.  Why?  Because, depending on your score, and if there are any negative hits on your report, your interest rate is going to rise and you may also not get approved for a loan. There are three credit reporting agencies (CRA)  that track your credit:  Trans Union, Equifax and Experian, and you will need to run your credit through all three. You are … [Read more...]

Will Your Mortgage Co-Signor Deliver Magic?

Will your mortgage co-signor delivery magic?

More and more often, the topic of co-signing on a Mortgage is being brought up both during my initial inquiries and Pre-Qualification conversations.  I'm presented with questions regarding Mortgage co-signing from both hopeful recipients of the co-signing and those actually considering becoming a co-signor. I find that there is often confusion surrounding this topic.  (Some simply have co-signingconfused with co-borrowing.    Two different things.)  And many times, recipient and co-signor … [Read more...]

Using an Online Lender When Buying a Home in Los Angeles

Don't use an online lender when buying a home in L.A.

If you are a first-time homebuyer and have started the process of buying a home in Los Angeles you may have been tempted to find a lender online. This would probably be because you have not yet talked to a Los Angeles Realtor® who would be advising you on the path to take. A huge part of the escrow process, in fact the major part, is acquiring the loan. It is difficult enough under normal circumstances without having to deal with someone across the country who is not familiar with the local … [Read more...]

How to Get the Best Deal on Your Mortgage

How to get the best deal on your Los Angeles mortgage

So you’ve embarked upon the daunting task of shopping for the best mortgage rate? As a 15-year veteran of the mortgage industry myself, I can be reasonably certain that you, the consumer, will not suffer for lack of choices, information or opinions! In fact, the greater likelihood is that you’ll be overwhelmed with options. Imagine yourself as a tourist in Rome, standing on a busy intersection and asking for directions. Everybody wants to help, but since they’re all responding in foreign … [Read more...]

The Basics of Home Financing in 2013

Home Financing 101 in 2013

Changes within the Mortgage Industry have occurred quickly and become a constant over the past few years.  Those of us that work within the Industry have gotten somewhat used to this fact.  For the public though, the outlook can be quite different.       Much has been made of all the recent changes.  Because of that, it can be overlooked that many constants have survived within the Mortgage Industry as well.   And those basics ... those constants that remain ... are what I want to focus on … [Read more...]

Getting a Mortgage as a Non-Resident or Foreign Buyer

Buying a home in L.A. as a foreign national

Robert Spinosa, a Marin County Mortgage professional, provides an excellent overview of the process of getting a loan for non-residents of the U.S. The Foreign Concepts of Mortgage Lending Too often in mortgage lending we are reminded of the divide that exists between the way things are and the way they ought to be.  Nowhere is this more evident than in the financing options available to non-permanent resident aliens and foreign nationals of the United States.  Maybe due to misconceptions they … [Read more...]

Do You Possess the Perfect Recipe to Become a Home Buyer?

Are you ready to become a Los Angeles home buyer?

If you are buying a home in Los Angeles read another great post from Gene Mundt, Chicago mortgage lender, about the necessity of talking to a lender. As a Mortgage Lender, one of the most important messages I impress on area Home Buyers/Owners is one regarding timing ... the timing of when they should contact me when Buying a Home or Refinancing. If you've read a few of my past posts, you'll know the topic of timing is a drum I beat loudly and often.  My rule of thumb regarding proper … [Read more...]

The Mortgage Process is Like a Fingerprint or Snowflake No Two are Alike

The Mortgae process, no two are alike

Yesterday, I received a call from a First-Time Home Buyer.  During that call, my young caller's inquisitiveness and enthusiasm ran high.  He peppered me with question after question regarding Mortgages and the Mortgage Process.  And I loved every single minute of it. The questions he asked covered a wide range of topics and went into quite a bit of detail.  He'd obviously prepared ahead of time for the call.  Everything from Mortgage programs ... to the value of Pre-Qualification ... to … [Read more...]

Los Angeles Home Buyers, Do You Want to Save a Little or a Lot?

Los Angeles home buyers, do you want to save a little or a lot?

When bad things happen once or twice, I find it to be circumstance.  Add a few more "things" into the mix and I consider it plain ol' bad luck.  Add several more and I say it's not bad luck anymore.  Maybe it's time to analyze the choices you're making. Lately, I've been seeing a trend developing within some  clients' Home Buying transactions ... that being Home Buyers holding firm on purchase offers (and their demands) while yet another property they've dreamed of buying is sold to a higher … [Read more...]

In Mortgage Financing: It’s Not Simply about Being Employed

Getting a mortgage is not just about employment

I try to keep track and analyze those blog posts that receive the most attention and get the most comments.  What I learn from doing this, is that posts that recount actual transactions and actions that have transpired within a client's mortgage process seem to educate best and hit a chord most often.  My readers can obviously put themselves in "someone else's shoes" easily and learn from their actions and experiences. Well, today I have another such post.  It concerns employment ... and I'm … [Read more...]

Frequently Asked Questions When Buying a Home in L.A. What Can I Afford?

How much can you afford when buying a Los Angeles home

If you are buying a home in Los Angeles, especially if you are a first-time home buyer, you probably have a ton of questions.  I am not going to be able to cover them all, but hopefully this series will answer the main ones. Q:  What can I afford? A:  The first step you will want to take is to consult with a lender.  They will determine if and what you can afford to buy. This will be based on: Your gross income Available cash for downpayment, closing costs, and lender-required … [Read more...]