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4 Proven Ways for Mortgage Officers to Build Their Business During Downtime

As a mortgage officer, you understand the importance of staying proactive to build your business. In the mortgage industry, downtime can be an excellent opportunity to lay the groundwork for future success. With the right strategies, you can ensure that your pipeline remains strong, and your business continues to grow. In this blog post, we’ll explore five ideas to help mortgage officers make the most of their time and build their business effectively.

1.  Strengthen Your Online Presence

In today’s digital age, your online presence is vital to attracting and retaining clients. Use your downtime to enhance your website, create engaging social media profiles, and share valuable content related to mortgages and real estate. Regularly updating your website with useful information, blog posts, and client testimonials can help you establish credibility and trust with potential clients.

2.  Expand Your Network

Building strong relationships is a cornerstone of success in the mortgage industry. Use your free time to expand your network by attending industry events, joining local business groups, and participating in online forums or social media groups related to real estate and mortgages. Networking can lead to valuable referrals and partnerships that will boost your business.

3.  Refine Your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) System

An efficient CRM system can help you keep track of your clients and potential leads. Take the time to evaluate your current CRM system, and if needed, invest in a more robust and user-friendly one. Ensure that you have a system in place for staying in touch with past clients, sending out regular updates, and offering valuable resources.

4.  Offer Educational Workshops and Webinars

Hosting educational workshops or webinars is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert in the mortgage field. These events can cover topics such as the mortgage application process, understanding interest rates, or tips for first-time homebuyers. By providing valuable information, you can attract new clients and strengthen your relationships with existing ones.

While downtime in the mortgage industry can be frustrating, it’s also an excellent opportunity to work on building your business for the future. By strengthening your online presence, expanding your network, improving your CRM system, and offering educational workshops, you can ensure that your business remains strong and continues to grow. With dedication and the right strategies, you can maximize your productivity during slower periods and set the stage for long-term success in the mortgage industry.

When Should You Refinance a Mortgage Loan?

When Should You Refinance a Mortgage Loan?

Rates . Home Value . Credit
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By Karla Lopez

Refinancing a mortgage means you are replacing your existing mortgage or mortgages with a new one that has different, and hopefully, better terms. This new mortgage will pay off your old mortgage loan, and then you become responsible for paying it off. But the question is, when exactly should you do it?

The straightforward answer is whenever you can save money on your current mortgage through refinancing; it’s worth exploring all year-round. Although the old rule of thumb says refinancing is useful if you can get at least one or two percent reduction on the interest rate you’re paying. But, it’s no longer the case now.

Here are the situations when refinancing makes sense.

Mortgage Rates are Going Down

A mortgage is subject to fluctuation because it can be affected by a variety of factors such as market movements, Debt statistics, inflation, U.S. Federal Reserve monetary policy, the economy, and global factors.

Once the mortgage rates nosedive, you’ll be able to save by securing an interest rate that’s lower than what your current loan has. This maneuver is called rate-and-term refinancing wherein you refinance your mortgage for one that usually has the same remaining term but with a lower interest rate.

Again, the traditional rule has it that it’s best to refinance if your rate is one or two percent lower than your existing rate. But in reality, every borrower has different needs and financial goals. A one percent interest rate less may help you save on a $2 million mortgage. However, it’s not going to do much for a $200,000 mortgage.

There are other costs that come with refinancing that are crucial whenever you decide to go its route.

Another situation wherein refinancing can be a good option is when interest rates are anticipated to fall continuously, and you have a fixed-rate mortgage. In such a case, you might consider turning to ARM (Adjustable-Rate Mortgage.)

With an ARM, the interest rate will change over time, typically in relation to an index, which makes it possible for your payments to go up and down. It will make more sense to convert to an ARM if you plan to move in a few years. It owes to the fact that you’re going to forgo the safety of a fixed-rate loan.

Take note also that your ARM will go up too if interest rates increase. Additionally, the initial rate you acquire with an ARM will be effective for a limited period which could range from one month up to five years or more.

The Value of Your Home Increases

Refinancing could be your lifeline if your home’s value has gone up, particularly if you’re still paying off other high-interest debts.

When you refinance, you get to take a new loan that’s bigger than your previous one. You will use this new mortgage to settle the first loan, then you’ll get the difference in cash. This system makes it an excellent alternative to a home equity loan.

For example, you took a $160,000 mortgage five years ago for a house worth $200,000 house. You also put a $40,000 down payment. After a series of regular payments, your debt on a mortgage has now reduced to $100,000. When the property market skyrockets, so do your home whose value now amounts to $250,000.

Since your home is more valuable, you can now refinance for more than $100,000, which is the current balance of your mortgage. If you can refinance for, say, $150,000, you can take home the $50,000 in cash and use it to pay your other debts or other expenditures like home improvement and so on.

It’s vital in every refinancing option to make sure that you will use the money wisely and not get into unsustainable debt. Take heed that it’s part of a loan, so need to repay it and the rest of your mortgage loan.

Further, be sure that you will not end up paying more in mortgage interest than the interest you will pay on any debt.

Your Credit Has Improved

Your credit score is an essential factor in calculating your mortgage rate. Rules have it that you’ll get a lower interest rate if you have a good to excellent credit score.

For instance, if your FICO credit score lies within 660 up to 679 range and you have a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage of $150,000, you’ll pay 3.998% APR as per the myFICO Loan Savings Calculator (interest rate as of August 2019).

With this interest rate, you’ll pay $716 per month and $107,742 for the total interest to be paid for 30 years.

Now if your credit score is playing somewhere between 700 to 759 range, your estimated monthly payment will drop to $683. You could save $12,021 in interest over the life of the loan.

You Have an Adjustable-Rate Mortgage and Mortgage Rates Rise

If you currently have an ARM and If mortgage rates are increasing, you might want to convert to a fixed-rate mortgage or better yet, consider refinancing.

With an ARM, your rate will increase more than what you will pay with a fixed-rate mortgage. If you’re conscious about possible interest rate hikes in the future, converting to a fixed-rate mortgage or turning to refinance can give you some peace of mind.

Takeaway

Refinancing a mortgage will depend on several factors such as the current interest rates, the length of time you plan to live in your home, how long it will take for you to recuperate your closing costs, to name a few. Further, refinancing can be a wise decision if you do it when the situations mentioned above are at your disposal.

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SENIOR LOAN OFFICER, SHAMROCK FINANCIAL SERVICES

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Recent News

Isn’t That Loan Fraud?

Isn’t That Loan Fraud?

The definition of loan fraud is simple. According to the F.B.I. loan fraud is any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission relied upon by a mortgage underwriter or lender to fund a loan.

The definition does not make any exception for white lies, half truths, fibs or creative facts. It says any material misstatement, misrepresentation or omission. In most cases if you are involved in a real estate loan transaction, as a borrower, real estate agent, attorney or some other party, and you have to ask yourself or someone else “Is that loan fraud?” 95% of the time the answer is “yes.”

Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

Tips For First-Time Home Buyers

YOUR FIRST HOME. Purchasing one is a rite of passage that most non-homeowners dream of. Besides the intangible benefits, homeownership lets you build equity, and is the single biggest tax break available to most consumers. Here’s our look at some smart strategies for getting in the door. Tips

The Real Estate Closing Process

The Real Estate Closing Process

The process starts with a real estate buyer with a property under contract. Once the settlement agent or closing attorney has been retained by the mortgage lender the begin the “title work.”

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What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 29, 2018

Last week’s economic news included releases on new and existing home sales along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

Home Sales Fall Due to Slim Supply of Homes

December sales of previously-owned homes dipped to an 18-year low with a reading of 5.57 million sales on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. Pre-owned home sales were expected to reach 5.73 million homes based on November’s downwardly- revised reading of 5.78 million sales. December sales were 3.6 percent lower month-to-month, but were 1.10 percent higher year-over-year.

Analysts credited the shortage of sales to tight inventories of homes for sale. Low inventories of homes for sale have worsened, a situation that sidelines would-be buyers due to the slim selection of homes, rapidly rising prices and buyer competition.

Lawrence Yun, Chief Economist of the National Association of Realtors, said that December sales were lower in all four regions tracked by his organization. The Northeast had 7.50 percent fewer sales; The Midwestern region has 6.30 percent fewer sales in December and the South and West had 1.70 percent and 1.60 percent fewer sales.

Available homes reached a 3.20-month supply; the National Association of Realtors typically views a six-month supply of available homes as average. The national median home price was $246,800 in December and was 5.80 percent higher year-over-year.

Sales of new homes were also significantly lower in December, at an annual rate of 625,000 sales. Analysts expected 679,000 sales and November’s reading showed a sales pace of 689,000 sales.

New Home Sales Fall in December

Sales of new homes were lower in December but were strong overall for 2017. The Commerce Department reported 625,000 sales of new homes for December as compared to expectations of 680,000 sales and November’s downwardly revised reading of 689,000 sales of new homes.

The annual sales pace of new homes was 9.30 percent lower in December than in November, but the sales price of new homes increased 14.10 percent year-over-year. The median price of a new home was $335,400, which was 2.50 percent higher year over year. A 5.6 month supply of new homes for sale reflected healthy market conditions for new homes.

Mortgage Rate, New Jobless Claims Higher

Mortgage rates rose for the third consecutive week with the average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage 11 basis points higher at 4.15 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage was 3.62 percent and was 13 basis points higher. 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.52 percent and rose by six basis points. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages. Higher mortgage rates were attributed to an increase in the 10-year Treasury yield, which was at its highest rate since 2014.

First-time jobless claims rose last week after reaching a 45-year low the previous week. 233,000 new claims were filed last week; analysts expected a reading of 240,000 new claims filed against the previous week’s reading of 216,000 new jobless claims filed. Bad weather, two holidays in January and seasonal layoffs at the end of the holiday shopping season contributed to the increase in new jobless claims.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings from Case-Shiller Home Price Indexes, homeownership rates, and inflation. The Bureau of Labor Statistics will release monthly reports on private and public-sector jobs and the national unemployment rate. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims will also be released.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 22, 2018

Last week’s economic news included readings on home builder confidence, housing starts and building permits issued. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released; the week wrapped with the University of Michigan’s report on consumer sentiment.

Home Builder Confidence Dips, Remains in Positive Territory

According to the National Association of Home Builders, builder confidence dropped two points in January to 72, but high demand for homes continued to provide builders with positive outlooks on housing market conditions. While continued concerns over labor and lot shortages were cited, home builders surveyed for January’s Housing Market Index said that High demand for homes and recent tax legislation kept more builders confident than those who were not. Any reading over 50 indicates positive builder sentiment.

Housing Starts, Building Permits Fall in December

Housing starts fell 8.20 percent in December according to the Commerce Department. 1.192 million starts were forecast on a seasonally- adjusted annual basis; analysts expected a reading of 1.280 million starts based on November’s reading of 1.299 million starts. 1.302 million building permits were issued in December on a seasonally-adjusted annual basis. November’s reading was higher at 1.303 million building permits issued.

Mortgage Rates Rise, New Jobless Claims

Freddie Mac reported higher mortgage rates for the second week in a row. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage rose five basis points to 4.04 percent; the average rate for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage rose five basis points to 3.49 percent and the average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was unchanged at 3.46 percent. Discount points averaged 0.60 percent for 30-year fixed rate mortgages and 0.50 percent for 15-year fixed rate mortgages. Discount points averaged 0.30 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims were lower with 220,000 new claims filed as compared to estimates of 250,000 new claims. 261,000 new claims were filed the prior week. Consumer sentiment was lower in January with an index reading of 94.40. Analysts expected the consumer sentiment index to reach 98.00, based on December’s reading of 95.90 percent, but uncertainty over tax benefits connected with recent legislation and rising interest rates contributed to the lowest consumer sentiment index reading since July.

Whats Ahead

This week’s scheduled economic reports include readings on new and existing home sales along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and first-time jobless claims.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 16, 2018

Last week’s economic releases on inflation, core inflation, and retail sales. Weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims were also released.

Inflation and Retail Sales Ease in December

Consumer prices fell from November’s reading of 0.40 percent growth to o.10 percent growth in December, which matched expectations. The Core Consumer Price Index, which excludes volatile food and energy prices, dropped to 0.30 percent from November’s growth rate of 0.40 percent. Analysts expected a Core CPI reading of 0.20 percent for December.

Retail sales were lower in December as compared to November’s reading of 0.90 percent growth month-to-month; December’s retail sales grew by 0.40 percent. Core retail sales, which excludes automotive sales grew by 0.40 percent in December as compared to November’s growth rate of 0.90 percent. Analysts expected retail sales to increase by 0.50 percent. Retail sales excluding automotive sales also grew by 0.40 percent as compared to an expected reading of 0.30 percent and November’s growth rate of 1.30 percent.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims Rise

Freddie Mac reported higher average mortgage rates last week with rates for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaging four basis points higher at 3.99 percent. Mortgage rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage were six basis points higher at an average of 3.44 percent. The average rate for a 5/1 adjustable rate mortgage was one basis point higher at an average of 3.46 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

First-time jobless claims rose to 268,000 filings as compared to 248.000 new claims expected and 258,000 new jobless claims filed the prior week. Last week’s new jobless claims.

Whats Ahead

This week’s economic releases include readings from the National Association of Home Builders, Commerce Department reports on housing starts and building permits issued and a report on consumer sentiment from the University of Michigan.

What’s Ahead For Mortgage Rates This Week – January 8, 2018

Last week’s economic reports included readings on construction spending, minutes of the most recent meeting of the Fed’s Federal Open Market Committee. Labor reports including ADP, Non-Farm Payrolls, and national unemployment were released along with weekly readings on mortgage rates and new jobless claims.

Construction Spending Rises; Driven by Residential Building

Residential construction drove November construction spending surpassed expectations of a 0.50 percent increase; Overall, construction spending rose by 0.80 percent in November. Residential construction was up 7.90 percent year-over-year. Single-family home construction rose 8.90 percent year-over-year. Rising rates of single-family construction is good news for homebuyers, who have faced obstacles due to short inventories of available homes. Analysts expected Q4 2017 construction pace to be the highest since Q1 2016.

While more homes for sale could help ease rapidly rising home price, rising mortgage rates could sideline first-time and moderate-income buyers, but Fed policymakers had mixed opinions about raising the federal funds rate forecast for 2018.

Fed Policy Makers Divided Over Projected Interest Rate Hikes

Minutes for the FOMC meeting held December 12 and 13 reflected varied views among Committee members about three projected interest rate hikes in 2018. Analysts watch Fed policy decisions carefully as raising the target federal funds rate typically causes mortgage rates and consumer lending rates to rise.

Labor markets continued to grow and although mortgage lending standards eased somewhat, lenders remained reluctant to fund mortgages and auto loans for those with low credit scores. Inflation hovered beneath the Fed’s objective of two percent, but FOMC members voted to raise the target federal funds rate of 1.25 to 1.50 percent. This increase remained within the accommodative range according to FOMC members.

Mortgage Rates, New Jobless Claims

Average mortgage rates were lower across the board last week. Rates for 30-year fixed rate mortgages averaged 3.95 percent which was four basis points lower than the previous week. Rates for a 15-year fixed rate mortgage were six basis points lower at an average of 3.38 percent; rates for 5/1adjustable rate mortgages averaged 3.45 percent. Discount points averaged 0.50 percent for fixed rate mortgages and 0.40 percent for 5/1 adjustable rate mortgages.

New jobless claims rose by 3000 claims to 250,000 new claims, which exceeded expectations of 240,000 new claims and prior week’s reading of 247,000 first-time jobless claims. December readings for the labor sector included ADP payrolls, which tracks private-sector jobs. 250,000 jobs were added in December as compared to November’s reading of 185,000 jobs added. The Commerce Department reported 148,000 new public and private sector jobs added in December against November’s reading of 252,000 jobs added. Analysts expected 195,000 new jobs to be added in December. National unemployment held steady at 4.10 percent, which matched expectations and November’s reading.