Everyone who is financing a home purchase should strongly consider the standard 30-year fixed-rate mortgage.
Though I recommend you move every 6 to 12 months (it’s good for business) these days most people are in it for the long-term. Even if you knew it wasn’t going to be a lifetime house, consider keeping it as a rental when you move.
But for those who have very strong income, or know they have an inheritance coming, a business or property to sell, or know their lucky Lottery numbers are going to pay off sooner or later, you may want to consider today’s version of exotic financing.
You should only take an alternative to the 30-year fixed rate if you had a solid plan to pay it off early. Don’t get an ARM thinking you’ll refinance someday, because it’s likely you’ll never get around to it – the fixed rate loan will have a higher payment, and you’ll shrug it off.
Here’s a choice today for mortgages up to $1,500,000:
3.875% fixed rate at 1.25 points, or
4.375% interest-only for ten years, no points.
Let’s say you want to finance $1,500,000:
The 30-year fixed option is $7,054 per month, and will cost $18,750 up front.
The ten-year ARM is $5,469 per month for ten years, with no points.
A benefit of the regular 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is the principal reduction every month – it’s a forced savings plan. After ten years, you will only owe $1,137,917, instead of the full $1,500,000 with the interest-only loan.
The ARM will feel like a fixed-rate loan with no payment change for ten years – which could lull you to sleep, and come back to haunt you 8-9 years from now.
Don’t take the 10-year deal just to get a lower payment. Take it because you know you have the ability to pay it off in the next ten years.
Aryanna Hering didn’t have pay stubs or tax forms to document her income when she shopped around for a mortgage last year—a problem that made it tough for her to get a loan.
But the nursing student who works part time providing home care for children and the elderly eventually hit pay dirt: For a roughly $610,000 home loan, a mortgage company let her verify her earnings with 12 months of bank statements and letters from clients.
Ms. Hering’s case highlights how a flavor of mortgage once panned for its role in the housing meltdown a decade ago is making a comeback. These loans, aimed at buyers with unusual circumstances such as those who can’t provide the standard proofs of income, are growing rapidly even as rising interest rates and higher home prices crimp demand for mortgages.
Lenders issued $34 billion of these unconventional mortgages in the first three quarters of 2018, a 24% increase from the same period a year earlier, according to Inside Mortgage Finance, an industry research group. While that makes up less than 3% of the $1.3 trillion of mortgage originations over that period, the growth is notable because it came as traditional home loans declined. Those originations fell 1.2% over the same period and were on track for a second down year in 2018.
Tom Jessop, the loan consultant at New American Funding who handled Ms. Hering’s loan, said he has seen demand for unconventional loans double over the past 18 months and they currently makes up more than one-third of his business. “I think it’s just catering to an audience that’s been neglected for years,” Mr. Jessop said. “Now they have an opportunity to get financing finally.”
At the same time, Wall Street investors who buy home loans are scooping up unconventional mortgages that have been packaged into bonds, edging back into a corner of the market that is riskier but provides higher returns. There were $12.3 billion of such residential-mortgage-backed securities sold in 2018, nearly quadruple from a year earlier, according to credit-rating firm DBRS Inc.
Nick also put it on twitter, where I responded:
Back in 2006-2007, Countrywide was funding neg-am mortgages up to $1,500,000 with no money down and just a decent credit score – the example given is far from that.
The mortgage industry needs to find a balance in between – it’s not out of line to finance a borrower who can show income via bank statements and has substantial equity/skin in the game.
Higher prices, higher rates, slowing sales, and now easing loan guidelines? On non-owner-occupied properties? Buying a rental property with 5% down is unheard of, and even with higher rents they are likely to negative cash flow:
Freddie Mac is consolidating its Home Possible program with its Home Possible Advantage Mortgages program. These programs offer greater flexibility and higher loan-to-value ratios (LTVs) than traditional mortgage programs.
The combined product will be called Home Possible Mortgages, and will closely align with the purpose and requirements of the previously-named Home Possible Advantage program, with some changes.
Beginning October 29, 2018, lenders will be able to offer Home Possible Mortgages to buyers with limited down payment funds. Under the consolidated program, eligible homebuyers will include:
non-occupant buyers for mortgages secured by one-unit properties with LTVs no higher than:
95% for Loan Product Advisor Mortgages; or
90% for manually underwritten mortgages (non-occupant buyers were previously excluded from the programs);
those who own other properties (buyers who own other properties were previously limited);
buyers with super conforming mortgages (mortgages with high maximum mortgage limits for homes located in high-cost areas) when the mortgage:
is submitted and receives an “Accept Risk” classification through the Loan Product Advisor; and
has an LTV no higher than 95% (super conforming mortgages were previously not permitted);
buyers with secondary financing, including home equity lines of credit (HELOCs), for most cases when the mortgage’s LTV is no higher than 97% (secondary financing was previously limited to 95% LTV);
buyers using adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs), when the LTV is no higher than 75% (ARMs were previously not permitted); and
buyers with a maximum 45% DTI for manually underwritten mortgages.
These changes are meant to both widen the pool of qualified homebuyers, and streamline programs for lenders’ ease of use.
Housing market risks broaden
By loosening the requirements for its Home Possible Mortgage programs, Freddie Mac’s hope is to encourage lenders to qualify more applicants, thereby increasing homeownership opportunities nationwide.
However, loosening requirements by allowing high LTVs, DTIs and ARMs makes lending — and by extension the housing market — riskier. For veteran real estate professionals, a growing presence of dangerous mortgage products and loose lending restrictions will sound familiar, as they all increased during the Millennium Boom and ultimately played a big part in the cause of the housing crash and 2008 recession.
Are you turned off by the e-buyer who wants to lowball your home’s value, and then knock off another 7% to 9%? But you like the idea of having your equity available for the next purchase?
How about an old-fashioned bridge loan?
Joel arranged financing for a recent buyer of ours who changed jobs during the week of escrow closing – Joel re-verified employment and still closed on time. This was on 97% financing of a converted-apartment condo built in 1979.
Freddie Mac’s underwriting also allows self-employed buyers to submit tax returns for one year only, instead of the customary two years’ tax returns. I’m not sure if they will do that on this new program?
It’s been more than three years since Freddie Macrolled out a conventional mortgage that only required a 3% down payment for certain borrowers.
But now, Freddie Mac is about to supercharge its 3% down program and launch a widespread expansion of the offering.
Freddie Mac announced Thursday that it is rolling out a new conventional 3% down payment option for qualified first-time homebuyers. What makes this program different is that there are no geographic or income restrictions.
The new program, which is called HomeOne, puts Freddie Mac in direct competition for mortgage business with the Federal Housing Administration, which also only requires 3% down on some mortgages.
Can you do an article on the housing affordability index related to NSDCC? Just wondering what percentage of people need x amount of dollars with 20% down to afford a median priced home?
Let’s include data on the median price of detached-home active listings, and those sold in the last 90 days. I used an interest rate of 4.50%, 20% down payment (25% down payment on $2,395,000 price), and qualifying ratio of 35%:
# in Category
Cash to Close
The fixer market feels the impact. When it takes both spouses holding down good jobs to qualify, they don’t have the time or patience to fix up a house – they want and need a house in good shape. Maybe this is where Zillow and others can provide more renovated homes to fit the needs of today’s buyers.
When real estate investors get this confident, money manager James Stack gets nervous. U.S. home prices are surging to new records. Homebuilder stocks last year outperformed all other groups. And bears? They’re now an endangered species.
Stack, 66, who manages $1.3 billion for people with a high net worth, predicted the housing crash in 2005, just before prices reached their peak. Now, from his perch in Whitefish, Montana, he says his “Housing Bubble Bellwether Barometer” of homebuilder and mortgage company stocks, which jumped 80 percent in the past year, once again is flashing red.
“It is 2005 all over again in terms of the valuation extreme, the psychological excess and the denial,” said Stack, whose fireproof files of newspaper articles on bear markets date back to 1929. “People don’t believe housing is in a bubble and don’t want to hear talk about prices being a little bit bubblish.”
As the housing market approaches its key spring selling season, Stack is practically alone in his wariness. While price gains may slow, most analysts see no end in sight for the six-year-old recovery.
There are plenty of reasons to be optimistic. The housing needs of two massive generations — millennials aging into homeownership and baby boomers getting ready for retirement — are expected to fuel demand for years to come if employment remains strong. Sales in master-planned communities, many of which target buyers who are at least 55, reached a record last year, according to John Burns Real Estate Consulting. Last month, a gauge of confidence from the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo rose to the highest level in 18 years, and starts of single-family homes in November were the strongest in a decade.
“As soon as homes are finished, they’re flying off the shelf,” said Matthew Pointon, Capital Economics Ltd.’s U.S. property economist.
Stack has a different perspective. While the market might gradually correct itself, history shows that it’s more likely to “come down hard” with the next recession, he said. He described the pattern as a steep run-up in housing prices spurred by low interest rates. The last downturn came about when economic growth slowed after a series of rate increases, exposing the “rot in the woodwork” and prompting loan defaults, Stack said.
He noted that the Fed has projected three rate increases for this year, and said that “raises the risk that today’s highly inflated housing market will again end badly.” He’s watching homebuilder stocks closely because they’re a leading indicator, peaking in 2005, the year he called the crash — and the year before home prices themselves hit a top.
Jim: Of course today’s environment feels irrationally exuberant – it’s hard to believe how well we have done since our pricing recovery began in 2009!
But his reasoning that higher mortgage rates would “Raise the risk that today’s highly inflated housing market will again end badly” is off-base. Rates were coming down during the mortgage crisis – it was the fury over the neg-am loans that caused borrowers to think their payment was going to go through the roof, burn the house down, and kill their family. Borrowers who could only afford their initial minimum payment on the ARM then panicked at the first adjustment and hit the eject button.
Neg-am loans are now illegal, and I haven’t seen or heard of any ez-qual loans available at conforming rates – everybody who bought a house in the last nine years had to prove they could afford it, and their payment is fixed. Besides, we learned last time that just because their home value went down, people don’t panic and sell their house as long as they can afford it. People have to live somewhere, and we like it here. If a full-blown depression happened and we had another run of defaults, the government will provide another safety net and just tell banks not to foreclose.
If rates go up to 5% or 6%, it will probably stall the market, causing prices to bounce around. But there won’t be enough sellers who will dump on price that it would cause a major event. There could be a skirmish here and there caused by boomer liquidations occasionally. But that’s it.
Most business crowdfunding platforms offer returns on the investment, but this has none — it is simply a gift. George said the individual gifts will be small, in the $50 to $250 range. The platform can be linked to wedding and baby registries.
“You’re going to spend $250 on a coffee making machine? If that $250 goes to a down payment of your home, at the very least, I improve your quality of life and the second thing I do is I give you some, today, some tax deductibility,” George added.
As an incentive for encouraging prospective homeowners to attend credit education courses and counseling, borrowers can also receive grants of up to $2,500 once they’ve completed the free classes. After that, the platform will match donations at $2 for every $1 raised, up to $2,500.
“Folks that go to counseling tend to be more informed, and they also tend to be better borrowers,” George said. “We’ve looked at this as advertising dollars and have said, listen we think this promotes homeownership, we think it’s something that we would otherwise spend either through the internet or through social media. We’ve put our money here where we think it has its best use.”
On the other side, contributors are also assured that the money will in fact go to fund the home purchase and can make their gift conditional on that.
The idea is not just to raise money for the down payment but to add to the borrower’s existing funds. This can help eliminate the need for mortgage insurance, which is required on very low down payment loans. Fannie Mae is calling it a “pilot project,” and will be watching the results closely.
“What we’re doing today is we’re trying to test and learn a variety of solutions because the preferences for today’s homebuyers have changed significantly, and there is no silver bullet to solving a problem that’s as hard as how do you find a down payment,” said Jonathan Lawless at Fannie Mae. “What we prefer to do is source ideas from all sorts of different places. Our customers are a major one, lenders who are dealing every day with people trying to buy homes, and instead of trying to take those ideas and spend three years trying to roll out a major change, we’d rather test and learn.”
Could not be happier with my experience with Jim and his team. He helped me sell a very unique and challenging property. Throughout the entire process he was always available, honest, transparent, trustworthy, and always put my interests as a seller first. A (rare) true professional! During close of escrow Jim went above and beyond to complete the deal. It would not have been possible without his experience, fantastic team, and pure dedication. Highly recommended!
Thanks Jim and Donna Klinge! more “
Jim and the team at Klinge Reality are without a doubt the best in the business! Not only was Jim helpful and extremely knowledgeable, he was patient and determined to help me find my first home. Jim and his team have been in the business for many years, and it shows. Jim is a wealth of knowledge and was my biggest proponent despite the temperature of the competitive market. I ended up getting the perfect property in my dream neighborhood all thanks to Jim. From the day my offer was accepted, Donna was a real lifesaver. She was extremely helpful, responsive, and knowledgeable when it came to every minute detail, and held my hand through the process. more “
We first encountered Jim back in 2010 when we were looking to move from Pismo Beach, CA to to San Diego area. We had been having a difficult time finding (1) finding a realtor and (2) being able to see a home since we were so far away. Then we found Jim. He made the process really easy – he was able to take incredible video tours of the homes and it was as if we were there touring the homes ourselves. once we found homes we really liked, we took a trip to see it in person. One of the things we really liked about Jim was that he was honest with us about the homes and advised us weather a home was a good buy or not. He was not just out to quickly sell us a house just to make a commission. He really cared about ensuring we found the right one. more “
I have followed Jim’s BubbleInfo blog from the early days of the bubble when “real estate could only go up in value” and I knew him to be a straight shooter who would not sugar coat properties nor gloss over their faults.
So when we decided to move back to California after 7 years in the more “
Jim met with us prior to listing – provided guidance on preparation, detailed information and stats regarding local market conditions. He was invaluable for providing contacts for repair and improvements that would provide return on investment. Our combined efforts, strategy and his attentativeness more “
Jim and Donna Klinge are an impressive team. They work extremely well together and back each other up, as well as their clients, along every step of the way. Their expert guidance made a tremendous difference in the experience we had, both buying a new home and selling our previous home of 40 more “
Since Zillow only allows me to write 1 review per real estate transaction, per team of agents we worked with, this is going to be a super long review.Review on Jim Klinge:
Jim Klinge is the quintessential real estate agent, the “broker’s, broker” of real estate agents. My husband and I reached more “
by Louie and Tim Cook
Jim and Donna are the BEST of the BEST! Their knowledge, professionalism, work ethic, and devotion to their trade are unrivaled. It was refreshing to have worked with a pair of professionals who truly understand the meaning of customer service, a lost art in our opinion. Despite living over 3,000 miles away on the opposite coast, Jim and Donna were with us every step of more “
Jim found me a multi family property that we purchased as an investment (Please see my review of Donna Klinge for details on how it went). But the bottom line is this: I never would have found this property, which cash flows right out of the gate, if it weren’t for Jim pointing me toward that house. It just was not on my radar, even though I consider myself a savvy real estate troll. Jim is giving of his time, and his intelligence. And he is also transparent and truthful. And I think he is funny, which is helpful in stressful situations like RE transactions. Jim and Donna have earned every last penny they made from our deal — and in fact they deserve more. And that is why I will use them for my RE transactions the rest of my life. Thank you, Jim and Donna! more “
I can’t say enough about Jim and Donna. Jim got a great price for us and negotiated well. Donna walked us through escrow, handling vendors, and negotiating everything we asked for in the request for repairs. They are know exactly what they are doing and I’ve already recommended them to two other people. more “
I followed Jim’s blog for several years and decided to contact him (along with several other realtors) when an out-of-state work relocation required me to sell my home in San Marcos, Ca. At our initially meeting, Jim spent a significant amount of time discussing pricing options, strategy, as well… more “
Honesty. Integrity. Professionalism. Dedication. Commitment. Jim and Donna Klinge hold these attributes in abundance. They have acted as both our buyer agent and our seller agent delivering highly relevant insight into local market conditions, spot-on advice to maximize the home’s value, and unparalleled management of the transaction process… more “
I cannot imagine a better experience! Jim was our broker when my husband and I bought our first house. Jim never pressured us or glossed over anything. He was patient, knowledgeable, and helped us buy our dream home. His office was detail-oriented, always responsive and we closed in 30 days! The excellent service didn’t end when we bought our house, either, the Klinges have given us excellent and fast referrals along the way. We feel privileged to have worked with such a consummate professional and appreciate how rare this level of skill is. Jim is simply the best in the field. more “
Jim and his team are top flight. He knows the market better than anyone, and his team ensures the deal goes through without a hitch. There’s always something at the last minute, but you’d never know it with Jim and his crew. I’ve bought and sold houses with Jim as my agent over the years, and I wouldn’t use anyone else. Save yourself the headaches and potential costly mistakes… more “
Buying a house is one of the most emotional,exciting, and sometimes confusing milestones you’ll reach for in your life! Being a buyer in this market can make it even more interesting! My husband and I have been looking to buy for a year, and when the time came we wanted a realtor team that would be on our team! Being that I’m a business woman and was 7 months pregnant, I wanted, NEEDED, communication, dependability, and consistency! The Klinges went so far above and beyond … more “
Jim was recommended to me when I bought my first house here in the US five years ago. He and Donna explained the whole process and it was a great experience to work with them. Not surprisingly, when my company asked me to relocate my first choice was to work with them again… more “
I have followed Jim’s real estate blog for years and by the time I got ready to sell my townhouse I felt I knew him both personally and professionally. At our first meeting he was prepared with recent comps and listings for the area… more “
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