The old mortgage is back and so are the real buyers.

House and Keys in Female Hands


Did you know that you need to have good credit to apply for a mortgage? Did you know that you have to have a job to get a mortgage? Did you know that you have to have a down payment to get a mortgage? Surprised??? Well you might be if you are one of those folks who witnessed and participated in  the debacle that occurred in 2007-2008.

Yes, it was  loose lending. It seemed like anyone could get financing if they needed it. I won’t go into actual cases right now. I’ll save that for another blog or a beer at a local gin mill. Suffice it to say, it was nuts. There were companies that were even giving home equity loans in addition to first mortgages at a closing with a credit card to top off the craziness.

Well now we have Dodd-Frank which are new rules and regulationss passed by Congress and signed by the President to govern how lenders must apply stricter standards for getting new mortgages by a consumer. Dodd-Frank also established the Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, to make sure that the financial mess doesn’t occur again. It  provides an avenue for a consumer to file a complaint against a lender if they feel they are being cheated or question how the process is being utilized as they attempt to get a loan of any kind. You can visit them at their web site at goal is admirable but they have no oversight. They are basically an independent organization working through the Federal Reserve, which has no Congressional oversight.  A problem I think which needs to change in a hurry. They have to be responsible to somebody!

So what can you expect if you need a mortgage.
1. A down payment. As little as 3 1/2 % down with an FHA mortgage.  A credit score minimum of 620, depending on the lender. Conventional loan, 5%  down with a minimum credit care in the 700+ area, again depending on the lender.

2. You need to prove your income. W2’s are fine but if you are self employed and are dealing with a lot of cash and you have large write offs, you are going to have to submit copies of your most current income tax filings.  I can’t help you if you are showing  very little income or substantial losses.  The lenders are not going to buy it.

3. All funds have to be tracked even if they are gifted funds. So if uncle Louie is going to give you the money, the lenders are going to want proof that he didn’t borrow it from somebody. You need to get into your account at least 3 months before you need to verify it with a lender. If you are a veteran you can borrow everything including all of the down payment. And by the way thanks for your service. Love you folks.

4. Debt load. The old 28% of your gross monthly income towards principle, interest, insurance and taxes is probably a safe benchmark to determine a monthly maximum payment. You can safely add another  8% of your income to other debt and figure you can still qualify. In some cases lenders will allow you to go as high as 41% on the back end to qualify. I see this mostly in Government loans. But be conservative.  You have to make the payment. Talk to me and I’ll give you a range of loans that you can afford based on the type and down payment.

Really what has occurred is that we have returned to a normal mortgage lending situation.  A consumer really has to be able to afford  the loan.  And other than veterans, one really has to have some”skin in the game”that is, a down payment. No more interest only loans, no negative amortization loans, where you are interest short on the payment. No more no documentation loans where all you had to do is tell the loan officer how much you earned without proving written verification.  In other words, the truth is back and they are checking to make sure of it. If you need some help in navigating some of these new old rules for getting a loan before you start your home shopping , then give me a call at 6107372310. I’ll be glad to help you. If you are in the market for a home and you meet an agent that does not ask you pre qualifying financial questions and tries to pass you off to a mortgage lender quickly, I would doubt that the agent has the knowledge or the desire to really engage you and provide you with sound financial advice.  Keep searching.

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