Getting a Mortgage During the Coronavirus

What strange times we’re in! Last night, Governor Inslee declared we are in a minimum two week “shelter in place” with only essential businesses allowed to operate, unless you can work from home.

Mortgage companies are currently considered essential and Mortgage Master Service Corporation is open to help you with your mortgage needs. I am currently working from my home office as I navigate mortgage rates that are off the charts! We are still helping people with their refinances and home purchases.

Getting a mortgage during these times is still possible. In fact, many mortgage companies, including ours, have been pretty busy due to the current low interest rates. Here are some things to keep in mind if you’re considering a mortgage now.

  • The process is taking longer than normal. This is partly due to volume, lighter staff and some staff working from home offices. All aspects of the industry are taking longer.
  • If you are interested in taking advantage of today’s low interest rates, apply now! We need to be able to have your credit ran and application reviewed so that we are in position to lock once rates touch down where you would like them to be.
  • Your income and employment are verified at the beginning and just prior to funding your transaction. If something happens to your employment or income during the process, prior to closing, please let your Loan Officer know as soon as possible.
  • Some transactions are qualifying to not have an appraisal. Once we have your application, we’re able to run your loan through initial underwriting which will then reveal if an appraisal is required. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also loosening appraisal requirements. We’re waiting to see if investors/lenders will support this.
  • A majority of the process is done electronically (e-signing, email, etc.). Most escrow companies are using mobile notaries to provide signings.

If you are hunkered down at home, why not check out refinancing? You might be able to reduce your monthly mortgage payment and even get some cash out to build your savings, pay off debt or do some home improvements. If your home is located anywhere in Washington state, where I’m licensed, I am happy to help you!

PS: This picture is of my cat, Rocko, watching me do yoga with my wonderful instructor, Aubrey from Limber Yoga live-streaming in my home via Zoom! By the way, if you’ve been considering trying something like yoga, many studios, including Limber, are offering live-streaming sessions. What a great way to try out something new without having to invest in the gear!

 

Comments

  1. Avatar Victoria Vandergrift says

    Hello Ms.Porter,
    I thank you for posting this and sharing this information. It eased some anxiety. I am currently first time home buyer and stuck right in the middle of the contract paperwork. I do have question I hope you can explain, I was pre-approved FHA loan. Found house, seller excepted offer, signed buyer contract, paid for home inspection as well as a deposit down. My lender had just called me and said they are retracting my loan. That they can’t go through with the pricing. I no longer qualify for a loan? The loan requirements have increased guidelines. How true is this? I went through all the correct procedures on my part why are they not rolling through with the loan I was pre-season approved for? Is this the same for all lenders currently?

    • Hello Ms. Vandergrift,
      The lender is required to send you a notice of cancellation which will provide some details about why your loan was cancelled. With FHA, some lenders have increased the credit score requirements – but not all have. You may want to find another lender ASAP. I recommend finding a correspondent lender or a mortgage broker vs. a bank or credit union. Correspondent lenders and mortgage brokers have more lenders/investors we can work with where a bank or credit union typically only have their programs, rates and guidelines.
      The other point that you bring up is the pricing. This is kind of tricky time to be a home buyer if your ratios are tight since the markets have been very volatile. I have instructed the preapproved clients that I work with to please contact me prior to making an offer so that we can look at current rates plus the subject home’s property taxes so that we can make sure that they still qualify for the home. If rates are up too much or if the property taxes are a lot higher than estimated, it can cause someone to no longer be approved (home owners insurance that is more expensive than estimated may also cause someone to loses their loan approval).
      I do recommend finding out what specific guidelines changed from the loan officer you were working with AND getting a second opinion from a correspondent lender or mortgage broker. If your home is in WA state, I’m happy to help you.

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