You won't need the luck of the Irish to refinance you underwater home in the Seattle (also known as the Emerald City) or anywhere in Washington after Saint Patrick's Day. The weekend of March 17, 2012 is when the next phase of HARP 2.0 will be officially released. And you may not need to wait until March for your HARP refinance; many are taking advantage of lower rates and refinancing now!
Per Fannie Mae's Release Notes issued yesterday for DU Refi Plus – HARP 2.0, we'll have the following enhancements:
- No maximum loan to value ratio for fixed rate mortgages with terms up to 30 years
- 105% maximum loan to value ratio for fixed rate mortgages with terms greater than 30 years and for adjustable rate mortgages
Even though Fannie Mae states the loan to value caps will be removed, it's also noted the appraisal waiver will be "updated to further increase the number of loan casefiles that are considered for the…waiver".
This update states the following transactions will be "eligible for consideration" to have the appraisal waived:
- one-to-four unit properties;
- primary residence (owner occupied), second or vacation homes and investment properties;
- loans with a loan to value or combined loan to value (second mortgages) over 125%;
- attached (condos, townhomes) and detached properties.
You may not have to wait until March to refinance depending on how underwater your home is. I'm currently working with clients from Des Moines, Kent and Seattle who had their appraisal waived and will be closing well BEFORE March as long as Fannie Mae estimates your loan to value is 105% or lower. It's unknown what value Fannie Mae's system will accept for your home until it is submitted to their automated underwriting program (DU).
Another reason NOT to wait until March to start your HARP application is to make sure your credit and debt-to-income ratios are in line. Beginning your application today will allow us to review your current credit scenario to help assure you're in the best position to proceed with your refi, even if you have to wait until March for loan-to-value reasons.
From reading today's release notes, it looks like not all loans will qualify to have their appraisals waived…however you won't know unless you try! It's also important to keep in mind that that banks and lenders may have their own underwriting overlays in addition to what Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac offers with this (or any) program.
I am encouraging Washington home owners to contact me for a rate quote. If it looks like we should wait until closer to March to proceed, we can keep your information and try again at that time.
If you have any questions about HARP 2.0 or any mortgage for homes located anywhere in Washington, please contact me! If you want to stay informed, subscribe to my blog!
I am required to have the language below if I am soliciting your Home Affordable Refi for your home in Washington…and yes, I would love to help you with your HARP (or any) refinance:
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantages of these changes.
If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP.