Selling Your Home Yourself vs. Using a Realtor

Before you place a “For Sale” sign in your front yard and sit back and wait for the phone to ring, you must first determine if being a FSBO is for you. Should you, as a homeowner, looking to sell your home, consider selling the property yourself or take the conventional route and engage a Realtor? That is the preverbal $64,000 question – or if you use the national average sale price of existing homes of $268,000 – the $16,000 question. Read More…

How to Sell Your Home by Yourself?

Once you have decided to sell your home by yourself, a free 46-page guide will help you sell your home quickly, and for top dollar. Selling your home on your own is a major task, and many people will tell you that you can’t do it yourself. Well, statistics shows the majority of For-Sale-By-Owners (FSBO’s), 65% will list with a real estate broker within 6-8 weeks. Read More…

Top 10 Tips on How to Sell Your Home by Yourself

Selling your home by yourself takes planning, effort and commitment. By using some simple FSBO (For Sale by Owner) tips and techniques, the average homeowner can sell his or her own home without the assistance of a real estate agent. Just as many others have done in the past. You can sell your own home and save thousands, but, it takes work and commitment. Read More…

5 Important Tips on Selling Your Home by Yourself

Before you get ready to sell your home, make sure you understand the fundamentals. Once you have seen the outrageous amount of money, you would have to give a realtor to sell your home, perhaps you thought about how to sell your home by owner. Well this article is here to give you 5 easy tips to learn how to sell your home by owner. If you want to know how to sell your home by owner, know the prices of the local market. Read More…

How to Advertise a Property for Sale?

To get more buyers to know about your home, you need to do more than just put up a “For Sale” sign in your front yard. Selling your home without using a real estate agent is not difficult but as many buyers as possible need to know that your property is for sale if the process is to be a success. The key to getting the message out to buyers is an effective advertising campaign. Read More…

Comparison Between A Fixed Rate and Adjustable Rate Mortgages

Most of the mortgages fall into two categories such as fixed rate mortgages and adjustable rate mortgages. These types of mortgages provide a number of options, which suit as per your need and requirement. It is always a difficult decision for borrowers to choose between fixed rate and adjustable rate mortgages. So, it’s important to understand and consider all the factors involved in such mortgages. Read More…

How to Improve Credit Score?

Understanding the factors that go into your credit report can help you improve a less-than-perfect score. A credit card can help you build credit and manage your money. Credit scoring models are complex and often vary among creditors and for different types of credit. If one factor changes, your score may change, but, improvement generally depends on how that factor relates to other factors considered by the model. Read More…

How Credit Score Affects Your Mortgage?

Your interest rate, maximum loan to value and mortgage options are all dependent on your credit score. Your credit score and what is on your credit report all affect your ability to get a mortgage. On a credit report, there are 3 scores, one from each of the 3 credit bureaus. Scores are different because different creditors do not all report your debts to all three bureaus. The middle score is the one that is used. Read More…

Understand Mortgage Options

If you are going to purchase another home, it helps to understand what your mortgage options are. If you are going to buy a home, you will probably need to get another mortgage. In this article, I want to give you some insight on a few mortgage programs and issues. I will also try to give you the advantages and disadvantages of each program. Read More…

Can I payoff my first mortgage with a second mortgage product?

Posted on March 23

Question: I owe about 22.6 years on my 5.625% mortgage. Balance of my mortgage is approx 226k. For home, I would like an appraisal of 440k or may be higher.

My first choice, if possible, is not only to refinance my first mortgage for a lower rate without extending the term, but also, to escrow my own taxes and insurance.

If I can’t find a first mortgage product that allows me to escrow my own taxes and insurance, can I chose my term?

If not, can I payoff my first mortgage with a second mortgage product? If I can payoff my first mortgage with a second mortgage (assuming the second mortgage rates are lower), can I pick a 20 year term if the 15 year term makes my payments higher than I want to pay? How do I find out either of these rates?

If I want to refinance for a first mortgage for 22 years, can I do that? If so, what are the rates? I can’t seem to find any rates other than 15 or 30 year rates for refinancing. Do I use the 30 year rate for a 22 year term?

Escrows (Taxes & Insurance) conforming loans are priced based on you Escrowing – so, if they are not included, there is an extra 1/4 point assessed to your closing cost (or a bump in the rate). You wrote, “escrow my own taxes and insurance”; I gather that, you do not want to escrow, you would request an Escrow Waiver and you would be responsible for paying your own taxes & insurance and would be assessed the extra fee for your decision.

20 year & 30 year amortizations tend to be very close in price, however, 15 yr loans are 3/8% to 1/2% lower rate. A 15 yr payment would be about $239/month more than a 20 yr amortization, but, you would save about $1200 in interest the 1st year. If you can afford the extra payment, the 15 yr option is worth considering.

Why are the closing costs so high?

Posted on March 23

Question: I got a quote and the closing costs total to $7400, which seems a bit high to me. We bought an investment property for 57,000, got a hard money loan and got liens totaling to 8,500 and just put tenants in the home who are paying $895 for rent. So, the total we want to refinance is 65,500. Credit is at a 725, why are the closing costs so high? Is this normal?

I must admit $7,400 in costs for a 65k loan sure seems steep. Do you have a GFE? When did you take title? For conforming no-cash loans, you’ll need to have at least 6 months on title.

Presuming your payoff includes the ‘construction costs’; it should not be considered cash-out; however, you would need to be on title for 12 months.

Presuming you have title vesting sufficient for the type of loan you need, it sure looks like, you should be able to obtain a favorable rate and origination costs of under $2,000, add escrow set-up, title and any taxes/recording.

Was it required to pay mortgage insurance?

Posted on March 23

Question: My wife and I purchased our home in AZ on 5 year adjustable mortgage. We do not pay a monthly mortgage insurance payment. Now, we are $70k upside down in the home, I contacted our mortgage company to participate in making Home Affordable program, but, they told us, our home will not qualify, because, the lender was required to pay mortgage insurance. They could not tell me the mortgage insurance company name and I do not have any records on the contract how is this possible and what are my options. I can not believe, I am the only person in this situation!

You are definitely not alone! It’s important to understand that, it’s not your current service provider.

The program was designed so that, you don’t have MI to refinance at new lower rates. The Guidelines were written so, 2nds could be subordinated to allow significant negative equity, and people that put 20% cash down didn’t have to get MI on a new loan. It is a wonderful program, but, like most programs, there are some people that just don’t fit the mold.

However, the MI companies, at least to my knowledge, were never able to facilitate a program to allow people to reduce their rates. I gather, the Govt didn’t want to bail out the MI companies – which is what would have happened in your case, since, the MI company is at risk with so much negative equity. It is boggling to me, a program could not be provided for people that pay their bills on time, but, have MI.

Although a better understanding of what’s behind the curtain might help you, the information won’t help you get a new loan with today’s great fixed rates.

Should we consider an ARM to bring down payments?

Posted on March 28

Question: My 78 year old mother wants to purchase a beach condo to live in for 2-4 years. After that, she will move in with me. With limited monthly funds, should she consider an ARM to bring down her payments?

I understand that some people either prefer to own, or prefer to live in a home that is not generally available for rent. In fact, there are some Condo Associations that do not even allow rentals.

If you decide that, owning is the option for you (and mom), you can indeed dramatically decrease the monthly payment by using an ARM. However, with the likely pressure on rates in the future, you will want to make sure the initial period of the ARM is more than adequate for the time your plan to either own the home, or, are prepared to pay off the Mortgage Loan.

But, please consider the advice you’ve received about renting, if indeed monthly funds are limited, a rate adjustment could be devastating.

Can you get a home loan with the average of both credits?

Posted on March 31

Question: My wife has good credit, I do not (just below 600). My cousin and his wife just bought a house in Birmingham, Alabama and the lenders averaged out their credit scores to approve them for a home loan. We live in Miami, Florida and they are using the lowest score to see if they will provide us with a loan or not. She makes the higher wage between the two of us, but, we can not afford the house we want with just her income. Does anybody know of a lender that will provide us with a home loan based on our challenge?

You mentioned that, you’ve paid off all creditors. How long has it been since you’re had a delinquency? We have programs that go down to 580; but, they require an electronic underwriting approval – which doesn’t always happen with recent deratory items. Let me know if I can help.

How do you finance a vacant lot?

Posted on April 01

Question: I own a home, and would like to buy a vacant lot to build on in the future. I am unsure what the finance options would be for this.

We offer lot loans – 75% LTV under $300k loan; 70% 301k to 399k, and 65% up to 500k. The loans are 3/1 year ARMs with rates in the mid 4′s (credit, income & LTV affect the rate).

Please let me know if you have any other questions about the program.

Are there any programs for investors that are upside down on their mortgages?

Posted on April 11

Question: Property is valued now at $40,000 & my loan is $140,000. I paid $186,000. Property is rented, but, does not pay full mortgage payment. If I short sale, I am told that, my other rental properties could have liens placed on them. Any options out there??

Unfortunately that property doesn’t seems like it was a very good purchase. If your current lender can’t/won’t make any adjustments, it looks like you’ll need to take a long term approach to this property. It’s important to note that, your current lender didn’t sign-on as a partner in your real estate business – all they did was agree to loan you the money you requested – just because the property value got killed, it’s not fair to expect they should participate in the loss.

Refinancing Rental Property in GA

Posted on April 14

Question: Bought a property as a primary home with a 5/1 ARM interest only loan. Got married and then rented it . Want to refinance , and wondering whether I can still refinance home as primary home, since I don’t have my name in any other home.

If the home is a rental, you can’t refinance as a Primary Residence. Since nearly all lenders pull a transcript of your IRS tax returns you’ll want to make sure you are upfront with your lender.

Cash-out refinance for investment property?

Posted on April 20

Question: Is it possible for me to get a cash-out refinance for my two investment properties I own free and clear? I paid all cash for them about a year ago and was unable to obtain this type of refinance last year. I already have 4 houses with mortgages, and bought these two with cash.

Conforming guidelines allow cash-out up to 75% LTV (must own more than 12 months). We can lend on more than 4 properties, but, I suspect you’ll have some difficulty with the cash-out on investment properties.

I would recommend you, consider developing relationship with a business banker, if you’re considering using the cash-out to acquire additional properties, you may find commercial lending very attractive.

Does any mortgage company offer jumbo loans?

Posted on April 24

Question: I am looking for a mortgage for around $650-800K. I do not have enough money for a 20% down payment, but, I can put down around 5-7% in cash and I have a good income/ income potential.

I have some options that might be able to get close enough to your goal to make it work. Please give me a call our email if you’d like to talk. We go to 90% LTV to a 650k loan.

What is included in seller paying closing costs?

Posted on April 27

Question: My realtor says that seller automatically pays closing costs, so, it does not need to be written into the contract, is this true?

I write quite a few loans and what your realtor said is not correct. Of course, the seller has a significant number of their own closing costs, but, you’ll have all of your origination, title and taxes. If you’d like a summary of the typical buyer side costs, please let me know and I’ll gladly help you with a quick summary.

Why use a mortgage broker instead of going direct to a lender?

Posted on May 01

Question: Why use a mortgage broker instead of going direct to a lender?

For every benefit of one, there is normally a correlating benefit to the other. Some people like the security of a complete banking relationship, whereas, others would prefer to save an 1/8 discount point that a broker might be able to provide.

You’re never wrong working with an originator that you know you can trust.

I have a jumbo mortgage. Can I refinance it into two conforming mortgages?

Posted on May 03

Question: I have a jumbo mortgage. Can I refinance it into two conforming mortgages?

It is fairly common for people to take a conforming 1st and a HELOC 2nd, but, since the HELOC can adjust on a monthly basis, that option is quite risky giving the consensus that rates will be increasing.

We offer 30yr fixed Fixed rate Jumbos to 80% LTV to $1,000,000 loan; rates today are 5.125% with 3/4 point discount and about $1,060 of other closing costs (presuming 720+ mid score).