Lending / Financial

Buying real estate is even more challenging for those of us whose eyes glaze over at the mere mention of decimals, percentages or anything else that even hints of mathematics.


The financial aspect of purchasing the largest investment of your lifetime, though, is the most important. Nobody wants to lose money. Nobody wants to leave money on the table.


If you're in the market for information on mortgages, credit scores and interest rates, you've come to the right place. The financial and mortgage pros here at ActiveRain even tell you how to shop for and compare lenders, how to raise your credit score, how to get a mortgage after a short sale or foreclosure and how to get pre-approved for a mortgage loan. Even Mom and Dad can't give the great advice you'll find here at ActiveRain.


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Trending blogs on Lending / Financial
By Chris Goulart, California Hard Money Loans & Solutions
(All California Lending)
With all the negatives to come out of the current pandemic situation, one positive is the historic low California 30 year fixed rate home loans available on the market.  For borrowers planning to stay in their homes for at least a few years, being able to secure rates at these levels makes a lot of sense.  With that being said, however, todays fixed loan options have some new obstacles to navigate.For borrowers looking to do a rate and term refinance - which is where no cash out is being taken - rates and programs are extremely attractive.  When was the last time you've seen rates in the 2's?  Borrowers just looking to refinance into a lower rate are securing ridiculous sounding rates right now.  Appraisal waivers are not uncommon on these transactions either.  For rate and term transac...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Being ill-prepared for and poorly-informed about the mortgage process will, at a minimum, make the process more challenging and stressful.  It will also increase the likelihood of it costing more.  No one wants that. Miltoniopsis Orchids, Longwood Gardens, Kennett Square, PA USA IMG 8002          Adopt a Winning Mindset If Preparing for Mortgage Financing     Springtime means just one thing to countless millions of people like myself ... The Masters Golf Tournament ...   The delay of this year's 2020 tournament left golf fans with a void to fill until fall.     But thankfully, last year's Master's final round was recently replayed to help fans relieve some of the "pain" we are feeling until that time.   CBS announcer, Jim Nantz held a running interview with the winner of last year's tou...
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By Bob Elliot, 20+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
Last week’s economic news included readings from the National Association of Home Builders on housing market conditions and reports on housing starts and building permits issued.Fed Chair Jerome Powell testified before Congress about the impact of Covid-19. Weekly reports on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims were also released.NAHB: Home Builder Confidence Improves in MayHome-builder confidence rose seven points in May to an index reading of 37; April’s reading of 30 was the lowest reading for the NAHB Housing Market Index since June 2012. Low mortgage rates and expectations that the worst of the Covid-19 pandemic had passed contributed to higher readings for builder confidence.Component readings in the Housing Market Index were higher in May; builder confidence in current ma...
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By Liz Freeman
(RE/MAX Preferred Realty)
Homeowners have a variety of reasons for refinancing their homes. Before you make a decision about refinancing your home, you might consider the following questions. Below is a summary of an article in RISMedia by Michele Lerner, a writer for Bankrate.com.1. What are my financial goals? Are trying to lower your monthly payment? Check out an online mortgage calculator to estimate your new payment. Other homeowners are choosing to refinance for a shorter term to pay of their mortgage faster and save interest.Before you make the decision to refinance, the professionals advise making sure you contribute to retirement savings and college savings, pay off high-interest debt, and save 6-12 months of expenses, because reducing your mortgage payment period will increase your monthly payment.2. D...
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By Jason E. Gordon, Sr Loan Officer, CMA, CMPS, CDLP, CDRE, RCSD, CDPE
(AmeriFirst Financial Inc, San Diego, CA)
The Truth Behind Mortgage Rates. At last, someone is willing to tell the truth with 10 valuable lessons below!  I know of no other industry which spends more money on deceptive advertising aimed at confusing their end users than Banks, Credit Unions, and Mortgage Companies. To learn more about The Truth Behind Mortgage Advertising, click here.Click here for a "how to" lesson on reading the charts contained in the daily reports.Remember, obtaining a mortgage does not need to be an untrusting experience if you are working with the right professional, while being armed with the proper knowledge.  You might also find it useful to learn The Truth Behind Mortgage Quotes (which will tie-in nicely with the information below).NOTE: Nothing contained in this article (or the articles contained in ...
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By David Jackson, MBA, Financial lending analyst
(Olympus Labs)
The COVID-19 crisis is causing great concern and economic distress to businesses, consumers, and people across the world. Its impact is widespread. While some businesses are recording very low sales or progress, some have gone into a complete shutdown due to strict restrictions put in place, such as lockdowns. So far, it's clear that the impact of the coronavirus pandemic will pose challenges to many sectors, and the mortgage industry is not an exception. The situation will affect the commercial lenders, renters, and borrowers in the same way. Here are some of the issues facing the lending market in the coronavirus pandemic. Closing Transactions Following the economic hardships, many borrowers and renters' ability to make mortgage payments and clear debts will be reduced. For that matte...
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By Roy Kelley
(Realty Group Referrals)
Staying responsive to the needs of borrowers remains a positive and prime focus and is especially warranted during this challenging time.         Appraisal Waivers: What are They? Who's Eligible?   Many changes surrounding residential appraisals have occurred recently.  Some have come as a response to the challenges presented by Covid-19.  Others were put into place prior to our facing current viral challenges.   In this article, I address only those changes made to appraisal requirements and options for Conforming Conventional Loans.  The following are what "Appraisal Options" can mean in those specific cases.   First, it should be pointed out before proceeding: No two loans (or borrower(s) are the same, so no blanket-statement can be made or cover every situation or appraisal requirem...
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By Jason E. Gordon, Sr Loan Officer, CMA, CMPS, CDLP, CDRE, RCSD, CDPE
(AmeriFirst Financial Inc, San Diego, CA)
Below is a simple lesson on how to read the charts associated with the Mortgage Rate Updates & Projections reports which can be found at www.JasonGordon.info nearly every business day. If you are pursuing a mortgage (or helping to refer someone in need of a mortgage), it is highly recommended that you learn The Truth Behind Mortgage Rates (to understand the terms "Mortgage Pricing") as well as The Truth Behind Mortgage Quotes (to understand how to spot marketing gimmicks used by some Mortgage Professionals when quoting you Mortgage Pricing). Lesson #1: Understanding Daily Charts The first charts which appear on this report are associated with reading the Daily Activity of mortgage pricing.  Since these charts reflect bond activity, please note that upward directions on the charts are ac...
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By Cheryl Powell - The Powell Team, Concord,Harrisburg & Charlotte NC Area Real Estate
(Southern Homes of The Carolinas - The Powell Team)
    Do you know someone who has a job and works hard, but their income isn't high enough to afford a well maintained home in an area desireable to them?  If so, the USDA Rural Devolopment DIRECT Loan Program may be the perfect loan program for them.  This is a 100% financing (NO DOWNPAYMENT), no Mortgage Insurance, government subsized loan program!  I've seen this program dramatically change the lives of families for the better by helping them purchase a nicer home, than would have been possible using traditional financing programs, with an affordable payment. CLICK HERE to view details about the USDA Rural Development Direct Loan Program (Section 502). Unlike the Rural Development Guaranteed Program, buyers apply directly to their local USDA Rural Development Office for the Direct Loan...
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By Cheryl Powell - The Powell Team, Concord,Harrisburg & Charlotte NC Area Real Estate
(Southern Homes of The Carolinas - The Powell Team)
News Channel 36 did a report on USDA Rural Development loans last night.  It said that the program is "little known", but I've known about it and helped my clients utilize the program for years.  The USDA Rural Development agency (yes, the United States Department of Agriculture) has two different loan programs, Direct and Guaranteed.  Eligibility for both types of Rural Development loans is determined based on household size, income and the buyer's credit worthiness.  Both programs are 100% (NO DOWN PAYMENT) loans with NO MORTGAGE INSURANCE.  FHA loans and Conventional loans with less than 20% down payment require mortgage insurance, which is based on your loan amount and added to your payment each month... so no mortgage insurance is quite a savings to buyers. The Rural Development Gu...
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By Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience
(NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656)
  Choosing Your Loan Officer:Don't Short-Change Yourself The act of obtaining a mortgage has become a deeply personal and individualized pursuit. In its present form, it has little in common with mortgage applications of the past.Because of that fact, the act of choosing a Mortgage Originator/Lender is far more important now than ever before.  There's far more riding on your choice.Yet, statistics show that all too often little time or effort is expended on studying and making that choice: According to a Report, almost half of consumers who borrow to finance a home only seriously consider a single lender or broker before obtaining a loan  An article by PR Newswire states that more time is spent researching a car purchase (11 hours) and an equal amount of time researching a vacation (8 h...
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By Gene Mundt, IL/WI Mortgage Originator - FHA/VA/Conv/Jumbo/Portfolio/Refi, 708.921.6331 - 40+ yrs experience
(NMLS #216987, IL Lic. 031.0006220, WI Licensed. APMC NMLS #175656)
  Adopt a Winning Mindset If Preparing for Mortgage Financing  Springtime means just one thing to countless millions of people like myself ... The Masters Golf Tournament ... The delay of this year's 2020 tournament left golf fans with a void to fill until fall.   But thankfully, last year's Master's final round was recently replayed to help fans relieve some of the "pain" we are feeling until that time. CBS announcer, Jim Nantz held a running interview with the winner of last year's tournament, Tiger Woods, throughout the replay airing.  The additional insights he provided throughout the airing were extremely interesting and it made the golf tournament even more fun to watch. One comment in particular made by Tiger Woods during this show stood out to me.  He spoke of the preparation, b...
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By Bob Elliot, 20+ Yrs Industry Experience
(eXp Realty)
Interest Rates Hover Near Historic All-Time Lows [INFOGRAPHIC] Some Highlights Mortgage interest rates have dropped considerably this spring and are hovering at a historically low level. Locking in at a low rate today could save you thousands of dollars over the lifetime of your home loan. Let’s connect to determine the best way to position yourself for a move in today’s market.
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By Kevin O'Connor, Helping Homeowners Achieve Their Dreams.
(JB Mortgage Capital, Inc.)
Located in northern California, Berkeley is east of San Francisco (across the bay) and just north of Oakland, California. For over 15 years my team and I have been providing low rates, fast closings and exceptional service to homeowners in Berkeley and throughout California. Refinance or purchase, owner occupied or rental, excellent credit or bad credit - we have options to help you secure a low rate mortgage.Owning A Home In Berkeley, California:Berkeley, California is home to one the best universities in the world; University of California, Berkeley (Cal Berkeley). The city is not only home to Cal Berkeley but also a local unlike anywhere in California. Homes in the area range from $300,000 for a small one bedroom condo to $3,000,000+. Locals have access to neighborhood banks as well ...
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By JOE RYSTROM & TEAM, Real Estate Professionals
 My clients often ask me if they should pay off their home early.  Yes!  Pay off your home six years early with this simple strategy. There's a lot to consider when switching your mortgage payment. But the facts are pretty simple. If you pay half of your regular mortgage payments every other week, you'll have made 26 half-payments. That's the equivalent of 13 full monthly payments. Bi-weekly payments take advantage of an extra annual payment. Just one extra full payment can chop about six years off a 30-year mortgage!  My wife and I did this, and we now will have our home paid off early! Some lenders charge for this service, though ours did not. I would pay for something that should be free. You can do do-it-your self bi-weekly payments. Please let me know what your bank or lender's res...
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By Chris Goulart, California Hard Money Loans & Solutions
(All California Lending)
Hopefully as you read this you are staying safe and healthy.  The Covid pandemic has turned many aspects of our lives upside down.  Real estate financing has not been immune to the crisis, and today's alternative loan options look much different than they did only a few months ago.  Much has changed, but financing is still available!One of the first major changes we saw was the loss of most of the Non-QM market.  This is the market that was filling the subprime market of the past.  Most of these loans are simply not available today, with lenders suspending operations indefinitely.  These were loans with higher loan to value ratios, made to borrowers with credit issues or those in need of alternative documentation requirements for their income.  Along with the loss of this market, many o...
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By Joan Cox, Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time
(House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373)
 A Luxury Home can be identified differently in cities across the country, but in Denver, my Luxury blog posts will report on detached single-family homes listed in the Denver metro area over $1 million.   Some have mountain (snow-capped now) and/or city views, some back to a golf course or have water views all to compliment one's lifestyle.  (however, we don't have much water)  Some are updated with products from around the world, and some have expansive square footage or on acreage.     Whatever a Buyer is looking for, most likely if you have over $1 million, you can find it in Denver or in the surrounding suburbs.    Over the last few weeks, some counties have opened up showings, and the last two counties will expire this coming Friday 5/8.   We saw an abundance of new listings this ...
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By Kevin O'Connor, Helping Homeowners Achieve Their Dreams.
(JB Mortgage Capital, Inc.)
Buellton California is a beautiful small town located in the Santa Ynez valley which is north of Santa Barbara and south of San Luis Obisbo. With a little over 5000 residents, Buellton California provides a small town sense of community among the residents who call it home. Homebuyers in Buellton have access to local mortgage companies as well as online mortgage brokers who work with clients throughout the state of California. Home Values In Buellton, California:One of the great things about Buellton is the affordable housing it offers (when compared to places like Santa Barbara or San Luis Obisbo). Most local homes are in the $400,000 to $800,000 range however main problem is availability. It's a small town so there are not many options.In recent years we've seen an expansion in new ho...
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By Kevin O'Connor, Helping Homeowners Achieve Their Dreams.
(JB Mortgage Capital, Inc.)
Burbank, California is located just outside of Los Angeles with a population of over 100,000 people. It's north of Hollywood and less than 20 miles from the ocean. Buying a home in Burbank can be expensive and finding the right mortgage company to work with is important. Most homeowners chose a 30 year fixed rate mortgage due to the higher than average loan amounts.A Media Hub:Everyone is fascinated with Hollywood but what most people don't know is that most television and film production companies are located outside of the city boundaries of Hollywood. That's were cities like Burbank come in. Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Warner Brothers and The Walt Disney company all call Burbank home.Housing In Burbank:As mentioned; housing can be expensive in Burbank. Homeowners and homebuyers hav...
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By David Jackson, MBA, Financial lending analyst
(Olympus Labs)
If you are self-employed and work from home you know that it can be a blessing and a curse at the same time. You have total freedom, but also a sea of distractions around every corner. Many people have no problem with this, but it’s because they have customized their setup and environment. If you work from home then there are some features that will provide stunning interior home upgrades, make it easier for you to stay focused, as well as features that will help you get more done. Part of the lure of working from home is being comfortable and avoiding a stressful commute daily. Here are some things to look for. Dedicated office space. You don’t want to work from your kitchen table on a laptop. That is never going to be easy. You will have too many distractions and it makes it too easy ...
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