FHA Loan Amounts Reduced for 2014

The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced that they will be reducing loan limits for 2014 in a new mortgagee letter released last Friday, December 6th.    The most noteworthy impact is in high cost areas such as the east and west coasts where the maximum loan amount has been reduced to $625,000 from $729,750.  The changes will go […]

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HARP 2.0 Questions Answered

I’ve been receiving a lot of questions on the HARP 2.0 program so I thought I’d put up a new blog post addressing the most common questions: Who Qualifies? Homeowners who have a Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac serviced mortgage that was originated prior to June 2009.  If you are unsure if Fannie Mae or […]

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What the TSA Can Teach You About Mortgage Underwriting

Like many Americans I traveled over the holiday season last month and as I passed through the security lines at Chicago O’Hare and Harstfield Airport in Atlanta I couldn’t help but think of the parallels between the Transportation Security Adminstration and the present state of mortgage underwriting.  I know, you are thinking what can the […]

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FHA Basics

I get a ton of questions from borrowers regarding FHA mortgages and their pros and cons so I thought I would throw together a quick primer. What is FHA?  FHA is mortgage insurance through the Federal Housing Administration.   Essentially, the FHA is agreeing to insure the mortgage if lenders make them to their guidelines.   The […]

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Real Estate Slang – PITI

One of the terms that consumers hear frequently is PITI.  PITI is just short hand for Principal, Interest, Taxes and Insurance.   Put another way, this is the just the TOTAL monthly payment on the home that lenders consider for underwriting and most consumers use for budgeting their monthly housing expense.   Principal & Interest – This is the […]

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New Harp 2.0 Guidelines

The new HARP 2.0 guidelines were released at the end of the day and there really isn’t anything earth shattering just yet from the announcement.  So what are the meat and potatos of HARP 2.0? No LTV & CLTV Restrictions on Fixed Rate Mortgages:  Loans that qualify under HARP no longer have LTV and CLTV […]

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What Gas Stations Can Teach You About Mortgage Brokers

One question I always get from borrowers is how is it that mortgage brokers are cheaper than mortgage banks.  Wouldn’t going to the bank directly be cheaper since you are cutting out the middle man?  The answer is a resounding NO.   Even though advertisers want you to believe that cutting out the middle man saves […]

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Stupid Government Tricks – Right of Recission Period

Remember when the gun control lobby was pushing cooling off periods on the purchase of handguns?  Basically, you had to wait five days before you could take possession of handgun. The theory was that the cooling off period would give the gun buyer an opportunity to reconsider their actions if they were thinking about suicide […]

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Real Estate Slang – Loan To Value (LTV)

One of the most common terms you will hear when applying for a mortgage to either refinance or buy a home is “LTV.” LTV is simply shorthand for Loan-To-Value. All this means is the outstanding loan balance relative to the appraised value of the property. For example, if you buy a $400,000 home and put […]

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Stupid Government Tricks – Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act

Of all the dumb legislation and regulations related to housing market, a bill being proposed John Isaacson (R-GA) and Michael Bennet (D-CO)  ranks right up there with the dumbest.  The bill is called the Sensible Accounting to Value Energy Act. These two mental midgets are proposing that banks considering the monthly utility costs of a home when […]

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