Mortgage Matters

What Matters Most?

We’re in another crazy refinancing cycle, and no doubt you’re receiving postcard and phone solicitations daily. Before you give in to the shiny promise of a new loan, ask yourself “what matters most”? If you’re .. Read More

Think Twice Before You File

Do you plan to participate in the real estate market this year? Have you not yet made your appointment with your tax man? Your delay may be to your advantage if you are self-employed and have choices about how much to write off in expenses for yo.. Read More

New Year Financing Strategies

Take time now to review your financial health. Investigate some of these ways you might re-arrange your financing to save money this year and beyond. Refinance your home loan for a lower interest rate or lower monthly payment. Change your adj.. Read More

Updates for the New Year

Every year the agencies update their lending limits, based on the prior year’s housing activity. We’re hearing from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that the conforming loan limit remains at $417,000. Loans below this amount get the b.. Read More

Clean Up the Clutter

Once the holidays are over many people look around and decide they need to clean up their clutter for the new year. Here are two ways to do just that. If you find you’re receiving unwanted credit card pre-approval offers, there is a wa.. Read More

15 vs. 30

A chance encounter lead to today’s topic. Would it be smart to refi a 30-year mortgage to a 15-year term? This family bought their home within the past few years and currently has a 3.875% fixed rate on a 30-year loan. They don’.. Read More

Keeping Your FICO High Through the Holidays

If you’re a typical consumer, the holiday season means you’ll be using your credit cards to buy gifts for those you love. Be smart about your FICO score while you’re doing your shopping. Of the five components that make a .. Read More

Comparing Loan Offers

It’s pretty easy to go on-line and get figures about your next home loan. Does what you see on the screen actually end up being what you get? It’s not always a matter of bait and switch; it’s a matter of the intricacies of loan .. Read More

VA Loan Successes

Three Veteran buyers have recently used their Certificate of Eligibility to relocate to Tehachapi. Using a VA loan is a nifty way to use maximum financing to buy your primary residence. Here’s how it worked out for them. Buyer M owns .. Read More

Future FHA Buyers Will Get a Break

FHA mortgage loans can be pretty great because of the low down-payment requirement and relaxed qualifying guidelines. But for everyone who has taken an FHA loan before January 2015, these loans come with a hidden catch. For most loans, when .. Read More

Keeping An Eye on Your Credit Report

When you buy a car or a house, you expect the quality of your credit will be an issue in getting the corresponding loan. Are you aware that your insurance company and prospective employer may also want to access your credit file? More and more,.. Read More

Why a Calculator Isn’t Helpful

She was very surprised when I told her the monthly payment would be $1127 per month. “But my Realtor told me the payment would be only $925!” The Realtor was using a mortgage calculator to estimate the payment based on the price, bu.. Read More

Ugly But Not Broken

Lately we’ve been seeing appraisals come back with commentary requiring repairs be made before the close of escrow. What triggers this situation? Generally houses need to be free of “health and safety” issues in order to be.. Read More

Dear Seller: Pre-Qual or Pre-Approval Letter?

Hooray that you finally know you should talk to your lender before shopping for a home with your chosen Realtor. You’ve got a piece of paper that says you’ve done your homework first, but what should the seller make of it? Lots h.. Read More

Choosing your escrow company

It’s less prevalent than it was before, but sometimes you still see listings where the seller has an established relationship with their own title and escrow company. Oftentimes this would be a bank or an investor who might do lots of deal.. Read More

VA Loans Are Good

Why are Realtors and sellers wary of buyers using a VA loan? They shouldn’t be. Let’s bust some myths about this great loan program. The VA home loan entitlement allows Veteran home buyers access to a loan program requiring no dow.. Read More

When Cash is Not King

Really, he was trying to help. Knowing that he needed a clean paper trail for the money they’d use to buy a house, he opened a new account. Since the bank puts holds on checks for the first month, he cashed his paychecks at the old bank t.. Read More

Extenuating Circumstances

Life happens, and sometimes it means your finances take a hit. Mortgage guidelines would seem to offer condolences, but are they real? What you see in headlines doesn’t always translate into real-life help, and here’s why. .. Read More

Creating a Win-Win Offer

Home ownership happens when a willing buyer and a willing seller agree to the terms of sale. Want to know a secret strategy that allows both sides to win? The usual common sense stuff has to be in place: An asking price that reflects current.. Read More

Pay Attention to What Matters Most

My client was adamant that she wanted to buy her next home with 20% down on a 20-year loan. After an hour’s consultation, we didn’t end up anywhere near that. Why? Because she told me what was important to her, so we arranged her f.. Read More

Should I Refinance?

Yep, interest rates are higher than they were this time last year, and those who have already refinanced might have caught the market at a good time. But it’s about more than just a rate. The structure of your loan merits attention, too. .. Read More

"I’ll Call You When I Have a Million Dollars"

She was trying to be funny when she said it, but hearing this underscores the need for clarity about financing. If you had a million dollars, maybe you wouldn’t need leverage. For the rest of us, the path to owning real estate has to do w.. Read More

Got Transcripts?

When something happens repeatedly at my desk, you get to hear about it. Twice in the past few weeks we’re running into problems about federal tax returns, and being able to independently verify their validity. In applying for a home lo.. Read More

The Buck Starts Here

It struck me as funny when a caller asked me, “So just who is this ‘underwriter’ person, anyway?!” He and his family are in the process of buying their first home and have run into delays in closing, due to the ‘und.. Read More

More About the Score

When we pull your credit report, lenders are supposed to give consumers a credit score disclosure. This document shows what your credit scores are, and gives reason codes as to why. You’ll see references to credit score ranges of 309 t.. Read More