down payment: How to Rock Second Home or Rental Property? - 05/19/22 11:55 AM
How to Rock Second Home or Rental Property?
  
 
Mortgage guidelines are positively prehistoric when compared to newer companies like AirBnB and VRBO, which have gained popularity as interest in short-term rentals has increased.
 
But when it comes to getting a home loan on a property that is not your primary residence, you have to state on your mortgage application whether you have a second (or vacation) home or you have a rental (aka investment) property, and there is no middle ground for a "vacation rental."  However, there can be real consequences if you get the classification wrong.  
 
So, let's rock the distinction between vacation … (1 comments)

down payment: How to Rock a Family Opportunity Loan - 05/04/22 08:49 PM
How to Rock a Family Opportunity Loan
  
 
Looking to purchase or refinance a home for your elderly parents who wouldn't otherwise be able to obtain a mortgage on their own?
 
Looking to assist a disabled or special needs adult child with housing or his/her own?
 
Or how about putting a college-bound child into off-campus housing that you decide to purchase?
 
All of these are both common scenarios and often difficult ones as viewed by the inflexible guidelines in the mortgage industry.  Until now...
 
The Family Opportunity Mortgage can be a great way to thread the needle of otherwise detrimental occupancy requirements for primary homes, second or … (3 comments)

down payment: How to Rock a Bridge Loan - 04/21/22 08:07 AM
How to Rock a Bridge Loan
  
 
If you've been lamenting how tough it is to get your offer to buy a home accepted these days, think about how much more difficult it is for those who must buy a new home BEFORE selling their existing one.  After all, it's practically impossible to make a contingent offer --- defined as one that would allow you to sell your existing home first.
 
It's usually in this stressful environment that someone well-meaning; a friend, a co-worker, even a Realtor, will swoop in and advise our buyer to "Just get a bridge loan!," as if there is … (5 comments)

down payment: 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 … (2 comments)

down payment: Median Home Price, Meet Median Buyer - 07/23/21 08:14 AM
Median Home Price, Meet Median Buyer
  
A very long time ago I saw an email address that read 'averageandhappy@...' and I thought, "Wow, here I've been my whole life trying not to be mediocre and then someone just goes and finds happiness in all of it." I wasn't sure if I should be resentful or relieved...
 
Years have passed and I've had the opportunity to observe the real estate market in my corner of the universe, namely the San Francisco Bay Area, which includes Marin County, the city of SF, Oakland/East Bay and the Silicon Valley.  Few would consider this an "average" market … (2 comments)

down payment: Your Pandemic Guide to a Jumbo Mortgage - 05/23/20 08:17 AM
Your Pandemic Guide to a Jumbo Mortgage
  
"Our Realtor said it's very difficult to get a jumbo loan these days."
"We tried to do a cash out jumbo refi on our place but our bank told us that they're not doing those anymore."
"We wanted to refinance our jumbo loan but by the time we did the research the rates weren't any lower than what we have already."
"Is it possible to refinance a jumbo loan without having to move our savings and investments to the bank who's making the mortgage?"
"We have a 20% down payment and are looking to buy a house that requires … (5 comments)

down payment: 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)

down payment: OK Boomer, You Don't Need 20% Down - 11/09/19 08:23 PM
OK Boomer, You Don't Need 20% Down
 
Bound to happen from time to time in the digital age, a saying goes viral --- in this case, "OK, boomer," --- which is meant to expose a close-minded or out-of-touch opinion, thought or mindset of one generation by another (I'll let you figure out the age demographics here).  Hopefully, the topic of this blog will transcend generational differences and address the assumptions about the down payment one needs to make when purchasing a home, versus the reality of what we see every day with those who are actually buying homes.  I think you'll be … (38 comments)

down payment: Investment Property Jumbo Mortgage with Low Down Payment - 07/07/19 09:22 AM
Investment Property Jumbo Mortgage with Low Down Payment
 
Since I'm in California, and property values where I live and work tend to be on the, shall we say, higher side, residential real estate investors --- those looking to purchase a home of 1- to 4-units to be used as an income-producing property --- can sometimes be limited in their attractive jumbo mortgage options.  This is especially true if they are looking to keep their down payment as low as possible.  Many potential rental property buyers are told flat out that even a 20% down payment is California dreamin', and that a jumbo … (0 comments)

down payment: 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)

down payment: FHA FAQ - 05/07/19 07:17 AM
FHA FAQ
 
Maybe you just got the news from your loan officer that you need an FHA loan in order to qualify for your home purchase.  "Oh brother," you say, another acronym, additional lending jargon and still more ways to be confused about the whole mortgage process.  Or not?  What are the differences between an FHA loan and a "regular" or conventional mortgage?  Let's take a look at some of the most frequently asked questions that swirl around FHA loans and cut right to the chase of what you need to know in order to determine if an FHA loan is a … (11 comments)

down payment: Using a Jumbo Mortgage to Buy a Second Home in Hawaii - 03/17/19 08:14 PM
Using a Jumbo Mortgage to Buy a Second Home in Hawaii
 
Who, stateside, doesn't at least want to entertain the idea of calling it a long work week, heading to the airport and then a few hours later touching down on one of the Hawaiian islands?  What if you're on the cusp of that reality and have decided to buy a second home in Hawaii and need a jumbo mortgage to help you achieve that goal?  I am a licensed mortgage loan originator in Hawaii, can help and here's what my clients need to know.
 
What Is a Second Home?
While any vacation residence … (0 comments)

down payment: Can You Get a Mortgage with an ITIN? - 01/30/19 07:20 AM
Can You Get a Mortgage with an ITIN?
 
The fact is, despite a very hotly contested immigration debate today in our nation, there are likely several million people in the United States who do not have a Social Security number (SSN), but pay billions in taxes every year.  These individuals might be non-resident foreign nationals who receive taxable income from a US business.  Or they may be dependents or spouses of citizens or permanent residents (green card holders) or foreign nationals on work visas.  But if they earn income here, how would they file a tax return without an SSN, you might ask?  … (0 comments)

down payment: The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (to Get Gift Funds) - 12/16/18 08:59 PM
The Most Wonderful Time of the Year (to Get 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 and for the purpose of  purchasing 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.
 
For 2019, the IRS annual … (2 comments)

down payment: For Those About to Buy a Home - 11/06/18 07:07 AM
For Those About to Buy a Home 
 
I started to get curious about Fannie Mae's HomeReady mortgage program when pricing out loan scenarios that could lean towards either conforming or FHA.  I needed to get a sense of which would provide the better fit for the client.  In so doing, this HomeReady program, about which I knew relatively little, kept splitting the difference.  The age-old question loomed:  Is the scenario a better fit for FHA with its lower interest rates, but higher and permanent mortgage insurance premiums, or is it a better match for conforming, with its higher rates but lower PMI … (6 comments)

down payment: Can I Get a Cosigner for a Jumbo Mortgage? - 09/12/18 07:35 AM
Can I Get a Cosigner for a Jumbo Mortgage?
 
Parents have been helping their kids buy homes since, I'd guess, kids have been buying homes, but in today's lending environment, it's important that both borrowers and real estate professionals avail themselves of the most current options, advantages and guidelines.  After all, knowledge is power and there are really only two main approaches, gift funds and co-signing, that come into widespread use when we talk about introducing family help into the mortgage approval process.
 
Gift Funds
Borrowers of all stripes use gift funds and do so far more often than the general public would estimate.  But on … (12 comments)

down payment: Somebody Get Me a Doctor Loan! - 08/27/18 09:43 PM
Somebody Get Me a Doctor Loan!
 
"Robert Spinosa, the doctor will see you now."
 
"Hello Mr. Spinosa, what brings you in today?  Annual check up?"
 
Well, actually you, Doc.  You're bringing me in today.  I hear you're trying to buy a house.
 
"Uhhh, how did you know?"
 
Maybe it's the aura of the student loans that I could sense from the waiting area.  We both know medical school doesn't come cheaply, right?  So I just figured I'd come in for a sort of annual check-up for both of us and find out if your student loan payments have been in deferment or forbearance for a year or more?
 
"A … (1 comments)

down payment: Buy Before Selling? Four Sure Four Sure! - 08/22/18 08:08 AM
Buy Before Selling?  Four Sure! Four Sure!
 
In strong sellers' markets, like the San Fernando Valley, the San Francisco Bay Area and many other areas across the country, making a contingent offer is a virtual impossibility.  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 might be, "dead on arrival."  This is because the seller knows … (30 comments)

down payment: Poor Richard, the First Time Home Buyer - 08/15/18 07:27 AM
Poor Richard, the First Time Home Buyer
  
If I've learned anything in the current political environment it's that you can't make people see things they choose not to look for.  But what about the opposite?  What happens when the truth is hard to find?  Or, better still, what if the question at hand involves a bit of both?  That is, what if people don't have the inclination to look for something that is a bit difficult to locate?  With the help of one of our Founding Fathers, we're going to dispense some wisdom and address this dilemma in the context of a first time … (3 comments)

down payment: No Tax Returns, No Cry - 07/22/18 12:20 PM
No Tax Returns, No Cry
  
While it never rivaled in popularity its sister reggae tune of genre-defining, historic significance, let's dust off this platter and give it a spin.  Because let's face it, in the fully-documented world of today's mortgage qualifications it would seem that if you're self-employed, or if you're a real estate agent who gets a 1099, you pretty much have to shoot the sheriff if you want to get a decent loan but don't have two, strong years of tax returns.  No more. 
 
Our bank statement program may allow you to qualify with just 12 months of business bank statements.  … (6 comments)

 
Rob Spinosa, SVP of Mortgage Lending, Marin County (Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA)

Rob Spinosa

SVP 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

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Can I Get a Cosigner on a Mortgage?



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