How Does Dave Ramsey’s Advice on Mortgages Pencil Out?

Last month I wrote about advice I’ve been seeing popping up in my Facebook feed from Dave Ramsey on mortgages. There are several points that I just don’t find realistic for the average person who wants to buy a home, such as only using a 15 year amortized mortgage with 20% down payment and limiting your mortgage payment to 25% of your take home pay. I promised that I would share a follow up post where I review different scenarios comparing his advise to real life scenarios. [Read more…]

Should You Follow Dave Ramsey’s Advice on Mortgages?

Dave Ramsey is someone a lot of people follow for financial advise. Lately he’s been showing up A LOT in my Facebook stream pushing his thoughts on mortgages, home ownership and credit. Some of his ideas, I don’t totally disagree with. In fact, I shared a post that came from his group encouraging people to continue to pay rent and make their mortgage payments during the pandemic if at all possible (ie nothing is for free). However, I don’t support what he instructs his followers who are considering buying a home and I also have an issue with anyone who pushes their “team of vetted real estate agents”…I would be really surprised if there is not some sort of financial relationship associated with this referral arrangement.

Let’s take a look at what he encourages his followers to do with regards to buying a home or getting a mortgage. [Read more…]

The REAL Income Needed to Buy Median-Priced Home in Seattle

Seattle income

KOMO News is reporting that it takes an income of $105K to buy a median-priced home in the Seattle area. This is based off a report from HSH.com.  When you dig deeper into the report, here’s how HSH.com came up with their numbers: [Read more…]

High Balance Conforming Mortgages to Reduce Down Payment Requirements

iStock-000018668640XSmallFannie Mae has announced that effective mid-December 2015, high-balance conforming mortgages will have lower down payment requirements. “high balance conforming” mortgages are loan amounts that are higher than “traditional” conforming loan limits ($417,000) and less than non-conforming mortgages and are available only in certain counties that are considered to be “higher cost”. In Washington State, currently (2015) King County, Snohomish County, Pierce County and San Juan County have “high balance conforming” loan limits. The high balance conforming loan limit for King, Snohomish and Pierce County is presently $517,500 for a single family dwelling.

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Tips on how to save up for a down payment

iStock_000009450603SmallGet Rich Slowly recently posted How to Save Up for a Down Payment Fast.  I’d like to respond to some of the ideas offered in GRS’s post from a Mortgage Professional’s viewpoint and offer my advice.

Here are some of the suggestions on How to Save Up for Down Payment Fast along with my 2 cents (in italics).

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Reduced Down Payment Conventional Loans may require Compensating Factors

Mel_WattMel Watt, Director of the FHFA, has released his prepared remarks for the National Association of Realtors Conference. In his remarks, he addresses the lower down payment options that should be available soon with conforming mortgages and that they will require compensating factors.

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Why use an FHA Mortgage for your home loan?

mortgageporter-thinkingEDITORS NOTE 2/3/2015: Since writing this post, HUD has reduced mortgage insurance premiums (yay!) and loan limits have changed. Part of the fun of writing (and reading) a mortgage blog is that guidelines and programs change constantly. Reader beware. 🙂

When Washington state home buyers and home owners request a mortgage rate quote from me, they have many options, including FHA or conventional financing. Over recent years, conventional financing has become a more popular mortgage than FHA, despite FHA’s lower down payment requirements.

What’s not so hot about FHA?

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Conforming Mortgages set to Reduce Minimum Down Payment

Mel_WattAt the MBA Annual Convention this week, Mel Watt, Director of the FHFA announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be reducing the minimum down payment.

From his prepared speech:

“To increase access for creditworthy but lower-wealth borrowers, FHFA is also working with the Enterprises to develop sensible and responsible guidelines for mortgages with loan-to-value ratios between 95 and 97 percent. [Read more…]