california: The 10 American Indian Commandments - 11/26/22 09:27 AM
The 10 American Indian Commandments
This Thanksgiving weekend, while we enjoyed time with family, gave thanks for our great fortune as Americans and even let our 4th grader relay to us what he'd learned about the origin of the holiday itself, I did also manage to find a few minutes to do some housekeeping on the many images stored on my phone.  
One that stood out and stopped me in my tracks was a poster of the Indian Ten Commandments, which I had snapped on a stopover in Lee Vining, CA, several years ago.  Lee Vining is a small town (graduating high school … (11 comments)

california: How to Rock a Mortgage Pre-Approval!!! - 06/23/22 07:37 AM
How to Rock a Mortgage Pre-Approval!!!
Buying your first home is a daunting task and can be a huge undertaking for the first-time buyer.  Shoot, even for a move-up buyer, the experienced downsizer or a seasoned investor, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin.  But getting a mortgage pre-approval often remains the best first step in the process, and it's also a likely reality that your Realtor won't seriously consider showing you property until you are either pre-approved or pre-underwritten by a mortgage lender or broker.  After all, it's really tough to know your purchase power and your budget … (3 comments)

california: How to Rock a Mortgage Application Without Hurting Your FICO Score - 03/24/22 07:48 AM
How to Rock a Mortgage Application Without Hurting Your FICO Score
"What's your rate?"
"How much will I qualify for?"
"Are you a banker or a broker or a lender?"
Nope, nope and nope.  None of these are the #1 question we get before a prospective borrower makes an application for a pre-approval.  So what is the most asked question?
"Will making a mortgage application hurt my FICO score?"
Yep, that's it.  That's the one that keeps some otherwise strong and qualifiable buyers on the sidelines and paralyzed by the irrational fear that simply by having a lender make a hard credit inquiry, and access their Equifax, … (6 comments)

california: How to Rock Cryptocurrency As Your Down Payment - 03/10/22 08:03 AM
How to Rock Cryptocurrency As Your Down Payment
The mere mention of the words "bitcoin" or "cryptocurrency" or "blockchain" is sure to evoke comments and reactions that will be far-reaching.  There will be the speculators who rolled the dice and came up winners, or who are still white-knuckling their wild ride.  There will be financial technicians who have been forced to grasp how this technology has the potential to disrupt the exchange of currency as we know it.  But more than the reactions of either of these two subsets, you'll encounter the expressions of the mostly and mildly bewildered.  Because really, when … (4 comments)

california: YouTube Thursday? That's the Way You Do It! - 01/27/22 07:48 AM
YouTube Thursday? That's the Way You Do It!
In keeping with the spirit of YouTube Thursdays, and adhering to my resolution to build a YouTube channel this year, I'm optimistic this post will count as my first contribution.
This week, I'm covering the basics of cash out refinances, because as rates begin to rise, cash out refinances still offer value to homeowners (where "rate and term" refinances begin to make a less compelling case).  Also, we put a fun spin on the '80's hit "Money for Nothing," because while cash out refinances may offer a really cost-effective way to do home improvement, finance … (2 comments)

california: The Four Horsemen of Deals Dead - 09/03/21 07:48 AM
The Four Horsemen of Deals Dead
My wife likes to joke that all I do for my job is talk to people.  "I hear you in there yucking it up all day..." So maybe there is always an element of the truth in jest, but an aspect of these conversations that she does not take into consideration is the near-constant battle I fight fending deals from The Four Horsemen; Delay, Indecision, Unfounded Expertise and The Unreasonable Pursuit of Perfection. When these vigilantes appear over the horizon of any real estate transaction, having a powerful defense can turn them away and save even … (21 comments)

california: Refinancing a Jumbo Mortgage After a COVID Forbearance - 08/09/21 07:56 AM
Refinancing a Jumbo Mortgage After a COVID Forbearance
Despite some recent setbacks that see COVID cases increasing, many of us are optimistic that vaccination rates will continue to go up and all of America will eventually commit to getting the worst of the virus behind us once and for all. There is no doubt that as we headed into the summer, we could feel the economy coming back on line and the country getting back to work. Sure the recovery has been uneven, but compared to the uniform bleakness of last summer, there could only be reason for hope this time around.
Not … (6 comments)

california: Can I Get a Jumbo Mortgage with an H-1B Visa? - 07/03/21 08:38 AM
Can I Get a Jumbo Mortgage with an H-1B Visa?
Right now, immigration is a hot topic in the United States.  Also right now, real estate is a hot market in the United States.  And also right now, at the intersection of these two, I field a lot of questions from those with H-1B visas who are looking to get a jumbo mortgage in order to buy or refinance a home.  Here are the three most common:
"Can I get a jumbo mortgage if I am on an H-1B visa?" "What are the requirements for getting a jumbo mortgage if I am … (2 comments)

california: Buying a Home All Cash, Then Getting a Mortgage - 04/14/21 07:59 AM
Buying a Home All Cash, Then Getting a Mortgage
Back in a real estate market a long time ago and in a mortgage galaxy far, far away --- otherwise known as 2009/2010 --- some buyers needed to purchase a home with cash, then hope to refinance after they had the keys in hand.  The reason for this?  Bad credit?  Nope.  Extinction of stated income loans?  Sorry, try again.  The reason was often that the homes were not eligible for financing --- many had been ravaged by the neglect of economic downturn.  Plumbing was torn out, there were holes in the walls and … (26 comments)

california: Asian American Support Goes Viral - 03/18/21 09:47 PM
Asian American Support Goes Viral
Often, getting the first words down are the hardest. "Writer's block."  But not this time. 
So let me start by condemning the recent incident of gun violence against Asian Americans in Atlanta.  Let me take the opportunity to communicate to all Americans of all races that discrimination, in all forms, is wrong and will not be tolerated.  Not in my business, not in my community, not in the private confines of my home.  
Specifically with violence against Asian Americans, statistics show an increase in verbal and physical assaults since the onset of COVID-19. So the next time you get … (5 comments)

california: Marin County Vote by Mail Ballot Drop-Off Locations - 10/18/20 08:54 AM
Marin County Vote by Mail Ballot Drop-Off Locations
This election cycle, there has been much disinformation propagated about voting by mail, and in an effort to help fellow community members arrive at the truth, I am providing below the drop-off locations as an additional way to submit your ballot prior to November 3.  To receive an absentee ballot, you must have first registered online.  Once you've received and completed your ballot you can mail it back or drop it off.  At any time, if you need help or additional information, you can access it at
San Rafael
Albert J. Boro Community Center, 50 Canal … (1 comments)

california: 10% Down Payment Mortgage - 04/05/20 08:39 AM
10% Down Payment Mortgage
But I don’t get it. 2020 started just like the many of the years that preceded it. Sure, there was a seasonal slowdown in home buying activity as we got through 2019’s holiday season and got the new year underway, but with interest rates at historic lows, a strong seller’s market in the San Francisco Bay Area and lots of buyer competition for any desirable home that came on the market, it looked like deja vu all over again for anybody looking to purchase a home. In other words, here we go again with having to come up … (23 comments)

california: What Kind of Insurance Do You Need When You Buy a House? - 01/07/20 07:48 AM
What Kind of Insurance Do You Need When You Buy a House?
Let me start by saying that I'm not in the insurance business, but that the insurance business is in mine.  And my business is helping home buyers and homeowners get a great mortgage.  So just what are the insurance requirements when you buy a home or go to refinance a mortgage on residential real estate you own in California?  Why does your lender care about the insurance coverage you keep?  
Homeowner's Insurance
Also known as "hazard insurance," or "fire insurance," this is the key policy you will be required to carry if … (23 comments)

california: Are Your California Property Taxes On Supplements? - 12/11/19 07:18 AM
Are Your California Property Taxes On Supplements?
Are you one of the 77% of U.S. adults who takes some form of nutritional supplement?  If so, you've contributed to the estimated $31 billion dollars of revenue that this industry generated in 2018.  So it stands to reason that California counties would want in on the supplemental action, and they've figured out just the way to do it...
Seriously, taking on home ownership for the first time is a big responsibility.  And since many first-time buyers are coming from a background of paying rent, it's important that we, in the mortgage industry, educate them about how … (13 comments)

california: The Haunted Loan Process - 10/13/19 09:44 PM
The Haunted Loan Process
As we wind our way closer to Halloween, I wanted to cover a few of the graveyard variety hobgoblins of the mortgage process.  You know, the things our clients don't tell us at the start and that later come back to haunt their home loan transaction like so many nightmares on Friday the 13th.  The goal here is not to scare the prospective borrower, but instead to provide fair warning about the actions you can take or avoid at the start of your application that will help you close your loan on time and without undue stress.  Let's … (27 comments)

california: Your Debt-to-Income Ratio Is High and It Will Be Alright - 09/21/19 07:21 AM
Your Debt-to-Income Ratio 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)

california: Do Any Mortgage Lenders Work on the Weekend? - 08/18/19 08:29 AM
Do Any Mortgage Lenders Work on the Weekend?
The fact of the matter is that a lot of real estate business gets done on Saturdays and Sundays.  Prospective buyers go to open houses and buyers' real estate agents often need to structure offers for their clients.  Unfortunately, not all banks are open on the weekend even those that may take deposits and cash checks often do not have a home loan professional available to pre-approve a buyer or answer a complicated home loan question in an instant.
I'm different.  Even though I'm generally not in the office on the weekend, I can always … (7 comments)

california: Top 10 Tips for Buying a Home in the San Francisco Bay Area - 07/30/19 08:27 AM
Top 10 Tips for Buying a Home in the San Francisco Bay Area
Buying a home in the highly competitive San Francisco Bay Area real estate market is a daunting task for nearly everyone. Tales of heartache abound --- “everything goes for over asking price,” “we don’t stand a chance against all-cash offers,” “everything we want is out of our price range,” etc. If you only listened to the naysayers, you might not even set foot in the arena.  As a lender who has observed the home purchase market, specifically over the last decade (2009 to 2019), I wanted to share my … (4 comments)

california: Jumbo Mortgage with 5% Down Payment - 06/17/19 07:36 AM
Jumbo Mortgage with 5% Down Payment
You never hear anyone say "Give it 95%!," do you?  And, curiously, when it comes to getting a jumbo mortgage, that still holds true --- the vast majority of homebuyers still think it takes a 20% down payment to enter the market. As of 2019, there are 34 metropolitan statistical areas (MSAs) in California that have a maximum conforming loan limit of $484,350.  Another handful of counties can only get to a jumbo-conforming limit of around $550,000.  So what do these homebuyers do if they have a maximum of a 5% down payment yet need to exceed … (1 comments)

california: What Is an Escrow Account? - 03/10/19 12:39 PM
What Is an Escrow Account?
When renters desire to become home buyers, they quickly learn once in the mortgage process that their single rent payment will morph into "PITI" or "principal, interest, taxes and insurance," or a "total monthly housing payment."  So, yes, there are additional monthly expenses to consider when you become an owner.  Historically, ownership has bestowed tax benefit on the buyer and that's been an offset to the higher cost of ownership and because of this, the "rent vs. own" calculation has been used to more fairly compare the cost of putting a roof over one's head.  Rent may be simpler, … (2 comments)

Rob Spinosa, Mortgage Loan Originator, Marin County (US Bank)

Rob Spinosa

Mortgage Loan Originator, Marin County

Larkspur, CA

More about me…

US Bank

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

Office: (415) 367-5959

Mobile: (415) 367-5959

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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