Stimulating News on the Mortgage Front

Ed Craine
February 15, 2009 — 1,398 views  
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Details are still trickling out on the stimulus package, but housing should finally get some major help.

1) Loan limits will revert to last year's limits for high cost areas. In a move that will help higher cost markets that are starting to suffer, conforming loan limits will revert to last year's limits and will not be allowed to be adjusted downward in the future. Nice bit of help for San Francisco, Marin, San Mateo, and other high cost areas.

2) First time homebuyers may get up to a $7,500 tax credit. It looks like the first time homebuyer tax credit will be $7,500 instead of $15,000. Not bad.

3) The Obama administration is devoting $50 Billion to help homeowners stay in their homes and reduce the number of foreclosures. This should pay big dividends if they actually figure out how to implement it so it works.

4) The government and the Fed will continue buying Mortgage Backed Securities from Fannie and Freddie keeping rates low. That's the hope anyway. Sometimes the market doesn't cooperate!

5) Money will be included to help the now defunct CMBS (Commerial Mortgage Backed Securities) Market.  In what is a small drop in the bucket, but still good news for the CMBS market, the government will pour up to $100 Billion into the commercial lending market. Details to follow.

There's more, but this is a recap of the major points. I think this will help. Let me know what you think.

By the way, don't forget that investors can now own up to 10 financed properties instead of only 4. Freddie Mac announced this week that it would allow investors to now finance up to 10 properties. That's great news for those of you working with investors. Give us a call if you have someone who needs pre-approval. We'll be glad to help.

One more thing: In addition to lending, we also do loan modifications, second opinions, and consulting. And I also do work from time to time as an expert witness. If you have clients who need any of these services, contact me and I'll see if we can help them.

Ed Craine


Ed Craine is the CEO of award winning Smith Craine Finance, one of the oldest independent Mortgage Companies in San Francisco, California. A 25+ year veteran of the real estate financing industry, Ed has originated and negotiated loans in excess of $2 billion, to include both commercial and residential properties. He has simultaneously held such notable positions as Vice President of the California Association of Mortgage Brokers (CAMB), as well as serving as the Public Relations Committee Chairperson of the 5,000 member strong association during 2007, the year in which the mortgage industry received more media attention than in recent history. Ed currently also serves as 1st Regional Vice President of the Certified Commercial Investment Member Institute (CCIM). He will be inducted as Vice President of the Southwest Region of CCIM in September 2008.