Category Archive: Home Loans

Nov 24

97% LTV Home Purchase & Refinance Program

Our 97% LTV Purchase Loans designed to open doors for more low to moderate income borrowers, first-time homebuyers and move-up borrowers, and those that lack the funds for a down payment and closing costs.  This loan program is made possible by lowering the customary 5-20% down payment range to just 3%, and by expanding sources of funds that borrowers can use for their down payment and closing costs.


Key Features Overview

  • Owner-occupied Primary Residences (attached or detached home)
  •  Offering a low down payment to more easily qualify for home financing
  •  NO – Prepayment Penalty
  • No Reserves – NONE (2mo. recommended for emergencies) or 1 pending credit histories or 2 months if Teacher or Public Safety Employee
  • Affordable Seconds – permitted (see: Affordable Seconds) Maximum CLTV: 105%
  • Community Second – permitted (see: Secondary Financing Assistance) Max. CLTV: 100%
  • PUDs (Property Under Development) financing
  • Cooperatives – for Teachers or Public Safety Employees Only (max. LTV 90%)
  • 1-unit SFRs (Single Family Residence) 15, 20, 30 year terms
    •  Modular homes, and Prefabricated homes (double-wide unit built after 06/15/76)
    • Min. LTV: 95.01% Max. LTV: 97%
  • 2-unit (30 year term for 2-unit)
    • for Teachers or Public Safety Employees Only
    • Min. LTV: 97%, Max. LTV: 105%
  • 3, 4-Units Not Allowed


Borrower Funds for the 3% downpayment, closing costs, financing costs and prepaids/escrows, can be obtained from a variety of sources (5% for 2-unit home with 3% from borrowers own funds).

  • Seller’s Contribution – Limited to 3% of the lesser of the sales price or appraised value.
  • Borrower’s personal cash – checking, savings, 401(k) account or a life insurance policy, or similar accounts, or
  • Cash-on-hand for Borrowers who do not use checking, savings, or similar accounts, but may be a limited user of credit. Cash-on-hand may be used if the following are verified:
    • Monthly receipts or alternative doc’s indicating Borrower has no checking, savings, or similar accounts
    • and Updated credit report shows no new accounts or no substantial increase to existing accounts that approximate the amount of cash on hand,
    • and It can be confirmed that the Borrower would have sufficient income, given normal household expenses, to have saved the cash provided.
  • Gifts from relatives, domestic partner, personal finance, or financing from fiancé
  • Affordable Seconds (80/20 loans)
  • Community Second
  • Grants, Gifts or unsecured loan from a relative, domestic partner, fiancé, or fiancée, nonprofit agencies, nonprofit community organization, government agency, or the Borrower’s employer that need not be repaid.
    • Unsecured loan from the Borrower’s employercannot be due and payable, and Borrower must retain the right to make payments on it in the event that the Borrower no longer works for the employer.

Note: None of the required 3% may come from any lender generated or funded source.



Borrower’s Income
Borrower’s income may be up to and including 100% of area median income with exceptions in certain high-cost areas designated by Freddie Mac.  Information about median income, central cities and targeted census tracts for Colorado can be found at:

No income limitation if the subject property is located in a concentrated area. A concentrated area is:

  • An area designated by HUD as a central city.
  • A census tract with an area median family income of 80% or less.
  • Any 1990 census tract where nonwhite and Hispanic persons comprise 50% or more of the population


Income – Teachers or Public Safety Employees Only:

For borrowers qualifying as a teacher or public safety employee, overtime and part-time income may be used to qualify the borrower under all of the following conditions:

  • The employer verifies that the borrower has received the income for the last 12 months.
  • The employer indicates in all probability it will continue.
  • The income used to qualify is a most recent 12 month average.
  • Rental Income: If one of the units is rented or intended to be rented, 75% of the rent or projected rents for the unit may be added to the borrower’s income when calculating the debt ratios.


Debt Ratios(total-expenses to total-income ratio)
-teacher/public safety borrowers: The max. SFR qualifying ratio is 41%.

A teacher or public safety employee: The max. SFR qualifying ratio is 45%or 50% w/two months reserves. Note:  All two unit properties: The max. qualifying ratios are 35/43%.


Rental Income
Rental Income from a related person residing in the Borrower’s primary residence is allowed provided all of the following conditions are met:

  • The relative has resided and paid rent on a regular basis with the Borrower for at least one (1) year.
  • The relative will continue to reside with the Borrower in the new residence.
  • The rent paid does not exceed 30% of the total qualifying income.
  • The relative has supporting documentation for the residency and the receipt of rental income is verified.


Credit Requirements – Credit Score > 600 preferred) and credit score < 660 A-minus rates may apply.


Housing Payment History – If the borrower has had either of the following, careful evaluation of their credit history to determine if the problems were due to extenuating circumstances or financial mismanagement:

  • More than one 30-day late housing payment in the last 12 months, or
  • More than two 30-day late housing payments or more than one 60-day late payment in the last 24 months.


Mortgage Insurance REQUIRED (must have certificate prior to closing)

  • A minus (A-) pricing applies for borrowers with credit scores less than 660
  • Credit scores < 660 and the subject property is a 1 unit or < 620 and a 2 unit property
  • Borrower has Nontraditional credit or no credit score

Oct 26

Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP)

The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is one of the safest and most efficient ways to save one’s home. Unfortunately, not everyone qualifies for a home loan modification. You must meet both government and lender guidelines to be able to take part in the program. Home loan modification qualifications may vary from lender to lender, but for HAMP, the following rules apply:

1) The mortgage must have been taken out in 2009; that is, the date of origination must be on or before January 1st of the said year.

2) You must use the home as your primary residence at the time of the loan modification. Rental or commercial properties, second homes, and homes of more than four units do not meet home loan modification qualifications.

3) Your mortgage balance must be no more than $729,750 if it’s a single-family home, $934,200 if it’s a two-unit property, $1,129,250 if it’s three units, and $1,403,400 if it’s a four-unit home.

4) You must be in financial hardship or prove that you’re at risk of it. According to home loan modification qualifications, a hardship is valid if it’s beyond your control. Losing your job, medical expenses, or a death in the family can be a valid hardship, but excessive spending or bad investment choices may not make the cut.

5) The loan must not have been previously modified. You cannot get a second loan modification even if you still meet home loan modification qualifications.

6) You must have a source of income to prove that you can afford the modified rates if they are granted. Most lenders’ home loan modification qualifications require at least two months’ worth of pay stubs or documentation of income.

7) You must prove that you have no other means of keeping the mortgage current besides a loan modification. This is usually in the form of bank statements and income tax returns.

8) If your total debt takes up more than 55% of your monthly income, you will need to attend a credit counseling session at the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Once you meet these guidelines, you can send a HAMP application to your lender. They will then assess you using their own home loan modification qualifications. Make sure to provide as much information as possible and be prepared to submit additional documents if necessary. This will help you avoid delays and get your loan modification processed sooner.

Mar 15

FALSE: Saving Money = Good Investment

How many rich people do you know who have become
wealthy by investing in savings accounts? I rest my case.
But don’t get me wrong. Saving money is good. In fact,
it is important to the wealth building process. It’s not
the money saved that is important. It is the DISCIPLINE
required to save it. But you can’t except your savings to
carry you to wealth. And this is the fact that is so
widely misunderstood.

Even the seemingly exciting high interest rates paid by
the popular money market funds are not enough. Any dollar
that earns LESS the 10% per year is losing venture
assuming inflation & taxes. “But, you say, “savings
accounts and certificates of deposit are safe and the
money comes easy”. And I reply, “Does it make you feel
safe and secure to know that every day you are getting
poorer and poorer?” If you ignore the erosion effects of
taxes and inflation that is exactly what could be
happening to you!

There is nothing wrong with economizing. There is a place
for it in the scheme of wealth. However, if you want to
become wealthy you must learn how to save smart. The
money you save is only parked temporarily in liquid,
interest-bearing accounts waiting for a better place to
invest. This smart money is then shifted into long-range,
less liquid investments which generate wealth-producing
rates of return. RATES well in excess of 10% per year.
ANYTHING LESS is tantamount to treading water in the
swimming pool on the deck of the Titanic!

What kind of investments generate double digit rates of
return over the long haul? Real Estate Investment
Properties. If you combine the LEVERAGING EFFECTS of
aggressive financing available to investors today with the
beauty of having someone else pay for you to own your
investment (your tenants) the results are clear. Even
when propery values only increase at modest rates of 3% to
4% per year, if you purchase the investment property with
20%, 10% or even less down, the returns on YOUR invested
capital can be huge!

Using leverage to invest in stocks is called buying
on “margin”, and it is considered to be highly speculative
and therefore risky. Using leverage in real estate is
done by almost every person in the USA who owns a home.
The wealth statistics of home owners vs. non home owners
in this country are staggering. It is as close to an
automatic way to generate wealth as you are going to get.
For more information on wealth building strategies with
real estate,

Dec 30

Condo Guide

Looking for a condo in Toronto? With so many developments in different neighbourhoods, are you being overwhelmed by the search itself.  Well visit Toronto Condo Guide and get a fresh look and see an overall layout of Toronto’s condo developments.  With a summary about each condo that is being built in the GTA, you can compare and get up to date news concerning specific condos that you are interested in.

Need a real estate agent, the Toronto Condo Guide will be able to assist you, and direct you to the proper real estate representative that is overseeing the condo that you fancy.

With the latest news concerning any new or pre construction condo that is available in Toronto,  you will find the condo of your dreams.  Just visit Toronto Condo Guide today!

Toronto Condo Guide

Toronto Condo Guide


Dec 30

Real Estate Closing on your new Home

“Closing” refers to the final meeting where ownership and conveyance of title to the property is legally transferred and accepted by the buyer. The closing is a formal meeting that is attended by all of the parties involved including the buyers and sellers in this process. Closing procedures are usually held at an attorney’s office or lawyer’s or a title company. Your title company officer coordinates and executes the document signing and collection along with the disbursement of funds. Real Estate Agents will be present at the closing to help explain the documents, answer any questions you may have, or help to resolve any last minute or unexpected details or issues that may arise.
To ensure the closing goes smoothly, both parties involved should bring the necessary documentation and be prepared to pay any transaction related fees. Usually there can be more than one form of acceptable payment for your closing costs and transaction related fees, so ask the closing officer from the title company which form of payment will be acceptable and to whom it should be made out. As a general rule of thumb expect your closing costs to total an amount equal to 2 to 3 percent of the total loan amount, not including the down payment.
Sellers sometimes agree to pay for some or all of the closing costs, depending on the terms of the purchase contract, and the seller’s equity and timing considerations. Any such concessions should be clearly made in writing in the contract. Generally lenders will allow some sort of credit from the seller to the buyer for non-recurring closing costs related to the closing of the transaction. However, they usually won’t allow the seller to issue a credit that reduces the amount of the buyer’s down payment or any of the buyer’s recurring closing costs, examples of this are expenses for home owners insurance policy, PMI, or property taxes.

Dec 23

Real Estate Closing day Preparation

As the closing date approaches, Real estate agents will communicate with the escrow company and your lender to ensure that all the necessary documents are being prepared, they are completed, accurate and precise, and delivered in a timely and professional manner. Your agent will also need to make sure that all necessary documents will be delivered to the correct location so they can be reviewed and approved by both parties and that they will be ready for the agreed upon closing date.
At this point, your lender should communicate what form of payment you will need to bring to the closing for any owed and unpaid fees. Make sure that your payment is in good funds and made out to the appropriate closing company. Did we mention not to forget your legal Identification card such as a drivers license or state issued ID!
Ensuring that the necessary closing documents are ready, accurate, and available will enable you to have a quick, stress free closing.

Dec 02

Making an Offer on Real Estate

Now that you have found that perfect home you would like to purchase, it’s time to present an offer to the seller. Analyzing the recent sales of comparable homes in the neighborhood which are comparable in size, quality and condition, upgrades, and amenities, what are you going to offer for the home? You and your real estate agent will look at the comparable sales information and put together an action plan to create an offer that will have a good chance of being accepted by the seller.
Real Estate Agents will ensure that you have all pertinent information in written form… verbal agreements are not considered binding and should not be used when buying a new home. After working with you to put your offer and purchase guidelines in a written contract that meets all the legal requirements to both local and national guidelines, Real Estate Agents will present the seller with a written contract fully detailing what needs to be agreed upon and done by both parties to execute and complete the transaction. The contract should be written to protect the best interests of both parties along with being comprehensive and detailed. Real Estate Agents will also ensure your strength as a buyer and financial position by including any necessary contingencies, which would protect you if a particular requirement or deadline was not met. Once the seller signs and accepts the contract, it will be too late to make any adjustments or changes.

A well written contract should include the following:

The legal description of the subject property
The offering price for the purchase
The amount being used as down payment
Financing and loan arrangements
A detailed list of fees and which party will pay them
Amount of the earnest money
Inspection rights and resolution guidelines
The method of conveying and what type of title
A list of appliances and fixtures that will be included in the purchase
The date of closing
Any relevant and necessary contingencies

Please remember that the legalities of this phase of the home buying process are very important. Any questions or concerns you may have must be addressed right away. Think about this, no one has ever said after their closing, “I wish I had asked fewer questions.”

Aug 20

401 – 415 King Street Condos

401 – 415 King Condos

401 King Condos

401 King Condos

The site at 401 – 415 King Street West currently has a low rise building with an LCBO, as well as a 6-storey, mid-block heritage building. The first proposal presented in May of last year featured a single tower of 39 storeys positioned near the western edge of the property line, with its longer side facing King Street.

Evolving plan for a condominium and retail complex at the sotheast corner of Spadina Avenue and King Street West in Toronto by Terracap. Design by Core Architects features a 20-storey and a 37-storey tower above an 8-storey podium with an integrated heritage façade.

401 – 415 King Street Condos coming soon


415 King Condos

415 King Condos


May 16

Real Estate In Costa Rica

Home Finders

Finding a home in Costa Rica when you are not even sure where you want to be is daunting. You see a photo of a home you like, the price is right, but what about the neighborhood, the streets, the crime level? Are shopping centers, restaurants and schools nearby? Is it near to a hospital? What’s the weather like? How about the weather, too much rain in the rainy season, windy in the dry season? The house looks great; freshly painted walls, natural wood work with new varnish, doors close nicely, kitchen and bathrooms have good water pressure, drains work, no sparks from the electrical outlets, but what about the structure, the roof? How can you be sure there no liens on the property? Who is selling, the owner or someone who claims to be the owner? Buy in your name or have a corporation you own buy? And the property taxes, how much are they, and will they go up when you buy?

Should I buy house or a condo? You want your own yard and pool; don’t like sharing with the other condo owners? A house is for you, but be prepared to find your own gardener and security. No, too much hassle, besides, you want the freedom to pick up and go when you feel like, or you’re not going to spend that much time in Costa Rica, and don’t want to worry about trusting the gardener or the guard while you are gone, then a loft is for you.

Not ready to buy yet? Want to look around more? Then renting is the sensible step. How do I know where, and how much to pay? What are the deposits? Can you get out of a long term lease?

All those questions -and you’re not sure you asked them all- needs answers, and how are you going to get them when you are a newcomer, and don’t speak the language? That’s why you turn to Costa Rica Home Finders – we answer your questions, and help you find the home you are looking for. Contact us- there’s no obligation, you’ll be glad you did, like so many satisfied people before you. Over 25 years of experience with real estate solutions helping people like you satisfy their home finding needs in Costa Rica.

Feb 20

Creating an Effective Home Marketing Plan

While some agents may put an ad of your home in the local paper and list it in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS), there are many additional steps that should be taken to effectively market your home enabling a quick sale at the best price. A devoted REALTOR® will actively market your house using at least a few of the following methods:


  1. Advertising in the MLS

    Advertising your listing in the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) is imperative in any marketing plan! It is typically the first place your agent will begin marketing your house and most often directly responsible for the sale of your house. Years ago, it was used as a medium for agents to market homes to buyers agents, however, with the internet evolving it is now available for buyers to search themselves on many real estate websites.

  2. For Sale Sign in Yard with Brochure Box

    For sale signs with professionally designed brochures displayed in a brochure box in your front yard is also essential. This is an inexpensive way to ensure all passersby’s get a chance to notice your house.

  3. Prominent Advertising on Your Agent’s Website

    While the MLS is available for buyers to search it is of utmost importance your house also be prominently featured within your agent’s website. While your house is not likely the only listing your agent features you may want to kindly suggest they rotate each listing from the “featured properties” page to the homepage. The added exposure just may help you sell more quickly and your agent will likely appreciate your interest to help.

  4. Advertising in Local and/or National Newspapers

    Advertising in newspapers is considered traditional advertising and continues to provide REALTORS® an opportunity to market listings. The downside is the potential cost, especially on Sundays, and rarely results in a sale. It is advisable to request your agent put more effort into other marketing avenues instead.

  5. Advertising in Real Estate Magazines

    Many specialty real estate magazines exist for the purpose of marketing listings as well. Most often, these publications feature high end homes. However, just as with newspaper ads they rarely produce qualified leads or end in a sale. While you may like seeing your house marketed in this manner a better option would be to opt for additional website marketing.

  6. Holding Open Houses

    There are two types of open houses. One if for the public and generally are held on Sunday afternoons. The other is for agents.

    Ordinarily, public open houses don’t result in the sale of a house either. Part of the reason public open houses have failed to lead to sales in the past is the lack of visitors. There are two things that can and should be done to promote the open house and persuade buyers to actually visit.

    The first of these is website and search engine marketing. Your agent could easily display an invitation to the open house on the homepage of their website a week prior to the event. Additionally, using online ad programs such as Yahoo! Search Marketing and Google AdWords to further advertise the open house will help draw people at a fraction of the cost of most newspaper ads.

    An ad by itself is not likely to draw in a large crowd but the promise of something special to eat will always win over a discerning buyer. This is the second way to increase visitors at your open house. Help your agent prepare a menu of items to attract larger crowds of people.

    However, having a public open house is not as likely to bring in many serious buyers as a Broker open house. Broker open houses are held for agents instead of the general public. Since agents viewing your home during a Broker open house already have pre-qualified buyers your chances of selling are heightened.

  7. Providing Buyer Feedback

    While this is not technically marketing it is a valuable tool to use to help make your home more marketable. Most agents will leave their business card on a kitchen counter or table after a showing to offer buyer feedback to your agent. Your agent will then gather all cards from you at least once each week. After calling each buyers agent your REALTOR® may provide suggestions to help improve your homes appearance. Discerning buyers will likely disclose their likes and dislikes about your home. These details are infinitely important to the sale of your house.

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