home loan: Toxic is Trending! - 02/06/18 07:07 AM
Toxic is Trending!
 
A brief review at recent environmental headlines says it all:
 
January 31, 2018:  President Mulling Major Cuts to Clean Energy Research (Washington Post)
January 15, 2018:  EPA Loosens Regulations on Toxic Air Pollution (EPA)
January 10, 2018:  Climate Change Websites Censored Under President (Envirodatagov.org)
.....
October 9, 2017:  EPA Poised to Scrap Clean Power Plan (New York Times)
 
The list goes on and on.  So I thought I'd get on the bandwagon and talk a little trash about how toxic loan features, as designated by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Financial Reform Act, are making a totally terrific, trending comeback in the world of jumbo mortgage … (2 comments)

home loan: Lock Watch for the Week of 2/5/2018 - 02/04/18 07:48 AM
Lock Watch for the Week of 2/5/2018
 
The "Lock Watch" began, humbly enough, as an experiment to alert RPM Mortgage's Top 20 loan officers about economic events that could incite volatility in the mortgage market throughout any week.  We didn't want to get blindsided by a bond market sell-off or potential rally that could have significant impact on the rates available to our clients, so early Monday I tried to outline the week ahead with an abbreviated calendar like the one you see below.  Note that I am not an analyst --- hell, I barely made it out of high school.  If … (1 comments)

home loan: Happenstance, History and Hamilton - 01/28/18 02:05 PM
Happenstance, History and Hamilton
 
A while back, my little boy was attending a birthday celebration for one of his friends at a playground in the Hamilton neighborhood of Novato, CA.  Hamilton was a WWII-era Air Force base and you can still see the remnants of it in some of the Spanish Revival-esque buildings --- a few of which are now in a serious state of disrepair.  Since I had a fairly low tolerance for Frozen and face painting that day, I decided to cut out of the party for a bit and take a short walk.  Ultimately, I found myself peering into the … (6 comments)

home loan: Never Mind the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Here's the Homebuyers - 01/21/18 05:17 PM
Never Mind the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, Here's the Homebuyers
 
Side One:
Mortgage Interest Deduction:  Reduced from $1MM to $750K. Grandfather:  If you have a loan that was originated before 12/15/2017, and your mortgage balance exceeds $750K, you are still able to deduct the interest up to $1MM.  You're grandfathered in, unless... Don't Fear the Refi:  If you refinance a mortgage with a balance above $750K and your loan was originated before 12/15/17 AND via the refi the loan balance does not increase, you will "carry over" your $1MM cap. HELOC'd and Unloaded:  The mortgage interest deduction on home equity lines of … (3 comments)

home loan: Once Bitcoin, Twice Shy: Can You Buy a Home with Bitcoin? - 01/13/18 03:59 PM
Once Bitcoin, Twice Shy:  Can You Buy a Home with Bitcoin?
 
Let's talk about what this post will NOT cover:
 
How bitcoin works. Whether or not you should invest in bitcoin. Is bitcoin the modern day equivalent of tulip bulbs?  
What will we cover?  
 
Using bitcoin to buy real estate.  In other words, can you use bitcoin for your down payment?  What will a mortgage lender ask for if you obtain a loan for your purchase?  What else do I need to know before I cash out of the investment that's kept me sleepless for the last few months?  
Using Bitcoin to … (2 comments)

home loan: 1984 - 01/06/18 04:30 PM
1984
 
Look, I realize I should be so lucky to think that someone from the Van Halen camp is going to bust me on a copyright infringement for using the image above.  So if they come a calling, this is what I would tell them:
 
It was 34 years ago today that Van Halen's 1984 "album" was released.  I was a dark-skinned, plenty-awkward eighth-grader settling in for a long Illinois winter.  With no discernible basketball talent, no academic prowess and zero interest from the cute, middle-America girls who hailed from the Arrowhead subdivision and peopled the halls of our junior high, the basement my … (41 comments)

home loan: It's 2018. Will I Lose My Tax Deduction if I Refi? - 12/31/17 07:02 AM
It's 2018.  Will I Lose My Tax Deduction if I Refi?
 
If you're asking this question, I'm going to go out on a limb and say you're experiencing some anxiety right about now.  But no matter how bad it gets, realize things could always be worse.  You could be the Internal Revenue Service and tasked on a couple weeks' notice with retooling your shop to both comprehend and implement the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.  So whether you're a homeowner, a CPA, a Californian, an IRS employee or a blue state Democrat, let's wash down a couple of Xanax with a strong martini … (21 comments)

home loan: Qi's Whiz - 12/23/17 05:41 PM
Qi's Whiz
 
Maybe you're like me and never fully appreciated the flow of energy in your workplace.   Maybe you innately seek out the perceptible over the metaphysical.  So by that logic you're not like the ancient Chinese who followed feng shui and understood that "Qi rides the wind and scatters, but is retained when encountering water."  Maybe you're also not like the ancient Egyptians, who somehow encoded geometric magic into the Great Pyramid, with its dimensions  that "square the circle." 
 
So, I guess we could be considered skeptics.  And as luck would have it and the fall of the calendar would dictate, I … (6 comments)

home loan: Your DTI Is High and It Will Be Alright - 12/16/17 08:41 AM
Your DTI Is High and It Will Be Alright
 
You might have been lured into reading this blog post under the false assumption that I'd be discussing the controversial subject of financing cannabis-related businesses and property.  Well, you can let that notion go up in smoke.  Instead, we're going to talk about the ways you can get a great jumbo mortgage in California if your debt-to-income ratio (also known as "DTI") is higher than Jeff Spicoli at 4:20pm.  OK, dude, not really, but we are going to address the ways you can get a decent home loan with a very competitive rate … (1 comments)

home loan: The Older I Get The More I Conform - 12/10/17 08:40 AM
The Older I Get The More I Conform
 
If you know me, you know that I don't like to stick to convention.  I was the teenager who skipped college, moved to Hollywood and played rock guitar.  In my 20's, I saved up vacation time not for sandy white beaches but instead for expeditions to the harsh mountain environs of the world's highest peaks.  In my 30's, I dove (literally) into the sport of triathlon --- an endeavor, to quote my Aunt Marge, that would be something she'd "rather die a thousand deaths" before contemplating.  When I come to the fork in the road where … (6 comments)

home loan: Fruitcakes, French Hens, Furs or (Gift) Funds? - 12/05/17 05:59 PM
Fruitcakes, French Hens, Furs or (Gift) Funds?
 
It's that time of year again when holiday gift giving is on everyone's mind.  But you know me, compulsive mortgage professional, I want to focus on  but a single aspect of the loan process --- gift funds --- this same form of largesse that is received by a fortunate few for the purchase of a home.  As we go into the holiday season, I want us all to keep in mind that right behind Santa's sleigh is Auld Lang Syne.  And when we're talking tax implications for gift funds, this can matter.
 
Now next year, 2018, all bets … (4 comments)

home loan: Retired. But Not from Home Buying. - 11/28/17 07:24 AM
Retired.  But Not from Home Buying.
 
I live in an aging county.   Simply drive north across the Golden Gate Bridge from San Francisco.  Did you feel yourself getting older? Even if not, Marin County's residents, with their 46.1-year old median age, will welcome you to one of the most special places in the USA.  I'm willing to bet it won't be too long before one of our residents will tell you that our median home price, at least at the end of 2017, is hovering right around $1,100,000.  So what happens when a retired person wants to buy a home in a high-cost … (14 comments)

home loan: Gratitude, Like Revenge & Cranberry Sauce, Is a Dish Best Served Cold - 11/24/17 08:05 AM
Gratitude, Like Revenge & Cranberry Sauce, Is a Dish Best Served Cold
 
It's Black Friday weekend.  The perfect time to either cool it for a minute, sit back to reflect on Thanksgiving and all for which we're grateful OR to rush hotly into the consumer fray, trample your fellow man and take the win-at-all-costs fight to retail America.  This black and white contrast put into light the bright color of the year that is fast coming to a close and some of the very personal experiences I've shared with our clients, many of whom became homeowners for the first time in 2017.
 
Specifically, I reflected on how … (3 comments)

home loan: 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 … (47 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: 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)

home loan: 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)

home loan: Foreigners Have Been Waiting for a Loan Like This - 10/17/17 07:34 AM
Foreigners Have Been Waiting for a Loan Like This
 
California has both a dynamic and desirable real estate market and in the recent years we've seen an influx of foreign buyers.  Despite the headlines such as, "Chinese Billionaires Snapping Up San Francisco Real Estate with All Cash Offers 150% Over Asking...," I can attest that not every foreign buyer is able to purchase real estate with a Louis Vuitton suitcase bursting full of hard currency.  In fact, many of them seek mortgage financing for any number of valid reasons and when they do, we are often able to help.  
 
Foreign nationals are citizens … (4 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: Unlocking a HELOC Mystery - 09/26/17 06:58 AM
Unlocking a HELOC Mystery
 
If you could create a client-facing "tip sheet" for your business, a simple punch list of things to do and not-to-do, what would be on that list?  You know, the items that always seem to fly under the radar of public knowledge and wisdom, but the ones that frequently undermine the best-of-intentioned customers?  I'm sure all of us have this wealth of "insider knowledge" that we'd love to share with the public and, as a result, save them from the misery and inconvenience of being counted among the unfortunate and unsuspecting.
 
High on my list would be an explanation of … (3 comments)

 
Rob Spinosa, Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Marin County (Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA) Rainmaker large

Rob Spinosa

Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Marin County

San Anselmo, CA

More about me…

Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA

Address: 324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA, 94960

Office: (415) 367-5959

Mobile: (415) 367-5959

Email Me

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