Common Misconceptions about FHA and Conventional Mortgages

I just received a newsletter from a local real estate agent which had an article about whether buyers should opt for a conventional or FHA loan. I’m pretty certain the real estate agent didn’t write the article, however the author, whoever they are, got a lot of things wrong regarding these two mortgage programs. Many of the items that were wrong are what I think are fairly common misconceptions with these two popular mortgage programs. So I thought this was a grand opportunity to write a post to correct them…I’ll skip the fine hairs 😉 [Read more…]

Qualifying for a mortgage when you pay alimony

Recently Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac updated their guidelines to treat alimony payments the same way that FHA has.

With conforming mortgages (Fannie/Freddie) where there is more than 10 months remaining for alimony payments, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will allow the alimony to be deducted from gross income instead of being treated as a monthly debt. This often dramatically improves debt-to-income ratios. [Read more…]

2018 Conforming Loan Limits for Washington State

MortgageConforming loan limits are increasing again this year with the “base” loan limit for a single family home raised to $453,100.

Conforming high balance areas for King, Snohomish and Pierce counties have have higher limits for 2018 as well.

San Juan County’s high balance loan limits are unchanged from 2017. [Read more…]

BREAKING NEWS: 2018 Conforming Loan Limits INCREASED including Greater Seattle – King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties

Conforming loan limits for 2018 have been announced.  From FHFA’s News Release:

Earlier today, FHFA published its third quarter 2017 House Price Index (HPI) report, which includes estimates for the increase in the average U.S. home value over the last four quarters.  According to FHFA’s seasonally adjusted, expanded-data HPI, house prices increased 6.8 percent, on average, between the third quarters of 2016 and 2017.  Therefore, the baseline maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase by the same percentage.  [Read more…]

Fannie Mae updates underwriting guidelines at the end of this month

Effective July 29, 2017, Fannie Mae will release DU Version 10.1, packed full to changes to their underwriting guidelines. These changes apply to Fannie Mae conforming mortgages (Freddie Mac has different guidelines). Here are some of updates effective at the end of this month:

50% Debt-to-Income Ratios. [Read more…]

Financing a “multi-generational” home


It’s becoming more common for families to have multiple generations living under the same roof. Some families opt to commit to buying a “multi-generational” home together designed to accommodate their lifestyle, whether it’s a home with an attached or detached dwelling unit (aka mother-in-law apartment) or even a home built specifically for generations to live together, there are options available for living with your parents and/or grown children. [Read more…]

FHA vs Conventional Low Down Payment Mortgages for Home Buyers

It is a very competitive market for home buyers in the greater Seattle area. I’m finding that many of my clients who are using FHA for financing are not feeling the love from home sellers. It’s not unusual for home sellers, or more likely their Listing Agent, to steer away from FHA offers when a conventional offer is in hand. [Read more…]

Updates to Fannie Mae Guidelines

Last week, Fannie Mae released Selling Guide Announcement SEL-2017-04 with underwriting updates, including the special pricing for when home owners refinance their home to pay off student loans. Fannie Mae is the Federal National Mortgage Association and basically provides funding for conventional “conforming” loans. [Read more…]