real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: Caution: Collateral Crossing - 08/01/17 06:36 AM
Caution:  Collateral Crossing
 
A while back, and in this post here, I talked about the four distinct ways that a homebuyer could purchase a new home without first selling his existing one.  And of the options, perhaps the least understood and most complex is the cross-collateralization program.  This is a type of financing where more than one piece of property serves as the real estate security for the loan and usually it implies that the existing home and the new home will BOTH make up the collateral value by which the loan-to-value (LTV) will be determined.  I thought I would provide a real … (5 comments)

real estate: Interest-Only? 40 Years? Fixed? Extra Extra? - 07/27/17 07:35 AM
Interest-Only? 40 Years? Fixed? Extra Extra?
 
Are you a real estate investor?
 
Do you consider yourself an ordinary or extraordinary investor?
 
Have you ever thought about an interest-only loan for your rental property?
I'd be willing to bet that even if the ordinary investor learned of a 40-year fixed interest-only loan, he might initially think right back to the heyday of stated income loans and remind himself that there's no way he'd ever get involved in such risky business.  Rest assured that this person doesn't need to change his philosophy.  That's not what I'm going to cover here.  But I am going to discuss the … (15 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

 
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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