Longmont, CO Real Estate News

By Lori Erickson
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Jumbo MortgagesFor the Greater Metro Denver area, any loan amount greater than $417,000 is considered a jumbo loan.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assign different thresholds for various regions across the country.  For instance, $417,000 is not considered a jumbo loan in a high cost city like San Francisco, yet there will still be higher rates for going above $417K.  Due to the size of jumbo loans, they are considered greater risk for lenders, resulting in higher rates.  Rates have fluctuated greatly over the past few years on jumbos.  As of today, a 30 year fixed could range from 7% - 8%; a full point higher than the prime rate below a loan amount of $417,000.  Five year ARMs are popular on jumbo loans, as they typically price out a half point lower than fixed pro...
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By Lori Erickson
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Loan Amounts Between $200K - $417KWith all the doom and gloom publications that are mostly exaggerated, many potential borrowers believe that home mortgage lending options have dried up.  While underwriters and investors are scrutinizing files more closely, attractive rates and terms still exist for owner occupied purchasers seeking a conforming loan limit (under $417,000).  FHA and VA can still lend up to 100% LTV and conventional permits up to 97% LTV.  There are certain guidelines to meet when going to these high LTVs, but they are not impossible to surmount.Every home buyer should first ask themselves what payment they feel comfortable in committing to on a monthly basis.  Too many buyers over-extended themselves in recent years on homes they simply could not...
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By Lori Erickson
(Your Castle Real Estate)
FHA First-Time Buyer Tax CreditIn an effort to boost the sagging real estate market and overall economy, first-time home buyers are being offered a limited time tax credit when purchasing a primary residence.  The highlights of the tax credit are:•    The tax credit is available for first-time home buyers only. •    The maximum credit amount is $7,500. •    The credit is available for homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and beforeJuly 1, 2009. •    Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit. •    The tax credit works like an interest-free loan and must be repaid over a 15-year period. Due to the volume of questions that can be generated with the above, I would recommend clicking on the below link for ...
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By Lori Erickson
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan considerations for a first time buyerLending guidelines are changing on a daily basis for every type of loan: conventional, FHA, VA & commercial.  Nevertheless, there are still very attractive first-time home buyer options available.   If you are or will be a first-time buyer, it is critical to speak with a loan officer before looking at homes.  It is a crushing feeling to view a home, picture making it your own and then find out that you cannot qualify to purchase it.  A loan officer will pull credit, analyze debt-to-income ratios, review assets and income and determine what you can afford.  Presuming a pre-qualification occurs, the loan officer will then be able to provide an array of loan options.  Presently, FHA loans are the predominant loan for first-time home buyers as they ...
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By Lori Erickson
(Your Castle Real Estate)
How can you improve your FICO score?To improve one’s credit score, it’s critical to understand the factors influencing a credit score.  The factors that contribute to a FICO score and the weighted percentages for each are as follows:•    35% — timeliness of payments •    30% — the ratio of used debt to allowable debt for consumer credit •    15% — length of credit history (the more credit history and showing proof of consistent timely payment, the better the score) •    10% — types of credit used  •    10% — recent credit inquiries and recent new credit The greatest driver behind a score is making timely payments on all accounts.  Scores will be adversely affected for any payment that is 30 days late or more.  Being late on a mortgage payment will not only crush one’s score, but will al...
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By Lori Erickson
(Your Castle Real Estate)
How does your FICO score impact your interest rate on your loan?Low credit scores are deemed greater risk for lenders since the likelihood for defaulting on the loan increases.  As such, lower FICO scores translate into higher interest rates.  Mortgage lenders will group credit scores in a range, usually in 20 or 40 point increments, with interest rates progressively getting better for each higher interval.  For example, a borrower with a middle credit score between 660 – 680 will have a higher interest rate (presuming all other variables being equal) compared to one with a 680 – 700 score.  Typically, when a borrower has a 750+ credit, they will be able to secure the best possible rate, assuming their income, assets, collateral and down payment are acceptable.For qualifying, underwrite...
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By Lori Erickson
(Your Castle Real Estate)
What is a FICO score?FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, a company that created the most used credit scoring model in the United States.  An individual’s credit score is calculated through a statistical algorithm and is used as a factor in determining the likelihood of a borrower defaulting on a loan.  FICO scores are generally used for obtaining mortgages, car loans or consumer credit.  The scores are provided from the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.  Typically, there is a variance amongst the scores since each agency has a slightly different scoring formula.  FICO scores range from 300 – 850, with higher scores being considered less risky.  For mortgage lending purposes, any score over a 680 is considered good and above a 750 is considered ...
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By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Colorado Mortgage Broker Licensing In response to the troubled national real estate market and Colorado's high volume of home foreclosures, efforts have increased to make higher caliber professionals involved in real estate. Licensing, rules and regulations have become more stringent for agents, appraisers, title companies and mortgage brokers.  In regards to mortgage brokers, the below items are mandatory.  No longer can someone open up the Yellow Pages, claim to be a mortgage broker and then be compensated for placing a loan --- what a novel concept.  Before committing to a mortgage broker, please make sure that they are licensed in Colorado by searching for them on the following link:  http://eservices.psiexams.com/crec/search.jsp ·         LicensingAll mortgage brokers conducting bu...
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By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Buy and Hold Investors       As far as investment loans, little or no money down loans are impossible.  However, lenders do permit the use of Home Equity Lines of Credit or second mortgages from other properties owned by the borrower as a source of down payment.  Or, self-employed borrowers are using funds from business lines of credit to fund down payments or renovations (please note: there are asset seasoning guidelines for doing so and the debt incurred by accessing other credit lines must be accounted for against the borrower's debt-to-income ratio). Thus, we have clients leveraging themselves with other homes they own in order to get in with little or nothing down.  There are exceptions, but practically every lender requires Full Income Documentation on any ...
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By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Fix & Flip / Short-Term Investors     Securing conventional financing on a fix & flip or short-term loan is not recommended.  Most conventional lenders sell off their mortgages to investors on the secondary market.  If the loan is paid off early (before six payments are made), the investor has not recovered their initial investment.  The investor will attempt to recover their loss from the lender, who will ultimately come after the loan originator.  The loan originator would then be obligated to pay back any premium paid out by the lender.  If such activity becomes habitual with the loan officer, the lender can cease doing business with them and their firm.   Furthermore, conventional loans require conventional appraisals.  The lender will require that the home i...
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By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
  Loan Considerations for Jumbo Mortgages   For the Greater Metro Denver area, any loan amount greater than $417,000 is considered a jumbo loan.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac assign different thresholds for various regions across the country.  For instance, $417,000 is not considered a jumbo loan in a high cost city like San Francisco, yet there will still be higher rates for going above $417K.    Due to the size of jumbo loans, they are considered greater risk for lenders, resulting in higher rates.  Rates have fluctuated greatly over the past few years on jumbos.  As of today, a 30 year fixed could range from 7% - 8%; a full point higher than the prime rate below a loan amount of $417,000.  Five year ARMs are popular on jumbo loans, as they typically price out a half point lower than fi...
Comments 0
By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan Considerations for Loan Amounts Between $200K - $417K   With all the doom and gloom publications that are mostly exaggerated, many potential borrowers believe that home mortgage lending options have dried up.  While underwriters and investors are scrutinizing files more closely, attractive rates and terms still exist for owner occupied purchasers seeking a conforming loan limit (under $417,000).  FHA and VA can still lend up to 100% LTV and conventional permits up to 97% LTV.  There are certain guidelines to meet when going to these high LTVs, but they are not impossible to surmount.   Every home buyer should first ask themselves what payment they feel comfortable in committing to on a monthly basis.  Too many buyers over-extended themselves in recent years on homes they simply cou...
Comments 0
By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
FHA First-Time Buyer Tax Credit    In an effort to boost the sagging real estate market and overall economy, first-time home buyers are being offered a limited time tax credit when purchasing a primary residence.  The highlights of the tax credit are: ·   The tax credit is available for first-time home buyers only. ·   The maximum credit amount is $7,500. ·   The credit is available for homes purchased on or after April 9, 2008 and beforeJuly 1, 2009. ·   Single taxpayers with incomes up to $75,000 and married couples with incomes up to $150,000 qualify for the full tax credit. ·   The tax credit works like an interest-free loan and must be repaid over a 15-year period.   Due to the volume of questions that can be generated with the above, I would recommend clicking on the below link fo...
Comments 0
By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
Loan considerations for a first time buyer    Lending guidelines are changing on a daily basis for every type of loan: conventional, FHA, VA & commercial.  Nevertheless, there are still very attractive first-time home buyer options available.   If you are or will be a first-time buyer, it is critical to speak with a loan officer before looking at homes.  It is a crushing feeling to view a home, picture making it your own and then find out that you cannot qualify to purchase it.  A loan officer will pull credit, analyze debt-to-income ratios, review assets and income and determine what you can afford.    Presuming a pre-qualification occurs, the loan officer will then be able to provide an array of loan options.  Presently, FHA loans are the predominant loan for first-time home buyers as...
Comments 0
By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
How can you improve your FICO score? To improve one's credit score, it's critical to understand the factors influencing a credit score.  The factors that contribute to a FICO score and the weighted percentages for each are as follows: 35% - timeliness of payments 30% - the ratio of used debt to allowable debt for consumer credit 15% - length of credit history (the more credit history and showing proof of consistent timely payment, the better the score) 10% - types of credit used  10% - recent credit inquiries and recent new credit The greatest driver behind a score is making timely payments on all accounts.  Scores will be adversely affected for any payment that is 30 days late or more.  Being late on a mortgage payment will not only crush one's score, but will also make qualifying for ...
Comments 0
By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
How does your FICO score impact your interest rate on your loan?    Low credit scores are deemed greater risk for lenders since the likelihood for defaulting on the loan increases.  As such, lower FICO scores translate into higher interest rates.  Mortgage lenders will group credit scores in a range, usually in 20 or 40 point increments, with interest rates progressively getting better for each higher interval.  For example, a borrower with a middle credit score between 660 - 680 will have a higher interest rate (presuming all other variables being equal) compared to one with a 680 - 700 score.  Typically, when a borrower has a 750+ credit, they will be able to secure the best possible rate, assuming their income, assets, collateral and down payment are acceptable.   For qualifying, und...
Comments 0
By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
What is a FICO score? FICO stands for Fair Isaac Corporation, a company that created the most used credit scoring model in the United States.  An individual's credit score is calculated through a statistical algorithm and is used as a factor in determining the likelihood of a borrower defaulting on a loan.  FICO scores are generally used for obtaining mortgages, car loans or consumer credit.  The scores are provided from the three major credit reporting agencies: Equifax, Experian and Transunion.  Typically, there is a variance amongst the scores since each agency has a slightly different scoring formula.  FICO scores range from 300 - 850, with higher scores being considered less risky.  For mortgage lending purposes, any score over a 680 is considered good and above a 750 is considered...
Comments 0
By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
      If you have not heard already, the inventory of home on the market in Denver has been declining. This is not true in many regions of the county. Your clients, who often only see national headlines, might not be aware of this favorable news. Our market has some unusual factors at work. Let's explore them, so you can better help your clients.If you look at the first chart (MOI 1), you'll see the MOI (months of inventory) for Denver's suburbs on the bottom axis and the average sales price in that suburb on the axis on the left side. Denver metro currently has about six months of inventory (a balanced market, on average), but you can see there is a lot of variety from one city to the next. Lower cost areas, such as Thornton, are seeing inventory move fast. Sellers (mainly banks) don'...
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By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
As investors we face a number of very real and very scary challenges. Making sense of this market is no mean feat and one has to be very careful with his or her investment. However, we usually think about danger as financial. Unfortunately, on rare occasion it can be even worse than that. The majority of the homes investors are buying these days are vacant and once in a while people break in and live in these properties illegally.  The last thing you want to do is walk in on someone camped out in a house, perhaps conducting illegal an activity.      This is no joke, you want to be HEARD when you walk into a property that is supposed to vacant. So make a lot of noise when you're at the front door. I always knock loudly before entering.  Stomp your feet a little. Yell "Hello!" a couple of...
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By Dawn Clark
(Your Castle Real Estate)
A lot of investors ask what an egress window is and when one is needed. Technically, it's a window for a room below grade that a municipality has deemed large enough to be safe for exit in case of emergency.   While there are some variations, the window needs to be large enough that a firefighter with an oxygen bottle on their back could get in, then carry out an injured person in a fire.  Most often, it's associated with a basement bedroom window, making it a legal bedroom. Basement bedrooms without egress windows are illegal.  Installing an egress window makes them legal.      The confusion is that different cities, counties and agencies have different size requirements and height-above-floor requirements for these windows. Therefore, before you start cutting into the concrete foundat...
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