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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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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Locking, What is it?!

Lock on Chains
In today’s volatile market, consumers need to understand what a lender offers as options for locking in their loan. Many consumers think that when they begin speaking to a lender, the rate they discuss that day will be the rate they carry from there on. However, this is not the case. Laws govern what constitutes a loan application. An actual loan application requires that 6 pieces of information are received, which triggers disclosures for the good faith estimate and the ability to lock in loans. These items are social security number to pull credit, borrower name, estimated value, monthly income, loan amount sought & property address. These six things are important because without these six items a lending company is not able to give a borrower a locked rate.
A borrower is required to give all of the information except the address when prequalifying. Once you have a property under contract then you have the ability to lock in a rate for the loan. Loan rates are locked in for a specific period of time. This time frame is based upon the close of escrow date. Typically loans are locked 15, 30, 45 or 60 days. There is the option of locking in rate for a longer period of time, but this is mainly used when you are purchasing a home that is being built for you and will not be completed with in 60 days.
What does locking in a rate/loan actually mean? When you lock your loan your lender should provide you the rate and/or points as well as the specific date of expiration of those terms. Regardless of how the market changes, your rate will continue to hold as it was locked. This can be both a good and bad thing.
Whether the market improves and rates lower or the market worsens and rates increase you are guaranteed to have the rate you have in writing. There can be an exception to these rules, but only with some lenders. This is called a renegotiation policy. This can typically occur when the market improves at least .25%(depending on your lender’s rules) and your lender will allow you to change your locking contract. Keep in mind that when you choose to lock in your rate, you are asking the lender to protect you and you are making a commitment to do the loan with your lender. The shopping rate time is over. Renegotiation is a courtesy provided by your lender.
Borrowers need to make sure that when they go to lock in their rate, that their lender gives them their terms in writing. You should never assume something has been done without seeing it in writing. Be safe, talk to your lender about locking and what their renegotiating options are. Never hesitate to ask questions and learn as much as you can.
For questions for 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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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?

Percentage-Rate-300x199

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.