Lender update: Coronavirus & Current mortgage rates

April 21, 2020

Posted by in News

As the COVID-19 virus wreaked havoc on the world’s financial markets and disrupted a red-hot American economy, the mortgage industry in the United States has had to respond to a variety of unanticipated challenges and changes.


The good news is we are still here and working to serve our customers and business partners.


As you may already know, when news of the COVID-19’s potential impact on American business was made known, the stock market tumbled, and bond yields reacted. That sent interest rates, which were already quite low, to even lower levels (at least for a couple of days) that had not been seen in decades.


As rates attempted to adjust back, the Federal Reserve cut short-term interest rates to stop a potential crisis in the economy. Instead of giving home sales a boost in the arm, and to increase confidence in the housing market, it created a wave of refinance applications which have pushed many large lenders, banks and credit unions to their maximum capacity.


The stories of waiting eight weeks to close, getting sudden last-minute conditions from underwriters, delaying appraisals and lenders tightening guidelines (on popular loan products) are real. In addition, with so many people hopping from lender to lender to try and save .125% on a refinance, many lenders now require that a loan be completely approved by underwriting before you can lock in your interest rate.

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Is a Down Payment Assistance loan right for you?

October 15, 2019


Not having enough cash to make a down payment on a home is a common concern. But it doesn’t have to be the end of the road! I recently spoke with Mark Sherman of Atlantic Trust Mortgage, who provided valuable insights on another option: a DPA (Down Payment Assistance) loan.


Mark said in addition to understanding the ins and outs of traditional loan products (e.g. Conventional, Jumbo, USDA, VA, FHA), mortgage brokers are also responsible for being well-versed in a variety of niche and first-time homebuyer products. This includes knowing how and when these alternative products are valuable to buyers.


Key among these products is the DPA loan. Though there are 3% down, 3.5% down and even 100% conventional, government and USDA financing options, some buyers still can’t cover the down payment and closing costs. However, they might have good credit and the necessary income to qualify for the monthly payment.


For these buyers, Mark says the DPA portion of their financing is provided as a “second” mortgage “grant” that requires no payment (or a reduced interest-only monthly payment). Then they can apply the funds from their “grant” to their down payment and closing costs. In many cases, the buyer needs no cash at closing.

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How Federal Reserve Rate Decisions Impact Mortgages

September 23, 2019


As mortgage loan originators, we are often the first phone call when customers hear the Fed (Federal Reserve) has “cut rates” during one of its Open Market Committee meetings.


Typically, if the Federal Reserve makes a cut, usually .25% at a time, it is designed to stimulate short term interest rates, encourage investment by businesses and encourage consumers to make durable goods purchases like automobiles, appliances or recreational vehicles. It is also meant to encourage homeowners to dip into home equity for home improvements, debt reduction or possibly college expenses for a child.


Short-term financing rates move in the same direction as the Federal Funds rate. So if you are considering a 3-5 Year adjustable rate mortgage (ARM), you may see a dip in those rates. I like to refer to these downward cuts as a “loosening” of credit.


As for fixed rate loans at 15-30 Year terms, the Federal Funds rate does not always have an impact. They are not directly linked to each other.

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What’s the best time to refinance? Use this simple rule of thumb

June 24, 2019


As mortgage professionals, we are often asked about refinancing, especially at times like these when interest rates are historically low.


In addition, every time you turn on your television or go online, you are bombarded with advertising encouraging you to refinance now! But when should you consider refinancing?


In a normal interest rate environment and in Florida, the “rule of thumb” is that if you can reduce your rate by 2%, and plan to stay in your home for more than 2 years, you will begin to realize some actual savings. The math is simple:


On a 30-year fixed rate loan of $200,000 at a 6% interest rate,your payment (principal + interest) would be $1,199.10.

If you secure a new rate of 4% on the loan, your payment would go down to $954.83. That is a payment reduction of $244.27 a month.

Over 24 months, that’s a net savings of $5,862.48!

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Davidson Realty