AL and FL Mortgage News

A Better Way to Lock

All New Custom Rate Locking - Many times a contract closing date calls for locking a loan for longer than what is needed.  This has been the trend in the mortgage industry for many years.  To capture better pricing for our customers we are excited to announce the ability lock the rate only for the time the borrower needs.  If the borrower needs 22 days we can lock for 22 days not 30.  Combined with custom rates and the ability to shop and lock we are really looking forward to tailoring each loan for each customers needs.

Southern Data

The US Median home price in January 2019 was $249,900 and the South was $219,800 according the NAR.  Combined with significantly lower property taxes compared to North and Western regions, the southern states still remain a significant value in terms of affordability in housing.

Nationwide Data

Home Prices: Corelogic notes that the rate of home-price growth as of December 2018 was 4.7% which is the lowest level seen in nearly 7 years.

Inventory: According to NAR Existing homes on the market are up 6.2% as of December 2018 compared to one year ago but shortages still remain in lower-price tiers.  Rising inventory is good when considering new housing starts in the last decade were under 10 million where demand for housing based on population growth is believed to be around 15 million.

Do you want to see how a custom rate quote compares to a standard rate quote?  Email us your questions or have them submit a pre-approval application from any mobile device 24 hours a day.


Posted by Devin Murray on April 15th, 2019 10:34 AM

Tapping Equity - Buying Second Homes and Investment Properties

We typically get several inquiries a week from people all over the country who want to learn more about what it takes to finance a second home or investment property from Huntsville to Miami.  Most are shocked to learn that they only need 10% down for second homes and 15% down for investment properties (excluding condos).  Among those that inquire we find that most have sufficient credit and income to easily qualify but don’t have enough assets in hand to make the down payment on the “perfect place” they really love or the ideal property that will generate the most rental income so they do not take action.

With several publications announcing home values grew at national average just under 7% year or year as of QE4 2018 (which equates to nearly a $17,000 average increase) the average consumer who has owned for three years or more has much more equity than they realize.  With the Fed’s announcement for 2019 and rates hitting 12 month lows two weeks ago, there hasn’t been a better opportunity for your customers to capture some of this equity and put it to work.

No two customers are ever the same and neither are the solutions on how to access equity.  HELOCs are an excellent answer and will normally allow cash-out up to 90% of the appraised value while fixed rate second mortgages follow close at 85-80%.  If requirements such as credit score or income for HELOCs and second mortgages are too strict, refinancing of a primary mortgage primary may be a feasible solution.  Below is a current summary of what the loan-to-values allowed based upon occupancy.

Owner Occupied:
VA  = 100% (minus any funding fee)
FHA = 85%
Conventional  = 85% (Freddie requires 740+)
Non-conforming = 85% (porfolio and Non-QM)
Conventional = 80%
Jumbo = 80%

Second Homes:
Conventional = 80%
Jumbo  = 65%

Investment Property
Conventional = 75%
Jumbo = 60%

We work with a range of customers from first time buyers of second homes and investment properties to those with large portfolio holdings.  If you have a customer who might be in the market who wants to discuss their scenario with one of our licensed loan officers please feel free to have them call, email, or apply online 24 hours a day. 


*High Balance loan limits for both AL and FL are conforming loans between $484,351 to $749,525



Posted by Devin Murray on April 8th, 2019 1:25 PM

Interest Rates:

Federal Reserve – announces on March 20th, 2019 no rate increases through the rest of 2019 – great for purchases and refinances

Interest rates across the board hit 12 month lows early last week and are trending back upward as of late last week.  Rates spent the majority of 2018 climbing so this is great news not just for purchases.


The power of a refinances is big and can help realtors too – borrowing money for second homes and investment purchases against a primary residence is the cheapest money out there.  In combination with good rates and higher loan to value maximums, there has not been a better time in over a year to refinance.  We will talk maximum LTVs for on cash-out refinances next week.

Condo Financing:

 If you missed out last week key conventional  guidelines are freeing up much needed money for both condo buyers and existing owners.  The details of the full article are here.

Do you have a financing scenario you are helping a customer with? Send us your questions or have them submit a pre-approval application to us directly from any mobile device 24 hours a day.

Posted by Devin Murray on April 2nd, 2019 8:32 AM



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