refinance: 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 … (11 comments)

refinance: 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 … (4 comments)

refinance: 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 … (6 comments)

refinance: How to Rock a Mortgage Application Without Hurting Your FICO Score - 03/24/22 07:48 AM
How to Rock a Mortgage Application Without Hurting Your FICO Score
  
 
"What's your rate?"
 
"How much will I qualify for?"
 
"Are you a banker or a broker or a lender?"
 
Nope, nope and nope.  None of these are the #1 question we get before a prospective borrower makes an application for a pre-approval.  So what is the most asked question?
 
"Will making a mortgage application hurt my FICO score?"
 
Yep, that's it.  That's the one that keeps some otherwise strong and qualifiable buyers on the sidelines and paralyzed by the irrational fear that simply by having a lender make a hard credit inquiry, and access their Equifax, … (6 comments)

refinance: Divorce Buyout Refinancing Explained - 02/17/22 07:38 AM
Divorce Buyout Refinancing Explained
  
 
It's a sobering fact that nearly 50% of married couples will decide to go their separate ways each year. But what happens when there's jointly owned real estate involved? And what if that home has a mortgage on it as well? What's the process for one spouse "buying out" the other and how can any couple best plan for this division?
 
Obviously, a marital separation is stressful enough.  The short video below aims to make it a little less so, at least when it comes to understanding the home loan options.  Oh, and we rock some Frontiers-era Journey while … (9 comments)

refinance: Is a No Cost Refinance a Free Ride? - 02/10/22 07:33 AM
Is a No Cost Refinance a Free Ride?
  
 
Back in the '70's, Edgar Winter extolled the virtues of taking a free ride.  But since that time and especially when it comes to transactions in the financial world, most of us have been conditioned to know that nothing's ever free.
 
So how does this square with the concept of a "no cost" refinance?  We hear about these all the time and our clients ask for them.  How does the no-cost strategy work and can it offer real benefit in the right situation?  We cover all these timeless questions in this short, fun, rockin' video:
 
 
Decided … (1 comments)

refinance: YouTube Thursday? That's the Way You Do It! - 01/27/22 07:48 AM
YouTube Thursday? That's the Way You Do It!
  
In keeping with the spirit of YouTube Thursdays, and adhering to my resolution to build a YouTube channel this year, I'm optimistic this post will count as my first contribution.
 
This week, I'm covering the basics of cash out refinances, because as rates begin to rise, cash out refinances still offer value to homeowners (where "rate and term" refinances begin to make a less compelling case).  Also, we put a fun spin on the '80's hit "Money for Nothing," because while cash out refinances may offer a really cost-effective way to do home improvement, finance … (2 comments)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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 … (26 comments)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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)

refinance: 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)

refinance: I'm Refi The Cash Out Man - 04/10/20 08:38 AM
I'm Refi The Cash Out Man
 
Sing to the tune of Popeye the Sailor Man:
 
I'm Refi the Cash Out Man.  You're lookin' for cash in hand.
Your house is worth plenty, you can access them pennies,
So cash out?  Indeed you can.
 
We're in a pandemic, you hear jumbo lenders
won't refi your equity spare.
But that ain't the truth and I'll show you the proof
if you've managed your money affairs.
 
I'm Refi the Cash Out Man.  You're lookin' for cash in hand.
If you still got a job and your credit's the bomb,
If the mortgage makes sense then get off of the fence,
Call Refi the Cash Out Man!
 
Shiver me timbers,
 
 
Robert J. Spinosa
Vice President … (5 comments)

refinance: 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)

 
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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