Ingrid B. Quinn

NMLS ID #211652 Arizona, Loan Consultant

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Are You Buying a Home in Hard Hit AZ Cities? The Pathway to Purchase Program Offers Down Payment Assistance to Eligible Buyers

Do you plan to buy a home in one of the Arizona cities hit hard by foreclosures in the last decade?

You may be eligible for down payment assistance (DPA).

What is down payment assistance? As explained in a previous blog, down payment assistance is a grant or forgivable loan. Once you qualify for a first loan to buy a house, you receive the down payment assistance to pay the down payment and/or closing costs for the home. It’s free money.

Pathway to Purchase

The Arizona Department of Housing is partnering with the Arizona Home Foreclosure Prevention Funding Corporation to provide the Pathway to Purchase program (P2P). Pathway to Purchase helps homebuyers in Arizona cities hit the hardest by the foreclosure bust to come up with a down payment.

Borrowers apply for a first loan through the Pathway program. This is a 30-year fixed-interest rate loan. Once you apply for the first loan, you receive a second loan to cover the down payment and closing costs up to 10% of the purchase price with a max of $20,000. If the purchase price is $200,000, for example, then the second loan is $20,000. If the purchase price is $250,000, the second loan is still $20,000. This second loan is forgivable—it has no payments and no interest, and after five years, it goes away.

This program is available only in these 17 Arizona cities:

Arizona City Avondale Buckeye Case Grande
Coolidge Douglas El Mirage Fort Mohave
Goodyear Huachuca City Laveen Maricopa
Red Rock Sierra Vista Snowflake Tucson


Program Requirements

There are a few requirements, of course. Borrowers can’t own another residential property at the time of close, including inherited and manufactured homes. The annual income of all borrowers can’t be more than $92,984. The purchase price can’t be more than $371,936. And the credit score of all borrowers must be 640 or greater.

In addition, the loan must be for the purchase of an owner-occupied, primary residence, and the borrowers must move in within 60 days of close. The property can be a single-family home, townhome, or condo. The loan cannot be used for a refinance or new construction loan or for manufactured or mobile homes, and borrowers cannot receive cash back after the loan closes. Co-signers are not allowed.

The Pathway program requires a DTI of 45%. DTI is debt-to-income ratio—the borrowers’ total monthly debts divided by their gross monthly income. If you have a $1,000 mortgage payment, $200 in credit card payments, and a $300 car payment, for example, and a $4,000 gross monthly income, your DTI is $1,000 + $200 + $300 / $4,000 = 37.5%.

To participate in the program, you must take a HUD-approved homebuyer education class. Generally, you can take the class online, in person, or by phone.

Note that the lender’s requirements may trump some of the program requirements based on whatever loan the buyer qualifies for.

What Next?

Only ADOH-approved lenders can offer Pathway to Purchase. The good news is, Caliber Home Loans is an approved lender. Give us a call if you’re buying a house in one of the cities listed above. We’ll walk you through the process, get you money for your down payment, and put you in your dream home before you know it.

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No Down Payment Means No House? Think Again

No Down Payment Means No House? Think Again

Arizona Down Payment Assistance Programs Are a Great Option

You want to buy a house and you’ve been trying to save the down payment for years. But something always gets in the way. Your car breaks down. Your eight-year-old needs braces. Rent keeps going up.

You’re beginning to think you’ll never own a home.

Think again.

Arizona has three great down payment assistance (DPA) programs for middle income borrowers. And they’re not just for first-time home buyers.
What is down payment assistance? Down payment assistance is a grant or a forgivable loan. Once you qualify for a first loan to buy a house, you receive the assistance money to pay the down payment and closing costs (prepaid taxes, home owners and mortgage insurance, and so on).

Two of the DPA programs are offered by the Arizona Department of Housing (ADOH) and the third by the Industrial Development Authority of the County of Maricopa (IDA). Note that the lender’s requirements may trump some of the assistance programs’ requirements based on the loan programs the buyer qualifies for.

Pathway to Purchase

The Pathway to Purchase program (P2P) helps home buyers in certain cities in Arizona put together a down payment. It works like this. You apply for a first loan through the Pathway program, which is a 30-year fixed-interest rate loan. Once you apply for the loan, you also receive a 2nd loan for the down payment and closing costs up to 10% of the purchase price with a max of $20,000. If the first loan is $100,000, for example, then the second loan will be $10,000. This second loan is forgivable—it has no payments and no interest, and after five years, it is forgiven.

There are a few stipulations. You can’t own another residential property at the time of close; your annual income can’t be more than $89,088; the purchase price can’t be more than $356,352; and your credit score must be 640 or greater.

This program is available only in these Arizona cities:

Arizona City, Avondale, Buckeye, Case Grande,
Coolidge, Douglas, El Mirage, Fort Mohave,
Goodyear, Huachuca City, Laveen, Maricopa,
Red Rock, Sierra Vista, Snowflake, Tucson,

Arizona Home Plus HFA Preferred Loan Program

If you are eligible for the Home Plus program, you can get up to 5% of the loan amount (not purchase price) for down payment assistance, depending on the type of loan you qualify for—and as much as 6% if you are qualified military personnel, such as a veteran, active duty military, active reservist, and active National Guard. This program is not available in Pima County, and with some types of loans, it is not available in Maricopa County.

As with the Pathway program, the first mortgage is a 30-year-fixed loan, with no minimum loan amount. Your income can’t be more than $89,088, the purchase price can’t be more than $356,352, and your credit score must be higher than 640. If your credit score is higher than 680, however, you’ll get a higher percentage of the maximum assistance.

Arizona Home In 5 Advantage Loan Program

The Industrial Development Authority offers the Home in Five program, which is strictly for homes purchased in Maricopa County. Home in Five provides down payment assistance up to 4% of the loan amount for eligible buyers and up to 5% for “hero” buyers: qualified military personnel, first responders, and teachers. The actual amount depends on the type of loan and the buyer’s credit score. The first loan is a 30-year-fixed interest rate loan.

This program has certain requirements as well. Your income can’t be more than $88,340, the purchase price can’t be more than $300,000, and your credit score should be at least 640—but the higher your credit score, the higher the assistance up to the program’s maximum.

What Do the Programs Have in Common?

In all three programs, the loans must be for purchases of owner-occupied, primary residences. They cannot be for refinance or new construction loans or for manufactured or mobile homes, and buyers cannot receive cash back after the loan closes. Each type of loan and each program have their own requirements about the type of property allowed: new or existing homes, single family, multi-unit, condos, townhomes, and so forth.

All programs require a DTI of 45%. DTI is debt-to-income ratio—your total monthly debts divided by your gross monthly income. If you have a $1,000 mortgage payment, $200 in credit card payments, and a $300 car payment, for example, and a $5,000 monthly income, your DTI is $1,000 + $200 + $300 / $5,000 = 30%.

In addition, to participate in these programs, you must take a homebuyer education course. Generally, you can take the course online, in person, or by phone.

Next Step

Give us a call to see which program is best for you. We’ll walk you through the process, find you the right program, and get you into a home before you know it.



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Demand for VA Loans Has Increased

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 or visit my websites or

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Will Technology Replace Realtors & LOs?


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 or visit or

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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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Purchasing a Home – Who are the people involved and why?


Have you heard the phrase, “it takes a village”? The meaning of the proverb ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ is simply that. It takes more than one person to teach a child the ways of life. I get the same type of feeling when a homebuyer, whether seasoned or a first-timer, is purchasing a home. The transaction is not a success unless the team of people involved work together towards a successful outcome. Below is an introduction to all of the people involved in the wonderful world of the real estate transaction.

Selling Agent (Buyer’s Agent):

The buyer’s agent is a real estate agent or Realtor who represents the buyer when purchasing a home. This typically involves searching for properties, preparing a contract to present to a property seller, acting on a buyer’s behalf and generally acting in the buyer’s best interest. Home shoppers and buyer’s agents may or may not have an actual signed agreement in place for exclusive representation.

Listing Agent (Seller’s Agent):
The listing or seller’s agent represents the other party involved in the transaction, the seller. In a typical home sale, the seller enters into a listing contract with a real estate agent for the exclusive right to sell the property. Among the responsibilities of a seller’s agent are marketing a property, negotiating the contract on the seller’s behalf, advising a seller on pricing the home effectively, arranging access to the property for prospective buyers and generally acting in the seller’s best interest.
*It should be noted that it is possible for an agent to be both a buyer’s agent and seller’s agent on the same home sale, known as dual agency. Disclosure of this practice is required and the agent is responsible to each side on a more limited basis.*

Loan Officer:
The loan officer is usually a buyer’s first point of contact with a mortgage lender or broker. Loan officers are also known as loan originators, mortgage bankers, mortgage brokers, lenders, or a mortgage consultant. They are responsible for assessing each buyer’s credit profile, advising buyers on program and rate availability, gathering initial supporting documentation and generally helping buyers through the mortgage process. The loan officer is basically in charge of making sure a mortgage has a high probability of approval before moving it forward.

Mortgage Processor:
Once a loan officer has gathered the initial documentation from a borrower and determined that the loan should proceed to the next step in the process, he/she sends the loan to a mortgage processor. The mortgage processor does much of the behind the scenes work on a mortgage application. They are in charge of gathering further documentation, verifying employment and income, gathering asset information, coordinating with title and homeowner’s insurance agents and generally moving the loan along in the process.

The underwriter is in charge of making the official decision on a loan file for a lender. The mortgage processor will move the file into underwriting once much of the behind the scenes work is completed. At this point, an underwriter reviews the file and approves, suspends or declines it. If the file is approved, it is typically a conditional approval. This means that the file is temporarily approved, but needs some items addressed and is fully approved as soon as the underwriter’s conditions are satisfied. Most files that reach the underwriting phase are conditionally approved. If a file is suspended, it simply means the underwriter requires more info to make an official decision. If the file is declined, that is typically the end of the line and the borrower will likely have to wait to reapply until the reason for the decline has been addressed.

Home Appraiser:
The appraiser is in charge of providing a value estimate on a home. For residential homes, this figure is typically arrived at by inspecting and measuring the property and comparing it to recent similar home sales. Recent similar home sales are commonly referred to as comps or sales comps (comparables). A few days after inspecting the home, the appraiser provides a report to the lender, who then provides it to the borrower. If the value appears accurate and the appraisal was properly done, the process moves forward without change. If the value is low, the borrower may renegotiate with the seller or walk away from the purchase entirely.

Homeowner’s Insurance Agent:
The homeowner’s insurance agent provides the buyer with insurance on the new property. The agent is chosen by the buyer and works closely with the lender, usually the mortgage processor directly, to provide sufficient coverage against a loss on the property. Buyers may choose to have more coverage than the lender requires as long as the lender’s minimum requirements are met.
It is worth noting that a separate flood insurance policy may be required in certain areas determined as flood zones. This policy may be obtained from the same agent or another agent entirely.

Title Agent or Escrow Officer:
Title agent is a broad term because there are multiple persons involved in the title, escrow or closing part of the purchase transaction. You may hear terms like escrow officer, closing agent, notary, title agent, etc. This can vary depending on where you are located and which company you use. Essentially, the title agent is in charge of ensuring the home has a clear chain of title and covering the lender and/or buyer against any title claims that may arise after closing. The title agent may or may not be the same as the escrow or closing agent, who is in charge of balancing all of the final figures, carrying out the actual signing and closing and distributing funds to the necessary parties.
I hope this information is helpful in understanding all the folks involved in what is for most people the most expensive and important transaction in their personal life. For questions or comments, please contact me at or visit my website or

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REALTORS-Stay Connected Thru the Loan Process


In order to stay connected throughout the loan process, it’s important to have a lender who communicates with you from start to finish. This is one of Cobalt’s many strengths. Here are some items along the way that we’ll do to help you stay connected:
1. Your loan officer will discuss the Final Loan Approval with and you and the borrower. We’ll confirm that the terms meet your borrower’s expectations and any significant changes will be discussed with them in advance of closing. Since a surprise payment or interest rate may affect the closing, we’ll determine if there are other conditions due at signing/closing that haven’t been discussed yet such as needing a more recent paystub.
2. Cobalt Mortgage will prepare and review the completed fee sheet/funding request prior to drawing docs. If any new terms have been negotiated, please confirm that we have any additional addendums and current numbers. We will communicate our turn around time for drawing documents to reach our goal for the docs arriving in advance of scheduled signing/closing dates.
3. We’ll verify the borrower’s interest rate lock is good through the day of funding and confirm the closing date prior to locking the rate. If an extension is required due to a change in the closing date, please confirm that it will not affect your client’s lock-in term.
4. Communicate with your lender that you would like to have a copy of the settlement statement/HUD prior to signing/closing. Occasionally, charges may still show for a termite report or a title policy discount that were not applied or a broker premium may have been inadvertently omitted. This is a great time to get those corrections done early so your client can review accurate figures at signing.
5. The lender’s closing instructions will go to the title company. Your loan officer will review these and tell you exactly what the lender requires to fund your client’s loan. A good lender will make sure these things are being done.
Have there been things you have missed that could have been avoided? Stay connected through the entire process and your transaction should go smoothly. For questions or comments please email or visit or