Plan Your Home Purchase Using a Mortgage Recast


Often times, seemingly in a fantasyland, home buyers might want to buy their new home first non-contingent on a home sale and sell their retained home shortly after moving into their new one without a financial inconvenience.  They might want to do this to get a better price due to negotiating from a position of […]

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You’re a First Time Homebuyer? So what!


I know, my headline may be a little offensive to some, but I had to get your attention. This is going to be well worth your 4 minutes to learn a few things about first time homebuyers and first time homebuyer programs. I’m sure you have heard of Toys R Us and Babies R Us, […]

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Dual Agency in Minnesota


Reblogged: Deanna Wyman There is a commonly held belief that every Realtor’s dream is to handle both sides of a transaction-a practice known as dual agency. An unfortunate number of people are under the impression that this practice is a great idea. Well, I’m here to tell you that dual agency isn’t actually worthy of […]

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The Mortgage Insurance Tax Deduction is Back


A time ago, we had written about the “on again and off again” itemized deductibility of private mortgage insurance.  It’s been a real saga.  Let’s do a little history: In 2007, congress passes the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act which allowed qualified private mortgage insurance to be wholly or partially deducted in accordance with IRS […]

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5 Things I Wish All Homebuyers Knew Before Getting Their Mortgage


A good mortgage loan officer is like a financial psychiatrist for residential housing.  Years of training and experience are packed into our minds for the purpose of reacting correctly to buyers’ financial profiles, stories and desires.  The moral of the story?  All those years of training and experience are an empty value unless you put […]

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New MHFA (Minnesota Housing) Mortgage Programs – Start Up & Step Up


Through the Minnesota Housing Finance Agency (MFHA), the State of Minnesota offers eligible homebuyers loans with subsidized interest rates and mortgage insurance for low-to-moderate income homebuyers, that is correct, it is not just for first time homebuyers anymore! Start Up is the new Minnesota Housing statewide mortgage loan program for low-to-moderate income first-time homebuyers.  Click […]

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iLoan Puts its Money Where its Mouth is for Veterans Using VA Loans


For a long time, we’ve been trying to figure out what we can do for our VA clients besides being highly trained, offering superior interest rates, and providing high-touch service.  We had talked about doing something more for some time now and finally thought we should get off our laurels and get ‘er done. For […]

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Buying a Home with a H1B Visa


These days, any time a lender sees a square peg and a round hole, they tend to run for the hills. In the case of homebuyers seeking a mortgage with H1B visa status, too often this is the case. If they’d patiently take the “outside in method” of loan structuring (start with Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac, […]

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2013 – The Return of the Subprime Mortgage?


Fear, regulatory uncertainty, market instability and a lack of consumer confidence has kept the reemergence of these products at bay.  Make no mistake though; the money for these products is there.  Reemerging market stability has helped to abate the fears of some mortgage investors on the secondary market.  Consumer confidence has not recovered but it […]

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Buying a House? Then Rates Better Not be Greek to You – The Cost of Waiting to Buy


With all of the recent strength in the Twin Cities housing market and Minnesota’s relatively low unemployment rate one might be confused about why we’re experiencing all-time lows (ours are even lower) in mortgage rates since typically the beginning of a recovery is followed by higher interest rates. But the truth is that the Minnesota […]

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Using a VA Insured Mortgage to Purchase a Home After a Short Sale


I have had a lot of people ask me about how to buy a home after a short sale using FHA financing but it’s becoming more and more common that people are considering buying a home after a short sale using financing insured by the Veteran’s Administration.  These guidelines use to be murky but the […]

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How to Choose and Calculate Your PMI (Private Mortgage Insurance)


Saving an eighth of a percent on interest rate can save a little on your monthly payment and shopping around on closing costs can save a little on your down payment but perhaps the most overlooked and costly mistake when buying a home is not choosing the right mortgage insurance if the down payment is […]

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Understanding Agency (Who Represents Whom in a Real Estate Transaction) it’s Important, Overlooked and Misunderstood


Would you hire your spouse’s Attorney in a divorce battle, or if someone brought a law suit against you would you hire the opposing side’s attorney, hell no!  Then why do Home Buyers and Sellers hire Real Estate Firms without understanding the concept of “Agency?” (Who Represents Whom In Real Estate Transactions) Buying and Selling […]

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Purchase a HUD owned Home with the $100.00 Down Payment Incentive Program


During the fall of 2011, all HUD owned properties that are under the jurisdiction of the Denver and Atlanta HUD Homeownership Centers are eligible for the $100.00 down payment purchase incentive.  What this means, home buyers in Minnesota, Wisconsin and the additional states under Denver & Atlanta’s jurisdiction can purchase a HUD Owned Property with […]

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Friends Don’t Let Friends Use Zillow, Trulia and Yahoo Real Estate to Find Homes for Sale


If you live in MN and you want to use one of these sites to find your next home, you should know that approximately 20% of the homes for sale are not being shown to you.  Because these sites are riddled with data inaccuracies, Edina Realty decided to pull their listings from these third party […]

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FHA Seller Paid Closing Costs Reduction Announced


To much fanfare, FHA announced measures to better protect their insurance fund in a recent Final Ruling published in the Federal Register.  Slipped in as a footnote to this announcement was a declaration that FHA is deaf to the concerns of the real estate industry.  They are taking aim to again attempt to reduce the […]

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First Time Home Buyers, Now that You’ve Opened “The Box”


As a First Time Home Buyer it is like opening up a new IPad you just received from Santa.  You are excited to open the box, fire it up, but once it is out of the box you don’t even know what you don’t know about your new IPad.  The same generally apply’s to First […]

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FHA Mortgages: Enough Already!


Borrowers are going to pay more for an FHA loan in 2012.  FHA mortgage insurance premiums are going up AGAIN.  This change could possibly take an approved loan file straight to the DENIED bin. The recent, signed legislation to extend the payroll tax deduction means an increase in FHA’s mortgage insurance premium.  The FHA (Federal […]

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Anyone you know struggling with mortgage payments due to unemployment?


Anyone you know struggling with mortgage payments due to unemployment? Forbearance Terms Eased for Freddie’s Borrowers Freddie Mac gave unemployed homeowners who are struggling to pay mortgages owned or guaranteed by the company a break on Friday when it eased its temporary forbearance restrictions. Effective February 1, Freddie Mac servicers will no longer need prior approval […]

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Mortgage Interest Rates, Closing Costs and Mortgage Calculators


You are in your jammies, its 1:00 AM and visions of new homes are dancing in your head.  How much is this going to cost?  What interest rate will you get?  Who are you gonna call?  No need, my friend…the internet has got you covered! Information is GOLDEN.  And if you are like most, you […]

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HARP 2.0… Getting Prepared


If you’re among the more than 7 million of US home-owners who are expected to qualify under the expanded guidelines, there are several preparatory steps you need to take to ensure your application is reviewed first. Our assumption is that lenders will be absolutely DEVASTATED with new refinance applications in the coming months, underwriters will […]

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Fannie Mae Homepath Mortgage Loans…NO Appraisal, NO MI and NO Condo Certification!


Fannie Mae HomePath Mortgage Loans… NO Appraisal, NO MI and NO Condo Certification! Looking for a fix up property… with mortgage financing readily available? You believe you are either a handy person when it comes to home fix up projects or maybe you know someone who is handy.    Shopping for foreclosed homes seems like a […]

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The Mortgage Process Put Simply


Understanding the mortgage process is a constant frustration for consumers. One can search the web and find all kinds of long articles breaking the mortgage loan process into anywhere between 6 and 9 individual steps. Upon reading these, a consumer gets even more confused since each individual step is confusing in and of itself. Unfortunately, […]

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I’m giving myself a PROMOTION today…


I was reading a few blogs last night and saw some from some “mortgage guys” and I saw a few different titles that intrigued me.  If you’ve read any BLOGS on the difference between a LICENSED Mortgage Loan Originator and  REGISTERED Mortgage Loan Originator than you know that anyone who is writing loans is a […]

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A PETITION – Bolster Homeownership and the Housing Market by Reforming Regulations Concerning Short Sales


While 70 percent* of Americans see homeownership as part of achieving the American dream, the homeownership rate has taken a 10 year decline** that hasn’t been seen since the Great Depression. While some steps have been taken to assist underwater homeowners to refinance, *** A fast transition back into homeownership is good for the economy, […]

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Fannie Mae and Freddie Make Mac Move to NO Loan to Value Limit Loans on HARP


The Federal Housing Finance Agency, with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, has announced a series of changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). This program was designed to be able to help people who were in a position of negative equity. Now, it someone is upside down on their home, there will be no […]

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Why a Home Buyer Should Set Up 3 Search Criteria When Buying a Home


A prospective home buyer or investor might have a clear idea of what he or she wants in the property they’ll buy but the current market brings complexities that make setting up search criteria for this purchase a little more complicated. The difference between bank-owned, short sales and person-to-person transactions bring unique elements to this […]

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Do I Need to be Late My Mortgage to Qualify for a Short Sale? – Don’t Take Yes for an Answer


I have a lot of people call me to get pre-qualified to purchase a home using FHA financing after a short sale. Early on, not a lot of these scenarios panned out but these days, more and more of them do. When they don’t, the number one reason is because they took bad advice from […]

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Getting Married? Buying a house? Why not use your registry for a Down Payment Registry?


  If you are planning on getting married soon and buying a home – then why not use your registry as a Down Payment Registry.  This is a nice way to help add to your down payment funds. FHA has a Bridal Registry Program that allows the funds you receive as wedding gifts to be used […]

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Twin Cities Off-Leash Dog Parks – My Dog Blog


If you’re a dog lover like I am, you don’t consider a move without contemplating neighborhood amenities for your dog. In my considerations for a move recently, I had a bit of a time trying to locate most of the off-leash dog parks in the twin cities metro area.  After collecting some information I’d thought […]

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Criteria NEEDED by all Loan Originators to quote you a rate.


The lending environment has changed.  I’m sure we’ve all heard this on the radio and TV for years now… right? We also know that the Government wants to make “mortgage rates” a commodity and make it EASY to shop for.  But the problem arises when someone calls up and says “whats your rate?” and truly expects to […]

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FHA Loan Limits going DOWN in the Mpls/St Paul metro on October 1st!!!


Well… as we all know our economy is looking SO GOOD that it may make lots of sense to LOWER the current FHA loan limits in less than a month right? Here in the Mpls/St.Paul MSA borrowers purchasing power with FHA loans is being reduced by almost $50,000 very soon. The loan limit for MOST […]

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FHA Short Refi Program


The FHA Short Refinance Program has always existed in an unofficial form but became a formal program on December 16, 2009 with Mortgagee Letter 09-52. It was “refined” on August 6th of 2010 with Mortgagee Letter 2010-23. It was designed to provide more mortgage options to those that owe more than their house is worth. […]

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