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41 minutes ago, flapgreen said:

How do get get a HELOC? Just call the same lender your home is through? 

Usually best options are found at a Credit Union or community bank. Failing that out of the bog banks US Bank tends to have the best terms (at least they did when I worked there and again a couple of years ago when I shopped equity options for my own home)

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I’m officially a homeowner. Just closed.  2.75%, 15 years.  🥳

Just made my last mortgage payment yesterday!!!  I am free and clear!

If you guys would allow me to vent... I need to vent a bit... I could vent to other LO's who all know it and they just smile and nod (somehow that doesn't really feel like venting) or my wife but with

22 minutes ago, menobrown said:

 

I respectfully must say the bolded may not be the case. It might be, but takes further delving into.

You should analyze the blended rate of your current 3.625% vs Heloc and compare that to a new first mortgage cash out, since Sandeman is requesting a sizeable cash out it might be best to do a first mortgage cash out, just depends on how much is owed on the first mortgage and rate on the HELOC. Good chance Chad is right here, but I'd do that blended rate comp to make sure.

Agreed. I am eyeballing it and making assumptions on certain numbers. I don't disagree with anything here. 

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22 minutes ago, menobrown said:

I met Barry in February in Vegas, went out to eat dinner with him and his group. That guy is awesome and while he did not predict Coronvirus he was pretty adamant we were heading for a major recession.

Barry is a solid good guy and very smart. He is right more than he is wrong on interest rates and related market info. I respect him greatly. 

I sold about 20% of my stock positions in my IRA based on information from him back in Nov. (Wishing I sold more now- lol) 

No one could call the virus but a recession was coming. This just got us into it fast and furious. 

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3 hours ago, Drunken Cowboy said:

Anybody else getting similar rates? 

 

Did you get cash out?

No. We’re fortunate that our loan to value is less than 50% and we have good credit, so really no hurdles. I just hope we didn’t move too early.  Rates could be stupid cheap later this year.  

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14 hours ago, Chadstroma said:

Usually best options are found at a Credit Union or community bank. Failing that out of the bog banks US Bank tends to have the best terms (at least they did when I worked there and again a couple of years ago when I shopped equity options for my own home)

First Interstate has the best terms now from what I've found but they're a smaller bank and not in every market. They're still going up to 90% LTV and my rate just dropped to 3.15% lol  

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4 hours ago, CR69 said:

First Interstate has the best terms now from what I've found but they're a smaller bank and not in every market. They're still going up to 90% LTV and my rate just dropped to 3.15% lol  

I'll check them out to see if they're around Nashville.  Also found a couple community banks in a suburb of Nashville that I'll check into. 

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1 hour ago, flapgreen said:

I'll check them out to see if they're around Nashville.  Also found a couple community banks in a suburb of Nashville that I'll check into. 

I’m a long time Citibank customer and went with them for my HELOC. Rates seemed the same as others I could easily find, and I liked the convenience of having the HELOC account show up right besides my checking and savings account on Citibank’s website,  so I can easily transfer in or out as needed, and set up auto-transfer payments monthly to pay down a bit extra principal to pay it off a little quicker.  

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I am trying to refi using VA. Right now I am thinking of using one of two companies. I have paid for one VA apprasial who is coming tomorrow.  My question is can I use the one apprasial for both refi places instead of having to pay for two.

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2 hours ago, rustycolts said:

I am trying to refi using VA. Right now I am thinking of using one of two companies. I have paid for one VA apprasial who is coming tomorrow.  My question is can I use the one apprasial for both refi places instead of having to pay for two.

With VA the appraisal follows the borrower so you can switch lenders. They'll fight you on it but we do it all the time when taking deals from other lenders in the area. 

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Looks like my refi will be on hold for awhile 

we had to go FHA and the appraiser wrote up a few required repairs, one of which was my deck appeared to not have adequate protection from the elements.  2 years ago we stripped all the stain and now just keep a natural wood look with clear Thompson’s water seal 

he said once it’s done he can verify, problem is I need 2 days of 50 deg temps and no rain and in Michigan that will probably be May or June 

keep trying to work with the broker on having some sort of contingency written in that I do it later but he just keeps telling me it needs to be fixed.  :wall:

 

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2 hours ago, Dan Lambskin said:

Looks like my refi will be on hold for awhile 

we had to go FHA and the appraiser wrote up a few required repairs, one of which was my deck appeared to not have adequate protection from the elements.  2 years ago we stripped all the stain and now just keep a natural wood look with clear Thompson’s water seal 

he said once it’s done he can verify, problem is I need 2 days of 50 deg temps and no rain and in Michigan that will probably be May or June 

keep trying to work with the broker on having some sort of contingency written in that I do it later but he just keeps telling me it needs to be fixed.  :wall:

 

Yea.... no power to change anything on FHA inspections lender or broker. If not "as is" then must be fixed before closing, no way around it. Sorry bud. 

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I am hearing from reliable sources Wells Fargo has suspended VA and increased their min FHA credit score to 680. Until any meaningful relief is brought to the mortgage industry, a min 680 on government backed loans will be the new standard overlay. Currently, there are a few wholesalers still doing 580 but I think it is a matter of time before they raise them. Some wholesalers have stopped operations completely on the wholesale side. 

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On 3/10/2020 at 7:38 AM, One said:

Locked yesterday morning. 

30 year fix,  2.875 - no cash out 

Previously at 3.875

On 3/26/2020 at 9:23 AM, One said:

I just finished mine. Everything went great. 

Whats funny is Saturday my wife had us sign our loan docs in the driveway.  She didn’t want the notary in our house. 

My loan funded yesterday.  

Had to sign a form saying my wife and I were essential employees. 

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5 minutes ago, One said:

My loan funded yesterday.  

Had to sign a form saying my wife and I were essential employees. 

New forms are popping up with all new lenders. As well as new procedures and overlays (overlays are rules on top of the minimum rules put in place by Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA and USDA). Often with no notice.

We had one lender we a similar document that asked the title companies to ensure the borrowers signed a doc that said they were still employed and no cut hours etc but because of the wording it seemed to suggest some liability on the title companies behalf- they refused to sign. The lender rewrote the document to make it clear that they just needed to make sure the borrowers attested to the employment and hours. 

It sucks to be a loan originator right now. Luckily most of my clients understand are are rolling with the punches with me but it still sucks to to be the one throwing things at them last minute or telling them about all the new hurdles they will need to jump through. One client expressed frustration then said he understood and it wasn't my fault and then promised to never do another loan during a pandemic again. I laughed and told him that I would hold him to that promise. LOL 

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1 minute ago, Chadstroma said:

New forms are popping up with all new lenders. As well as new procedures and overlays (overlays are rules on top of the minimum rules put in place by Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA and USDA). Often with no notice.

We had one lender we a similar document that asked the title companies to ensure the borrowers signed a doc that said they were still employed and no cut hours etc but because of the wording it seemed to suggest some liability on the title companies behalf- they refused to sign. The lender rewrote the document to make it clear that they just needed to make sure the borrowers attested to the employment and hours. 

It sucks to be a loan originator right now. Luckily most of my clients understand are are rolling with the punches with me but it still sucks to to be the one throwing things at them last minute or telling them about all the new hurdles they will need to jump through. One client expressed frustration then said he understood and it wasn't my fault and then promised to never do another loan during a pandemic again. I laughed and told him that I would hold him to that promise. LOL 

Has business slowed down much?

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25 minutes ago, Chadstroma said:

I am hearing from reliable sources Wells Fargo has suspended VA and increased their min FHA credit score to 680. Until any meaningful relief is brought to the mortgage industry, a min 680 on government backed loans will be the new standard overlay. Currently, there are a few wholesalers still doing 580 but I think it is a matter of time before they raise them. Some wholesalers have stopped operations completely on the wholesale side. 

We're still doing 600+ but the pricing is brutal under 640. We also service all of our own government loans so that helps. Our team did $13m last month and have $18m on the log for April. Fortunately about 75% of our clients are either retired or in the healthcare industry right now. 

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3 hours ago, Chadstroma said:

Yea.... no power to change anything on FHA inspections lender or broker. If not "as is" then must be fixed before closing, no way around it. Sorry bud. 

We actually do a lot of escrow holdback and to follows but we also retain the servicing. We typically use them for purchase transactions where there's a deadline and protect our ops team though.

In this scenario if he was going to pay someone to do it, we'd just get a copy of the estimate then hold 150% in escrow then pay the contractor once the work was complete and refund the remainder to the borrow or apply it towards the principal. But since it's a small job and he's likely to do it himself it makes more sense to just wait for it to be done. 

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50 minutes ago, CR69 said:

We actually do a lot of escrow holdback and to follows but we also retain the servicing. We typically use them for purchase transactions where there's a deadline and protect our ops team though.

In this scenario if he was going to pay someone to do it, we'd just get a copy of the estimate then hold 150% in escrow then pay the contractor once the work was complete and refund the remainder to the borrow or apply it towards the principal. But since it's a small job and he's likely to do it himself it makes more sense to just wait for it to be done. 

Actually,  yes. You are right. Possible on broker side too depending on the lender. 

I tried to do this before and was not able to. I assumed it as an FHA guideline back then. I looked into it and it isn't a FHA guideline so that means it was an overlay. Good to know moving forward. Learn something new everyday if you are open to it. Thanks for the info!

That all being said, I wouldn't be surprised of more lenders not allowing for it these days. 

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14 hours ago, Chadstroma said:

New forms are popping up with all new lenders. As well as new procedures and overlays (overlays are rules on top of the minimum rules put in place by Fannie, Freddie, FHA, VA and USDA). Often with no notice.

We had one lender we a similar document that asked the title companies to ensure the borrowers signed a doc that said they were still employed and no cut hours etc but because of the wording it seemed to suggest some liability on the title companies behalf- they refused to sign. The lender rewrote the document to make it clear that they just needed to make sure the borrowers attested to the employment and hours. 

In PA, courthouses are closed and many don't have adequate online searching capabilities, so it's next to impossible to perform an accurate title search in those counties. The Title Companies are now requiring the insertion of a provision excluding coverage for any defects in title and/or any liens that an actual title search would have disclosed. In other words, "Sure, Lender, we'll insure title, but if it's defective, we aren't paying anything." Not sure how well that's going to fly.

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9 minutes ago, apalmer said:

In PA, courthouses are closed and many don't have adequate online searching capabilities, so it's next to impossible to perform an accurate title search in those counties. The Title Companies are now requiring the insertion of a provision excluding coverage for any defects in title and/or any liens that an actual title search would have disclosed. In other words, "Sure, Lender, we'll insure title, but if it's defective, we aren't paying anything." Not sure how well that's going to fly.

I don’t think it will. Wild times. 

10 hours ago, Chadstroma said:

Actually,  yes. You are right. Possible on broker side too depending on the lender. 

I tried to do this before and was not able to. I assumed it as an FHA guideline back then. I looked into it and it isn't a FHA guideline so that means it was an overlay. Good to know moving forward. Learn something new everyday if you are open to it. Thanks for the info!

That all being said, I wouldn't be surprised of more lenders not allowing for it these days. 

We haven’t received any guidance yet but I’m assuming we’re going to see some higher credit, lower DTI and/or additional reserves here real soon. I don’t see us stopping escrow holdbacks but would certainly expect to see to follow conditions go away.
 

Always enjoy learning things from you (I’m guessing you’re in the MBS and Mortgage Coach FB groups too?) so glad I could return the favor 😀

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3 hours ago, CR69 said:

I don’t think it will. Wild times. 

We haven’t received any guidance yet but I’m assuming we’re going to see some higher credit, lower DTI and/or additional reserves here real soon. I don’t see us stopping escrow holdbacks but would certainly expect to see to follow conditions go away.
 

Always enjoy learning things from you (I’m guessing you’re in the MBS and Mortgage Coach FB groups too?) so glad I could return the favor 😀

All lenders will eventually until something changes. It isn't a lender issue but a secondary market issue. You either keep them on the books or sell and are on the hook to make payments to investors even if you are not getting the payments from the borrowers. 

I don't think I am in those groups actually. I am in a crap ton of groups though. Prob too many.

And thanks, glad to hear I have added value. I learned a long time ago that lending is an always learning profession since there are many moving parts and is constantly changing... right now the change is by the speed of light.

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3 hours ago, apalmer said:

In PA, courthouses are closed and many don't have adequate online searching capabilities, so it's next to impossible to perform an accurate title search in those counties. The Title Companies are now requiring the insertion of a provision excluding coverage for any defects in title and/or any liens that an actual title search would have disclosed. In other words, "Sure, Lender, we'll insure title, but if it's defective, we aren't paying anything." Not sure how well that's going to fly.

Yea... in one hand you can understand how the issues make it harder for title to do their jobs... on the other, it is like title expects to get paid for absolutely adding no value at all. 

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Just now, fruity pebbles said:

How are 15 and 30 year rates looking in the real world right now? And are brokers caught up yet on refinances? 

They are about 25-75 bps above where they were that set off the recent refi boom. Depending on the day and type of loan etc.

Yes and no. Yes in that capacity isn't much of an issue right now. No in that turn times are still higher but that is more about the issues of navigating the crisis. 

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9 minutes ago, Chadstroma said:

They are about 25-75 bps above where they were that set off the recent refi boom. Depending on the day and type of loan etc.

Yes and no. Yes in that capacity isn't much of an issue right now. No in that turn times are still higher but that is more about the issues of navigating the crisis. 

Are you still of the opinion rates drop further?

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4 hours ago, fruity pebbles said:

Are you still of the opinion rates drop further?

I believe so. 

There is major disruptions happening in the mortgage industry from both the virus and the economic medicine being put into place to address what is happening. 

If the markets were behaving like they normally do, mortgage rates would be well below 3% for the avergage conforming loan. 

Once the crisis is over and we are in recovery mode with normalization I do believe rates will drop from where they are currently. 

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On 3/27/2020 at 5:33 PM, DMXATF23 said:

And Mr Cooper just suspended operations...

@Chadstroma

One...Does this mean I don't have to pay my loan 😂

I assume someone will tell me where to send the payment?  Also I have a home going under contract that they are financing.  Will there be an impact?

Thanks dude.

eta - I'm not seeing anything indicating they closed up shop.

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2 hours ago, BassNBrew said:

@Chadstroma

One...Does this mean I don't have to pay my loan 😂

I assume someone will tell me where to send the payment?  Also I have a home going under contract that they are financing.  Will there be an impact?

Thanks dude.

eta - I'm not seeing anything indicating they closed up shop.

No luck, even in receivership (the company fails) you need to pay your mortgage. What this means is that they are no longer actively lending. They are a crap lender and I would never do business with them as they operate now, so I am not following to closely so I am not sure if that is all lending or just wholesale. They are a large servicer (the company that takes you payment etc). 

No companies have failed, of any size of significance at least, to this point. It seems the resolve is to not allow any to fail. However, many large servicers are under tremendous cash flow issues right now. 

Continue to make your payment as normal. 

 

VERY IMPORTANT: IF YOU CAN PAY YOUR MORTGAGE AND EVEN IF YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR DEFERMENT- PAY YOUR MORTGAGE!!!! Deferment has historically never ended well for the consumer. If you defer three months, then on the fourth month you owe all 4 months worth of payments and though the bill allows for it to not hurt your credit that does not mean it will not hurt your ability to refinance or get a new loan later. It should be an absolute last resort with no options left to buy time for you to figure out a payment or do a quick sell. 

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9 minutes ago, Chadstroma said:

No luck, even in receivership (the company fails) you need to pay your mortgage. What this means is that they are no longer actively lending. They are a crap lender and I would never do business with them as they operate now, so I am not following to closely so I am not sure if that is all lending or just wholesale. They are a large servicer (the company that takes you payment etc). 

No companies have failed, of any size of significance at least, to this point. It seems the resolve is to not allow any to fail. However, many large servicers are under tremendous cash flow issues right now. 

Continue to make your payment as normal. 

 

VERY IMPORTANT: IF YOU CAN PAY YOUR MORTGAGE AND EVEN IF YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR DEFERMENT- PAY YOUR MORTGAGE!!!! Deferment has historically never ended well for the consumer. If you defer three months, then on the fourth month you owe all 4 months worth of payments and though the bill allows for it to not hurt your credit that does not mean it will not hurt your ability to refinance or get a new loan later. It should be an absolute last resort with no options left to buy time for you to figure out a payment or do a quick sell. 

Thanks man.  I won't be feeling the pain for 3 months as I'm paid in arrears based on commission and thus far 2 of my 4 tenants have paid.  My biggest concern was getting a payoff on another home that I'm negotiating a contract on.

I only have one loan left with them.  In the 2000s I had numerous loans with Countrywide when I could call them up and tell them how much I needed and they were funding me three weeks later.  Those loans were spread all over the place and several ended up with Nationwide who then became Mr. Copper.  I will say they have the most straight forward statements and easiest online payment transactions.

Do you do business in NC?

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1 hour ago, BassNBrew said:

Thanks man.  I won't be feeling the pain for 3 months as I'm paid in arrears based on commission and thus far 2 of my 4 tenants have paid.  My biggest concern was getting a payoff on another home that I'm negotiating a contract on.

I only have one loan left with them.  In the 2000s I had numerous loans with Countrywide when I could call them up and tell them how much I needed and they were funding me three weeks later.  Those loans were spread all over the place and several ended up with Nationwide who then became Mr. Copper.  I will say they have the most straight forward statements and easiest online payment transactions.

Do you do business in NC?

Oh yea.... good ole' Countrywide... almost took down BofA because of all the crap they did. Mozilo, their CEO, should have been thrown in jail for the crap he pulled. Mr Cooper doesn't seem to have any issues as a servicer that I have heard. They are absolute poo for doing a loan through their wholesale for sure. I assume the same for their retail. Speaking of ghosts of old. Mr. Cooper is actually WaMu... or as I put it, the ghost of WaMu. The holding company left over after WaMu failed and was handed to Chase (another travesty of the old 2008 crisis) had some insurance reissuance that they operated in run off for many years. Apparently that was actually pretty lucrative because they eventually bought a mortgage company (can't remember the name right now) and renamed it Mr. Cooper. 

I do not do business in NC but know a couple of guys that I can connect you with. 

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5 hours ago, Chadstroma said:

No luck, even in receivership (the company fails) you need to pay your mortgage. What this means is that they are no longer actively lending. They are a crap lender and I would never do business with them as they operate now, so I am not following to closely so I am not sure if that is all lending or just wholesale. They are a large servicer (the company that takes you payment etc). 

No companies have failed, of any size of significance at least, to this point. It seems the resolve is to not allow any to fail. However, many large servicers are under tremendous cash flow issues right now. 

Continue to make your payment as normal. 

 

VERY IMPORTANT: IF YOU CAN PAY YOUR MORTGAGE AND EVEN IF YOU MAY QUALIFY FOR DEFERMENT- PAY YOUR MORTGAGE!!!! Deferment has historically never ended well for the consumer. If you defer three months, then on the fourth month you owe all 4 months worth of payments and though the bill allows for it to not hurt your credit that does not mean it will not hurt your ability to refinance or get a new loan later. It should be an absolute last resort with no options left to buy time for you to figure out a payment or do a quick sell. 

We haven’t worked with them for a years+. Interestingly,  our UWM AE and team lead were replaced this week, curious if maybe a margin call has caused them to cull their ranks?

this whole thing couldn’t come at a worse time either: we quite literally JUST got our lender’s license weeks before this hit.

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I probably have a couple hundred in equity in my home. Current rate is 3.65%. I want to do a new deck/patio/firepit, have some exterior and interior paint i would like, need to update 2 bathrooms etc. I was going to do this stuff over time and pay cash, but maybe I take out some cash at low rates to do them or an addition?

How would one do that?

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8 minutes ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I probably have a couple hundred in equity in my home. Current rate is 3.65%. I want to do a new deck/patio/firepit, have some exterior and interior paint i would like, need to update 2 bathrooms etc. I was going to do this stuff over time and pay cash, but maybe I take out some cash at low rates to do them or an addition?

How would one do that?

Start with the bank where you do the most business with as there's often rate discount for existing customers.  You're looking for a line of credit vs. your equity.  Usually they are running a promotion where they will cover the closing costs and appraisal.  When I say usually, I suspect now isn't one of those times.  

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39 minutes ago, wilked said:

I close in 10 days on a 30 year, 2.875% refi, no points (also no credit).  Bank and lawyer assure me we are on track...fingers crossed

Nice!  Mind sharing what lender and what state?

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46 minutes ago, wilked said:

I close in 10 days on a 30 year, 2.875% refi, no points (also no credit).  Bank and lawyer assure me we are on track...fingers crossed

I just recorded on my 30 year fixed @ 2.875%.  Hit a few snags on the way,  but it went through   

Good luck, @wilked!

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10 hours ago, DMXATF23 said:

We haven’t worked with them for a years+. Interestingly,  our UWM AE and team lead were replaced this week, curious if maybe a margin call has caused them to cull their ranks?

this whole thing couldn’t come at a worse time either: we quite literally JUST got our lender’s license weeks before this hit.

UWM makes a lot of people moves, I wouldn't take that as a sign of anything. I think they are positioning themselves to kick rear after crisis versus during crisis. 

Congrats.... (sort of). Are you a member of AIME? 

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5 hours ago, Leeroy Jenkins said:

I probably have a couple hundred in equity in my home. Current rate is 3.65%. I want to do a new deck/patio/firepit, have some exterior and interior paint i would like, need to update 2 bathrooms etc. I was going to do this stuff over time and pay cash, but maybe I take out some cash at low rates to do them or an addition?

How would one do that?

Simple cash out refi or equity loan or line of credit. 

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Jumbo/non-conforming market is getting brutalized today. Wells Fargo suspended their entire product line, at least with respect to buying jumbo loans originated from other lenders. My bank halted any new locks on jumbo loans.

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1 hour ago, menobrown said:

Jumbo/non-conforming market is getting brutalized today. Wells Fargo suspended their entire product line, at least with respect to buying jumbo loans originated from other lenders. My bank halted any new locks on jumbo loans.

Yes, Wells is a huge outlet for jumbos on correspondent lending and saw the same thing earlier today. As I mentioned before... this is what we will see... some just do not know or do not understand. I have seen bankers and association talking heads trying to say the opposite or that they are still doing business because they are strong, etc... they are either lying or ignorant. 

Non-QM is basically dead. Jumbo has been on the ropes and is definitely on life support. Government backed is being hospitalized. Conventional has a cough. 

I sent a message to a friend of mine at a large regional bank who posted on his Facebook a whole "Hey realtors and buyers my bank is strong and we are still doing jumbos and FHA down to 620". I sent him a message to make sure he hedges that with a lot of clear communication that that can change at any moment without notice and without ability to fund loans in place. He told me he got off a conference call that the bank leadership was saying how they won't change and will continue to lend etc because they service their own loans. I told him that is it isn't a lender thing and I don't know know who was talking but they don't understand or are lying. The servicing your own loans is actually a BIGGER liability now. He is a good guy. A competitor in my market but a good guy. Hopefully he takes my advice and at least warns his clients there could be trouble ahead on loans he does in the 'danger zone'. 

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I thought I would repost the "manifesto" as it has been a while and give some extra thoughts on the current state of affairs with lending: 

VIRUS CRISIS NOTE: Lending is tightening (meaning loans are getting harder to qualify for). It is not a lender thing but a secondary market issue. All lenders are impacted- some more than others and some are reacting quicker or 'stronger' than others but it is only a matter of time until all lenders react the same unless something changes with how the secondary market operates. 680 is heading towards being the new "low score" for any loan. Non-QM (loans that do not fit the conventional or government backed loan buckets) are pretty much gone. Jumbo loans are nearly gone. Government backed loans are increasingly getting much harder to get with higher credit score requirements, higher reserve requirements, lower debt to income requirements, etc. Conventional are under a bit of extra pressure as well but not on the same level. 

The loan process is haphazard right now. There are the difficulties directly resulting from the crisis like verifying employment, getting insurance docs, title work, appraisals etc. The lenders are working from home as well. Productivity is way down and loan turn times are up. Some lenders have extremely long minimum lock periods (I have seen as high as 180 day locks), many will not lock until the loan is 'clear to close' meaning done. There are a lot of reasons to all of that. Lenders have killed programs or adding requirements with no notice even with loans locked or cleared to close (those are extreme cases as most honor the locked loans etc). 

Interest rates are low. Comparatively speaking over the last few years VERY low. We had a real refinance boom about a month ago where rate were lower by about 25-75 bps. I am expecting rates to be relatively around where they are now with small hills and valleys as the Fed buys up MBS to keep them low and keep the mortgage liquid. I also do expect rates to go lower once the crisis is over and things settle. That being said, there is still significant potential for further disruption as the entire industry is under stress right now due to how the secondary markets work. Until that changes it could have dramatic impact and since there is no road map on anything like this happening before there is no way to really forecast what will happen with confidence. If you are in the market to refinance- I would say pick your rate that works for you and have that be a target to act. Don't get too greedy. You can't go broke from taking profit and it is extremely hard (impossible really) to call the bottom of any market whether you are talking stocks or mortgage rates. 

One major thing. The deferment on payments is not free. The months skipped will be due at the end of the deferment unless they modify the loan to put on the back end or otherwise change the terms. This will also impact your ability to refi or get a new mortgage. Keep making your mortgage payment unless you really have no other options. 

Here is a few tips for you guys when it comes to mortgages. (ok, more than a few)

#1: The difference between retail and wholesale. Retail is your banks, credit unions and direct lenders (some big direct lenders would be Quicken, Guaranteed Rate, Fairway, etc). Wholesale is your mortgage broker. I shouldn't have to tell you which is going to end up giving better rates and cost on average. 

#2: The bigger the Bank the more they usually suck. UNLESS you are your typical FBG rolling in cash. If you are, then the big and regional banks that have wealth management departments will be very aggressive in offering jumbo loans. They basically use it as a loss leader. They will give you a great deal and then get you into their wealth management where they make all their money off of you. When it comes to mortgages, a jumbo is pretty much the only time you want to talk to a bank. Otherwise, avoid banks though sometimes your smaller banks will have a pretty good deal.  

#3: If you see them advertising on TV, I promise you, they suck. Quicken spends ridiculous amounts of money on advertising. Why? Because the people who don't know better who have done loans with them before and almost always got bent over are paying for this marketing machine. Plus, they are pretty much the slimiest lender out there. Over and over and over again hearing clients tell me "they said X to me" and in reality it is "Y". They also typically will start off with what seems like a great rate and then charge 3 points in origination charges. DO NOT go to Quicken (aka Rocket Mortgage) or one of the slim ball VA lenders like Veterans United or New Day. 

#4: I love credit unions. Huge fan of them. I belong to two of them. CU's are usually your best bet for checking, savings, car loans, personal loans, equity loans or lines, etc. However, one area that they are not usually your best bet is mortgages. The reason is mostly about scale. There are some large CU's but most are still relatively small. They do not do enough volume to be efficient and the large loan amounts take a big chunk of their reserves. Go ahead and check with your CU, they can offer some good deals, I have seen it and they will still tend to beat banks and direct lenders but not usually the best bet. 

#5: Rate is not the end all be all of doing a loan. You have the rate which of course is important but there are also fees and origination charges. A typical game that is played is showing a great rate but then when you compare to another lender you see that you are really PAYING for that great rate. Often times as a broker, I am able to match the rate and give a credit versus the origination points they are charging. Be mindful of that. 

#6: Use the Loan Estimate! Wherever you go, when you get the Loan Estimate, shop it to other lenders. You can just send it to the lender and let them come back with their offer or you can put more work in it and just shop and compare rates. What happens if you do? Worst case, you get the peace of mind that you are getting a good deal. Best case, you save yourself thousands of dollars!

#7: Your current lender is not going to make it easier than going to another lender. They will need to get all new docs or if it a streamline another lender can do a streamline as well. 

#8: Unless you hate yourself and want to throw your phone away forever do not go to a website that 'shops' loans. First of all, they don't really. All they are doing is selling the leads to lenders. Second, you will get bombarded by phone calls and wish you never even heard of Lending Tree or whatever else. 

#9: Always shop lenders. Mortgage brokers do the shopping for you accessing multiple lenders and getting wholesale pricing. 

#10: Don't make assumptions about what you can or can not do with a refinance. Talk to someone who actually knows. They can go over your options after figuring out your situation and your goals. I have seen some bad thinking in here that is costing people significant money. 

#11: The better your credit score the better your rate. You are going to top out around the 740-750 area. So, don't worry about getting an 800 credit score. 

#12: If you have more debt other than the mortgage/equity loan or line then you might be better off refinancing all the debt into the home. 

#13: DO NOT listen to Dave Ramsey when it comes to mortgages. He is a dolt when it comes to mortgages, gives horrible advice and then sends his followers to Churchill mortgage because he gets paid advertising from them. It disgusts me. People trust him and he sends them to a crappy retail lender because he gets a big check from them on top of giving really HORRIBLE advice that ends up costing people tons. Just ignore him when it comes to mortgage advice. 

#14: If you are getting a mortgage, don't do anything stupid like deposit a bunch of cash into your account or buy a new car or change jobs. Anything to do with your job, credit and income can cause problems for the loan. Yes, I don't care if you are doing the same job for more money- I can't close your loan on time now. (real life situation, I was able to save the loan but this ding dong couldn't get through his head that most lenders would have killed the deal and it was all our fault somehow that we couldn't close on time). 

#15: Realize that the vast majority of down payment assistance programs are pushed by lenders who do them and realtors who want you to buy a home with them as free money is NOT. Why do they pitch it like that? Well, why wouldn't you use a lender or realtor who is offering you free money?! This is the way that most of them work... they are set up to give money in a form of a forgivable loan or silent second or another such form. You must keep the loan for an extended period of time 5-7 years is most common. Once you do (meaning you can not sell or refinance that loan) then you are free! Here is the thing... that 3-3.5% of the purchase price that they gave you jacked up your rate. I have calculated the differences- not from different lenders but from lenders that I know using a program, the rate you would get with them without the DPA and the rate you get with it... and let's say you got $10K from them... that $10K ends up costing you $30-40K over the period that you did PLUS potentially an opportunity cost of refinancing as I have done for all my clients who listened to me last year and now that rates have dropped are realizing large savings. There are true grants out there (where there is no ties to the money) but most of these also have a higher rate. I have access to some of these programs but only have done one in the last few years and that was after being sure to explain everything in detail and the real cost to the client (side not, the plan was to refi them later which we plan on doing in a couple of months). 

#16: If you are veteran, first responder, medical profession- the great sounding program (Homes for Heroes is the largest one) where you get money back isn't as great as it sounds. I promise you. The realtor part of it is actually a good deal for you but the lender side where they typically pay for your appraisal (around $400-600) is likely costing you a ton of money in the rate and cost of the loan. These are usually retail lenders who have lot's of extra cash (there is a reason why they have to charge higher rates and fees/origination) that pay into these programs, which are relatively expensive (for a lender about $1800 a year for Homes for Heroes just to be part of their program and that is it). You can still shop the lender. DO SO!

#17: First time home buyer programs are usually marketing schemes. There are some benefits offered if you are doing a conventional loan which anyone can have access to. Other things are usually the DPA programs (see #15)  and should be avoided. Your third cousins best friend's dog's breeders brother who got $10K free money to buy a home is more times than not money that cost them. 

#18: Most loans over 80% loan to value that doesn't have mortgage insurance is costing you in a higher rate. If you are doing conventional loan, you can get rid of the MI later. If it is baked into the rate it is there for life of the loan. 

#19: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY if you are building a home PLEASE understand that the builders preferred lender that they are going to give you $10K in free upgrades for using them is going to cost you much more money than the $10K they are 'giving' you. Here is how this scheme works. The free upgrades actually are going to cost them maybe $2K if that to do. In return for you using their preferred lender and getting absolutely bent over they are going to get a nice big fat check worth alot more money. The builder and the lender will laugh at you sitting in the model house counting your money you just forked over as they watch you move in. 

#20: A realtors 'preferred lender' can be good or can be bad. There is no way to tell. Here is how it works in the industry. Retail lenders who tend to charge more have bigger budgets to spend on marketing. They will 'partner' with realtors and pay for the realtors marketing (also sponsor things like their meetings, or holiday party, or conferences or whatever else) and in return the realtor makes them their 'preferred lender' so the realtor will refer you to them when you are not already using a lender. Now, you can also have 'preferred lenders' that don't do that stuff and the realtor has found them to be a good lender. (side note here, in the average realtors eyes, a good realtor is one that closes deals and does it on time and not so much about rate and cost) For example, I am several realtors 'preferred lender' but do not spend money on them and it is really based on them knowing I can get more loans approved, close on time and give their clients great deals. Overall, NEVER get loan advice from a realtor unless they are the rare ones that are licensed for lending and actually know what they are talking about (that is significantly less than 1% of them)

#21: You don't need 20% down. Don't keep waiting to buy when you are spending money away on rent. Every month you pay someone else's mortgage (paying rent) is money you will never see a dime of again. As an owner you are building wealth. Think of it this way... landlords are landlords for a reason. They are not losing money and on top of it are gaining equity. For most Americans, their 'wealth' is almost exclusively in their homes. Not retirement accounts or stocks etc but built up equity from paying down principle and appreciation of their homes which is historically pretty consistently 5% over periods of time (including booms and crashes). 

#22: You don't need perfect credit to get a mortgage. You can do a FHA loan with a minimum credit score of 580 with as little as 3.5% down of the purchase price. 

#23: When picking a good realtor find out these things about them: A) Do they do this as a full time job or is it a side gig or something they do when they are bored etc. You want a full time realtor for the experience and focus. Trust me. The exception on this would be a semi-retired realtor but honestly, they are usually ones to pass on as well. You want someone who knows the market, is sharp on negotiation and has good contacts. B) How long have they been doing the job. Experience counts for sure. But I rather go with a rookie doing it full time than someone been doing it 10 years as a part time gig. C) What is their availability. You want someone that will be available on your time tables and not theirs. D) How many houses have they sold or closed on? It will give you an idea about how productive they are. But keep in mind, someone who isn't as productive might be hungrier and more flexible to you versus someone who is doing tons of volume. 

#24: Always get an inspection done from a good inspector. Do not skimp here. A good inspector will give you very important info on the home even if there is nothing to be concerned over and potentially catch a very big problem. Keep in mind even the best inspectors will not be able to find out anything and everything wrong with a house. Find out of they do mold and radon testing or not and if it is extra if they do. I would go ahead and do it. Keep this in mind, this is usually the largest financial transaction of your life so far. Do you want to be penny wise and dollar foolish on it?

#25: If you are military or a vet. Run away from supposedly veterans lenders like Veterans United and New Day (and more but those are two big ones) THEY SUCK. Even good places like USDAA (who does insurance well), Navy Fed, may do a lot of good for vets in other areas but are not the best in mortgages. 

#26: As I will get to soon... brokers are better. This is true for insurance too. I see insurance quotes often and I personally did my own shopping where I shopped 10 carriers plus one insurance broker. The broker easily won out. Plus, the big carriers suck if you end up with a claim. I have a whole personal story about Allstate sucking big hairy monkey balls. On top of it all an agent at a large carrier has NO sway on anything on a claim. A broker actually does (as counter intuitive as that seems) because they can tell the insurer that if they don't do something right that he will not send that insurance company any more business. The captive agent has no choice. 

#27: If you are in a rural area, check out a USDA loan. You can finance up to 100% but keep in mind, you actually might end up better served doing a FHA loan depending on specifics. 

#28: Brokers are better. They weren't always... they use to be a pack of scumbags and slimballs who would screw over their own mothers for an extra 20 spot. Before 2008 I had plenty of chances to be a broker and would not even though I would have made 3 or 4 times more than I was making because again the vast majority were nastier than moldy dog poo with worms in it. That being said, even back then you could get a better deal from a broker IF you knew what you were doing and could protect yourself. Otherwise, you could get screwed so badly that it would make going to Quicken seem like a good deal. In fact, I actually used a broker on both of my home purchases even though at both times my wife and I worked at banks. That is right, when bankers want to do their loans- you know who they come to? Brokers. Things have changed and really the consumer advocates are now brokers and the things they use to do before that would screw people over are things that can not be done now. Not only are you going to get a better deal at a broker the vast majority of the time but you are also not going to get screwed over. Plus they have options that banks, credit unions and direct lenders don't have to get you approved if you have a harder to finance situation like a business owner, bad credit, recent major credit event (foreclosure, bankruptcy, etc) etc. Also, brokers can close quicker than other lenders on average. How do you find a broker? Well, you can ask me, I know brokers throughout the country. I have no problem connecting you to one (and if you are wondering, by regulation and the risk of losing my license, I can not get paid for referring you to a broker... it is purely out of help you out) or if you want you can check out www.findamortgagebroker.com oh... and if you are in Illinois, I can help you directly. 

#29: You are not locked in to a lender with a pre-approval. Unscrupulous lenders who tend to overcharge will have a lot of nasty little tricks that they do to keep you stuck with them. Fear is one of the big ones backed with lies. That fear will be to tell you that you can not change lenders once you have an offer accepted from a pre-approval or you can lose your earnest money. FALSE! Or that you will end up not being able to close on time with another lender (a favorite of retail loan officers to say about brokers when broker turn around times are actually quicker than retail). Your Loan Estimate is provided to assist you as the consumer to not only better understand the true costs of the loan but to be able to shop your loan around or the best options for you and then be able to compare them as close to apples to apples as possible. Don't let liars overcharging you win!

Hope this helps guys. I am always willing to help out if you have any questions or want to connect with someone licensed for your state. Just DM me.  

Edited by Chadstroma
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1 hour ago, Chadstroma said:

680 is heading towards being the new "low score" for any loan.

Man, I really did apply for my loan at the perfect time. When I applied for my mortgage on February 28th, my middle score was 632. Still can’t believe I got 2.75%. Although it’s a 15 year, and if I went 30 year it would have been 4.75. Huge difference. 

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9 minutes ago, RJS113 said:

Man, I really did apply for my loan at the perfect time. When I applied for my mortgage on February 28th, my middle score was 632. Still can’t believe I got 2.75%. Although it’s a 15 year, and if I went 30 year it would have been 4.75. Huge difference. 

That was in the sweet spot window for sure! Congrats!

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Hey @Chadstroma, I talked with my local State Farm agent yesterday who is now able to do refis with Rocket Mortgage. She quoted me 2.875 which is 3.125 with fees for a 30 year. That seems really good to me. Is there any particular reason you say Rocket is bad and stay away? I think I will try to call around on Monday with other mortgage brokers in my area that I can find from google. The one you recommended to me is in my state but way far from me. Like almost 6 hours driving time. 

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