A VA loan is a mortgage loan guaranteed by the Veterans Administration. There are numerous mortgage guidelines for a VA mortgage. I wanted to list some of the more important ones below, but you always need to speak to an experienced mortgage loan officer and have them discuss your specific circumstances as there are many other things to consider in addition to the below. Read the rest of this entry »
Jumbo mortgage loans are usually confusing to the average mortgage consumer. No one seems to know what defines a Jumbo mortgage loan, and no one realizes that there can be different underwriting guidelines for Jumbo mortgage loans than for non-Jumbo (also called Conforming) mortgage loans.
Jumbo loan amounts may vary county by county.
It is first important to know that there can be three different loan amount categories. There are:
- Conforming loans, which in 2019 go up to $484,350
- Conforming “High Balance” loans, which can go from $484,351, to as high as $726,525 if you are in a high cost area.
- Jumbo loans (also called Non-Conforming loans) are loans higher than the county Conforming loan limit.
I frequently have people ask me for “one of those no-cost refi’s”. Some people think that mortgage lenders are so hard up for business that they are willing to lose money and simply pay the closing costs for the mortgage borrower. I don’t know of any businesses where losing money is part of the process of making money. A no-cost refi actually comes with a cost…a higher interest rate.
The mortgage loan limits have been changed for 2017. For Conventional loans the new limits are:
Conforming loans are:
For Conforming “High Balance” loans in designated high cost areas the new limits are:
Find more details on Conventional loan amounts click here.
Any Conventional loan amount which is higher than the above limits is considered a Jumbo loan (aka non-conforming) and is subject to different underwriting guidelines.
To look up FHA loan limits for your area click here.
To look up VA loan limits for your area click here.
The Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) is a mortgage assistance program, set up by the Federal Housing Finance Agency in March 2009 to help underwater and near-underwater homeowners refinance their mortgages.
After the housing market crash in 2009 many homeowners were faced with a situation where their house was considered “underwater”. In this scenario, the house value was less than the mortgage loan cost, in other words, having a negative equity value in the home. Refinancing was not an option, nor was selling the home unless they paid the lender for the difference. Unfortunately, this lead many homeowners into foreclosure. Read the rest of this entry »
There was an article recently on TechCrunch.com that was titled “This Could Be The Mortgage Industry’s iPhone Moment” that proclaimed “Quicken Loans sees Rocket Mortgage as the turning point in home financing” and “It’s home financing’s iPhone”, and “The process takes less than 10 minutes.” Hmmm, we’ll see about that. Read the rest of this entry »
Getting a 2nd trust mortgage when you bought a home, called a “Purchase Money 2nd trust,” was something I had never heard about when I got in the mortgage business in 1986. I’d always thought a 2nd trust was something you got when you lived in a property for a long time and had built up a lot of equity (i.e. an equity line) and then wanted to tap the equity for home renovations or debt consolidation. However, 2nd trusts to help purchase a new home became common in the real estate boom Read the rest of this entry »
Everyone likes to think PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance) is evil. Everyone likes to think they should not have to pay it, and everyone wants to find a way around paying it. There are ways to work around PMI, but like all things in life, there are trade-offs. A person really needs to look at all the options and trades-offs, and consider how long they think they are likely to spend in their new home. Then everyone needs to consider paying PMI! What do I mean? Read the rest of this entry »
Many ARM loans are based on the LIBOR index (London Interbank Offered Rate), which currently stands at 0.58%. If you Google “LIBOR interest rate adjustment chart” you can find your own results to see how LIBOR has adjusted over time, or go to a chart of historical LIBOR rates by Read the rest of this entry »
Actually, the refinance boom is indeed over; however, there are a fair amount of people that still need to refinance. For example, I know of many people who have excellent interest rates on a 15-Year fixed rate mortgage because they thought they would be in their home forever and wanted to get the mortgage paid off over a shorter term, but now have suffered a job setback or some other sort of financial blow, and need to revert to a 30-Year mortgage to reduce the monthly payment. Let me give Read the rest of this entry »