preapproval: 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)

preapproval: Lock Watch for the Week of 4/15/2019 - 04/14/19 09:14 AM
Lock Watch for the Week of 4/15/2019
Fairly light week of reports that should mean no fireworks.  But beware every time you issue such a comment...
Economicalendar (all times are Pacific):
Mon, 4/15:    Empire State Mfg Survey (5:30am).
Tues, 4/16:     Industrial Production (6:15am), Housing Market Index (7am).
Weds, 4/17:     International Trade (5:30am), Beige Book (11am).
Thurs, 4/18:    Jobless Claims, Philadelphia Fed Bus. Outlook Survey, Retail Sales (5:30am), Business Inventories (7am) and Fed Balance Sheet (1:30pm).
Fri, 4/19:        Housing Starts (5:30am).
10-Year Treasury History
2.56%     Market Open
2.51%     One Week Ago
2.59%     One Month Ago
2.83%     One Year Ago
(Need a rate quote for your … (2 comments)

preapproval: Lock Watch for the Week of 3/4/2019 - 03/03/19 02:37 PM
Lock Watch for the Week of 3/4/2019
A healthy slate of reports this week but I'm not sure any of it will break the 15bps range we've held since early January.  Employment situation on Friday warrants the most attention.
Economicalendar (all times are Pacific):
Mon, 3/4:     Construction Spending (7am).
Tues, 3/5:     New Home Sales and ISM Non-Mfg Index (7am).
Weds, 3/6:     ADP Employment Report (5:15am), International Trade (5:30am), Beige Book (11am).
Thurs, 3/7:    Jobless Claims and Productivity and Costs (5:30am).  Fed Balance Sheet (1:30pm).
Fri, 3/8:        Employment Situation and Housing Starts (5:30am).
10-Year Treasury History
2.74%     Market Open
2.68%     One Week Ago
2.73%     One … (3 comments)

preapproval: Are You a Lender or a Banker or a Broker? - 02/15/19 03:17 PM
Are You a Lender or a Banker or a Broker?
"So are you a broker or a lender?"  "Or a banker or a lender?"  "Or a broker/banker?"  Yes, yes, and yes!
We get this question all the time, but I think it comes from a good place.  Naturally, everybody shopping for a home loan wants to get the best rates and terms and some confusion swirls around how the type of mortgage originator one uses has a bearing on the outcome.  So when they work with me, who is really behind the curtain?
[Too lazy to read the rest? Watch the video below instead.]
Banker / … (2 comments)

preapproval: Time Is of the Essence - 02/03/19 05:05 PM
Time Is of the Essence
There it is in black and white.  Section 29 of the California Association of Realtors' residential purchase agreement.  "Time is of the essence."  And in real estate transactions, which are inherently complex, this simply means that every day matters.  To be competitive as a buyer you need time on your side because very likely the seller of the home in which you're interested knows that the longer things take to get to the closing table, the greater likelihood something might go wrong with the financing you need in order to acquire the home.
"Like what?," you ask.
Perhaps the … (10 comments)

preapproval: So You Wanna Buy a Home in 2019? - 12/31/18 04:06 PM
So You Wanna Buy a Home in 2019?
You've decided that 2019 is the year when you stop throwing away your rent money and paying someone else's mortgage.  Maybe you've even made this a written resolution and saved up a down payment to show for it.  But up until this point, it's just been a vision, an item on a wish list or --- how millennial of you --- a dream board.  Perhaps you came close to pulling the trigger in 2016, 2017 or 2018, but the thought of getting beat out by the severe competition was just too anxiety inducing to … (3 comments)

preapproval: Start Me Up, I Want to Buy a Home - 11/28/18 08:29 AM
Start Me Up, I Want to Buy a Home 
To borrow yet another song reference, and you know I'm fond of those, 'it's not unusual' for first-time buyers to come in our door and readily admit they have no idea where to start the home buying process.  Often they are referred by real estate agents who tell them there's zero chance they'll see the inside of their cars on a property search until they have a pre-approval letter in hand.  But what is a mortgage pre-approval, where does one start that process and how to get a letter?
The Big Three
Fundamentally, a mortgage … (6 comments)

preapproval: 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)

preapproval: One Thing Leads to Another - 10/23/18 07:24 AM
One Thing Leads to Another
It just may be the most frustrating aspect of the home loan process for both borrowers and their real estate agents.  We, the mortgage originator, ask for a specific item, or "condition," required for the loan approval and then upon receipt and review of that item, we come back and ask for something additional.  Wash, rinse, repeat.  One thing leads to another.
Sure we all get why there's grief and consternation associated with this phenomenon.  After all, it feels like a vendetta.  It can get personal.  I've had, on very rare instances, borrowers tell me that they simply … (23 comments)

preapproval: Just Don't Pull My Credit - 10/18/18 07:38 AM
Just Don't Pull My Credit
This is going to be brief. Why? Because the concept is very simple: For most, making a credit inquiry when getting a mortgage pre-approval will not hurt their FICO score. If you:
A)  Pay your bills on time,
B)  Maintain a fairly low balance to limit on your credit cards, and,
C)  Have developed a credit history over several years, then most likely,
D)  Having a lender pull your credit score in order to assist you with getting the best mortgage terms is not going to be detrimental. In fact, it may be one of the smartest financial choices you make.
There is … (4 comments)

preapproval: Are the Lights Going Down on Real Estate? - 10/09/18 06:22 AM
Are the Lights Going Down on Real Estate?
You know what's on a lot of my clients' minds right now?  No, not Journey of the the 1970's, but the real estate downturn of 2007/2008.  Many of these prospective buyers are getting a sense that maybe this is the top of the market and that perhaps they should sit things out and wait for real estate to go on sale --- just like it did during the downturn.  I have some advice for them, but it has little to do with market prognostication.  In fact, I'll be the first one to admit that … (43 comments)

preapproval: The Running of the Credit - 09/17/18 09:02 PM
The Running of the Credit
I have never been to Pamplona, Spain, and I've never run with the bulls, but I have known two individuals who did.  One came back with some fascinating stories about the experience and the other one, tragically, did not.  We're not going to dwell on either of them here, but instead discuss the fear that many have when they go to apply for a home loan.  Long has the myth been propagated that simply by having a mortgage lender pull credit, a borrower will see his pristine, 800+ FICO scores trampled into the 500-range by the mere … (15 comments)

preapproval: Three Ways to Get a Great Jumbo Loan for Under $20 - 07/28/18 02:48 PM
Three Ways to Get a Great Jumbo Loan for Under $20
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, Debbie, and I see a good number of mortgage applications come across our desks every week and in 2018, 60% 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 … (3 comments)

preapproval: How Deep Is Your Credit History? - 05/21/18 07:38 AM
How Deep Is Your Credit History?
"My credit is excellent! I have, like, a 950 score!"
With such hyperbole (FICO scores range between 300 and 850) you'd almost expect this to be a quote from the president.  But in reality, we hear such statements frequently in the mortgage business.  And it makes perfect sense.  With the proliferation of the Credit Karmas and Life Locks of the world, more and more consumers are staying attuned to their credit profile and generally speaking, that is a good thing.  However, there is an important distinction to be made between having high credit scores and having a credit profile that … (20 comments)

preapproval: Should You DIY Your DTI? - 05/16/18 06:09 AM
Should You DIY Your DTI?
Just like the Julian and Gregorian calendars separate time between B.C. and A.D., the passage of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Financial Reform Act separates the way mortgages have been qualified.  Loosely, before Christ (and in my opinion, Barney and Chris did hold themselves in quite high regard) many claimed you just needed to "fog a mirror" to get a home loan.  But in the crusades that followed the birth of the new law, most residential mortgages must follow the provisions of ability-to-repay or "ATR."  In other words, before Dodd-Frank, lenders had much greater leeway to approve or deny a … (2 comments)

preapproval: Lions and Tigers and PMI, Oh My! - 05/09/18 07:06 AM
Lions and Tigers and PMI, Oh My!
There are a number of things you should legitimately be afraid of in this life --- great white sharks, cigarette smoke, Scott Pruitt's EPA --- but private mortgage insurance (also known as "PMI") is not one of them.  We're going to cover the basics here and I'm going to work to dispel a lot of the misconceptions about PMI.  Most importantly, we're going to discuss why PMI on your next mortgage might be an entirely viable solution when you're seeking to purchase a home with less than a 20% down payment.
What is PMI?
Private mortgage insurance, … (9 comments)

preapproval: What's a Qualifying Payment on a Mortgage? - 05/02/18 06:45 AM
What's a Qualifying Payment on a Mortgage?
Qualifying.  It's always harder than it looks, right?  I've talked before about my erstwhile career as an Ironman triathlete and for those familiar with that sport, they'll confirm that qualifying for the race in Kona is way harder than they make it look on TV.  I suppose it's the same with getting into certain colleges, but since I struggled to get out of high school, I'm going to let someone else blog about that...
No, today, we're going to talk about qualifying for a mortgage and specifically we're going to cover the payment that we lenders use … (1 comments)

preapproval: Lock Watch for the Week of 4/2/2018 - 03/31/18 08:27 AM
Lock Watch for the Week of 4/2/2018
Mid to High.  Jobs report on Friday --- watch out for indications of wage growth.
Economicalendar (all times are Pacific):
Mon, 4/2:       PMI Mfg Index (6:45am).  ISM Mfg Index and Construction Spending (10am).
Tues, 4/3:       Quiet.
Weds, 4/4:     ADP Employment (5:15am), Factory Orders and ISM Non-Mfg Index (7am). 
Thurs, 4/5:    Jobless Claims and International Trade (5:30am).
Fri, 4/6:        Employment situation (5:30am).
10-Year Treasury History
2.76%     Today
2.85%     One Week Ago
2.86%     One Month Ago
2.35%     One Year Ago
Mr. T
On or shortly after May 28, 1982, I remember being dropped off at either Yorktown or Oakbrook to … (0 comments)

preapproval: Be A.G.G.R.E.S.S.I.V.E. with a 5% Down Jumbo Mortgage - 03/29/18 07:39 AM
Be A.G.G.R.E.S.S.I.V.E. with a 5% Down Jumbo Mortgage
I never so much as played a single down of varsity football, but that didn't help me escape the Friday night lights, the pep rallies and late-game chants of the Tigerettes:
Be aggressive!  B.E. aggressive!  B.E. A.G.G. --- R.E.S.S.I.V.E!
Yes, when the game was fiercely competitive, when it seemed the team was down to its last drive, the attitude of everyone needed to change.  The cheerleaders set the gears in motion.  Gone were the soft-touch tactics --- the pom poms needed to come off.  It was time to be aggressive.  We're seeing that it's no different … (3 comments)

preapproval: Niche Jumbo Mortgage in California - 02/28/18 07:37 AM
Niche Jumbo Mortgage in California
Not all mortgage scenarios in California --- and especially in the high-cost areas we often see in the San Francisco Bay Area, Silicon Valley and in the greater Los Angeles environs --- fit squarely in "the box."  "The Box" is the narrow definition of what it takes to qualify these days, and for a jumbo mortgage that falls outside of the parameters of a conforming or "government," loan, such as FHA or VA.  When you find yourself outside and looking in, sometimes the best solution is a "niche" mortgage program. 
Now if visions of subprime loans and sky-high rates … (1 comments)

Rob Spinosa, Vice President of Mortgage Lending, Marin County (Guaranteed Rate, Marin County, CA) Rainmaker large

Rob Spinosa

Vice President 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

Email Me

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