real estate: 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)

real estate: 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 … (3 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: Expertise Unmasked - 07/11/20 09:09 AM
Expertise Unmasked
  
A couple of years ago, we found a home we really loved.  The market was competitive at the time, but we choked on the list price and thought about going in a bit under it.  Our Realtor, someone recommended to us, someone possessing a proven track record in the community and someone garnering much respect among fellow agents, highly advised against lowballing the offer.  Eventually, we bid a little over list and got the home.  One of the reasons the home was so desirable was the school district.  The teachers, overall, have a tremendous reputation and years of experience that just … (7 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: N/O/O: Jumbo Mortgage's Scarlet Letters - 05/02/20 07:59 AM
N/O/O:  Jumbo Mortgage's Scarlet Letters 
 
May 1, 2020
Day 46 of Shelter-in-Place
 
If you are a real estate investor at this time, in this market and looking for a jumbo mortgage to buy a non-owner occupied home (N/O/O), you may feel like our industry sees you with a scarlet letter(s) on your chest.  Before the pandemic, everybody wanted to talk to you, but now...now, you cannot find a mortgage lender to make you a jumbo loan.  Many of the options that existed before are gone.  The ones that remain have been restricted, their guidelines whittled down to the ultra-conservative.  Each day, you struggle to … (1 comments)

real estate: I'm Here to Help You - 04/18/20 10:03 PM
I'm Here to Help You
 
Be clear. Be specific. Reduce uncertainty. Speak to the most pressing need. Keep running.  You still have a long way to go.  
No, I did not just come down off the mountain of some Tony Robbins motivational speech.  No, I did not use the featureless timescape of shelter-in-place to read all of the self-help books heretofore exerting their gravitational pull on my office's shelves.  Instead, I am recalling one long night in June of 2019.
 
Some of you know I dabble in the sport of ultramarathoning.  These are (usually) trail races that exceed a distance of 26.2 … (3 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: The New Abnormal - 03/28/20 08:54 AM
The New Abnormal
 
We've just turned the corner from March to April, but here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we are still sheltered in place (SIP).  Everybody in our home is making adjustments to our new abnormal and it's a good lesson for today's homeowner too.  We may not be able to move around or go out, but can we hunker down and tweak our financial situation so that it better positions us to weather the next few months?
 
First, a little perspective.  Even if the health implications of the pandemic miraculously prove to be short-lived, my sense is that the economic ripples will … (23 comments)

real estate: Errors of Intent - 03/21/20 08:48 PM
Errors of Intent
 
Watching the world grapple with a pandemic has had a profound impact on my ability to count blessings.  Yes, we are sheltered in place, but my immediate family is presently in good health.  And though I suspect the coming days, weeks and months will be disrupted by yet unknown challenges, I am grateful that the hull of my career has been solidly hewn by hours of hard work.  I take deep appreciation of the experience I gained during other times of hardship like 9/11 and the Lehman collapse. Though I worry about the well-being of my 85-year old father, he's seen great … (13 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: 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)

real estate: I'm SUArta Back! The New FHA Spot Condo Approval - 11/02/19 08:41 PM
 I'm SUArta Back!  The FHA Spot Condo Approval
 
Mortgage lenders that see a fair amount of FHA loans have, for the last few years, lamented the loss of the condominium "spot" approval.  This erstwhile shortcut would allow a single unit of a condo project to be eligible for an FHA loan even where the entire project might otherwise not pass muster.  And for FHA, it's been widely recognized since the sunsetting of the spot approval that buyers whose search requires an FHA loan and a price range that might only include condos, had real challenges ahead.  Specifically, their target inventory would need … (5 comments)

real estate: How Can I Make My Home Appraise Higher? - 10/26/19 08:18 AM
 How Can I Make My Home Appraise Higher?
 
Whether buying or refinancing a home, when obtaining a mortgage it can be expected that an appraisal will be required.  I talked in a previous post about how we are able to use appraisal waivers in certain instances, but still, most residential real estate transactions that involve a mortgage also involve an appraisal.  An appraisal is a professional opinion of value, completed on a standardized report by a licensed appraiser.  Are there steps the buyer or homeowner can take to assure that this value comes in as favorable as possible?  Here are a few … (9 comments)

real estate: 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)

real estate: When Are Marin County Property Tax Bills Due? - 10/06/19 04:03 PM
When Are Marin County Property Tax Bills Due?
 
As I write this in October of 2019, my very own Marin County property tax bills just arrived.  Well, allow me to reframe that.  It is widely understood that our real estate tax bills are issued "sometime in October," but when you actually receive them in the mail on October 1, it says all you need to know about our Assessor's intent to get the point across.  So with the same procrastination exhibited by most fellow Marin County property owners who will join me in actually paying the bill a few days before a penalty is assessed, … (9 comments)

real estate: Can I Get a Mortgage If I Am Retired? - 09/08/19 08:45 AM
Can I Get a Mortgage If I Am Retired?   I live in an aging county.  So if you ever find yourself vacationing in the lovely city of San Francisco, give this little exercise a try:  Simply get in your Uber.  Or rent one of those death trap three-wheelers at Fisherman's Wharf.  Or bundle up take it on the heel and toe and come across the iconic Golden Gate Bridge to magical Marin County.  Now, did you feel yourself getting older in the process?   Even if not, Marin County's residents, with their 46.1-year old median age, clean air, great schools and … (15 comments)

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)

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

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

Email Me

REX Homebuyer Participating Lender 80-10-10 Loans What Happens if My Appraisal Comes in Low? Can I Get a Cosigner on a Mortgage?


Listings

Links

Archives

RSS 2.0 Feed for this blog