MORTGAGE TIPS TO SAVE YOUR DEAL

It’s been almost three months since Governor Newsom’s order that all Californian’s shelter-in-place. It sure feels like more. I feel such empathy for those that live alone, are single parents or have lost their job, It’s simply awful. I am thankful every single day I get up and get ready for work.

Covid-19 has re-ordered virtually every industry in the world to figure out how to adapt,. Not only adapt, but improvise, and overcome this virus or otherwise fail. In California, mortgage lending and real estate are still thriving; all be it, with a whole new subset of issues to we have never faced before. Below are just a few tricks that might help you during your next purchase:

APPRAISAL WAIVER

Did you know that in some cases, your lender will not require you to get an appraisal when buying a home? We have been doing this for years. Now, with Covid-19, and given the fact, sellers don’t want a stranger in their home, the appraisers can be just as uncomfortable entering a home. It’s lovely to know you have this option if you work with the right lender.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac traditionally offer an appraisal waiver for low loan-to-value refinance or if you put down at least 20% on a purchase. Also, in conjunction with new Fannie and Freddie Covid-19 updates, our underwriters are permitting exterior only appraisals under certain circumstances. 

However, you may still want to get an appraisal done (~$525) to ensure you are not paying too much for the home. But if you and your agent have taken the time to look at comparables and feel the value is there, not needing an appraisal can not only save you money by not having to pay for the report, it can also help in other ways. 

For example, I had a client facing multiple offers, and the only reason their offer was accepted is that they came in at asking price AND agreed to remove the appraisal contingency. Meaning, if for some reason, the appraisal came in lower, they would have to come out of pocket to make up the difference. These buyers didn’t have much in reserves after the down payment and closing costs, and what they did have left was their cushion for any future emergencies. With this appraisal waiver in place, they would not pay one extra dollar out of pocket – And not needing an appraisal was just what they needed – peace of mind. 

CAN’T GET A JUMBO LOAN?

Jumbo loans have been walloped during this pandemic as mortgage servicers tighten their lending criteria. Many lenders have stopped issuing them altogether. Jumbos are loans that exceed the maximum you can borrow with a Fannie, Freddie, or FHA conforming loan. For example, let’s assume you are buying a home in Sacramento County, where the max Fannie/Freddie loan amount is $569,250. Thus, if your loan amount is higher – you fall in the Jumbo loan category. 

Since Fannie and Freddie do not back jumbo loans, they are considered riskier and require higher credit scores, lower debt-to-income ratios, and may require a few months of cash reserves or even up to a year or more worth of mortgage payments. A little trick is to use a piggyback second mortgage to avoid taking out a Jumbo loan. Jumbo rates can be higher than those on conforming loans, so borrowers buying a high-value home may take out a conforming mortgage, then cover the rest with a piggyback loan and down payment.

Let’s assume you found your dream home for $850,000 in the perfect neighborhood. Now, throw in you were just told by your Jumbo lender that the loan for $680,000 you were qualified for, no longer exists. When the reserves required become higher, your rate just went up too. You could instead go with a conforming loan of $569,250 plus a piggyback loan of $110,750 and save the day.

Every day this pandemic throws new challenges our way. Because of that, we continue to adapt and improvise and overcome. This is why it is essential to work with people you trust. Lenders that have decades of experience will guide you through the steps of home-ownership and finance. Be safe, everyone.

COVID-19 Questions You Should Ask The Lender before Accepting Offer!

“In this COVID-19 world, what questions should I ask the buyer’s lender before accepting an offer on my listings?”

When was the last time credit was pulled? Ideally the last week or so.

If an FHA/VA offer, can you fund with their FICO today? Many lenders have changed the minimum FICO requirements. If the buyer’s credit was pulled prior to that change, do they still qualify?

Are you able to lock loans prior to final approval or appraisal? You want a “yes” – if rates go up after application, it could hurt their pre-approval or scare the buyer away from an increased payment. Many lenders are not allowing this. If that’s the case, can they withstand, and are they prepared for a rate increase?

What happens if the loan program is suspended during the loan process? Once you are locked you are “mostly” safe from program changes or program suspensions.

Could you force a lock date, per the contract, to protect your seller from suspended or canceled loan programs? Write it into additional provisions. Some lenders are not allowing loan to be locked until loan is approved and, in some cases, once all prior to doc conditions are met. Guild can lock day 1

Have you verified the Borrower’s full-time employment within the last 24 hours? Employment is tenuous today. It can change at any moment.

What are your current underwriting turn times? It longer than 3-4 days, a 30-day, or less, COE will be challenging.

Will you be requiring employment verification at the Funding/Closing Table? If they want verification done on or the day before the closing date, it could be a challenge to close on-time if the employer is not responsive or available.

What is your company’s policy on appraisals currently? Do they allow drive-by or desk reviews?

What are your appraisal turn times? If longer than 10 days, a 30-day close will be challenging.

Can the lender honestly close in 30 days? What % of the time do they experience that today?

Does the buyer currently own a home and if so, have they requested payment forbearance? If any mortgage loan is currently in forbearance, the buyer cannot likely get a new loan.

Is the lender allowing e-closings? If not, how long is the current process from CD to funding?

Does the lender allow for early closing if everything is done?

If you have questions on any of these, please do not hesitate to ask.

BE SAFE!

A 2-Minute Guide To Flood Insurance: Do You Really Need it?

The 5-Minute Guide to Flood Insurance: What It Is, How It Works, and Whether You Need ItYou’ve got house insurance, and assume your property is covered for any type of detrimental occurrence that can possibly take place.

However, not all homeowners in Sacramento are aware that home insurance policies don’t necessarily cover damage related to a flood, as the risks are too great. As a result, homeowners must purchase flood insurance through a private company.

Floods are one of the most common hazards in the US, costing billions of dollars in damage to properties every year. And more importantly, if you are in the process of shopping for a new home in Sacramento or anywhere in California for that matter, budgeting that monthly payment, its good to know if flood insurance will be required. Continue reading “A 2-Minute Guide To Flood Insurance: Do You Really Need it?”

If You Miss One Mortgage Payment Will it Hurt Your Credit Rating? Yes! Here’s What to Do if You Miss One.

Can One Missed Mortgage Payment Affect Your Credit Rating? Yes! Here's What to Do if You Miss OneMost people don’t know whether or not a single missed mortgage payment can have serious consequences for their credit score. As a Sacramento Lender, it is amazing how much time we talk about credit. Most people focus on interest rates, and monthly payments, but forget about that pesky credit report.

The good news is that there are things that can be done to mitigate the damage and help anyone who has missed a payment repair their credit. What are some options to help homeowners get back in the good graces of their creditors? Continue reading “If You Miss One Mortgage Payment Will it Hurt Your Credit Rating? Yes! Here’s What to Do if You Miss One.”

Buy A New Home Just One Day After A Short Sale or Foreclosure? Yes, You Can!

Flex-Banner_600x315px_mockup5Comstock Mortgage, has been helping buyers into homes for over thirty years. Buyers can qualify for the Flexible Credit Home Loan Program just six months after bankruptcy – and just one day after short sale or foreclosure.

Losing your home to foreclosure or going through a short sale is one of the most disheartening experiences the modern homeowner can endure. Traditionally, a defaulted mortgage has meant years of poor credit and renting rather than buying. Continue reading “Buy A New Home Just One Day After A Short Sale or Foreclosure? Yes, You Can!”