What’s going on in the mortgage world these days? I recently spoke with Todd Roderiquez of Blue Harbor Lending in Miami, FL. With all that is going on in the world with the COVID-19 crisis, Todd shares some keen insights about mortgages and interest rates.
"Before this current situation, mortgage rates have been historically very low. But now the markets are very volatile, and from day-to-day, you can see some big shifts in the rates,” Roderiquez says. He actually recommends that there is an opportunity right now for low mortgage rates, but you need to be open to paying some points up front. This is in regard to federally-backed loans, like Fanny May and Freddy Mac mortgages up to $500,000.
Jumbo loans, which are above that level, have a little more leeway, and are determined by the lender. But in general, there is some room for them to offer lower rates.
I know people have been looking at the low interest rates for a while, and many have been considering refinancing. I asked Todd if now is an easy or difficult time to refinance. He said that refinancing is currently very active, and that 75% of the mortgage business is in refinancing right now. In the very short-term, there will be many closings on refinances because they are already in the pipeline. In fact, there are a lot of delays in finalizing refinances today, because the volume has been so high. But looking ahead toward June, he says, there are not as many loans on the books that will be coming through.
As for new loans, Todd shared some good news: the Freddy Mac/Franny May loans are relaxing some of their requirements. And since Jumbo loans often follow the Federal guidelines, they may be adopting some of the changes as well. One example of these changes (with Federal loans) is with appraisals: an interior appraisal may not be necessary. "The appraiser may be able do an exterior appraisal or even a desktop appraisal, they might not even need to go into the home,” he said.
However, there also may be some areas that the banks are taking a closer look at. For example, whether the person is still employed at the time of the loan, or if they work on a commission basis. “For people that are self-employed, the banks are asking for more and more information closer to the closing to ensure that they are still in business and conducting business. This goes for the commission people, too.”
Todd is someone I work with on many of my transactions, and his insights have proved to be invaluable to my clients. If you have questions about mortgages or other financial opportunities, please contact myself at 305-798-8685, or you can reach out to Todd Roderiquez at 305-570-2144 at Blue Harbor Lending.