tucson: A basic guide to loan programs for new buyers - 11/02/09 10:41 AM
With so many new homeowners looking to enter the market because of low rates and low home prices, I know there is often some confusion about loan options. I have tried to give a brief summary of what is available, along with the basic benefits of the program. As always, feel free to contact me for me detail or to ask a question. I hope this is useful.

While financing a home is more challenging today than even a few years ago, it is not as difficult as many people think. If there is a way for … (4 comments)

tucson: Refinance options for underwater homeowners - 10/11/09 04:54 PM

Refinance Options for Underwater Homeowners
We all know people who are having trouble keeping up with their payments but could not refinance because they are underwater (or close to it) on their loan. Many were not willing to refinance because it would push them above the magic 80% Loan-to-Value ratio, which would necessitate getting mortgage insurance (MI) - which either they could not get (usually due to a credit score or a Debt-to-Income issue) or which would increase their monthly payments to the point that is negates any drop in payment from a lower interest rate. 
Well, over the last … (4 comments)

tucson: Ancient cactus in Redington Pass, Tucson, Arizona - 10/10/09 01:01 PM
Coming back from hunting in Willcox, AZ last weekend, I drove through Redington Pass. It was the first time for me to come through this area. One of the interesting things for me about Tucson is that, as the city is abutted by mountains on two sides, some of the major roads actually become dirt trails leading up into the mountains. This is the case for Tanque Verde Road, which transforms from four lanes to being a mountain trail within a matter of miles.
Redington Pass is popular with ATVs, dirt bikers and hunters, but the main road is actually in … (3 comments)

tucson: Should you mention everything in a listing? This agent conveniently 'forgot' to mention something... - 09/30/09 05:47 AM
As a transplanted Scotsman, I was reading the BBC news this morning when I came across an article about a beautiful, rural fisherman's cottage which was recently put up for sale in Kent, on the English coast. Think rustic, think peaceful, think fresh air and the sound of gulls. If you are having a hard time imagining it, here is a picture from the listing. By the way, this little three bedroom gem, with half an acre of land, is going for a touch under US$400,000. 
Great you think. Perfect for me and the family. Let's go take a … (5 comments)

tucson: Some lesser known facts about FHA loans - 09/28/09 12:52 PM
I recently had the pleasure of attending a great presentation from a senior person at HUD's outreach program at the Tucson Association of Realtors. The goal of the program is to educate realtors and lenders about how the FHA works, and how it benefits the community. There was a lot of great information, and a lot of misconceptions addressed, so I am going to run through some of the main points that were made. As the FHA has been around since the 1930's, it has been through a lot of changes, which are ongoing. During the real estate bubble, very few … (5 comments)

tucson: Go Large! - The VA Jumbo Loan - 09/10/09 04:37 PM
Recently a number of realtors and home builders I have been talking with have told me that they did not know there was a such thing as a VA Jumbo Loan. In fact, there may be some loan officers who don't know about it, and tell their borrowers that they have to take a straight jumbo loan if they are borrowing more than the $417k conforming limit. And that, to be frank, costs those borrowers money up front and in the long term.
Absolutely nothing - if you want to finance more than $417k of … (4 comments)

tucson: New kitten needs a name - 09/08/09 04:07 PM
Back when I lived in London, and before that Japan, people didn't keep a lot of pets. The normal dog in a Japanese home fits conventiently in a handbag. Not here in Arizona I guess, where lots of space, both inside and out, is perfect for large families and their pet collections which sometimes border on being small petting-zoos.
My brother-in-law - who lives down the road from me here in Vail, AZ - could probably charge admission to his. Three dogs, three cats, three horses, fish, birds and now four more kittens. Partially so that they have at least a … (12 comments)

tucson: Finally up and running in the 'Rain - 08/24/09 05:50 PM
Hello everyone! This is my first blog entry on Active Rain, which I have been introduced to recently by Mike Jones here at Sunstreet Mortgage. Thanks Mike!
To introduce myself a little bit - I moved here to Tucson (Vail actually) a little over a year ago to get married to my wonderful wife Michelle Mann, who is a realtor here in Tucson, bringing to an end a three year period of ultra long-distance dating from London, where I was also heavily involved in real estate. Originally from Aberdeen, Scotland,
I ended up in Arizona via a number of countries, including … (9 comments)

Simon Smart (Sunstreet Mortgage, Arizona)

Simon Smart

Tucson, AZ

More about me…

Sunstreet Mortgage, Arizona

Address: 2840 E Skyline Drive, Suite 230, Tucson, AZ, 85718

Office: (520) 344-6940

Mobile: (520) 954-3757

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