Ingrid B. Quinn

NMLS ID #211652 Arizona, Loan Consultant


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To Make a Pre-Payment or Not?

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I get this question quite often from clients who would like to make a lump sum payment and reduce their mortgage payment without going through a full refinance. Check with your servicer to find out if they offer this feature in your loan or if you are contemplating a purchase or new refinance, it is a good question to field before you choose a lender for your transaction. The feature initially discussed is a courtesy offered by your servicer and not all lenders or servicers allow for recasting. Prepayment without penalty is allowed on most loan products and a review of your loan documents at closing is important.

Recasting is the process whereby a borrower applies a significant one-time payment to substantially reduce the unpaid principal balance of the loan in order to lower the monthly payment. Although the remaining loan term and interest rate remain unchanged, re-amortizing the loan based on the newly reduced principal amount results in a lower monthly payment. Conventional, conforming Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans are generally eligible, but loan recasts are not allowed on FHA and VA loans. Recasting a jumbo loan depends on the individual loan.

Different lenders will require a different minimum principal curtailment. Typically, the minimum is $5,000 or even $10,000. There will be a nominal one time fee ranging from $100-$500 also. The interest rate on the loan will not change and the re-amortization will be over the remaining original term of the loan. The loan will be re-amortized based on the newly reduced principal amount, resulting in a decreased Principal and Interest (P&I) payment and an overall lower monthly payment. New billing statements will be adjusted to reflect the lower payment amount.

This is a good alternative to a refinance when you have a more favorable interest rate than what the current market is offering. Also, there are no typical refinance closing costs related to the re-amortized loan process.
On the other side of this scenario, is a lump sum payment keeping the P & I payment the same and the term of the loan will then be shortened. This is a typical pre-payment. It obviously will depend on your long term reasons for opting for either type of loan restructure and you should consult your financial professional and your mortgage professional for guidance.

For questions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com or http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn.


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Your Home Loan Was Sold?

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recently experienced a situation with clients who were confused as to why their loan had been sold to a secondary lender. This has no reflection on the borrower. Selling a loan is typical in the mortgage industry. Mortgage brokers do not close loans in their own name. The funding lender’s name will be on the borrower’s closing documents. Mortgage bankers and banks close loans in their own name and typically retain the servicing (collection of monthly payments) of the loans while selling the loan on the secondary market.
A common reason for banks and lenders to sell their closed mortgages is to free up capital to do more loans. Lenders can only fund so many loans before they no longer have any funds on their warehouse line left to loan. This is where the secondary markets (the place that mortgages are bought and sold after they are closed) come in to play. When a lender funds a loan and then sells it to a secondary market investor (commonly Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Ginnie Mae or jumbo loan investors), they are able to make a profit as well as free up capital to originate new loans.
This system actually benefits borrowers by increasing demand in the mortgage market. If the process of selling loan did not exist it would force lenders to create a set amount of loans and they would have to wait for the loans to be paid off prior to creating new loans. The competitive part of the business would be reduced.
Borrowers have nothing to worry about if/when the loan is sold. The loan terms are set in your note and will not change. If you have a home loan and want to see what entity actually owns the loan, call your customer service department and ask. A servicing company is not generally the owner of your mortgage.
For questions or suggestions 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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Mortgage Points, What are They?

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Mortgage points generally refer to a loan origination fee and/or discount points. Discount points refer to the amount of money that a person pays to a lender to get a loan at a specific rate. Points are paid when discounting the rate for a loan. A lender usually has a menu of rates available on any given day at a variety of costs. Par pricing is when no discount points are required.
An origination fee is what a borrower will pay the lender for their services. Since the change in lending and disclosure rules in 2009, the term origination fee was changed to origination charge. The origination charge will include any lender admin fees and an origination point if applicable.
Before you can even consider whether or not purchasing points is a good idea, you have to make sure that you will have the extra cash because points will increase your total closing costs. Points can be financed into a refinance transaction but not into a purchase. Sellers can pay points for a buyer as part of a closing cost concession.
Positive mortgage points can be viewed as a form of pre-paid interest. Each point is equal to 1% total loan amount. Why would you want to pre-pay a part of your interest? The buyer is offering to pay an up front fee to receive a discount on the interest rate. The reduction in interest will give the buyer lower monthly mortgage payments. With mortgages duration of typically 15, 20 or even 30 years, the discount points will help save you a huge amount of interest over the life span of the loan. Positive discount points are usually worthwhile to a home buyer if he or she will maintain the mortgage for a while.
There is a second type of mortgage points, negative mortgage points or as termed, Yield Spread, work very much like positive mortgage points except in reverse. Instead of you paying the bank to lower your rate, the bank will pay you to take a higher rate. As an example, if you were offered a rate of 5.5 percent on your $100,000 loan. The bank is now offering you one point to raise your rate to 5.75 percent. Therefore, they are basically giving you $1,000 in order to raise your interest rate. This will also result in you paying a higher mortgage payment every month. These points don’t end up as a written check for the money. The yield will just be applied to your total closing costs on the loan.
Closing costs can result in a few thousand dollars of out-of-pocket expense. Amounts for closing cost vary by state, location and amount of loan requested. Purchase transactions and refinances can have a difference in costs too.
“Breaking even is a major factor in deciding what to do with points. Something the buyer will want to inquire about is how long it will take to “break even” in regards to possibly selling the home before their loan is paid in full. You will want to have retained the mortgage at least until you “break even”, if not longer, to make it worthwhile to reap benefits from discount points. Keep in mind there may also be a tax benefit to paying points and you will want to consult a tax advisor on this subject and what may be beneficial to your individual circumstance.
For questions of suggestions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgae.com or visit me at http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com or http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn


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APR vs. Interest Rate, What’s the Difference?

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Recently one of the Realtors I work closely with asked me what the actual difference between APR (annual percentage rate) and the Interest rate. Well, there is a big difference and when you are shopping for a home mortgage you are going to want to pay attention to a lot more than just the APR that is being offered by a lender. The short answer to this question is that simple interest is only the interest you pay on the loan whereas the APR is an informational number that covers some of costs of obtaining a residential loan, including points, interest, lender administration fees, mortgage insurance and various title fees.
In the case of a mortgage, the annual percentage rate, or APR, is the total yearly cost of financing a home, expressed as a percentage of the amount financed.
The federal Truth in Lending Act requires the lender to disclose both the nominal rate and the APR. Loans are frequently offered on different terms. Loan terms from different lenders can make it hard to figure out which offer is truly the best one.
The APR disclosed can be rounded up or down to the nearest one-eighth of a percentage point. Both the APR & simple interest rate must be advertised in the same font size or APR may be larger in print.
What this all means is that the APR of a loan is essentially a consumer tool designed to assist people when looking to make a major purchase. On the other hand, you have your simple interest rate. This is a very straight forward percentage that will be applied to your loan and determines your monthly payment.
People can use APR to get a general idea of what you will be looking at long term, but when it comes down to it people need to not be hesitant to ask lenders questions. Call them and find out what exactly their APR includes and what other fees are to be expected. You can also talk to your realtor and ask them about different lenders they have worked with. It’s never a bad thing to get a second opinion. Especially from a professional who is there to get you into your new home or assist you your refinance transaction.
For any questions or suggestions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@CobaltMortage.com or visit me at http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn or http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com .


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Moving Up! Some Things You Should Know

moveup-1So, you have been in your current home for a while and you are looking for something a little different. Maybe you are starting a family or you recently married and want to build a home together. There are many reasons why people “move up”. No matter what your reasons are for purchasing your next home, there are some things you need to be prepared for.

I did touch on some of this information in my previous blog “Buying Without Selling”. So if you are looking to purchase a new home while retaining your current home, please feel free to take a peek at that post, but for right now I’m going to write about selling your current home to purchase a new one!

The ideal situation would be for you to simultaneously sell you current home and purchase your new home. This is possible; however the timing is a little tricky. In order to complete this type of transaction smoothly you are going to need a good realtor and loan officer working on your side.

In our current AZ market, selling your home before buying can be easily done. Home values are up and inventory is down, so if a home is priced properly you can sell quickly. Many people have been in their homes for about 7+ years and now have just enough equity, if equity was previously an issue, in their home to move up. However, many people choose to take different routes when looking to move up.

There is an option known as Bridge Financing and what this entails is technically owning two homes for a brief period of time. Bridge Financing is through a financial institution. You will take out an equity loan similar to a home equity loan but the bank will know it is temporary and the repayment structure will be different. It will not carry an early termination fee like home equity loans. There will be a limit on the amount you can borrow on the current home depending on how much equity there is. This loan will give you the funds to make the down payment and pay closing costs for your new home, then repay the loan once the current home is sold. Generally, bridge lenders give you 6 months for the loan with the possibility of extending an additional 6 months. Payments on a Bridge can be deferred but when applying for the new 1st mortgage; the lender will qualify you carrying quite a bit of debt.

I know this sounds a little complicated, but it is actually simpler than you’d think. When it comes down to it there are many ways to “move up” and where there’s a will there’s a way. In the end no matter what you want to do you should always consult a professional. Don’t hesitate to call your loan officer, ask questions and look into what is going to be your best option to get you into that new home. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit me at http://www.coblatmortage.com/ingridquinn .


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Choose Your Realtor Wisely!

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Work with a Realtor! This is a statement that I always have and always will stand by. When looking to buy or sell your home, you need a professional’s assistance. There seems to be a recurring question that always comes to my attention especially from first time home buyers, “Who pays the Realtor?” Realtors’ commissions are taken care of from the sellers’ side of the transaction in Arizona. Occasionally, there are administrative fees charged by the buyer’s agent’s company paid by the buyer but that will be disclosed in a buyer/broker agreement.

When selling your home you should ask the realtor for an MLS portfolio. This is going to show you 2 important things, such as how the Realtor photographs a home and the way they describe a home. Also, where is your home going to appear? There are many marketing sites in print and on the internet that Realtors may subscribe to. You want your home to be as marketable as possible and this will show in a Realtor’s portfolio.

When buying a home you shouldn’t hesitate to work with a realtor. Buyers are using the internet more and more to preview homes and many buyers will go from open house to open house looking for themselves. A buyer should use referrals to meet a qualified agent. Have an interview to make sure the agent and you are on the same page. Remember the agent representing the seller has first obligation to his/her seller. The agent is going to be your advocate and negotiator. That is why I recommend an agent independent of the seller. There are many steps throughout the body of the contract that must be followed when an offer has been made. You will want the assistance of a professional to navigate your way through this process.

Whether you are buying or selling, Realtors are there to make sure the laws are followed, your money is protected and you are able to purchase the home you desire.
For questions or comments please feel fre to email me at ingri.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit me at http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn


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Buying Without Selling

4412037-handling-multiple-homesMany homeowners would like to buy a new home and not have to manage the timing of a simultaneous close or would like to do some work on the new home without having to live there. The buyers are not sure they would even be able meet lender’s qualification guidelines carrying both properties.

With a strengthening housing market and housing inventory low, why should a seller accept an offer from a buyer that has a house to sell? Who knows if the buyers are realistic and price their current home to sell, or will do all the right things to market and sell it quickly? Sellers wait to get a cash or non-contingent offer, because they know one will come along soon enough.

There are rules to qualifying for a new home without selling your current home. You must be able to make the required down payment from savings or secured borrowing. The easiest way to qualify is to you have the income to carry both homes without the benefit of rental income to offset the payment of the current home. If the current home is owned free & clear, the lender will count the tax, insurance and HOA fees as monthly liabilities. We must receive a Desktop underwriting approval for the income to debt obligation ratios. Then we are good to go. There are asset reserve requirements.

For a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac conforming loan up to $417,000 or $625,500 in high cost areas of the country, and a buyer is converting their current home to an investment or 2nd home the reserve requirements for assets after close are if there is 30% equity in the converted residence, then 2 months of the new home payment and 2 months of the converted home payments are required. If there is not 30% equity, then 6 months payments for each is required to be in reserves. There are additional reserve requirements if the homebuyer will own more than 2 properties.
Please feel free to contact me for additional information at ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit me at scottsdalemortgageexpert.com or cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn