How to Make Your First Mortgage Payment

How to make your first mortgage payment on your Los Angeles home

Inside Mortgage Finance News reported on October 28, 2014 ... "Total mortgage-related complaints filed by borrowers with the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau fell again in the third quarter of 2014 – the fifth drop in the last six quarters, according to figures compiled by Inside the CFPB.      Data contained in the CFPB’s consumer complaint database show that such consumer gripes fell 17.6 percent in the third quarter of the year, and are now down 23.6 percent from the same period in … [Read more...]

Using Gift Funds or a Co-Signer to Help With Your Mortgage

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Should I Pray or Should I Co?   I tend to see a fair amount of high loan-to-value mortgage scenarios, mostly because real estate values here in Marin County, the San Francisco Bay Area and coastal California, in general, tend to be high.  And I think it also has a lot to do with the formidable task of saving the funds necessary to purchase some homes, which we know can take a prohibitively long time.  So 10% down payments, or even less, are not at all uncommon, and I’ll see these … [Read more...]

The Many Ways Poor Credit Scores Cost You

Bad credit scores can affect you in many ways

A large percentage of the potential home-buyers I speak to have a basic knowledge of how credit scores influence the interest rate received when they finance their home purchase.  Most understand the basic principal:  The higher their credit scores, the lower their interest rate. I read a CNBC article today entitled, "How poor credit costs you on homeowners insurance".  It delivered a strong message.  Poor credit scores cost you.      In that article it was reported that:  "Homeowners … [Read more...]

Waiting Periods After Short Sale, Foreclosure, Bankruptcy

Extenuating circumstances after a short sale or bankruptcy

I wrote recently about Fannie Mae's announcement regarding the extension of the waiting period for those Buyers hoping to become Homeowners once again after having experienced a Short Sales (Pre-Foreclosures). The waiting period is now extended out to 4 years ... regardless of Loan-to-Value considerations (or Down Payment percentages). Naturally, there's been a wide range of reaction to Fannie Mae's announcement.  There's also been many questions asked in regards to this change and my post.  … [Read more...]

Will Refinancing Cause my Property Taxes to Go Up?

Will refinancing cause my property taxes to rise

Because the current interest rate environment remains conducive to refinancing, a concern that some have about taking action stems from confusion related to how their property taxes are determined, and specifically the question, "Will refinancing cause my property taxes to go up?"  It goes without saying that nobody wants to save money via refinance, only to see it evaporate in the form of higher real estate taxes.  But is this a real threat?  Or is it safe to assume that simply by refinancing … [Read more...]

How do Divorces Affect Marital Property?

How do divorces affect marital property

Recently, I've been asked by many Realtors and Attorneys to help finance a client looking to buy another property after or during their divorce ... Because of the frequency of this scenario, I've been reminded that there's a large amount of misunderstanding and erroneous information surrounding this delicate topic. Below are some examples of the "divorce scenarios" I've seen most often: One, or both parties, are looking to "move on".  Depending on the Divorce Settlement Agreement, … [Read more...]

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...]

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 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

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...]

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...]

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...]