Lenders Sniff Out Borrowers’ ‘White Lies’

Oh – I had to share this article from Daily Real Estate News.  Honesty is always the  best policy!

Lenders Sniff Out Borrowers’ ‘White Lies’

 

Borrowers who aren’t as forthcoming on their loan applications on certain items – such as occupancy status – may feel like it’s harmless, but lenders say such “white lies” constitute fraud.

Occupancy fraud is one of the most common lies from borrowers on mortgage applications. Lenders want to know if borrowers intend to actually live in the house they’re purchasing or whether it’s a primary, second, or investment property. If the home isn’t a primary residence, the person’s chance of default tends to be higher.

Borrowers who are dishonest are committing occupancy fraud.

“People will try to get an owner-occupied loan as opposed to an investment property loan because you can get a higher loan-to-value, meaning a lower down payment, on a primary,” says John T. Walsh, the president of Total Mortgage Services in Milford, Conn. “And you’re going to get a better interest rate on an owner-occupied.”

For example, a down payment on a primary residence could be as low as 3 percent while a loan for a single-family investment property could be at least a 15 percent down payment, Walsh says. What’s more, the interest rate could be as much as half a percentage higher, he notes.

Occupancy fraud comprised 19 percent of all mortgage misrepresentation on loans backed by Fannie Mae in 2013, the latest data available.

“Occupancy fraud is costly to lenders because it can raise the default rate and the risk that, if a fraudulent loan is exposed, the loan investor (like Fannie Mae) could require the lender to buy back the loan,” The New York Times reports.

Lenders are getting better at catching false occupancy claims, looking for such red flags as borrowers who have mortgage applications pending elsewhere or who have an unusually long commuting distance between their property and place of employment.

Many people think lying about occupancy is “the white lie of mortgage fraud,” Tim Coyle, the senior director for financial services at LexisNexis Risk Solutions, which develops risk mitigation tools for banks. “But it’s extremely costly to the banks and financial institutions.”

Source: “White Lies’ on Mortgage Applications Are Costly to Lenders,” The New York Times (June 5, 2015)

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2015/06/12/lenders-sniff-out-borrowers-white-lies?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BVex4kB9Cpzh$V&om_ntype=RMODaily

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The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

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California Homebuyer’s Rejoice as Mortgage Rates Continue to Drop

California Homebuyer’s Rejoice as Mortgage Rates Continue to Drop in February

 

Though many experts once predicted mortgage rates around 5% at the beginning of 2015, these forecasts have once again been defied this month. Thanks to concerns over slowing foreign economies, among other economic factors, mortgage rates have continued to drop – an encouraging change for buyers and the newest indication that business will continue to blossom in 2015.

According to the latest report from Freddie Mac, the average fixed rate on a 30-year loan dropped to 3.58% in the first week of February, marking the first time since May 23, 2013 that the average rate for a 30-year fixed loan reached below 3.6%.

Similarly, the fixed rate on a 15-year loan dropped to 2.92% – down from 2.98% the week before. Likewise, the starting rate on a hybrid loan – those that become adjustable after five years – dropped the same week.

While mortgage rates have reached their lowest point in over 20 months, it should be noted that these rates are far below their historic levels. In February of 1982, for example, rates were as high as 17.6% for a 30-year fixed loan, according to Freddie Mac. In February 2007 – the beginning of the subprime mortgage meltdown – the average rate on a 30-year fixed loan was at 6.29%

According to Len Keifer, Freddie Mac’s Chief Economist, buyers or those trying to refinance their home need not worry about rates rapidly increasing, as recent economic reports have indicated the economy is still not strong enough to trigger inflation.

“Pending home sales were weaker than expected,” he said. “Moreover, real [economic] growth for the fourth quarter was 2.6% and the Institute for Supply Management reported slower growth in manufacturing last month, both missing market consensus forecasts.”

I read this article at: http://re-insider.com/2015/02/12/california-homebuyers-rejoice-as-mortgage-rates-continue-to-drop-in-february/

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Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices – Drysdale Properties

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE# 70000218/ Office BRE #01499008

 

 

20% Down Payment Takes 12 Years of Saving

20% Down Payment Takes 12 Years of Saving

 

 

First-time buyers have a whole lot of saving to do — possibly more than a decade of saving for a home purchase. It can take, on average, 12.5 years for first-time buyers to save a 20 percent down payment based on a current personal savings rate at 5.6 percent, according to new research by RealtyTrac. The figure is based on current median home prices and doesn’t take into account further home price rises.

 

In RealtyTrac’s analysis of 512 counties, it found that the median price of a home is around $259,000, which would require buyers to save $51,800 for a 20 percent down payment.

Millennials entering the workforce often have several years until they start earning the national median salary — usually that is not reached until the age of 30, according to a 2013 Georgetown University study by Anthony Carnevale, “Failure to Launch: Structural Shift and the New Lost Generation.”

If that’s the case, first-time buyers who need a 20 percent down payment would have to wait until they’re 42 years old to be able to afford to buy a house, Carnevale told The Wall Street Journal. Coupled with other debt, such as student loans, the wait could even be longer.

Melvin Watt, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, has suggested lowering the down payment for a conventional loan to 3 percent from the traditional 20 percent. In that case, it would take first-time buyers less than two years to save enough.

The Federal Housing Administration allows buyers to get a mortgage with a down payment as low as 3.5 percent with a 30-year fixed rate. However, buyers still have to meet the debt-to-income ratio and cash reserve requirements and they would likely qualify for better terms for a loan if they could bring a higher down payment, says Whitney Fite, managing director of Angel Oak Home Loans in Atlanta.

Source: “Saving for a Down Payment? It Could Take You Until 2027,” MarketWatch (Nov. 5, 2014)

 

Have no fear – there are other loan options available – if you’d to learn more – please contact us at Info@TheCatonTeam.com

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/11/07/20-down-payment-takes-12-years-saving?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BUXQikB89faVK2&om_ntype=RMODaily

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The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008

 

The Fastest Way to Get Pre-Approved

The Fastest Way to Get Pre-Approved

Getting pre-approved for a loan can make the whole home-buying experience go smoother.

When you’re pre-approved, REALTORS® are more likely to want you as a customer, sellers are more likely to accept your offer, and—by knowing what you can afford—you’ll know what homes to look at.

And it doesn’t have to be a hassle either. With these easy tips, you can get a pre-approval without ever leaving your sofa.

Get Your “Pre-Approved” Facts Straight

Applying for a pre-approval doesn’t require nearly as much paperwork as applying for a mortgage, but you’ll still need to be as accurate as possible if you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal—and the most offers.

Start by gathering the information you’ll need:

  • Estimated purchase cost.If you have a home in mind, look up the seller’s asking price to get an idea of how much you’d need to borrow.
  • Down payment amount.Knowing how much you can put down will have a big effect on your pre-approval.
  • Personal information. You’ll need basic info like Social Security numbers and driver’s license numbers for anyone on the application.
  • Proof of income.Gather recent paystubs, tax returns and paperwork from your employer.
  • Proof of assets.Gather bank statements, retirement accounts, CDs and other documents showing your assets.

Estimate Your Credit Score

While any prospective lender will pull your credit score, you’ll also be asked to estimate your credit score on your application.

To make things easier, you can order a copy of your credit scores for a small fee from one the three credit bureaus—Equifax, TransUnion and Experian—before you apply for a pre-approved loan. By law, you’re entitled to one free credit history report a year from each of the credit bureaus.

You can also use your credit report to make an educated guess about your credit scores. For example, if you have low-to-no debts, active credit lines and a history of timely payments, you probably fall in the “good” credit score range.

Apply Online

Once you have your information and credit scores together, you have two options to apply for a pre-approved loan. If you have a particular lender in mind, you can visit the lender’s direct website to see if you can apply online.

Many lenders have this feature, but you’ll have to fill out an application for every lender you want to use.

If you want to go the faster route, try a pre-approval service like the one featured on the realtor.com® individual listings page. By checking the box that says, “I want to get pre-approved by a lender”, you’ll be connected with up to three lenders right away.

Staying Safe

Before you apply online, read through the company’s privacy settings. Look for companies who state this information:

  • Clearly list how your personal information will be used
  • Explains their pre-approval process
  • Guarantees not to sell your personal information to third-party companies or vendors

Knowing what you can expect while getting pre-approved will keep your identity safe.

 

My two cents – Your Home Loan is THE MOST IMPORTANT PART of your home purchase – second to the actual home! You need to work with a reputable lender who picks up the phone nights and weekends. I prefer my clients do not work with an online lender since their customer service lacks greatly during the most crucial part of the transaction – the escrow period. And that could cost the buyer money for not performing in time per the contract. If you are looking for a great lender – give The Caton Team a call and we’d be happy to connect you with client approved and Caton Team tested lenders.

 

I read this article at: http://www.realtor.com/advice/fastest-way-get-pre-approved/?cid=eml-2014-09-bob-blog_2_pre_approval-blogs_finance&MID=2014_09_BoB_2013&RID=9851214

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Connect with us professionally at LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/profile/view?id=6588013&trk=tab_pro

Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ Office BRE# 0149900

 

Why Low Rates Aren’t Always Good for Housing – Had to share

Had to share this…

 

Why Low Rates Aren’t Always Good for Housing

DAILY REAL ESTATE NEWS

Mortgage rates are near historic lows, which is great news for home owners and buyers. But the situation could prove to be a big thorn in the side of the recovery.

More than one-third of homes with a mortgage have a mortgage rate below 4 percent, according to estimates provided by CoreLogic, a real estate data provider. Many home owners have taken advantage of low rates recently, fueling a refinance boom. Some home buyers were able to snag a record low of 3.3 percent interest in 2012.

As such, many home owners may be more inclined to stay put, unwilling to swap out a low mortgage rate for a new mortgage that could carry a rate up to one percentage point higher or more in the coming months. Those who can’t stay put may decide to keep their home and rent it out. In any case, the number of homes for-sale could continue to be low and contribute to slower home sales, housing analysts note.

Mark Fleming, chief economist at CoreLogic, estimates that up to 3.6 million home owners will be unlikely to sell this year because they do not want to give up a lower mortgage rate.

“They got the deal of the century,” Glenn Kelman, CEO of Redfin, a real estate brokerage, told The Associated Press. “I don’t think in 100 years anyone will be lending money at 3.5 percent. How do you walk away from a deal like that?”

Indeed, The Associated Press reports that this marks a significant shift from the way the housing market has worked in the past three decades. “For most of that time, whenever a home owner decided to trade up to a better home, mortgage rates usually were lower than the last time they had bought,” The Associated Press reports. “That helped make a new purchase seem more attractive.”

Economists say “rate lock-in” is a contributing factor for why so few homes are for sale. The housing market has faced a shortage of homes since late 2012. For every $1,000 increase in a home owner’s annual mortgage payment, the likelihood that the home owner would sell dropped as much as 16 percent, according to a 2011 study by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

Source: “Record-Low Mortgage Rates Now Haunt the Housing Market,” The Associated Press (July 11, 2014)

 

I read this article at: http://realtormag.realtor.org/daily-news/2014/07/14/why-low-rates-arent-always-good-for-housing?om_rid=AACmlZ&om_mid=_BTxCGtB87N9-7C&om_ntype=RMODaily

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Adjustable Rate Mortgages – Making a Comeback

When I read this article, I knew I had to share it. After the real estate bust – so many people turned conservative. But now with prices steadily rising on the San Francisco Peninsula – we’re seeing the adjustable rate mortagage make a comeback – enjoy this article…

Adjustable-rate mortgages regain popularity as prices, rates rise
In November, 11.2% of homes bought with loans carried adjustable-rate mortgages. That’s double the rate of a year earlier.

When Michael Shuken recently bought his family’s first home, a four-bedroom in Mar Vista, his adjustable-rate mortgage helped them stay on the pricey Westside.
For now, his interest-only loan costs him about 35% less per month than a 30-year fixed mortgage, he said. But he’ll have a much bigger monthly bill in 10 years, when the loan terms require him to start paying off principal at potentially high rates.
“What is going to happen if I can’t restructure my loan and extend it? Are interest rates going to be 7%, 8%?” the 43-year-old commercial real estate broker said. “The home is big enough for me to grow into. The question is, will I be able to?”
Adjustable-rate mortgages, which all but vanished during the housing bust, are again gaining popularity. Home prices and interest rates rose last year, and adjustable mortgages can help keep the monthly payment affordable — at least temporarily. Such mortgages offer a lower initial rate, but that rate can rise over time with market changes.
More homeowners in Southern California were willing to take that risk last year. In November, 11.2% of homes bought with loans carried adjustable-rate mortgages, or ARMs. That’s double the rate of the same month a year earlier, according to San Diego-based research firm DataQuick.
“You saw a big swing in people taking adjustable versus fixed rates” when prices and rates shot up last year, said John Ciolino, a senior loan consultant with Luther Burbank Mortgage.
With interest rates expected to rise this year, the proportion of ARMs could increase further.
“Generally, as rates increase ARMs become more popular,” said Guy D. Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance.
Last week, lenders offered, on average, a 3% interest rate for a 5/1-year ARM — which means a borrower receives that rate for five years, before the loan starts to adjust annually with the market. That’s compared with 4.48% for a 30-year fixed loan, according to mortgage giant Freddie Mac.
Mortgage brokers say borrowers who plan to move after a few years, or those with considerable, but irregular, income could be well-suited for an ARM.
“A big percentage of my clients are freelance employees in entertainment,” Ciolino said. “So they are going job to job, and they are concerned with having a higher mortgage payment.”
ARMs have been most popular in the region’s higher-priced communities, such as Newport Beach, La Jolla and Pacific Palisades.
That’s a contrast to last decade’s housing bubble, when lenders flooded working-class communities with extremely risky mortgages. One such product — known as the option ARM — allowed borrowers to pay even less than the interest owed, swelling the size of the loan as unpaid interest was added on to principal.
In the first three quarters of 2006, the 16 ZIP Codes with the most ARMs were all in relatively affordable, working-class communities in the Antelope Valley and Inland Empire, according to DataQuick. Many borrowers bet home prices would continue to rise, allowing them to easily refinance or sell before the first adjustment. Many got burned when home prices plummeted, preventing any refinancing.
It’s unclear whether such thinking has changed, but the loans have. The crash stung lenders as well, making them skittish about offering the riskiest products.
Largely gone are option ARMs and loans with very low “teaser” rates that quickly exploded into payments that borrowers couldn’t afford. Lenders during the bubble years also qualified borrowers based on teaser rates, increasing the likelihood of default.
“The ARM products that remain in the marketplace today … are really venerable, long-dated products,” the most popular of which is the 5/1-year ARM, said Keith T. Gumbinger, vice president of financial publisher HSH.com.
New federal regulations taking effect this month should further curtail some of the riskier ARMs, including interest-only products and those with balloon payments.
Adjustable-rate loans may work for some buyers, such as a family in which one parent will return to work after staying home with the kids, said Gary Kalman, an executive vice president with the Center for Responsible Lending.
“I don’t think the product, in and of itself, is inherently a bad product,” he said.
Of course, rates could adjust downward in favorable market conditions. But ARMs are still riskier than fixed-rate loans — especially when rates remain at historical lows but are expected to rise.
Shuken, the Mar Vista borrower, says he understands the risks. He plans to pay down some principal before such payments are required, he said. And he’ll start planning years before the interest rate adjusts to either restructure the loan or sell the house.
“If people aren’t thinking about that,” he said, “they need to.”

By Andrew Khouri
I read this article at:
http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-arm-loans-20140102,0,3920478.story#ixzz2pdrofw8K

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The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors
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New VA Loan Limits

New VA Loan Limits

The Department of Veteran Affairs announced new Veteran Administration (VA) loan limits effective January 1, 2014.

VA loan limits are determined by the median home price in each county as reported by the Federal Housing Administration. For 2014, some limits increased, some stayed the same and a few decreased.

VA loans can help eligible borrowers purchase owner-occupied homes often without requiring a down payment or private mortgage insurance. A variety of VA home loan guaranty programs, including a refinancing option, are offered for active duty servicemembers, veterans, surviving spouses of veterans who died in active duty or as a result of military service, and National Guard and Reserve members.

VA Loan Benefits Include:

Cash Out Refinance Loans let buyers take cash out of their home equity to take care of concerns like paying off debt, funding school, or making home improvements. Learn More.

Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loans (IRRRL), also called Streamline Refinance Loans, can help buyers obtain a lower interest rate by refinancing an existing VA loan. Learn More.

The Native American Direct Loan (NADL) Program helps eligible Native American Veterans finance the purchase, construction, or improvement of homes on Federal Trust Land, or reduce the interest rate on a VA loan. Learn More.

Adapted Housing Grants help Veterans with a permanent and total service-connected disability to purchase or build an adapted home or to modify an existing home to account for their disability. Learn More.

Other Resources: Many states offer resources to Veterans, including property tax reductions to certain Veterans. Learn More.

I read this article at: Ray Avanzino of Prospect Mortgage

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Please enjoy my personal journey through homeownership at:

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Thanks for reading – Sabrina

The Caton Team – Susan & Sabrina – A Family of Realtors

Sabrina BRE# 01413526 / Susan BRE #01238225 / Team BRE#70000218/ 01499008