In Defense of FHA! Misconceptions Persist!

FHA financing is ideal for first-time homebuyers or borrowers with low credit and limited savings. FHA loans have lower rates than conforming (Fannie/Freddie) loans. This is especially the case for borrowers with low credit scores (under 680).Read More

5 Reasons Why The New FHA Loan Limits Will DESTROY Our Economy!

A first-time homebuyer can now buy a $1 million home with only 3.5% down! This is because the FHA just released its new loan limits for 2022: (1) Low Balance Limit (for most of Texas): $420,680; (2) High Balance Limit (for most of coastal California): $970,800. This is great news for many buyers with limited […]Read More

Conventional vs. Conforming vs. Government vs. Jumbo Loans; Bias For Action

CINNABON STORY – BIAS FOR ACTION I heard this story on a podcast a few months back and just had to share it. When Cinnabon first started, they could only afford to lease very small spaces that required them to place their ovens in front; as a result, passersby could easily smell the aroma when […]Read More

How To Qualify For A Mortgage If You Owe Taxes

OWING TAXES: BAD NEWS & GOOD NEWS I recently blogged about why borrowers should sometimes file extensions instead of tax returns and briefly touched on whether or not borrowers can obtain mortgages if they owe taxes. This blog expands on that topic, as many borrowers have substantial tax liabilities that can threaten their ability to […]Read More

5-Step Guide To Applying For An FHA Loan

FHA loans are a popular loan option for many homebuyers – especially those who are purchasing a home for the first time or those who are short on funds for a down payment.  How To Apply For An FH Loan In 5 Steps  Applying for an FHA loan is easy and can be accomplished in […]Read More

Buy A House With As Little As 3.5% Down Using FHA Loans

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are a popular financing option among home buyers – especially those in the Bay Area who are contending with high property prices. One of the major appeals to this program is the minimum required down payment. FHA financing allows you to purchase with 3.5% up to the County loan limit. […]Read More

FHA Loans Available For Condo Buyers

On October 15th, 2019, the FHA issued new guidelines for condo buyers. First-time homebuyers looking to purchase a condominium will appreciate this new availability because of FHA loans’ low down payment requirement. The new regulations promote affordable and sustainable homeownership and are designed to be responsive to the current market. Many homebuyers who are not […]Read More

What do FHA appraisers do during property appraisals?

FHA loans are currently one of the most common mortgage financing choices among homebuyers in California and Texas. FHA loans are supervised by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Because of this, HUD defines all of the regulations for FHA loans in California, including home inspections and appraisals. While many believe the opposite, […]Read More

Homebuyers Use Less Than 20% For Down Payment On Home

According to recent data, more than half of all homebuyers in California, Texas, and nationwide make their down payment with less than 20% when purchasing a home. This is additional evidence to discard the myth that homebuyers must put down 20% to be eligible for a mortgage loan. OVER HALF OF ALL HOMEBUYERS PUT DOWN […]Read More

FHA Loan Requirements For Texas Homebuyers

FHA loans are an excellent option for borrowers who may not have the higher credit score, or down payment funds needed to secure a conforming mortgage. The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loan program has been helping homebuyers since its implementation in the 1930s. Today, it’s one of the more popular mortgage financing options, but there […]Read More

First-Time Texas Homebuyers Should Consider FHA

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans are an excellent option for first-time homebuyers looking to buy in the competitive Texas market. FHA loans have low down-payment financing options with flexible underwriting guidelines that are great for Texas homebuyers with liquidity or credit issues. FHA loans are growing increasingly popular among the first-time homebuyer demographic. The Urban […]Read More

No VA Loan Limits! FHA and Conforming Loan Limits Way Up!

VA LOAN LIMITS ELIMINATED – 2020 When “VA loans” first surfaced in 1944, the average cost of a house was only $8,600, making “loan limits” a nonconcern for the most part. As home prices rose, however, loan limits or maximum loan amounts were put in place just like they were for FHA and Conforming loans. […]Read More

3 Reasons to Make Smaller Down Payments

We recently had a borrower with ample income and about $70,000 of liquid assets try to squeeze into a $600,000 home with 10% down. She wanted to put as much down as possible to minimize her housing payment. We instead talked her into putting 3.5% down and using FHA financing for the three reasons discussed […]Read More

More Condo Reminders – Non QM; Owner Occ Ratios; Condo vs. Townhome; 12 Considerations

Below are a few more reminders for condo buyers. Non-QM Loans for Condos There is a condo complex near our office that is still 25% owned by the developer. This is a deal-killer for Fannie, Freddie, FHA and Jumbo lenders. But, we have a Non-QM investor that has no issue with this. So, this is […]Read More

FHA & VA Myths

LOAN OFFICER QUOTES RIDICULOUS FHA RATE We hosted a large first-time homebuyer seminar last week and one of the attendees had just been pre-approved by another lender for FHA financing. The loan officer convinced her that she was only marginally qualified, that FHA loans are harder and that FHA rates are higher. He quoted her […]Read More

FHA & VA Myths, Rates and Refi’s

LOAN OFFICER QUOTES RIDICULOUS FHA RATE We hosted a large first-time homebuyer seminar recently and one of the attendees had just been pre-approved by another lender for FHA financing. The loan officer convinced her that she was only marginally qualified, that FHA loans are harder and that FHA rates are higher. He quoted her a […]Read More

52% of Homebuyers In California & Nationwide Have Down Payments Less Than 20%

Zillow recently published their Consumer Housing Trends Report 2018, which included in-depth reporting surveys on 20% down payments in California and across the nation. The comprehensive report found that nearly 52% of homebuyers across the nation are making down payments on home purchases with less than 20% down. This should come as a welcome surprise […]Read More

Buyers Don’t Need a ‘Perfect’ Credit Score to Get a Loan in California

Buyers in don’t need a perfect credit score to get a loan in California. Having a high credit score can help buyers secure a loan with a lower interest rate. However, today’s loans have more forgiving guidelines when it comes to a buyer’s credit, which is especially true with government-funded loans. Where Is The Credit […]Read More

VA vs. FHA; Differences & Similarities

Realtors often confuse VA and FHA guidelines b/c the loans are somewhat similar in that they are both backed or insured by the Federal Gov”t. There are, however, many differences as well. This blog will set them all out. Appraisals – Similar The appraisal requirement for FHA and VA are largely the same. Our Appraisal […]Read More

First Time Homebuyer Program Limitations; First Time Homebuyer Programs = FHA

Our first time homebuyers almost always ask about special financing programs for first time homebuyers. With the exception of a few down payment assistance programs and city-specific programs, there are no effective first time buyer programs other than good old fashioned FHA. JVM has access to various first time buyer programs, but they have significant […]Read More

What If Spouse Has Horrible Credit? Too Much Debt?

We frequently get husband/wife borrowers where one spouse has stellar credit and the other has awful credit. Most people know that the solution is simply to do the loan in the name of the “good-credit-spouse” only, as long as the good-credit-spouse has sufficient income to qualify on his or her own. The bad-credit-spouse can do […]Read More

FHA MI Down; Thumbtack; Contacting JVM; Calling Listing Agents; Weekends

A few facts, tips and reminders: 1. FHA MI dropped from 0.85% to 0.60% for most loans, making FHA that much more attractive with its low rates and flexibility. 2. We have been using Thumbtack for a variety of services from repairs to marketing, and it has worked surprisingly well. We recommend it. 3. The […]Read More

Click-Throughs; Why Borrowers Qualify For Larger FHA Loans? 56.99%

In our recent monthly newsletter, we measured “click-throughs” for our various articles. Interestingly, the mortgage-related article about debt ratios got the most views. Two things: (1) Be sure to measure your click-throughs when you email newsletters; and (2) Here’s something mortgage related: The same borrower can often qualify for a much higher loan amount if […]Read More

FHA Mortgage Insurance LOWER Than PMI In Many Cases; FHA = Good

FHA = Good. That is one of the primary points we make during our “Mortgage 101” Seminars. This is b/c too many Realtors labor under the myth that FHA financing is inferior to conventional financing. The myth stems from the days when FHA financing took longer to close and required clear Section I termite reports […]Read More

FHA Offers – Higher Esteem; Speed, Flexibility and “As Is”

One of the biggest takeaways from our “Mortgage 101” Seminars is to hold FHA offers in higher esteem. Here are a few reasons why: Speed: FHA Financing does not take longer than other types of financing. Skilled lenders can often close FHA loans faster than other types of loans. We have no trouble closing them in 17 days in […]Read More

FHA Is Faster Than Conventional; Myth That FHA Is Slower

We beat this dead horse often, but it keeps rearing its head. So we are re-beating it: FHA loans do not take longer to close than conventional loans (at least at JVM). They are often faster b/c of FHA’s flexibility. We got the below email from a listing agent yesterday after we closed his listing. […]Read More

The Case For FHA: Lower MI; Good for Low Credit Scores; Fast Closing

We are making the case for FHA once again now that MI is so much lower (down to 0.85% from 1.35%). FHA interest rates are much lower than conventional rates, often over 1/2 percent lower. FHA rates are especially competitive for borrowers with low credit scores. It is a myth that FHA properties need to […]Read More

FHA Loans Do Not Take Longer Than Conventional

We are frequently asked by Realtors if we can close FHA loans as fast as conventional loans, and our answer is always the same: “of course.” FHA loans do not take longer to close than conventional loans if a lender has well-trained staff. It is a myth that FHA loans take longer. There are few […]Read More

FHA Properties Do Not Have To Be In Better Condition; Misconception

We continue to hear Realtors express concern about whether or not properties are in good enough condition for FHA financing (as opposed to conventional financing). This is a misconception left over from years ago when FHA properties needed to have all Section I work cleared. We address this often, but FHA financed properties do not […]Read More

FHA Appraisals – Only One Is Allowed;Value Can’t Change w/ New Lender

We had a borrower leave us for an online lender about a month ago. The online lender screwed up the loan, and the appraisal came in low (despite ample comps that supported value). The borrower came back to us with 8 days left to close escrow, and we could have closed on time but for […]Read More

Non-Citizens Can Get FHA/Conv. Financing; VISAs are OK

Borrowers living in the U.S. do not need to be U.S. Citizens to get FHA and Conventional Financing. Visas of a variety of types are acceptable. The most common acceptable Visas are those in the H-series (H1b, etc.). “B,” “L,” “G,” and “O” series Visas are also acceptable. Non-citizens with “Green Cards” or “permanent residency” […]Read More

Escrow Holdbacks For Repairs Are Here Again

Our internal mortgage bank and at least one of our wholesale sources now allow “Escrow Holdbacks” for both FHA and Conforming/Conventional loans. Escrow Holdbacks are an excellent convenience when underwriters call out repairs that normally need to be done prior to close of escrow. Our lending sources will allow us to close the loan before […]Read More

Conventional Construction Loans Revisited; Fannie’s Homestyle Loan

JVM Lending now offers all types of construction financing, including: (1) Streamline FHA 203k loans up to $35,000; (2) Standard 203k loans up to FHA loan limits; (3) Fannie Mae Homepath Renovation Loans; and (4) Fannie Mae’s Homestyle Loans. Fannie Mae’s Homestyle Loan is the best option for most borrowers, as they will avoid FHA […]Read More