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How to Survive the Interest Rate Roller Coaster

There's a better chance that rates are going to be higher than they are today, than there is that they will go down. At least, that's what last year's rates say.  Knowing what you know now, would you take that bet? Home loan interest rates move on an almost daily basis, multiple changes a day in some cases.  Being subject to a wide variety of economic and market pressures, there is an inherent volatility that constantly ebbs, and flows. I was reminded of...

When is FHA the Best Loan?

There has been a lot of talk in the news lately about how FHA financing is simply too expensive, and is even being blamed for the slowdown in mortgage applications in 2014. I don't believe that FHA is a bad option at all.  To the contrary, FHA financing is a vital and highly effective tool for homebuyers and homeowners in today's real estate marketplace. Is FHA Financing too Expensive? The biggest point of contention is that the mortgage insurance premiums required with FHA...

What Your Lender Doesn’t Know Will Hurt You

There's No Excuse Homeowners and homebuyers have plenty of reasons to be both suspicious and cautious about working with mortgage lenders in the aftermath of the great mortgage credit meltdown of 2007. There have been so many changes to lending guidelines, laws and programs that it's almost impossible to keep up with all of it. What this means to mortgage professionals like myself is that we have to work extra hard to keep up with all of the changes on a weekly, monthly...

California Veteran Home Loan Benefits You Might Not Know About

More Ways to Say Thanks Veteran home loan benefits extend beyond special 100% financing available using a VA Home Loan. There are several other benefits available to California Veterans that are often overlooked or misunderstood that can save thousands. VA Home Loan Benefit VA Home Loans provide up to 100% financing for eligible Veterans for the financing of an owner occupied home without paying mortgage insurance. VA Buyer Assistance Programs In addition to zero down payment and no mortgage insurance, VA allows buyer assistance to be...

California Offers FHA Mortgage Insurance Alternatives

Reducing Costs Any achievable alternative to FHA financing will very quickly become your first option, due to FHA mortgage insurance being forced upon you for the life of the loan. It is inevitable, if using a FHA loan, that you will refinance that loan at some point in the future to remove the mortgage insurance. FHA mortgages are tempting in todays market, consistently offering lower interest rates than Conventional financing. When you calculate the long term (more than 3-5 years) cost of the lower...

CHF Platinum Conventional Grant Stumbles

Temporarily Suspended This was the message we received last week when researching guidelines for a CHF Platinum Conventional Homebuyer Grant. If you also received this message, or have been told by your lender that the program is not available, I want to give you an update and an assurance that the program is currently available. CHF Conventional Grant Reduced When the CHF Platinum Conventional Grant was initially introduced, the Grant amount was equal to 4% of the first loan amount. Apparently, the reason for the temporary...

Extra Credit Teacher Program Improvements Announced

ECTP Interest Rate Reduced Available through the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA), the Extra Credit Teacher Program helps fund down payment and/or closing costs for eligible teachers, administrators, classified employees and staff members working in California's high priority schools, those with Academic Performance Index (API) ranks of 1-5. On March 17, CalHFA announced that it is reducing the interest rate of the Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP). Beginning March 17, 2014, the interest rate for the Extra Credit Teacher Program will be reduced...

CalHFA Loosens Guidelines to Help More Buyers in 2014

Homebuyers Get a Break? California first time homebuyers are given an unexpected surprise last week when the California Housing Finance Agency (CalHFA) announced that it is increasing it's Debt to Income (DTI) limits from 43% to 45% for all loan reserved beginning March 24th, 2014.  Click Here to View CalHFA DTI Release While it doesn't sound like a significant difference, 2% debt to income ratio could mean the difference between being able to make competitive offers on homes, and not. Opening Homeownership Doors This...

Refinancing Options over 80% Loan to Value

Do You Have a Plan B? Home values are sliding in most areas of Southern California, and interest rates are on the rise. Do you feel like you're watching your opportunity to refinance sail away into the sunset without you on board? What we're seeing is a correction in the market.  Home values cooling off is just a reaction to the almost 30% equity increases we was in 2013. Many folks were able to refinance while rates dropped late January through February, 2014. Many more...

What’s the Catch With Homebuyer Grants?

To Good to be True? California offers several Grant options that provide down payment and closing cost assistance for homebuyers looking to purchase an owner occupied, primary residence. Homebuyer grants do not create a lien, there is not interest rate, there are no payments, it is not a loan. California Homebuyer Assistance Grants The grants we cover in this article were chosen for one of 2 reasons. Available Statewide throughout California and/or Perpetually funded for as long as the program exists CHF Platinum Grant offers three options...

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