home loan: 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)

home loan: 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)

home loan: 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)

home loan: 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 … (1 comments)

home loan: Divorce Buyout Mortgages - 04/25/21 08:47 AM
Divorce Buyout Mortgages
  
I don't think it would have surprised many married couples to learn, as they worked from home in a room that may have doubled and tripled as a dining room, nursery and rec center, that divorce filings were up 34% over the first half of 2020 and as pandemic despondency set in and influenced nearly every aspect of work, home and social life.
 
I would be the last one to make light of the stresses that COVID imposed on marriages and households, but instead I did see this unique time as equally opportune for shining a bright light on how … (8 comments)

home loan: 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 … (25 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: It's Cool to Conform in 2021 - 11/29/20 09:13 AM
It's Cool to Conform in 2021
 
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 straight and … (5 comments)

home loan: The Seven Real Estate Stages of the Pandemic - 10/05/20 08:09 AM
The Seven Real Estate Stages of the Pandemic
  
By now, some of us have lost a loved one, friend or community member to COVID-19.  Though if the cavalier denialism exhibited by some Americans is an indicator, there are still many who have yet to share the magnitude of such a loss.  But even putting one's head in the sand about the medical realities of the coronavirus cannot spare us the social, emotional and economic impacts. 
 
It's accepted as true that though we all grieve a loss, everyone grieves in a unique manner.  One of the most referenced works on the topic was written in … (17 comments)

home loan: What Are Credit Tradelines? - 09/27/20 09:12 AM
What Are Credit Tradelines?
  
I think I've made it clear before that I find no shame in talking about how hard we work for our clients. My assistant, Jamie, and I see a good number of mortgage applications come across our desks every week and in 2019 and 2020, a high percentage of them have been for jumbo home loans, which means that our borrowers must demonstrate strong credit depth by way of an adequate number of tradelines on their credit report. Gone are the days when one could just have a decent FICO score in order to cross credit concerns off of the loan approval list.
 
When … (12 comments)

home loan: Can I Refinance a Mortgage on a COVID Forbearance Plan? - 09/13/20 09:30 AM
Can I Refinance a Mortgage on a COVID Forbearance Plan?
  
Back at the end of the first quarter of 2020, the president might still have wanted to downplay COVID, but many real American homeowners suddenly found themselves in dire financial straits and quickly took advantage of the forbearance plans offered by the servicers of their mortgages.  This payment relief allowed them to navigate the most uncertain and immediate impacts of the pandemic and for some, provided a bridge to re-employment and/or firmer financial footing.  Now that some of these borrowers have made readjustments to the new normal, they may wish to take … (21 comments)

home loan: Should I Keep Making My Mortgage Payment? - 08/31/20 08:14 AM
Should I Keep Making My Mortgage Payment?
  
With so many people refinancing these days, and with the loan process sometimes crossing one or two months' time, a question we frequently get from those in process is, "Should I keep making my mortgage payment?"  The answer is a simple and clear, "Yes!"  
 
But let's talk about why, because the concept is as simple as it is often misunderstood.  In our formative financial years, many of us rented a home or apartment before we made the leap into home ownership.  And I'd be willing to be bet that more than a few of us got … (16 comments)

home loan: How To Win a Real Estate Bidding War - 08/18/20 08:59 AM
How To Win a Real Estate Bidding War
  
What's the one thing you can do to make your offer to buy a home stand out?  What's the secret sauce, the magic bullet, the key to success?  
 
If you answered, "There isn't one," you're pretty close.  Truth is, I haven't found any singular aspect of any offer that assures success.  All-cash offers, zero-contingency offers, overbid offers, offers with colorful "love letters," etc., none of them provide any guarantees to the hopeful buyer.  But there is one thing I've noticed that does increase the odds dramatically --- stacking advantages.  
 
More often than not, we observe that the winning … (17 comments)

home loan: How Do Rate Locks Work? - 08/03/20 08:21 AM
How Do Rate Locks Work?
  
There is one thing in common among all of our clients.  No matter what price point, no matter what loan size, no matter good credit or bad, no matter first-time buyer or seasoned investor, all are looking for the lowest interest rate at the lowest cost.  But how does a mortgage borrower secure such terms?  A part of the home loan process is "locking an interest rate" and this process could use a bit of explanation, so as to dispel some of the myths and offer a better understanding of how things work.
 
What Is a Rate Lock?
You've … (4 comments)

home loan: Anyone Can Hold the Helm When the Sea is Calm - 07/25/20 03:30 PM
Anyone Can Hold the Helm When the Sea is Calm
  
If your business is anything like mine, COVID is presently dishing out challenge after challenge to the way you (used to) work.  If it hasn't already driven many nails into the coffin of the way things were, then I'm willing to bet you're within earshot of the hammer.  If you've had time to collect your thoughts and countenance reality, you may have even begun to think about how biz will look in 2021, 2022 or beyond.
 
Many of us, in real estate careers we have built over years or decades, have assumed a form … (19 comments)

home loan: How Long Is a Pre-Approval Good For? - 07/19/20 07:55 PM
How Long Is a Pre-Approval Good For?
  
You've decided to make the leap and enter the real estate market as a buyer.  You've been looking at homes online, the temptation has become too strong and you realize it's time to hit the street and actually start looking at properties.  Your Realtor almost immediately informs you that not only will she not participate in your search before she knows you're pre-approved, but also that in this pandemic day and age, without a pre-approval letter no serious listing agent will even let you step foot in the home for a viewing.  And so you … (15 comments)

home loan: How Long Does It Take to Get Pre-Approved? - 07/05/20 08:16 AM
How Long Does It Take to Get Pre-Approved?
  
Many real estate markets in California move fast, but it's been this way for years.  When a hot property hits, perhaps there's a showing on Sunday (more on that in a bit, and in the context of COVID-19) and then offers are due on Tuesday, with some buyers scrambling to make a pre-emptive offer, if possible.
 
This reality can run counter to some buyers' inclinations to get their mortgage financing in order by dipping one toe in the water at a time.  It's not uncommon for us to get a call that starts something like this:  "My partner … (5 comments)

home loan: 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)

home loan: Will My Property Taxes Go Up If I Refinance? - 05/17/20 07:33 AM
Will My Property Taxes Go Up If I Refinance?
  
Because the current interest rate environment is so conducive to refinancing, a concern that some have about taking action stems from confusion related to how their property taxes are determined, and specifically the question, "Will refinancing cause my property taxes to go up?"  It goes without saying that nobody wants to save money via refinance, only to see it evaporate in the form of higher real estate taxes.  But is this a real threat?  Or is it safe to assume that simply by refinancing you would not see a change in your tax basis?
 
Our answer must first … (5 comments)

home loan: How Hard Is It to Refinance a Mortgage? - 05/10/20 11:03 AM
How Hard Is It to Refinance a Mortgage?
  
On a weekend morning you wake up:
A)  Before 6AM.
B)  Before 8AM.
C)  Before 10AM.
D)  Yeah, yeah, I'm awake...
 
It's time to take out the trash when:
A)  Pickup is the following day.
B)  The level of trash is approaching the top of the trash can.
B)  The level of trash has crossed the plane of the top of the trash can.
C)  Expert levels of jenga skill are required to balance your trash on the top of the steaming heap.
 
If you answered "D" to either of the above, and you have a mortgage in California, this blog post is dedicated to … (3 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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