A Video on How Mortgage Interest Rates Move

If you have kept an eye on the mortgage rates recently, you'll know that they have been very volatile. Sometimes, they go up and down several times a day. Have you ever wondered what makes mortgage rates go up and down? Watch this clip which explains the dynamic between bonds and mortgage rates - in simple terms. (Video created by Dustin Hughes and Nick Mallory, www.edgevolution.com and www.thelendingjournal.com) I subscribe to live bond market movements and tweet about it. If you would like to be updated about live mortgage rates follow me on…continue reading →

New FHA Loan guidelines for San Jose Condominiums

Some major changes went into effect today for FHA loans on San Jose & rest of the Bay Area Condominiums. I. Elimination of Spot Loan Approval Process If a condo project was not approved by FHA, a "spot approval" was allowed just for financing one unit. This process has been eliminated as of today. Now the entire project has to be approved either directly by HUD (process called HRAP) or by a Direct Endorsed Lender (process called DELRAP). With all the liabilities involved around the process most of the direct endorsed lenders would…continue reading →

Changes to FHA Down Payment, Credit Score and Seller Contribution requirements

FHA announced a series of changes to their Down Payment, Credit Score, Seller Contribution and Mortgage Insurance guidelines. Credit Score/DownPayment Guideline Change : New borrowers will now be required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for FHA's 3.5% down payment program. New borrowers with less than a 580 FICO score will be required to put down at least 10%. This change will be posted in the Federal Register in February and, after a notice and comment period, would go into effect in the early summer. Effect of this change…continue reading →

Increase in FHA Mortgage Insurance for Bay Area Home Loans

FHA today increased it's upfront mortgage insurance premium requirements for Bay Area FHA Home Loans. Upfront Mortgage Insurance is the money that FHA collects at the time of closing a mortgage to insure the loan against default. Currently, this premium is 1.75% for most purchase and refinance transactions. However, effective April 5, 2010, FHA will collect an upfront mortgage insurance premium of 2.25 percent for purchase money and refinance transactions, including FHA-to-FHA‚ streamlined refinance transactions. Below is the breakdown of FHA upfront mortgage insurance for different loan programs: Purchase Money Mortgages and Full-Credit…continue reading →

FHA waives 90-day flipping rule for Bay Area mortgages

Great news for First Time Home Buyers - FHA is eliminating the 90 day flipping rule for mortgages on San Francisco (SF) Bay Area homes. With certain exceptions, FHA currently prohibits insuring a mortgage on a home owned by the seller for less than 90 days. Currently such homes are mostly bought by investors with large down payments or an all cash transaction. Due to lack of financing options Bay Area First Time Home Buyers were not able to make offers on such homes. This temporary waiver will give FHA borrowers access to…continue reading →

California proposes new $10,000 First-Time Home Buyer Tax Credit

In the final state of the state address of his gubernatorial career, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger proposed a second round of $10,000 first time home buyer tax credit. The previous tax credit depleted eight months before the deadline after benefiting almost 10,700 California home buyers. The Franchise Tax Board stopped taking new applications at the start of July, 2009. What this means is if this proposal is indeed passed California First Time Home Buyers can potentially get $18,000 in Tax credits. At a press conference in Fresno this is what the Governor has to…continue reading →

FHA Energy Efficient Mortgages for California Homes

FHA's Energy Efficient Mortgage program (EEM) helps California homebuyers or homeowners save money on utility bills. This is done by enabling them to finance the cost of adding energy efficiency features to their house as part of their FHA insured loan. EEMs recognize that reduced utility expenses can permit a homeowner to pay a higher mortgage to cover the cost of the energy improvements on top of the approved mortgage. FHA EEMs provide mortgage insurance for a person to purchase or refinance a principal residence and incorporate the cost of energy efficient improvements…continue reading →

Seller Rent Back on a Bay Area Purchase

In home purchase transactions in San Jose and rest of the Bay Area, there are many times when the buyer and the seller are simply unable to agree upon a specified closing date. The Real Estate Agent involved can negotiate a 'rent back' period that is agreeable to both parties. This means the transaction technically closes, the loan for mortgage financing is funded, and ownership of the property is transferred into the buyer's name. However, the buyer does not take occupancy of the property until several days later. Instead, the buyer sets up…continue reading →

2010 FHA Loan Limits for San Jose & Bay Area

Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today announced single-family loan limits for San Jose. These loan limits are effective for loans with credit approval issued on or after January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2010. One-Unit $ 729,750 Two-Unit $ 934,200 Three-Unit $ 1,129,250 Four-Unit $ 1,403,400 These loan limits are also available for the counties of Santa Clara, San Mateo, Alameda, Contra Costa and San Francisco. Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (Also called Reverse Mortgage) The national FHA loan limit for HECM in 2010 remains at $625,500 (150 percent of the national conforming limit). Complete…continue reading →

Affordability Index Dropping in Santa Clara – Why is that a bad news for First-Time Buyers

Affordability Index has been dropping in Santa Clara county. California Association of Realtors (C.A.R.) measures First-time Buyer Housing Affordability Index (FTB-HAI) on a quarterly basis. This measures the percentage of households that can afford to purchase an entry-level home in California. The higher the index, more affordable it is for a first time buyer to buy a home. Before getting into the numbers, lets first quickly understand how it is calculated. The measurement is based on three main factors: Median Price of existing Single-Family homes (based on C.A.R.'s monthly existing home sales survey)…continue reading →