Current Mortgage Rates: Richmond, VA
3.625% (3.659% APR) 30yrs
3.125% (3.195% APR) 15yrs
as of 01/22/20
Read More

Building on Trust™


Mortgage Blog

Jul 31

Will Lenders Pay Borrowers to Take a Mortgage Loan?

Yes, mortgage lenders in the US will pay rebates to borrowers. This is a potentially
valuable option which, to my knowledge, is not offered anywhere else in the
world. But having options means having to make choices, and this is a difficult
one that borrowers often get wrong.

Rebates Defined:

A rebate is a credit granted to a borrower by a lender that can be used to pay
third party settlement charges and/or to fund the borrower's escrow account.
Rebates are the opposite of points, which are payments made by the borrower to
the lender, and are sometimes referred to as "negative points." Borrowers pay
for rebates by accepting a higher interest rate.

Combinations of Interest Rate and Points/Rebates:

The price sheets lenders distribute to their loan officers, showing multiple combinations if interest rate and
points/rebates, may or may not be shown to borrowers. However, borrowers have
access to such data on various web sites. As an example, if on July 11, 2014 you had called me to price a fixed-rate
mortgage, you would have seen many combinations of interest rate and points. If
the loan was for $300,000 on a single-family home valued at $400,000 and the
borrower's credit was excellent, the lowest rate of 3.5% was available with
points of $13,134, at 4%, the points were $344, and above 4% the lender offered
rebates: $10,499 at 4.5%, $17,731 at 5%, and $26,032 at 5.5%.

Add CommentAdd Comment | Views: 1724 | Read more
Jul 14

Delay Taking Social Security if You Can Manage It

For most seniors, waiting until age 70 before collecting social security, as opposed to taking a smaller amount earlier, is an excellent investment. A typical senior who could draw $1350 a month at age 62, would see the draw increase to $2376 at age 70. Yet more than 2 of every 3 workers eligible for social security take it early. The major reasons are time preference, risk of non-payment, and income shortage. The last may be the most important, and for homeowners at least, it is the easiest to remedy.

Time Preference

Most people prefer money now to money in the future, even when all uncertainty connected with receiving money in the futurehas been eliminated. This time preference seems to be built into the human psyche. In addition, receiving money now eliminates the risk that the payments promised in the future will not actually be paid. Interest rates reflect both time preference and risk of non-payment.

One way to view the decision about taking social security early or late is to ask whether the implied interest rate received by the senior who waits is worth the risk? That rate is about 7-8%, meaning that the payment to the senior who waits rises by 7-8% a year. I view that as more than adequate compensation for the risk, which is very unlike the risk of not being paid on a note or a bond.

Add CommentAdd Comment | Views: 1786 | Read more
Jul 9

Two Unorthodox Ways to Pay Off a Mortgage Early

Some schemes for paying off a mortgage early, such as biweeklies and bimonthlies, are offered by lenders while others are entirely within the control of the borrower. This article is about two schemes of the second type that keep popping up in my mailbox. Scheme 1 is all smoke and mirrors, and I doubt that any borrowers who understand exactly how it works will adopt it. Scheme 2 has much more substance, but borrowers who understand exactly how it works will probably also find a way to modify it to better match their unique needs and capacities.

Scheme 1: Making a Large Payment Right After Closing

In scheme 1, you take out a larger loan than you actually need, and make a large payment to principal immediately after the loan closes. This will shorten the term and reduce your interest payments.

For example, assuming you need a 4% 30-year loan of $280,000 to purchase your house, you borrow $300,000 and immediately after the closing you repay $20,000, reducing the balance to $280,000. Your loan will pay off in 317 months instead of 360, and you will pay $27,214 less interest than if you had borrowed $280,000 initially.

Add CommentAdd Comment | Views: 2546 | Read more
Jun 26

Should My Spouse and I Apply For a Mortgage Jointly or Should I Apply on My Own?

"My wife and I are looking to purchase a $450,000 home, and I am wondering whether I should apply for the mortgage we will need as an individual, or jointly with my wife? I make $84,000 a year and have a credit score of about 800. She makes $48,000 and has a credit score of about 680."

Congratulations on considering this question before you start house shopping. The extra time could come in handy, as I'll explain shortly.

However, you haven't given me enough information to answer your question. In addition to your incomes and credit scores, I need to know your financial assets and debt payments, held individually and jointly. Also, give me your best guess as to how long you will have the new house.

"I have about $25,000 of financial assets in my name and no debts, she has $32,000 and no debts. Figure we will be here for 7 years."

Add CommentAdd Comment | Views: 1714 | Read more
Jun 6

When to Ignore the APR and When to Use It

For over 40 years, the centerpiece mortgage disclosure mandated by Truth in Lending (TIL) has been the Annual Percentage Rate or APR. Recently, administration of TIL has shifted from the Federal Reserve to the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), which has developed a new disclosure form called the Loan Estimate. Beginning August 2015 this form will replace both the TIL and a sister disclosure called the Good Faith Estimate. While the Loan Estimate eliminates some junk from the two disclosures it replaces, it carries over the APR from the TIL without significant change. The APR thus retains its role as the centerpiece of mandatory disclosures.

The appeal of the APR is that it is a single measure of credit cost that includes both the interest rate and upfront loan fees charged by the lender. If loan fees are zero, the APR equals the interest rate. The higher are the loan fees, the larger is the APR relative to the rate.

The purpose of the APR is to provide a single measure that borrowers can use to compare loans of different types and features, and loans offered by different loan providers. Unfortunately, however, the APR has so many limitations that the list of borrowers who cannot use it effectively is much longer than the list of those who can.

Add CommentAdd Comment | Views: 2018 | Read more

Mortgage Rate Meter

' We found Rate Pro mortgage after working with several other mortgage companies all of whom failed to grasp our complicated financial situation and ... more '
by zac5
' We just purchased our first home and went through RatePro Mortgage to do our lending. I have worked in both big and small retail banks so I have seen ... more '
by zuser20140424054854787
' This was my 3rd home purchase and 3rd different mortgage company, and Rick and his staff at RatePro were by far the best. Rick was timely, honest, ... more '
by jweimer1968