Ingrid B. Quinn

NMLS ID #211652 Arizona, Loan Consultant


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Where to Begin The Home Buying Process

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When you meet with a Realtor, they will want to get some information from you. First, they will want to know if you have been prequalified with a mortgage lender. Then the Realtor will want to find out the features you are looking for in your new home. What type of home are you looking for single family, townhome, condo, square footage, location and the biggest question, what’s your budget? Knowing all of this information up front gives you an advantage. The home buying process can be overwhelming, unless you put together a plan for success right from the start. Be ahead of the game and meet with a loan officer. He or she will give you a realistic idea of what you can afford and provide you with information about the process you are about to embark on.

Every buyer has a unique financial situation, credit score, job history, income, debt and financial goals. A mortgage lender will analyze your information at the beginning of your home buying process, maybe before you even meet with your agent and in turn this will give you the ability to focus on the properties that are the best fit for you. Today, it is not uncommon for people to have small hiccups through out the home buying process. Meeting with your mortgage lender before you begin looking at homes will put you in the best position possible. Some of the simplest things can become a deal breaker if they are not addressed in a timely manner up front.

Over the past few years, the home loan process has undergone major changes. Government requirements, coupled with new banking standards have implemented procedures to help avoid future housing troubles. Meeting with a lender should be step number one. You should be prepared to provide copies of tax records, W2’s, complete bank statements and pay stubs. Having your prequalification or pre approval (both topics are discussed in a previous blog) in place will help you to have the greatest success with an offer on a new home.

For more information about the home buying process or if you have questions or comments please visit http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn or http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com.


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Mortgage Points, What Are They?

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Mortgage points, also referred to as ‘discount points ‘or an origination fee are made payable at closing. Each point is charged at a portion of 1% of your mortgage loan. A discount point reduces your interest rate by a set amount. The amount by which the rate is reduced for each point varies according to your mortgage and your lender. On average it is 0.25% – 0.5%. A discount point is different than an origination fee; however it can also be termed ‘a point.’

The origination fee is a lender fee. Some lenders charge this fee while others don’t. You should always ask your mortgage professional whether the quote they are offering has an origination fee and/or discount points associated with it. This will allow you to know exactly what your monthly payment will be.

If you reduce your interest rate by paying discount points, your monthly repayment will also be reduced. It is a good idea to take into consideration what the monthly savings are by paying the additional cost of points and whether it is money well spent. You may want to use the funds to increase your down payment or do some improvements to your new home, which in turn will increase its value or make the home more enjoyable to you. Points can in some cases be tax deductible, so it is a good idea to check with your tax professional for advice.

Mortgage points can be a good investment for you. Your mortgage professional should help you with this calculation and find what will work best for you in the long run. As I always say, never hesitate to ask questions. Mortgage professionals are here to help you during this process and to make it go as smoothly as possible.

If you have any questions or suggestions on future topics please feel free to contact me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit me at http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn or http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com .


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Demand for VA Loans Has Increased

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VA loans:

The VA loan program is available to military borrowers nationwide. Guaranteed by the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, VA loans work in a similar fashion as FHA loans — the VA is a guarantor of loans not a maker of them.

In general, active duty and honorably discharged service personnel are eligible for the VA program. Public Health Servants are also eligible. In addition, home buyers who have spent at least 6 years in the Reserves or National Guard are eligible, as are spouses of service members killed in the line of duty.

Bankruptcy and other derogatory credit do not immediately disqualify a buyer. If you have had a foreclosure or short sale, the waiting period to obtain a new mortgage is generally 2 years.

Funding fees are collected at closing, but no monthly premiums are required. If you have been discharged with a disability, you may be exempt from the VA funding fee.

There is no down payment required and a VA buyer can use his/her entitlement more than once and possibly even get a 100% loan if a home is currently owned and has a VA loan on it. Check with your lender about the circumstances pertaining to your situation.

The first time use charge of the VA funding fee is 2.15% of the loan amount. Subsequent use fee is 3.3% of loan amount. The lender will finance the fee into your loan. It is the only closing cost than can be directly financed into the mortgage. A seller can also pay all closing costs for a VA buyer.

And, similar to FHA loans, VA loans allow for loan sizes of up to $729,750 in high-cost areas. This can be helpful in areas such as San Diego, California; and Honolulu, Hawaii which are home to U.S. military bases.

Additionally, in the Phoenix area veterans and active duty servicemen and women may qualify for the Home In 5 program which is a grant for up to 6% of their loan amount to put towards a down payment and closing costs.

For more information or to make comments, please feel free to contact Ingrid Quinn by email Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit my websites http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com or http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn.


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Mortgage Loan Term: Which One Is Best?

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You will need to make some decisions when applying for a home mortgage. The mortgage, whether it is to purchase a home or to refinance your existing loan, will be for a certain period of time. Your loan term is just another way of saying the length of the repayment period, expressed in years. A 30 year fixed mortgage has a 30 year term, so it will be paid off in 30 years if you make the regular scheduled monthly payments.

If you choose a longer loan term, but make payments for a shorter term, the loan will behave exactly as if you had chosen the shorter term in the first place. You can choose your loan as a 30 year fixed mortgage and make 15 year payments and it will pay off in 15 years. One reason someone may do this is because the shorter term payments are higher and if they run into a financial challenge for a month or more, may choose to pay the lower scheduled amount until they are back on their feet.

The pros and cons will remain the same no matter which term you choose. The benefits of a shorter term loan are:

• Shorter term loans typically have more favorable rates/fees than longer term options
• Shorter term loans force people to put more money towards principal
• Shorter term loans typically have more favorable mortgage insurance premiums in the case of a loan exceeding an 80% loan to value
• The interest paid benefit is huge over a longer term loan

The benefits of a longer term loan are:

• Lower payments than shorter term loans
• There is more flexibility than shorter term loans as far as payment options
• Easier to qualify for as far as the income debt to income requirements for a loan
For most borrowers, the decision comes down to getting more favorable terms for a shorter term mortgage versus lower payments for longer term loans.

Other than the typical 30 or 15 year options, there are also 10, 20 and 25 year options to explore. Contact your mortgage professional to discuss all the options. You may also use my mortgage calculator app from your mobile device to determine your monthly payments.
See
http://ingridquinn.mortgagemapp.com/mobile
For questions or comments please email Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com or http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn.


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Will Technology Replace Realtors & LOs?

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Though many homebuyers start their home purchase process on the internet, do you really believe the whole transaction will or can be completed on a computer? I guess we may be there in some cases, but for most folks purchasing a home is the largest personal purchase that they may make. A Ferrari or Lamborghini may be more but would you buy one without driving one first? Most people want to walk into the home they are considering purchasing. There is something to be said about the “feel” of a home. The “smell” of the home may be equally important. Are you near a farm or business that if the wind blew a certain way you would be affected? I think it highly unlikely that Realtors will be replaced by technology. Technology has made the process easier though with e-signing contracts and presenting offers, though what happened to the good old days when a buyer’s agent could present an offer to a seller personally on their client’s behalf?

As far as the mortgage process, applications submitted online could be a whole different story. I do not feel that a computer can do my job 100%. Getting a loan for a client is not just about getting the loan. It’s about the service that I provide to the client. There is a relationship and trust established. In a matter of minutes, I know quite a lot about that borrower. Not everyone has a deal that will just sail through an automated system. Especially today in the mortgage market, it is important to have a partner who will navigate you through the lending process from start to finish. Not everyone who begins a prequalification process will be eligible to buy today. They need help with credit issues, saving money or whittling down debt to qualify for a home mortgage. It is important to find a knowledgeable lender who will work with you and stick with you through the process.

While the internet has been a great educational tool and a good place to start, the human experience is important in a real estate transaction. Don’t you agree? For questions or comments, please respond here or contact me Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn or http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com.


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Arizona Bike Week Returns to Scottsdale

Out and About in Scottsdale AZ

One of the most exciting events in the state, Arizona Bike Week Cyclefest, returns to Scottsdale this year on April 2 and continues through April 6.

Organizers are expecting nearly 60,000 people to attend the sensational gathering, and all motorcycle enthusiasts are encouraged to ride into town and stay at one of the fine local hotels, such as the Best Western Plus Scottsdale Thunderbird Suites.

2 motorcycles in Arizona during the Bike Week Cyclefest 1n 2014 - All Rights Reserved

Enjoy Daily Events at Cyclefest

In addition to the charity rides, factory demo rides, vendors and attractions, several nationally recognized stars are slated to appear throughout Bike Week. The event kicks off on March 29 with the 2nd Annual Tillman’s Pre-Rally Ride at 9:00 a.m. and is followed by seven other rides:

  • Wednesday, April 2 – Peace Out Prostate Cancer Ride
  • Thursday, April 3 – Ninth Annual T-Bar Trail Ride, Helping with Horsepower Ride and Drive
  • Friday, April 4 – Saddle Up for Kids Ride…

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Paying Off Your Mortgage Loan and FHA rules

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Why Is the Payoff Balance on a Loan Usually Higher than the Current Balance on your Statement?

When you receive your monthly statement from your mortgage lender, the unpaid balance IS NOT the amount necessary to pay the loan in full. This is merely the principal balance as of the first day of the previous month.

Your March statement shows a balance owing of $200,000. This figure is what is owed as of February 1 – not March 1. Why? Because when you made your February payment to the mortgage lender, you were paying interest in arrears – you pay the interest for the previous month – in this case interest that was due from January 1 through January 31.
You will pay interest to the lender until it receives the payoff from your settlement agent. The settlement agent will determine the amount to collect for payoff. At times there will be a few days interest as a cushion. Keep in mind that the lender being paid-off will refund to you any overpayment in daily interest.

So how do you determine your payoff amount?
The title company will order a payoff letter from your mortgage servicer to find out the precise payoff amount.

What if you’re trying to prepare an estimate and would like a figure?
You can always call your lender and obtain a payoff from them over the phone. Some lenders will calculate a payoff amount for you online as well. Just remember to add a few days to the closing date so that you have allowed for a cushion.

To estimate, use this trick: take your principal balance and add to it a monthly payment. Assuming that you are on time with your payments, this number should always be a bit higher than your actual payoff, but at least this way you will be overestimating instead of underestimating, which is typically the case when you use the principal balance as the payoff amount.

Paying Off an FHA Loan
The daily interest covers the period until the payoff date, except on FHA mortgages, where the payment covers the entire month. Evidently FHA’s accounting system can’t deal with days, only months. That means that it is a good idea for borrowers refinancing out of an FHA to close as close to the end of the month as possible. This rule may be changed in 2015.

For questions or comments please contact me at Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn or http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com.