Mortgage Insurance Changes

Fannie Mae made changes in 2017 to maximum debt to income ratio’s-they’ll now allow some loans to be “approve/eligible” thru their Automated Underwriting System with debt to income ratio’s between 45.01-50%. Mortgage insurance is only available for borrowers with credit scores over 700 with debt to income ratio’s over 45% beginning March 1, 2018.

Purchases of single family investment properties are now available with 15 % downpayment with mortgage insurance.

As changes take place with guidelines, I’ll share with all of my followers thru my blog.

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We love Jumbo loans!!

Jumbo loans- loans over the conforming loan limit of $453100 (for single family properties)- are not something to be afraid of. The conforming loan limit is usually updated every year in November or December. The conforming loan limits are for homes in the contiguous states, District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. The conforming loan limit for single family properties in  Alaska, Hawaii, Guam and the US Virgin Islands is $679,650. There are areas of the country that are deemed “high cost”- they allow for higher “conforming” loan limits in those areas. Mortgage rates for Jumbo loans are usually .125%-.25% higher than rates for conforming loans. Dollar Bank doesn’t increase the rate on our Adjustable rate Jumbo mortgages up to $750,000 for a standard 60 day rate lock. Call us for more details.

Fixed rate Jumbo loans  can be had with as little as 10% down for the purchase or rate & term refinance of a single family owner occupied property for borrowers with a credit score of at least 720 for loans up to $650,000. That equates to a sale price of $722,220. For borrowers with more expensive taste, they’ll need at least 20% down for loans $650,001-$750,000 for the purchase of a single family owner occupied property. For clients looking to buy a singe family vacation or 2nd home, they’ll need 25% down payment for loans $453,001-$750,000.

For your clients looking to build and need a construction loan, constructions loans are available up to $1,000,000 with 20% for a single family, owner occupied property. Call for details.

For clients looking for an adjustable rate mortgage- how does 15% down with NO PMI for loan amounts up to $500,000 on the purchase of a single family, owner occupied property sound?? That equates to a sale price of $588,230. Our Adjustable rate mortgages go up to $2 million dollars – call for details.

Here’s the link to Fannie Mae’s website regarding conforming loan limits and high-cost areas.


So as you can see, Jumbo mortgages are still affordable and there are a lot of options for buyers in the market for a higher priced home.


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Happy 2018!!

Lots of changes in 2017 for mortgage lending- all for the positive to help make 2018 an even better year than 2017.

** Conforming loan amounts for single family properties were raised to $453, 100. High cost areas saw a rise in max conforming loan limits too.

**FHA maximum loan limits were raised for case numbers ordered after January 1, 2018

**Here in Ohio, the Good Funds law – which went into effect in April 6, 2017 & required any funds for earnest money or closing above $1000 having to be wired to the closing agent to aid in slowing down the amount of fraud. Effective September 29, 2017, this amount was raised to $10000.

**FNMA raised maximum debt to income ratios on some transactions to 50% with DU release version 10.1 effective July 29, 2017.

Mortgage lenders are trying as best as we can to find ways to make deals work.

Fannie Mae HomeReady is a great 3% down conventional program alternative to FHA financing for those with higher credit scores. The advantage is the PMI is cancellable, there is no upfront mortgage insurance, a slightly smaller downpayment, and for those with higher credit scores, may be cheaper than the FHA monthly mortgage insurance.

I believe with the changes at the CFPB in 2017, we’re going to see more changes coming with TRID in 2018.

In the world of construction lending, construction loans can still be gotten with as little as 5% down payment or lot equity. Dollar Bank offers this program.

As you can see, all these changes were positive and moving us in the direction of helping more clients achieve the American dream of Homeownership & making homeownership affordable.

Look for more updates on mortgage lending and real estate in 2018!



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2017 Changes

Last week it was announced the conforming loan limits would be raised to $424100 from $417,000.

It was also announced that the maximum FHA loan limits were being raised for 2017 also. For Cuyahoga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Erie, Huron, Sandusky, Ottawa, Wayne and Summit counties the maximum FHA loan amount for 2017 for a single family home is going up to $275, 665.

See links below for info all around the United States.

To search for maximum FHA loan limits by state & county:



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Real Estate is Hot

Its the “dog” days of August and the real estate market is as hot as the temps here in Ohio this week. Rates are at all time lows, inventory is low and there are a lot of buyers looking. If you can’t find what you want, then consider building. Dollar Bank offers a construction loan with as little a 5% down & construction times of 6-12 months. If you’d like to look for a contractor here in Lorain, Erie or Huron counties, check out the website of the North Coast Building Industry Association at you can find contractors and remodelers information as well as other helpful information about building a home on this site. You can also call me and I can walk you thru the building process if this is your first time- I built my home in 2006. If you need to find a realtor to work with, I can refer you to a few that I’ve worked with. I suggest buyers interview realtors the way they would their doctor or attorney and pick one they are comfortable with & can build a rapport with & feel will negotiate on their behalf once they find them their dream home. You can also check out local realtors on the Lorain County Association of Realtors

If you’re not thinking about building, then conventional loans are a great way to go with as little as 5% down for the purchase of a single family owner occupied property for those with credit scores 680 and above. For buyers with lower credit scores consider an FHA loan which only requires 3.5% of the sale price as a down payment on a single family owner occupied purchase.

There are still 0 down loan options available, the most widely known is the VA loan for active military and discharged/retired veterans. 0 down payment and 0 monthly mortgage insurance and rates that are around 3.125% with 0 points and 0 origination fee (for those with credit scores above 680- rates change daily)- this is a great opportunity for military to purchase a single family owner occupied property.

Jumbo loans are still available. Jumbo loans is a term to describe a mortgage loan in the amount over the current conforming loan limit. The current conforming loan limit is $417000 for a single family home, therefore a Jumbo loan is a mortgage loan over $417000. You’ll need to put down at least 20% down on these types of loan and have higher credit scores. Fixed rates and adjustable rates are available for these types of loans on single family owner occupied properties.

If you’re looking for that 2nd home/vacation home, loans are available for purchases of these properties as well utilizing fixed and adjustable rates with as little as 10% down payment for loans up to $417000.

Buyers are also looking at investment properties (1-4  units) to purchase- yes, Dollar Bank offers them- down payment, rates, terms, etcetera will vary by buyer and the number of properties already owned and financed- call for details.

The best advice I can give anyone, whether your buying your first home or going to be selling and buying another home, these days is to get prequalified by a reputable lender before heading out looking at homes or talking to a builder or realtor or listing your current home for sale. Getting prequalified lets you know what you can afford before you find your “dream” home that you can’t afford to purchase. Most prequalifications are good for 60-90 days.

If you’d like to work with a reputable local lender with 18+ years experience that will guide you thru the buying or building process, give me a call-I’ll show you the way home.

Equal Housing lender. Not all borrowers will qualify.

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Fannie Home Ready

Fannie Mae’s Home Ready loan program is great for buyers who meet income guidelines, don’t own any other properties and want a conventional low down payment program to purchase a single family owner occupied property.

Highlights of the program are:

**no First time buyer requirement

**at least 1 borrower must take a Fannie Mae homebuyers counseling class

**3% down payment, lower than FHA’s 3.5% required down payment

**Loan level price adjustments waived for credit scores 680+ & 80%LTV+

**must be at or below AMI guidelines

**available for up to 95% loan to value rate/term refinances on single family, owner occupied homes

**conventional loan- Mortgage insurance is cancellable, unlike FHA


Call your lender today to see if you qualify for Fannie Mae’s Home Ready program to purchase your new home.

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PMI Tax deductibility is back

2016 PMI tax deductibility flyer

Mortgage Insurance tax deductibility was extended under the Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes Act of 2015.  Borrower paid mortgage insurance premiums are tax deductible under certain circumstances for tax year 2016. Consult your tax advisor and see the attached flyer for more information.

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We Have The Land For You.

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Branded  CarlisleWoodsLot17 (2)

Residential Land available in Elyria, Grafton, Lagrange and More.

261 Rauscher Ct (1)     Bell Ct

Have you been looking for a property but just can’t find the right fit?  Now may be the time to consider building.  We have vacant land listed for residential, commercial and investment properties.  As the market expert we will help you find builders and architects to guide you through your project.

TimberRidgeLot2     TimberRidgeLot11 (1)

Commercial Land available in Findley, Lorain, Grafton  and More.

If you are looking for commercial property we can help you understand the zoning and any special requirements your business may dictate.

Fairless Google Map

Some property available  in a high traffic areas that are business friendly. Land zoned for retail, commercial, restaurants, and more.  Other property is ready for development.  Call for details.Greenwood1    Greenwood3

Remember we are your leader in Westlake, Cuyahoga and Lorain County Real Estate. You can view any of the properties we have for sale at 


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Strategies for getting things done

7 Strategies for Getting Things Done

February 18, 2015 by Jack Canfield 12 Comments

blog-GettingThingsDoneOne of the most common questions I receive is “Jack, how do you get so much done?” It’s a fair question, considering I’ve written 150 books, deliver an average of 50 live presentations around the world each year, invest a considerable amount of time with my Train the Trainer students, lead the Transformational Leadership Council, yet still have time to cultivate an amazing relationship with my wife, spend time with my kids and close friends, and take excellent care of my health.

In this article, I share seven of my top strategies for getting things done.
Strategy #1: Get Clear About What’s Required

When people set goals, particularly at the beginning of the year when working on their New Year’s resolutions, they tend to be overly optimistic about how much is actually possible. As a result, they over-commit or make lists that are far too long.

I’ve fallen into this trap before. I’ve learned that to be realistic, I must take the time to break goals down and ask, “What would actually be required for me to achieve this goal? How many hours would that take?” Once I have a list of activities and estimates of the time needed to achieve each item, I pull out my calendar and start scheduling all the activities.

This is the point when you come face to face with reality. If you realize that there’s not enough time in the day to accomplish everything you want, it’s time to go back and prioritize your goals. Once you’ve identified the things that are most important to accomplish, schedule the activities that those goals will require, and set aside the rest of your goals for later.

Strategy #2: Create a Daily Schedule
Simply setting aside time in your calendar may not be enough to achieve your goals. I go
the extra step and create a daily schedule. Additionally, I use the Rule of 5. Each day I choose 5 specific tasks that will move me toward the completion of my goals and I ensure those tasks are included in my daily schedule. Daily use of the Top 5 Priority Action post-its can help keep your daily task list front and center. So if one of my daily tasks is to work on my book, I don’t simply say, “I’ll work on my book today” – I actually designate the hours that I’ll work on my book. This has been an essential step in ensuring that things actually get done.

To stay motivated, I review my yearly goals once a week, and then I plan my week around those goals. I identify what I need to accomplish in the coming week to achieve my long-term goals, and then I book those activities into my calendar. Each evening before I leave my office, I finalize my schedule for the following day. When I walk in each morning, I can be productive immediately rather than wasting precious time figuring out what I’m going to do

Strategy #3: Focus on the “Big Rocks”
When planning my daily schedule, sometimes I realize that I have an unreasonable amount
of work on my to-do list for the next day. I know that I can’t get it all done. This is when I
turn to my list of “Big Rocks” – my most important priorities. (If you are not familiar with the terminology, “Big Rocks” comes from Dr. Stephen Covey’s method of time management. Click here to watch a video of Covey demonstrating his approach.)

I keep my Big Rocks in a list on my iPad. The Big Rocks are the things I need to get done this quarter. When my daily schedule is overbooked, the Big Rocks are the things that get done

Strategy #4: Center and Visualize

I start each day with a meditation to help me get grounded. Before I get up from my meditation cushion, I mentally rehearse my day, visualizing and feeling myself staying focused, working efficiently, and being productive. This helps to activate the Law of Attraction, lining up the inner and outer resources to make my day go smoothly.

Throughout the day, I do “refreshers.” Periodically throughout the day, I’ll close my eyes and focus on my breathing for a few minutes. This helps to center me and restore a sense of calm.

In addition, whenever I begin a new segment on my schedule, I’ll take a few seconds to visualize that section of my day going smoothly. When sitting down to write, I’ll visualize my writing going well. When I prepare to make phone calls, I’ll visualize my conversations going well and achieving the desired results.

Strategy #5: Keep Score

To stay on track to achieve goals, it’s important to keep score. This means assessing, each day, whether or not you’ve done what was necessary to achieve your goals.
For score-keeping to be effective, you must have your goals and score-keeping tool somewhere where you’re going to see it. If you can’t easily see your score, you can’t reasonably assess where you are.

There are a number of ways to keep score. When you were little, your parents or teachers may have helped you keep score with a sticker chart, where you’d get a sticker every time you kept your commitment to do your homework, for example. Some adults find that this approach is still effective. You could also use a simple checklist that lists your various to-do items and deadlines. Checking each item off as it’s completed can be powerful.

I’ve also discovered that there are several phone apps that work well for keeping score. If your smartphone is a constant companion, it would be a wise move to put your scorekeeping on your phone so it’s always handy. One of my favorite apps is Don’t Break the Chain, designed with the Jerry Seinfeld motivation technique. Jerry Seinfeld wanted to write a book, so he put a big red X every day through the calendar when he actually wrote. He didn’t want to break the chain of red X’s, hence the name Don’t Break the Chain. (Click here for a list of apps reviewed by

Strategy #6: Celebrate Milestones

Celebrating your progress along the way is essential to staying motivated. If you set a goal that takes nine months to achieve, it’s hard to stay motivated the entire time because there’s no payoff. So build in milestones to celebrate along the way.

If your goal is to lose weight, celebrate every two pounds you lose. If you’re writing a book, celebrate every 20 pages that you write. If your goal is to book 35 speaking gigs, celebrate every 5 engagements that you book. Celebrating milestones keeps you inner child excited, because it feels rewarded for all of the efforts it’s made

Strategy #7: Schedule Down Time
When you’re on fire to achieve your goals, it’s tempting to skip free time. (This is when you – often here people say, “I’ll rest when I’m dead.”)
However, when you deny yourself free time, you get tired. You become less efficient. You make poorer decisions and are less creative. Your inner child can get resentful of the demanding pace, and it becomes easy to get burned out. That’s why I plan free time into my schedule to rest and rejuvenate. My friend Dan Sullivan of The Strategic Coach, Inc., taught me to schedule three types of days into my calendar. Focus Days are primetime for work. Buffer Days are for practice, preparation and miscellaneous details, such as dental appointments or getting caught up on email. Free Days are the third type of day. They’re 24-hour periods dedicated to resting and recharging. I’ve found that scheduling Free Days have resulted in a greater level of passion, creativity and energy in my work. Your goals are important – not only to you and your family, but to the world. You have a purpose, and your goals are how you are meant to live your purpose. The seven strategies I’ve shared here have been essential to my ability to get things done. Use them to ensure that when 2015 comes to an end, you’re celebrating the accomplishment of your goals, rather than regretting what hasn’t happened –

Jack Canfield, America’s #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul®and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you’re ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: – See more at:

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National Consumer Protection Week

March 1- 7 , 2015 is National Consumer Protection Week. It’s a campaign that encourages consumers nationwide to take full advantage of their consumer rights and make better informed decisions. At the website,, you’ll find links to consumer information, state attorney general’s sites, blog posts on credit, debt, identity theft, fraud, technology and more.
Feel free to share this with friends, family, colleagues, & clients.

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