Recent Posts: Mortgages + Lending

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Don’t Pay Mortgage Insurance.

A new program is providing lender-paid private mortgage insurance on conventional loans through December 31, 2019. Save big when you buy a home by avoiding the traditional 20% down required to avoid monthly PMI payments. You can avoid PMI by putting down 15% as little as of the purchase price. Eliminating PMI can result in […]

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Seller Financing Restrictions.

If you are thinking of selling your property with a carry back loan, the Dodd-Frank Act created rules applying to residential seller financing. A carry back loan makes a property more attractive as a buyer doesn’t have to come up with the entire purchase price in cash. The first restriction eliminates carrybacks on properties owned […]

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The Bank of Mom and Dad.

Coming up with a down payment can be difficult for young home buyers and those with high student-loan debt. But many mortgage programs allow parents to help fund their children’s down payment. There are of course hoops to jump through to assure the lender that the down payment is not an undisclosed loan. The money […]

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Errors in Your Credit Report.

Nearly a quarter of Americans have discovered problems with their credit report. Incorrect info can result in a denial of a home loan or more expensive loan terms. The most common problems are incorrect or outdated credit or personal information, information that belonged to another person, or a credit score incorrectly reported as too low. […]

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Floodplain Insurance Requirement Dropped.

Hundreds of Scottsdale residents in the Grayhawk master-planned community have been removed from the Rawhide Wash 100-year flood plain. This revision to the flood insurance rate maps means pricey flood insurance is no longer mandatory for those home owners with a federally-backed mortgage that are now outside the boundaries of the 100-year flood plain. Those […]

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Get A Free Down Payment.

There is free money available for certain Arizona home buyers! Millions of dollars are allocated to down-payment assistance to qualifying homebuyers who intend to occupy the home. The AzHFA Home Plus program provides a down payment assistance grant equal to a percentage of the principal balance of the loan (4-5% of the balance) to primary […]

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What Lenders Look For.

Many buyers only focus on their credit rating when they are ready to buy a home. But when deciding whether to grant you a loan, lenders evaluate four things to make sure you can make the loan payments: Capacity – your current and future ability to pay back the loan, through your income, employment history, […]

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How to Finance a Fixer-Upper.

The FHA 203(k) program is a loan product designed to help owner-occupants remodel a home. Available when purchasing or refinancing a home, it wraps the purchase/refinance and rehabilitation costs into a single mortgage. To qualify for the loan, the total value of the property must fall within the FHA mortgage limit for the area. There […]

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Decoding Sale and Loan Docs, Part 4.

A major priority should be checking the documents to make sure you are getting the deal promised to you. To do that, you need to review those that contain the loan related figures and closing charges. These are found in the Good Faith Estimate (from your lender), the Truth in Lending (lender), and the “pre-audit” […]

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Decoding Sale and Loan Docs, Part 3.

Educational documents/documents you may need after closing.  Educational documents mainly are directed at the buyer/borrower, and most give information about the mortgage process. These contain info which may be useful and should be read. The loan related papers can generate questions that the loan officer should be able to answer. Documents that may be needed […]

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Interest Rates Fall Again.

30 year mortgage rates fell below 4% last week to the lowest amount this year. And the 15 year rate was only 3.19%.

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What Do You Need to Afford a Home?

The monthly amount necessary to acquire/own a home should be no more than around 28-30% of gross income. Include in this payment the monthly anticipated loan principle and interest, homeowners insurance, real estate taxes and association fees. To calculate that amount divide your gross income by 12, then multiply by .28 or .30.

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Paying Mortgages Is History.

It would seem that the payment of a mortgage is a relatively recent activity historically. But lending has a long history, and may be as old as writing. For example, there is evidence of lending in Mesopotamia for grain purchases as far back as 3000 B.C.E.  As to real estate, from at least 400 B.C.E. […]

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Green Your Home With a Loan.

Fannie Mae announced HomeStyle Energy mortgage program last year, to help borrowers finance energy and water upgrades to make their home more energy efficient when buying or refinancing a home. The loan makes buyer-owners eligible to receive up to 15% of the as-completed appraised value of the home/condo to use for energy efficient upgrades. An […]

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You Already Have A Down Payment, Part 2.

In part 1, I showed how lack of awareness of low-down-payment mortgage options can discourage potential buyers from trying to purchase a home. Historically only 5% of the purchase price is enough. And one way to get there is a government sponsored down payment assistance program, such as the AzHFA Home Plus Mortgage Program. Home […]

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