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

8 Ways to Lower Debt Ratios When Rates Are High

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

Bridge Loans Explained (Buying Before Selling Current House)

We often have buyers come to us who want to buy a new residence before selling their current residence. If they do not have enough cash for a down payment, we often just recommend that they get a home equity line of credit (HELOC) against their current home. HELOCs are awesome because they are usually […]Read More

8 Ways Parents Can Help Their Kids Buy Homes

Parents frequently ask about the best options for helping their kids buy homes, so I thought I’d set out a few in this blog. If kids have sufficient income to qualify themselves and only need cash, a willing parent should simply “gift” the necessary funds for the down payment and closing costsRead More

Cryptocurrency & Mortgage Financing – Things To Be Aware Of

We recently had a borrower liquidate funds after a flurry of trades – resulting in demands for YEARS of bank statements by the underwriter (because she’s required to “source” every dollar that goes into a transaction)Read More

How To Estimate PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)

An agent asked for this blog in December, and I am finally getting to it but should have done so much sooner because it was a great request! As an aside, if any readers would like to see me blog about something in particular, please feel free to email your requests, as I greatly appreciate […]Read More

Intangible Benefits of Homeownership; How To Win Hot Market Battles

This is a quick reminder that we love to help get offers accepted in hot markets by: (1) pre-approving clients so they can waive contingencies; (2) closing very fast – in 14 calendar days for conforming and FHA loans; 21 days for jumbo; (3) calling listing agents to tout the strength of our clients.Read More

Can Borrowers Be On The Loan and Not On Title?

We often have “title only” buyers, or buyers who want to be on the property’s title but who do not want to be on the loan. This is often the case with spouses, where one spouse might have credit issues that adversely impact financing terms. The spouse with good credit will be the only one on the loan (assuming she has enough income to qualify on her own) but both spouses will be on title.Read More

Desktop Appraisals Coming Soon

Desktop Appraisals Are Coming! An appraiser recently charged us $2,000 for a basic appraisal in suburbia with a slightly larger lot and a moderately short time frame – because we could not find anyone else, and he knew it. BUT – with refis drying up and appraisals getting waived or easier, that appraiser is not […]Read More

Why Rising Rates Will Not Crash The Housing Market!

Rates rose another 1/8 to 1/4 percent over the last few weeks and are now almost 1% higher than 2020’s lows. (as a sidebar, they are about where they were last March…so they are not THAT high) But, whenever rates do start to rise in a hurry, I invariably see pundits explaining how rising rates […]Read More

Credit Inquiries – Way Too Much Concern

On Friday, I blogged about the difference between consumer credit scores and mortgage credit scores: Does Credit Karma Lie To You? In that blog I pointed out why we need to run credit for every borrower and why we can never rely on the credit scores that borrowers give us verbally. In response, several agents […]Read More

How Millennials Power The Housing Market – 6 Conclusions

“Millennials Are Super Charging The Housing Market” This was a front page headline in the WSJ recently. The millennial surge is something we have all seen coming – but there are some fascinating conclusions, nonetheless. Millennials consist of the generation born from 1981 – 1996, and they surpassed baby boomers as the largest generation alive […]Read More

3 Biggest Reasons To Buy Real Estate

The 3 biggest reasons to buy real estate now are: Increasing Rents: Rents are skyrocketing and will only continue to shoot up with inflation. Buying now allows homeowners to permanently fix their housing payments. Locking In a Low Rate: Rates remain extremely low but will inevitably climb as inflation signals get stronger and stronger. Buying […]Read More

This Is Why Every Renter Should Consider Buying Now

WHY OUR CONDO IS THE PERFECT INFLATION HEDGE My wife Heejin and I own a rental condo in Scottsdale – with a small, fixed-rate mortgage and quickly increasing rent, as Scottsdale is one of the hottest markets in the country. It is a perfect example of why real estate is such a great inflation hedge. […]Read More

Alternative Financing Options: Interest Only; Rental Income Only; Asset Depletion; Bank Statements

“ALT A” LOANS In the 1990s, a lender called Headlands Mortgage pioneered what were then called “Alt A” mortgages. The loans allowed borrowers to qualify for competitive mortgages without having to go through the rigmarole of a “full documentation” qualification. In that high-rate era, “Alt A” interest rates were very close to the rates associated […]Read More

No Income Verification Loans: DSCR

I’ve mentioned this “horror story” a few times in my blogs. In 2005, I was at a Christmas party where a wholesale rep from SunTrust Bank was bragging about his “no down payment” (100% LTV) “NINA” Loans for investors. NINA stood for “No Income/No Asset” verification. Borrowers only needed a 680-credit-score and they could buy […]Read More

4 Reasons Why Real Estate Is One of The Best Inflation Hedges!

INFLATION ON THE HORIZON Major inflation seems all but inevitable in light of our burgeoning supply chain issues, massive government spending, enormous money supply infusions (printing), climbing CPI numbers, and skyrocketing PPI numbers. Because of this, I want to remind everyone why real estate is one of the best inflation hedges available. By “inflation hedge” […]Read More

DANGER: Non-Warrantable Condos! Financing Options?

WHAT IS A NON-WARRANTABLE CONDO? A non-warrantable condo is one that does not meet the requirements of most conventional (Fannie, Freddie, and jumbo) lenders, and is thus ineligible for the most competitive financing options. To be “warrantable,” a condo must meet a long series of requirements set out by Fannie, Freddie, and jumbo lenders. I […]Read More

Conforming Loan Limit Up to $625,000? Jumping the Gun and Why It Matters

HIGHER CONFORMING LOAN LIMITS ANNOUNCED EVERY YEAR Every year, usually in late November, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) announces the new conforming loan limits for every geographic area for the following calendar year. Shortly thereafter most every mortgage lender follows suit and starts to offer higher conforming loan amounts as well. Two quick reminders: […]Read More

Why Homebuyers Need To Use A Real Estate Agent

When Homebuyers Represent Themselves In Real Estate Transactions – Bad Things Happen 😊 Many years ago when I was new to the business, I wrote a purchase contract for one of my borrowers for a property in the hills of Oakland, CA. I thought it would be an easy way for her and I to […]Read More

Mortgage Reminders: My Inconsistent Fed Comments; Rent Backs; Owner Occ Ratios; Attached PUDs/Townhomes; 12 Condo Considerations

Here are a few random reminders. Powerless Fed Vs. Inflation-Causing Fed. In response to my recent blog about the Fed being “Powerless,” I got this comical point from an agent I really enjoy hearing from: “I know they say that great minds can hold contrary thoughts with ease, but how do you square a powerless Fed […]Read More

Still No Housing Bubble – Because Rates Are 3% Lower Than In 2006!

MBS HIGHWAY HITS HOUSING BUBBLE AGAIN Barry Habib, Founder of the MBS Highway, hates it when the media spreads irrational fear about a housing bubble. He also shares marketing materials that subscribers to his content are allowed to share without attribution to him, but that is anathema to me. Below is a script he recently […]Read More

The #1 Reason Renters Want To Buy A Home

FIXED HOUSING PAYMENT IS NOT THE BIGGEST INCENTIVE TO BUY In August, I blogged about Rent Vs. Buy Comparisons In the Age of Inflation, pointing out how comforting it is to buy a home and lock in a fixed housing payment when rents have been climbing as much as 30% per year in some markets. […]Read More

Change Jobs, Lose Bonus Income & LOSE HOUSE!

It is usually 100% OK to change jobs at any time IF … borrowers are NOT dependent upon bonus, overtime or commission income to qualify. If, however, borrowers are dependent upon bonus, overtime or commission income to qualify for a loan (very common in today’s world), changing jobs can be a deal killer! This is […]Read More

Rent Payments & Rental Income To Qualify

Here is some important info about using rental payment history and rental income to qualify. GREAT NEWS: “DU” USES RENT PAYMENTS NOW On the good news front, Fannie Mae announced last month that its automated underwriting system (DU) will now take into account rental-payment-histories, to make it easier for renters to become homeowners. Here is […]Read More

Rent Vs. Buy Comparison – Follow Up To Responses; ADU Follow Up Too

Yesterday, I blogged about Rent Vs. Buy Comparisons In The Age of Inflation, and I got a surprising amount of feedback, including the following: “I put 5% down, and my housing payment is $500 lower than my Mom’s rent.” “You are not accounting for maintenance costs!” “Do you guys do ITIN Loans?” “Unsubscribe” 😊 5% […]Read More

Rent Vs. Buy Comparisons In The Age Of Inflation

$500,000 HOME APPRECIATES $200,000 IN 9 MONTHS My wife Heejin bought a house in Plano, TX, in November for $519,000. We put down 20%, and our PITI is $2,725. The house was rented for $3,700 per month when we bought it, so we could have cash flowed nicely from the start. The tenants moved out […]Read More

Using PMI To WAIVE Appraisal Contingencies

Many homebuyers do not realize that PMI can be an option for those who might want to make offers with no appraisal contingencies. This, of course, is a great idea, but with a HUGE CAVEAT: BEWARE OF JUMBO! PMI is always a great way to cover appraisal shortfalls on the conforming front. Example: Borrower intends […]Read More

Why Housing Is Actually More Affordable Today Than In 1980!

WHY HOMES ARE MORE AFFORDABLE TODAY In the midst of my daily excursion into the bowels of Twitter, I saw a great tweet from the Center for Human Progress. It had a link to this excellent article, titled U.S. Housing Became Much More Affordable Over The Last 40 Years. It was fascinating to say the […]Read More

How To Use Single Premium/Lump Sum PMI To Cover Appraisal Shortfalls

Recently, I blogged about why Private Mortgage Insurance is “Awesome,” pointing out why its stigma from the 1990s is so underserved. One of the many benefits of PMI is using it to help cover appraisal shortfalls, and I wanted to elaborate on that in this blog. $900,000 PURCHASE APPRAISES $100,000 UNDER Assume the following: Purchase […]Read More

No Housing Bubble Here Part XXII; 12 Million More Households Than In 2007!

17% ANNUAL APPRECIATION SCARES PUNDITS Housing appreciated 16.6% from May of 2020 to May of 2021. This is a record and it is again sparking media concerns that we are in a housing bubble. So, I am hitting the issue again to allay concerns, and I am again relying on our friend Barry Habib, founder […]Read More

Cash Buyers & “Scary” Signs Of The Times; False Mailers; Selling Info

OVERHEATED MARKET AWASH IN CASH – OR SIGN OF THE TIMES? A close friend of mine bought a home in Scottsdale, AZ, in November for less than $1.1mm. She visited the home a couple of times, played a bit of golf, swept the patio, made a few improvements – and listed the home for sale […]Read More

Nothing Makes Things More Unaffordable Than Affordability Subsidies!

FOGGING THE MIRROR People often make fun of my alma mater (The University of Arizona) by saying that “kids only need to fog a mirror to get in.” And that makes me so mad b/c it is so misleading. And, this is why: The kids that could fog a mirror were the smart kids! No […]Read More

Is Co-Signing By Non-Occupant Co-Borrowers Overrated? Blended Ratios Explained

“MY MOM MAKES $25,000 PER MONTH AND WILL CO-SIGN TO HELP ME QUALIFY” A young borrower told us that b/c his Mom was a successful CFO who wanted to help him buy a home. BUT, Mom had a $6,500 housing payment of her own, a $1,500 Range Rover payment, $3,000 of support payments to her […]Read More

When 5% Down Scares Away Sellers – What To Do?

Half of all homebuyers getting a mortgage in April put down over 20%.  In the past ten years, the percentage of homebuyers putting 20% down has exceeded 50% three times. That is a big deal because all three times were relatively recent. In addition, over 25% of purchases in April were all cash. This data […]Read More

Closing Fast! What Are The Hold-ups? Different Speeds For Different Loan Types

FURIOUS AGENT SCREAMS AT ME A furious agent called me a few months ago, screaming vitriol because we were closing his transaction one day late. He was livid because we promised we could close in 14 days, and the late closing was causing “enormous hardship for both the buyers and sellers.” The problem was that […]Read More

“I’m Having My Best Year Ever; Why Don’t I Qualify?” “What Are My Options?”

The title of this blog is a lament we hear all too often from self-employed borrowers, and last week was no exception, as we received an email that said exactly that. MOST RECENT TWO YEARS OF TAX RETURNS TO QUALIFY Most readers know that lenders usually use the last two years of tax returns to […]Read More

Is The Housing Affordability Crisis A Myth?

We constantly hear horror stories about the housing affordability crisis, and how it will push too many buyers out of the market and foster a correction of sorts. CNBC’s Diana Olick is one pundit who frequently spreads concern about the issue, as she did in this recent article. And, here is another recent example from […]Read More

Costco Mortgage Horror Story

I have nothing against Costco at all, and am actually very impressed with their business model. I in fact shared this excellent “Business Breakdowns” podcast (about Costco) with several team members a few weeks ago because it is so interesting and inspiring (and I continue to highly recommend it). But, Costco may not be the […]Read More

Listing Agents Speak! (About Representing BOTH Buyers & Sellers/Dual Agency)

On Friday, I blogged about Buyers Working Directly with Listing Agents Instead of Using a Buyers Agent, and I received a surprising amount of feedback. What was even more surprising though was that most of the feedback was from listing agents as opposed to buyers agents – and all of them were opposed to dual […]Read More

Buyers Going Straight To Listing Agents – Does It Work?

CUT OUT THE BUYERS AGENT – OR NOT… I saw this tweet a few days ago from Nick Huber – whose Twitter account I typically enjoy. Here is the link to the full thread. When I read the tweet, I thought… “good gravy; what universe does he live in?” OUR MARKETING DIRECTOR BID 15% OVER […]Read More

Homebuying Hell In 2021! A Real Homebuyer’s Story (It’s Motivational, I Promise)

GUEST BLOG FROM A HOMEBUYER & A JVM MANAGER Below is a guest blog by our long-time Marketing Director, Lindsey Hansen. She wanted to share what she went through to buy a home so frustrated buyers everywhere will know they are not alone. And, more importantly, so buyers know that they should hang in there. […]Read More

When To Drop Your Husband; W2 To 1099; Title Only; Other Key Reminders

I am repeating this 2019 blog b/c it includes some very important reminders. A while back, a savvy agent sent me the following text: “I received an offer on a property and it’s ‘wife only,’ stating ‘husband is starting a business and that’s why he isn’t on the loan.’ I didn’t just fall off the […]Read More

#1 Reason We’re NOT In A Housing Bubble – And It Is NOT What You Think

In this excellent YouTube video by investment/finance guru Raoul Pal, called The Exponential Age, Mr. Pal mentions that Koreans have a far better understanding of cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology than Americans do. This is of course the only reason I married a Korean, as I am sure it will give me a huge leg up […]Read More

Can Borrowers “Roll Closing Costs Into The Loan?” 1,000 Five-Star Reviews!

1,000 FIVE-STAR REVIEWS! Several years ago a mortgage bank with a very impressive software platform was recruiting us, but the firm had hundreds of horrible online reviews. We met with them because of their software, but we also brought up the reviews because online reputations are so important in this day and age. The owner […]Read More