Wednesday, May 2, 2012

HomePath Conventional FannieMae Loan

HomePath is a conventional loan for 97% Financing.  I am going to share with you the highlights of this type loan.  If you would like to compare it to an FHA, VA or regular conventional mortgage please let me know.  I would be happy to share the knowledge.

*Has to be a Fannie Property
*3% down payment for most
*No Appraisal Required
*Minimum credit score is 640
*seller can pay up to 6% of the purchase price toward closing costs for buyer
*$5k repair escrow

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


Last evening my husband asked how my day had been. "Outstanding" I replied, and then I started to think how tired my mind was.

A few months ago I was invited to a Financial Seminar at Vestavia Country Club to listen to Doug Lennick, CFP. There was lots of excitement in the air since Doug had not been in Birmingham in years. He spoke about his new book Financial Intelligence. After I decided my mind was "full" I was reminded of of this from chapter 5 Recognizing...

At any given moment, there is a phenomenal amount of activity going on within us -- much of it we're not even aware of. Each day the average person:

  • Thinks 12,000 thoughts

  • Pumps 2k gallons of blood through 60k miles of blood vessels

  • Blinks his or her eyes 17k times

  • Breathes 23,040 times

  • Sheds 14 million particles of skin

  • Replaces 400 billion cells

No wonder! The above, was an average day and mine was above average. My mind was tired but I was thankful, it was an outstanding day!

You think about purchasing or refinancing a home a few times in your life, I think about every day, I am here to help you!

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Sales Concessions and Seller Paid Closing Costs on Home Purchase

Seller-paid concessions, when used properly, can mean the difference between closing a home sale and losing one.

A concession is anything of value added to the transaction by the seller, builder, developer, salesperson or any interested party. A concession may also include any closing costs that would normally be paid by the buyer or cash given to the buyer to lower non-housing debts.

Funds received from a relative to assist with a home purchase, or cash contributed from an employer as part of a corporate transfer are not considered seller concessions. These are gift funds or transfer funds.

When buyers and sellers are negotiating, a few hundred dollars one way or the other can make a huge difference. However, it's important for sellers to understand how concessions work and how nonallowable concessions can work against buyers.

From the seller's perspective, there may be little difference in offering a monetary concession or lowering the property price. Either choice reduces the net gain realized at closing. However, buyers may have another view of concessions versus lower prices. To a buyer, the concession may be more preferable, because it is money that can be applied directly to the purchase. In addition, making a concession rather than cutting the price helps maintain property values in the area.

It's important knowing which seller concessions are allowable by lenders. If a concession is considered nonallowable, the lender may reduce the home price by the value of the concession. This, in turn, lowers the maximum loan the lender will make, and could foil the transaction.

The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac), which purchase residential loans from lenders, have restrictions concerning allowable seller concessions for conventional mortgages. Both entities permit sellers to pay some or all closing costs, depending on the down payment and type of financing involved. The closing costs sellers may pay include: fees for the loan origination, discount points, credit report, appraisal, title insurance, survey, loan underwriting, tax service, document preparation, deed recording, home inspection and loan assumption. (Allowable closing costs may vary by area.) Sellers also are allowed to pay private mortgage insurance out of the buyer's "prepaid" costs collected at closing.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also limit the amount of money sellers can give as concessions. The maximum contribution for conventional loans is 3 percent of the lesser of the sales price or appraised value, if the buyer's down payment is less than 10 percent and the property is to be occupied as a principal residence.

The maximum allowable contribution is raised to 6 percent if the down payment is 10 percent or more. A contribution of 2 percent is permitted if the property will be used as investment property and the mortgage is a fixed-rate loan.
Few seller concessions are permitted in transactions involving single-family mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). Sellers are allowed to pay up to six discount points (one point equals 1 percent of the loan amount); but other concessions may cause the buyer's down payment to be increased.

The Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA) is more lenient in its treatment of seller contributions. Under its home loan guaranty program, a seller is allowed to pay all closing costs, plus up to 4 percent of the sales price, to reduce other costs paid by the buyer. The 4 percent limit includes the VA funding fee, prepaid and escrow costs, discount points and payment of any debt to help the borrower qualify for the mortgage. Credit given to American Associates Inc. Library.

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012


If you are purchasing or refinancing a home in Alabama you have several different loan products available to you if you qualify. Today I am going to talk about Conventional Mortgage Loan for Purchase and Refinance.

A Conventional Loan is really the "Cream of the Crop". In most situations they are for folks who have excellent credit, 5% or more for a down-payment and assets.

What is considered excellent credit? By today's standard an excellent credit score is considered to be 740 or higher. Credit scoring models go up to 850. A 740 middle score will yield you the best interest rate available. When I pull credit for approval, I will receive a credit score from Experian, Equifax and TransUnion. The middle score is the one I will use. Once your score drops below the 740 mark you will begin to take a hit to the rate based on this number.

How much do I need for a down-payment on a Conventional Mortgage? The minimum down-payment for a conventional loan is 5% of the sales price. The more money you have for a down-payment will also get you a better interest rate and reduce your monthly private mortgage insurance (PMI)if you don't have at least 20% to put down. If you are refinancing your home the percentages on equity are the same. Loan to value may not be over 95% worse case scenario. I do however have a great product to eliminate your monthly private mortgage insurance when you purchase or refinance. This is a single up front premium which is paid by the borrower on a purchase, or rolled into to closing costs if refinancing. This is one of the greatest things since sliced bread.

What is considered an asset? An asset is anything that is or can be liquid. Your checking accounts, savings accounts, IRA's, Money Market, 401k or stocks and bonds. All of these would be considered assets because if push come to shove you could cash out and have money available. The more assets you have the better you look to an investor about to lend you large sums of money.

A few more things to remember...If you are purchasing or refinancing a home between $271k and $417k you will pretty much have to go with a Conventional Mortgage. $271k and below have many other options and $417k and up are considered JUMBO.

It is very important to keep your credit in tip top shape and also have a mortgage loan specialist look at your scenario every year. You may spending hundreds of dollars that could best be put to use in other ways.

Today I closed a Conventional Mortgage refinance and his 15 year mortgage is less than the monthly payment he was making on his 30 year mortgage. It takes about 10 minutes for me to assess your individual needs so please let me show you what I can offer.

As always, Yours to Count On. Valerie Springer 205-995-7283 x 305

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012


If you are a senior 62 years or older, you may qualify for a Reverse Mortgage. If your home is paid in full, OR if you have equity in your home this may be the answer to your prayers.

  • NO Monthly Payments

  • NO Credit Report

  • NO Employment Qualifications

  • NO Medical Qualification

  • NO Income Requirements

  • NO Asset Verification

  • NO Recourse

  • NO Tax or Insurance Escrows

  • NO Restrictions on Use of Funds

If you would like more information on Reverse Mortgage, please contact me at 205-995-7283 x 305 or email me at I will be happy to answer your questions and show you a financial opportunity which could be available to you.

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775..

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

2012 Mortgage Market Will Move In A Positive Direction

The past few years have been a learning curve for most of us. In hindsight, we could look back and say, "I never thought... I wish I had known... If I knew then ... I waited too long before I decided to get in the game!" Sometimes our greatest mistake can turn out to be our greatest learning experience.

From May 2011 til the end of November 2011, the refinance and purchase industry were on fire. 2011 was not my best year yet, but turned out to be my best since 2008 and this speaks volumes.

I have so much to share with you...Ashlee's beautiful wedding, my 30th Wedding Anniversary to my sweet Mick and our first Christmas morning alone to name a few.

I will catch up and move forward as this will be a fast paced year. Do you have a dog in the fight? If not maybe you should, the 2012 Mortgage Market will move in a positive direction. You can count on it! Much more to come...

My name is Valerie Springer nmls 198479, Home Mortgage Expert and writer for Ask Val in Birmingham, Alabama. You may contact me by email at or call 205-314-4775.