Rates Keep Falling & Will Fall More; Timing The Market

Rates fell again primarily in response to negative economic data, including revised data that showed the economy shrunk more than we thought in Q1 along with more recession indicators and predictions. The 10 Year Treasury, which correlates closely to mortgage rates, hovered near 3.5% only a few weeks ago – but it is now under […]Read More

Do Price Reductions Signal DEPRECIATION?

Price reductions do not signal depreciation… yet.. and they won’t until we see people actually sell their homes for less than what they paid for them.Read More

VA Loans Are Still Much Easier, As We Still Don’t Need Full Inspection Reports

I wrote this blog in early March: VA Loans Are Much Easier Now – No More Clear Inspection Reports! The full blog is copied below but the gist of it was this: we can close VA loans without submitting full inspection reports to underwriters if we provide an NPMA-33 form instead. As long as the […]Read More

Good News! Recession Coming Soon; Rates Continue to Fall After Fed Raises “The Rate”

A week ago, I pointed out how the recent 0.75% increase in the Fed Funds rate resulted in LOWER long-term rates. I highlighted three reasons for this: (1) The markets perceived the news as effective inflation fighting; (2) the markets expected the news and had priced it in already; and (3) the Fed Funds rate […]Read More

Why The Fed Desperately Wants to TANK the Housing Market!

One of my favorite macro pundits, Alfonso Peccatiello (former $20 billion fund manager who goes by “Alf”) recently tweeted this: “The biggest group of consumers in the US owns houses, not stocks. And this is why taming the animal spirits in the housing market is paramount important for the Fed. And they will succeed…” He […]Read More

No Building + Growing Population = Strong Housing Market EVEN IF RATES ARE AT 6%!

There were about 2.3 million new homes constructed in 1973 – a number we have not seen since. This is not that big of a deal until you remember that the entire population of the U.S. was only about 211 million (compared to 332 million now). Over the last year, we have built about 1.3 million homes, when, again, the U.S. population was over 330 million!Read More

Fed Raised Rates & Mortgage Rates Fell – Before Rising Today

The Fed raised the Fed Funds Rate 75 basis points (0.75%) yesterday, and mortgage rates largely fell in response to the news.Read More

Huge Opportunity From High Rates!

Grizzled Escrow Officer Sets Me Straight! While aimlessly wandering the hallways lamenting the industry slowdown, I ran into a very grizzled escrow officer who runs the title company next door. She is one of those utterly fearless women who has been around forever and has literally seen it all. She handled George Washington’s escrow when […]Read More

High Rates; Softer Market; ARMs; Housing Shortages; Recessions; Refis

Highest Mortgage Rates Since 2009 Last week’s sky-high inflation numbers have pushed 10-Year Treasury rates to levels we have not seen since 2018. While mortgage rates are at levels we have not seen since 2009. Beating A Dead Horse – Again The fast-climbing rates and media rumblings continue to spook buyers – so I am […]Read More

Why We’re Seeing Fraud Claims Now & Will See A Lot More

I knew and worked with a bunch of hard money lenders (who loaned money based strictly on equity) prior to the 2008 meltdown. Even though they were a bit cocky with their success and they lived like rockstars, they were all nice and honest guys for the most part. They solicited pools of funds from friends, family members, and outside investors – and then loaned out that money to homeowners and homebuyers who could not qualify for better financing.Read More

What Every Homebuyer Must Know About Hazard Insurance & Mortgages

Here are a few tidbits about Hazard Insurance, something that is required with every mortgage. 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. Lenders require the “Dwelling Coverage” to match or exceed the lower of the loan amount, or the replacement cost estimate.Read More

2nd Mortgage vs. HELOC (Home Equity Line); Which Is Better?

Yesterday’s blog, 5 Reasons to Get a HELOC, was inspired by a question from my nephew – as he is a perfect candidate for a HELOC. He is in his early thirties – and he has a family to support, about a half-million in equity, a very low rate first mortgage, an excellent job, and […]Read More

5 Reasons To Get a Home Equity Line Of Credit ASAP

When I was in law school, I clerked for a firm that specialized in commercial litigation. And – the first thing the attorneys did when considering litigation was to ensure the defendant had sufficient assets to go after – should they win a judgment. And a primary asset they looked at was the defendant’s home; […]Read More

Goldman Sachs Still Buying Homes; Rates Dropped The Most In 2 Years Last Week – Why?

Goldman Sachs-Backed Funds Bought Entire Housing Development I saw this recent New York Post article on Twitter yesterday and thought it would be another nice share for any potential buyers who might have cold feet. TLDR: Two Goldman-backed ventures just spent $45 million to buy up an entire housing development in Florida. The big funds […]Read More

Media Lies About Housing Market; Slower Market ≠ Depreciation

Agents are telling me that some of their clients are getting cold feet about buying right now for a variety of reasons, including: 1) Concerns about higher rates and payments; 2) Concerns about depleted investment accounts; 3) Concerns about an overheated housing market; and 4) Misleading media reports that are scaring the heck out of everyone!Read More

5 Reasons to Put Less Money Down

Read More

Elon Speaks; Should We Care?

Read More

Condo vs. Townhome vs. PUD

Read More

When ALL Assets Are Crashing – Make Sure There Is A “There There”

Pets.com famously spent $46 on advertising for every $10 in sales and flamed out in one of the most famous dotcom busts. The model was flawed from the start, and in hindsight it seems obvious that they could never generate profits – but investors bought up the stock by the bushel anyway.Read More

What If Rates Don’t Fall? WRAP-AROUND MORTGAGES

“… I remember my first mortgage back in 1982, when my rate was 15%!” said every boomer ever… “… I remember my first mortgage back in 1982, when my rate was 10%!” said my law school professor… The above two comments are huge reminders that homes still sell in even the highest of interest rate […]Read More

Barry Speaks! Fed Disdain; Recession & Low Rates Coming; Housing Will Be Fine

Barry Habib reminds us that it is inflation that is driving higher rates, but that it will peak in October and start to fall for two reasons: (1) today’s higher rates are destroying demand across the board (I again suggest watching the video for his full explanation); and (2) supply chains will be untangled and working by then, eliminating shortages.Read More

Why Housing Prices Will Double In 6 Years; No Bubble Here…Part 37

Interestingly, Barry Habib (MBS Highway Founder), Ken McElroy (famous real estate investor), and some dude on Reddit all recently made the case for much higher housing prices – DESPITE HIGHER RATES. And all of them were responding to all of the housing bubble fears we see everywhere now on social media and in the press. […]Read More

California Giving Away Down Payment Funds For Free!

We have received a ton of questions recently regarding the California Housing Finance Agency's (CalHFA) new program that offers a 10%, forgivable, interest-free loan to first-time homebuyers. So, we want to clarify the program's guidelines and touch on some serious tradeoffs buyers should consider.Read More

If Property Won’t Appraise, Change Financing!

We have a buyer who is willing to offer $450,000 for a property with 10% down. The problem is that, according to her agent, “the property will never appraise for more than $380,000, because there are no comparable sales anywhere above $380,000.” Read More

Why “Timing The Market” Never Works

Dear Hedge Fund, Why are you still buying up houses in droves when the market is obviously going to crash? That was the letter I wrote to a hedge fund yesterday, and boy did I make them feel stupid… Or not, because I might not have actually written that letter. 😊 But here is my […]Read More

Is The Fed Trying to Tank The Housing Market – Or Just Slow It Down?

Agents in many of the markets we work in are telling us that they are now finally seeing a slowdown in the market. One agent who lists high-end homes in the Bay Area told me that he “used to tell sellers to remodel their kitchens, update flooring, repaint walls, and spruce up landscaping before listing […]Read More

History of Interest Rates; Some Perspective

Are Rates High? Yes, rates are 2% higher than they were when they bottomed out after COVID hit and they are back to the 2009 levels, but are they “high?” No. Not even close when we look at the history of rates over the last 50 years. Here is a link to an excellent interactive […]Read More

How Allowing For Wife-Abuse in Victorian England Relates to Mortgages and Real Estate

Caroline Sheridan was a brilliant, beautiful and talented society woman in Victorian England in the early 1800s. She was also beaten mercilessly by her very prominent husband (a member of Parliament), who also falsely accused her of adultery, publicly humiliated her in a show trial, and stole her three kids away from her – and […]Read More

Rates Back to 2009 Levels; Time for ARMs!

Mortgage rates have climbed to their highest level since 2009! One way to combat the rise in rates is to take an ARM instead of a 30-year fixed-rate loan.Read More

Points, Discount Points, & Origination Fees – Avoid Them In 2022!

Even though distinctions can be made, Points, Discount Points, and Origination Fees are effectively the same thing, and they are used interchangeably. A “point” typically represents 1% of the loan amount. So, a 1/2 point is 1/2% of the loan amount, and so on. Paying a full point will typically “buy down” an interest rate […]Read More

A Home Is Your Castle Against Rising Inflation

My title is the exact headline from this recent WSJ column by economist Laurence Kotlikoff. The first line of his column was this: “Mortgage rates are up to 5%, and some fear a valuation bubble. Even so, it’s a good time to buy.” I have been beating the “houses-equal-inflation-hedge” dead horse for years now, but […]Read More

Pyramid Lending = Death of Mortgage Banks

During boom times, when there is excess business and margins are fat, “pyramid lending” can work. But – when business slows and margins compress like what has been happening this year – pyramid lending not only does not work, it will kill off many mortgage banks. This is because borrowers can shop for rates and apply for loans more easily than ever nowRead More

12 Day Close With Appraisal Waiver; CHECK ADDRESS PRIOR TO OFFERS!

We can close conforming (Fannie/Freddie) loans in 12 CALENDAR days – easily – IF we get a “Property Inspection Waiver,” aka PIW aka Appraisal Waiver. Savvy agents know this – so they often ask us to run “DU” (Fannie Mae’s automated underwriter) with the property address before they make an offer. If DU gives us […]Read More

17 Day JUMBO Financing – With No Contingencies & Super Low Rates!

I often blog about how jumbo rates are as much as 1% LOWER than conforming rates and explain why too. This recent blog is just one example. Our Jumbo Niche I obsess with jumbo financing not only because it offers astoundingly low rates, but also because it comprises as much as 75% of all financing […]Read More

17 Ways to Lower Debt Ratios and/or Garner More Funds

I blogged recently about 8 Ways to Lower Debt Ratios When Rates Are Climbing – and I got numerous additional suggestions from a friend who owns a mortgage bank (Apex Mortgage) back east. Some of the ideas were so good that I felt compelled to update my blog to “17 Ways.” Several of the ideas […]Read More

Who’s To Blame For High Gas Prices & Why It Matters?

There are 150,000 gas stations in America, and most of them are independent “mom and pop” stations. Similarly, there are 9,000 oil companies in America. So – it is comical to hear politicians accuse the oil and gas industry of “colluding” to create higher gas prices – when it would be impossible. Gas prices are […]Read More

Jumbo Rates Remain FAR LOWER Than Conforming & FHA Rates

Mortgage rates have climbed by about 2% over the last six months! Jumbo rates, however, have climbed much more slowly – and they are now almost 1% LOWER than conforming (Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) rates! What Is A Jumbo Loan? Once again, a jumbo loan is any mortgage loan that exceeds the conforming (Fannie/Freddie) […]Read More

When Debt Is a VERY GOOD Thing! (& Why We Love Tradelines)

We often have clients who come to us looking for their first home, very proud that they’ve “never had an ounce of debt” in their “entire life.” No credit cards, no car loan, not a dollar financed – ever. These poor people are then shocked to find out that they can’t finance their first home […]Read More

8 Ways to Lower Debt Ratios When Rates Are Climbing

With rates rising so quickly, “debt ratios” are becoming a major issue for many borrowers. Hence, I am repeating this past blog where I set out various ways to lower debt ratios in order to still qualify in a market with rising rates. Also, in case anyone is interested, I explain what debt ratios are […]Read More

Why There Is Still No Housing Bubble

Everyone Thinks Higher Rates Will Kill The Housing Market We shared this blog, Higher Interest Rates Did Not Slow Housing Appreciation; Why?, with our database in our monthly newsletter a few weeks ago, and I got this response from a past borrower: “You really think that if the Fed raises rates seven or eight more […]Read More

Why Heejin & I Turned Down $10 Million

We know a loan officer with a large team who does about half of JVM’s volume – and he was offered a $6 million “signing bonus” to move to another mortgage bank. He turned it down, however, and remained where he was (I will explain why below). With higher rates and refis all but dead, […]Read More

How High Will Rates Go Before Falling? What Will Be The Catalyst?

“The 10 Year Treasury yield will be north of 4% by the end of the year.” So says Joseph Wang, a former Federal Reserve insider and monetary expert, who was on today’s Forward Guidance Podcast. The 10 Year Treasury yield is around 2.6% as of the writing of this blog. 10 Year yields dipped as […]Read More

Fastest Rate Increase Since 1981; Will Recession Lower Rates?

The Fed has engineered the fastest increase in mortgage rates since 1981 – as rates have nearly doubled over the last several months. And, interestingly, housing continues to appreciate for the usual reasons we cite often: (1) inventory remains at record low levels primarily due to a lack of building, not demand, since 2008; (2) demand remains stronger than ever primarily as a result of demographics or millennials hitting homebuying age; and (3) affordability has not been affected as much as people think because incomes have risen with inflation.Read More