Category Archives: Mortgage

Fixed Rate Loan vs. Adjustable Rate Loan

Fixed Rate Mortgages and Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) are two loan options for homeowners and homebuyers. While the growing marketplace offers so many varieties within these two categories of loans, the right selection of the mortgage for your needs can be little difficult. To choose the best option for your new home purchase or refinance, it is good to find out a few details about both these loan options in advance.

Fixed Rate Loans:

The fixed rate loan is a set interest rate that is fixed at the time of loan approval and stays same throughout the lifetime of the loan. Fixed rate loans are generally more stable than adjustable rate loans.  Most people like the fixed rate loan because they know what to expect when it comes to budgeting.  A fixed rate loan is generally 1% to 1.5% higher than the start rate on an adjustable loan.


  • Irrespective of the changes that happen in the broader economy, the payments and rate for fixed-rate loans stays constant.
  • The stability of these loans provides easy budgeting solution to homeowners.
  • The terms and conditions are easier to understand, and they are suitable for both home buyers and refinances.


  • If a homeowner wants to lower the interest rate, the fixed rate loan holder needs to refinance.
  • You do not have a lower start rate.
  • Most of the fixed rate loans cannot be customized.

Adjustable Rate Loans:

As the name implies, in this case, the interest rate is adjustable. The initial interest rate of the Adjustable Rate Mortgage (ARM) is generally below the fixed rate.  After the initial, start rate period most ARMs adjust annual on the anniversary of the first payment.  The new adjustable interest rate is set 45 days ahead of that date.  However, there are ARMs that adjust as frequently as every month!


  • It features lower interest rates, so people may qualify to buy larger homes than they otherwise could.
  • The adjustable-rate loans allow borrowers to take advantage of falling interest rates without refinancing.
  • It can help loan borrowers to invest more money with the savings they see on their monthly payment.
  • These mortgages offer a lower start rate for borrowers who move often.


  • The payments and interest rates may rise significantly throughout the life of the loan.
  • The terms and conditions involved in the ARM are quite difficult to understand. Sometimes borrowers get trapped by shady loan companies.

Many variables play an essential role in the final decision between the ARM (adjustable rate loan) and fixed rate loan. Please feel free to give me a call with any questions and allow me the opportunity to help you find the perfect loan for your situation!

Call Me Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today or visit my website   Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

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When To Talk To A Mortgage Professional

Pre-Approval for Peace of Mind!

Buying a home is the largest purchase most people will ever make.  The question of when to speak to a mortgage professional sometimes doesn’t occur to new home buyers until they find a home they are interested in and then it is too late!

The first step in the house hunting process should be a conversation with me. This is called a Pre-Approval.  I will help you figure out how much of a monthly payment you feel comfortable with and can afford.  I will do this by looking at your income and debt structure, where you currently work and live and how much you have available for a down payment, closing costs and other expenses associated with buying a home.

Once I have reviewed all your loan documentation I will present you with a Pre-Approval Letter you can give your Realtor. The Realtor may call it a “Pre-Qual.”  The letter states you have been PREAPPROVED for a home loan under our BUYER READY PROGRAM.  This puts you in the best position to expedite closing of your loan. Your file has been conditionally approved based upon the review of an acceptable credit report, verified bank statements with sufficient cash to close, a completed loan application, verified employment and/or income as of the date of this letter.

When you find your dream home, having a Pre-Approved Home Loan gives you and your Realtor a certain amount of confidence and a definite edge in the market place.  First it will help your Realtor focus on homes within your budget and your ability to finance.  Secondly it will give a seller the confidence that you are Pre-Approved and serious about buying their home.  Many times, sellers look closely at the Pre-Approval and the lender behind the Pre-Approval when considering multiple offers on their home, after all, you are ready to buy a home.  My website has a Pre-Qualification form you can easily fill out and transmit to me electronically. Call Me Today 916-722-0395, Email Me Today or visit my website   Let’s start you down the road to home ownership now!

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How Much Home Can I Afford?

This is a common question asked by people who are thinking about buying a home. Generally, lenders will use the 36% as a general guideline when determining how much home you can afford as a borrower. To figure out how much you can afford, take your monthly income and multiply it by 36%, this will give you an idea of the mortgage you can afford.

For example, if you earn $50,000.00 a year, that is about $4,166.00 a month. With that average household income, you can afford $1,500.00 in total monthly payments, according to the 36% rule.

Key factors in calculating affordability are 1) your monthly income and stable employment for the last two years; 2) available funds to cover your down payment and closing costs; 3) your monthly expenses; 4) your credit profile.

  • Income – Money that you receive on a regular basis, such as your salary or income from investments. Your income helps establish a baseline for what you can afford to pay every month. Most lenders will use a two-year average if your income fluctuates month to month.
  • Funds available – This is the amount of cash you have available to put down and to cover closing costs. You can use your savings, investments or other sources.
  • Debt and expenses – It’s important to take into consideration other monthly obligations you may have, such as credit cards, car payments, student loans, groceries, utilities, insurance, etc.
  • Credit profile – Your credit score and the amount of debt you owe influence a lender’s view of you as a borrower. Those factors will help determine how much money you can borrow and what interest rate you’ll be charged.

Further considerations when buying a home should also include how much of a down payment you will need to secure your loan! Also, it is a good idea to have at least three months total monthly expenses in reserve to cover you in the event of an emergency. For more questions about buying your first home, please call me with any questions!

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3 New Year’s Resolutions For Your Home in 2018

New Year's Resolution Calendar

#1 Streamline Your Stuff

Every year we get a lot more stuff, some stuff is for use personally, and other stuff is for the home. Take this time at the New Year to go room by room, closet by closet, and get rid of the stuff you don’t use or need anymore.
Any clothes that have not been worn since before last New Year can be donated. Clutter and nick knacks that seem to have been a part of the home since before you can remember is probably a good candidate of things that have to go. Head to your favorite store and pick up some new and clutter free storage ideas for those out of control places, such as the shoes at the front door, back packs and brief cases in the front room, remote controls and gaming controls near the tv, and laundry that collects on the floor of all the rooms with humans!
The garage is also a candidate to go through and remove and donate, dispose of or recycle anything that seems to just take up space but gets little or no use anymore. These things may have some kind of emotional value, or “what if I need it” mentality, but once they are gone you will hardly miss that stuff!

#2 Make Your House Safe and Sound

This is something many people just don’t even think about. It’s like changing the batteries in your home smoke detectors when the time changes twice a year. But other parts of your home need attention too!
Be sure to check your dryer vents behind the dryer need to be cleaned out because dryer lint is so combustible. Clean the vent and any ducts you can access. Check your batteries in your radon detector too, wait what? You don’t have a radon detector? This odorless gas is deadly and every home should have one of these along with your smoke detectors!
This is a good time to check that all your vents from the attic are all clear too. Critters can get in there and damage the vents or they become blocked, which means your house cannot breathe and is susceptible to mold. Finally, this could be a good time to test your home for lead or asbestos for homes remodeled or built prior to 1978.

#3 Keep It Clean With A New Plan

Having a solid plan to keep the house clean and clutter free will help you enjoy your home on a daily basis, because who doesn’t like a nice clean home?
First make a schedule for the daily cleaning chores, such as dishes, laundry, wiping down the shower, taking trash out and cleaning up clutter from the bedrooms. Having different family members responsible for these chores will help ensure no one person has to do it all and everyone is invested in the plan.
Next have Weekly chores such as mopping, vacuuming, dusting, garbage day and sweeping and cleaning the entry ways to the house. Anything not needed to be done on a daily basis would be perfect for this plan.
Finally, make a plan for the monthly chores or to dos. Maybe it is clean the closets, take a load to the thrift store, and dust the blinds, house fans and curtains. Walk the house and replace burned out lights, vacuum the furniture and do a clutter walk, to make sure nothing is popping up at those trouble spots!
These three New Year’s Resolutions should make for a happier and cleaner home, adding to everyone’s enjoyment and comfort! Be sure to follow me on Facebook and feel free to call me at (916) 722-0395 with any questions regarding your mortgage or refinancing!

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Things NOT to do before escrow closes

I am going to write another blog about what to expect at your mortgage closing, but I feel it is equally important to point out the things that you should stay clear of before we even get to the closing, because these things could put the whole mortgage at risk!

These are the things you should not do before you close escrow.

Changing Jobs

Lenders prefer a steady and consistent job history, and your whole mortgage to this point has been based on your current income history. Any changes in your employment at this point such as changing jobs, companies or becoming self-employed could spell disaster to your ability to purchase your home. At the very least, it could put the process on hold while the lender re-evaluates your financial position.

Making Big Purchases

Yes, you are getting ready to move into that new home and you need new furniture or appliances or you want to celebrate with a trip to Cancun, or maybe even want a new car to make your commute from your new home more enjoyable. All of this is definitely a bad idea! Your loan is based on something called “debt to income ratio” and it was calculated based on your current debt. Adding any more debt at this point will change that ratio not in your favor! Even buying these things with a cash reserve you have set aside is a bad idea, because you would have had to disclose your savings during the mortgage process and this was all taken into account when you were approved. So for now, do not make any purchases with any type of credit or cash savings. Wait until you have closed escrow and have the keys to your new home.

Paying Your Bills Late

This should be self explanatory, but you don’t want to be late on your car payments or credit card payments now, when your new home hangs in the balance. Be sure to stay current on all debt before and during the escrow process. Of course, you want to continue to stay current and pay off that debt even after you get the keys to your new house!

Opening/Closing New Credit Card Accounts

This is just a bad idea during your escrow. There is nothing to be gained by having more debt and opening new accounts could impact your credit status. The same is true for closing accounts, even though that may seem counter intuitive; closing accounts during the escrow could affect your credit rating. Now, sometimes lenders will ask you to pay off small debts in order to get your debt to income ration down to an acceptable level, but that is a request the lender will make, otherwise, just keep paying your monthly payments as usual.

Being Unreachable

The escrow process only last about 30 days on average, and during this time, your lender should be able to reach you easily. Don’t travel to remote places where you cannot be reached. Don’t get a new cell phone number, unless you give it to your lender first thing. Don’t take extended vacations, or travel to places you may not be able to get back from in time to close escrow. Many times during the closing there are small or large glitches, and the lender needs your attention right away, Not being available could push back the closing date on your new home.

These are just the big ones, and the ones that could impact you the most. Please feel free to contact me any time if there are questions about your closing. It is better to get the answers ahead of time, rather than dealing with a potential issue during the closing process. I am always available to help make this process easy and get you into your new home!

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Home Lending Debt-to-Income Ratio Increase Could Mean More Buying Power For Homebuyers

Fannie Mae has raised the debt-to-income ratio to 50% DTI, reasoning a higher debt ratio doesn’t mean poor credit. The debt-to-income (DTI) ratio is determined based on a borrower’s total amount of debt, including credit cards, student loans, auto loans and mortgages, compared to their total income. Fannie Mae’s recent changes will hopefully allow more homeowners to enter the housing  market with new expanded debt-to-income requirements, making it easier for borrowers with good credit but higher debt to acquire a home loan.

Applicants with high DTI ratios have been told their debt is too high for home lending approval. The Washington Post printed an article outlining how those rejected on home lending applications due to high debt-to income ratios often make payments for their debts early, signaling that on time payment, or payment default isn’t the issue. Of those declined applicants, some have never actually defaulted on their credit, but were declined based on their higher debt due to raised student expenses, cost of living increases as well as other expense inflation.

Fannie Mae wants to allow more homeowners to enter the market as it increases the DTI requirements. This shift by Fannie Mae opens up the market to almost 100,000 new, responsible, homeowners, and one might even be you! If you’re interested in getting pre-qualified for your home, give a call!

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
2716 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818

#Mortgage #MortgageLoanProcess #Debt #DebtToLoanRatio #Buying #HomeBuyer #HomeBuyingProcess #Refinance #ConventionalLoan #FHALoan #VALoan #JumboLoan #PreQualifications #PreApproval #Borrower #HomeOwnership #Sacramento #BayArea #HomeFinancing #TrustedLender

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Summer Staycation

Were in the heat of summer and as the temperature rises, many are packing their bags and hitting the road. One way to save money this summer and still vacation is to enjoy a “staycation.”

First, lets clear up what a “staycation” is… A staycation is a vacation spent at home and involving day trips to local attractions. With this type of planning, your family now has redirected unused funds that they would have spent on expensive travel, and still reap the advantages of relaxation, rest and quality family time. Sounds like a win to me!

Here are some items on my staycation list:

  • Visit the local museums
  • Go to the zoo
  • Hike a nearby trail
  • Go paint-balling or rollerskating
  • Go to the movies
  • Get a massage
  • Pay to have your house cleaned to bring hotel-level service to you
  • Grocery shop for your favorite foods
  • Create a restaurant schedule and visit local eateries
  • But your toes in the water (a pool, ocean or river)
Budgeting time to decompress and have fun with loved ones always rejuvenates my spirit. By taking a staycation you choose a thrifty alternative to an extravagant vacation. I have found myself more relaxed when it’s over because we don’t have the headache of packing, travel, itineraries and overspending.
Have you ever staycationed or are planning one?

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
2716 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818

#Mortgage #MortgageLoanProcess #Staycation #Buying #HomeBuyer #HomeBuyingProcess #Refinance #ConventionalLoan #FHALoan #VALoan #JumboLoan #PreQualifications #PreApproval #Borrower #HomeOwnership #Sacramento #BayArea #HomeFinancing #TrustedLender

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Biggest Benefits to Your VA Loan

VA loans are beneficial for those who qualify for a VA home loan; including veterans, active duty, national guard and reserve members.  In order to apply for a VA loan, aside from your service, you must have suitable credit, sufficient income, and a valid Certificate of Eligibility (COE) to be eligible for a VA-guaranteed home loan. The home must be purchase as your personal residence.

The biggest benefits of a VA home loan:

  • No Down Payment – Rather than paying 5%-20% on a down payment, you may finance a VA Loan up to 100% of the purchase price up to the VA loan limits in your state and county.
  • No Mortgage Insurance – It is common that lenders require you to pay mortgage insurance on a purchase with less than 20% down. There is no mortgage insurance requirement on a VA loan, making it very affordable upfront and over time.
  • Government Guarantee – The Federal Government guarantees the top 20% of  a VA loan.
  • No Prepayment Penalty – Most military personnel know their time in one location may be limited as orders often change.  Regardless of if you’re a veteran or current military, there’s no prepayment penalty or early-exit fee for the VA home loan.
  • Easier To Qualify – VA loan guidelines tend to be more flexible because of the VA loan guaranty. The Dept. of Veterans Affairs wants to make it easy for our service members to buy a home or refinance a home.
  • Funding Fee Flexibility – The VA allows funding fees to be financed so that nothing is due at closing. Also, if the veteran receives disability compensation from the VA the VA Funding Fee maybe waived.
  • VA Loans are Assumable – Assumable means you may transfer your VA loan in the future to a VA eligible buyer that meets the basic VA loan requirements. Assumable loans may be a great benefit to a buyer if the interest rates have increased since the home was originally purchased.

Helping Veterans and service members obtain home ownership financing is a personal goal for me.  There are many benefits to home ownership and even more if you served our country and are eligible for a VA loan.  If you want to learn more about VA Lending and how you can utilize the a VA home loan please email or call me today.

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
2716 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818

#Mortgage #MortgageLoanProcess #NoDownPayment #Buying #HomeBuyer #HomeBuyingProcess #Refinance #ConventionalLoan #FHALoan #VALoan #JumboLoan #PreQualifications #PreApproval #Borrower #HomeOwnership #Sacramento #BayArea #HomeFinancing #TrustedLender


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Why & How to Keep Your Household Financial Records

Whether your applying to purchase a home or thinking about selling, there are many different reasons why having up to date household financial records can help save you time and money.

Check your current financial records income taxes, W2s, bank, investment and retirement statements, also insurance such life health and disability and see what is missing or out of date. Contact the record keeper and request new copies. Keeping accurate records will help you make important financial decisions.

How Long Should You Keep Records?

  • 7 Years – Taxes/Credit Card Statements and Property Records
  • ALL IRA contribution records
  • 1 Year – Utility bills
  • Indefinitely – Property records

Safely Dispose of Records

Make sure you dispose of your records properly.

  • Digital – overwrite data or physically destroy storage medium
  • Paper – Shred or incinerate

Record Organization Categories:

Keeping your records organized is just as important as accurate. Here are some great categories to organize your records.

  • Health Records – Health insurance policies, bills, prescriptions, life insurance
  • Financial Records – Bank statements, taxes and loans
  • Home/Property Records – Mortgages, Deeds and property tax information

Knowing what records to keep and the proper way to store them can really make a difference when it comes to making important life decisions.

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
2716 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818

#Mortgage #MortgageLoanProcess #Records #HouseholdRecords #FinancialRecords #Buying #HomeBuyer #HomeBuyingProcess #Refinance #ConventionalLoan #FHALoan #VALoan #JumboLoan #PreQualifications #PreApproval #Borrower #HomeOwnership #Sacramento #BayArea #HomeFinancing #TrustedLender

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4 Exceptions To Having More Than 1 FHA Mortgage

It is well known that the FHA will not insure more than one property as a principal residence for any Borrower.  What is missing from that information to complete the understanding of what the FHA insures, are the circumstances in which a borrower with an existing FHA-insured Mortgage for a principal residence may obtain an additional FHA-insured Mortgage on a new principal residence.

  1. RELOCATION – Borrowers may be eligible for a second FHA-insured Mortgage without being required to sell an existing property covered by an FHA-insured Mortgage if the Borrower is relocating or has relocated for an employment-related reason. Also if the borrower is establishing or has established a new principal residence in an area more than 100 miles from the borrower’s current Principal Residence.
  2. FAMILY SIZE INCREASE – Borrowers may be eligible for another house with an FHA-insured Mortgage if the borrower provides satisfactory evidence that the borrower has had an increase in legal dependents and the property now fails to meet family needs. Also when the Loan-to-Value (LTV) ratio on the current principal residence is equal to or less than 75% -OR- is paid down to that amount, based on the outstanding mortgage balance and a current residential appraisal.
  3. VACATING JOINTLY-OWNED PROPERTY – Borrowers may be eligible for another FHA-insured Mortgage if the they are vacating (with no intent to return) the principal residence which will remain occupied by an existing co-borrower.
  4. NON-OCCUPYING CO-BORROWER – A non-occupying co-borrower on an existing FHA-insured Mortgage may qualify for an FHA-insured Mortgage on a new Property to be their own principal residence.

The FHA will not insure a mortgage if it is determined that the transaction was designed to use FHA mortgage insurance as a vehicle for obtaining investment properties, even if the property to be insured will be the only one owned using FHA mortgage insurance.

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender
2716 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818

#Mortgage #MortgageLoanProcess #FHALending #FHAMortgage #Buying #HomeBuyer #HomeBuyingProcess #Refinance #ConventionalLoan #FHALoan #VALoan #JumboLoan #PreQualifications #PreApproval #Borrower #HomeOwnership #Sacramento #BayArea #HomeFinancing #TrustedLender

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