Low Down Payment Mortgage Options for Home Purchase

The low down payment mortgage option might be what you would be dreaming of when you do the math, then check the balance in your savings account, and then do the math again. By your calculations, it'll take another three, maybe five (!) years to save enough for a 20% down payment on your first home. What's worse, home prices keep rising, and that's pushing the timeline further away. If only there was a way to make it happen sooner and use the money you've already saved. The good news is there are…continue reading →

What and How Much is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?

  What is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)? If you purchased a home with less than a 20% down payment, or you’re about to, you’re familiar with Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI). PMI is an ‘evil villain’ in the eyes of family and friends who’ll likely tell you to “avoid it at all costs.” But in reality, PMI is a good thing. It’s a tool that lets you buy a home without saving for a down payment for years by offering an insurance policy to the lender in case you stop paying your mortgage. The…continue reading →

How to Get Down Payment Assistance in 2022

Looking for down payment assistance (DPA?) The good news is there are a lot of great programs out there but you’ll need to do a bit of homework to get in.  Let’s start with a very high-level view of these types of programs.    What is Down Payment Assistance?  One of the biggest barriers keeping millions of people from buying a home is the massive down payment. Most people don’t want to pay private mortgage insurance, so they can only resort to saving up the 20% down payment required for a conventional loan. …continue reading →

What Does Housing Affordability Look Like in 2022?

For any observer, the real estate market has made an interesting sport over the last two years. With home prices going up so much, there has been speculation that homes just aren’t affordable anymore. While there may be some truth to this statement for some people, it is not accurate for everyone. Here’s a snapshot of housing affordability in 2022.    Home Affordability in 2022 - the 3 Factors When you think about it, there are really only 3 things that come into play to determine if a home is affordable.    Factor #1…continue reading →

What Upgrades Increase Home Value?

Home upgrades are an awesome way to increase the value of a house. Some people think of making upgrades but are unsure of where to start and how to get their money back? No problem - we’re here to help.  Here are a few upgrades that increase home value so you can recoup part of the investment.  Upgrade #1: Finish the Basement Basements are great. They’re a blank slate, something that you can evolve into anything you want. There are a lot of great basement ideas out there, but feel free to make…continue reading →

How to Qualify For a Mortgage When You Have Student Loans

A lot of first-time homebuyers who graduated in the last few years have one big question to answer - "How to qualify for a mortgage when you have student loans"? That's exactly what I answer in this blog post. The guidelines are different depending on which kind of loan program you are trying to qualify for, so lets look at each one of them. Conforming Loans These loans are backed by government agencies - Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. For 2022, the loan limit is $647,200 and goes as high as $970,800 for…continue reading →

When Do You Pay Capital Gains Tax on Real Estate?

You’ve probably heard that it’s a sellers market right now. There is a shortage of available homes, available right now so the good ones are getting scooped up left and right. Sellers are generally able to get a lot more than the asking price, so it’s a good time to sell your home if you’ve been in it for a while and have seen a lot of appreciation. However, one thing holding some people back is the idea of having to pay taxes. Do you have to pay capital gains tax on real estate?…continue reading →

Will the Housing Market Crash in 2022?

Will the housing market crash in 2022? After all, doesn’t the current housing climate look similar to the market right before the crash in 2008? It is easy to get a mortgage right now and home values are going up after all! The good news is that while there may be some similarities to 2008, today’s market isn’t the same. Most experts are not predicting a crash this year. Let’s look at a few facts to explain why. No Housing Market Crash in 2022 Due to Inflation We’ve all noticed the rising prices.…continue reading →

No More Profit & Loss and Business Bank Statements for Self-Employed Borrowers

This week, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, government agencies that buy Conforming Loans, announced that it will not require Profit and Loss (P&L) statements and business bank statements anymore for most self-employed borrowers. Both agencies, effective immediately, have reverted back to almost all standard underwriting guidelines for self-employed borrowers “pre-pandemic”.  No more requirements for profit and loss statements as long the loan is using tax returns from 2020 (or later) as the most recent year. For a self-employed borrower, income is typically averaged over the last 2 years of filed tax returns. In…continue reading →

High-Balance and 2nd Home Loans to Become More Expensive

Both Fannie Mae are Freddie Mac, the two agencies that purchase conforming loans, are going to charge additional fees thus making 2nd (vacation) homes and high-balance loans more expensive. What is a 2nd home and High-Balance Loans? Sometimes my borrowers confuse 2nd home as the home they buy after they have purchased their first home. That's not the case.  A 2nd home is defined as a vacation home; a home that's not rented out and is also not your primary residence. High-balance loans are loans with loan amounts higher than the basic conforming…continue reading →