There are times that I have used a mortgage borrower’s retirement account balance/s as income, even if the borrower is not currently taking required withdrawals from the account/s. But how can an asset be used as income? It can, and the guidelines allow it. However, there are many rules to consider.
- The mortgage must be for a 1-unit or 2-unit Primary Residence or a second home; no investment properties are allowed, and no 3-4 unit properties are allowed.
- The mortgage must be a purchase loan or a no cash-out refinance, not a cash out refinance.
- The maximum loan-to-value is 80%.
- At least one borrower on the account must be 62 years old.
- We take the account balance and divide by 240 to get the monthly income. For example: $800,000 401(k) account balance / 240 = $3,333.33/month in income to help qualify for a mortgage
All the Freddie Mac rules related to this can be seen by clicking here.
For retirement accounts that are already being used to take distributions as income, the Fannie Mae rules to document that as acceptable income are found here under the area marked “Retirement, Government Annuity, and Pension Income.” The main points are:
- If retirement income is paid in the form of a distribution from a 401(k), IRA, or Keogh retirement account, determine whether the income is expected to continue for at least three years after the date of the mortgage application.
- Eligible retirement account balances (from a 401(k), IRA, or Keogh) may be combined for the purpose of determining whether the three-year continuance requirement is met.
- The borrower must have unrestricted access to the accounts without penalty.
If you are getting near retirement age or you are already retirement age, consider using your retirement accounts as income to help you qualify for a mortgage, even if you are not currently taking withdrawals from the account.
To contact me to discuss any income qualifying or other mortgage questions, click here to schedule a call or you can email me directly.
Potential homebuyers who contact me for a mortgage are now frequently asking if they should wait to buy a home. The implication is that people are now worried that housing values are going to fall, so why buy now? Isn’t it smarter to wait? Maybe, maybe not. It is understandable why everybody is asking the question, “are housing values dropping now?”
Markets are very local. Don’t assume that real estate is going to fall across the board in every community, in every town, in every city across the U.S. Read the rest of this entry »
There has been a lot of talk about e-closings recently, which allows someone to close on a mortgage remotely from the comfort of their own home or office, without physically going to a title company office. However, knowing the details is important. You need to determine if this is an option that is available to you, and if it is a good idea for you.
As of the writing of this blog, e-closings are not available in all 50 states. You need to determine if your state has passed legislation to allow them. Then you need to find a mortgage lender and a title company that have the knowledge and technology needed to participate in e-closings.
You may also hear an e-closing referred to as a digital closing, electronic closing, remote closing, and other variations.
There are also different types of e-closings such as: Read the rest of this entry »
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 the rest of this entry »
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 the rest of this entry »
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 the rest of this entry »
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.
Read the rest of this entry »
There are some mortgage agencies, like Fannie Mae, that will not do a loan for an investment property buyer that already has what they consider to be excessive financed properties.
If you are buying a new primary residence, there is no limit to the number of financed properties that you already have.
However, if you are buying a second home/vacation home or rental property, you cannot have more than 10 financed properties already. Read the rest of this entry »
Every year, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sets a dollar cap on conventional mortgages that Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae are allowed, commonly referred to as a conforming loan limit. In 2020, the conforming loan limit for a single-family home was $510,400. This year, the conforming loan limit for a single-family home increased to $548,250, nearly 7.6% higher!
This means Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae can purchase conventional loans valued at or under the conforming loan limit from mortgage lenders. In most areas, the maximum conforming loan limits are as follows: Read the rest of this entry »