Ingrid B. Quinn

NMLS ID #211652 Arizona, Loan Consultant


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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,
Yuma

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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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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How Much Can I Qualify For? DTI, What is it?

canada-cut-interest-rateIf you talk to a lender, they are going to drill down to the 4 most important aspects of your loan when trying to purchase or refinance a home. What do you make, Who do you owe, How much cash do you have to work with and What is the property value?
I am going to focus this blog on the numbers involved in qualifying income and what the rules are to get someone an approved loan. Growing up in the mortgage business, I learned the rule of 28/36. Back in the 80s those were important numbers. What do they mean? They stand for the debt to income (DTI) ratios that lenders use as a basic qualifying guideline.
28% of someone’s gross monthly income (or determined self employed income or passive income of some kind) could be tied up in housing expense. That includes principal, interest, taxes, insurance, HOA/condo fees, and possible 2nd mortgage, if applicable. 36% of your income could be tied up in total debt. That includes house expense plus monthly debt like car payments, student loan debt (see Student Loan blog) or credit card payments.
Now, we hear how the mortgage market has tightened up, but the ratios we work with have relaxed over the years surprisingly. It is not uncommon to see ratios in the 35/45 range or even 35/55. Different types of loans, such as FHA, Conventional, VA or Jumbo have different thresholds for approval. You will see more flexibility when the quality of the loan is stronger. Larger down payments, high credit scores and/or cash reserves after closing are all qualities that could command a lower risk loan and therefore allow a higher DTI.
Many loans are run through automated underwriting systems such as DU (Desktop Underwriter) or LP (Loan Prospector) that measure the risk of a loan. Lenders take those results and continue to process the loan if an acceptable response/approval has been received. Knowledgeable loan officers and processors can work with these systems and try to figure what characteristic of the file may need to be improved to reach an acceptable response. Then the loan officer will be able to tell the borrower how much of a loan they are qualified for.
For further questions or suggestions, please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit me at http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com or http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn.


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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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Using Alimony and/or Child Support Income to Qualify for a Mortgage

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The number 1 question I get about using alimony and/or child support income to qualify for a home mortgage is what if you have not been receiving alimony for 12 months? Well, good news, many people do not have to wait that long. For these situations, I recommend pre-approval in advance of looking for a home. Our automated underwriting engines (DU or LP) will determine the length of time this type of income needs to be received for the loan approval. It is common for a divorcee to want to use alimony/child support income to purchase a home immediately after a divorce.

Below are the guidelines as to how to document this income:

Document that alimony or child support will continue to be paid for at least three years after the date of the mortgage application, as verified by one of the following:

• A copy of a divorce decree or separation agreement (if the divorce is not final) that indicates payment of alimony or child support and states the amount of the award and the period of time over which it will be received. A copy of the children’s birth certificates may be required. Note: If a borrower who is separated does not have a separation agreement that specifies alimony or child support payments, the lender should not consider any proposed or voluntary payments as income.
• Any other type of written legal agreement or court decree describing the payment terms for the alimony or child support.
• Documentation that verifies any applicable state law that mandates alimony, child support, or separate maintenance payments, which must specify the conditions under which the payments must be made.

Document the borrower’s regular receipt of the full payment, as verified by:

• deposit slips,
• court records,
• copies of signed federal income tax returns that were filed with the IRS, or
• Copies of the borrower’s bank statements showing the regular deposit of these funds.

Review the payment history to determine its suitability as stable qualifying income. Each individual’s situation with the ex-spouse is different so it will be important to check with the lender you choose how to work it out. If you have further questions or comments, please contact me at Ingrid.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