Tag Archives: FHA

Interest Rate and APR…What’s The Difference?

An annual percentage rate (APR) reflects the mortgage interest rate plus other charges.

There are many costs associated with taking out a mortgage. These include:

  • The interest rate
  • Points
  • Fees
  • Other charges

The interest rate is the cost you will pay to borrow the money, expressed as a percentage rate. It does not reflect fees or any other charges you may have to pay for the loan.

An annual percentage rate (APR) is a broader measure of the cost to you of borrowing money, also expressed as a percentage rate. In general, the APR reflects not only the interest rate but also any points, mortgage broker fees, and other charges that you pay to get the loan. For that reason, your APR is usually higher than your interest rate.

Why have both?

“The biggest difference between the two is that the interest rate calculates what your actual monthly payment will be,” says Kathleen Beck, Mortgage Lender, “while the APR calculates the total cost of the loan. A homebuyer can use one or both to make comparisons when shopping for loans.”

As an example, a loan with a 4.25% rate will have a lower monthly payment than a loan for 6.5%, assuming both loans are fixed for the same term.  Which means the total cost of the 4.25% APR will be less than the loan with the 6.5% APR.

How long you will stay in your home matters

If you plan on staying in your home for the entire 30 year mortgage, it makes sense to go with the lowest APR because you will end up paying the lowest amount for your house.  But if you know you are not going to be living in that house that long, it could make sense to pay fewer upfront fees and get a higher rate and a higher APR because the total cost will be less over the first few years.

“Because the APR spreads the fees out over the course of the entire loan, you get the most value only if you stay in the home throughout the entire mortgage.” Kathleen says.

The Right Lender is Crucial

Kathleen says “If you are planning on staying in your home for a shorter period of time you need to do the math and figure out your break-even point. A good lender will help you do that, I will help you do that!” You need to know if you are going to lose money by paying for a lower APR, but end up moving sooner than your break-even point!

Advertisements
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

What is Hygge and why should I try it?

The temperatures are dropping, and the nights are getting longer, which is the perfect time to practice hygge! Pronounced “hue –gah”, it is a Danish practice that has helped Denmark have one of the happiest populations in the world for 40 years in a row! (at least since those statistics have been compiled)

Hygge has no real western translation, but it has been described as “cozy” or “homey,” but neither of those translations take into account the emotional part of hygge, which can get lost in the efforts to create a cozy environment when trying to describe hygge. But that is not a bad thing, because a cozy environment is vitally important to a successful hygge.

First off, there is nothing you need to buy, or learn or do in order to hygge. It is not so much in what you do, but in how you do it, and in being present, and aware. Hyggehouse.com describes it this way – “Hygge literally only requires consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognize and enjoy the present.” It is about holding this time spent as sacred, and important. You can hygge alone, or with friends or family, but the time spent is cozy, comfortable and the people present are engaged and aware of this special time.

There is a lot written about hygge online, and I encourage you to research and learn as much as you can about this Danish tradition. For now I will just help you get ready for your first hygge experience!

You will want to do these things as a starting point, and adjust and change it as you need to in order to suit your lifestyle and environment.

The first thing you need is a place to hygge. A cozy space by a fireplace or wood stove is best, but any warm cozy spot in the house will do, as long as people can join you if it is family or friends hygge time. Light a bunch of candles, enough to illuminate the space you are going to hygge in. Turn off all the lights, tv, computers and such. Prep the space by having it nice and warm. Put on a pot of water for tea, or cocoa, and find some comfort type snacks. Hygge is perfect for fresh baked cookies, warm breads and cakes, and other soul satisfying pastries. If you are watching calories or on special types of diets, look for foods that would fit the comfort profile. Have your tea and cookies ready for you when you are dressed for hygge!

The perfect hygge ensemble would include slouchy wool socks on your feet, comfortable cozy pants such as sweats or joggers on your legs. Sweatshirts, sweaters and cozy flannels for your top and knit cap if you need one for your head!

Nestle yourself into a cozy chair or couch with your family, make sure ALL electronic devices are out of the picture, turned off or in another room. If it is your first time, have a plan of topics to chat about, that are not too heavy or sad. Hygge should be healing to the soul and strengthen the relationships with the people that are with you.

Once everyone is cozy, under lap blankets, curled up with the family dog on their lap, or warm by the fire, you have begun to hygge! If you wish to have soothing music on in the background that is also ok, but not too loud as to hinder conversation. Now just talk to your family or friends, sip your tea and snack on your cookies if you wish for the next hour or so. That is all there is too it!

Hygge, when done on a nightly basis can be transformational. It will become a time to look forward to in the hour or so before bedtime. It allows you to unplug and unwind, without distractions and connect or reconnect with those people that are important to you. Afterall, some of the happiest people in the world have attributed hygge as one of the reason why they can stay so positive in winters that last so long!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Guide To The Best Pumpkin Patches

Fall is an amazing time to live in the Sacramento Region and the surrounding foothills. As the nights get cooler and the days get shorter, the leaves come alive with vibrant colors and the excitement of Fall fills the air. The region is known for agriculture, and it is no surprise that pumpkin patches that bring the feel and flavor to the fall abound! Here are four of our favorite Pumpkin patches in the region, and we are sure one is close to you, but be adventurous and trek out to see them all, it will be worth your time!

Davis Ranch
13211 Jackson Road, Sloughhouse, CA 95683 – (916) 82-2658

Davis Ranch is a produce stand located off Hwy 16 in Sloughhouse. But during the fall, it becomes a favorite destination for fans looking for a great pumpkin patch and other fall fun! Attractions include a great corn maze, pumpkin patch, pumpkin pyramid, kiddy corn maze and weekend tractor rides to pick your own pumpkins. You will also be able to go home with all the fresh produce needed for a hearty fall dinner.

Zittel Farms zittelfarms.com
6781 Oak Ave., Folsom, CA – (916) 989-2633

Located in Folsom, CA since 1976, Zittel Farms is a favorite pumpkin patch among locals and visitors alike. Touting one of the largest varieties of pumpkins in the region, the pumpkin patch is sure to excite the younger ones. Weekends are great because you can get a real hayride! There is plenty for adults too, such as a collection of antiques from across the USA, Amish made décor and fine handcrafted preserves and honey.

The Flower Farm http://www.flowerfarminn.com
4150 Auburn Folsom Rd., Loomis, CA 95650 – (916) 652-4200

The Flower Farm is a beautiful, multi-purpose farm easily located right off of Folsom Auburn rd. The farm itself is composed of a delicious café, a bed and breakfast, a very large nursery, an event center and Casque Wine Tasting Room. This is a great destination with something for everyone in the family! Of course, the reason we are mentioning it is because of the beautiful pumpkin patch that features their very unique “Pumpkin People Tours”. There are plenty of activities for the kids on the weekends, and of course fall food, wine and beer in the café for the parents! Be sure to check their calendar for details.

Apple Hill – applehill.com
Camino Ca

More than 50 Apple Hill ranches have been the fall destination for families since 1964. With a large assortment of pumpkin patches, farm stands, wineries, breweries, eateries and activities, one of the biggest reasons to visit besides the pumpkins is the fresh hot apple donuts and take and bake apple pies! Apple Hill is a Fall tradition for many, but be sure to plan ahead, and get an early start to beat the traffic. On the weekends, all traffic is diverted to the last Apple Hill exit 54, and then funneled back through Carson Rd. There is no exit from the eastbound lanes on exits 48 and 49 in Camino. Certainly worth the effort, you will enjoy the cool mountain air, the rural farms and the amazing assortment of pumpkins, baked goods and fresh pressed apple cider, maybe even some warm spiced cider!

Fall is the favorite season for many who live in the region, and a visit to any of these wonderful, family friendly farms will show you why that is! Good luck and happy pumpkin huntin’!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Using Gift Money To Secure Your Loan

Congratulations on your decision to buy a house! Chances are you may be getting a gift to help secure the mortgage on that house, so we wanted to give some guidelines in receiving and using that money!

Conventional –Fannie Mae
Gift Donors may be a relative, such as the borrower’s spouse, fiancé, domestic partner, child (or other dependent), or any other individual related by blood, marriage, or adoption (or legal guardianship).

  • The donor MAY NOT be—or have any affiliation with—the builder, the developer, the real estate agent, or any other party interested in the transaction.
  • Gifts are NOT allowed for investment properties.

Conventional – Freddie Mac

  • Gift Donors may be a relative, such as a blood relative, spouse, fiancé, domestic partner, or legal guardian.
  • The donor MAY NOT be—or have any affiliation with—the builder, the developer, the real estate agent, or any other party interested in the transaction.
  • Gifts are NOT allowed for investment properties.

FHA Loan

  • Donors can be a relative as defined below*, or a close friend with a clearly defined and documented interest in the borrower.

”Relative” is defined as follows, regardless of actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender identity, or legal marital status:

    • Child (son, stepson, daughter, stepdaughter, foster child, or adopted son or daughter, including a child who is placed w/the borrower by a legal adoption agency)
    • Parent, step-parent, or foster parent
    • Grandparent, step-grandparent, or foster grandparent
    • Spouse or domestic partner
    • Brother or step brother
    • Sister or stepsister
    • Uncle or aunt
    • Son-in-law, daughter-in-law, father-in-law, mother-in-law, brother-in-law, or sister-in-law

VA Loan

  • You must be able to document that the gift funds come from an acceptable source — a family member or someone with a family-like relationship — with a legitimate paper trail via a bank account or financial institution.
  • No one involved in the loan transaction, including the lender, can be the source of the funds.

Who ever gifts you this money is helping you achieve a dream, and could position you in a great spot with regards to your new mortgage! Be sure to thank them in a grand way for their generous gift!

Sources:
Kim Kirk – SPMC.com
Veteransunitied.com

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Home Financing “Need List”

 

Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender

West Coast Mortgage Group

NMLS #243181 | BRE #01058848

Looking to buy or refinance a home is a very exciting time. It is also an important time for interested borrowers to organize their documents, better known as a “Needs List” to ensure your loan or re-fi is processed in a timely manner without unforeseen challenges.

The documents listed below are needed by your mortgage officer in order to verify the information you provided during the application process. These items should be sent at your earliest opportunity to expedite the processing of your request.

Documents Needed:

  • Copy of your Driver’s License
  • Copy of your Social Security Card
  • Legible copies of W-2’s and 1099s from last two tax years
  • Personal Federal Tax Returns from last two tax years
  • Statements for all checking, savings, investment and retirement accounts (including all pages for the last two months)
  • A letter of explanation for all non-payroll deposits into your accounts and copies of the checks deposited
  • Current pay-stubs from all borrowers (most recent 30 days)
  • Copy of Homeowners Insurance Policy Declaration Page showing the coverage and premium on all property owned
  • Current mortgage statements on all property owned

The entire loan and re-finance process takes approximately 30-45 days and mortgage officers should work to make this as simple and stress-free as possible. Once you have gathered the items above, send the documents via secure email, hand delivery, or by means you feel comfortable and you should have a smooth experience.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Mortgage Insurance Q&A

By: Kathleen Beck, Mortgage Lender

West Coast Mortgage Group

NMLS #243181 | BRE #01058848

Mortgage insurance is an important element of the loan process if you have a low down payment, yet many first time borrowers aren’t very familiar with what it is and how it works. Mortgage insurance helps borrowers lower the risk they are placing on lenders for qualifying them for a loan with a low down payment. There are two types of mortgage insurance, “Borrower Paid” and “Lender Paid.” Understanding the difference between borrower and lender paid, and why utilizing this insurance option could benefit the buyer as well as the lender.

Here are some great questions and answers that I have provided my clients that all borrowers may also find useful.

  • Q – Who needs mortgage insurance?
    • A – Most borrowers making down payments fewer than twenty percent of the purchase price need to obtain mortgage insurance.
  • Q – What is the purpose of mortgage insurance?
    • A – Mortgage insurance lowers the risk the lender making a loan to you holds, so you can qualify for a loan.
  • Q – What is Borrower Paid Mortgage Insurance (BPMI)?
    • A – BPMI is insurance on your loan for the lender when a borrower has a low down payment and a lender is looking for assurance that the loan will be paid in full and on time. If a borrower decided to utilize BPMI, the lender charges a yearly premium paid in monthly installments.
  • Q – What is the average a borrower will pay a lender for their BPMI?
    • A – On average, BPMI premiums costs between 0.3 and 1.15 percent of the total loan amount.
  • Q – What is Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance (LPMI)?
    • A – LPMI is mortgage insurance that the lender pays for the insurance premium instead of the borrower. The cost of the LPMI is reflected in a higher interest to the borrower.
  • Q – Does mortgage insurance increase your monthly payment?
    • A – Mortgage insurance does increases the cost of your loan.
  • Q – Will the mortgage insurance payment be included on my monthly payment statement?
    • A – Yes, mortgage insurance will be included in your total monthly payment.
  • Q – If I default on my payments and the insurance kicks in, what will happen to my credit and my home?
    • A – If you fall behind on your monthly payments, your credit score may suffer and there is a possibility your home could foreclosure.

There are multiple loan options available to borrowers with low down payments. I enjoy working with my clients to help them find the down payment and loan that best fits their financial needs and I always recommend that they ask questions and maintain communication throughout the lifecycle of their loan. The last tip I would like to leave you with is, once the loan is paid down some, you may be eligible to cancel your mortgage insurance. If you are able to cancel, you won’t have to continuing to pay the monthly insurance expense.

#Mortgage #MortgageInsurance #LPMI #BPMI #LenderPaidMortgageInsurance #BorrowerPaidMortgageInsurance #Market #RealEstate #Lending #HomeOwnership #Jumbo #FHA #VA #Conventional #Sacramento #BayArea #HomeBuyer #CreditScore #DownPayment #KathleenBeck #TrustedMortgageLender

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

2017 Increasing Loan Limits

With so many changes taking place as we transition into this New Year, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and VA increased loan limits for the first time since 2006! Two large changes that have helped create this shift are the steady rise in property values and the housing market continuing to recover. The new limits will be considered for borrowers looking for lending on or after January 1, 2017, and will remain in place through the end of the year.

The maximum loan limits have increased across the board, mainly being seen through one-unit properties as well as in high cost areas and FHA-insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (or reverse mortgages).

Maximum loan limits:

  • One-Unit Properties – Increase from $417,000 to $424,100(Sacramento Tri-County area).
  • High-Cost Areas – Increase from $625,500 to $636,150.
  • FHA-Insured Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (or reverse mortgages) – Increased to $636,150.

These increases mark a rising confidence in borrowers ability to repay their loans and have lead to more options for buyers when it comes time to choose a home due to a wider variety of financial lending options.

It is important to understand that lenders still work diligently to get borrowers approved and the documentation requirements have not changed. These increasing lending limits have allowed me to create a competitive landscape for my clients, focused on providing more financial lending options.

For more information regarding these lending limits shifting and the requirements for buyers to make a home purchase, I am always available to help my clients, friends and family and look forward to the new opportunities these increased loan limits will create for buyers in 2017.

#Mortgages #LoanLimit #Market #RealEstate #Lending #HomeOwnership #Jumbo #FHA #VA #Conventional #Refinance #Millennials #BabyBoomers #2017 #Sacramento #BayArea #HomeBuyer #CreditScore #KathleenBeck #TrustedMortgageLender

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Four Trends Will Shape the Housing Market in 2017

By: Kathleen Beck, Mortgage Lender

CA BRE #01058848  |  NMLS #243181

It doesn’t take much reflecting on 2016 to understand that 2017 will find creative ways to surprise us. Knowing the complexity of the market I want to break down what we can expect to see shape our buyers market for 2017 and also combine that with what Realtor.com annual market study to draw a picture of the key housing trends to come.

According to Jonathon Smoke, Chief Economists of Realtor.com, “The pace of growth is still strong and, for pricing, still represents an above-average level of appreciation.”

Key 2017 Predictions:

The West Will Lead the Way

Realtor.com expects metropolitan markets in the West to see price increase of up to 5.8% and sales increase of 4.7%. The Western markets also are dominating the 2017 Realtor.com Top Housing Markets, including Sacramento, Los Angeles, Tuscan and Portland.

Millennials and Baby-Boomers Will Move Markets

Both millennials and baby boomers are approaching life stages that naturally motivate people to change their living experiences such as, getting married, buying a home, having children, empty nesting and retiring. Jonathon Smoke predicts that millennials will make up 33% of buyers in 2017.

Slowing Down Price Appreciation

Home price increases are forecasted to slow from what was forecasted at 4.9% in 2016 to 3.9%. “Prices are still likely to go up at an above-average pace as long as supply remains so tight,” Smoke says.

Fast Markets with Fewer Homes

The average time it takes a home to move from “listed” to “sold”, is currently 68 days in the top 100 metropolitan areas. That average age of inventory (68 days) is 11 days faster than the national average. The conditions limiting home supply are not expected to change in 2017.

The number one thing I recommend for all my clients is to get your documents in order and lets talk about what the market is doing and when would be best for them to buy. Everyone’s timeline is different and making sure you feel comfortable with both what the market is doing and also what you want your financial future to looks like are always my top two priorities.

#Mortgages #Market #RealEstate #Lending #HomeOwnership #PriceAppreciation #Jumbo #FHA #VA #Conventional #Refinance #Millennials #BabyBoomers #2017 #Sacramento #BayArea #HomeBuyer #CreditScore #KathleenBeck #TrustedMortgageLender

 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Understanding Mortgage Rate Locks

Mortgage rates locked down / fixed concept

Understanding Mortgage Rates Locks

There is no reason any buyer should settle for anything less than the lowest rate possible. But understanding how rates work and also that sometimes the best price on a loan isn’t always the best rate on a loan. Let’s understand how you can get the best possible overall terms and how that affects your mortgage rate.

Mortgage Rate Locks

A mortgage rate lock occurs when a mortgage lender makes a commitment to honor a specific interest rate for a specific period of time. Mortgage rate locks are stated in 15-day increments with the two most common rate lock periods at 30 days and 45 days. Usually, the longer a lender has to lock your rate the higher your mortgage rate. Rates should be locked for the number of days required to close your purchase or refinance your loan.

Here are important guiding principles when understanding mortgage rate locks.

  • Always get your rate lock agreement in writing
  • Understand your rate lock policy
  • Ask about rate-lock fees

All borrowers needs a rate lock in order to close their loan or refinance.

Mortgage Rate Lock Expiration

When a mortgage rate expires lenders are under no obligation to the original locked rate.

A rate lock extension can be acquired and is exactly what it sounds like, an extension to the original rate lock. The terms of the extension are agreed upon by the lender and the borrower and come at an expense leading to the importance of choosing your rate lock terms wisely.

If mortgage rates rise or drop, you don’t have the ability to get a new rate.

Floating Your Mortgage Rate

Prior to closing, if you chose to float your rate, you are assigned a mortgage rate at the prevailing market rate of that particular day. This can be risky as the unknown and availability of rates can fluctuate.

It is always important to make sure you are working with someone who you trust and is a great communicator. Understanding what rates are available to you and what your home buying or refinancing timeline is can play a huge role in your monthly payments. Ask as many questions as you can and make sure you are confident when you make the decision to lock, extend or float your mortgage rate.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: