Friday, January 15, 2016

"Tell 'em what they've won Bob!"

Well, I didn't win the record setting Powerball so here I am, back at work... asking you for your business. 

Do you find it ironic how a one in 292,000,000 chance at $1.5 billion sparks the community, but the normal day-to-day conversation about the fostering of actual money is lost on people? Now all of a sudden, all we can talk about is how everyone would handle it. Everyone is bragging about how they would be smart with their money, weigh annuities versus cash options, educate themselves and learn how to get the most out of it. Experts come out and give their advice… and only now does it go viral. 

My question is why isn't everyone talking about it when it's not a windfall? Tax shelters, debt structure, philanthropy, annuities, mutual funds, ETF, IRA, RMD, ROI -- The list goes on. You don't really hear folks talking about all of these terms until a huge amount of money is involved. All these things you say you would do if you won... Why not get started now? Meet with an advisor, plan for taxes, better structure your debt, give more, live within a budget, work harder towards retirement... simply set your goals and work toward them. You don't have to come in to fast money to gain financial security; the security is gained from putting a plan into action with the income you've already been blessed with. 

I guess it's easier for most to manage imaginary money than it is to manage real money. Perhaps our society is broken and disillusioned when the almighty dollar is involved. The population in general needs a reality check... there's your real prize. Now go, take care of it!

What's the disclaimer? "Lottery games are based on chance, should be played for entertainment only and should not be played for investment purposes." Well, I've definitely been entertained! Not to mention the fifteen seconds of stress relief that follows each fantastical dollar spent as I banter with friends and strangers alike... just dreaming about what we could do with that kind of money. [SIGH] There is my take away... That and maybe a glimmer of hope. Hope for "the masses" to open their eyes to all that they've been blind to... even if "the masses" might include me.  

#powerball #realitycheck #letsgetrealwithrealmoney #fosteringwealth #abetterlife

Monday, January 4, 2016

New 2016 Loan Limits

NEW LIMITS IN EFFECT FOR 2016!

FannieMae and FreddieMac have updated the high-cost loan limits for 2016 per the Federal Housing Finance Agency. The loan limits remain at $417,000 for Contiguous States, District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico; and at $625,500 in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. These loan limits apply to one-unit conventional loan products with the exception of certain high cost areas designated in California, Colorado, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Washington. FannieMae reported an increase in thirty nine counties with some of the areas being "newly assigned". There are no exceptions for any Oregon counties however three counties in Washington State welcome increased loan limits by $23,000 to $540,500 (one-unit) in King, Pierce, and Snohomish Counties.

As with Fannie and Freddie, VA loan limits continue to follow FHFA guidelines. County loan limits have a direct impact on the Veteran's entitlement benefit and guarantee amount and does not apply to IRRRL’s (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan).

FHA loan limits were updated on December 9th... Quite a few increases here and no areas saw a decrease in the maximum mortgage amount. 

USDA does not set loan limits however the maximum income allowed for each area will dictate "maximum loan amounts". As debt thresholds and underwriting variables come into play there is not a hard and fast limit for this program... a common misconception.

Keep in mind there are many financing options a side by side comparison will guide you in choosing the right home loan based on your individual needs and goals. If you would like more information or to apply for any of these loan products contact me today!

Additional Resources:




Monday, December 14, 2015

Get Ready for HomeReady

FannieMae has officially rolled out it's HomeReady product a week ahead of expectations. This program replaces their MyCommunity loan program which has been phased out. You must meet the income guidelines which are based on the area's median income as designated, unless the property is within a low income census tract and designated disaster areas. Properties may include manufactured housing, accessory dwelling units (ADU / Mother in Law or basement Apartment), 1-4 units, condos, and PUDs. Debt-to-income may be allowed as high as 50% with compensating factors as allowed in the automated underwrite, otherwise that limit is 45%. An online course on homeownership education is required for this 97% loan to value product. The down payment and closing costs may also be gifted, granted, and Community Seconds are allowed. Non-occupying borrowers are allowed as well but with a max loan to value of 95% and need not be related, however the relation should make sense. Manual underwriting may be available down to credit scores as low as 620. Aside from greater flexibility in underwriting HomeReady's main attraction its "lower than standard mortgage insurance coverage – 25% for LTVs above 90% to 97% " according to FannieMae. 

I am excited to see this loan product applied in real world scenarios as an attractive mortgage option! Keep in mind there are other low down financing options such as the VA Loan for qualified Veterans, USDA Rural as eligible, FHA, or Conventional with private mortgage insurance that may be a better fit. A side by side comparison will guide you in choosing the right home loan based on your individual needs and goals. If you would like more information or to apply for any of these loan products contact me today!

Additional Resources:

FannieMae Fact Sheet

HOME by FannieMae (APP)

HomeReady vs. MyCommunity

Monday, November 23, 2015

Oregon Refinance Pilot Program for Distressed Borrowers Expands

Similar to a current Pilot Refinance Program (a test under "HARP 3.0") now running statewide in Oregon - RAHAPP, another pilot program - LRAPP is expanding to a handful more counties within the sate. The lesser stringent program LRAPP does not necessarily require mortgage payments be current and has a greater need for the current lender to accommodate the borrower(s) in distress. Read the press release for more information.
... 

For Immediate Release
November 23, 2015

Loan Refinancing Program for Underwater Borrowers Expands
Contact:
Alison McIntosh, OHCS, Government Relations & Communications Liaison, 503-510-1678

Oregon Housing and Community Services (OHCS) and the Oregon Homeownership Stabilization Initiative (OHSI) are pleased to announce the expansion of the Loan Refinancing Assistance Pilot Project (LRAPP).

LRAPP is designed for homeowners who have suffered financial hardship and have substantial negative equity in their homes, but could afford a payment at the current value of their home. LRAPP has been operating in Crook, Deschutes, Jackson, Jefferson, and Josephine counties since 2011. These counties experienced the highest rates of negative equity and were extremely hard hit by the foreclosure crisis.

“For homeowners who continue to be underwater, meaning they owe more than their home is worth, this program can help them get back on their feet,” said Margaret Van Vliet, Director of Oregon Housing and Community Services. “In some communities, more than 1 in 10 homeowners are still underwater on their mortgage. LRAPP is an innovative, one-of-a-kind refinance program to help people avoid foreclosure.”

On December 2, 2015, OHSI will open LRAPP to homeowners in 17 additional counties in the eastern, central, and southern portions of Oregon including: Baker, Coos, Curry, Douglas, Gilliam, Grant, Harney, Klamath, Lake, Malheur, Morrow, Sherman, Umatilla, Union, Wallowa, Wasco, and Wheeler counties. In January and February, OHSI will open LRAPP to homeowners in additional counties. The full opening schedule can be found here.

OHSI anticipates opening 50 application slots every two weeks for eligible homeowners in those counties. Homeowners can take an eligibility quiz on the OHSI website here: http://www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org/en/homeowner-education-program/lrapp-program.

Homeowners who may qualify for LRAPP include:
- Homeowners with significant negative equity in their homes;
- Homeowners who may be behind on their mortgage payments;
- Homeowners who could afford their mortgage at the amount their home is currently worth; and
- Homeowners whose incomes are at or below 150 percent of the state’s median income (details are included in the eligibility quiz.)

November 23, 2015 – Loan Refinancing Program for Underwater Borrowers Expands Page 2

All prequalified applications are subject to available funding at the time of closing or December 31, 2016 (the program close date). Participants are not guaranteed funding upon submitting an application. U.S. Treasury is expected to approve this program change on November 24, 2015.

Homeowners with questions about LRAPP can read more on the OHSI website or take an eligibility quiz: http://www.oregonhomeownerhelp.org/en/homeowner-education-program/lrappprogram.

Oregon Housing and Community Services | 725 Summer St. NE Suite B, Salem, OR 97301-1266 | (503) 986-2000 | FAX (503) 986-2020

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Additional Resources:

OHSI LRAPP Press Release

LRAPP Overview

OregonMortgageConneXion.com - RAHAPP

Thursday, September 24, 2015

2016 USDA Funds Availability

It's that time of year again... see below for an update from USDA Rural.

REMINDER: The Upfront Guarantee Fee will increase from 2.00% to 2.75%. 
The Annual Fee will remain unchanged at .50%.

...
September 24, 2015
Fiscal Year 2016 Conditional Commitment Notice
As happens at the beginning of each fiscal year, funding for the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program (SFHGLP) will not be available for a short period of time at the beginning of Fiscal Year 2016 (FY 2016), which starts October 1, 2015.  During the temporary lapse of funding, Rural Development will issue Conditional Commitments “subject to the availability of commitment authority” for purchase and refinance transactions.  An upfront guarantee fee of 2.75 percent accompanied by an annual fee of 0.5 percent will apply to both purchase and refinance transactions in FY 2016.

The following will apply:
Rural Development will continue to accept complete SFHGLP applications for purchase and refinance loan transactions from lenders.
Rural Development will process, approve, and issue Conditional Commitments (Form RD 3555-18) for those applications that are eligible “subject to the availability of commitment authority.”
Lenders may close loans as scheduled.
When funds become available, Rural Development will “Obligate” funds for Conditional Commitments issued for loans subject to the availability of commitment authority.
Once loans are obligated, Rural Development will process lender’s Loan Note Guarantee requests as soon as the loans are verified as being closed and all conditions of the Conditional Commitment are satisfied.
Lenders assume all loss default risk for the loan until Rural Development is able to obligate it and the Loan Note Guarantee is issued.

Questions regarding this notice may be directed to the Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Division, at 202-720-1452.
Keep in mind there are other low down financing options such as the VA Loan for qualified Veterans, FHA, or Conventional with private mortgage insurance that may be a better fit. A side by side comparison will guide you in choosing the right home loan based on your individual needs and goals. If you would like more information or to apply for any of these loan products contact me today!

Additional Resources:




Thursday, August 20, 2015

ORVET Down Payment Assistance

The Oregon Department of Veteran Affairs has added a Down Payment Assistance (DPA) program to be used in conjunction with the newer ORVET Plus Home Loan or the standard loan program. According to the bulletin put out by ODVA, "Oregon veterans can access up to $15,000 to meet down payment and closing costs. By accessing the DPA funds, coupled with the recently released OrVet Plus 97% LTV loan, or the 95% program, veterans can obtain the dream of homeownership with little to no cash out of pocket." Down Payment Assistance programs had been readily available prior to the Mortgage Meltdown but dried up after lenders tightens up the guidelines on lending. With the housing market now stabilized lenders and consumers alike are happy to see the return of these type of programs. ORVET is a unique loan program (QVMB) offered to qualified Veterans within the state and the addition of both the Plus and DPA gives Oregon Veterans yet another edge to first-time homeowners looking to get their foot in the door. 


  • No ownership within the previous 3 years.
  • Homebuyer's Education to be competed prior to loan submission
  • Income limits by county
  • Max assistance available $15,000
  • Gift funds may be combined for down payment and/or closing costs.
  • Rate .25% above our standard OrVet Home Loan rates if used for down payment only
  • Rate .375% above standard rate if used for both down payment and closing costs
  • Allowed on OrVet 95%, OrVet 97%, or OrVet Plus home loan program as qualified
  • First mortgage funding must be made from Qualified Veteran Mortgage Bonds (QVMB)
  • Discharge date must be within 25 years from the date the loan is made.


Keep in mind there are other low down financing options such as the (Federal) VA Loan for qualified Veterans, USDA Rural as eligible, FHA, or Conventional with private mortgage insurance that may be a better fit. A side by side comparison will guide you in choosing the right home loan based on your individual needs and goals. If you would like more information or to apply for any of these loan products contact me today!

Additional Resources:

ODVA Bulletin

ORVET Rates

ORVET DPA Guidelines