Work With An Individual Loan Officer or A Loan Officer Team?

January 16th, 2023
Work with individual or a team

Should you work with an individual Loan Officer or a Loan Officer team? This discussion will stir up some controversy. I will likely get some angry comments as well as some supportive comments. Keep it classy, and let’s discuss! Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Home Price Reduction and Rates

December 31st, 2022
interest rate 149879 1280

How do home price reduction and rates affect one another? I have clients who have reported seeing price reductions in the asking prices of homes for sale. This is the first time I have heard of this in years and years. So, are real estate values about to correct? It probably depends on where you live. And of course, as with many of life’s answers, the answer is a matter of degree. Some markets may be in for a large correction, some a small correction, and some markets may still experience price gains.

Are housing values dropping?

I have heard of some home shoppers say they feel home sellers owe it to homebuyers to drop prices just because of the interest rates increase. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

2023 Much Higher Conforming Loan Limits Announced

December 3rd, 2022
1200px Arrow northeast.svg

2023 conforming loan limits have been announced! The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) sets the loan size limits each year on conventional mortgages that Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae will buy from mortgage lenders. In 2022 the conforming loan limit for a single-family home was $647,800. This year, the conforming loan limit for a single-family home has increased to $726,200, a little over a 12% increase! Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Waiving Contract Contingencies On A Condo

November 25th, 2022
new home under contract

When buying a condo, you may find yourself in a competitive bidding situation and your realtor may ask you about waiving some or all the contingencies in your contract. These contingencies are usually things like a home inspection contingency, appraisal contingency, and financing contingency. But waiving contract contingencies on a condo can be risky. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Moving Tools When Moving Into A New Home

November 1st, 2022
home 5574911 1920

When you move into a new home there are numerous tasks to track. It is almost impossible to keep everything organized, unless you keep track through a task list or use some sort of technology tool.

Although the closing will seem like a long time off once you get under contract for a new home, it will all happen quickly. And a lot of tasks related to moving into your new home require a lot of advance notice! It is time to start planning things ASAP, do not procrastinate. The below will help. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

How are property taxes calculated?

October 3rd, 2022
calculate property taxes

Property taxes are a part of the cost of owning a home. When you buy a home you not only have to consider the cost of the monthly mortgage payment, but you also need to consider property taxes, homeowners insurance, any HOA dues, maintenance, and utilities.

Many people wrongly assume property taxes are a fixed cost, and that whatever amount is billed when you first buy the house, is what the amount will be for the life of owning the home. However, property taxes can change quickly after buying a home. Most counties assess property value annually, and adjust the amount due annually. Read the rest of this entry »

Bookmark and Share

Using Retirement Account As Income For A Mortgage

September 10th, 2022
older couple in retirement

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.

Bookmark and Share

Are Housing Values Dropping Now?

August 10th, 2022
ten percent off sale

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 »

Bookmark and Share

e-closings The Reality

May 30th, 2022
image gabf42fccd 1280

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 »

Bookmark and Share

Historical Real Estate Values

April 26th, 2022
money and housing

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 »

Bookmark and Share