As a Realtor I send virtually all loan questions directly to lenders I like... today that's more important than ever because the loan environment seems to be changing on an almost daily basis. Here's an update I received via email from a lender I trust to work hard on the behalf of Buyers:
From Raffi Soghomonian, BIX Equity Management, Inc.
"The mortgage landscape continues to change with new guidelines coming out weekly. The guidelines change so fast it is difficult to keep up with it all. We have to check each transaction to make sure the loan we are working on is still available. Having said that, there are still some great loan products including higher loan to value loans.
You probably already know about the FHA product which allows up to 97% financing. Make no mistake with this loan, it is a paper intensive process and can take 3 weeks to get an underwriting approval. So if by chance you have an FHA potential transaction, get the approval process started prior to the contract phase.
The new conforming-jumbo loans will now go up to 90% financing, and up to $729,000. Loans over 80% will require MI. The rates are actually very good for these loans. Only thing here is that these are Full Doc, Owner Occupied, and 1 unit properties. Both purchases and refinances are allowed.
There are conforming loans (<$417,000) with attractive rates, that go up to 90% financing with a first and second loan. The bigger challenge is in Jumbo loans. The secondary market for this paper is still conservative which makes it harder for wholesale lenders to sell that paper. 5/1 and 7/1 Jumbo Arms are right around the 6% range, but anything longer term can get a bit pricey."
This is from
BIX Equity Management, Inc.
Getting pre-approved with a Lender is CRITICAL before you start a serious home search. It's taking longer to "underwrite" virtually all loans today, and you could lose out on the home of your dreams if you don't start the process early, and you don't have a Lender who will work diligently to push the process along. This is no time to rely on a "friend" who is new to the business. You need an expert.
Interest rates are PHENOMENAL right now.... and while "perfect" properties are selling immediately, less than perfect properties are sitting longer and you have a chance to negotiate a great deal. Great rates, great buying opportunities.... it's time to Buy!!!!!