Home Mortgage and Finance

There are currently 142 blog entries related to this category.

Why aren't all Denver condos approved for FHA financing? It is a question that I get a lot, especially with first time home buyers looking for a condo in or around Downtown Denver. FHA is very unique in that you can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down and for many first time buyers that is the difference between owning a home and not. So you would think that all condos would allow FHA financing, but unfortunately, it is more complicated than that.   FHA has set standards for condo buildings to determine if they fit within their lending criteria. These standards include the number of units that are owned by investors, the amount of commercial space in the building, the number of delinquencies in the building, reserves with the HOA and the…
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FHA mortgages are set to increase their mortgage insurance premiums come April 1st, 2013. While this might not have much impact on you if you have 5% or more to put down on your home purchase, for most first time home buyers, this is a significant change. 

FHA mortgages typically cater to first time buyers who only have the minimum of 3.5% to put down or buyers with less than stellar credit. In an effort to minimize their exposure to these sometimes riskier loans, FHA has decided to increase their premiums by .1% on most loans they insure. For the average priced home of $250,000, this is about a $20 increase per month.

While $20 a month doesn't sound like a significant increase, it is when you consider the other change FHA is making. Currently,

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As of today, there are only 7,094 homes on the market in the Denver area.     To the general public, that might seem like a high number...but as Real Estate pros, we know that this is actually a crazy low level of inventory.   What does this mean for you?   As a homeowner looking to sell, this might be the perfect time...there is WAY less competition than usual, no matter what area of town you live in, so buyers are more likely to act quickly, look past the little things that might not be perfect about your home, and write a stronger offer than they would if there were more homes to choose from.   As a person thinking about buying a home, it's important to have an agent on your side who knows how to write a great offer (which isn't…
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With all the different programs available it’s important to determine early on in the loan process which program is right for you.  Each type of mortgage has different underwriting guidelines and down payment requirements.  Figuring out which one makes the most financial sense can be tricky. How much money you have available for the down payment can play a huge role?  Below are some of the most common:

FHA is great for first time homebuyers as the minimum investment is 3.5%.  The downside of this type of financing is the cost of Mortgage Insurance.  FHA requires both “up front MI” which can get rolled into the loan, and “monthly MI” which can get rather expensive and lower the amount that you qualify for.

VA is a great option for Veterans as it offers

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  About this time every year I like to sit down and try to do my best to predict what the Real Estate market in Denver will do in 2013. Of course it is always a challenge and I can't predict with any degree of certainty, but as I start making predictions this year, I find myself much more confident in what will happen than years past. In 2012, we saw the market transition almost overnight from a strong buyers to market to a pretty neutral and at times, seller's market. The record setting activity we saw last summer has stalled a little this winter for the simple fact that there is now record low inventory, down 50%, and almost nothing for buyers to choose from.    I've heard talk from a lot of sellers that come spring, they will be willing to give…
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  How will the fiscal cliff resolution impact Denver Real Estate? It seems like all we heard about on the news for months was the Fiscal Cliff. Now that there seems to be a resolution, at least for the time being, I thought it would be helpful to take a look at what the compromise means for the Real Estate market in Denver in the coming years.

The first positive to come of the resolution is the extension of the Mortgage Forgiveness Act.  If this hadn’t been extended, principal balances written off by lenders to help homeowners with underwater mortgages would have been treated as ordinary taxable income. This would have seriously reduced the number of successful short sales we are seeing and would have led to more foreclosures on the market. With
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"I love my bank." That's said about as often as, "I hope I get the Swine Flu," and with good reason.

Four or five years ago, when the sky fell in the world of mortgage lending, banks understandably slashed their workforce. Now that rates are crazy low and demand for new mortgages and refinanced loans is crazy high, lenders aren't staffing up to handle the demand. With fewer employees and lower costs, banks are now making more than twice the usual margin on their loans. That makes them and their shareholders happy, but what does that mean for the rest of us?

That means hurry up and wait. Whereas the standard for closing a home purchase used to be 30 days, it's now 45 days, at least. Refi's can take even longer. So adjust your expectations if you're

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Well not really. But maybe.

There's some rumors flying around about this controversial tax that was slipped into the health care bill at the 11th hour.

Here's a good article from the National Association of Realtors that clarifies it.


Bottom line is: It will only affect households with an annual income of $250,000 or more and those that earn a gain (not sales price) of more than $500,000, any amount of gain above the exclusion would be plugged into a formula to see if it’s taxable. If it turns out that it’s taxable, then the amount could be subject to the 3.8 percent tax. 

If you plan on

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What do interest rates look like? Where are interest rates going? Are interest rates going to get any lower? After, “how’s the market doing,” these have to be the most common Real Estate related questions that I get. I try to keep track of the rates as best as possible but with them changing daily, it is hard to know and predict without watching them constantly what direction they are headed.

So instead of trying to guess on my end, I decided to ask a professional. Tracey McVicker is a senior mortgage consultant with SWBC Mortgage Company here in Denver. Tracey is constantly tracking mortgage rates and I thought who better to ask about what makes them go up and down than the expert who consistently gets my clients the best interest rates possible.

To best
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Can interest rates get any lower?  I keep going to closing after closing and I'm amazed at the interest rates that buyers are currently getting.  2.75% for a 15 year fixed....seriously?  That is free money folks, I can't imagine a better time to buy a house then right now!

Forbes forecast for 2012-2013 states that the short-term interest rates will remain in microscopic territory through 2013. Mortgage rates surged lower again today, continuing an ongoing push into lower all-time lows.  Can you believe a 30-year fixed is 3.25%?  Not to date myself, but I can remember when we had mortgages in the 12% range....so today's low rates are really a bargain.  If you have been on the fence it's time to jump off and take the plunge into home ownership.  With

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