May 17, 2017
You may or may not have noticed, especially if you’re not in the mortgage business, but 2017
did bring a few changes to the mortgage industry. The majority of all loans
made today are those underwritten to guidelines set forth by Fannie Mae and
Freddie Mac. When a lender approves a loan using these standards the loan is
then eligible for resale in the secondary markets. Selling loans frees up
additional cash in which to make still more loans. Yet lenders must adhere to
these guidelines and keep on top of changes to make sure the loans that are
approved qualify. Fannie and Freddie both make periodic changes to both
underwriting guidelines and processes. FHA loans also made a few tweaks.
For starters, 2017 saw the first confirming loan limit in 10
years. Loan limits are adjusted annually by comparing the average home value in
the third quarter of each year with the previous third quarter value. Because
home values fell so far so fast toward the end of 2008, it took 10 years for
values to show an increase for the following year. The conforming loan limits
for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac loans is now $424,100 and in areas that are
declared “high cost” the maximum conforming limits rise to $636,150.
When refinancing, it’s possible your approval does not need
an appraisal. Individual lenders don’t decide when individual borrowers receive
an appraisal waiver but once a loan is submitted electronically for an
automated approval, the results can include waiving a property appraisal. Both
Fannie and Freddie’s database of home values is accessed during the automated
approval process. However, note that individual lenders may still ask for a
property appraisal regardless of the initial findings.
Speaking of Fannie Mae, the new automated underwriting
system now has a feature that can automatically verify assets, employment and
income of all the applicants on the loan. This is a new validation feature that
lenders can use which then means you don’t have to dig up your tax returns, W2
forms or bank statements, saving you time and effort.
For more information or questions about mortgage loans, please call (855) 757-8748.