About the Author

Colin

Back in the day, I was an Account Executive with a wholesale mortgage lender in Los Angeles, who saw the good times and the very bad. I experienced the boom years and the doom years before deciding to walk away from the gig while other colleagues were being laid off.

But all was not lost. In fact, after several grueling, monotonous years in the industry, something occurred to me…I knew a lot about mortgages!

Because I had learned so much about the process, I decided to share my knowledge and experience with the public.

And I’m confident I can provide some valuable mortgage insight(s) you likely won’t hear from other interested parties, namely banks, lenders, loan officers, mortgage brokers, and real estate agents. You know who you are…

If nothing else, whenever I buy real estate for myself, I’ll have an arsenal of knowledge and helpful information at my fingertips to ensure I snag the best interest rate with the lowest fees. Or simply choose the right type of loan for my situation.

And not only for me, but for family and friends too. Of course, none of them bother to visit the site, but you get my point.

My number one goal here is to provide an honest, inside view of the mortgage industry, while explaining the process of qualifying and obtaining a mortgage in the most straightforward and effective manner possible.

It’s confusing stuff, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be explained rather easily. You can even have some fun along the way! Okay, maybe not that much fun, but stick with me here.

There are so many aspects of the home loan process that consumers simply don’t understand, relatively basic things that can affect your mortgage rate substantially, costing you thousands each year, for decades on end.

Fortunately, these seemingly difficult questions can be answered simply by reading blogs like this.

So go ahead, browse the site and educate yourself. Because in this industry, knowledge equals savings. Big savings!

Best of luck on your mortgage journey,

Colin Robertson



68 Comments

  1. Clark December 26, 2017 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    I am looking for monthly 30 year mortgage rates from 1950 through the present. Do you know where I could get this data?
    Thanks,
    Clark

  2. Lubov Alexander September 18, 2017 at 7:19 am - Reply

    Hi Colin,
    I have a situation where the house has been re-financed with the credit union bank in 2010. Since the house market value went up, we have paid for another appraisal in 2015 with the same bank. No structural changes took place; however, the 2015 appraisal came up with “illegal” in-law apartment. The 2010 appraisal has it as a walk -in basement. It is a basement.
    Based on the “illegal” structure , the appraiser reduce the property value for a potential demolishing of the in-law apartment (15K ) and we didn’t meet the 20% equity for the PMI cancellation.
    1. Was it a violation by the bank to flip the same house (2010 vs 2015) not to cancel the PMI?
    2. Was the appraiser allowed to use the “illegal” terminology? He is not a contractor.
    We have a permit for the house addition. The walk-in basement (in-law) is a part of it.
    What to do now? Do I have a case to file a complaint against the bank unethical practices and the appraiser ?
    We have purchased the house in 2003 (1st appraisal). It was nothing said about the illegal in-law apartment.
    Thank you in advance
    regards,
    Lubov

    • Colin Robertson September 18, 2017 at 8:53 am - Reply

      Hi Lubov,

      Unfortunately, that’s not something I’m familiar with, so I can’t be of any help. But I hope you’re able to resolve it.

  3. UV June 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm - Reply

    Hi Colin,

    first I want to thank you for all the information you posted. I learned a lot by reading it.

    my question is: is there any difference in the total cost of a loan if you take a 15-year fix or 30-year fix and make the extra payment?

    the one point I see is on a 30-year fix with a lower payment, if you can’t make the extra payment you can skip it while you “can’t” skip the monthly payment on the 15-year fix.

    will like to hear your opinion.

    thank you.

    UV

    • Colin Robertson June 22, 2017 at 6:35 pm - Reply

      UV,

      Basically the difference is the interest rate is lower on the 15-year, so to truly equal the 15-year with a 30-year, you’d have to make even larger payments to pay the same amount of interest over the term. But as you said, the 30-year gives you flexibility. Of course, some people think that flexibility will be abused and you won’t stick to the plan…

  4. Tom May 14, 2017 at 10:15 am - Reply

    Hi Colin- I couldn’t help but notice veterans asking about 5/1 arm vs fixed rate loans. I recently refinanced with a VA hybrid loan that is only available to vets.
    Was curious if you were familiar with it, and would you recommend?

    • Colin Robertson May 20, 2017 at 6:59 am - Reply

      Tom,

      A hybrid ARM can be a good product because the rate is lower than the 30-year, especially if someone isn’t planning to keep their home/loan for much more than five years. But you can get into trouble if rates rise substantially and you’re unable to refi/sell.

  5. David January 28, 2017 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    Hi Colin – do you have an e-mail address or other contact information you can share? Had a proposal I wanted to run by you.

    Let me know! Thanks

    David

    • Colin Robertson January 29, 2017 at 5:07 pm - Reply

      David,

      Check out my contact page.

  6. George West August 17, 2016 at 11:32 pm - Reply

    Hi Colin,

    Is there a way that I can find a list of the nation’s top 10 VA Portfolio/Servicing Residential Mtg. Lenders, besides Freedom Mortgage?
    (Ranging several years back, by the way..)
    Big Thanks for a timely response, sir.

    GW

  7. Daisy August 17, 2016 at 9:56 am - Reply

    Question.
    If a house is listed as approved for an FHA or USDA loan and shows as such on the MLS, but upon inspection the house found not up to code for either of these loans, who is responsible for the repairs?

    I am in PA if that matters.

    • Colin Robertson August 22, 2016 at 7:52 pm - Reply

      Daisy,

      I’ve seen properties say they are approved for FHA only to find out they aren’t…common real estate agent mistake or oversight. Not sure anyone is responsible. Might be a negotiation with sellers to offer credit to repair to close the deal.

  8. Ingrid August 10, 2016 at 2:21 pm - Reply

    Hello Colin:
    Please help! Whatever you can do to assist in helping us is most appreciated. My husband had a previous condo in Miami which we couldnt afford and let go (by let go, we followed the process of foreclosure) and eventually, the homeowner’s association bought it from the bank (Nationstar Mortgage). This happened in 2012. It is now 2016 and it still shows as “late” on my husband’s credit report. They have been reporting late payments up to this date. We reported this to the credit bureaus and also provided them with documentation that the home had been sold and they were issued a check and it now belongs to a new owner (the association) 2 out of the 3 credit reporting agencies have stopped reporting and we still need a letter from Nationstar stating that the loan is not late. They are giving me a hard time. We want to buy a new home and have been approved but the new lender asked us to retrieve a letter from Nationstar and till this day, they havent sent us anything, they said they have a right to report the lates every month. Please help.

    • Colin Robertson August 15, 2016 at 11:44 am - Reply

      Ingrid,

      Maybe show the remaining credit bureau that the other two bureaus have removed the lates per your documentation to see if that will do it.

  9. Michele June 15, 2016 at 5:05 am - Reply

    What are the most important considerations which affect the appraisal of a house aside from comps?

    • Colin Robertson June 24, 2016 at 3:41 pm - Reply

      Michele,

      Hard to say…maybe age/condition, square footage, location, view, etc.

  10. jon May 26, 2016 at 11:00 am - Reply

    Colin – If i applied for a HELOC on my current house in order to use those funds to make a downpayment on a new house… is it fine if i apply for a mortgage for the new house before the HELOC on my exisiting home isn’t closed yet?

    Thanks.

    • Colin Robertson May 26, 2016 at 1:26 pm - Reply

      Jon,

      I would think the common approach is the other way around so the new lender knows where the down payment funds are coming from (and that you actually secured said funds because there’s no absolute guarantee) and factors the HELOC payment into your DTI when applying for the new loan. Also, the new home purchase would likely make the old house an investment property assuming you plan to make it your primary, which could also muddy things.

  11. Pamela Wharton April 1, 2016 at 7:03 pm - Reply

    Dear Colin,
    My husband had a VA loan during his first marriage and now I need to find out the amount that we need to pay back in order to use the VA loan again. Could you give me some ideas of where to look for the answers?
    Thanks
    Pamela

    • Colin Robertson April 4, 2016 at 6:52 pm - Reply

      Pamela,

      Check out my VA page about using second-tier entitlement.

  12. wayne March 16, 2016 at 6:44 pm - Reply

    I purchased my house 19 years ago using an FHA fixed at 4.25%. I received my loan through a mortgage company and at the time they told me it would probably be sold. Which is understandable. I notice on my statement from the new company that my interest rate is 6 1/2%. Can they raise a fixed FHA rate?

    • Colin Robertson March 22, 2016 at 11:27 am - Reply

      Wayne,

      If the loan is truly fixed the rate shouldn’t change so you may want to dig into your paperwork and/or make some phone calls to get some clarity.

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