Inspection vs. AVM vs. Appraisal

All three of these terms involve some sort of activity on a property. An inspection, an Automated Valuation Model, or AVM and an appraisal. While related, they all have different functions but sometimes they’re confused with one another. Let’s take a closer look. A property inspection is ordered by the buyers. While not required by…

The VA Funding Fee Explained

Mortgages that are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs are referred to as the VA loan. While the VA doesn’t actually get involved with any part of an approval, it does issue guidelines that lenders must follow in order to receive the loan guarantee. VA loans are one of three of the government-backed programs,…

The VA Funding Fee Explained

Mortgages that are backed by the Department of Veterans Affairs are referred to as the VA loan. While the VA doesn’t actually get involved with any part of an approval, it does issue guidelines that lenders must follow in order to receive the loan guarantee. VA loans are one of three of the government-backed programs,…

What Happens in 30 Days

Okay, you’ve got a signed contract in your hands. You applied for a preapproval several weeks ago and began shopping for a home. Your loan officer pulled a credit report and asked for documents providing evidence of enough cash to close. This amount includes not just your down payment, but also closing costs. While you…

Can Someone Achieve a Perfect Credit Score?

It’s possible but in all my years in the industry I’ve never seen a perfect score. Credit scores, commonly referred to as FICO scores, the acronym for the Fair Isaac Corporation which developed the algorithm, are three digit numbers ranging from 300 to 850. Most conventional loan programs today will approve an application with a…

The Basics of Down Payment Assistance Programs

Perhaps the single biggest obstacle to home ownership is coming up with enough money for a down payment, closing costs and cash reserves. While some loan programs don’t require a down payment, such as the VA and USDA programs, others do. For example, FHA loans ask for a minimum down payment of just 3.5 percent…

Interest Rate Locks: What You Need to Know

Here’s something that many probably don’t know– mortgage rates can change daily and in times of somewhat volatility, they can change during the course of a business day. This can mean getting rate information from a lender in the morning and calling back in the afternoon to lock in that rate to find rates are…

First Time Home Buyers: Your Six Month Plan

First time home buyers who dip their newbie toes in the mortgage waters might soon find out there’s a lot more to know than originally thought. It is a brand new world with lots of new terms, people and businesses and it can be a bit overwhelming at first. Heck, even seasoned buyers can find…

How Lenders View Retirement Income

If you or someone you know is retired or retiring soon and planning on buying a “forever” home, there are some things to know as it relates to qualifying income. For most, retiring means living on less and essentially downsizing financially. The regular 1st and 15th paycheck is in the rear view mirror and now…

Investment Properties and Vacancy Factors

Lenders can use rental income to help someone qualify for a new mortgage. But there are some guidelines that must be followed. One of the initial surprises for first time real estate investors is the income from the future purchase can’t be used to help qualify. Even if it can be verified there is rental…

Conventional, Subprime and Private Loans Defined

In today’s home loan world, there are three primary types of mortgages. They are conventional, subprime and private and all three are extremely important and needed in the world of real estate finance. Conventional loans are those that are made by mortgage lenders where the lender assumes all the risk of making the loan. Should…