Blog2018-12-06T10:02:50+00:00

Mortgage Industry News and Events

How To Improve Your Debt-To-Income Ratio (DTI)

Your debt-to-income ratio is a measure of how big your monthly debt service obligations are as a percentage of your income. It’s one of the most important things lenders consider when assessing your application for a mortgage: The higher your monthly debt payments, and the lower your income, the higher your DTI will be, and the more difficult it will be to qualify for a mortgage. Note: Hawaii residents have the highest debt-to-income ratios in the country. Broadly speaking, there are two ways to improve your DTI ratio: Reduce your monthly debt payments, and increase [...]

Getting a Mortgage When the Fed is Raising Rates

Many people become worried or discouraged about getting a mortgage when the Federal Reserve is in the news raising interest rates. Mortgage rates have been increasing gradually over the last year: The 30-year mortgage rate climbed from 3.99% on Jan. 11 to 4.63% on Dec. 13th, according to Freddie Mac. But rates are quite low compared to 10 years and 20 years ago: In December 1998, the 30-year fixed rate was at 6.69%, and in December 1988, it was at 10.46%. Neither were bad times to be a home buyer (you were certainly better off buying a home in [...]

Improving Credit Scores Pays Off for Hawaii Homebuyers

Yes, you can get a mortgage even with less-than-stellar credit. But it does cost more. Indeed, it costs quite a bit more, over the life of a 30-year loan. A recent study estimates that mediocre or bad credit can cost borrowers anywhere from $50,000 to $130,000 more over the span of a 30-year mortgage. But that was using nationwide numbers, assuming a mortgage of $250,000. Here in Hawaii, where the average single-family home is now selling for around $800,000, the cost is even higher. It’s therefore even more important for Hawaii residents to pay attention to their credit histories and [...]

New Program Makes It Easier to Refinance Student Loans

A new program from Fannie Mae made it a lot easier to save on interest by refinancing student loans. The new program, the Student Loan Cash-Out Refinance, streamlines the process and makes it easier to qualify for a mortgage to pay off an existing student loan. Under the old rules, there were usually extra fees borrowers had to pay for any “cash out” mortgage – that is, a refinancing where the new mortgage is larger than the old mortgage and the borrower has extra cash left over from the loan. Cash-Out Mortgage Example For example, let’s [...]

Applications for Non-Conforming Loans Surge

Among main mortgage products, only applications of “non-conforming” increased on a quarterly basis in the third quarter of 2018, according to a new ranking and analysis by “Inside Non-conforming Markets.” The sector includes non-qualified mortgages, non-prime loans, mortgages with alternative documentation and any other non-jumbo mortgages not eligible for delivery to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or Ginnie Mae. Origination of expanded-credit loans rose 10.5% in the third quarter. In the first three quarters of 2018, expanded-credit volume was up by 22.7% from a year ago. “The entire mortgage industry has come to recognize the potential and significance of non-QM,” [...]

Higher Conforming Loan Limits for Hawaii Borrowers

Fannie and Freddie Announce Higher Conventional Mortgage Limits for Hawaii Borrowers Good news: It’s gotten even easier for Hawaii homebuyers to qualify for a conventional mortgage! The allowable cap on qualifying mortgages has been increased substantially to account for Hawaii’s high cost of housing. Effective January 1st, 2019, the new conforming loan limit for single-family homes and single condominiums for conventional mortgages is $726,525. What’s more, the new limit is effective in all counties in the State of Hawaii. While the new limit may not sound like much in Hawaii these days, but it’s 150 percent more than the [...]

Buying vs. Renting in Hawaii – Running the Numbers

As of October, 2018, the average rent for an apartment in Honolulu, Hawaii was $1,680.00 according to RentJungle.com. That’s quite a decrease from where it was this time last year: $2,123.00 according to the same source – down 26.37%. We suspect a data glitch somewhere, though, and that the real figure is close to about $2,000 per month. But RentJungle shows the average monthly rental payment for a 2-bedroom apartment as of October 2018 was 1,836.00 – not too far from our best guess. Hawaii Housing Facts For the 10-year period from 2007-2017, median rent [...]

STUDY: December is the best month to buy a house

The time to get pre-approved for a mortgage is NOW. Because December is the best month, by far, to buy a home. That’s not us talking. That’s the conclusion of a recent survey from ATTOM Data Solutions, an Irvine, California-based real estate data and information firm. Analysts from ATTOM Data Solutions looked at more than 18 million home sales over a period of five years in order to identify what days of the year had the best bargains for home-buyers – defined as sales at prices below estimated market value. The study found that there were [...]

Student Loans? You can still qualify for a home mortgage!

Have you been putting off buying a home because of your student loans? You no longer have to. Recent changes in the way mortgage companies treat student loan debt have made it much easier for those with education-related debt to qualify for a mortgage. Fifty-six percent of those with student debt say that their debt has prevented them from buying a home, but thousands of student loan borrowers are getting approved! According to the 2018 Homebuyer’s Report from the National Association of Realtors, nearly one homebuyer out of every four in 2018 had outstanding student [...]

Getting a Mortgage Following Bankruptcy or Foreclosure

Had a bankruptcy or foreclosure? We have some good news: The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have all recently announced they were shortening the mandatory waiting period for qualifying for a home loan down to two years after a bankruptcy discharge or foreclosure. FHA announced it was shortening its own minimum waiting period to just one year, in its “Back To Work” program announced last spring. Under the old rules, each agency imposed a four-year waiting period before they would be willing to approve a new mortgage loan. Fannie Mae reduced the [...]

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