Please Note: JVM Lending is temporarily unable to accept new refinance applications. We have met our maximum loan volume capacity and are unable to process additional applications without sacrificing the 5-star experience to which our valued clients are accustomed. We sincerely apologize for this inconvenience.

We are still accepting new home purchase applications, and still have capacity in our purchase loan division.

Whoever Has The Most Friends Wins; A Reminder That Hard Work Alone Doesn’t Cut It

NYU Professor, Scott Galloway, who I quote often b/c of his exceptional success in business, tweeted this: “People think of it as strong alpha males who deserve to win. That’s not what Darwin suggested, or what has been demonstrated. The most successful strategy in life is friendliness and cooperation, and we see it again and […]Read More

Appraisal Issues – Low Values, Delays & Why; When Summer = Spring

Our Social Media Manager recently noted a lot of comments on social media  regarding appraisal issues – both low values and delays. The conditions that foster these issues are worse than ever right now and I wanted to discuss a few reasons why. LOW VALUES: WHEN SUMMER = SPRING Spring is usually the issue. Appraisers […]Read More

Can You Be Too Old For a 30-Year Mortgage? Cheap PMI; Mortgage Calculators

A 90-year-old woman can still qualify for a 30-year mortgage even though it is very unlikely that she will be around to pay off the loan. This is b/c mortgage discrimination laws preclude lenders from using age to deny credit. The only criteria lenders can consider are income, assets, credit, down payment (equity), and collateral […]Read More

10% Down Jumbo Options; 80/10/10s; Rates Hit All-Time Lows – Yawn

RATES HIGHER THAN IN JULY DESPITE “RECORD LOWS” Housing Wire was reporting that mortgage rates hit all-time lows again last week – and I yawned again last week. This is why. Until the mortgage industry comes to grips with its capacity issues, the actual mortgage rates that most lenders offer will not fall further. We […]Read More

Mark Cuban Was Right; SF’s Death & Revival; IKEA & Honey Badgers

A few weeks ago I blogged about The Death of New York City, citing another blog by James Altucher that set out reasons why NYC is not going to recover: the loss of business opportunities; the loss of cultural events; and the loss of restaurants. I also mentioned how Dallas Mavericks owner and Shark Tank […]Read More

Will Prepayment Penalties Return?

A young couple was sitting in my office crying. It was around 2005, they were on a very tight budget, their rate had just adjusted to almost 10%, they had to refinance in a hurry for a variety of serious personal reasons, and they had just discovered that their loan officer had saddled them with […]Read More

Divorces Surge During COVID; Divorce Considerations That Affect Real Estate And Mortgages

FIRE CERTIFICATIONS NOTE: With wildfires still raging across California, underwriters are still requiring “Fire Certifications” for every property that is near a major fire. This is simply photo evidence that a property remains undamaged by fires. DIVORCES Divorces are surging as a result of the COVID crisis. Online inquiries have jumped over 30%, according to […]Read More

When Getting A Loan Is As Easy As Buying A Fridge At Best Buy

In 1999, I needed a new car. Not being particularly into cars, I asked a buddy, who was into cars, what kind of car he recommended. At that time, he said the best buy on the market was a Lexus GS400, and he gave me a detailed list of options and specs I should look […]Read More

Pay Cash For House Now & Get Financing After Close; “Delayed Financing”

Despite the COVID crisis, there seems to be more cash-rich buyers than ever right now in our three biggest markets – Bay Area, Austin, TX, and Dallas, TX. This is a result of several things, including the thriving tech economies of Austin and the Bay Area; the prevalence of cash-rich Californians taking their home equity […]Read More

Lender Credits For Closing Costs – When & Why

Most buyers understandably want the lowest rate possible when they lock in their rate. This is particularly the case when they believe rates are at an all-time low and when buyers believe they will keep their loan for 30 years. But, as I remind readers often, very few people keep their mortgages for more than […]Read More

“1% Closing Cost Credit Referral” How’s It Work? Compliant? No Free Lunch

One of America’s largest mortgage banks is offering a “1% closing cost credit referral” to real estate agents. The below paragraph was copied directly from an email that the lender sent to an agent we know: “I’ve attached your exclusive 1% closing cost credit referral. In order to reserve that for your new buyers you […]Read More

Fed: “We’ll Ignore Inflation & Keep Rates Low Forever!” Or Not

Media outlets are abuzz with news about The Fed’s new commitment to keep rates low pretty much forever and to also change its inflation targets. This WSJ article is just one of many I saw today discussing this. So what does this mean? The Fed will no longer give credence to what is called the […]Read More

Property Must Have Kitchen Even If It Will Be Gutted Right After Close

One of our clients is buying an investment fourplex in Texas. He intends to completely gut and rehab all four units as soon as we close. The problem is that one of the units has no kitchen b/c the tenant is using the entire unit for storage. As a result, the appraiser cannot give any […]Read More

Fannie/Freddie Yank Their 1/2 Point Refi Fee

On Saturday night my wife Heejin and I had a wonderful date at an outdoor Italian restaurant. The food and weather were perfect, and the ambiance was even better with overhead string lights, friendly passersby, and a saxophone player in the background. The only problem was that there were too few customers, and we would […]Read More

Fires, Hurricanes, Appraisals & Delays; Agent Resource Guide

In Friday’s Blog, I mentioned how we were losing Appraisal or Property Inspection Waivers (PIWs) b/c of the fires in NorCal, but I made an error. Underwriters are not always requiring full appraisals in lieu of PIWs in fire areas; in most cases they are just requiring simple inspections, with no value attributed, that certify […]Read More

No Appraisal Waivers In Fire Areas; Pest Reports Must Be Under 90 Days Old; Pre-Approvals Can Take 3+ Hours

Here are a few quick updates/reminders. APPRAISAL WAIVERS – NO MAS IN “FIRE AREAS” (Re-inspections too) We have been getting far more appraisal or property inspection waivers (PIWs) over the last few months b/c Fannie, Freddie and lenders in general have relaxed their appraisal standards b/c of COVID and b/c more and more past appraisals […]Read More

Death Of NYC; Life After Bandwidth; Trends We’re Already Seeing

LIFE AFTER BANDWIDTH – HIGH-END HOUSING SURGE There is a property near my home that was recently listed for $2.1 million; it immediately got multiple offers and will sell for well over asking. Interestingly, it was purchased for under $700,000 in the late 90s, showing what a great retirement investment real estate can be. But, […]Read More

3 Reasons Refi Rates Are Higher Than Purchase Rates

“The average rate posted on Bankrate.com for a 30-year fixed refinance mortgage was 3.39% Monday, well above the 3.14% on offer for a purchase mortgage, according to the personal-finance website.” That is a direct quote from this WSJ article about why refi rates are higher than purchase rates. As an aside, I love Bankrate’s “average […]Read More

Why COVID-19 Is Not Hitting Housing Prices

A few weeks ago, I blogged about why we are not seeing more foreclosures despite our severe recession and a huge number of delinquent borrowers. The reasons include: (1) borrowers have more equity and won’t abandon it; (2) lending guidelines have been much stronger since 2008; and (3) the housing market is on fire, making […]Read More

Fannie Mae’s New 50 Basis Point Fee Slams Refinance Borrowers

As I mentioned yesterday, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac imposed a new fee of 1/2 point, or 50 basis points, on all refinance loans – catching the entire mortgage world completely off guard. What the new fee means in reality is that all refinance borrowers will now face 1/8 to 1/4 percent higher rates when […]Read More

When 1.99% Is A Bad Deal; Why Rates May Not Fall Further

1.99% – YAY!!!! OR NOT…. (LOOK AT THE FEES) Several lenders were touting their 1.99% interest rates recently, and we were getting emails from agents and borrowers alike asking about the “amazing rates.” But, that rate is not amazing when you look at the fine print, and almost all lenders, including JVM, can offer it […]Read More

Why Low Rates Are BAD For Homebuyers

Rates are about 1% lower than where they were last year at this time, as most people know. This enormous rate-reduction appears to be a huge boon for homebuyers, as low rates reduce payments and increase buying power. A 1% reduction in rates reduces the payment on a $500,000 loan by almost $300 per month. […]Read More

Why I Love And Hate Freddie Mac’s Mortgage Interest Rate Surveys

Here is the link to Freddie Mac’s Mortgage Interest Survey Data. I recommend sharing this link often b/c it is one of the best sources available to see where interest rates really are. You might, however, also remind clients that Freddie Mac shows “average rates” only and that there are as many as 12 Factors […]Read More

Observations From A NorCal Motorcycle Trip

Every year my sons, nephew, brothers and I embark on several motorcycle excursions that are more like field trips than vacations b/c all we do is stop everywhere and chat, explore and learn stuff. Our most recent trip in July was no exception and I thought I’d share a few observations. DIAMONDS IN BACKYARD – […]Read More

Condos Not Always “Cheaper” Than Single-Family Residences; Condo Questions To Ask

I read recently that the median single-family home price in Marin County, California is almost $500,000 more than the median condo price. So, condos are way cheaper, right? Not always, and here’s why. HOA DUES HOA dues are significantly higher nowadays for a variety of reasons (more liabilities; more maintenance needs for older buildings; more […]Read More

Why Appraisers Often Come In So Much Lower Than Homeowner Estimates

We once had clients who spent dozens (if not hundreds) of hours removing the popcorn ceilings from their $950,000 home. B/c they put so much “sweat” into their equity, they were convinced that their home would appraise for substantially more when they were done. But b/c their neighborhood market had recently softened a bit, their […]Read More

Optimal Down Payment? Less Than You Think

All too many homebuyers mistakenly believe that they need to put down as much as humanly possible for several reasons: (1) they want to minimize their housing payment; (2) they want to minimize their debt load; and (3) they want to make their offers appear stronger. We, however, often advise buyers to put down less […]Read More

Economies Of Scale; Competing In A Post-Boom World

Last Friday, I blogged about how Ford Motor Company dominated the auto industry in the 1910s by cutting costs so much that they could sell cars for less than 1/4 as much as competitors could. I pointed out how this was likely to happen in the real estate and mortgage industries too at some point, […]Read More

Rates Hit Another All-Time Low… Yawn; Why and Will They Go Lower?

Rates edged lower again, allowing me to quote the lowest 30-year fixed-rate I have ever quoted (see our rates here). MARGINAL DROP/MARGINAL HELP FOR CONSUMERS Rates only fell marginally though, so it is not like borrowers with currently locked rates are missing the boat. In addition, b/c the mortgage industry cannot begin to process all […]Read More

90-Day Mortgage Delinquencies Hit Record Highs; Why No Foreclosures?

Almost 2 million homeowners were 90 days late with their mortgages in June, according to this National Mortgage News article. But at the same time, actual foreclosure inventory was down significantly year over year. The obvious reason behind the very low foreclosure rates, despite our economic woes, is the COVID-19-related foreclosure moratorium and the related […]Read More

Rent Credits For Down Payment Funds

This is a quick reminder that renters can use “rent credits” towards their down payment. The entire down payment can be in the form of a rent credit in fact. The amount of the credit is the cumulative difference between the “Market Rent” and the “Actual Rent” paid. For example, if the market rent for […]Read More

Car Industry Vs. Mortgage Industry; Consolidation Coming? We Want To Be Ford In 1913

At the turn of the 20th century, there were almost 100 different car companies operating in Detroit alone. But by the 1920s, there were basically three companies – Ford, General Motors and Chrysler – according to this Wikipedia article. What does this have to do with mortgages and real estate? A lot, b/c at some […]Read More

Appraisals: Cosmetic Vs. Structural Issues; Why Appraisers Often Don’t Call Out Cosmetic Issues

We recently had a purchase involving an older property and the buyers were concerned because the appraiser did not call out a broken window pane and some torn floor coverings. I just blogged about condition issues in June – Condition Issues – What’s Lendable? Don’t Disclose In MLS If “As Is.” But the point of […]Read More

What Will Happen To Rates If Trump’s Re-elected? If Biden Is Elected? Rates In Election Years

I received this in an email on Monday: “Do you think the presidential election will have a big impact on rates if one side is elected over the other? I would imagine if Trump is re-elected rates will stay low for the next year or two in an attempt to bolster the economy.” PRESIDENT CAN’T […]Read More

Housing Market – Not All Rosy; Bumps & Volatility

TOO OPTIMISTIC ABOUT HOUSING? “Stick to mortgages, Jay!” I touted the strength of the housing market numerous times over the last several months, and both borrowers and agents told me they thought I was too optimistic in light of all the pandemic news. One borrower told me to “stick to mortgages and leave the economic […]Read More

Confusing Luck With Talent; Ego Is The Enemy

There was a big hubbub earlier in the week over a defamation lawsuit involving a mortgage trade group CEO and a prominent mortgage industry executive. The executive and his wife sued the trade group’s CEO for defamation after he made some very inappropriate comments, and the story quickly made its rounds across the industry. You […]Read More

7 Myths About Motorcycles and Mortgage Rates

OK – I am not really going to blog about motorcycles, but I did see a video last night called 7 Myths You Shouldn’t Believe About Motorcycles, and it got 2.3 million views! The video maker joked about how well list-style-video-descriptors attract viewers (which is a great marketing reminder). So, I thought I’d try it […]Read More

Bigger House Vs. Smaller House +In-Law Unit; Price Per Acre Issues

Several months ago, I blogged about a 3,700 square foot property that appraised for far less than the owner thought it would because it was really a 2,300 square foot main house with a detached 1,400 square foot in-law unit. The property appraised for less than expected primarily b/c the appraiser had to correlate to […]Read More

HELOCs For Bridge Loans; Online Lender Horror Stories

MORE ONLINE LENDING HORROR STORIES In response to my blog about Quicken’s pending IPO on Friday, I received several reminders of online lending/call-center horror stories. With every instance, the call-center loan-officer did a perfunctory “pre-qualification” without doing a full pre-approval, and transactions blew up as a result. The call-center loan officers are trained largely for […]Read More

Quicken’s IPO – So Much To Learn; Reason To Be Leery

Rates edged lower again, so now instead of being really, really, really low, they’re really, really, really, really (4 really’s) low. It remains to be seen if we’ll hit “5 really’s.” BOOMS, PLATITUDES AND BUSTS Over the years, we have seen numerous mortgage banks massively expand during refi booms, and then wildly and loudly celebrate […]Read More

Pre-Approval #s DOUBLE Year Over Year; Gift Of Equity In Lieu Of Down Payment

JVM formally pre-approved 268 borrowers for the purchase of a home in June. This was an all-time record for us and up over 100% from last June, when we only pre-approved 124 borrowers. I share this b/c agents ask all the time if our pre-approval numbers are up year over year, and the answer is […]Read More

The High Cost of “Cash Out;” Delayed “Hot Season”

DEFERRED DEMAND/PEAK HOMEBUYING SEASON IS NOW CNBC reported that “mortgage applications to purchase a home rose 5% for the week and were a remarkable 33% higher than a year ago.” America’s average home price also hit an all-time record high of $365,700, as buyers are now out in droves. This all corroborates what many of […]Read More

JVM Aligns With New Mortgage Bank; The Need For Speed & Jumbo!

We recently aligned with a new mortgage bank for three reasons: (1) to drastically shorten our closing periods; (2) to offer even lower rates; and (3) to access much better jumbo options. We have nothing against our former mortgage bank at all, as we simply were not a good fit for their model and we […]Read More

Innovating In Boom Times; 50 Companies That Died Because They Didn’t

We constantly get “recruited” by large mortgage banks that want JVM to affiliate with them (b/c they want our volume, reputation and/or trade secrets). The pitches always fascinate us b/c they often tout their nebulous “support” (something we don’t need) and growth, but who isn’t growing in this market? (all we ever want is extremely […]Read More

Why We Say A $2 Million Home Is Worth $999,000; Best Month Ever For Mortgage Rates

“PIWs” REIGN SUPREME “PIW” stands for Property Inspection Waiver or an Appraisal Waiver. We are getting more of them than ever before, making both refinances and purchases faster, easier and cheaper. We are getting them more often now b/c Fannie and Freddie loosened their guidelines in response to the COVID-19 crisis and b/c more and […]Read More

“The Next Housing Boom Is Closer Than You Think”

The title of this blog is taken directly from this blog by Stansberry Research. I have hit the topic of a strong housing market numerous times in recent months but am hitting it again for several reasons: (1) Stansberry Research normally touts stocks, so when they shift to touting housing it means something; (2) some […]Read More

“Stips;” Loan Salability; Facing Huge Losses; And Why A Competitor Went To Bat For Us

What is the scariest thing on the planet? For mortgage banks, it is an unsalable loan. Mortgage banks literally borrow money to fund mortgage loans – using what is called a “warehouse line.” Mortgage banks only make money if and when they sell those loans that are “sitting” on their warehouse lines. For example, when […]Read More

Refinancing After Forbearance; Credit Inquiries

Over 4 million borrowers went into mortgage payment “forbearance” during the COVID-19 crisis, and many are now starting to end their forbearance periods – and wondering if they can refinance. Here are some of the guidelines. AUTHORIZED FORBEARANCE – PAST BALANCES PAID If borrowers with a formally authorized (by their servicer) forbearance formally end their […]Read More

Rapid Re-Scores; We Can’t Charge Borrowers

RAPID RE-SCORES We often do a “rapid re-score” to repair a borrower’s credit for a variety of reasons: (1) to raise a borrower’s score above a minimum requirement, such as 700 for a HELOC or for Jumbo financing (more important than ever in this post-COVID lending environment); (2) to improve a borrower’s interest rate, as […]Read More

Examples of How Much Various “Factors” Affect Interest Rates

We constantly remind everyone that there is no “one interest rate,” b/c so many factors affect individual rates. I linked to those factors last week and set them out again below. We often get questions though in regard to how much each of those factors affects a borrower’s interest rate, so I am providing some […]Read More