- About Us
- Your Total Resource
In the mortgage industry, companies focus on product, price, and service. Landmark's clients know that our service is very good, and that our prices are very good. But over the last few years the mortgage industry has had little in the way of products that might differentiate one company from another – until now.
Landmark has rolled out a bridge loan program that will help our clients make an offer on their new home before selling their current home! It is rare that a home owner, in the market, will commence scouting for a new place to live only after they sell their current home. And the odds are good that the home owner may find their dream home before they've sold their current place, in which case funds may be tight to close on the new house.
And that is why we rolled out our new program. It will provide our clients a way to bridge the gap between selling and buying. Our bridge loans allow borrowers to access up to 80% of the equity in their existing residence to help fund the down payment on their new home.
And in a seller's market where only the most attractive offers get accepted, our bridge loans can help clients make an offer that is not contingent on the sale of their current home, making the offer far more appealing to any seller.
This is a program which makes a tremendous amount of sense to any borrower who is moving. Landmark is able to do this through our focus on customer service, the fact that the majority of house purchases are from existing home owners, and our realization that the markets along the 580/680 corridors are heating up. There are restrictions, but check with your Landmark Advisor for current rates, program parameters, and underwriting guidelines!
The Dow Jones Industrial Average has passed the 15,000 mark. But is that really reason to celebrate? If that isn't enough for you how about the Sharks won the first round in a sweep!
The sentiment on Wall Street may be that our long national fiscal nightmare is finally over, but the stock market is just one barometer of prosperity, many economists and consumer experts argue. The problems that have plagued the United States in recent years — declining household income, surging prices for many key goods and services, low interest rates for savings — remain very much in place. So be careful.. But you know and I know that people are ready to buy. Let's just be smart about it and make sure we help them make the best decision.
The mortgage market has been very very quite this week. Rates have risen a little on all the good economic news. Loan parameters seem to have stabilized (not getting any tougher). Word is some loosening guidelines might be right around the corner. So hold onto your britch's!
Underwriting guidelines change all the time, and one of the things that Landmark Advisors spend their time on is monitoring those changes. But interestingly, one thing that is somewhat constant is the amount of down payment due at the closing table. Many borrowers find, however, that coming up with the cash for the down payment has perhaps been the biggest obstacle to homeownership.
Seventy-five years ago, banks would only loan money to buy a house if the homebuyer had 30 percent or more of the sales price for the down payment. Even in 1935 when the average price of a home in the United States was $3,400, coming up with $1,000 for a down payment was a challenge. After all, the average income of a worker was just $1,500 per year. But in the 1930s the government decided to step in and help Americans buy their homes, and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) was created to offer prospective homeowners the opportunity to buy a home with a small down payment and a stable 30 year fixed rate loan.
Today, our government, through the FHA, insures lenders, such as Landmark, who offer FHA loans. These loans have many benefits but probably the most noteworthy is that FHA insured loans allow a homebuyer to buy a home with as little as 3.5 percent down and to borrow as much as $729,750 (in a high-priced housing market) at a competitive 30-year fixed rate. FHA loans are typically more lenient on credit and allow a borrower to spend more of their monthly income on their house payment than conventional loans. They also allow a borrower to receive all of the down payment as a gift.
But FHA-insured loans also have their downsides. For example, FHA loans require mortgage insurance on every loan, despite the size of the down payment, and that mortgage insurance effectively adds up to 1.35 percent to the note rate. In other words, if the 30-year fixed rate today were 3.25 percent, the effective rate for an FHA loan would be over 4.5 percent.
Alternatively, the conventional financing offered by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae requires the borrower to pay for mortgage insurance only if there is less than 20 percent for the down payment. Mortgage insurance may be paid either on a monthly basis or as a lump sum at the close of escrow. The precise payment options are dependent on the loan to value ratio, the loan amount and the credit score. Unlike with the current FHA loans, mortgage insurance on conventional loans does not continue throughout the life of the loan. Check with your Landmark Advisor on the best combination of down payment, mortgage insurance, and rate!
Lending is one thing, but what about those 100% equity, all-cash folks? Has the percentage of homeowners who are free-and-clear changed over time? In 1940, 55% of the people owned their homes outright. By 1980, this share dropped to 35%. leveling out into the following decades. Then census data shows 33% of homeowners free and clear in 2010, and Zillow's Negative Equity 2012 Q3 data shows 29% of homeowners are free-and-clear on their homes.
OK, so work the deal guys, great for listings! Ever heard of seller carry-backs? (they can generate income for the seller, and some tax advantages you know.) Lets get creative guys, need more listings.
The biggest economic report this week will be Friday's release of first quarter GDP, the broadest measure of economic growth. We have Durable Goods and Jobless Claims reports out also. Regardless rates are GREAT and loans are getting closed..
BELIEVE IT OR NOT MINIMUM DOWN LOAN BUYERS ARE GETTING ACCEPTED. Gotta get creative. Between the lender and the agent we must all work together to put the buyer in the best light of the seller.
Landmark Mortgage Group is a division of Opes Advisors and licensed by the CA Dept. of Real Estate, Real Estate Broker license 01458652 and NMLS 235584. Equal Opportunity Lender.