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Best HARP 2.0 Rates Best HARP 2.0 Rates(3)

Best HARP 2.0 Rates

One of the top questions from homeowner’s these days seems to be, “What lender can get me the best HARP 2.0 rates on my refinance?”, but this question should actually be second to the most important factor:  “What lender can even do my HARP refinance?”.  Unlike most standardized mortgage programs we’ve all come to know, there are many factors that will determine which lenders can complete your transaction.  There are also different “pricing hits” for various aspects of your scenario which are important to know before you start your search for the best HARP 2.0 rates.  In this piece we’ll be focusing on how to best educate yourself on the potential  pricing hits:

Best HARP 2.0 Rates – Loan Level Hits to Watch for:

Though we’d all like to get our hands on the best HARP 2.0 rates, its important to know what the various “big banks” who will ultimately service these loans view as additional risk factors.  The most common loan-level price adjuster is LTV(Loan-to-Value).   There are also loan level hits for credit score, property type, and occupancy type (owner-occupied, investment property, etc.).  Lets first focus on the most common:  LTV pricing hit:

Best HARP 2.0 Rates – Price add-on’s for LTV:

Now while this new version of HARP is not supposed to limit the LTV, there are only a select few banks willing to accept any loans over 125% LTV.  In regard to pricing hits specifically, the best HARP 2.0 rates can be obtained with the lowest LTV.  For example if your home is at 80%-85% LTV, there shouldn’t be much of a pricing hit at all.  However, once you exceed the higher LTV thresholds such as 90%, 95%, 105%, and especially the 125% LTV, now you should expect to pay about .25% higher in rate, depending on the lender.  A good rule of thumb when looking for the best Harp 2.0 rates is to first ask the lender if they have the ability to complete your transaction based on your expected LTV, and second, what the pricing hit will be for your expected LTV.

During your search for the best HARP 2.0 rates, the first question should be, “can this lend actually do this deal given my property’s current LTV?” 

Best HARP 2.0 Rats – Pricing Hits Fee Structure for Credit Score and Property Type:

Other aspects to consider when searching for the best HARP 2.0 rates is credit score and property type.  As you would probably expect, with less than perfect credit comes a bit higher rate.  There are usually very little hits if you’re at 680+ but typically there will be a small hit once you get below 660.  Additionally, there is a hit for property type.  Specifically, condominiums usually come with about .125% hit to rate (75bps to price) if the LTV is over 75%.  This is an industry-wide Fannie Mae hit so plan on getting this bit higher rate if you own a condo and are over 75% LTV.

As you can see, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all rate/price for this program and its important to take all aspects into consideration when in search of the best HARP 2.0 rates.

Author Joe Karns is sales and marketing leader and master of getting you the best HARP 2.0 rates, is dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice on finding the Best Refinance Lenders.  Or, click here for a free quote on Best HARP 2.0 Rates.

Harp 2.0 – Making Home Affordable Refinance Program – Valiant Enough Effort? Harp 2.0 – Making Home Affordable Refinance Program – Valiant Enough Effort?(2)

Making Home Affordable Refinance Program

Many homeowners have been inquiring about how the new “Making Home Affordable Refinance Program”, also known as “HARP 2.0”, can benefit them.  So what can Making Home Affordable do for you?  In short, this newer version improves on the initial HARP program by removing the 125% LTV limitation.  However, there don’t seem to be any of the “big banks” who are servicing the majority of the country’s existing mortgages stepping up and actually adopting these new capabilities, unless that is, you already have your loan with them.

Making Home Affordable Refinance Program – Who gets access and it enough?

There are a few key requirements to qualify for the Making Home Affordable Refinance program.  First, your loan must currently be insured by by Fannie or Freddie and it must have been insured by them on or before 5/31/09.  Next, you must still qualify, though with somewhat looser guidelines, for this transaction just like any refinance.  Every lender is different and has come up with their own interpretation and “credit overlays” on what the government has set as the bar.  This is outlined in the next section:

Making Home Affordable Refinance – The Big Banks Credit Overlays:

Just when we thought the Government was doing some real good and stepped up with this more aggressive refinance program, we now have to deal with the stubborn “big banks” who are refusing to also take similar necessary measures to help the regular folks in this time of need.  Specifically, the “big banks” profit wildly by servicing the millions of loans that they do.  To help keep as many customer in their camp as possible, the big banks are refusing to allow you the choice of shopping around for the best deal on your HARP refinance by restricting the “unlimited LTV” capability to their one bank.  In a plain terms example:  under the Bank of America Making Home Affordable Refinance program, you can only enjoy the unlimited LTV feature of the program if you stay with Bank of America.  What does this do?  This means they can charge whatever rate they want and as long as its a bit lower than what you have now, you’ll probably accept it.  This completely takes away the competitive “open market” mentality that makes shopping for any type of lower rate work.  Similarly, if you’re with Wells Fargo, you can only enjoy the full benefits of the new program if you stay with Wells Fargo.  The same goes for Chase customers, PNC, etc.

When you compare mortgage rates for a “Making Home Affordable refinance”, the first question should be, can this lend actually do this deal given my property’s current LTV?  Don’t wast your time.  Ask if they have LTV restrictions first, and then get into the rate talks.

Making Home Affordable Refinance: What does this show us about Government help/intervention?

I’m sure there will be many homeowners who take advantage of the newer Making Home Affordable Refinance program, but with all of the “big banks” credit overlays, is this real help, or just a way for the banks to further increase their profits with all this fan fair and retain customers?  Only time will tell, but I think it will take the Government stepping in to force the big banks to really open things up for this to have any widespread benefit.

Author Joe Karns is sales and marketing leader and master of the Making Home Affordable Refinance, is dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice on finding the Best Refinance Lenders. Or, click here for a free quote on Making Home Affordable Refinance.

Best Refinance Lenders – How to find the pro’s? Best Refinance Lenders – How to find the pro’s?(2)

Best Refinance Lenders – How do I find the pro’s?

During the past couple years in which the mortgage market has been in turmoil, determining who are the best refinance lenders has become a real challenge.  While current interest rates are still at historic lows, the fact remains that the lending guidelines have tightened up to a degree that is unprecedented.   So much, in fact,  that the average loan officer has trouble keeping up with the constant guideline changes and hoping to provide a high level of customer service.  This challenge is resulting in the weaker loan officers leaving the industry and the pro’s within the best lenders now getting the lion’s share of the market.

During your search, its crucial to remember that the same primary hot buttons remain unchanged:  1) Keep in mind that the lenders with the lowest rates may not be the best deal overall.  Even the best refinance lenders often forget to properly disclose the fact that their apparently low rate includes “discount points”.  This additional fee may be getting you what appears to be a great low rate, but you do not necessarily need to pay any additional fees to get a good rate.  Always ask even the best refinance lenders to give you options and proceed carefully.

How to find the best refinance lenders?

You will find numerous lenders trying to attract you with their seemingly lucrative offers.  However, you must know that not all of them can offer you the best loan.  Some of the best refinance lenders’ reputable brand comes from millions of dollars they spend on expensive advertising.  Those TV ads and billboards may help you recognize their brand, but it works against you in regard to their ability to get you the lowest rate.  All that overhead costs money, some of which is passed down to you, the customer.  The key to remember is that the best refinance lenders are not always the ones with the most well known brand name.  Do your research on websites like HotRateQuote to compare mortgage rates and terms so you have all the necessary information to form an education decision.

Here are some points to consider while searching for the best refinance lenders for your your home loan:

1) Start by leveraging the power of the internet.  A simple search for the best refinance lenders on online will yield thousands of results, but the key is to start with the more reputable “portal sites” such as BankRate.com, LendingTree.com, and HotRateQuote.com.  Try to not be diverted by flashy-looking promotional ad banners and buzz word offers but instead try and focus on the numbers:  rates, APR, total fees, etc.  These websites have gotten really good and organizing the best refinance lenders’ rates and terms so check to see what the top 3-5 offers appear to be within the name loan type category.

 2)  Be weary of excessive fees.  In most cases, the  “lowest rate” offer often comes with some hidden costs, which can quickly add up since they are usually percentage-based figures tied to the loan amount.  These extra costs, also known as ” junk fees”, can make your refinance a costly transaction and sometimes not even worth it anymore.    These “junk fees” include but are not limited to:  “processing fees, application fees, doc prep fees, courier fees for mortgage brokers, etc.”  A good rule of thumb to use when considering the total cost, even with the best lenders, is “how long will it take for the proposed monthly savings to exceed the total cost of this transaction?”.  Example:  Lets say you stand to save $52/month but the total fees are $3572.  It would take you a whopping 68 months (over 5 years) to break even!  Any break even point longer than 24 months is not a good deal.

3) Think you’ve found the best deal now?  Be careful, you might also want to ask what documentation is going to be required.  This is a major factory in getting any refinance transaction closed these days.  Some bank’s guidelines have got so ridiculous that it seems like the hurdles between you and the closing table can never be overcome.  Most banks follow the same set of guidelines nowadays, all requiring the standard two years tax returns with W2’s, last two pay stubs, and last two bank statements.  However, I’ve heard of some real world situations recently that you probably wouldn’t even believe.  A good friend of mine was trying to get the third round of underwriting conditions satisfied when she was then told that she also needed to produce the original building permit for the apparent renovation work that was done to her kitchen from 9 years ago, when she had only owned that home for the last 5 years!  This means that she was forced to take a full day off work and beg City Hall to dig up old building permit records just to satisfy the lender and get her refinance closed.  Crazy, huh?   But you’d be surprises how often even the “best refinance lenders” come up with these crazy underwriting conditions.  The key is to always ask what documentation will be required up front.

Go with the “pros” – Go with the best refinance lenders

Finally, once you have narrowed the best lenders down to your top two or three, and you’ve asked all the right questions, its time to compare their rates, terms, cost, and most of all:  their reputation and credibility.  If you “go with the pro” and grade the best refinance lenders on their credibility and experience first, you will have the best chance for a smooth and efficient transaction.

Author Joe Karns of Bridgeview Bank is one of the very best best refinance lenders and is a seasoned mortgage professional dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice on finding the Best Refinance Lenders:  Compare Mortgage Rates

HARP 2.0 Mortgage Program – What are the benefits of the program? HARP 2.0 Mortgage Program – What are the benefits of the program?(3)

HARP 2.0 – What are the

benefits of the program?

Everyone we know seems to be talking about the new “HARP 2.0” program which is the newest edition of government-sponsored mortgage relief.  So what can HARP 2.0 do for you?  In short, this newer version improves on the initial HARP program by removing the 125% LTV limitation.  In plain terms, many folks who couldn’t qualify for the first edition of HARP because their homes are horribly under water would qualify now.  Other new features of HARP 2.0 include reduced pricing hits at these higher LTV’s for shorter term loans (15yr fixed) and transferable PMI, but the key enhancement of HARP 2.0 is definitely the no-limit LTV.

HARP 2.0 – Tip#1:  How to know if you qualify:

There are a few key requirements to qualify for the HARP 2.0 program.  First, to qualify for HARP 2.0, your mortgage must currently be insured by Fannie Mae(DU Refi Plus) or Freddie Mac( known as “Open Access”).  Next, you need to have been making your mortgage payments on time to qualify for HARP 2.0.  Finally, the loan had to close on or before May 31, 2009.  One additional requirement for HARP 2.0 is that you cannot have already refinanced using the original HARP.

HARP 2.0 – Tip#2: Relaxed underwriting guidelines.

One additional benefit of the HARP 2.0 refinance program is the somewhat relaxed underwriting guidelines.  Specifically, the guidelines related to late mortgage payments on your existing loan.  Under the new HARP 2.0 program, you can actually have paid your existing mortgage late one time within the last 12 months, as long as the late payment occurred more than six months ago.

When you compare mortgage rates for a HARP 2.0 refinance, the most important factor is  talking to a lender that is an expert in the HARP 2.0 guidelines.

HARP 2.0 – Tip#3: What does this mean to the industry?

One thing is for sure, this new HARP 2.0 program should definitely help kick-start the mortgage industry a bit while also helping many homeowners enjoy month savings that come with historically low interest rates who otherwise would not be eligible to refinance.  While there will likely still be millions of homeowners still left high and dry, this updated version of HARP looks like it will help some folks who need relief the most:  those who are seriously upside-down on their mortgage.

Author Joe Karns is sales and marketing leader and master of the HARP 2.0 is dedicated to bringing his subscribers relevant and useful information. Want a free mortgage checkup? Check out Joe Karns at the following link for more a FREE refinance consultation and expert advice on finding the Best Refinance Lenders. Or, click here for a free quote on a  HARP 2.0.

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