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Dump Your Home Equity Loan

The once cherished Home Equity Loan, referred to in the mortgage industry as a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit), suffered a major blow with passage of the tax reform act last month. For tax year 2018 and beyond, interest paid on these loans is no longer tax deductible. To make matters worse, virtually all…

Ethnicity and Race Questions on Mortgage Applications

Effective with applications taken after January 1st 2018, all lenders are now required to ask expanded questions on race and ethnicity. The reason for the change is to allow government monitoring of lenders to make sure they are serving all applicants fairly and evenly. If the data shows a greater percentage of denied applications for…

MCC is still Available

Various versions of the tax reform bill canceled a little known but useful program that helped many people qualify for a larger mortgage. The good news is that in the final version of the tax reform act The Mortgage Credit Certificate program was saved. The Mortgage Credit Certificate Program was authorized by Congress in the…

New Higher Loan Limits for 2018

This week, FHFA, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, the regulator for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced new conforming loan limits for 2018. This is great news for us in Hawaii. All lenders, regardless if a loan is going to Fannie or Freddie, use the Conforming Loan Limits set by the federal regulators to determine…

Using Rental Income to Qualify

Buying a home with extra bedrooms or an Ohana unit with plans on renting them out is a good way to have tenants help pay your mortgage. Or are you planning on buying a property to be used 100% as a rental? What about a vacation rental condo in one of the many resort areas…

Dogs, Pools, and Trampolines – Insurance Issues

These are all wonderful things for us to enrich our lives with, but in the world of homeowner’s insurance, they could create some problems. Let’s first talk about dogs. Did you know that insurance companies have lists of specific breeds that are on a watch list? If you have one of those breeds, it wouldn’t…

Buying a Pig using the FHA 203(k) Program

Let’s consider the facts: There is significantly more demand for housing than there are units available. The newer, better condition homes are being snatched up. In many cases multiple offers are creating a bidding war where the final purchase price is higher than the list price. What does remain is a lot of inventory of…

The Power of Appreciation

Appreciation Results ($500,000)

Our grandparents knew it, and our parents knew it. But somehow the true power of appreciation is lost in today’s generations. For today’s example I am going to us a very doable scenario for most. Buying a home for $500,000 with a 5% down payment. Yes there are 100% financing programs, and programs that require…

Financing a Home that Needs Work

With the continued scarcity of homes listed for sale, what’s often not pounced upon immediately are properties that aren’t in excellent condition. A growing segment of the calls I receive are from people wanting to buy a home with “issues” and want to know if financing will be a problem. The first step is to…

Low & No-Down Payment Programs

If you are planning on financing a new home to live in, there is good news out there! There are many programs now available to help make that dream a reality. This week we will give an overview of the zero-down 100% financing programs available. Next week we will tackle low-down payment programs. In week…