Roger Schlesinger

You don't have to check the calendar, the television, or the weather to see how things have changed. You only need to apply for a mortgage loan and VOILA, it will hit you smack in the face. Someone said pre-warned is pre-armed, so conside yourself "set for combat."

There are - and basically always have been - two catagories of loans: conforming and jumbo.

When we had a united group of states, it was the same for everyone. Then came Alaska and Hawaii, where it was the same for everyone on the mainland and different for Alaska and Hawaii (and to be technically correct, Guam and the Virgin Islands). Now it isn't the same for everyone in any given state, or at least in 21 of the 50 states. Those 21 states are the ones that have counties raised to the high cost limits or Hawaii and Alaska, $625,500. Just to complete the confunsion, four counties in Hawaii now have limits raised to over $700,000 for a single family residence.

I am going to try to explain the new rules, which could change before the proverbial ink dries, so you won't have a misconception of whether a loan is available for you or not.

The first (and maybe last) universal statement is: stated loans do not exist for either conforming or jumbo. There are some small exceptions which will not add anything to this discussion. There are also private lenders who will look only to the property and will charge a number of points and high interest rates as well, but we aren't discussing the off shoots of the industry.

Jumbo loans are now relegated, for the most part, to arms which are fixed for 3, 5, 7 or 10 years before becoming variables for the balance of the loan. They are at much lower loan to values than you would have gotten in the past and much more difficult to achieve as the conditions are both mindless and endless. If you have a forgiving personality, plenty of time and patience, you are a candidate for a jumbo loan. If not, just wait until the jumbo industry actually returns. The rates on the jumbo arms are generally in the 5% range to low 6% range with a point cost, or a much higher rate if you do not wish to pay the point. Loan to values are as low as 50%, although they generally start at 75% loan to value. As the loan size increases, the LTV falls quickly. Minimum credit scores are usually 650 for employed borrower minimum and 700 for self employed.

Roger Schlesinger

Roger Schlesinger's Mortgage Minute is heard on hundreds of radio stations and daily on the Hugh Hewitt radio show and Michael Medved shows. Roger interacts with his hosts and explores the complicated financial markets in order to enlighten his listeners and direct them along their own unique road to financial freedom.


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