real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: What's the Point of Points? - 06/11/19 05:59 AM
What's the Point of Points?
 
Let's get right to the point.  What point?  Points.  I don't get it.  What's your point?  The point is points --- what are they, how do they work and should I pay them when I get a mortgage?  There's a lot of confusion about points and when a borrower researches his or her best mortgage options, inevitably there will be an element of points in the debate.  So in order to help ourselves find the best terms on any home loan, we need to get this point thing under our belt.
 
Point One (One Point)
Simply, one point equals … (43 comments)

real estate: What Is a Debt Service Coverage Ratio Mortgage? - 06/04/19 07:50 AM
What Is a Debt Service Coverage Ratio Mortgage?
 
Real estate investors have long turned to private money loans when conventional mortgage lenders have determined that either they, with their multiple property holdings, or the properties they are looking to buy, pose too great a risk.  But for its benefits of closing quickly and not involving an intrusive qualifying process based on ability-to-repay (ATR), hard money loans are expensive and most often have terms that require the investor to refinance or pay off the loan in the short term --- not an ideal fit for those who own, or are building, a portfolio … (1 comments)

real estate: When Is a Good Time to Refinance? - 05/27/19 08:11 AM
When Is a Good Time to Refinance?
 
There's that great, old maxim that goes, "There are two kinds of jobs in the world; the kind you shower before and the kind you shower after."  And in that spirit, I would offer that there are two kinds of refinances in the world --- the kind you transact because you want to and the kind you pursue because you must.  We'll cover both here and we'll talk about when it may be a good time to consider refinancing your home.  But first, some basics.
 
Refinancing your mortgage(s) allows you to change the terms of your … (3 comments)

real estate: The Lenders, The Dreamers and Me - 05/13/19 07:33 AM
The Lenders, The Dreamers and Me
 
Immigration, as a topic, has been in the news a lot lately. Without weighing in politically, at least overtly, this is a matter close to my heart as it's not hard for me to forget that my grandparents fit the classic Ellis Island mold that shaped the lives of countless Italian-Americans.  A couple of years ago, I was honored to write a piece for our industry's M Report, and in it, I tried to imagine what it was like for my immigrant grandfather to obtain his first mortgage here in the United States.  Just conjuring his … (3 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: Rental Income from Accessory Units? Hot or Not? - 04/16/19 07:10 AM
Rental Income from Accessory Units.  Hot or Not?
 
I don't know about where you live, but here in Marin County, accessory dwelling units ("ADU"), also known as accessories, 1+'s, granny units, in-law's, mother-in-law's, etc., are all the rage.  When we discuss remodel projects with our clients, adding an accessory is often high on the list.  After all, if permitting allows, the thought of having the extra space to accommodate guests, parents or children, short- or long-term renters or maybe just create the proverbial doghouse in marriage under the strain of any/all of the above, can be appealing.  But from a mortgage guideline standpoint, … (4 comments)

real estate: Is Your Mortgage Lender Requiring Flood Insurance? - 04/02/19 07:40 AM
Is Your Mortgage Lender Requiring Flood Insurance?
 
Up until this point, everything was going great.  You loved the house, it fit your budget and, by the grace of God, your offer got accepted.
 
But then it was your mortgage lender, Dasher of Dreams, who let you know that the property sits in a special flood hazard area, and that it will require flood insurance.  I know --- this is something that should have been revealed earlier in the process, and most often it is, but this time around, the fact that the property may be susceptible to flooding risk came up late and … (2 comments)

real estate: Will My California Property Taxes Go Up if I Refinance? - 02/28/19 07:25 AM
Will My California Property Taxes Go Up if I Refinance?
 
I would be willing to bet that each year, good financial benefit gets left on the table by those who want to refinance their mortgages but are afraid that by doing so, they may see their California property taxes go up.  Is this concern founded?  Can that really happen?
 
In short, no.  California property taxes are not reassessed when a homeowner refinances his or her mortgage.  And the simple reason for this is that there is no transfer of title that would trigger the tax basis to be reassessed by the County Assessor.  When … (0 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: Jumbo Mortgage for the Self-Employed - 02/10/19 06:09 PM
Jumbo Mortgage for the Self-Employed
 
One thing of which our industry does a terrible job is promoting a sense of optimism among the self-employed.  Whether the one-man-band sole proprietor, or the complex, greater-than-25% owner of a multi-million dollar S-Corp, this long-suffering subset of the borrowing population has traditionally experienced stiff headwind in the mortgage process because the objectives of running one's own business frequently fly in the face of what it takes to qualify for a jumbo mortgage.  There are a combination of reasons why this has been the case and we're going to look at those here, along with what the self-employed … (5 comments)

real estate: Lock Watch for the Week of 2/11/2019 - 02/09/19 06:20 AM
Lock Watch for the Week of 2/11/2019
 
Volatility-O-Meter:
Amid a backdrop of econonic slowdown abroad, the US kicks off the week quietly but then things ought to heat up.  And let's not forget the threat of another government shutdown (Nightmare on Elm St. Part II).
 
Economicalendar (all times are Pacific):
Mon, 2/11:     Quiet.
Tues, 2/12:     JOLTS (7am).
Weds, 2/13:     CPI (5:30am). Treasury Budget (11am).
Thurs, 2/14:    Jobless Claims, PPI, Retail Sales (5:30am).  Business Inventories (10am).
Fri, 2/15:        Empire State Mfg Survey and Import/Export Prices (5:30am).  Consumer Sentiment (7am).
 
10-Year Treasury History
2.66%     Market Open
2.72%     One Week Ago
2.71%     One Month Ago
2.86%     One Year … (1 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: Lock Watch for the Week of 1/28/2019 - 01/27/19 08:22 PM
Lock Watch for the Week of 1/28/2019
 
Volatility-O-Meter:
The shutdown is over and that's great news.  Remarkably the market shrugged it off on Friday though we may bear the brunt of that this week, with both a full slate of important reports, GDP, an FOMC statement and auctions as well.
 
Economicalendar (all times are Pacific):
Mon, 1/28:      Dallas Fed Mfg Survey (7:30am), 2-Yr Note Auction (8:30am), 5-Yr Note Auction (10am).
Tues, 1/29:     International Trade in Goods (5:30am), Consumer Confidence (7am), 7-Yr Note Auction (10am).
Weds, 1/30:     ADP Employment (5:15am), GDP (5:30am), FOMC Meeting Announcement (11am).
Thurs, 1/31:    Jobless Claims, Personal Income and Outlays … (2 comments)

real estate: Closing in the Name Of - 01/21/19 12:54 PM
Closing in the Name Of
 
There will be no profanity in this post, just in case you get the cultural reference in the title.  I won't even repeatedly scream at you.  Instead we're going to cover a topic that sidesteps injustice, drama or even frequent occurrence, but it deals with a scenario that comes up occasionally and when it does, there is quite a bit we should know before taking action.  So let's talk about closing a residential real estate transaction in the name of an LLC or other business entity, like a partnership or a corporation.  Can you do that?  What's … (23 comments)

real estate: 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)

 
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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