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How Mortgage Credit Certificates Work – Introduction

Homebuyer Tax Credit A Mortgage Credit Certificate, commonly known as MCC, is a dollar for dollar tax credit similar to the first time homebuyer tax credits we saw in 2008 and 2009, that will directly reduce the amount of taxes you will have to pay, or get refunded at the end of the year. The math for MCC programs is the same all over, but I'm going to specifically focus on the The State of California MCC offered through the California Housing Finance Agency...

Home Improvement Loans Offered by FHA

Repairs Preventing Refinance? There are two types of home improvement projects.  The first type is not necessary, but very much needed.  Examples of this type of project might be a new kitchen, remodeling bathrooms, new carpet or paint, or landscaping your yard. The other type of home improvement project is one where the repair is necessary to make the home livable.  Examples of this would be exposed wiring, or studs in the wall, a gutted kitchen or bathroom, or ripped up flooring...

3 Conventional Mortgage Changes that Make it Easier to Qualify in 2015

Fannie Mae Update Underwriting guidelines are finally beginning to loosen up now that we are almost 8 years past the great real estate and mortgage crisis of 2007. Ahead of the August 15th, 2015 Desktop Underwriter (DU) scheduled update, Fannie Mae has lifted restrictions on several key qualifying guidelines that are effective immediately for all homebuyers. Last year's August guideline updates included modifying the waiting periods for homebuyers that experienced bankruptcy, short sale, or foreclosures.  This year, Fannie Mae reveals game changing underwriting relief for all...

Fannie Mae Removes Buy and Bail Rule

Restriction Removed Approximately 1 year after the rapid decline of home values in the aftermath of the great real estate crash of 2007, Fannie Mae quickly identified behavior by homeowners that it considered to be a type of lending fraud. September 19th, 2008, Fannie Mae instituted a fraud prevention policy called the Buy and Bail rule.  A buy and bail transaction is where a consumer decides to rent out their primary residence to take advantage of buying a bigger, or better home for...

How Much is Your Credit Score Costing You?

The Reason for Your Score I've seen it time and time again, homebuyers and homeowners losing hundreds, and thousands of dollars because of inaccurate credit reporting. With a little education, ethical guidance, and patience, most borrowers have an opportunity to either borrow more, or get a lower rate on the loan that you're applying for. My experience over the years has been that most homebuyers with credit scores below their potential do not have bad credit, they simply do not understand how to build...

Downpayment Assistance Changes for California Homebuyers

Important Changes California homebuyers have a lot to be excited about in 2015. With the introduction of new downpayment and closing cost assistance programs, and the expansion of existing programs, California is leading the charge to encourage homeownership. Important updates include more flexible income limits, greater availability of assistance, new first time buyer programs, higher debt to income limits, as well as a couple important limitations in regards to using assistance to purchase condominiums and duplexes. Important changes to several existing homebuyer assistance programs...

“Keep Your Cash” Programs for Responsible Homebuyers

Helping Hand Buying a home is an enormous financial responsibility that requires much deeper consideration than simply trusting a lender or real estate agent that tells you that you should. As a mortgage bank, we specialize in downpayment and closing cost assistance programs. There are few things more rewarding than having the opportunity to give a helping hand to homebuyers that need a little extra help covering the upfront cost of buying a home. On the flip side, there is nothing more frustrating than working with homebuyers that think these...

Four Misconceptions About California Buyer Assistance Programs

The Truth is Out There There are so many misconceptions about buyer assistance programs, not only  among first time buyers but more often among lenders. Yes, you read that right.  Lenders large and small are confused about buyer assistance. In many cases,  there isn't enough money in it for them so they try to do what's called a "bait and  switch." This means they lure you in with the promise of help, but instead lead  you into a more lucrative loan. As a direct...

Make Your Dollar Travel Further This Summer

Summer Vacations Are perfect for hitting the road and having an adventure or staying closer to home and simply recharging. The slower pace and rest a vacation offers are priceless, but that doesn’t mean you should relax your financial vigilance. Here are some ideas to help you get the most for your money as you travel this summer. Consider off-season tropical destinations During the winter months, tropical hot spots command top dollar. But if you’re not averse to hot and humid weather, there are bargains...

Five Financial Lessons to Pass on to Your Children

ABC's of Money One of the greatest lessons you can pass on to your children is teaching them how to budget, save and spend wisely. After all, being financially astute is very important to navigating through life. Grounding your children in some basic money values concepts is a good place to start. Consider using these five points as the basis for your conversation: 1. Money isn’t free – you have to earn it Many of us grew up with the saying, “money doesn’t grow on trees,”...

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