Ingrid B. Quinn

NMLS ID #211652 Arizona, Loan Consultant


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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?

Choose-a-Realtor

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.


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

Choose-a-Realtor

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.

Underwriter:
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 Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit my website http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn or http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com.


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REALTORS-Stay Connected Thru the Loan Process

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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 Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn or http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com.