Piedmont Victorian – 5775 NE Garfield Portland, OR 97211


I recently toured a beautifully remodeled Victorian home in the Piedmont neighborhood in Portland, OR. Here’s a short video about the home, which is listed at $399,000:

This house really caught my eye from the moment I stepped on the front porch. Here is a photo gallery of pics I snapped with my phone while I toured the house with Joe:

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The owners have taken great care in restoring and remodeling this house, with a great mix of classic and modern elements. Joe even told me how much time he spent filling the original posts on the porch, and it is a lot!

Financing for 5775 Ne Garfield

There are a range of home loan options available for this property. As I said in the video, it does qualify for FHA financing, which has flexible credit guidelines and financing for up to 96.5% of the home’s value. To learn more about financing this property, or any other in Oregon and Washington, feel free to contact me at 503.799.4112 or email jason@mypmb.us

You can learn more about this great home at the following website:

http://www.5775negarfield.com

Contact the listing broker,

Michael Rysavy
Oregon Realty
503.860.4705

Thanks for taking a minute to check out this property!

Jason Hillard

Mortgage Advisor MLO #119032

Pinnacle Mortgage Bankers

a div of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corp

1706 D St Suite A Vancouver, WA 98663

http://www.homeloanninjas.com/

NMLS 81395 WA CL-81395

Equal Housing Lender

What the heck does “loan-to-value” mean?


There are lots of terms we use in the mortgage industry that aren’t part of everyday parlance. Today, I’ll talk a little bit about “loan-to-value”, or LTV for short.

In fact, I have a video that’s less than 90 seconds long if you’re in a hurry:

Loan-to-value

So, just to recap what I said in the video, your loan-to-value is the percentage of your home’s value that you finance with your home loan.

Whether you a purchasing a home, or refinancing your existing mortgage, LTV is an extremely important factor in making an educated decision about your home loan.

I’ll give you an example:

FHA – When purchasing a home using an FHA home loan, you can finance up to 96.5% of the appraised value of the property. If you are refinancing, you have two options: “rate & term” or “cash-out”. Rate & term means you are refinancing to lower your rate or change the length of your loan. A rate & term refinance is capped at a 97.75% LTV for FHA. Cash-out FHA refinances are limited to 85 per cent of the value of your home. If your current mortgage is an FHA loan, you can refinance with an FHA streamline, which does not have an LTV limitation.

So your needs define your loan-to-value, which helps define what home loan program you are going to apply for.

If you would like to learn more about loan-to-value, other mortgage terminology, or home loans in Oregon and Washington, I invite you to visit my site or contact me. I am long on answers and short on sales pitches 🙂

Thanks for taking a minute to read this post!

Picture: Jason HillardJason Hillard – homeloanninjas.com

Mortgage Advisor in Oregon and Washington MLO#119032

Pinnacle Mortgage Bankers

a div of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corp

503.799.4112

jason@mypmb.us

1706 D St Vancouver, WA 98663

NMLS 81395 WA CL-81395

Equal Housing Lender

Refinancing your Underwater Fannie Mae home loan


The Fannie Mae DU Refi Plus home loan program is extended through this year and into 2012. This program may be able to help you refinance if you owe more than your home is worth. Check out this quick video:

The Fannie Mae DU Refi Plus – Basics

First of all, you need to make sure that your current loan is owned by Fannie Mae. You can check that at Fannie Mae’s website. All you need is your full address.

You also need to be on time with your mortgage payments. If you are behind in your mortgage, you will need to discuss loan modification or other options with your lender.

The biggest impediment when discussing the DU Refi Plus program is the issue of mortgage insurance. The best case scenario is if you do not have mortgage insurance on your current home loan.

If you need to figure out your options when it comes to refinancing your home in Oregon or Washington, shoot me an email. You may not always like the answer, but knowing is better than the alternative.

Thanks for taking a minute to check this post out!

 

Picture: Jason HillardJason Hillard – homeloanninjas.com

Mortgage Advisor in Oregon and Washington MLO#119032

Pinnacle Mortgage Bankers

a div of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corp

503.799.4112

jason@mypmb.us

1706 D St Vancouver, WA 98663

NMLS 81395 WA CL-81395

Equal Housing Lender

The Boogeyman, Loch Ness Monster, and Custom home loans


I’ve really been on a tear lately when it comes to listening to advertisements from other lenders. It used to really piss me off when I saw misleading, deceptive, or otherwise “BS” mortgage ads.

Now I choose to laugh.

And poke a little fun. Here’s a video I made about the idea of “custom” home loans:

Custom Home Loans – Really?!

Mortgages are not the financial equivalent of an “a la carte” menu.

The investors that buy home loans don’t have short order cooks catering to individual preference.

Home loan programs are basically boxes. Some people offer different boxes, some people have more boxes. Most of these boxes have familiar names – FHA, VA, USDA, Conventional.

It is the job of a Licensed Mortgage Professional to explain all the boxes to you, tell you which ones your situation fits in, and help you devise a plan of action if you don’t immediately fit in the box you want.

If you have questions about  the boxes available to you, I am here to answer all of your questions about Oregon & Washington home loans. There’s a lot of boxes out there, and chances are you fit into one of them.

Picture: Jason Hillard

Jason Hillard – homeloanninjas.com

Mortgage Advisor in Oregon and Washington MLO#119032

Pinnacle Mortgage Bankers

a div of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corp

503.799.4112

jason@mypmb.us

1706 D St Vancouver, WA 98663

NMLS 81395 WA CL-81395

Equal Housing Lender

The Home Loan Application, by Jason Hillard , Homeloanninjas.com


Applying for a home loan is quite a process. A good place to get familiar with the process is the home loan application. I made a video awhile back showing the different sections of the loan application:

Some things to know when you apply for a home loan:

  • Detailed residence history for the last 2 years
  • Detailed employment history for the last 2 years
  • Knowledge of your various bank accounts, retirement accounts, and other liquid assets
  • Social Security number
  • A good idea of your credit history – dates of bankruptcy discharge, etc

Obviously, there’s more to it than that. But those items might be things you wouldn’t usually think about. It helps to have the following put together when you fill out the loan application:

  • Most recent 30 days of paystubs for all borrowers
  • Most recent bank statements; all pages, all accounts
  • Most recent retirement or 401k statements
  • Last 2 years Federal tax returns; all pages, with w2s
  • Business tax returns if applicable
  • Divorce decree/child support paperwork if applicable
  • Award letters for Social Security/VA/Disability if applicable
  • Pension letters/Annuity statements if applicable
  • Bankruptcy Discharge paperwork if applicable

That sounds like a lot of stuff to put together, but the truth is it will help your Mortgage Professional put your application together, and the underwriter will need to document and verify all of those items anyway.

You might as well begin prepared.

For more information about the home loan application, and a copy you can download and get familiar with, check out my website. I try to provide valuable information about home loans in Oregon and Washington, rather than empty sales pitches. Thanks!

Picture: Jason Hillard

Jason Hillard – homeloanninjas.com

Mortgage Advisor in Oregon and Washington MLO#119032

Pinnacle Mortgage Bankers

a div of Pinnacle Capital Mortgage Corp

503.799.4112

jason@mypmb.us

1706 D St Vancouver, WA 98663

NMLS 81395 WA CL-81395

Equal Housing Lender

Did you order the appraisal yet? – The Ideal Home Loan Process


Awhile ago I produced a video about some conversations between certain Realtors and my team.

I also wrote a nice long post about the subject, and Realtor professionalism in general, on my site.

I like to go back and watch the video from time to time because it makes me laugh, and that is a rare commodity in today’s Real Estate market. While I was watching it, I thought I would share with the audience here what I consider to be the ideal home loan process, and exactly how the appraisal fits in to that timeline.

1) Pre-application Consultation – Ideally, home loan applicants would sit down with a competent, licensed Mortgage Professional 6 months before they intend to enter the market. Many people have unique circumstances regarding credit, income, employment, etc., and 6 months is usually enough time to work through issues to present the best possible loan file to underwriting.

2) Gathering of Essentials – Before you apply, you should gather your last 30 days paystubs, 2 most recent bank statements, last 2 years Federal tax returns with w2s & 1099s, & most recent retirement statements. And, if applicable, any divorce decrees, award letters, child support orders, and last 2 years business tax returns for self-employed/business owners.

3) Fill out a Loan Application – When it’s time to fill out a loan application, do so with somebody you trust and get along with. You will be speaking with your loan officer a lot over the course of the coming weeks, so you might as well make sure that those conversations are with somebody you like and who is professional. They should clearly explain your loan terms, and all of the disclosures that need your signature so that you feel comfortable with the agreement you are entering into.

4) Behind the Scenes – This is where the real work starts. Your Loan Officer and his/her team will be verifying and documenting your income and assets, dissecting your credit report, pre-approving you through automated underwriting, ordering a preliminary title report and title insurance, and many other things that are just as exciting as they sound, but necessary. This prepares your file to be ideally what we call a “one touch” file in…

5) Underwriting – Despite the possibility of unexpected snafus, underwriting can still be a fairly smooth process if you have chosen the right Loan Officer to work with. Depending on underwriting turntimes, in a couple of days you should have a conditional approval. Think of this as the “to-do” list that you and your Loan Officer must complete before your loan documents can be drawn up.

6) Conditions – You will work with your Loan Officer to get all of the “to-dos” done and submitted to the underwriter. Once you are sure that all conditions can be satisfied, this is when you would order the…

7) APPRAISAL! – Your Loan Officer will order your appraisal through an Appraisal Management Company. Depending on the company used, and the demand for appraisals, this process will take a few days to a week. It has to be completed within 10 days, but it usually doesn’t take that long. Assuming the appraisal comes in at an acceptable value, the next step is to order the…

8 ) DOCS! HOORAY!! – The docs, or loan documents, are the paperwork you sign at closing. These include the final application, disclosures, the note, and sometimes your last 2 years tax returns need to be signed (if you e-filed the previous 2 years). Next step is…

9) FUNDING!!! – There will be some “prior-to-funding” conditions, but most of the time its standard escrow items. The escrow company sends all of the documents you signed at closing to the lender, and the lender reviews those documents for accuracy and completeness. If everything is ship-shape (which it should be if you are working with the right people), then you can…

10) MOVE IN!!!!! – Time to pay for pizza and beer in an attempt to trick your friends into helping you move.

And there you have it, the ideal home loan process. Each individual loan carries its own set of circumstances, so it isn’t out of the realm of possibility that your process might deviate from these 10 steps. However, if you select the right person to work with, you should have a good idea of what you are up against from the beginning.

Jason Hillard - @homeloan_ninja

Jason Hillard

If you have any questions about Real Estate financing in Oregon or Washington, or the home loan process in general, feel free to shoot me an email at obi-wan_shinobi@homeloanninjas.com or check out the wealth of information at http://www.homeloanninjas.com/! I started the site because I continue to be appalled by the complete lack of reliable information about home loans in the mainstream media. I sincerely hope it is a true resource that helps to educate everyone to become a better home loan consumer.

Just because we can do an FHA loan at 580 FICO, does that mean we should? By: Jason Hillard


this post was originally published on home loan ninjas on July 2nd 2010

Perhaps the biggest advantage to being an affiliate branch of a mortgage bank is our inherently “hybrid” nature. We are the bank; we have more responsibility and control than ever before. However, there are some hard and fast guidelines that all loans we originate and underwrite “in-house” must adhere to. These are policies that ensure our good standing with the investors we sell the loans to. Without access to these investors, we wouldn’t be in business because we do not service loans.

One of these steadfast rules is a minimum FICO score of 640, regardless of the loan program. This is where the “hybrid” nature of our operation kicks in and really sets us apart from a traditional bank. If we have clients that don’t meet certain underwriting criteria as prescribed by our investors, we can broker the loan to another bank. Hybrid: part bank, part broker. It really is a beautiful thing because it allows us to assist more customers than before. And we can be faster on our feet because we aren’t always relying on third parties, and provides more options to the consumer.

A quick perusal of the matrix of banks we are brokered with yielded a surprising tidbit of information: we can still do an FHA loan down to a 580 credit score.

This, of course, brings up an important question…

Just because we can, does that mean we should?

My partner and I, as I have previously mentioned, rarely fill out a client’s home loan application the first time we talk to them. Many people out there don’t qualify for their “ideal” mortgage right away. Others don’t know how much income they truly make. The point is, we get to know the down and dirty details before we begin the process in earnest. Outside of a few exceptions, this is the only responsible way to do business.

Now many times one of those details is a “less than perfect” credit score. Frequently, this can be remedied in 6 to 12 months with a little hard work, diligence, and a willingness to pay the items that are negatively impacting the client’s credit score.

We help people climb back up. Its what we are supposed to do. We are advisors, not just salesmen.

Can you make a case in the post-bubble (fingers-crossed) era for doing loans for people with a 580 credit score?

Right now, we have quite a few clients that are in this range. Actually, we always do because we talk to a lot of people and we don’t believe in simply turning people down with no plan to become “approvable”.

So how do we determine whether or not to proceed?

The answer, to me, lies in whether or not the consumer is climbing the stairs up, or riding the slide down.

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Let’s say we had a client come in to review their credit history with us 6 months ago, and at that time, their score was 493. We highlighted a plan of action, and they set their minds to achieving those goals. Let’s now assume that client followed all the steps and now they have a 597 credit score. They mention that they saw a house for sale over the weekend that they absolutely fell in love with. They want to know if they can get approved to purchase the home. I am morally OK with my Originator beginning the process with them. They have worked hard to improve their situation, and want to take an advantage of the opportunity to buy a house they really want, rather than settling for something now and trying to upgrade later.

Now let’s look at another situation that isn’t uncommon. A borrower comes to my mortgage company to get pre-approved to buy a “to be determined” property. They have a 641 credit score at the time of application. They start house-hunting, but can’t find anything they want for 60 days. Then they find something, put an offer in, and the offer is rejected. They put an offer in on another house; this one’s a short sale. They go back and forth with the seller over the next few weeks about closing cost concessions and inspection addendums. Suddenly the credit report is over 90 days old, which means we have to pull a new one. Low and behold, the borrower has maxed out a credit card, or taken a new loan out and missed a payment. Their credit score has dropped to a 599. Should we go ahead with the home loan?

The answer is not so clear cut, but I am damn certain about this: we are not acting in the consumer’s best interest if we don’t at least review the situation with them and determine the delinquency’s validity. It’s not professional to negotiate a mortgage for someone who is on the slippery slope of credit decline.

We aren’t trying to be “negative”, just honest and professional. The collective irresponsibility of borrowers, brokers, lenders, and banks got us into the current mess, and professional responsibility is the only way to prevent a repeat.

question mark image credit  Image: jscreationzs / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

slide image credit Image: Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How $257 can halt a home purchase


My company frequently works with customers to “clean up” their credit so that they can qualify for a home loan. This process typically takes about 6 months, maybe longer depending on the severity of the problem and the resources available to pay off delinquent accounts. We don’t charge anything for this because: a) it’s illegal, and b) it’s part of serving our clients and ensuring they get a loan they can live with.

We have been working with one couple on this process for about 8 months, and we were able to get them approved to buy a home. We all know that corrections/updates to credit tradelines can take somewhere between 30-90 days to be reflected on your credit report. However, this isn’t always the case. Sometimes the delinquent items continue to reported inaccurately for years. In my experience, in no instance is this more true than with government judgments and tax liens.

We’ve all heard horror stories about government inefficiencies from every department in every level of government. Whether it’s the DMV or the USPS, it’s a big undertaking and people are, after all, only human. There will be mistakes. However, the lack of accountability is an area in which I think the public sector excels.

When we re-pulled the credit to get the loan going, the client’s FICO score was just fine. However, a $257 judgment from Multnomah County, OR was still reporting as delinquent. A couple of years ago, the county instituted a temporary income tax called the ITAX, and many people wound up owing hundreds, sometimes thousands of dollars when the tax expired. Our clients were some of those people.

The client had paid a settlement with the county a couple years ago, and believed that this amount was included. Even if it wasn’t, $257 isn’t a huge deal for anyone to worry about. Until you start adding penalties and 9% interest, that is.

We decided that we would submit the loan file anyway, and given underwriting turntimes, we would be able to collect proof before every other piece of documentation had been signed off by our underwriter. What follows is the story of how that happened.

I called the county circuit court, where the judgment had been filed and processed. I was given another number to call. The person at that number couldn’t help me, because it was a “small claims” matter. She gave me the number for small claims. The nice man at small claims told me that he could accept a payment for the judgment, but has no way of knowing what the payoff amount would be. I played along hoping he could give me the number of someone who would know more about the issue. He directed me to yet another phone number, which was the “helpline” for the ITAX. I called this number. It was out of service, as it expired THE SAME YEAR THE ITAX EXPIRED, which was a few years ago. A pre-recorded message directed me to yet another number. The person I talked to at that number told me that the account had been sent to collections, and gave me the number of the collection agency they contract with.

OK, now I’m getting somewhere. I skeptically call the collection agency, and a very helpful lady answered the phone and told me what I already suspected:

They would never sue someone over $257 because it costs $100 to file the suit.

This is where her very nice qualities shined through. She took down my information, and said she would call the county courthouse to find out what was going on and get back to me. I thought to myself, “why the heck would she take the time to do all that for something she has no prayer of receiving payment on?”. However, I thanked her and moved on.

I called the county back, explaining yet another person what I had just been through, and she directed me to the one man who still deals with ITAX payment issues. She also asked to remain on the line to verify that this would be the correct way to deal with any other future ITAX related issues so that people like me would not have to waste what had become a 45 minute telephonic wild goose chase. I thanked her profusely.

The “ITAX man” picked up the phone and was very courteous and professional. However, he told me something after looking up the client in his system that absolutely floored me. He said that the client’s judgment amount was for $833! I told him they had another tax lien from a previous year that had already been paid off, as indicated on my credit report. He said he didn’t have any record of that, but that he would take my word for it because that’s what the credit report said. He said that the client would need to send his department a check for the $257, and he would send the check and the paperwork to the attorney’s office. The attorney would clear the item, then send the check in to be processed. Once the check had cleared, I would get an email with the proof of payment on county letterhead. I hesitantly asked him how long he thought this process would take. He said 5 or 6 business days.

I knew the client would pay the $257 just to get it over and done with, and feeling like I had accomplished a small victory, we called him. He told us that he had just made 5 phone calls to various county departments and that they told him that their records indicated that he didn’t owe anything, which is what we suspected all along. However, he would need to get a letter from the law firm he settled with indicating as such so that we could prove to the lender that everything was all clear. That is where we are in the process.

Now, everyone I talked to during this entire process was courteous and helpful. But here’s what I want to know:

How can a society function when it takes roughly 23 phone calls to clear up a $257 judgment that NOBODY can even determine is still active?

It would be a shame if something like this caused this client to miss out on the opportunity to buy the house of their dreams at a record low interest rate. Surely, we can do better.

Jason Hillard

http://www.homeloanninjas.com

Thoughts on the New Mortgage Insurance Premium for FHA loans – by Jason Hillard | homeloanninjas.com


(originally posted on October 2nd, 2010)

I have had this rolling around in my head for a few weeks now, and with the change in FHA mortgage insurance monthly premiums bearing down on us in a few days, I had to share my thoughts. We’ve been doing a lot of FHA loans in Oregon & Washington, as I’m sure is the case all around the country, and this change is going to affect a lot of people. (I apologize for the low quality of the video, I have successfully screwed my phone’s camera up!)

Again, everything that’s changing about the mortgage industry is done under the auspices of avoiding another meltdown, curbing foreclosures, and making the mortgage-backed security a good investment. So, if you have an insurance policy which is designed to avert the risk of a loan in default to the lender, why would you want the premium on that insurance policy to be collected over time?

From a simple risk-assessment perspective, it would seem that the more time you are exposed to loss, the greater the likelihood that it will happen. The fear is that homeowners will default on their loan payments, so why would you push more of the premium to the monthly payment side (rather than the upfront funding fee) if the reason for the policy is to protect the investor from people who default on those payments?

It seems like the reasonable position would be to get the premium covered from day one. This reminds me of when the downpayment requirement for FHA went from 3% all the way up to a whopping 3.5 per cent. Does that extra .5% really invest the homeowner so much more that it reduces their likelihood of default? I’m not saying their should be less “skin in the game”, but if that’s going to be your approach, why not really DO IT? Make the downpayment 5%, or make some portion of the upfront mortgage insurance on an FHA home loan payable from the borrower’s own funds?

It may just be that I am making the age-old mistake of applying logic to government policy, but I am thinking that the intended purpose isn’t really what we are being told.

You can read some related posts on FHA loans and mortgage insurance:

What is mortgage insurance?

We can do FHA down to 580 FICO, but should we?

Video: mortgage terminology – mortgage insurance

If you have any questions about FHA financing, mortgage insurance, or home loans in general, feel free to send us an email or comment on this post! And if you have any thoughts on why the monthly mortgage insurance premiums for FHA mortgages are increasing while the upfront funding fee is decreasing, we’d love to hear them!