January-February 2012 | LENDING A HELPING HAND

Terri Poulin, Michelle Watts and James Anecharico of Spectra Home Loans.



Spectra Home Loans mobilizes its lending experts to answer key questions about the current state of home financing and the Delmarva real estate market

Does being self employed effect my chances of qualifying for a purchase or refinance loan?
No, our guidelines for self-employed borrowers allow certain items that were originally deducted or written off from your tax returns to be added back to your income for qualification purposes. Due to so many small-business owners in our local area, we have become very knowledgeable about analyzing local business owners’ tax returns and maximizing their allowable income to meet our loan guidelines.
Does 100% Home Financing Exist?   
As a matter of fact, it does! We specialize in a program that allows for 100% financing that is more area-specific than anything else. From Ocean Pines to beyond Bethany Beach, there are more houses eligible for 100% financing than many realize. There are additional criteria that must be met, including  that the home must be your primary residence and credit.
Are property values still dropping or are they leveling off?  
Many of our recent appraisal reports indicate that our market here in Delmarva has stabilized. We offer many refinance programs that do not require appraisals, which further confirms the confidence in our area’s values.
What can people do in advance before applying for a mortgage to improve their chances of acceptance, as well as maximize the amount for which they qualify? 
First and foremost, buyers need to know their credit scores. This can be easily obtained and most effective by going through the pre-approval process and thorough review of your credit report. It is very important to work with a licensed mortgage originator, as opposed to a free Internet site, to discuss your credit. It is equally important to know the other expenses related to the property you are purchasing. The goal is to determine a payment you are comfortable with after all other home expenses are factored in.
What if I find out that I have a credit issue?  
If you have damaged credit, the answer is not necessarily “No” but most likely “Not now.” Credit-rebuilding programs are available through us and are stronger and quicker than ever right now. Many credit issues can be corrected and rescored in as little as 60 days.

What is the difference between a mortgage bank, like Spectra Home Loans, and a traditional, retail bank in terms of available financing?  
Spectra Home Loans is strictly a mortgage bank. We do not have depository accounts or offer investment portfolios. We specialize in direct lending for home-loan transactions. We also have several investors, which enable us to offer many different loan programs and excellent service.
Are there any indications that these record-low interest rates have had any simulative effect on the home-buying market, quantitatively or qualitatively, locally or otherwise?  
“Coming out of the Thanksgiving holiday, applications increased significantly as mortgage rates dropped to their lowest levels in about two months,” said Michael Fratantoni, MBA’s Vice President of Research and Economics. In fact, Lauren Britt from Condominium Realty, LTD states that “While the off-season usually dictates a slow economy on the beach each winter, we have seen a steady, moderate pace in sales and listings in the last couple of months!”
Are financial institutions lending money right now?  
Not only are we lending money, but we have some great programs available that require no/low down payments and some amazing refinance programs that are not as home-value driven as in previous years.
Is a term reduction refinance right for me?  
Term-reduction refinances are extremely popular now. If your long-term plan is to remain in your home and pay it off as soon as possible, many people are finding that they can refinance with a shorter term that carries little or no increase in their monthly payment, saving thousands of dollars over the term of the loan. 

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