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Archive for the ‘Loans’ Category

handoffHandoffIn an earlier post, I wrote about why it is in the best interest of home sellers and buyers to work with a full-time Realtor who is focused on real estate only; not “double-dipping” by acting as a dual duty  real estate agent and mortgage loan broker. However, as a Realtor, I understand the importance of knowing what is happening with mortgage interest rates and keeping current with the latest mortgage news, loan products and trends. After all, mortgage loans are an integral part of completing most real estate transactions.

Since I am not a mortgage expert, I look to those who are to keep me abreast of their industry. I thought I would share some of the exceptional mortgage blogs that I subscribe to for expert advice.

Rhonda Porter, of The Mortgage Porter blog and also a contributor to the Rain City Guide Real Estate blog, recently wrote a very informative post on preserving your credit standings when going through a divorce or separation. Another relevant post of Rhonda’s addresses mortgage loan options for writing a contingent offer on a home; a way to purchase another home prior to selling your existing home without the risk of paying two mortgages. You’ll find these posts and much, much more on Rhonda’s blog.

A current phenomenon that many homeowners are experiencing is adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) going up. Morgan Brown of Blown Mortgage blog has strong advice for what steps you can take now and options that are available to those in this situation. Morgan’s blog covers a wide array of industry news including: Wall Street the Economy and Consumer Mortgage Tips. He also writes about why he hates the mortgage industry. Fun stuff!

Both Rhonda and Morgan have been blogging for quite some time. In this handoff from Realtor to Mortgage Lender, you’ll be in good hands in the company of their blog posts and mortgage industry musings!

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twins.gif  Brian Brady, from Bloodhoundblog.com, recently posted a very interesting article regarding real estate agents that also act as the loan officer. Having been a loan officer in a past life and now being a full-time Real Estate Agent in Southern California, I have a few things to say about dual duties and trying to handle both:

  1. There is way too much to know about either mortgage lending or real estate. It is very difficult to serve clients with  real expertise if their time is divided into the two different segments. It is difficult, but not impossible to continuously learn and keep up with the latest technology and industry related trends in just one of the two jobs.
  2. Mortgage Loan Officers and Real Estate Agents alike, have to pass the CAR Real Estate Exam, but it doesn’t mean that either has the knowledge to represent their clients in both arenas with the client’s best interest in mind. The exam covers the bare-bone basics. Skills are developed with experience, continuous learning and hopefully, a good mentor. If their focus is on one set of skills to learn, becoming better able to serve their clients comes sooner than later.
  3. Mortgage interest rates can, and do, change daily as reported by Jon Ribary at Rain City Guide. Real estate buyers, sellers and mortgage loan applicants are paying good money to have the best representation that they can possibly have, and don’t want to hear excuses when their agent/mortgage loan officer missed a deadline to lock their loan or inform them of a substantial rate change. 
  4. Full-time real estate agents are constantly reviewing and previewing the active listings, pending sales and sold properties to guide potential buyers and sellers as to the worth of properties.
  5. Full-time Mortgage Brokers are in-tune to the bond market and what the Federal Reserve is doing  with the interest rates. They are in constant touch with their wholesale lenders/clients and are getting up-dates regarding what new loan programs are available or are being changed.
  6. A good mortgage broker and real estate agent will have a repetoire of other professionals that they have worked with and have respect for, to whom they refer their clients.
  7. Dual duties also results in double commission for the agent who is also the loan officer, receiving revenue from the loan and also the sale of the property.
  8. A “Jack of all trades” does not necessarily do the best job. If you had a heart condition would you see a General Practitioner or a Cardiologist?

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kitchen-scales.jpgI came across this very unique Renting vs. Buying interactive graphing tool today on the New York Times news blog and thought I would share it with you. You can plug in your current rent along with the property appreciation statistics for the area that you’re thinking about purchasing in, the purchase price and interest rate on the mortgage loan,  and this tool will graph out how many years it will take for you to benefit from buying vs. renting. Way cool! So cool, in fact, that I’m going to make a permanent link to it on this blog.

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In the midst of the sub-prime loan debacle, Inman News reports that the Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has put before Congress a plan for modernizing FHA loans. In recent years FHA loans have been all but extinct in states with high housing costs, due to their maximum loan limits. Buyers turned to riskier adjustable-rate loans as a means to get into home ownership without, in some cases, as illustrated by the increase of mortgage defaults, full knowledge of how high their payments could reach when the loan adjusted.The proposed plan would allow for higher loan amounts, eliminate the mandatory 3% down-payment and would be flexible with more options. Californians looking to purchase a home with little or no down-payment would certainly benefit from this new FHA loan over-haul; as would home-sellers by having a bigger pool of qualified buyers that are able to purchase their homes.

This important update to FHA home loans, could be a very vital component in keeping our housing market healthy by allowing more buyers safer loans that they can afford. Let your CA State Senator know that you think this is of importance to you. Look for updates in future posts.

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