california: I'm Returning Your Love Letter to Sender - 11/12/17 06:00 PM
I'm Returning Your Love Letter to Sender
 
Some buyers will try anything to increase their odds of getting into contract and tugging the heart strings of the seller whose home has set their hearts aflutter.  One of the most popular tools for this job is the so-called "love letter."  A love letter from potential buyer to seller typically fires its opening salvo along these sights:
 
"Dear Seller, we knew from the minute we walked in the door..."
 
As a mortgage lender in California, and even more so here in the highly-competitive San Francisco Bay Area, many of the best real estate agents with whom we … (43 comments)

california: The Perfectly Smooth Blend of Customer Service - 11/05/17 01:36 PM
The Perfectly Smooth Blend of Customer Service
 
Some of my mornings get behind schedule more quickly than I'd like to admit.  There are days when the obligations of child care and my non-negotiable self-pact to exercise will have me in a mad scramble to get to the office before the stress load becomes difficult for my team to handle without my involvement.  On those days I will sometimes stop at my neighborhood Jamba Juice on the way down to the office. 
 
Now the Jamba staff would likely not confuse me for a "regular," but as you have probably experienced, even somewhat routine visits to a … (5 comments)

california: 20% Down? Ain't That a Shame... - 10/28/17 06:48 AM
20% Down? Ain't That a Shame...
 
Last week, with the passing of Fats Domino, we lost a rock 'n' roll legend and pioneer.
 
But nearly every week we (me and my team and you, as real estate agents with your teams) lose transactions simply because of the unquestioned and untested myth that every buyer needs to bring in at least a 20% down payment, especially here in California where many of our home prices require loans that exceed the conventional and FHA loan limits.  In addition to simply not recognizing that many great programs exist in order to accommodate a 10% down payment on a … (4 comments)

california: Don't Get Tricked by the 4506 - 10/24/17 08:54 PM
Don't Get Tricked by the 4506
 
What better time of year than Halloween to talk about being tricked?  One of the ways unsuspecting borrowers can fall prey to one of the worst tricks in the mortgage business is to run into issues with IRS Form 4506T.  This form, which can be found HERE, allows a third party, such as a mortgage lender, to request a transcript of your tax return. 
 
And request it we will!  Any time we have a "fully documented" loan, which is the vast majority of cases, we'll make sure that what the borrower shows us on his tax returns is the same … (19 comments)

california: An Inch from Success - 10/03/17 08:03 AM
An Inch from Success
 
My 5-year old has an uncanny ability to teach me lessons.  I'm going to get to that in a minute but you first have to understand my great disappointment when he would just flat refuse to ride his new bike.  Now I have to sidetrack us just a bit.  This bruiser of a mountain bike is not your ordinary $69.99 Toys 'R' Us two-wheeler.  This one has the fat tires, the suspension forks, the disc brakes and the seven gears that are all, admittedly, way overkill for a pre-schooler whose weight is teetering below the 50th percentile.  No … (26 comments)

california: Six Business Lessons Rescued from the Ironman Swim - 09/10/17 08:27 AM
Six Business Lessons Rescued from the Ironman Swim
 
Imagine yourself  standing on a beach at 6:55am.  The cool dawn envelopes your senses and the damp sand to which your toes clutch feels like your only shelter.  You are wearing a wetsuit, goggles and a swim cap, and though you are sharing your experience with about 2000 others, little comfort is to be found in their camaraderie.  Over the next 5 minutes your heart will settle higher and more squarely in the back of your throat until a cannon blast will signal the start of your journey, a "race" beginning with a swim … (45 comments)

california: What Happens When You Flip-Flop On Your Home's Listing? - 09/06/17 06:03 AM
What Happens When You Flip-Flop On Your Home's Listing?
 
Oh how we love to skewer our politicians for their changes of heart and mind:
 
"I was for the Iraq war before I was against it." 
 
Or:
 
"Read my lips.  No new taxes." 
 
Or, better still:
 
"You're going to have such great health care, at a fraction of the cost, and it will be so easy."
 
So once your raucous laughter dies down, let's think about what happens when a homeowner lists a house for sale, then, for whatever reason, changes his mind and takes the property "off the market?"  We'll assume this owner contemplates two scenarios from there:
 
(3 comments)

california: Can I Use RSU Income to Qualify for a Mortgage? - 08/16/17 06:07 AM
Can I Use RSU Income to Qualify for a Mortgage?
 
Way back in 1997, Jeff Bezos set forth his bold business plan for Amazon, with proviso #9 reading:  "We will hire and retain the best people and we will not pay them with cash."  Wait.  What???
 
So I guess it's no longer any secret that many technology professionals are compensated with Restricted Stock Units, also known as “RSUs.”  And here at the epicenter of the high tech world, namely the Silicon Valley and San Francisco Bay Area, we see a lot of paystubs and verification of employment forms (“VOE”) that include base pay, … (22 comments)

california: Taking or Shoving a Job? Call Me First - 07/11/17 07:01 AM
Taking or Shoving a Job?  Call Me First
 
The "me" in this title is figurative, of course, and the concept we're going to cover is broad in scope.  And no, I really don't want to hear about your new job and its benefits; the free hot yoga classes and unlimited fair trade organic tea and gluten-free snack bar.  But the concept I do wish to cover has relevance in many other areas of our lives and, hopefully, what I'm about to say will help a homeowner or home buyer save an otherwise strong mortgage application from an unsuspecting, unexpected and undesired demise somewhere down … (4 comments)

california: 80 10 10 Loan in California - 06/22/17 07:12 AM
80 10 10 Loan in California
 
It has been said that the Golden Gate Bridge is one of the most photographed tourist attractions in the world.  But before you get out your selfie stick and entertain visions of relocating to California, especially to the San Francisco Bay Area, know that the median home prices here in the middle of  201 tend to hover over one million dollars --- sometime by more than just a little.
 
It stands to reason that not all otherwise eligible buyers will have a full 20% down payment saved when they attempt to buy a home here in our … (2 comments)

california: Not Able to Refinance? Recast Your Loan in a New Light - 06/06/17 06:48 AM
Not Able to Refinance?  Recast Your Loan in a New Light
 
Over the last decade there have been many opportunities for homeowners to refinance their mortgages to lower rates and, by far, that is the "go to" solution when a borrower is looking to lower his or her payments.  This makes perfect sense.  Let's say the homeowner has mortgage at 4.000% and can get a 3.750%, no-cost refinance.  Lower rate, lower payments, no closing costs added to the balance...win/win/win.  
 
But what about instances where current rates may not be lower or there may not be as clear a case for refinancing?  How … (13 comments)

california: Can I Consolidate My Student Loans with My Mortgage? - 05/31/17 05:48 AM
Can I Consolidate My Student Loans with My Mortgage?
 
Let's face it, buying a home is hard enough.  But if you've been able to do so while still holding some of the debt accumulated during your college and post-graduate years, your life is about to get a little easier.
 
New cash-out refinance guidelines make it easier for homeowners with student loan debt to refinance and consolidate their educational loans along with their mortgage, so long as the following requirements are met:
 
At least one student loan must be paid off. Loan proceeds must be paid directly to the student loan servicer at closing. Only student … (4 comments)

california: What Can I Do to Make My Home Appraise Higher? - 05/24/17 06:06 AM
What Can I Do to Make My Home Appraise Higher?
 
Whether the purchase or refinance of a home, where mortgage financing is involved, you can be sure an appraisal be required in the vast majority of cases. With very few exceptions, homeowners or homebuyers seek to obtain the highest and most accurate appraised value of the property. So what steps can one take to assure that this value comes in? Here are a few tips from the experts:
 
Choose your lender very wisely. Why? Because since the implementation of the Home Valuation Code of Conduct (HVCC) in 2009, most of the mortgage industry … (36 comments)

california: Stretching Your Loan Qualification? Which Mortgage Is Best? - 05/16/17 06:43 AM
Stretching Your Loan Qualification?  Which Mortgage Is Best?
 
Buyers will come to us, often after beholding the perfect home while out touring with their Realtor, and they will want to know the maximum amount they can borrow on a mortgage.  Perhaps they just intuitively realize that their dream home will stretch the outer limits of affordability.  Their question will be, "What is the maximum amount I can qualify for on a mortgage?"
 
At this point, they may ask about interest-only (I/O) loans or ARM programs to help them achieve their target purchase price, so let's play a little game of "Truth or Delusion" and cover some of the … (9 comments)

california: VA Jumbo: The Mother of All Loans - 05/02/17 06:55 AM
VA Jumbo:  The Mother of All Loans
 
Say what you will about the current adminstriation's foreign policy (or any of its policies, for that matter), but the headline news about dropping some really big ordnance got me thinking about something else that can go really big in a veteran's favor --- VA jumbo mortgages.
 
At least here in Marin County, CA, just north of the Golden Gate, we don't see a lot of VA loan scenarios and it's a shame.  Because I'm licensed to originate mortgage loans throughout the state of California, I am aware that there are geographical pockets where Veteran's Adiminstration … (21 comments)

california: California's Stunning Bridge (Loan) - 04/22/17 06:18 PM
California's Stunning Bridge (Loan)
 
It is 2017's peak buying season in the San Francisco Bay Area and many buyers in this competitive, low-inventory market face a challenge greater than just the inability to find the right house.  For them, there's actually a more pressing dilemma.  Before they can even put in an offer on the home of their dreams, they've got a home of their own to sell first.  
 
But it's not as if these buyers have a concern they won't sell their current house or even get top dollar for it.  On the contrary, they're quite sure that once it's listed for … (2 comments)

california: A Special Thank You to My Active Rain Friends - 04/19/17 06:23 AM
A Special Thank You to My Active Rain Friends
 
"Rob, do you ever really get any business from all the time you spend writing?"
 
We have all heard this type of question before, from colleagues, family and even detractors.  And we all have our unique way of answering it, I'm sure.  So I will say that even if I didn't "get any business" from writing, the value in the process and relationships has been well worth any kind of award or reward.  
 
But for those who still must know the answer, I will let the 2016 Scotsman ranking for total dollar volume in … (6 comments)

california: Consolidation Refinances Reign Supreme - 04/18/17 07:18 AM
Consolidation Refinances Reign Supreme 
 
"Someday I'd really like to see these loans together."
 
No, that was never a hit song in the '60's but it is a situation that we encounter frequently in the world of loan origination.  It's a scenario that occurs where a homeowner has both a first and second mortgage and would like to consolidate the two into a single, usually fixed rate, loan.  We'll call this a consolidation refinance for now, and we'll distinguish it from a "debt consolidation" refinance for the purposes of this discussion because a debt consolidation refinance usually implies combining the existing mortgage balance with … (1 comments)

california: It's (Not) Up to You - 04/11/17 07:49 AM
It's (Not) Up to You
 
How many of us have ever worked with a professional on a highly important matter where, regardless of the issue at hand, we reached that critical inflection point, the one where we needed help and answers the most?  What happened when the advisor in whom you put your trust looked back at you and said, "It's up to you."?  How did that make you feel?
 
We are about to go into the height of the spring buying season here in the San Francisco Bay Area, competition is fierce and inventory scarce and a question that many of our buyers … (24 comments)

california: Can You Add Remodeling Costs to a Mortgage? - 03/27/17 07:43 AM
Can You Add Remodeling Costs to a Mortgage?
 
One home buyer niche I know extremely well is 10% down payment jumbo mortgage financing.  We have a good number of prospective homeowners in California, especially here in the San Francisco Bay Area, who earn strong income, who have an excellent credit profile but who just do not yet have the full 20% down payment saved for home prices that are, compared to the rest of the country, very high.  These buyers have certainly not failed and they are not out of luck either.  Once they understand just how competitive an 80/10/10 or other … (12 comments)

 
Rob Spinosa, Executive Loan Advisor, Marin Mortgage Pro (Supreme Lending, Marin County, CA) Rainmaker large

Rob Spinosa

Executive Loan Advisor, Marin Mortgage Pro

Mill Valley, CA

More about me…

Supreme Lending, Marin County, CA

Address: 1058 Redwood Highway, Frontage Road, Mill Valley, CA, 94941

Office: (415) 367-5959

Mobile: (415) 367-5959

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REX Homebuyer Participating Lender 80-10-10 Loans What Happens if My Appraisal Comes in Low? Can I Get a Cosigner on a Mortgage?


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