unfinished house

Escrows For Weather Related Home Completion Items

Lenders are sometimes asked by a mortgage borrower to allow an escrow account to be created for some items to be completed. Repairs cannot be addressed by putting money in escrow. Repairs are usually required to be completed prior to closing. However, lenders may allow an escrow account to be created for items unable to be completed due to weather. Weather related delays are most common in new construction homes.

In my 3.5 decades in the mortgage business, I don’t recall a lender I have worked for ever allowing repair escrows. That is because they are typically messy, and many times end up not being resolved in a timely fashion. There are contractor problems and other situations where the cost exceeds the escrow account reserve. Weather related escrows are a different story, but repair related escrows may be impossible to get approved by a lender. Read More

money and housing

Historical Real Estate Values

I often have conversations with potential homebuyers in speaking with them about their mortgage financing, where they ask me about whether I think Real Estate is due for a correction. Let’s face it, Real Estate has been going up in value at a striking pace in the last few years. It’s a realistic question to ask if some of that increase is due for a correction to some degree.

Of course, I don’t have the answers. But we can have a discussion to give homebuyers a frame of reference. Read More

water and beach

Tidewater Notices on VA Loans

If you have never even heard of a Tidewater Notice, you are probably wondering what is a tidewater?! I know the first time I heard the term I was confused. My first thought was, “the property isn’t waterfront, what are they talking about tidewater for?

The Tidewater process by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) gives borrowers a way to try to combat a low appraisal valuation before it is even official. Before finalizing the appraisal report, VA appraisers can notify the lender that it looks like the home’s value will come in below the purchase price. This is known as invoking the Tidewater Initiative, or Tidewater for short. Read More

septic truck

Are Well And Septic Inspections Needed To Get A Mortgage?

Well and septic inspections may indeed be required to get mortgage approval. But it depends on the type of mortgage you are seeking.

A conventional mortgage through Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac typically do not require  well and septic inspections. I say “typically” not required because there may be an instance where they are required. Read More

car loan

How Much Mortgage Does My Car Loan Cost Me?

When a mortgage lender analyzes your finances to qualify you for a mortgage, they’re looking at all of your debt along with the new proposed mortgage payment. The other debts that they consider outside of your new mortgage payment are debts like minimum credit card payments, car loans, student loans, and any losses from other rental property. They do not look at debts like utility bill payments, car insurance or cell phone bills.

A mortgage lender will approve your loan allowing you to spend a certain percentage of your gross monthly income on your new mortgage payment and your debts.

Let’s see how much more mortgage you could qualify for if you did not have a car loan. Then you can see if paying off a car loan off  leaves you with the cash needed to  make a down payment and pay the closing costs to purchase a new property. Read More

building disaster

New Condo Mortgage Guidelines After The Florida Condo Disaster

There have been several announcements regarding condominium deferred maintenance recently.  As a mortgage lender, we must pay attention to announcements regarding  changes in underwriting guidelines from both governmental mortgage agencies that write off all of mortgage guidelines, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. We also have to pay attention to guideline changes announced by the various banks that we sell loans to.

Ever since the horrific disaster in Surfside Florida on June 24th 2021 (when the building collapsed due to deferred maintenance), the government agencies and the banks we sell mortgages to have started to incorporate questions related to condominium maintenance into the condo questionnaire. Read More

calculating finances

Is It Cheaper to Rent or Own a House? Pros & Cons of Renting vs. Buying

To rent or to own? If you are planning on moving and are financially stable enough to potentially qualify for a mortgage, there is a lot for you to consider. Buying a home usually requires a down payment plus closing costs; renting also comes with its own fees, but those are generally less than you will need to buy a home. Here, we will explore whether it is cheaper to rent or own a house and the pros and cons of both.

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mortgage rules

Will a Business Loan Affect Getting a Mortgage? Maybe.

If you own a business and have a loan for it, and you are planning on buying a home, you might be wondering if the business loan will affect whether or not you can get a mortgage. A business loan can impact your credit score if you are the sole proprietor of the business and take out the business loan in your name instead of the business’ name, or if you personally guarantee the loan. A lender will be looking to see if you and your credit are stable when they decide to give someone a mortgage loan.

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home buying

What Can Stop You from Buying a House? Common Obstacles and How to Overcome Them

You have a down payment saved up, a good credit score, and a low debt to income ratio; it is time to buy your dream home. However, something prevents you from buying the home. What can stop you from buying a house? In this article, we will explore some common obstacles and how you can overcome them.

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home ownership

How to Reach Out to a Mortgage Lender: Finding the Right Advocate in Your Home Buying Process

If you are buying a home, you will need a mortgage lender to help you fund it. There are many mortgage lenders available, so finding the right one can be difficult sometimes. Here, we will look at how to reach out to mortgage lenders so that you can find the best lender available to help you finance your dream home.

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