3 Percent Down?

Government-backed mortgage loans, VA, FHA and USDA, require little to no down payment. FHA loans ask for a down payment of at least 3.5 percent of the sales price while the other two don’t require any down payment whatsoever. But did you know there are conventional loans that also accept a down payment of just…

In Praise of the Townhouse

Townhouses offer a perfect solution for those who can’t afford a single-family home but need more space than an apartment condominium can provide. But townhouses are becoming increasingly difficult for many Canadians to afford. The first townhouses to appear in Canada popped up in the 19th century, when they were the most common form of…

The Trouble with Concrete

It’s what you don’t know about cement and concrete that causes problems. Done right, concrete and cement excel at everything from foundations, building blocks, and exterior cladding to polished interior floors and amazing kitchen counter tops. The “done right” part means that when you hire a contractor for an addition, a renovation, or a new…

Economic Reports and Mortgage Rates

Did you know that economic reports can impact mortgage rates? And that some economic reports have a greater impact than others? Each month and each quarter, various government agencies release data they’ve been tracking on a regular basis. Investors and analysts alike predict these numbers and then react to them once the numbers are ultimately…

Why Do Lenders Sell Loans?

When you first work with your loan officer very early on in the process, you’ll soon establish a trusting relationship with that person. You’ve shopped around for a new loan and interviewed several loan officers before finally landing on the perfect choice. Your loan officer has helped qualify you and provide an array of loan…

Mortgage Lending & Homebuying Trends for 2019

These are interesting times for mortgage lenders. While there are large-scale economic and socioeconomic reasons for optimism going forward, there are also some complexities and cautionary notes that need to be taken seriously. Understanding these key trends—and appreciating the significant issues likely to impact the industry in 2019 and beyond—is important for lenders, mortgage banking…

The Three Government-Backed Home Loan Programs

In today’s mortgage marketplace there are two basic types of home loans: conventional and government-backed. Conventional loans are those typically underwritten to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines while government-backed mortgages carry some level of guarantee to the lender that approved the application. As long as the lender followed proper protocol when underwriting a government-backed…

Credit Inquiries: Why Lenders Care

FICO scores are calculated using an algorithm originally developed by The FICO Company. This algorithm considers five different characteristics of a credit file. Of course, payment history carries the most weight, contributing 35% to the total, three-digit score. The second most important relates to current account balances and credit limits. Scores need consumers to use…

How Will the TCJA of 2018 Affect Your Taxes?

Remember the TCJA of 2018? No? Need a little memory jog? The TCJA is the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2018 that was signed in December of each year and made multiple changes to the tax code that covered several areas, including how the tax code addressed mortgage interest deduction and Home Equity Lines…

Submitted to Underwriting: What Does That Mean?

The loan approval process goes through various stages as you get closer to your settlement date. From initial application to final funding, lenders assign these different stages different names. Your loan will initial be an application then soon thereafter submitted to processing and after that submitted to underwriting. Of course, all stages are important and…

How Conforming Loan Limits Are Set Each Year

Here in just a couple of weeks, some important economic data will be reviewed by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, or FHFA. This new data will then impact the new conforming loan limits for 2019. Mortgages are considered either a “conforming” or “jumbo” based upon the amount borrowed. Conforming loans that are underwritten to Fannie…

How to Finance a Mixed-Use Property

There are essentially two types of real estate- residential and commercial. Residential is self-evident in that people occupy the property as their primary dwelling or rent the property from the owner. Commercial real estate is income producing whether it be for an office building or a doctor’s office or a beauty salon, for instance. But…

Private Lending: Why It’s So Important

Have you heard of private lending? Not so much as an owner-financed home but loans made by a certain type of lender using its own internal guidelines without having to follow third party regulations? Private money, or so-called “hard money,” is a valuable asset in the world of real estate and without it many existing…