Bank statement loans = YES

Minneapolis, MN:  Not every potential home owner fits the cookie cutter guidelines for most traditional loans. The mortgage industry had plenty of alternative options, including bank statement loans, stated income, no proof of income and more, right up until the housing crash in 2007.

Government mandated changes left many homeowners with no loan options.  Slowly, the non-conforming loan industry is making a comeback, albeit looking much different than years ago.

Stated income loans, and no proof of income loans do not exist, but a popular option that HAS returned is using your bank statements as qualifying income.

Bank statement loans

These loans come in many varieties, but generally consist of the following basic requirements:

  1. Must be self employed
  2. Use 100% of personal bank statement deposits as income
  3. Use 50% of business bank statement deposits as income
  4. Higher credit scores
  5. Loans of 80% loan-to-value or less
  6. Interest rates 1% to 2% higher than standard loans.

There is no one set of rules, like you find with standards loans that all lenders use for things like FHA, VA, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, etc. Because of this, you will find all sorts of slight variations between lenders.

But the good news is that at least there are some options again for those home owners who don’t fit the traditional loan model.

We offer bank statement loans for properties located in Minnesota, Wisconsin, and South Dakota. Click here to apply online.

Click to apply online

Equal Housing Lender. NMLS 274132. Not everyone will qualify. Not an offer to enter into an interest rate lock agreement.

 


De-Bunking 3 Mortgage Myths

I hear things all the time, that as a Minnesota Based Mortgage Loan Officer, drive me crazy.  Here are a few things that seem to be high on the need to be de-bunked list.

Myth #1 – Banks are not lending.
NOT TRUE:  We are very busy! Mortgage companies continue to see a record number of home buyers applying and qualifying for mortgage loans, and refinance loans are still popular with our current low mortgage ratesBAD credit loans are not available, so I suppose if you are a bad credit customer, yes, banks are not lending to you.

qualifyMyth #2 – APR & Interest Rates are the same thing / Shop by APR
NOT TRUE: The interest rate is the price you pay to borrow money. APR (annual percentage rate) includes other fees that you may have financed into your mortgage loan, like closing costs and mortgage insurance. Don’t be fooled when shopping for a mortgage. When the rate is below everyone else, you are likely paying higher closing costs and discount points to “buy” that rate. Paying discount points is a personal decision based current cash flow,  time in the property, loan-to-value, and more. Talk to your Minnesota mortgage lender to determine what financing options are best for your specific situation.

Myth #3 – You can be pre-approved for a mortgage without submitting documents.
NOTE TRUE: If you’ve been told you that are pre-approved for a mortgage loan, but you never sent W2’s, pay stubs, bank statements, etc to the lender, YOU ARE NOT PRE-APPROVED, regardless of what they tell you.

First Time Home Buyers, Get Pre-Approved BEFORE you talk to a Realtor
First Time Home Buyers, Get Pre-Approved BEFORE you talk to a Realtor


Have a small side business? Disclose it to your Loan Officer

Have a small side business? Disclose it to your Loan Officer

St Paul, MN:  It is a pretty well know that when buying a home and applying for a home mortgage loan these days, mortgage companies are asking for more information from the applicants.

Standard items include photo ID, last 30-days of pay stubs, last two years W2’s, and your last two months of bank statements. What is less known are some of the additional requirements that can quickly derail your pre-approval.

When taking your application, your Mortgage Loan Officer will ask details about your employment.  If your job is paid hourly or salary, the lender does NOT need a copy of your Federal Tax Returns, so of course they would not ask you to provide them.

If you are self-employed, get tips, or commission income – your last two years of tax returns ARE required, so the Loan Officer will ask you to provide them right away.

But what if you have a small side business?  It is likely you didn’t mention it. How about the spouse?  Do they have a small side business.  Mary Kay, Tupperware, or maybe Lia Sofia?

The 4506T: All mortgage applications now require the applicant to sign an IRS 4506T. This document allows the mortgage lender to obtain a copy of your Federal Tax Returns.

They are looking for any discrepancies between what you told the lender and what you reported to the IRS.

Deal Killers: I recently Pre-Approved a couple. Only the husband and his salary job were listed on the application, but the loan was denied a week before closing when we discovered the wife reported a $15,000 loss on their joint tax return for her jewelry business.

Any side business losses will by underwriting be assumed to continue. Therefore in this case, I was forced to reduce the husbands income by $15,000 a year, which caused them to exceed debt-to-income ratios and have thier mortgage loan application denied.

This particular couple lost the dream house they were trying to buy. In the end, they were able to buy and close on a slightly less expensive home, based on their actual situation. Had this business loss been known in the beginning, they could have focused their home search on the correctly priced home, and saved a lot of time and headache.

The Bottom Line: If it is on your tax return, the lender is going to know it . Disclosed everything up front to your Loan Officer, no matter how trivial it may sound to you.

 

 

 


In Real Estate, When you snooze, you lose

In Real Estate – When You Snooze, You Lose!

Minneapolis / St Paul, MN: A big shift in the housing market in our area has taken many by surprise. Any qualify house under $200,000 is selling in just days, with multiple offers, and above asking price.

With dwindling inventory, mostly from fewer foreclosures, increased demand with more competition because of terrific interest rates, we are seeing more and more multiple offers. This often happening soon after a property hits the market. It brings to mind the popular axiom “when you snooze you lose.” Wait too long to look at a great, well-priced property, or to make a strong offer, and you’ve lost your opportunity.

The problem some of you must confront is that even once you learn NOT to snooze and to move fast, you still might lose.

Why?? 

  1. The offer isn’t strong enough even at list price
  2. There are many offers (sometimes 10 and more)
  3. Cash buyers are too plentiful
  4. Lending rules on homes needing a little work

Is this the case with all properties? Certainly not. But we are seeing more competing offers at many price points, and new listings moving more quickly than in the past few years. This is not intended to scare you, and or make you feel that you cannot compete effectively. Simply understand the market has shifted in some significant ways and you need to be aware so you can react accordingly when you find a home you really like.

PAUSE if you aren’t ready to jump, then you shouldn’tJust because things have heated up and there are “bidding wars” does not mean you should get bent out of shape or move quickly on an offer when you are really not ready. It’s a huge decision and an expensive one that shouldn’t be taken lightly. Make the decision that is right for you. And be prepared to live by it. 

Tips to help you win the deal: 

  • Be SURE to discuss any offer with your mortgage lender BEFORE writing the offer
  • Paying Cash? Have Proof of Funds ready to supply with your offer.
  • Know the comparable properties – this is what you pay a Realtor for.
  • Do not delay in making an appointment to see a hot new listing. Go now. Take time off work.
  • Do NOT assume a listing you like that has been languishing on the market will continue to sit there while you ponder. Remember…NEW BUYERS are hitting the market all the time and they might like the same house YOU do and be prepared to make a move
  • Know your budget (not just what you qualify to borrow) and make SURE you know what you are and are NOT willing to spend
  • Be ready to make an offer immediately if you like the house. Taking a night or two to “think about it” might be the kiss of death. REMEMBER THE TITLE OF THIS POST?!
  • Don’t get caught up in the auction-like atmosphere that can happen with multiple bids
  • Just because the tax value is significantly higher than the asking price DOES NOT mean you are getting a deal on the house.
  • Know that the home still has to appraise if you are getting a mortgage loan. Just because you are willing to spend more does not mean the bank will.

 


Dont worry about credit inquiries when shopping for a mortgage loan

Shopping for a mortgage loan? DON’T worry about inquiries on your credit report

We’ve all heard it before. Having someone pull your credit will reduce your credit score. Sadly, many people end up making some poor decisions based on half truths, and bad information.

The fear of reduced credit scores with the occasional pull from a creditor is the most annoying, misleading, and misunderstood thing I hear every week in the mortgage business. If you are worried about “inquiries on your report”, this isn’t the concern most people think it is.

What to know about mortgage rate shopping.
Looking for a mortgage, auto or student loan may cause multiple lenders to request your credit report, even though you are only looking for one loan. To compensate for this, the score ignores mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries made in the 30 days prior to scoring.  So, if you find a loan within 30 days, the inquiries won’t affect your score while you’re rate shopping.  In addition, the score looks on your credit report for mortgage, auto, and student loan inquiries older than 30 days. If it finds some, it counts those inquiries that fall in a typical shopping period as just one inquiry when determining your score. For FICO scores calculated from older versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period was any 14 day span. For FICO scores calculated from the newest versions of the scoring formula, this shopping period is any 45 day span.

Furthermore, inquiries, even under the worst of situations, could only account for 10% of your overall score. Most people should have absolutely NO CONCERN whatsoever about inquiries on your credit report unless you have applied with 10, 15, or even 20 lenders in the past 90-days.

Visit MyFico.com to find out the truth about inquiries and your credit score, and STOP WORRYING!

 


Refinancing? Common mistakes to avoid

Mortgage Interest Rates are near historic lows. You want to refinance?
Common mistakes, and what NOT To Do

There are a lot of things “not to do”. I will point out only the 3 most common mistakes I see people make.

  1. Setting an unrealistic goal. I always get inquiries from people who say something like, “I have a 30 year fixed rate loan at 5.875% and I will refinance ONLY when rates get to 4.0% with no closing costs”. Sometimes I call people back and say, “Why 4%? why not 3% or 2%? They say, “Well rates are not going to go that low”. Right and they are unlikely to go to 4% with no closing costs also (“no closing cost” loans typically cost anywhere from 1/2% to .75% higher than the going interest rate) You should first succumb to the fact that once you can lower your rate with no out of pocket expense, you should probably refinance. Don’t draw unrealistic interest rate lines in the sand. They get blown away too easily.
  2. The “Once rates start dropping, they are going to continue to drop and I’m smart and I am going to lock when rates hit the bottom of the market” syndrome. It is very hard to guess the interest-rate cycle, and pretty hard to catch the bottom. Remember that rates can rise fairly quickly.
  3. “If the rate goes down just another 1/8th percent, then I’ll lock” This one just kills me! I see people lose all the time over this theory. If your current rate is 5.875% and today’s rate is 4.875%. LOCK & CLOSE! Most people have what I call “interest rate block”. They get a rate stuck in their head, and that is the rate they want, no matter what. Most people fail to realize (and most loan officers fail to show them), that the difference on the average loan over 1/8th a percent is usually less than $15 per month. If you can save $150 per month on your loan at today’s rate, why gamble? Why hold out for another $15 when the odds are against you?

Don’t get piggy. Work with us. Set a goal and lock when it gets there. Are we going to hit the bottom? Probably not. Are we going to save you money? Yes. If you can save money with no out of pocket costs, than you have nothing to lose. If you want to gamble go to Las Vegas. It’s a heck of a lot more fun. Apply Now

Extra Tricks to Save Money When Refinancing

The purpose of most refinance loans is simply to save money. The goal is to minimize your expense over the life of the loan or to minimize your monthly payment in the near future.

If you can swing it, don’t roll every cost of refinancing into your new loan. Most people escrow for taxes and insurance. If you do, your current lender must give you escrow refund within 30 days of paying off their loan. Your new lender, be it us or someone else, must take the equivalent amount of money (or more) at closing to start the new escrow account.

Remember that you always get to skip a month of payments. If you close June 5th, your first new payment is August 1st.

Knowing this, paying some of your closing costs out-of-pocket will save you even more money in the long run. Why roll in $4000 in closing costs, when you really only need to roll in $2000 ($1000 escrow refund + $1000 missed payment = $2000). Paying that $2000 over 30 years doesn’t make sense if you don’t have too.

On the other hand, some people love the fact that they didn’t pay anything out of pocket to refinance, got a nice escrow refund check, then got to miss a mortgage payment. They use the ‘extra’ money to pay bills, go on vacation, etc.

Picking a Lender & Closing Costs

Shopping for a home loan is confusing. No matter what we’re looking for — from cars to refrigerators’ — there’s a built-in element of confusion. Why? Lack of knowledge. An unfortunate rule of thumb is that the less we know about something we need to buy, the more we can expect to pay for it.

Shopping for a mortgage in Minneapolis, St Paul, Duluth, Rochester, Madison, Milwaukee, and throughout all of Minnesota and Wisconsin is complex at best — even for the savvy previous home owner. Daily rate changes, time-sensitive lock-in periods, points, lender’s fees… plus the emotional element of probably the largest financial deal any of us will ever make. Throw in to this already murky stew the ingredients of tricky internet mortgage rate advertising, commissions for every officer, agent and broker who ‘helps’ in your transaction, and the obscure differences between ‘rates’ and ‘fees.’ It’s no mystery that many buyers settle for a home loan that exceeds their monetary means out of sheer exasperation!

Please review our information on closing costs and “BAD Good Faith Estimates“. There is currently a large number of fly-by-night lenders doing some incredibly misleading rate & closing cost advertising. Remember, if it sounds too good, it probably is! Also check out my article “Best Rate or Lowest Cost” for more loan comparison information.

The Bottom Line
Remember, the first rule is that there are no rules. You should refinance if it makes sense for you. Every person & situation is different. What makes sense for one family, may not make sense for you. Call me today to discuss your wants, needs, and goals. Together we’ll determine if refinancing makes sense for YOU.

Click here for more information on the actual loan process.
Click here for
10 Tips to a Smooth Closing
Click here for
10 Mistakes to Avoid


IRS Reports First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Abuse


The IRS says there was significant abuse and fraudulent claims related to the $8000 First Time Home Buyers tax credit. Pretty shocking numbers… $29 Billion dollars given to 4 million people, and the fraud amounted to…

What are your thoughts? Log in an post!



Are No Doc loans still available?

“NO DOC” loans had been around for years, and served a niche market for the self-employed, commission, and tipped income home owners. Because of their additional risk, they came with higher interest rates, bigger down payments, and generally were only available to self-employed people with a minimum of 2-years provable self-employment history and trouble documenting their true income.

As the home loan markets changed through the early 2000’s, these loans grew in popularity, especially once Wall Street introduced new no doc, stated income, stated assets, no job, and other ridiculous variations with underwriting guidelines so silly almost anyone could qualify for a home loan.

These new variations turned a small niche program into what became commonly known as liar loans. This was because because both customers and Loan Officers were easily allowed to misrepresent the borrowers true circumstances.  They were highly abused by consumers, and bad loan officers everywhere, as people realized they could easily get a loan they either should not be getting at all, or more commonly, to get a bigger loan than they normally would have received.

These liar loans were one of the first casualties of the mortgage market meltdown as many of these customers were some of the very first people to end up in foreclosure. Lenders everywhere quickly pulled them from their product lines, and many states now have laws on the books banning them completely.

Unfortunately, the self-employed, commissions, and tipped income people who truly need and benefited from stated income, no documentation (NINA, NIVA, NISA, SISA) type loans are now without loan options. The old saying, one bad apple spoils the whole bunch… In this case, it was a whole bunch of bad apples that spoiled it for the one who really needs it.

If you are looking for a respectable No Documentation loan, you are pretty much out of luck, unless you are:

  1. In a state that still allows them
  2. Have excellent credit
  3. Are in need of under 65% loan-to-value
  4. Are willing to pay huge up-front costs and very high interest rates to “hard money lenders

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Looking for a “no doc” loan in MN and WI?, Can you still get financing? Maybe, but not without fully documenting your ability to repay your loan.

But, don’t give up just yet. Let a licensed professional loan officer review a full application.


Smart financial move, the 15-yr mortgage

Smart financial move, the 15-yr mortgage

Minneapolis, MN:  “I own my home free and clear!“. How great would it be to say that? No payments when you retire. No payments while you are also paying for college. Putting money into your 401k vs paying it to the bank.
Look into a shorter term mortgage. This is the hottest new trend in home ownership.
Your parents probably took a 30-year fixed rate FHA mortgage, then tried to pay extra along the way to pay it off early in hopes of having no payments going into retirement.
During the period of 2001 – 2008, it was just the opposite. Many people opted for an adjustable mortgage, interest only mortgage, or even a 40-year mortgage. The reasoning was they would be flipping the house in a few short years at a great profit, so they didn’t really care what the payment was.
Today, old school thinking on the fast plan of a shorter term home loan is very popular.  Me me me, now now now, has been replaced with a pay it off fast mentality.
Clearly a shorter term loan saves you a lot of money in interest. On a $200,000 loan at 4.75%, the payment (just the loan) is $1043 per month. The total interest paid is a whopping $179,888. Switch that over to a 15-yr loan at 4.25%, and the payment goes up to $1504 per month, but the total interest is just $75,079. Half as much! A interest savings of $104,809

Many people claim they can’t afford the 15-yr payment, but I say otherwise. The average person can usually easily absorb the slightly higher payment with a little discipline and a slight adjustment to their monthly budget.

Eliminate the second new car, go out to a nice dinner a little less often, and shutting off the cable or satellite premium service all start to add up quickly, giving you one of the best savings opportunities of your lifetime.

I also hear many people talk about the loss of the interest tax deduction. I have a challenge for you. Can you tell me exactly what your tax write off benefit was this year?  Most people can’t.  The tax deduction is over-rated. Once you figure out how little it really adds up to in real dollars, you’ll quickly see the benefit of paying your home off faster.
Stop pissing money away on a 30-yr mortgage, refinance to a 15-yr mortgage. Earn equity faster, own your home in half the time, and make one of the best financial moves of your lifetime.