Mortgage Rates March 12, 2020

Mortgage Headliners: 

A flood of mortgage applications drive rates higher...
How the coronavirus outbreak is moving mortgage…
Mortgage rates rise sharply from last week's record low…
Mortgage rates are mixed after hitting all-time lows…
Mortgage demand is so high that lenders turn away…
Coronavirus looms over crucial spring season for housing…
Bonds are responding…

We're watching the market closely...

If you’re in the market to purchase or refinance give us a call today (888) 931-9444 or (702) 696-9900

What is Debt To Income

Your debt to income ratio or DTI, is a figure that allows a lender to analyze your monthly spending habits. They use your DTI to determine how you manage your money.

You want your debt to income to be as low as possible to ensure that your chances of being offered a lower rate is better.

How much debt do you have this month?

Think about all of the bills you have to pay for the upcoming month.

For example, Brandi pays $720 monthly for rent, $235 monthly for her car note, $200 monthly for her car insurance, and she makes about $100 monthly in credit card and utility bills. Brandi earns $4000 every month before taxes. So if we add up Brandi’s debt expenses and divide them by 4000, we get approximately 31%.

An article from recommends keeping your debt to income ratio below 43% based on evidence from studies on mortgage loans. So when our friend Brandi is ready to move from her apartment into a new home, the bank will be eager to get things started for her, knowing that her debt to income ratio is low and that she has the ability to repay her loan.

Debt to income factors

Another factor that can help your debt income ratio is paying your bills on time and in full. Most banks offer the option to have money from your account wired directly to the institution you wish you pay. You can even customize the time and date that the wire will be released. As a result, before applying for a mortgage loan be sure that the job you are currently holding will provide you with the means to pay your current bills and a house payment.

Higher income means more flexibility to play around with financing options. What lenders don’t want to see is that you spend six months at every job and then bail. It shows instability and lenders won’t be so open to lending their money to someone who is in the business of making risky decisions by jumping from job to job.

Be sure to use that steady job to help build your savings. Why? Because of a thing called a Cash Reserve. Your cash reserve is your safety net. Money that you have saved up between your bank accounts will be evaluated by your lender. This extra money lets the lender know that if you fall on hard times or your expenses for some reason go up, you will still have the money to pay your household bills and still make regular payments on your loan, therefore keeping your DTI constant.

What lenders typically look for is a cash reserve that will hold you over for two or more months, so be sure to pad those savings accounts.

The impact of student loan debt

A meaningful proportion of current student loan borrowers will likely be flirting with a risky DTI just from student loan debt. 16% of Student Loan Borrowers Will Likely Have a DTI Over 20% Just From Student Loans. Below shows sample data from Lendedu: 10,000 pre-qualification applicants used.

The above statistics derive from proprietary data provided to LendEDU by student loan lender Funding U. DTI ratios for nearly 10,000 pre-qualification applications for private student loans were calculated by Funding U using metrics like projected first year salary, projected student loan debt upon graduating, and projected monthly student loan debt payments

Debt to income is an important factor when applying for a home loan. Be sure to take this critical component into consideration when you go to speak with your lender.

Hiring a Contractor For Your Home

Avoiding a renovation nightmare.

If you're planning your next renovation/build or this is your first go, choosing top contractors for your project is critical.

Step 1-Vetting a Contractor

Step 2- Get Multiple Contractor Estimates (Apple to Apples)

Step 3- Checking Past Work

Step 4- Everything in Writing

Make sure your contracts are clear and well written. Consider having a lawyer review the proposed contract for your protection. Things to look for:

Step 5- Right to Cancel

Federal law may require a “cooling off” period, in which you can cancel the contract without penalty.

Step 6- Paying Up-Front

Step 7- Record Keeping

Always keep a paper trail/digital trail of your documents for the entire project. Your file should contain:

Step 8- Take Your Time

From step one you've been "vetting" contractors and it can be overwhelming but:


Note" This information is provided as a courtesy and is for informational and entertainment purposes only. Contents of this website are subject to change without notice. This content is not intended to replace official resources.

Preparing for Your First Mortgage

Buying a house is not something you should do without some good financial knowledge and advice. Your first mortgage should be thoroughly thought out and well planned. Now that you’re thinking of purchasing a home, use the next 12-18 months or so to prepare yourself.

Prepare Your Credit Early

Houses are not cheap. In order to pay for one, you’ll have to get a home loan and pay it off in monthly installments. How much you’ll have to pay is dependent upon your mortgage lender and your credit score. You credit can take a while to build and even longer to repair if it’s damaged, so start working on it early. See an article by Megan Ortiz on how to Establish, Raise, and Maintain your credit score HERE . Get into the habit of paying everything on time even if it doesn’t go on your credit report. Make a detailed list or a spreadsheet of all of your financial responsibilities from utility bills to student loans. If you practice good habits, eventually they will become second nature. Be meticulous about getting things paid on time or early if you can. Practice makes perfect.

Pay Off Your Debt

Loan officers are going to calculate your debt to income ratio, so the less debt you have the better. Things like car notes and credit card payments will be looked at and taken into consideration before a lender will agree to give you a loan. If the total amount of the debt you already have plus the debt you will have after being given a home loan will exceed 43% of your total income, you’re going to have a tough time getting someone to lend to you. So be sure to calculate your debt and pay it down to the lowest amount possible.

Visit Valley West Mortgage and Meet with a Loan Officer

Before even looking at homes, it’s a good idea to sit down and chit chat with a loan officer. Let him or her know your intentions, what kind of home you wish to buy and how much you’re willing to spend. He should be able to run some numbers for you and give you a breakdown of how much you can afford and how much his company would be willing to lend to you, including rates and such.You want to feel comfortable doing business with your chosen mortgage company so ask as many questions as necessary. Any loan officer that isn’t willing to take his time with you and answer your questions isn’t worth your time.

Keep Accurate Records

Start keeping your tax returns, pay stubs, and banks statements in a safe and secure place. In this digital age, it’s easy to order your financial documents from the IRS or from your bank, so be sure to acquire and retain a few copies somewhere at home, as these are documents that you will have to provide to your mortgage company when they are processing your loan.

Don’t Over Spend

As we all know, getting a new home is exciting and I’m sure you’ll be busting at the seams with new decorative ideas for your home. However, keep in mind the hefty amounts of money that have to be spent just to purchase the home (closing costs, down payments, etc.). Don’t go spending all of your extra money, preparing for a new home and then end up without a home to put all of your stuff in because your credit report came back indicating that you don’t know how to handle money.

Last but not Least, Keep a Steady Income!

In order to qualify for a loan, you must have a solid work history. The reason why? Because no one is going to want to lend to you if they don’t know that you have the means to repay them. Having a job is good, keeping a job is even better. Another thing is the type of pay you receive. If you’re on salary where you work, you’re more than likely in a career based job, which means you’ve probably been in your position for a while and you aren’t likely to leave that company any time soon. If you’re on an hourly job, and you haven’t been there for a solid 18-24 months you may have a harder time convincing your loan officer that you aren’t going to default on your loan.

The biggest tip that I can give you is to be prepared. Acquiring a new home is a big step, and it’s not one that should be taken lightly. If you aren’t financially ready to buy a new home, take these few steps to get yourself ready. There is nothing more joyous than owning your own home, you deserve it!




We've Got You Covered

Mortgage & Homebuyer Concerns

House Prices Are The Culprit

Who would have guessed we would be back to the similar movie The Day After Tomorrow? All areas of the housing market are bracing themselves.

More then half of the industry are saying the rising of interest rates have been their biggest hurdle since the World Record Jump of 2007. The industry needs to drive forward with the digitization of the mortgage application process.

And future home buyers? Well, they’re right there with them. First time home buyers don’t have a vast inventory of affordable homes available to them and 20% have credit history challenges.

The Solution

We having a growing presence in the purchase market that will require continued support and customization as we continue to play a meaningful role and drive demand in the housing market.

Without one we don't have the other.


Contact Us Today! 702-696-9900 Learn More About Our Mortgage Options Today.


#mortgage #homebuyers #realtors #thestruggleisreal #valleywestmortgage


When is the right time to finance a home?

The time to finance a home for the best rate could be now, as mortgage rates across the country have reached a low over the last 16 months at 4.12 percent, according to Freddie Mac.

This number is quoted for a 30-year fixed rate conventional mortgage, and since Jan. 1, people have been finding themselves able to afford about 8 percent more of a home in terms of quality. Las Vegas, in particular, may be experiencing their home rates flattening out as the median home price reached $200,000 in August, which is an almost 10 percent increase from the same time last year, according to a recent report from the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors (GLVAR). This is good news for home owners and buyers as the economy continues to recover from the recession that severely impacted the value of property nationwide.

Although property values increase as pricing begins to level, low mortgage rates are not necessarily available to everyone. Those who will see the lowest rates would be considered prime lenders, defined by Freddie Mac as a lender with a credit score over 740 and who can offer a 20 percent down payment. This, however, should not discourage those from financing a home.

If you’re interested in mortgage rates in the greater Las Vegas area, please contact Valley West Mortgage at 702-696-9900 or

President Obama Reducing FHA Fees for Borrowers Seeking To Refinance

Las Vegas, Nv -

In his State of the Union address, President Obama laid out a Blueprint for an America Built to Last, calling for action to help responsible borrowers and support a housing market recovery. While the government cannot fix the housing market on its own, the President believes that responsible homeowners should not have to sit and wait for
the market to hit bottom to get relief when there are measures at hand that can make a meaningful difference.

Today, the President is announcing two steps the Administration is taking to support homeowners and their families – providing relief for service members and veterans, including those wrongfully foreclosed upon or denied a lower interest rate on their mortgages, and reducing fees for FHA borrowers looking to refinance. Along with the President’s broader plan to help millions of Americans refinance and save thousands of dollars a year, support the communities hardest-hit by the housing crisis, and help families avoid foreclosure and stay in their homes, this is part of the President’s overall strategy to support responsible homeowners and the housing recovery.

Providing Relief for Servicemembers and Veterans: On top of the historic settlement completed by the Federal government and 49 state Attorneys General last month, major servicers will be providing significant relief to thousands of servicemembers and veterans. Under the agreement, they will:

refund to servicemembers money lost because they were wrongfully denied the opportunity to reduce their mortgage payments through lower interest rates;

provide relief for servicemembers who are forced to sell their homes for less than the amount they owe on their mortgage due to a Permanent Change in Station;

pay $10 million dollars into the Veterans Affairs fund that guarantees loans on favorable terms for veterans; and

extend certain foreclosure protections afforded under the Servicemember Civil Relief Act to service members serving in harm’s way.

Reducing Fees for FHA Borrowers Seeking to Refinance: As part of the President’s aggressive effort to reduce barriers and costs for refinancing, the Administration is also announcing that the FHA will cut its fees for refinancing loans already insured by the FHA. An estimated 2-3 million borrowers could be eligible for this savings, providing the typical FHA borrower with the opportunity to save about a thousand dollars a year through refinancing than they could have under today’s fee structure.

Providing Relief to Service members and Vets Hurt by Mortgage Abuses

Today, the President is announcing relief that will be provided to thousands of service members and veterans by
servicers on top of the historic settlement completed by the Federal government and 49 state Attorneys General last month. This relief – which is in addition to the over $25 billion committed through the overall settlement – includes:

Compensating Servicemembers Wrongfully Foreclosed Upon: Servicers will conduct a review – overseen by the Department of Justice’s Civil Rights Division – of the files of every servicemember foreclosed upon since 2006 to determine whether any were foreclosed on in violation of the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act (SCRA). Servicers will compensate those who were with a payment equal to whichever of the following sums is higher:

o the servicemember’s lost equity, plus interest, and an additional $116,785; or

o an amount provided for the same violation as a result of a review conducted by the banking regulators.

Compensating Service members Wrongfully Charged Higher Interest Rates: Servicers will conduct a review – also overseen by DOJ’s Civil Rights Division – of the files of their servicemember clients dating back to 2008 to determine whether they charged any an interest rate in excess of 6% on their mortgage after a valid request to lower the rate, in violation of the SCRA. Servicers will be required to provide any servicemember who was wrongfully charged interest in excess of 6% with a payment equal to at least four times the amount wrongfully charged.

o For example, if a servicemember who took out a $200,000 mortgage with a 7% interest rate was wrongfully denied a request to lower their interest rate to 6% over a course of 18 months, they would receive a payment of over $9,000, plus interest.

Providing Relief for Servicemembers Forced to Sell Their Home at a Loss Due to a Permanent Change in Station: Under the Department of Defense’s Homeowners’ Assistance Program (HAP), some servicemembers who are forced to sell their home at a loss due to a Permanent Change in Station (PCS) may be compensated for the loss in their home’s value. Under this settlement, servicers will provide short sale agreements and deficiency waivers to those servicemembers who were forced to sell their home for less than they owe on their mortgage due to a PCS, but who are not eligible for HAP. This means that the benefits of that program will finally be extended to servicemembers who bought their homes between July 1, 2006 and December 31, 2008, or who received a PCS after October 1, 2010.

• $10 Million for the Veterans Housing Benefit Program. Under the settlement, servicers will pay $10 million into the Veterans Housing Benefit Program Fund, through which the Department of Veterans Affairs guarantees loans provided on favorable terms to eligible veterans.

• Foreclosure Protections for Servicemembers Receiving Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay. The SCRA prohibits servicers from foreclosing on active duty servicemembers without first securing a court order, but only if their loan was secured when they were not on active duty. The settlement extends this protection to all servicemembers, regardless of when their mortgage was secured, who within nine months of the foreclosure received Hostile Fire/Imminent Danger Pay and were stationed away from their home.

Reducing Fees for FHA Borrowers Seeking to Refinance – Saving Homeowners Hundreds of Dollars A Year

The FHA offers a streamlined refinancing program to allow borrowers with FHA-backed mortgages to refinance their loans at lower cost and with fewer burdens. This program has helped hundreds of thousands of families refinance, but lender reticence and fees have kept many families from participating. Today, the President is announcing new steps to increase the reach and effectiveness of the program, reducing the fees that participants will pay on these loans.

Cutting its Fees Substantially: The FHA currently charges an up-front mortgage insurance premium of 1% of the borrower’s loan balance and an additional 1.15% of the balance per year. FHA is reducing the up-front premium to .01% for streamlined refinancings of loans originated prior to June 1, 2009 and cutting the annual fee for these refinancings in half, to .55%. Together these reductions could save the typical FHA borrower about a thousand dollars a year.

An Estimated 2-3 Million FHA Borrowers Will Be Eligible to Benefit: We estimate that approximately 2-3 million FHA borrowers are eligible to benefit from the program with these changes. While it is always difficult to estimate participation in these programs, this will result in significant monthly savings for hundreds of thousands of families.

Reduction in Fees Could Save the Typical Borrower About a Thousand Dollars a Year – On Top of Savings from Refinancing

• Consider a typical FHA borrower with $175,000 outstanding on their mortgage. Currently, if this borrower refinanced into a 4% loan, they could reduce their monthly payments to nearly $1,010 a month, including both the upfront and monthly mortgage insurance premiums.

• With lower mortgage insurance premiums, this borrower could reduce their total monthly payments to about $915 per month. That means nearly $100 in additional savings per month for an FHA borrower – on top of the savings they would receive from refinancing to a lower interest rate.

Fee Reduction Builds on Earlier Efforts to Expand Access to FHA Refinancing by Removing Refinancing Program from Lender Report Card: Earlier this year, the Administration announced changes that will finally remove the reticence that many lenders have had to provide refinancing to additional families. The FHA uses a calculation called the “Compare Ratio” to assess lender performance and help determine whether they can continue to do business with the FHA going forward. To date streamlined refinances have been included in this calculation, and because many of the loans refinanced through the program come from higher risk years, lenders have been reluctant to offer the program to customers for fear that it would impact their score and thus their relationship with FHA. The FHA has now removed these loans from that analysis, thus removing this cause for concern for lenders and opening this program up to many more families.

Part of the President’s Broader Strategy to Help Families Refinance and Save: These steps are part of the Administration’s broader plan to provide access to responsible borrowers to refinancing – allowing the typical homeowner to save thousands of dollars a year. That includes:

o Providing Access to Refinancing for Borrowers With Loans Guaranteed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac: Many GSE borrowers who are current on their payments have nonetheless been unable to access refinancing, keeping them locked in high interest rate mortgages in a market offering historically low rates. To address one of the primary barriers to refinancing, a lack of adequate home equity, the Administration created the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP). This program has helped around a million GSE borrowers finally get access to the refinancing market, lowering their payments by hundreds of dollars a month.

o Putting Forward a Plan to Further Expand Access to Refinancing: On Feb. 1, the President announced a legislative plan to build on these changes to expand access to refinancing for responsible borrowers. The plan would remove the remaining barriers in the HARP program mentioned above, so that all those with loans insured by Fannie or Freddie who have been paying their mortgage on time will have access to simple, low-cost refinancing. It would also create a similar program for those families whose loans do not happen to be guaranteed by Fannie or Freddie. Together these steps would mean that no responsible borrower is locked out of today’s low interest rates just because home prices in their neighborhood have fallen. This would provide approximately 11 million families
with loans insured by Fannie and Freddie and 3.5 million families with non-GSE loans with the opportunity to save thousands of dollars a year.

Mortgage Rates Are on the Rise!

We said it would happen and soon. Average rates have just passed 5%

What we don't know is how far or how fast this Mortgage Rate rise will be. Recent positive indicators for the economy have caused rates to rise. Mortgage Rates parallel Long-Terms Bond Rates and those always rise on positive economic news. It is more important than ever to have your Refinance or Purchase file in the hands of a competent Mortgage Professional! At Valley West Mortgage, we keep a very close watch on rates for our clients. While rates are clearly on the rise, they still have their ups and downs. We watch all of the rate change indicators for potential changes so we can lock rates at the best possible advantage for our clients.

The key to being ready to lock is having a complete file which is ready in every respect. With our clients help, and help from our Realtors on Puchase files, we do everything within our control to make sure that your file is complete, as quickly as possible. In this way, we won't miss any opportunity to secure the best terms possible! Give us a call today so we can help you to succeed even in this unstable market. Remember, Las Vegas is still one of the best buying opportunities in the entire country regardless of current rate fluctuations.

Call (702) 696-9900 or (888) 931-0007 and let Valley West Mortgage get you ready to close!

It Really is Better to Buy than Rent in Las Vegas!

On the upside...

A study was published today by Trulia, a major Real Estate watch site, and Las Vegas is #2 behind only Miami as the best place to buy rather than rent. I'm sure that this will be on most of our Local News stations by this evening. They love to cover the latest Las Vegas Real Estate news.

As we have said before, this is the best opportunity in years to buy a home in Las Vegas! Currently, rates have been fluctuating quite a bit due to market uncertainty. For the past two weeks, rates have finished slightly highger. Don't wait for home prices to "drop a little more" and then find yourself out of position because rates have gone up too much.

Call our professional staff and get the ball rolling today! That way, you will already have provided everything needed in order for us to lock your rate as soon as you have an accepted offer on a property.

Call (702) 696-9900 or (888) 931-0007 and let Valley West Mortgage get you ready to close!

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