Entries by lindseyh@jvmlending.com

Are 2 Kitchens Allowed? Garage Conversions? Friendly CPAs

2 KITCHENS USUALLY NOT ALLOWED This question comes up often, so we thought we’d revisit it. Lenders will usually lend against a property with two kitchens IF both kitchens have permits. If one of the kitchens is not permitted (also known as unwarranted), lenders will usually not lend against the property, primarily b/c the extra […]

Testimonials = Necessity; EASY To Get With Reach150!

BUSINESS DEPENDS ON REPUTATION AND TESTIMONIALS Much of our business success depends on referrals and online reputation, and prioritizing this part of our business is essential to thrive in today’s market. With respect to borrower testimonials, we have had enormous success with Yelp, with over 250 Five-Star Reviews at last count. The mainstay of our […]

Debt Ratios Explained; Very Important! Not Boring – I Promise

OK – this probably is boring, but it is super important b/c almost every competitive mortgage loan available requires some sort of income verification and debt ratio calculations. This is a good thing b/c it ensures borrowers can actually make their payments (unlike the pre-2008 mortgage world). Many borrowers and Realtors are confused about debt […]

Five Most Important Things Every Real Estate Agent MUST DO to Crush It in 2018

27,000 Things Realtors MUST DO… There is literally an endless supply of lists of things every real estate agent “must do” to crush it in 2018. At last count, there were about 27,000 “must do’s”, including writing business plans, reading more books, negotiating better, finding your niche, eating frogs, meditating, etc. Fortunately for everyone, we […]

Predicting the Future, and Happy New Year!

PREDICTING THE FUTURE In 1893, Chicago hosted a hugely successful “World Fair” where governments, companies and individuals showcased the most promising technologies of the time. Scientists and inventors were asked in a poll to name the technologies that would most influence the next hundred years. And – not one person named the automobile. They simply […]

Bitcoins, Bubbles, Burning Bankers; Beanie Babies

In 1307, King Philip IV of France couldn’t pay his massive debts to the Knights Templar. So naturally he accused them of false crimes and burned them at the stake. I stole that story from a recent WSJ article called Hooray for Bitcoin. It illustrates two things: (1) it’s an excellent way to eliminate your […]

Technology, Hand-Holding, & Big Bank Horror Story

Team Member’s Mom Goes to the Competition One of our team member’s Moms went to the “competition” for a refi, and we were mortified… OK – actually, we weren’t. She has a very unique situation in regard to zoning that a big bank signed off on before, so she went back to them to refinance. […]

FHA Loan Limits Up Too; Why & When To Use FHA?

HUD recently released FHA Loan Limits for 2018, and in high cost counties they largely (but not always) match the new loan limits for conforming loans. In high cost counties (most of the CA coast), the FHA Loan Limit ranges from $679,650 for a one unit property, all the way up to $1,307,175 for a […]

Beware of Flood Insurance! Full Payment Up Front

Flood insurance can be brutal. We recently had a transaction in Oakland that required our buyer to pay almost $8,000 up front (prior to close) so we could obtain our required evidence of flood insurance. Similarly, we had a small transaction in a Contra Costa County suburb that required a $5,300 upfront payment. In both […]

Conforming Loan Limits Way Up For 2018; What It Means

Fannie and Freddie recently announced their 2018 Loan Limits, and they went up significantly. The “Low Balance” limit for a one-unit property jumped from $424,100 to $453,100. And the “High Balance” limit (for “High Cost” counties comprising most of coastal California) jumped from $636,150 to $679,650. The limits for two, three and four unit properties […]

Why “Compliance” is SO IMPORTANT in the Mortgage World

The term “compliance” is thrown around constantly in the mortgage industry, and it is for good reason. The mortgage industry is regulated by the CFPB, HUD, Cal BRE, and the Fed, among other entities. All of these organizations impose myriad rules and regulations that every company must comply with. Companies can incur massive fines and/or […]

Thanksgiving Factoids and Business Lessons :)

Here are a few Thanksgiving stories for this last day prior to the big day. Most people don’t know that the Pilgrims experimented with communal living when they first arrived in 1620. They had no private property, and they pooled and shared everything. And… it failed miserably. There were shortages, resentment, constant theft, and starvation […]

Hazard Insurance & Mortgages – A Few Things To Know

Here are a few tidbits about Hazard Insurance, something that is required with every mortgage. 1. Hazard insurance is also known as fire insurance and homeowners insurance, and it should not be confused with mortgage insurance, which only covers the mortgage and not the dwelling. 2. Lenders require the “Dwelling Coverage” to match or exceed […]

Lenders & Vendors = Reflection On You More Than You Realize

I was chatting with some very successful Redfin agents recently and I learned just how important strong vendor and lender relationships are. As most people know, Redfin agents do not work for commission, but instead get paid a salary and bonuses based primarily on “customer satisfaction.” Customer satisfaction is measured by the results of an […]

Buyers’ “Story” Trumped Money; When Values Align

We recently closed a transaction for buyers whose offer was substantially less than numerous other offers. I wish I could say it was JVM that made the difference, but alas – we were barely a factor. What made the astounding difference was the “story” the buyers told. The seller was an urban farmer who lived […]

An Amazing “Linchpin” Story!

Yesterday, I wrote about “Linchpins,” or people who go the extra mile with everything they do to make themselves indispensable. I work with so many linchpins that I hate to illuminate just one. But this individual’s story is so impressive that it needs to be highlighted. When he first started at JVM, he had spent […]

When Character Doesn’t Count – Lending in 2017

There may be murderers and bank robbers with 800 credit scores who are eligible for the best mortgage financing available. This is b/c financing is available for anyone who can manage his/her credit and income, irrespective of his/her underlying character. This occurred to me for a couple reasons. First, there was an article in the […]

Why Higher Interest Rates Are Good

After last November’s presidential election, rates shot up 3/8 to 1/2 percent and the real estate market seemed to come to a standstill. It scared everyone into thinking that higher rates would severely impact the real estate market overall. But, it was really just “uncertainty” that kept everyone on the sidelines, and not the higher […]

3 Ways to Avoid PMI When LTV Is Over 80%

There are 3 ways to avoid monthly Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) when a down payment is less than 20%: (1) Combo Loans; (2) Lump Sum or Single Payment PMI; and (3) Lender Paid PMI. Combo Loans employ 2nd mortgages to cover the loan-to-value portion that is over 80% (eliminating the need for PMI). We can […]

How Long Does a Pre-Approval Take? And Why?

One weekend when I was on call for weekend leads, a borrower called me while he was shopping for groceries. I was able to effectively pre-approve him in about 15 minutes. I emailed a pre-approval letter to him and his agent, and 15 days later he owned a house (literally; the entire process went like […]