Archive for October, 2009



In a huge contrast to how things were a few years ago, these days it can be harder than ever to qualify for and close a San Diego mortgage loan. 


  Besides Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae and FHA having tighter rules, many lenders have more strict guidelines in place for financing that are called, “overlays”.  Knowing which lenders have what overlays does help us place your San Diego home mortgage with a lender that will give us (and you) the fewest problems.  I have come up with a list of the 5 most common hurdles that we have seen in the past 2 years that can and will keep your San Diego mortgage loan from closing.  These apply if you are looking to buy real estate in San Diego or refinance your existing home.

1) You Owe Too Much Money. 

 This is one of the basic 4 C’s of lending. When you are applying for your new San Diego mortgage loan you have to show a CAPACITY to pay it back.  The fact is, guidelines are changing rapidly and on Fannie Mae loans the debt to   income ratio is being dropped from 55% to 45% (this was up to 60% last year). These ratios do not include food, utilities, auto and life insurance, auto expense, medical expense or any discretional spending.  If you have balances on a lot of credit cards and car loans, you might owe too much money to qualify.

2) There are Issues with Your Tax Returns.



All loans today (with a few VERY rare exceptions) are done with full documentation.  This means to qualify for your San Diego mortgage loan we will need to show underwriting your Tax Returns for the last 2 years.  In the past  this has mainly been a problem for people that are self employed because of “creative accounting practices” and excessive deductions.  More recently I have seen issues with W2 employees ranging from non reimbursed tools for construction workers and mileage deductions for sales people to rental income not being fully disclosed or even shown on the wrong schedule of the returns.

 3) The Property Does Not Appraise

 This is another one of the 4 C’s of lending, COLLATERAL.  It seems basic, but a lender will not loan you more than  a home is worth or in this market 96.5% (FHA only) of what it’s worth.  With the new HVCC guidelines and the big  drop in San Diego home prices, many homes and condos are not getting an acceptable appraised value.  It has always  been said that Real Estate is a local business and here in San Diego our local market is changing at a rapid pace.  We have been seeing a lack of inventory and multiple offers on listed properties which should show that supply and  demand is pushing values higher but with the new appraisal guidelines many appraisals are coming up short.


4) The Condo Association is Broke or There Are Too Many Rentals in the Complex.


 Getting condo financing for anything over 80% Loan to Value is impossible right now for any financing other than  FHA.  Both FHA and conventional sources of funding are getting stricter on condo financing and it’s actually  easier to get manufactured home (think mobile home) loans then loans for condos because of a few big hurdles. Many  San Diego condo complexes don’t have the reserves required to qualify them as lendable because they have too many  people that are late on their dues or that have been foreclosed on.  The other reason is that complexes are being  turned down is that there are too many rental units. Lenders are now requiring that over 50% of the units need to  be owner occupied and many in our area are not.  This is why we check the financials, default levels and owner  occupancy levels early in the process of getting your San Diego mortgage loan approved.

5) You or the Property Don’t Qualify for Private Mortgage Insurance.

 In recent years (before 3 years ago) if you didn’t have 20% for a down payment you could just get a second   mortgage.  There was no problem doing a refinance or purchase loan in San Diego because there were companies lined  up willing to loan up to 100% of a property’s value with a FICO score as low as 580. These loans went away almost  overnight when property values started dropping and the only option besides FHA (which is government mortgage  insurance) is to get PMI or Private Mortgage Insurance. As with everything in lending, these policies are harder  to qualify because they require a lower debt to income ratio and a higher FICO score. Also, private mortgage  insurance companies will not issue a policy on a condo.



These are just a few of the reasons why it is more important than ever to work with a local San Diego mortgage expert.  If you have any questions or would like to pre-qualify, give me a call at (619)285-2921.

San_Diego_Home_Mortgage_Rates_WH      10/20/2009

San Diego Home Mortgage : Hope for  San Diego Short Sale Buyers and Sellers.


 For the past 2 years I have had many pre-approved clients that more than qualify for a San Diego home mortgage that have either settled for their “second choice” home or have pulled out of the market to wait for more inventory. The main reason that they are passing on homes that they really want, can qualify for and are listed for sale is that they are short sales. While I do work with a few agents that have a 100% track record on getting their short sale listings approved and sold, the Sandicor (San Diego MLS) numbers show that on a county average only between 45 and 50 percent of short sale listings end in a closed escrow. In many of these, the ones that do close take between 4 and 9 months to close. This can be a big problem on the financing side of the transaction because credit approvals for a San Diego home mortgage are only good for a period of 90 days and a new approval with new documentation and a credit pull is required after that point.  The short sale market and San Diego housing market might be in for a change for the better because the Obama administration has just announced new universal short sale guidelines. These new guidelines for investors (banks and mortgage company’s) should help San Diego home mortgage applicants that are looking to buy real estate in San Diego in a few different ways and a higher percentage of short sales should be closing and closing faster.

  While speaking at the annual Mortgage Bankers Association that was held in San Diego a few weeks ago, Lori Maggino from The Treasury Departments Office of Home Ownership and Preservation said that they haven’t reinvented the wheel, but their goal is to cut down on paperwork and to standardize forms. By creating an industry standard they hope to eliminate the time consuming back and forth negotiations between the Realtor and the investor.  That negotiation is the part of the short sale transaction that can take the better part of a year. Hopefully when these changes and guidelines come out, we will see more movement in the “pending” inventory of homes on the market and more San Diego home buyers will actually be able to buy the homes that they have offers in on.  I will update the blog as more information and implementation is available.