Ingrid B. Quinn

NMLS ID #211652 Arizona, Loan Consultant


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Numbers and their Impact

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I read an interesting article by Lew Schelman in the November 4th National Mortgage News. He pointed out some interesting statistics and tidbits about how numbers correlate to certain home pricing strategies and some things to consider when coming up with the number to set a home’s sales price.

“Home sellers may not be afraid of certain numbers, at least not all of them. But according to Trulia, setting a price and “lucky” numbers go hand in hand.” Studying asking prices for homes since October 2011, Jed Kolko, Trulia’s chief economist, discovered that sales prices that end in 9 were the next most popular number after zero. 53% of all non-zero list prices on their site ended in 9. The next most common number was 5. Also, when home prices are reduced, they are more likely to have a 9 as the last number. When sellers are more eager to sell, the home price will also be more likely to have a 9.

When home prices were over $1,000,000, buyers are less likely to be influenced by the numbers game. Only 1 in 4 homes listed for $1,000,000 and up had a 9 as the last digit. The number 9 is also more popular in some markets, for example in up state New York. The number 4 is a number that can be unsettling in Chinese communities because the pronunciation of the number is similar to the word “death” in many Cantonese and Chinese dialects. On the flip side, the number 8 is “phonetically similar” to the words wealth or prosperity. The number 13 anywhere in the list price only appeared in the asking price of 13% of Trulia’s listings. In Nevada, lucky number 7 was more likely to be found in their listing numbers and the numbers 3 and 6 that represent positive and negative references in Christian numerology are more prevalent in a Bible Belt’s home prices.

So as an agent or a home seller, thinking about the numbers and their impact may be worthy of consideration in setting your sales price. Jed Kolko also wrote that “setting the right asking price for your home isn’t all science and it isn’t all art. Sellers and agents pick numbers to signal their strategy, and to appeal to the traditions and superstitions of local buyers.” Have you considered this when setting your selling prices?

I’d love to hear your feedback. I can be reached by email Ingrid.quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or leave a comment on my blog page. Visit me at http://www.scottsdalemortgageexpert.com or http://www.cobaltmortgage.com/ingridquinn.


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Jumbo Loans vs Conforming Loans

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I recently began working with a client on a home loan that requires Jumbo financing. I was surprised to hear that the realtor was running into trouble finding a lender to provide the financing her clients needs. So I felt that an explanation of the two types of programs was required. Every client has a unique situation and should speak with a professional about their specific needs. So back to the subject at hand, a jumbo loan!

There are conforming loans and non-conforming loans. Conforming loans are loans that adhere to guidelines set by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the amounts vary, depending on where you live and what the median prices for homes are. In most of the areas of the country, $417,000 is the Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conforming loan limit. In higher cost areas of the country such as California, Hawaii and the Washington, DC metropolitan area, there are Conforming-Jumbo Loans (also called Conforming “High Balance” loans). They range from $417,001 up to $625,500 for a single unit property (single family homes, condos, townhouses), 10% is the minimum down payment. These loans have rates approximately .25% to .375% higher than Conforming loans. And condos have higher rates by approximately .25% on these as well. Multifamily properties also have higher rates by approximately .25%, and higher down payment requirements of 20% to 25% down.

A home loan that goes over either of these types of loans is considered non-conforming and is referred to as a Jumbo loan. Jumbo loans (also called Non-Conforming) are from $625,501 and up for high cost areas and $417,001 and up for the rest of the country. The minimum down payment required is usually 20% though there are select programs that may offer a lower down payment. An example may be a doctor’s loan. These loans have rates approximately .5% higher than Conforming loans. Condos and multifamily properties may or may not have higher rates depending on the lender.

Jumbo loans are for the luxury or higher priced market. They are designed to meet the needs of the high income, high asset and high credit score client or in certain cases the just high asset, high credit score client. For more information about Jumbo loans, please contact me at Ingrid.Quinn@cobaltmortgage.com or visit my websites 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?

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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.