Still a few spots left: Two Aimpoint Green Reading Clinics Sat Sept 10th and 24th at Westhaven CC

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5.9 Magnitude Earthquake shakes VA

Felt as far as NY and Rhode Island. The Pentagon was evacuated as a precaution.


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Rates at Record Lows


Has your loan officer called you and let you know? Do you need a new loan officer? 😉


Mortgage Rates

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Mortgage Rates at Record Low

In case you have had your head under a rock, mortgage rates have hit a record low again after the stock market tanked. Please give me a shout for a free mortgage review and quote. I have a lot of clients that are refinancing 30 year mortgages to 15 years and not having their payments go up.

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Mortgage Rates at Record Low

Mortgage Rates at Record LowIn case you have not heard, MORTGAGE RATES ARE RECORD LOWS one more time. If you missed out last time, you better act quick and contact me now.

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FHA Loan Limits to Decrease

Traditionally, FHA has set the maximum loan limit in each county in the US based on the median house price in that county. For the last three years, in an effort to mitigate the effects of the economic downturn and the sharp reduction of mortgage credit availability from private sources, Congress has temporarily increased FHA max loan limits to propped up amounts. Congress could step in and do that again later this year but the general sentiment at this point is that they won’t. The effect would be that FHA loan limits would likely decline in 669 of the 3,334 US counties or county equivalents that are eligible for FHA mortgage insurance. This decrease would take effect for FHA Case #’s ordered on or after October 1, 2011. For the Metro Nashville area, it would drop $39,200 from $432,500 to $393,300.

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Why you are wasting your time when Mortgage Rate Shopping

Would $2000 difference in closing costs affect your decision as to which lender to use for your mortgage? If so, you really can’t shop for a mortgage until your are ready to lock in and you know YOUR EXACT credit score.

The difference between a 679 credit score and and 680 on a $200,000 mortgage is $2000 dollars in closing costs or around .125 to .25% difference it rate.

Don’t believe me? See the matrix taken from Fannie Mae’s site below.

Check it out on Fannie Mae’s Site yourself or read about it on another professional’s site below.

Fannie Mae on LLPA

The Mortgage Reports

My point, if you don’t know your exact score, you really need to pick a mortgage professional that is a trusted adviser and let them help you navigate the mortgage process.

Fannie Mae Loan LLPA


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A Pirate Looks at 40

Well, today is the day. I have now turned 40.

Is 40 the new 20? If so, it sure doesn’t feel like it. I really never liked anything that was “the new” anything else. It seems like something you might hear from a male interior designer and that is not someone that I want to be associated with. Nothing against interior designers or males.

So, what does it mean to be 40? According to statistics, the average life expectancy in the US is 76 and growing a few months every year so I am half way through. You want to look back and see what you have accomplished in half of your life. I think most are tempted to see how they are doing financially, what their title is, what status they have achieved. I have never put a lot of stock in those things, however, I do want people to think well of me and I do want to leave a legacy. The question is, what it the legacy that you are leaving? If you were to leave today, what would people say about you? I have not made any major contributions to society where my name will be spoken of for years like Franklin or Edison. I have not built an empire around myself and used my fortune to make my name know in every household like Trump. I think of  the Montgomery Gentry song “That’s something to be proud of.” That generation of folks that fought in WWII seem to be a different breed. I don’t think I or many of my peers fare well in comparison.

What legacy does a common man leave? What is a noble profession? What does today’s man do to give something back? It seems like all of the teachings today are about ‘getting yours”, making big money and climbing the social and economic ladder, but when a man turns 80 and has made a fortune, does he really feel like he gave something back?

While doing research on this post I ran across the link of the Carnegie Mellon prof that died a few years ago that gave his going away speech.

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Dear Blog, I’m sorry I’ve neglected you.

I’m disgusted. I just looked and it has been over 2 months since my last post. I guess it really doesn’t matter as I don’t think anyone is reading this anyway. I t is more therapy for me than it is anything else. So, to catch you up on what has happened. We’ll the new job is going pretty well. I am working a little more than I wanted to, but at least there is some income coming in. I have had a few really good months since March. Stephanie seems to be doing well with it. I don’t get to see her as much as I want though.

I am settling into a little better pace now alternating days of going into the office at Green Hills and working from the home office.  I really like the flexibility coupled with the income potential. It really is like owning your own business. I really never thought working for a bank could be like this. In reality, not a lot has changed for me. I still keep my own hours, albeit the volume model of the bank requires me to work more, but at least there is business to work. I was having issues finding business before and there are some opportunities that Bank of America offers that I just could not find as a broker.

Well, it’s Mothers day today and I want to wish my Mommy a Happy Mother’s day at her camp spot at Coyote Creek in NM where she and Dad are camp hosts again this year. I’ve got to go feed spoiled little Sasha and get ready to go to brunch with Steph and her family. I’ll check back in later.

Cedar Creek

View from Avalanche of Ceday Creek

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FHA to Increase Upfront Mortgage Insurance and Decrease Seller Concessions

As promised in December, the Federal Housing Administration has announced the details of changes intended to strengthen its capital reserves which were reported to be headed into dangerously low territory late last year.  The changes are designed to increase the FHA’s income from customers while reducing its portfolio’s risk.

FHA Commissioner David Stevens comments:

“Striking the right balance between managing the FHA’s risk, continuing to provide access to underserved communities, and supporting the nation’s economic recovery is critically important,”

“When combined with the risk management measures announced in September of last year, these changes are among the most significant steps to address risk in the agency’s history. Additionally, by continuing to provide affordable, responsible mortgage products, FHA will support the housing market’s recovery. Importantly, FHA will remain the largest source of home purchase financing for underserved communities.”

Announced FHA Policy Changes:

Mortgage insurance premium (MIP) will be increased to build up capital reserves and bring back private lending

  • The first step will be to raise the up-front MIP by 50 bps to 2.25% and request legislative authority to increase the maximum annual MIP that the FHA can charge.
  • If this authority is granted, then the second step will be to shift some of the premium increase from the up-front MIP to the annual MIP.
  • This shift will allow for the capital reserves to increase with less impact to the consumer, because the annual MIP is paid over the life of the loan instead of at the time of closing
  • The initial up-front increase is included in a Mortgagee Letter to be released tomorrow, January 21st, and will go into effect in the spring.

Update the combination of FICO scores and down payments for new borrowers.

  • New borrowers will now be required to have a minimum FICO score of 580 to qualify for FHA’s 3.5% down payment program. New borrowers with less than a 580 FICO score will be required to put down at least 10%.
  • This allows the FHA to better balance its risk and continue to provide access for those borrowers who have historically performed well.
  • This change will be posted in the Federal Register in February and, after a notice and comment period, would go into effect in the early summer.

Reduce allowable seller concessions from 6% to 3%

  • The current level exposes the FHA to excess risk by creating incentives to inflate appraised value. This change will bring FHA into conformity with industry standards on seller concessions.
  • This change will be posted in the Federal Register in February, and after a notice and comment period, would go into effect in the early summer.

Increase enforcement on FHA lenders

  • Publicly report lender performance rankings to complement currently available Neighborhood Watch data – Will be available on the HUD website on February 1.

o This is an operational change to make information more user-friendly and hold lenders more accountable; it does not require new regulatory action as Neighborhood Watch data is currently publicly   available.

  • Enhance monitoring of lender performance and compliance with FHA guidelines and standards.

o Implement Credit Watch termination through lender underwriting ID in addition to originating ID.
o This change is included in a Mortgagee Letter to be released tomorrow, January 21st, and is effective immediately.

  • Implement statutory authority through regulation of section 256 of the National Housing Act to enforce indemnification provisions for lenders using delegated insuring process

o Specifications of this change will be posted in March, and after a notice and comment period, would go into effect in early summer.

  • HUD is pursuing legislative authority to increase enforcement on FHA lenders. Specific authority includes:

o Amendment of section 256 of the National Housing Act to apply indemnification provisions to all Direct Endorsement lenders.This would require all approved mortgagees to assume liability for all of the loans that they originate and underwrite
o Legislative authority permitting HUD maximum flexibility to establish separate “areas” for purposes of review and termination under the Credit Watch initiative. This would provide authority to withdraw originating and underwriting approval for a lender nationwide on the basis of the performance of its regional branches

In addition to the changes proposed today, the FHA is continuing to review its overall response to housing market conditions, and continuing to evaluate its mortgage insurance underwriting standards and its measures to help distressed and underwater borrowers through FHA/HAMP and other FHA initiatives going forward.

-From Adam Quinones of Mortgage News Daily Jan. 20, 2010

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