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There is great news for many who are in need of a low down payment.  Fannie Mae has recently announced they will allow LTV ratios greater than 95% up to a maximum of 97% for First-Time home buyers.  Here are some of the main FAQs:


  • Only need one borrower to be a first-time home buyer
  • Must be primary residence
  • Includes single family residence, Condo’s & PUD’s (Manufactured housing NOT permitted)
  • Must be a Fixed Rate mortgage
  • Mortgage Insurance required
  • Home Buyer Education Required

For more information please contact us.  If you would like to qualify, click here.

Posted in:mortgage and tagged: mortgage
Posted by Ray Williams on December 9th, 2014 10:29 AMLeave a Comment

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October 14th, 2014 1:30 PM
When you go out looking for a home, you have a general if not exact idea of what you are wanting.  Hopefully you have a list of "must haves".  If you don't have this, then I highly recommend making this a must to take with you when you are looking at homes.  Here is a great list from HUD you can print out.

You don't want to settle for less when it comes to this list, even if it means letting go of the almost perfect home. “This home is perfect except it is not in the neighborhood we are wanting.  Just a little more travel is ok, we can handle this because we are getting the home we want.”  Think twice before you sacrifice desired location on a house!

click here to read more

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Posted by Ray Williams on October 14th, 2014 1:30 PMLeave a Comment

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August 15th, 2014 5:04 PM

Recently I received a call about renovation loans that brought about an interesting conversation. The most common calls we get are about FHA 203k loans, for renovation clients.  When I receive these inquiries I always ask what were their reasons for looking into a rehab loan, and what kind of work are they wanting to do to the property.  Sometimes an FHA 203k is not the only option. Did you know there is also a conventional rehab loan? And that  actually may be a better mortgage solution. The reason I bring this up is the other day I got a call about an FHA 203k loan. The client stated that the previous lender they spoke with said this was the only choice for a rehab loan.  Maybe for this lender this is the only rehab loan option they can offer but it is not the only option out there.  If your credit score is a 680, and if you have a minimum of 5% to put down, a conventional renovation loan might be better suited  for you.

I often call these loan programs cousins, since for both the FHA 203k and the conventional rehab loan your rehab/remodeling costs get added into your mortgage.  It is not a second mortgage, it is one loan, one low interest rate, with permanent financing (with a twist). One added benefit for a conventional renovation loan is that the max mortgage limit is $417k in the metro Denver area compared to $391K for FHA loans. This allows you more leverage on rehab/remodel costs and extends your purchase power.  

We recently helped a client in which the purchase price was $300k where they put in over $100k+  into rehab/remodel work. The conventional renovation option helped them get the home they were wanting, and gave them the ability to add more work into the home.  If they would have done an FHA 203k they would not have been able to put as much rehab/remodel work into the home, since they would have been capped at $391K for loan amount.   

My advice is don’t let a lender tell you that doing an FHA 203k is the only option for a rehab loan.  The only way an FHA 203k is the only option for you is if you don’t have a minimum of 5% down and if you’re below a 680 credit score. Know your options!! Both are great loan programs,  but do your research and learn which option is best suited for your needs. Make sure to speak to a qualified and experienced rehab lender. Ask the lenders you interview about their experiences, pointers, and get a feeling if you feel they have the experience you need just as you will when selecting your contractors. Happy renovating!

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Posted by Ray Williams on August 15th, 2014 5:04 PMLeave a Comment

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July 28th, 2014 2:11 PM

My father used to tell me "lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part".  As a kid I didn't quite understand, but now I completely understand and agree! 

All too often I get requests for a pre-approval that need to be rushed, whether it is by a client or the Realtor.  Lately it has been a Realtor sending me a client that is currently under contract and the lender they were working with has denied them or recently found out they were unable to provide the needed service and/or loan program. So, when I get a call and request to help, this means "sound the alarms", I'm in the hot seat and I need to save someone.  

I consider myself a very good lender, I enjoy what I do, I am always willing to look at all angles and put the puzzle pieces together. But what I've learned in most of these cases, there wouldn't have been a need for another loan program or perhaps even a denial if all the needed information and documents been addressed in the beginning. With proper due diligence done at time of pre-approval then some emergencies could have been avoided.  Don't get me wrong, there can still be issues/complications that are unavoidable and would have come about regardless of how much preparation was done, but what I am mainly referring to are the main basic problems that could be avoided.   

What I mean by this is that when you are looking to get loan approval and you are getting documents together for a lender, the most important and critical part is to make sure they are complete as well as making sure you get them quickly.  It is not fair to put the pressure on your lender if you are getting everything to them last minute or days later after they have been requested of you.  Time is of the essence.  Whether you are looking to get pre-approval, or if you are under contract and in underwriting for approval, then you need to take anything that is requested of you with urgency!  If you don't, then don't expect your lender to rush on your behalf.  Remember "lack of preparation on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part".

Last but not least, trust in your lender.  Trust that they are looking out for you and your best interest.  They will work as hard and as fast as you do for them.  IF they don't, then you may need to consider finding a new lender.  But keep in mind that you need to be realistic.  No lender can perform miracles and if you are asking for a miracle then give them space and time to do their magic.


Ray Williams



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Posted by Ray Williams on July 28th, 2014 2:11 PMLeave a Comment

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June 9th, 2014 11:46 AM

It seems one of the most popular inquiries I receive is the need for down payment assistance (DPA). There are a few different options available to buyers, and not only first time home buyers. Right now really is a great time to purchase; there are many different outlets for those needing DPA and loans with a lower down payment.  Some of these options are newer but others have been around for a while, such as VA & USDA.  Outside of those I also wanted to let you in on another loan option that gets set to the side, a rehab loan.  Here is a little insight into these options:

Currently the two DPA grants are available to even non first-time home buyers.  There is a 4% grant option, and also  up to 5% as well.   Both can be used for down payment assistance and/or closing costs and again it is a grant, not a loan, so it does not need to be paid back.  They are both used with a government loan (FHA, VA & USDA/Rural); you need to have a minimum FICO score of 640 and there are income limitations (vary with programs, discuss with lender).  You are required to contribute $1000 of your own funds towards the purchase. Please note that your earnest money, appraisal and inspection can be counted towards this amount.  You are also required to complete a Home Buyer Education course.  Here is a link for the information on the classes.

Outside of the two grants available there is CHFA, CHAC & HOAP.  These options are not grants; you are required to pay these back.  Each program has their own specific requirements and guidelines, make sure to review and discuss with your lender.  (Keep in mind that not every lender is approved to work with all (if any) of these down payment assistance programs.)   

Outside of the DPA programs, the other loan options available that could be of interest, and again as I previously stated commonly get overlooked is a rehab loan, VA & USDA loan.  Here is a brief description of each:

A rehab loan lets you finance all rehab/renovation costs into your mortgage.  The most common program for rehab is the FHA 203(k), but now there is a conventional loan option as well.  The conventional rehab loan is quickly gaining popularity once our clients are made aware this is available.  These loans are very helpful when you find a property that needs some remodeling/updating, or even if you come across a property that is uninhabitable/unwarrantable.  These loans allow you to purchase the property only because you are doing the needed repairs/rehab to make the property warrantable. Note: these loans can also be used for refinancing! Again, make sure to discuss details with your lender, each program has specific guidelines and qualifications.

Now, VA & USDA loans are some of the best loan options around, they are loans with 100% financing (if needed)! Yes, they have specific requirements and qualifications, VA you need to be a qualified veteran, wife or widow of a qualified veteran.  For USDA the property needs to be in qualifying area.  IF you or your property falls into the arena of these qualifying factors, you should discuss and address these options with your lender. 

Again, not every lender has the ability to provide these loans and programs so you will need to do your research.  Once you have found a lender they should guide you through your options and help you decide on which option would be best for your unique situation.

If you would like to know more about these programs please contact us.  We are always happy to help.

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Posted by Ray Williams on June 9th, 2014 11:46 AMLeave a Comment

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May 1st, 2014 12:04 PM

Many home buyers get a little confused as to the difference between an appraisal and a home inspection.  Both are shown as deadlines on the purchase contract.  You may be asking yourself “why is it needed if you are getting an appraisal, why would you need an inspection too?” Although the home inspection is optional, it  is also highly recommended.

The key difference between an appraisal and an inspection is that the appraisal assesses the market value for the property you are purchasing.  It gives you the value of what the property is worth by taking into factor the condition of the property (including any upgrades) and the surrounding comparable sales/active listings of similar properties.  It assures that the purchases price of the property is in line with the necessary value needed for your mortgage financing needs.  

If you are doing a government loan (FHA/VA, USDA) the appraiser will look for specific health and safety items that need to be sufficient and/or in compliance to HUD guidelines. These include items like peeling paint, stair rails installed, exposed electrical (ask lender for other concerns they may look into). Conventional mortgages and VA mortgages have different requirements as well.  Regardless of what type of loan you are doing your appraisal is focused on the value of the property.

An inspection is completed by a home inspector; they will look at all possible health and safety concerns of the property.  They inspect what you “don’t” necessarily see in a walk thru of the property.  They will be checking the plumbing (pipes), radon, possible lead paint exposure, any signs of structural issues, ventilation, heating, air conditions, electrical, drainage, etc.  If they feel there are any issues to be addressed they will advise for you to hire a professional in that specific field of expertise, such as a structural engineer, plumber, and electrician.  They will provide you with an idea of what is happening with the property and if they foresee any future problems. Some issues found could be a very costly expense. This is why the inspection is extremely important and highly recommended. It is a good idea to be aware of an issues and then making a calculated decision after knowing the facts.  Once you have your home inspection results back you can decide how to proceed with respect to requests you may make to have the seller fix items. The last thing you want is to do is purchase a property and a week later find out your need to replace the electrical, replace the roof or a deal with a severe plumbing issue!

It is always good to be informed and prepared on the property you want to purchase.

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us, we are always here to help.


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Posted by Ray Williams on May 1st, 2014 12:04 PMLeave a Comment

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March 11th, 2014 7:46 PM

Have yo
ur heard of the MCC?  The Mortgage Credit Certificate. If you haven't and you are a first time home buyer you need to learn about it

This tax credit gives you the opportunity to put more money in your pocket. Literally. 

Here is an example of how:

Loan = $270,000

Rate = 4.00%

Annual Mortgage Interest = $10,800

20% MCC of annual mortgage interest ($10,800) = $2,160

So with the MCC you would get the tax credit and also tax deductible interest on the remaining interest. Without the MCC you will have $10,800 tax deductible interest. Now let's say if you were in the 18% tax bracket it would work like this;


$10,800  x .18 = $1,944 (tax benefit from mortgage interest)



20% MCC (10,800) = $2,160

$8,640 (remaining interest) @ 18% Tax Bracket = $1,555

Annual Total Tax Benefit w/MCC = $3,715

**Consult your tax adviser , we are not able to give tax advice**

Now this is just an example, of course amounts will vary depending on your loan amount and interest rate, also on the MCC rate (which can vary depending on provider and county).  This is something you need to discuss with your lender and your lender has to be approved to provide the MCC. 

There has been recent changes in the application fee for the MCC with CHFA.  Again, please discuss with your lender for all the details.

If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact us.  We are always happy to help.

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Posted by Ray Williams on March 11th, 2014 7:46 PMLeave a Comment

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February 27th, 2014 2:47 PM

It is a pretty exciting time to live in the Denver Metro Area.  There are many up and coming new developments, both neighborhoods and businesses. All of which will help bring stabilization to these neighborhoods, as well as, possible new employment opportunities.  With the completion of RiNo (River North), Sunnyside and BelMar areas. These areas consist of a combination of retail business, highlighted with an urban living environment that appeals to younger millennials and Gen-Xers alike.  Property values in these areas have been spiking and rental rates have increased as well.  Denver is also sparking interest as one of best cities to relocate to!  We are top on the list alongside with San Francisco and New York.  Businesses are looking to relocate or expand their business in Denver because not only is the rental cost lower but the median home price is also much lower, which increases standards of living for residents. To add to the benefits we have a great downtown city life accompanied with beautiful parks and outstanding school districts. 

Listed below are a few links to some upcoming developments, some you may already know about but some you may not have heard of yet.  

25/70- www.25-70.com

Union Station Development

Old Gates Rubber Co Building 

St. Anthony Central Hospital now known as Sloans

Great resource- http://denverurbanism.com/

Now if you are a Colorado native such as I am, then you have seen many changes and the redevelopment that has already been done.  Some I was very sad to see go and/or change.  BUT after seeing the redevelopment it is refreshing to see how much it helped these neighborhoods stabilize, grow and change, bringing in so much more value and prosperity to these areas.  Change is not always easy to accept but is necessary.

"The art of life is a constant readjustment to our surroundings." --Kakuzo Okakaura

~Cheers Denver

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Posted by Ray Williams on February 27th, 2014 2:47 PMLeave a Comment

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What should your lender be doing for you?  The obvious answer is "help me get a mortgage".  Yes, but don't you want and expect more? If not, you should be. 

It isn't just about getting you approved for a mortgage; it is about helping, guiding, educating and doing everything in their effort to make you feel comfortable and confident about the mortgage you are getting into.  Taking the time to hear and acknowledge your personal goals and situation behind the mortgage.  Are you refinancing? Why are you refinancing? What is your objective and goal?  Are you purchasing? Is this your first home? How long do you plan on living in this house? What are your future goals? Is this a second home? Investment? Many questions should be asked in figuring out what exactly you are looking for and where it fits in your future. 

This is what your lender should be doing for you:

1.    Explaining and helping you review your credit report then educating and assisting you with any areas that may need to be addressed.

2.    Discuss what loan programs are available for you.

3.    Explain the details and difference between all loans options that are best suited for your unique situation.

4.    Assist you through the whole process, beginning to end. Whether you are refinancing or purchasing a home.  Your lender should be able to help guide you through the process minimizing any confusion and/or stress.  Along with answer any questions along the way.

5.     Good communication! This is vital.  There should be an open line of communication with your lender.  You should be able to get in touch with your lender, not always leaving voicemails.  They should be quick to respond either by phone and/or email.  If purchasing a house, they should also be in good communication with your Realtor.

Now you just need to ask yourself...."Is your lender doing all of this?"

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Posted by Ray Williams on February 20th, 2014 2:32 PMLeave a Comment

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Calling all Realtors & Buyers.... There are times when in a purchase contract, after the home inspection, some repair issues could arise. This is when the buyer is wanting specific repairs to be done to the home in order for them to feel comfortable buying the property.  In most cases the seller is more than willing to do the repairs and/or give a seller credit to help with the cost of repairs after closing.  In some cases, the option is discussed by the parties to put the cost of repairs into an escrow account at closing with the title company, in which the funds are set aside from the seller for the buyer to make the repairs after closing.

Word of caution... any health or safety issues that are needed done should be addressed with the lender prior to assuming this is acceptable. Why? Because depending on the loan program, many investors will not allow a property to close if the repairs have anything to do with a health or safety issue.  So it is best to ask your lender if the repair would be allowed.  Last thing you want is to delay and/or jeopardize a closing when the settlement statement comes out and there is an escrow holdback that the lender's closing team questions and learns is a major deal.  Also, if the seller is going to give concessions to offset repairs, make sure with the lender those concessions don't, in turn, cause the total seller concessions to exceed the allowable loan program concessions.

If you have any questions please give us a call we would be more than happy to help.

Ray Williams
Branch Manager- Mortgage Maestro Group with Summit Mortgage

Posted in:General
Posted by Ray Williams on February 5th, 2014 4:09 PMLeave a Comment

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