President Obama:7-9 Million Homeowners should take advantage of Low rates

President Obama speaks to the nation on today’s low Mortgage Rates. Check it out here: http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30135793/

The rates on mortgages have been all over the board but they have remained low. If you have not talked to your mortgage professional about your loan you may be missing the boat. Don’t wait for the perfect moment because it does not exist. The math will tell the truth.

Consult your Mortgage Professional Now!

As Always thank you for Reading,

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10 Benefits a Great Realtor will add to your Purchase Experience!

Congratulations! You have decided to take the steps to become a homeowner in today’s market. This is no small task and it can be overwhelming. Many new buyers start there search online on their own. In fact 82% of buyers start their search online. I understand that you do not want to be sold or bound to a Real Estate agent. I get it but you have to do your due diligence and hire a professional. Here are 10 benefites a great Realtor will add to your purchase experience:

1) Professional Advice – Real Estate agents are trained in the very thing you are looking to accomplish, Finding the right home. They can offer professional advice on Style, Location, and Price. They also have knowledge or professional contacts to make sure the structure, floor plan, area are all up to your standards. There is no substitute to Professional Advice.

2) No Cost to You – As a buyer you do not pay the commission of your selling agent. They are paid by the seller for finding you and selling the sellers home to you. It does not cost you anything. Their time they spend with you, the advice they give you, and all the additional benefits come at no expense to you until they find you the right home and you agree to buy it.

3) Negotiation – Realtors are skilled negotiators. A large portion of the job that they do is negotiating the right price and terms of your purchase. This can be the difference and to me very well could be the number one benefit.

4) Expanded Search – Agents not only have access to the local MLS but they also have access to a network of other agents that have inside knowledge on upcoming properties. This extends in most cases above and beyond their own company. Overtime Real Estate agents build strong relationships with colleagues. It is like water cooler talk. In the end you may be the beneficiary.

5) Knowledge of the Area – You may be familiar with the area that you are buying in and you may not. Agents are generally connected with the chamber of commerce, local churches, school associations and restaurants through their farm. Many agents concentrate on specific areas and know everything there is to know about that area.

6) Determine overall value to insure appropriate price –  Agents have knowledge of values and sale prices that are accurate in your market. It is their job to stay current with market values and sales in today’s market. There are two markets going on today: The normal market and the distressed REO market. Realtors can help you navigate the two markets and help you to determine the appropriate value or price you may offer.

7) Limit Liability – An agent can limit your liability and make sure that you are protected as a buyer. There are time frames, contingency periods that a buyer must meet and there are contractual obligations to meet. Your agent will guide you through this process and help you to make educated decisions regarding your liability.

8) Emotion Manager – The market today can be very stressful for a buyer. It is essential to control your emotions. You cannot get attached to a property. If you write an offer on a short sale it is essential to understand that you may be waiting for a long period of time and your agent will help set that expectation keeping your emotions in check.

9) Simple Explanations to Complex Issues – Your agent will break down complex situations so that you can understand them fully. It can be very overwhelming upfront but your agent will break down a complex process and help you to understand the little pieces. This will be a major life-changing event and the Real Estate agent will help simplify it.

10) Experience only time and transactions can provide – Your agent has seen nearly all the situations that you may encounter during your purchase. From uncovering a hidden defect, loan issues, property not appraising, title defects, zoning, septic, well, inappropriate disclosure, and many more. They are there to help you understand the concerns that may arise and help work through any situation they may not have experienced.

If you are in the Sacramento  Area or Sonoma County Area I recommend the following Real Estate Agents. I have worked with each and everyone of them at some point. In my opinion each of them comprises everyone of these benefits described above. Please contact me for their contact information as out of respect for them I will not post it.

Sacramento Area – Dayna Neuse Remax Gold Roseville , Peter Bond Remax GoldRoseville, Karen Wallace Lyon Real EstateRoseville, Robert Wallace Lyon Real EstateRoseville, Kevin Nakano Nakano Realty Elk Grove, Bryan Hill Pacific Coast RealtyRoseville, Nathan Novelo Connect Realty Antelope, George Snyder Lyon Real Estate Roseville and many others. I am sorry if I missed you here are there are too many of you too mention.

Sonoma County – Brook Terhune Platinum Real Estate Santa Rosa, Delia Nieto Coldwell Banker Santa Rosa, Larry Mitchell CPS Real Estate Santa Rosa.

In summary, it is imperative that you use the services of a qualified Real Estate agent. It is up to you to interview each and every Real Estate agent that you may want to work with. Determine who is a good fit for you. Communication is the key to every relationship and it is a two way street. Qualified Real Estate agents will help you have a successful buying experience.

Don’t pick up pennies while dollar bills fly over your head!

Recently Market Watch published a statement that read: Freddie Mac: Fixed mortgage rates hit another low (Marketwatch Bulletin Published 7:29 am Thursday). At this point we are generally begging borrowers to take the lowest rates that we have seen. The paper is yesterday’s news people so when you call the following day as they publish the good rates they are gone.

Many times I cannot get a borrower to lock their rate because the media makes it appear that rates will continue to go lower. If not the media the government makes it seem that they will continue to slide. At this time I had mid to high 4’s available. Fast Forward to Friday at 3pm. The rates were low to mid 5’s. A movement of .5% in less than 36 hours.

The Moral to the story is simple: Lock Profit. If your mortgage professional says I can save you $319 don’t try to get to $350. Walk away from the table sir/mam. Don’t bend over picking up pennies while dollar bills fly over your head!

I am sorry to be out of character and rant for a moment but I cannot understand why we choose not to lock in savings and say in the same sentence that money is tight.

As always thank you for reading,

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House Hunting Frustration Setting In! Solutions to help your cause!

Are you searching for a home in Roseville, California? Are you searching for a home in Sacramento, California? Are you searching for a home in Placer county? If so this is for you.

Buying your new dream home is absolutely a process. This process can take time. It can also be a numbers game. What I mean by that is you may have to write an offer on several homes before one sticks. I work buyers in the greater Sacramento and Sonoma county areas. Some of my buyers have been approved for a home loan for 6 months or more. What are they waiting for? They are waiting to find a home that fits. Price, Location, and style matches are important to every consumer.

Naturally I wanted to take a look at the statistics in February 2009 to see the trends of the market and why finding the right home may be so difficult. When doing the search I found the following statistics to answer a few of my questions:

Stat: 54.91% of the homes that were sold were sold in the first 60 days – Homes are moving and they are moving fast. If you are a buyer in the market you have to be willing to act fast.

Solution – As a consumer you have to know what all of your numbers are. You have to be aware of your max. You have to have a list of the must haves, wants, and not needed in your home. Know the Maximum you are willing to spend, the minimum credits you may need, have your down-payment lined up, and get approved with cushion in your rate to cover the volatility of the market.

Stat: 59% of the homes that were sold were bought with Conventional Financing – This was a surprising statistic for me at first and then I reviewed my closings 6 and realized that I was exactly 50% conventional and 50% FHA.

Solution: Conventional financing requires a minimum 5% down which is difficult to do most realistically 10% down. Mortgage insurance requirements are tightening greatly. FHA minimum down payment is 3.5%. They also allow a 6% seller credit while conventional allows for 3% unless you put 20% down or more.

Stat: 63% of the homes that sold were between 200K-400K – There is a lot of competition in certain price points. The inventory is not as think as it was because the moratorium on new bank owned properties. What this means to you is that if you are approved for 225K you should start your search at 200K. This would allow you to remain in the hunt if there are multiple offers. This will save you time in the long run. I have found that if you search at your max range and the counter for highest and best you are out. This is a contributing factor to the frustration.

Summary: Know your stats and your price range. Be prepared to fight the fight. If you want a home bad enough you will make sure that you are prepared. As professionals we are going to help you do this. Be prepared to have the talk about expectations and the list that you have of must haves. Are they really a necessity if so awesome let’s look but it could be a while. There are three main categories when looking for a home and those are:

Location – This is very important. Children’s schools, proximity to work, and of course the Local restaurants of the area. This is one that you you generally do not want to sacrifice on.

Price – You are approved for what you are approved for. That is why I recommend starting your search under your max and working your way up. It gives you the flexibility to compete.

Style – This is the layout and the number of baths, garages etc. This is the one that generally ends up being sacrificed. The reason is that the other two are real difficult to give up. This is why I think that it is imperative to have you lists of must haves and wants.

Many times you will sacrifice in a category. Have a plan for this as well. Widen your search and locations.

As Always thank you for Reading,

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Mortgage Locks: Certainly Uncertain! 3 Tips on locking your Mortgage.

When is the best time to lock in my mortgage rate? After all rates are at 3.95% are they not? Heck I think I should wait because the stimulus package is going to help me out and lower the rates to zero. My friend said that they got 4.5% yesterday and I want that rate. I heard that the fifteen year fixed mortgage is 4%. I read in the news that my loan can be modified to as low as 2% and I would like to do that right now can you help me.

OK, I am getting a little redundant but the point to all of the above ranting is simple. Rates are all over the map and they are custom tailored to the individual, the property, and the time that you are acquiring your loan. It is a common question to ask your professional is today the day that I should lock? If they state that absolutely without a shadow of a doubt today is the best day Run!

Larry Baer of Market Alert has this to say: The Market is always right! You and I are some of the time.

In layman’s terms that means to me that you will never be able to time the market and there will always be a rate lower than yours and there will always be a rate higher than yours. Here are three tips that will help you in your decisions to lock your mortgage:

1) If you like it, Lock it – I am a huge proponent of this tip alone. It is your mortgage and your payment that you have to live with for the next thirty years. If there is a payment that you are comfortable with and you like the rate then lock and never look back. Rates are changing by the minute. A swing is rate of a .5% for the worse on 200K is about $62 a month. We tend to think about how much it could go down but I encourage you to remember that we are at historically low interest rates and any rate is a good rate.

2) Don’t Share your business with Friends and Relatives – I am not saying not to be excited about your new home purchase but I am saying to be selective about your excitement. Comparing rates and down payments and programs is certain to hurt someones feelings. As I said before there are always lower and higher rates than your own. If you are the higher rate you wonder why and second guess a good thing and if your lower your celebration has caused others to second guess their dealings. How often do we share our retirement funds or down payment options, or income and credit? That is right we keep the information that tailors our mortgage to ourselves and shout out our rate. Only you and your family have to be excited about your finances and the rest of the world can remain in the dark.

3)  Ask your Broker or Banker about Float Down Policies or Rate Renegotiation Prior to Locking – Many of the wholesalers have taken a proactive approach to the market changes. They do not want to lose your business because that costs them money. In order to keep the loan active they are  sometimes willing to renegotiate the terms of your lock. Other wholesalers have a float-down policy in place. They will allow for a float-down of the rate to current market. There is almost always a cost to do this so consult with your Mortgage Broker or Banker on how this applies to your Mortgage.

Just Remember that your Mortgage is yours. It has to work for you and noone else. It is important to be educated and confident in your choices. Choose a Mortgage Professional that makes you feel comfortable with those decisions. You have made a great choice to buy in the current market environment. Take control of that choice be proactive in your education and trust your choices.

As Always thank you for reading,

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Free Mortgage Step Right Up!Definitions Continued:Origination, YSP, and Discount

Extra, Extra, read all about it! We got your free mortgages over here! No cost, no fees all we need is for you to apply and voila. I am sure that you have heard of the infamous no cost mortgage. You know the one that costs you absolutely nothing. Yeah that one. Oh you got one of these before. I am so sorry to hear that.

The truth is there is no such thing as “no cost.” I know surprise surprise. It is quite often that we come across consumers that have been told about the “no cost” mortgage. It could not be any further from the truth. You see the illusion in the trick is that there are third party vendors that are not part of the Mortgage per se that want to be paid. Examples of those professionals would be the appraiser, the title company, the termite guy and the credit vendor to name a few. Ask you mortgage consultant about the “no cost” mortgage and see what they say. 

This blog is not about the “no cost mortgage though. It is a continuance on the series of definitions. Today we will take a look at the different types of ways that your mortgage professional is paid. There are three terms that you will commonly hear:

Origination –  Loan origination is the fee that is charged by the Broker or Banker that you are working with. Commonly, this makes up a portion of the broker or bankers commission. When applying for an FHA mortgage it is common to see 1% origination.

YSP or Yield Spread Premium – yield spread premium is an incentive that the wholesaler pays the broker for delivering a quality loan package and for locking specific rates. In general the higher the rate the higher theYSP. However, today’s market has changed YSP and many times the previous statement no longer holds true. There are several reasons for this but one of the reasons is that investors are afraid of an early pay off. See if they are to offer large incentive to sell higher rates and the rates remain low, there is a likelihood that the consumer would refinance to a lower rate. When the consumer does this early on in the loan it is called an early pay-off. An investor who has paid a large incentive for the higher rate will not have held the investment long enough to recoup the pay out resulting in a loss on the investment. It is common to see incentive be offered at the rates that are selling in the secondary market.

Discount – This is the opposite of YSP. Discount is paid to the investor to obtain a lower rate. It is essentially pre-paid interest. If you are willing to pay more money up front to the investor then they are willing to discount the note rate. This process lowers your monthly payment but increases the upfront costs of the loan. Discount will be made payable to the wholesaler that you are obtaining the loan through.

You cannot have discount and YSPon the same loan. However, origination can be seen with both discount and ysp. The broker has a percentage that they make on the loan. Many times that is with a combination of loan origination and ysp. In some cases the math would point to paying all origination for the broker/bankers fee so that the rate is lower and there is no YSP.

How do you know what is right for your loan? Consult your professional but also ask yourself the following question? How long do I see myself in this home and this loan? The answer to that question will help your professional show you the appropriate combination. After all, it is simply mathematical. The numbers never lie and they will tell you what is right and what may not work.

As Always thank you for tuning in.

All the best,

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Mumbo Jumbo Money Game! Where is the money?

I am trying to buy a home for 1.2 million. I have great credit and I make awesome money. I can put 20% down and I will need a loan for 960K. Can anyone out there help me?

Buyers in the mumbo jumbo arena are finding it very difficult to get financing. There are a few lenders out there that are willing to give out the money but there are a ton of strings attached. The losses that the investors have taken over the last few years has everyone gun shy. An investor does not want to tie up a million dollars in an economy where job loss, dividend cuts, and bonuses are being stripped.

Check this out directly from one of our sources today regarding what they will do for the Jumbo Market:

Max LTV is now 70% for Purchase or Cash Out.

Minimum score is now 680 to 700 depending on loan amount.

Reserves required are now from 6-12 months depending on DTI. Max DTI is 45%.

This is only for loans to 1 million. Imagine those that are trying to buy over this. Inman News posted a great article on how Bank of America is trying to buy the jumbo market. Check out the article: http://www.inman.com/news/2009/03/20/bofa-out-make-jumbo-loans  

There criteria is no different than the rest but they do not have to have Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac buy their loans. They have the ability to keep the loan in their portfolio and service the debt. The ability to service the debt as well as keep it in the portfolio gives Bank of America the option to pick and choose who they do business with and whether or not they feel comfortable with the risk.

Another Great article tackling this issue is from the Washington Post check it out:  http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/03/20/AR2009032001447.html

One may ask why are you showing information that limits your ability to do Jumbo loans? The reason is simple I specialize in Purchase money for buyers in the market to purchase a home. As you will start to see as soon as I launch Cahomestrategies.com in the middle of April, I am all about educating my buyers. To be a great educator you have to have a limited number of subjects that you know well. I know Government Purchase money and I know conventional purchase money up to the Revised temporary loan limits. I do not know Jumbo but I can point you in the right direction. The goal is to make sure that you get the highest level of service and that you end up with the right mortgage. 

Your mortgage success is my commitment!

As Always thank you for reading, 

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