purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: All in the Family Opportunity - 09/19/17 07:42 AM
All in the Family Opportunity
 
I was just trying to help the guy out.  He wanted to refinance his mortgage but his credit scores and debt-to-income ratio prevented him from doing so.  His response was not all that unusual. "This makes no sense!  I'm already paying the higher mortgage so why won't you let me get a lower payment? Do you think I'm going to have trouble making the lower payment?"
 
Look, I see the logic here.  But I had to explain that the CFPB and our "looking-out-for-the-consumer" regulators have clearly dictated to us lenders what we can and cannot do and if you don't qualify for … (6 comments)

purchase: Stated Income: The Band That Is NOT Getting Back Together - 08/20/17 07:49 AM
Stated Income: The Band That Is NOT Getting Back Together
 
Not a week goes by that I don't get asked in some fashion, explicitly or implicitly, if stated income loans are coming back.  And at the risk of making this a record-short blog post (for me, anyway), let me cut right to the Blues-Brotheresque-police-car-smash-'em-up chase and tell you, "No, stated income loans are not coming back!" At least not in any conventional mortgage sense.  Here's why.
 
The not-so-new sheriffs in town are Chris Dodd and Barney Fife.  Er, I mean Barney Frank.  The law of the land is now the Dodd-Frank Wall Street … (2 comments)

purchase: For Your Eyes Only - 08/09/17 08:19 AM
For Your Eyes Only
 
You’ve decided to work with RPM Mortgage and you’re about to begin the loan process.  How can you be certain that the personal and confidential information you send to us --- the sensitive documents such as tax returns, paystubs and bank statements --- stays secure in transit and once at our bank?  In an age of identity theft, Wikileaks and headline-making data breaches, we are committed to the integrity of your data in the following ways:
 
Data Encryption
RPM encourages all of its clients to use our digital mortgage process and the secure upload portals and features it affords.  For … (5 comments)

purchase: Four Ways to Buy a New Home Before Selling Your Current One - 07/16/17 08:11 PM
Four Ways to Buy a New Home Before Selling Your Current One
 
We here in the San Francisco Bay Area --- and from what I'm gathering, in many other areas of the country as well --- have dealt firsthand with the virtual impossibility of the "contingent offer."  That is, when a buyer must sell his current home first in order to close on the new one, and when the purchase offer on the new home is specifically written to alert the seller that the two transactions are interdependent, it is said to be "contingent."  Another, less subtle, way to describe contingent offers … (36 comments)

purchase: "So Rob, How Do You Get Paid?" - 07/03/17 07:27 AM
"So Rob, How Do You Get Paid?"
 
Not all of my clients will come right out and ask this question.  But even where they don't ask I suspect that most of them think it.  Not only is it a fair question, it's a great one too.  One that I have no problem discussing and explaining.  Sure there are elements of our compensation that are highly technical --- the result of the byzantine regulation that keeps our industry in a chokehold ---- but I still think we can have an honest discussion about how I get paid and how, in turn, this relates to … (26 comments)

purchase: Unlocking the Rate Lock Mystery - 06/27/17 08:07 AM
Unlocking the Rate Lock Mystery
 
Everyone who has financed a home with a mortgage, either for a purchase or refinance, has probably struggled at some point during that transaction with the dilemma of locking or floating the interest rate.  This critical decision does one of two things:
 
Commits both the borrower and the lender to a specific interest rate for a set period of time.  This “for better/for worse” proposition means that if rates move up or down, the commitment cannot be broken.  This action is known as “locking” a rate. Leaves the interest rate open to future market fluctuation, again for … (27 comments)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

purchase: 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)

 
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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