How to Rock a Mortgage Pre-Approval!!!

Buying your first home is a daunting task and can be a huge undertaking for the first-time buyer.  Shoot, even for a move-up buyer, the experienced downsizer or a seasoned investor, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to begin.  But getting a mortgage pre-approval often remains the best first step in the process, and it’s also a likely reality that your Realtor won’t seriously consider showing you property until you are either pre-approved or pre-underwritten by a mortgage lender or broker.  After all, it’s really tough to know your purchase power and your budget if you don’t know how much of a loan for which you can qualify.

But buyers and borrowers got it bad (so bad!) because they don’t teach “how to buy a home” in school.  So it’s less about the education that you missed and probably more about the education you never got.  But in just five fun minutes we’ll cover:

  1. What’s a pre-approval?
  2. How much does it cost to get a pre-approval?
  3. Will a pre-approval application hurt your FICO score?
  4. What happens once you’re pre-approved?
  5. How long is a pre-approval good for?

Grab your pencil and let’s learn how to rock a mortgage pre-approval!

I don’t feel tardy,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

How to Rock Rising Mortgage Rates!!!

No doubt about it, since 2022 got underway, mortgage rates have been on a stairway higher and that makes it harder for our buyers to qualify for a mortgage on one hand and even when they do qualify, it puts additional strain on their household budget on the other.

So how can buyers and owners keep their rate and payment as low as possible despite rising interest rates?  In this short video, I cover three classic ways to “fight the Fed:”

  1. Paying discount points.
  2. Choosing an ARM over a fixed rate loan.
  3. Considering an interest-only mortgage program.

Wanna buy a home this year but not end up “house poor?”  Let’s wind on down the road of some of the most effective strategies.

Really makes me wonder,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

How to Rock “Second Home or Rental Property???”

Mortgage guidelines are positively prehistoric when compared to newer companies like AirBnB and VRBO, which have gained popularity as interest in short-term rentals has increased.

But when it comes to getting a home loan on a property that is not your primary residence, you have to state on your mortgage application whether you have a second (or vacation) home or you have a rental (aka investment) property, and there is no middle ground for a “vacation rental.”  However, there can be real consequences if you get the classification wrong.  

So, let’s rock the distinction between vacation home and investment property because if you work with your lender and you know the rules, you can, just like the Long Cool Woman in a Black Dress, have it all!

Temperature’s startin’ to rise,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

How to Rock a Family Opportunity Loan

Looking to purchase or refinance a home for your elderly parents who wouldn’t otherwise be able to obtain a mortgage on their own?

Looking to assist a disabled or special needs adult child with housing or his/her own?

Or how about putting a college-bound child into off-campus housing that you decide to purchase?

All of these are both common scenarios and often difficult ones as viewed by the inflexible guidelines in the mortgage industry.  Until now…

The Family Opportunity Mortgage can be a great way to thread the needle of otherwise detrimental occupancy requirements for primary homes, second or vacation homes and investment/rental homes.  And if used in the right situation, the Family Opportunity loan will often permit you to obtain lower rates and lower down payment requirements.

So, let’s get so low in the weeds like sisters Anne and Nancy Wilson of Heart and ambush this beneficial mortgage program today! 

Grateful to know about the Family Opportunity loan?  Give me a like or subscribe on YouTube!

Ooh, barracuda!

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709
 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

How to Rock a Bridge Loan

If you’ve been lamenting how tough it is to get your offer to buy a home accepted these days, think about how much more difficult it is for those who must buy a new home BEFORE selling their existing one.  After all, it’s practically impossible to make a contingent offer — defined as one that would allow you to sell your existing home first.

It’s usually in this stressful environment that someone well-meaning; a friend, a co-worker, even a Realtor, will swoop in and advise our buyer to “Just get a bridge loan!,” as if there is a simple, ready-made solution for our otherwise complex problem. 

So, let’s go under the bridge and learn about the waters that run the “buy before sell” dilemma.  Let’s figure out if a bridge loan is the right fit for you, or if perhaps a HELOC, a cash-out refinance or some other mortgage product can help you reach the higher ground. 

If you don’t ever wanna feel like you do right now, and you want to buy that great new place before you sell your current property, give me a like or subscribe on YouTube!

Give it away, give it away, give it away now,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709
 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

How to Rock Cannabis Income on a Mortgage Application

Fifty years ago, when the Doobie Brothers were flying high and the folks in China Grove were rising for another day, it would have been hard to imagine that marijuana would eventually be legal in some states.  But, not legal in all states and not legal at the Federal level and that means those who work in the marijuana and cannabis industries can see their mortgage opportunities go up in smoke if not aligned with a lender who knows which programs and investors can navigate this relatively new industry.

So let’s take it to the streets and find out just how a homebuyer or homeowner can get a mortgage approval if they are employed in a cannabis business and get income from a business in the cannabis space.

Need some solid advice about mortgages and marijuana and cannabis income?  Give me a like or subscribe on YouTube!

Listen to the music,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

How to Rock a Mortgage Application Without Hurting Your FICO Score

“What’s your rate?”

“How much will I qualify for?”

“Are you a banker or a broker or a lender?”

Nope, nope and nope.  None of these are the #1 question we get before a prospective borrower makes an application for a pre-approval.  So what is the most asked question?

“Will making a mortgage application hurt my FICO score?”

Yep, that’s it.  That’s the one that keeps some otherwise strong and qualifiable buyers on the sidelines and paralyzed by the irrational fear that simply by having a lender make a hard credit inquiry, and access their Equifax, Experian and Transunion scores, that they will somehow see their excellent credit rating vanish in the face of that lone (or multiple) inquiry.

So, let’s walk around all day long and have a little bit of fun busting the myths about credit scores, credit inquiries and mortgage applications.  

Need some solid advice about mortgages and credit scores?  Give me a like or subscribe on YouTube!

Hurts so good,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709
 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

How to Rock Cryptocurrency As Your Down Payment

The mere mention of the words “bitcoin” or “cryptocurrency” or “blockchain” is sure to evoke comments and reactions that will be far-reaching.  There will be the speculators who rolled the dice and came up winners, or who are still white-knuckling their wild ride.  There will be financial technicians who have been forced to grasp how this technology has the potential to disrupt the exchange of currency as we know it.  But more than the reactions of either of these two subsets, you’ll encounter the expressions of the mostly and mildly bewildered.  Because really, when it comes to cryptocurrency, most people are downright confused:

  • About what it is.
  • About how it works.
  • And for us in the real estate world, about whether you can use bitcoin and other digital currencies to buy residential real estate.

So take a quick video tutorial with me on how to rock the use of cryptocurrency as your down payment!

Thinking about rocking the rebel currency on your next home purchase?  Give me a like or subscribe on YouTube!

Ground control to Major Tom,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709
 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

Five Tips for Rocking Home Ownership in 2022

If you searched unsuccessfully for a home and suffered one heartbreak after another in 2021, 2022 hasn’t necessarily greeted you with open arms either.  Near non-existent inventory in many areas, fierce competition and rising interest rates have all conspired to make the landscape rockier still.

Despite this, I’ve found five tips can be a universal help in getting you into contract, regardless of your own individual circumstances.  Rock them with me on Youtube:

Ready to find Paradise City?  Please give me a like or subscribe on YouTube!

Welcome to the jungle,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709
 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.

Divorce Buyout Refinancing Explained

It’s a sobering fact that nearly 50% of married couples will decide to go their separate ways each year. But what happens when there’s jointly owned real estate involved? And what if that home has a mortgage on it as well? What’s the process for one spouse “buying out” the other and how can any couple best plan for this division?

Obviously, a marital separation is stressful enough.  The short video below aims to make it a little less so, at least when it comes to understanding the home loan options.  Oh, and we rock some Frontiers-era Journey while we’re at it…

Ready to take a journey with us and rock the divorce buyout process?  Please give me a like or subscribe on YouTube!

Break those chains that bind you,

Rob Spinosa
SVP of Mortgage Lending

Guaranteed Rate
NMLS: 22343 
Cell/Text: 415-367-5959 
rob.spinosa@rate.com

Marin Office:  324 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., San Anselmo, CA  94960

Berkeley Office:  1400 Shattuck Ave., Suite 1, Berkeley, CA  94709
 

*The views and opinions expressed on this site about work-related matters are my own, have not been reviewed or approved by Guaranteed Rate and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of Guaranteed Rate.  In no way do I commit Guaranteed Rate to any position on any matter or issue without the express prior written consent of Guaranteed Rate’s Human Resources Department.