When looking to purchase a home in a condominium project, there are a few things to consider. Condominiums are treated a little differently than a single family detached or even an attached home in a homeowner’s association subdivision. The overall financial health of the condominium association is scrutinized. As a result, the project must be acceptable by guidelines put in place by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA or VA. The scope of the guidelines and the specific eligibility criteria are dependent upon whether the condo project reviewed is an established community or new construction. I am going to focus on established projects and conventional guidelines. Below are guidelines for such condo projects:
• at least 90% of the total units in the project have been conveyed to the unit purchasers;
• the project is 100% complete, including all units and common elements;
• the project is not subject to additional phasing or annexation; and
• Control of the homeowners’ association has been turned over to the unit owners.
Some General Questions to ask about the Condominium Association
• Is there current litigation involving the association?
• How many units are investor units out of total count?
• Are there more than 15% homeowners 30 days or more delinquent in association fees?
• Does any single entity own more than 10% of the units?
By getting answers to these few questions, you may find out sooner than later whether you will have difficulty obtaining financing for the home you want to purchase.
Condo Insurance Requirements
The condo project insurance policy must ensure the homeowners’ association maintains a master or blanket type of insurance policy, with premiums being paid as a common expense. The insurance requirements vary based on the type of homeowners’ association master or blanket insurance policy. Also, be aware there must be a fidelity bond coverage or employee dishonesty coverage which covers against theft by those entities handling community funds. As for unit coverage, there are a couple of types available and you must check with your lender for what is required:
“All-In/Single Entity” (sometimes known as an “all-inclusive”): The policy must cover all of the general and limited common elements that are normally included in coverage. These include fixtures, building service equipment, and common personal property and supplies belonging to the homeowners’ association. The policy also must cover fixtures, equipment, and replacement of improvements and betterments that have been made inside the individual unit being financed. If the unit interior improvements are not included under the terms of this policy type, the borrower is required to have an HO-6 policy with coverage, as determined by the insurer, which is sufficient to repair the condo unit to its condition prior to a loss claim event.
“Bare Walls”: This policy typically provides no coverage for the unit interior, which includes fixtures, equipment, and replacement of interior improvements and betterments. As a result, the borrower must obtain an individual HO-6 policy that provides coverage sufficient to repair the condo unit to its condition prior to a loss claim event, as determined by the insurer. Depending on the type of loan you choose there can be a requirement for flood insurance.
Buyers need to know this information when looking into purchasing a condo. To determine eligibility for your condominium contact your lender and discuss what information you have and need to obtain for a smooth transaction. This adds an additional step to your mortgage process so make sure you have sufficient time to process your loan application.
For questions or suggestions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@CobaltMortgage.com or visit me at either http://www.ScottsdaleMortgageExpert.com or http://www.CobaltMortgage.com/IngridQuinn
The Mortgage Bankers Association released a weekly survey as of Aug. 21st, 2013 that spoke about mortgage applications. We recently had been seeing the market increase at a rapid rate and it is surprising that applications would decrease so suddenly.
The MBA stated that their finding s shows, “The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume, decreased 4.6 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 5 percent compared with the previous week.”
Form the press release we can see that this drop is not due to the lack of people buying home, but rather people no longer refinancing. “The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index increased 1 percent from one week earlier,” where as “The Refinance Index has dropped 62.1 percent from the recent peak reached during the week of May 3, 2013.”
It seems that this recent shift away from refinancing is really affecting the real-estate market. The MBA state that this change has greatly to do with rate changes in the past month, “The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($417,000 or less) increased to 4.68 percent from 4.56 percent, with points increasing to 0.42 from 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan- to-value ratio (LTV) loans. The effective rate increased from last week.”
This is speaking on a national level. The MBA covers 75% of retail residential mortgage applications in the U.S. . People should not be afraid to purchase or refinance right now. Rates being in the mid 4’s are truly not bad. In the time I have spent working in the mortgage industry I have seen rates more than twice that and people were still buying homes.
Buyers need to be aware of that is happening in the market and not hesitate to ask questions and seek out answers. For the full press release please visit http://www.mortgagebankers.org/NewsandMedia/PressCenter/85394.htm .
For any questions of suggestions please feel free to email me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com of visit me at http://www.CobaltMortgae.com/IngridQuinn or http://www.ScottsdaleMortageExpert.com
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 .
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
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 .
If 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.
Over the past couple of years, Short Sales have become more prevalent. Banks have been more receptive to short sales and have opted to negotiate instead of foreclose. Several clients who have called to be prequalified have had a Short Sale in their recent past. They have asked me when they can get back into the buying pool again. The rules to obtaining a mortgage after a short sale differ depending on the type of financing a buyer wants to use for their next purchase.
With a 20% Down Payment, a Buyer can purchase a home using Conventional Financing after a 2 year waiting period from the Short Sale date (which can be found on their final HUD settlement statement). With 10% Down Payment, a buyer must wait 4 years from their Short Sale.
Using FHA financing, a buyer must wait for 3 years to have passed from the Short Sale date.
The waiting time with VA financing will be 2 years.
USDA financing will be a 3 year wait from the Short Sale date.
It is a good idea to great prequalified with your lender from 6 months to a year out before you purchase another home. Many times there could be some credit repair work that may need to be done on your credit history to make sure that your credit score and history are reporting accurately.