Q: I’m applying for an FHA home loan and my lender has just notified me that they need a transcript of my IRS records, but the government shutdown has closed the IRS. What will happen to government-backed loan applications in process when the shutdown started? A: the answer depends on your... Read more
If you’re looking at buying or refinancing a home and you need a VA, USDA or FHA mortgage, the looming government shutdown looks pretty scary. Headlines all over the Internet are screaming that borrowers won’t be able to get government loans during the shutdown and that this could send... Read more
The folks in Washington are making noise about reducing the amounts home buyers can finance through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Currently, both companies allow mortgages as high as $417,000 in the majority of the country and up to $625,000 in the most expensive housing markets — for example... Read more
Despite the fact that since 2011, the government-sponsored enterprises’ average combined guarantee fees have nearly doubled, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) has announced that it plans to increase fees yet again. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, under government conservatorship,  achieved major profits during the housing recovery and regained almost... Read more
Since the Supreme Court ruled that the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) is unconstitutional, there may be some fallout in the world of mortgage — specifically, VA mortgages. VA home loans are fully available to couples, married or unmarried, as long as both parties are eligible for VA benefits... Read more
You’ve found it! The home that has “good bones,” is in the perfect neighborhood, and is built in the architectural style you love. There’s “only” one problem: The home is a “diamond in the rough.” Or it flat-out needs major renovation. FHA provides a program for purchasing and renovating... Read more
We usually think of mortgages in terms of the here and now, especially when they are in the news as much as they are today. In fact, there is a history associated with mortgages, a history which explains why mortgages are widely affordable and how the FHA loan program... Read more
Conventional wisdom (and the average member of Congress) says that the key to preventing future foreclosure epidemics is making sure that borrowers have more “skin in the game.” That means requiring a higher down payment to buy a home. There are a few things wrong with this conclusion. 1.... Read more
The recession has created numerous challenges for homeowners, not the least of which is being unable to qualify for traditional refinancing. The question of “Should I refinance?” has become “Can I refinance?” for homeowners impacted by lost home value. If your home has lost value, or you cannot qualify... Read more
If you’re eligible for a VA mortgage, the government says that you have to prove it before you can get a loan. In the past, that meant submitting a bunch of paperwork and waiting for several weeks before you’d receive your certificate of eligibility (COE) and could go shopping... Read more