First-Time Buyers Are Coming Back! (Gradually…)

One of the most perplexing aspects of the new housing market is the outlook for entry-level new home demand. Most builders have given up on serving the entry-level niche because it is so difficult to build profitably in a price range that is attainable for people who are in the middle class (or even upper-middle). The unanswered question is: will this segment ever come back, and if so, to what degree, and when?

A key group that has been conspicuously absent from the entry level housing market is Generation Y. There is general agreement that there are millions of pent-up households, because so many Millennials are living with their parents, and delaying getting married and starting their own families. The question is whether it is a delay, or a cancellation. I believe the answer is: both. There are Gen Yers who will get married, but in their 30s instead of in their 20s, some of whom have deferred having children, and others of whom will choose never to have children. My analysis suggests that the deferrals will outnumber the cancellations, and that the implication is that the pent-up demand is real, and will emerge gradually over the next several years. We are already starting to see marriage rates rising (slightly) and births are rising as well.

New data from the Census Bureau suggests that the household formation rate, which had been running at extremely low levels close to 500,000 a year (a direct effect of the doubling-up, not only with parents, but with roommates), has risen to 1.4 million per year. There is also confounding evidence suggesting that the majority of the increase in household formations has NOT consisted of Millennials. Surprisingly, it appears that BOOMERS have accounted for most of the increase, partly due to a rebound from unusually low divorce rates (unhappy couples stayed together longer for economic reasons when the economy was weak), but more because population growth is fastest in the 55+ age cohort, and that age cohort has smaller households on average.

One more factor: attitudes among twenty-somethings regarding home ownership versus rental living are vastly different than they were in previous generations. The question in this instance is: is this changing now that more Millennials are getting married, and/or, will it change in the future? There certainly are logical reasons why young parents would want to live in the suburbs, namely: higher-quality public schools than in the urban areas, a greater sense of safety, and more open space. Attitudes appear to be shifting already. Data on new-home purchase money mortgages confirm that first-time homebuyers are re-entering the market. Data from AEI and Barclays Research shows that first-time home buyer loans are up 17% year-over-year based upon the last twelve months ending in November 2015. The data show a steady upward climb in these loans throughout all of 2015 after having been completely flat in 2014.

Confirmation can also be found by simply taking note of the success of DR Hortons Express Homes brand, which has gone from being 10% of the parent companys unit sales one year ago to 20% today.
LGI Homes is hitting the highest level of sales in its history. Both of these builders target the needs of the entry level buyer, and offer homes that many of them can afford.
KB Home and Meritage have established a good track record in this arena as well. Recent shifts have also inspired builders such as
Taylor Morrison Home Corp. and Tri Pointe Homes to test offerings that are priced lower than they typically have built.

The re-entry of the entry-level buyer has begun, but this groups next moves will be gradual. Income challenges remain, and there are still relatively few new home developments who target this group.

As we watch this trend unfold, we should bear one thing in mind: entry-level no longer equates to first-time. First-time home buyers generally lack the income or the savings needed to buy a new home, so the resale market is their best bet, particularly since the spread between resale homes and new homes is now as high as 30% in many markets. Once they have bought a starter home and traded up out of that one into a larger (used) home, many of them will have developed sufficient equity to buy one of the lower-priced new homes.

TD Bank to Expand Mortgage Sales Team to Meet Growing Housing Market Demand

TD Bank to Expand Mortgage Sales Team to Meet Growing Housing Market Demand

With over 80 new hires, the expanded mortgage team will strengthen the bank’s growing mortgage business
November 16, 2015: 09:52 AM ET

CHERRY HILL, N.J., Nov. 16, 2015 /PRNewswire/ — TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®, today announced that it will hire 79 experienced Mortgage Loan Officers (MLOs), to boost its residential lending and meet the housing market demand in the coming years. TD Bank will also create a new position, Managing Producer, to deepen the bank’s mortgage business and provide exceptional homeownership experiences.  The new team of lenders will focus on Boston, Philadelphia, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Northern and Southern New England and the greater New York City area.

“We’re pushing for growth, and by boosting the number of mortgage loan officers across our key markets we’ll be able to meet the housing market demand next year,” said Kevin Gillen, General Manager, Residential Mortgage, TD Bank. “We empower our MLO channel by providing open and clear communication, which enables them to be more successful and deliver a more convenient customer experience.”

The addition of 79 new MLOs will increase the banks MLO team from 100 to 179, and help with the transition to a new store referral model.

TD Bank continues to focus on providing customers with simple and easy to understand products suited to meet individual needs, with attractive and competitive rates on many mortgage products, such as new construction, jumbo and first-time home buyer loans.

The Managing Producers will maintain responsibility for recruiting new MLOs, managing the loan production of an MLO team, coordinating sales, driving business development and growing the business.

TD Bank is a proven leader in lending, and providing solid customer experiences through responsible lending practices. Its model positioned the bank for expansion of its lending business through the economic downturn

Experienced Mortgage Loan Officers who are interested in working for TD Bank can visit www.tdbank.com/careers/ for more information on our open positions.

About TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank®
TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is one of the 10 largest banks in the U.S., providing more than 8 million customers with a full range of retail, small business and commercial banking products and services at approximately 1,300 convenient locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Metro D.C., the Carolinas and Florida. In addition, TD Bank and its subsidiaries offer customized private banking and wealth management services through TD Wealth®, and vehicle financing and dealer commercial services through TD Auto Finance. TD Bank is headquartered in Cherry Hill, N.J. To learn more, visit www.tdbank.com. Find TD Bank on Facebook at www.facebook.com/TDBank and on Twitter at www.twitter.com/TDBank_US.

TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is a member of TD Bank Group and a subsidiary of The Toronto-Dominion Bank of Toronto, Canada, a top 10 financial services company in North America. The Toronto-Dominion Bank trades on the New York and Toronto stock exchanges under the ticker symbol “TD”. To learn more, visit www.td.com.

Logo- http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20131120/MM21057LOGO

To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/td-bank-to-expand-mortgage-sales-team-to-meet-growing-housing-market-demand-300179140.html

SOURCE TD Bank

 

Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI) Gained on Year-Over-Year Basis Since January 2014

The composite National Mortgage Risk Index (NMRI) for Agency purchase loans stood at 12.09% in July, continuing the composites trend of year-over-year increases since January 2014. The NMRI, which is conducted by AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk and gauges the degree of risk in the post-sub-prime housing market, ticked down 0.2 percentage point from the average for the prior three months. However, it is up 0.6 percentage point from a year earlier.

Perhaps even more concerning is that agency loan originations continued to migrate from large banks to nonbanks in July. This shift in market share has accounted for much of the upward trend in the composite NMRI, as nonbank lending is substantially riskier than the large bank business it replaces. Considering the composites results, the surveys directors say home price data should be analyzed in context. The SP/Case Shiller composite index of 20 metropolitan areas in June gained 5.0% on a year-over-year basis, slightly quicker than the 4.9% rate in May.

Historically low mortgage rates, an improving labor market, and loose credit standards especially for first time buyers, combined with a 35-month-long seller’s market for existing homes, continue to drive up home prices faster than income growth, said Edward Pinto, c-odirector of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk. Increasing leverage in a sellers market is pushing up real home prices (now 12.5 percent above the trough reached in 2012:Q2) moving the goal post further away for many aspiring low- and middle-income homebuyers.

The NMRI results are based on nearly the universe of home purchase loans with a government guarantee and, in the month of July, the composite data included 264,000 such purchase loans, up 12% from a year earlier. With the addition of these loans, the total number of loans that have been risk rated in the NMRI since November 2012 increased to 6.7 million.

FHA’s premium cut does not appear to have achieved its goal of increasing access to homeownership, said Stephen Oliner, codirector of AEI’s International Center on Housing Risk. Rather, FHA largely has stolen business from other government agencies and has enabled borrowers to buy more expensive homes.

Other notable takeaways from the July NMRI include the following:

o The NMRI for first-time buyers hit 15.40%, up 0.9 percentage point from a year earlier, and well above the Repeat Buyer NMRI of 9.68%.

o The Spring homebuying season has been very strong, buoyed by robust first-time buyer volume driven by an improving job market and increasing leverage.

o About 140,000 purchase loans for first-time buyers were added in July, up almost 16% from a
year earlier, bringing the total number of first-time home buyer loans in the NMRI to 3.0 million
(April 2013 – July 2015).

o A non-stop seller’s market since September 2012 has been fueled by historically low mortgage rates and high, growing leverage. As a result, real home prices have been increasing since 2012:Q3, far outstripping income growth and crimping affordability.

o Credit standards for first-time home buyers are not tight.

o In July, 71% had down payments of 5% or less, 25% had DTIs greater than the QM limit of
43%, and the median FICO score was 709, a bit below the median for all individuals in the
US

o 20.7% of first-time buyers in July had subprime credit (a FICO score below 660), up from
18.9% in July 2014

o The reduction in FHA’s mortgage insurance premium cut has boosted its market share to 29.1% in July from 23.7% in July 2014.

o This increase has come at the expense of its most direct competitors: Fannie Mae (July
market share at 33.5% down from 36.7% in July 2014) and the Rural Housing Service (July
market share at 3.3% down from 5.1% in July 2014).

o Riskier FHA loans have been used to purchase higher priced homes.

o The collapse in large-bank market share continued in July, offset by nonbanks, which have a much higher MRI.

National mortgage risk index up slightly in July

The composite National Mortgage Risk Index for Agency purchase loans stood at 12.09% in July, down 0.2 percentage point from the average for the prior three months, but up 0.6 percentage point from a year earlier.

The monthly composite, produced by the American Enterprise Institutes International Center on Housing Risk, has increased year-over-year in every month since January 2014.

Agency loan originations continued to migrate from large banks to nonbanks in July.

This shift in market share has accounted for much of the upward trend in the composite NMRI, as nonbank lending is substantially riskier than the large bank business it replaces.

Historically low mortgage rates, an improving labor market, and loose credit standards especially for first time buyers, combined with a 35-month-long sellers market for existing homes, continue to drive up home prices faster than income growth, said Edward Pinto, codirector of the Center.

Increasing leverage in a sellers market is pushing up real home prices, now 12.5% above the trough reached in the second quarter of 2012, moving the goal post further away for many aspiring low- and middle-income homebuyers.

The NMRI results are based on nearly the universe of home purchase loans with a government guarantee.

In July, the NMRI data included 264,000 such purchase loans, up 12% from a year earlier. With the addition of these loans, the total number of loans that have been risk rated in the NMRI since November 2012 increased to 6.7 million.

Other takeaways from the July NMRI include:

  • The NMRI for first-time buyers hit 15.40%, up 0.9 percentage point from a year earlier, and well above the Repeat Buyer NMRI of 9.68%.
  • The Spring homebuying season has been very strong, buoyed by robust first-time buyer volume driven by an improving job market and increasing leverage.
  • About 140,000 purchase loans for first-time buyers were added in July, up almost 16% from a year earlier, bringing the total number of first-time home buyer loans in the NMRI to 3.0 million (April 2013 July 2015).
  • A non-stop sellers market since September 2012 has been fueled by historically low mortgage rates and high, growing leverage. As a result, real home prices have been increasing since 2012:Q3, far outstripping income growth and crimping affordability.
  • Credit standards for first-time home buyers are not tight.

    • In July, 71% had down payments of 5% or less, 25% had DTIs greater than the QM limit of 43%, and the median FICO score was 709, a bit below the median for all individuals in the US
    • 20.7% of first-time buyers in July had subprime credit (a FICO score below 660), up from 18.9% in July 2014
  • The reduction in FHAs mortgage insurance premium cut has boosted its market share to 29.1% in July from 23.7% in July 2014.

    • This increase has come at the expense of its most direct competitors: Fannie Mae (July market share at 33.5% down from 36.7% in July 2014) and the Rural Housing Service (July market share at 3.3% down from 5.1% in July 2014).
  • Riskier FHA loans have been used to purchase higher priced homes.
  • The collapse in large-bank market share continued in July, offset by nonbanks, which have a much higher MRI.

FHAs premium cut does not appear to have achieved its goal of increasing access to homeownership, said Stephen Oliner, codirector of the Center. Rather, FHA largely has stolen business from other government agencies and has enabled borrowers to buy more expensive homes.

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RI Housing Forced To Layoff 30 Employees

The state agency charged with helping people buy affordable homes is facing a financial crisis of its own.  Rhode Island Housing is laying off 30 people; 15 percent of its workforce.

Rhode Island Housing director Richard Godfrey says the reasons are twofold. There’s been a cutback in federal support and many of the 12,000 mortgages they have outstanding are delinquent.

Right now we have about 12,000 outstanding first time home buyer loans. About seven percent of them are in default. So that’s about 840 households, said Godfrey.  Even when those folks don’t make their payments to us we still make our payments to our bondholders. So that has created a cash flow shortage which means we have less money to employ the people to do our work.

Rhode Island Housing was founded 40 years ago. It has provided funds to help over 60,000 Rhode Islanders buy their first home and each year provides oversight over 25,000 affordable apartments.

Do you have insight or expertise on this topic?  Please email us, wed like to hear from you.  news@ripr.org

BB&T Review: 6 Banking Products that Offer Personal Finance Solutions

A BBamp;T mortgage can help you finance or build your dream home. Mortgage loan options include a fixed rate home loan, an adjustable rate home loan, construction loans, VA mortgages and first-time home buyer loans. Mortgage professionals are available to help you determine the best loan option. The mortgage center can also provide up-to-date information on BBamp;T mortgage rates. Apply online and see how you can save.

5. Other Loans

Whether you need a personal loan or an auto loan, BBamp;T offers a range of lending solutions. Use a personal loan to finance a major purchase, or borrow from your equity and make improvements to your home.

6. BBamp;T Credit Cards

Building a solid credit history makes it easier to qualify for loans, plus good credit results in a better interest rate. With BBamp;T credit cards, you can build or improve your personal history. The BBamp;T Platinum credit card feature a low interest rate and no annual fee. Enjoy a 0% introductory rate for the first 12 months. Another option is the BBamp;T Rewards credit card. You can earn 1 point per every $1 you spend. There is no annual fee, plus 0% interest for the first 12 months.

Pros of BBamp;T Bank

BBamp;T online banking is a major plus, as account holders can manage and monitor their various accounts from their home computer. This convenient feature lets customers pay their mortgages, credit cards and other bills online, as well as track their daily spending. In addition to online banking, BBamp;T now offers mobile banking. Account holders can download the banks app to their smartphone or tablet computer. Upon downloading the app, they can view their accounts and deposit checks with their devices. There is also the option of accepting credit cards with a mobile device.

Another plus is the interest rate account holders receive on their eSavings account. An interest rate around 0.01% or 0.02% is typical with most standard savings accounts. However, BBamp;Ts eSavings account pays an interest rate of 0.5%. This higher rate can grow your savings faster and help you reach savings goals sooner.

Cons of BBamp;T Banks

Unfortunately, BBamp;T locations are limited to 12 states in the southern region of the US This is an inconvenience for account holders who travel or move outside this area, as theyll have to choose another bank or pay expensive ATM fees.

As the 10th largest financial holding company in the U.S, BBamp;T is slowly gaining a reputation as a big bank. Thus, BBamp;T customer service may not compare with a small community bank. Due to the large number of customers, lack of personable service/attention can be an issue.

Should You Bank with BBamp;T?

If youre looking for a bank thats been around for many years, and one that offers a host of financial services, BBamp;T is the answer. This bank may be a perfect fit if youre looking to maximize your money, as it offers a broad selection of CD products and a high savings account rate. Additionally, with mobile and online banking, managing your accounts has never been easier.

(Feature image: Frank Kehren)

Moses Lake, Washington

Home Loans | Mortgages Moses Lake |
Mortgage Refinancing | First Time Home buyer Loans | Buying a Home
| Selling a Home | Mortgage Calculators

Guild Mortgage
Company

Moses Lake, Washington

509-766-7788

Guild
Mortgage is the leading privately-held mortgage company in the
Columbia Basin. Located at 506 East Hill just off Pioneer Way, the
helpful professionals at Guild Mortgage will help find the Home
Loan program that will work best for you. We specialize in home
loans for first time homebuyers, current homeowners looking to
refinance their existing mortgage, and special mortgage financing
programs and information. We serve all of the Columbia Basin,
including Moses Lake, Ephrata, Quincy, Othello, Warden, and Royal
City as well as rural Grant and Adams Counties.

We have lived, experienced, and proved our commitment to our
customers and employees for more than fifty years, through all
kinds of markets, by creating partnerships for lasting success. We
pair the resources of large companies with the accessibility and
soul of a small company, to serve our customers’ needs. Our vision
for Guild Mortgage Company is to build on our decades of success by
seeking new opportunities for growth while keeping true to our
history and values.

Follow the links below for information on Homeownership and
lending with Guild Mortgage. Have a question? Give us a call at
509-766-7788 or visit our website.

Buying a Home

Am I ready for home ownership?

  • Why Own a Home?
  • First Time Home Buyer Dos
  • 10 Tips for New Home Buyers
  • Setting Up a Budget
  • Savings Goal Calculator
  • Learn How Credit Works
  • Rent vs Own Calculator

Resources for understanding the loan
process

  • Mortgage Basics
  • What to Bring to Your Loan Application
  • Payment Calculator
  • Total Payment Calculator
  • Getting Pre-qualified For a Mortgage
  • Income Calculator
  • Cash Needed Calculator
  • Paperwork to Keep After Closing

Find a Home

  • Avoid First Time Home Buyer Mistakes
  • Dream Home Wish List
  • Finding the Perfect Neighborhood
  • Keeping Your House Hunting on Track with Mobile Apps

Refinancing

What to consider when refinancing

  • Items to Consider Before Refinancing
  • Should I Refinance My Mortgage?
  • Refinance Calculator
  • Payment Calculator
  • Total Payment Calculator

Understanding your refinance options

  • What is an ARM (Adjustable Rate Mortgage)?
  • What are Points and When Should I Pay Them?
  • Fixed Rate Mortgages
  • Which is the Better Mortgage Option For You: Fixed Rate or
    Adjustable?
  • Refinance Calculator
  • Payment Calculator
  • Total Payment Calculator

Selling a Home

What you need to know when preparing to sell your
home

  • Ways to Increase Your Home Value
  • Quick Homeowner Updates
  • Before You List Your Home For Sale
  • 10 Secrets of Home Staging

Seller Tips and Tools

  • Top Five Mistakes Sellers Make
  • Pricing Your Home to Sell
  • Choosing Your Agent
  • Net Proceeds Calculator

Making the Move

  • Relocation Tips to Help You Make Your Move Stress-Free
  • Make Moving Fun: 10 Tips for Families
  • Moving Advice: Happy Pets
  • Relieving the Stress of Packing

Calculators

  • Payment Calculator
  • Total Payment Calculator
  • Income Calculator
  • Cash Needed Calculator
  • Rent vs Buy Calculator
  • Savings Goal Calculator
  • Refinance Calculator
  • Net Proceeds Calculator

Our Team

Anne Fisher

  • Sales Manager
  • WA MLO-292734
  • Phone 509-766-7788
  • Fax 509-766-9972
  • E-Mail afisher@guildmortgage.net

About Me

Meet Anne Fisher, our Sales Manager and Senior Loan Officer. We
have a picture and a brief bio from her below:

I have been in the mortgage industry for 14 years. I have a
great amount of knowledge and experience in the mortgage industry
and am a top producing Loan Officer and Sales Manager for Guild
Mortgage. I work with borrowers in all stages of life for both
purchasing and refinancing of their homes. I take pride in working
with my customers to educate them about the various mortgage
products and the loan process. I truly love what I do!

Our office team of originators, assistants and processors work
together to make sure that every effort is made to communicate with
the borrowers and Real Estate Agents, to make the process as simple
as possible for all and to close each loan on time. We process
loans in the office which gives an added level of customer service
that is second to none.

I have with the exception of a few years, lived in Moses Lake
all my life. My husband and I are proud to be raising our kids in
Moses Lake and have a great appreciation for the opportunities that
are offered to us in Eastern Washington.

I am involved in our community serving now on the Board for the
Moses Lake Chamber of Commerce and as an Ambassador. I also make
every effort to support numerous other community events and
organizations both personally and on behalf of our office.

Contact me anytime to submit a loan application or ask questions
about what financing options may be available to you.

Larry Shannon

  • Branch Manager
  • WA MLO-62723
  • Phone 509-766-7788
  • Fax 509-766-9972
  • E-Mail lshannon@guildmortgage.net

About Me

have over 30 years mortgage lending experienced here in the
Moses Lake area and have always been very involved in our
Community. Currently I have been appointed by the Grant County
Commissioners as a Grant County Housing Authority Board Member. I
spent 11 years on the Moses Lake Planning Commission and have
always believed that we must give back to the Community. My wife
and I searched out Moses Lake in 1979 as the place to raise our
family. We are blessed with three great daughters and six
grandchildren that call Moses Lake their home.

I strongly believe that you should treat others as you would
expect to be treated. Whether it is your first home loan or not,
the process can be stressful. Especially with all the new
government regulations it is even more important that you can sit
down with someone face to face that will help walk you through the
process. If you need a Zero Down Loan or you have money to put
down, we have many programs to choose from or, if it is a refinance
you need, let us give you options on what would be best for you. I
am a Veteran (SGT, US Army) and strongly believe in helping our
veterans. Our office at Guild Mortgage has some of the most
talented and experienced people in the lending industry and are
always willing to go that extra step to make you feel part of the
process. We process our loans here in the local office and there is
always someone available to answer your questions. If you feel you
might have credit issues, please feel free to call or stop in. We
have helped many people who had issues and have worked with us to
clear the path to home ownership. I deeply feel that everyone
should have the opportunity to own their own home. Many of our
first time home buyers have been over 55 years old and some have
been as young as 18 years old. It is never too late or soon to own
your own home. You do not need an appointment to start you on the
path to your first or next home. Please stop by our office and see
what we can do to help you.

Kelly Shannon

  • Loan Officer Assistant
  • WA MLO-1042300
  • Phone 509-766-7788
  • Fax 509-766-9972
  • E-Mail kshannon@guildmortgage.net

About Me

I have been with Guild Mortgage for a little over a year now.
Previously, I had worked in the food processing industry in a
variety of positions including management and sales. I am very
happy that I now work for Guild Mortgage, and I love working for an
office that is so experienced and customer service based.

We are here to help you through the loan process and to make it
as smooth as possible. Our goal is to make your experience very
positive and that we are with you every step of the way.

I also love working in the great community of Moses Lake. I was
raised here, and came back after I attended college in Montana,
where I received a Bachelors degree in Business Management and
International Business. I am getting married in May, and am very
excited to be raising my own family in Moses Lake.

Contact me if you have any questions or would like to get your
home loan started – I can help and will also direct you to one of
our fabulous Loan Officers!

Clete Hoiness

  • Loan Officer
  • WA MLO-1198383
  • Phone 509-793-4092
  • Fax 509-766-9972
  • E-Mail choiness@guildmortgage.net

Common Financial Myths Debunked – Part 2: Mortgage Loans

This is the second installment of our financial myth-busting series. We will be targeting typical misconceptions about mortgage loans. Be sure to check out the first part of the series, which covered myths about debt.

Obtaining a good home loan can often get complicated when first-time home buyersand even buyers with home-owning experienceconfuse certain mortgage facts with fiction.

There are many myths that home buyers are conditioned to believe as truth, but being able to discern between what is real and what isnt can help you maximize your experience and the dollars spent when buying your home.

Myth #1: I should pick the house I want first.

Most people believe that buying a home means finding a house that you like, negotiating a price and then finding a home mortgage loan to finance your purchase. While this seems like common sense on the surface, you would actually be better off doing the complete opposite.

Start your search with a pre-approved loan, then find houses that fit in your budget and choose your future home within that pool. By reversing the process, you maximize the efficiency of your house-hunting efforts by eliminating homes outside of your price range. This also helps to avoid future headaches like having to deal with a mortgage you cant afford.

Myth #2: 30-year loans are the best.

Hands down, the most popular mortgages in the US are the 30-year home loans. That doesnt necessarily mean theyre the best, though. The 30-year mortgage loans are a fan favorite for the simple fact that they require lower monthly payments because the loan is spread out over a longer term.

This makes home financing seem more affordable to people, but what they may not realize is that theyre paying more in interest over the life the loan. If you punch those terms in a mortgage calculator, youll find that choosing a 30-year mortgage loan over one with a 15-year term means youll be paying more that twice as much interest once the principal is completely paid off.

Myth #3: I need a large down payment to qualify for a loan.

A large down payment is not necessary to buy a house. The Federal Housing Administration backs first-time home buyer loans that only require only a 3.5 percent down payment. But by now, you know that a 20 percent down payment is required in order to avoid having to pay for costly private mortgage insurance (PMI). While this is true, you could also look into getting a piggyback loan if you fall short of that 20 percent.

A piggyback loan is a second trust loan to complement your down payment and original mortgage loan. This helps you avoid having to pay a PMI and finance a house with less than a 20 percent down payment. That said, piggyback loans usually charge a higher interest rate, and having two mortgage loans and so little equity in your home really puts a strain on your credit and debt limits.

Myth #4: I should pay down my mortgage first.

In theory, paying down your mortgage loan first and ahead of schedule seems to be a great financial strategy. Depending on what else you have going on, however, it might not be as good an idea as it sounds. Mortgage rates are traditionally the cheapest debt you can find. If you have credit card debt or obligations to a student or personal loan that charges you more than your mortgage rate, you should be focusing on paying those down first before making extra payments on your home loan.

Mortgage interest payments are also tax deductible, unlike most other forms of debt. Use that to your advantage. Another thing to consider is that most mortgage terms tack on additional payments to the back-end of your loan, so youre not saving that much in interest payments. While it doesnt hurt, it may not be the most efficient use of your money.

Myth #5: I cant buy a house without a great credit score.

An excellent credit score can be a great asset in your ability to get a good mortgage loan, but it isnt necessarily required. Your credit score is what lenders use as a way to gauge your likelihood of repaying your loan in full or defaulting. The lower your credit score is, the higher the risk you represent. In order to make up for that risk, mortgage lenders will charge you a higher interest rate on your home loan. This is why its important to monitor your credit activity and correct any incorrect reporting as soon as possible.

The process of finding and financing a home for purchase can get pretty complicated pretty quickly. The most important thing to remember is to make sure you know what you want and what works best for you and your finances. There is no rule of thumb that works universally well for everyone.

lt;lt; Read Common Financial Myths Debunked Part 1: Debt and Part 3: Student Loansgt;gt;

Stamford man to drop hedge fund for mortgage business

Ralph DellaCamera Jr. has been called a vulture investor who understands how to use a crisis to turn a profit, but something happened on the way to the feast on the carcass of the housing market that has this veteran money manager and Stamford resident moving out of the hedge fund business to focus on mortgage lending.

We are in the process of closing down the hedge fund, said DellaCamera, who has worked on Wall Street since the 1970s. Its mostly my money.

Part of this new focus on the mortgage market includes moving his iServe Residential Lending mortgage banking operations East Coast headquarters to DellaCameras home city, Stamford.

The company announced this week it will relocate from Rye Brook, NY, in August, taking up 10,000 square feet at 1010 Washington Boulevard, bringing its occupancy up to 60 percent, according to Larry Kwiat, SL Greens manager for the property.

There will be 50 employees moving to Stamford, according to iServe. The company does its own underwriting and has hired experienced mortgage lenders. It has 19 offices across the country, with its West Coast headquarters in San Diego.

iServes decision to relocate their offices to Stamford is further proof of our citys continued economic growth and business friendly environment, said Michael Pavia, Stamfords mayor in a press release. I am pleased that our residents will now have the opportunity to benefit from iServes financial services and valuable expertise.

The firm is already offering loans in Connecticut and has a potential loan portfolio of $15 million in the state.

Its definitely more rewarding, DellaCamera, chairman of iServes parent company, National Asset Direct, said, of issuing home loans. Its the American dream to own your own home. In the hedge fund business, youre always asking for more money. In the mortgage business, youre handing out money.

This move into originating loans grew out of the housing collapse, which DellaCamera saw as a buying opportunity.

In 2006, the hedge fund DellaCamera Capital Management, based in New York, launched NAD, to buy distressed mortgages at pennies on the dollar and then offer borrowers reduced rates on their mortgages, helping to keep them in their homes.

The premise behind this type of investment is to create a performing loan out of a non-performer and then sell it to the secondary market. It doesnt always work out for the home owner.

A 2008 Bloomberg News story profiled DellaCameras entry into this market with the story of a California cabinet maker who received a modified loan from DellaCameras business. According to Sonoma County records, that man lost his home this year.

NAD also buys performing loan portfolios and DellaCamera said it also sells bank-owned properties.

It was also in 2008 that NAD acquired Arizona-based United Residential Lending and rebranded the operation using the name of Uniteds subsidiary iServe.

DellaCamera, who made a large donation to his alma mater, the University of New Haven, to help restart the football program, said Stamford makes sense for iServe because its growing as a metropolitan center.

Stamford is on fire, he said, listing the number of development projects under way, including Chelsea Piers. He also cited the landing of NBC Sports and the presence of major financial firms, as well as AQR Capital in Greenwich and Bridgewater Associates in Westport, who are always looking to hire talent.

Stamford is an affordable alternative to New York City, where rents for a single bedroom apartment in a good are can top $4,000 a month, DellaCamera said. In Stamford, a young professional can land an apartment for $2,600, he said.

But that rental price is also a reason why hes bullish on home sales for the area.

A $372,000 house in Stamford, with 20 percent down, can mean a monthly mortgage payment of about $1,333, he said.

Ernie Craumer, a Greenwich resident who heads iServes East Coast operation, said financial industry professionals, firefighters, teachers and policemen make up the bulk of those applying for loans in the area.

We are doing a lot of first-time home buyer loans in Bridgeport — renovation loans, he said.