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Preface

I'VE BEEN IN THE MORTGAGE INDUSTRY FOR 20 YEARS, first as a mortgage broker in San Diego, California, before moving to Texas to become a mortgage banker, where I still work today. When I first started in the mortgage business, there were but a few loan choices available, all offered by a relatively small number of lenders.

I write this book from experience, and I give it to you straight. I can't count the times I've read articles or columns from real estate finance “experts” who have never been in the mortgage industry much less placed a mortgage loan for someone.

I have placed home loans and still do. I also have more articles, books, and columns on the topic of real estate finance than any other author in the country. Heck, probably all over the world.

I enjoy writing, but I enjoy more how to explain sometimes complicated topics into “bite-size” chunks that are easily under-standable, without the industry jargon. Sometimes I think that real estate loan programs are made to be confusing.

Condominiums, cooperatives, and townhouses are a bit of a different breed when it comes to financing. Unfortunately, information on exploring the various financing arrangements for these properties is typically buried in a footnote in some mortgage book somewhere.

Financing these types of properties takes a bit more research than your bread-and-butter conventional mortgage loan made for a three-bedroom, two-bath brick home out in the suburbs. There are so many more conditions that need to be addressed from a financial perspective that simply don't apply to a traditional house.

In the late 1990s, mortgage banking grew in terms of both loan volume as well as the types of new mortgage loans being invented. When one mortgage company came up with a different type of mortgage product, soon thereafter everyone had to offer the same mortgage loan.

Loans became more complicated, with terms used nowhere else. In fact, many loans became so complicated that even the loan officers marketing those loan programs didn't understand the loan terms themselves.

Did you know that if your prospective condo rents out some of its units to vacationers, it is nearly impossible to get financing? Did you know that your condominium, townhouse, or cooperative arrangement has to be approved prior to obtaining financing? Did you know that your lender will question the management companies of these projects and ask things such as, “How many of these units are owner occupied?” and “Does the project have enough insurance to cover repairs and maintenance?” or “Are any of these units rented out and, if so, how many?”

If your potential purchase doesn't meet the lenders' guidelines, then you'll pay a higher interest rate, perhaps put more money down, or not get financing at all.

This book covers all aspects of mortgage lending, from how to save on closing costs to finding the best lender to refinancing your loan. You don't need to buy multiple books to get all of your condo, townhouse, or co-op questions answered. You can get them all answered right here in this book, and after reading Financing Your Condo, Co-op, or Townhouse, you'll be armed to the teeth with consumer information found nowhere else to help you get the best financing package available in the marketplace today.

 
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