APR Versus Mortgage Interest Rate

A number of clients have asked me about why the APR (annual percentage rate) differs from the Note Rate (the interest rate on the mortgage loan). The APR is an artificial rate that combines the interest rate on the loan with any loan fees. So, if you are paying fees for the loan, the APR will be higher than the … Read More

Remodeling Your Home – What You Need to Know

When you put money into remodeling or updating your home, you should consider the purpose of the upgrade. If it is to improve the value, updating kitchens and bathrooms are usually the areas where your money gives the most value. However, just because you have spent $50,000 on improvements, doesn’t mean your home is automatically worth $50,000 more. One man … Read More

6 Tips on Improving Your Credit

Whether or not you are looking to finance your home, it is always a good idea to make sure your credit profile is as high as it can be. If you are shopping for a home, car or even want to get a low interest credit card, your credit profile is the key to getting the best rate and terms. … Read More

FICO Recalibrates Its Credit Scores

It will be easier for millions of consumers to get loans for homes, cars and other large ticket items, according to the Wall Street Journal. Fair Isaac Corporation, the company that determines FICO credit scores, will not count collection accounts if the bill has been paid or settled with the collection agency. The company will also give less weight to … Read More

New Refinancing Program for “Underwater” Homeowners

Tomorrow the government will announce changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (or HARP) that are designed to help eligible borrowers refinance their mortgages, when their mortgage balance is more than their home is worth. Homeowners in this situation are considered “underwater” on their mortgages. The program only applies to conventional loans (not FHA or VA loans) that were closed … Read More

Do Mortgage Brokers Need a License?

A: Yes. Mortgage Brokers working in California must have both a Department of Real Estate (DRE) License and a Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) license. The state license certifies that the Broker knows how to do both real estate sales and loan origination and knows the regulations associated with both. The NMLS license certifies that the Broker knows the latest … Read More

What is a “No Points” Loan, and Do You Offer These?

A “No Points” loan is defined in different ways. The best description is a loan that has no lender fees (or points). (A “point” is equal to 1% of the loan amount.) But, there is “no free lunch.” When you hear these offered, the lender will give you a higher interest rate so that you pay back these fees (and … Read More