There’s no doubt that COVID has impacted the housing and mortgage world. Just ask Kevin Shanman, President of Cornerstone Capital Financial Services.
“COVID has created subtle changes in the mortgage industry. Mortgage brokers can help their clients navigate these changes and offer much more personalized service than the big banks can,” says Kevin. Because he works with various lenders, Kevin can connect each client with the appropriate lender. Here, he shares a few things to know about today’s market.
Closings are quite different than they were pre-COVID because of social distancing. Buyers and sellers now show up to the attorney’s office separately, and this staggered scheduling process has created a logistical challenge to complete the paperwork.
FANNIE AND FREDDIE
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines are now more streamlined thanks to the pandemic. Homebuyers with good credit standing, assets, and equity flow into an automated process that makes approvals easier and smoother. Sometimes the formal appraisal is waived to speed up the process and avoid an appraiser having to come into the home.
Borrowers who need FHA loans usually have lower credit scores, smaller down payments, or a higher income-to-debt ratio. This process requires more documentation and tax return history. Buyers may also undergo additional income scrutiny because of potential job or income loss due to the pandemic.
THE GOOD NEWS
Rates are low, and buyers can get more house for their money. Migration from the cities to the suburbs has created a boom in housing sales since last March, and low rates are attractive for refinancing.
KNOW YOUR LENDER
“Throughout my career, I’ve always emphasized providing a great level of service to my clients. I enjoy providing that personal touch,” says Kevin. “Zoom doesn’t perfectly replace that, but we make it work!”