Women pay higher mortgage rates in 49 states

In Mississippi, single women on average paid 3.47% on a 30-year, conventional fixed-rate mortgage in 2019. But single men on average paid 3.37%, according to the latest HMDA data available. Over the lifespan of the mortgage, the single woman in this instance will have roughly $7,000 more in mortgage payments than the single man.

Patrick Boyaggi, CEO and founder of Massachusetts-based lending startup OwnUp, says this issue hasn’t drawn enough attention in the mortgage space. His analysis of HMDA data found that women paid higher mortgage rates than men in 49 out of 50 states, the lone exception being Alaska (the analysis assumes that the loan size averaged $345,000 and the prime rate was 3.00%).

“The latest HMDA data makes it startlingly clear – women are largely being left out of the conversation,” Boyaggi said. “Recent HMDA data confirms that discrimination in the home-financing process is very real.
The main reason? Many female borrowers simply fail to shop around for the best possible rate, which translates into losing thousands of dollars over the total life of their loan.”

Boyaggi admits his analysis is not exactly revelatory – it’s been well documented that women pay higher mortgage rates, and the reasons for it are many and complex.

He said he didn’t intend to undertake a sociological study to determine all of the reasons women pay more. It’s more important to acknowledge there’s a problem and take action, he said.


Should lenders look to non-QM when the refi boom slows?

HousingWire recently sat down with Tom Hutchens, Angel Oak EVP of production, who shared how non-QM lending could be an effective way for lenders to replace lost business in the event of a refi boom slowdown.

Presented by: Angel Oak

“I am not certain everybody is aware of it or believes it’s a real issue,” Boyaggi said. “We believe it is a systemic-wide problem…women are not being treated fairly…For us, it’s really about it not being 50-50. And therefore, it’s a systemic problem. Let’s bring that to light first and let’s start worrying about the solutions versus trying to nitpick as to why it is an issue. It is an issue. We know it’s an issue. How do we make it better, versus trying to justify it or come up with some kind of rationale for it.”

According to Boyaggi’s analysis of HMDA data, the five states where women overpay most on a mortgage were Mississippi (delta of $7,077 over the course of the mortgage), Alabama (delta of $6,006), Ohio (delta of $5,856), Florida (delta of $5,591) and New Jersey (delta of $5,515).

Single women typically paid between 8 and 10 basis points higher on a mortgage. In Alaska, single women paid an average of 3.21% while single men paid 3.23%, Boyaggi found. The four other best states for women applying for mortgages were Maine, Wyoming, Montana and Oregon. Single women paid between 1 and 3 basis points more on mortgage rates in those states than single men.

An Urban Institute study from 2016 found that single women were better at paying their mortgages than single men, even though they paid higher rates. The study also found that single borrowers, particularly women, are more likely to be minorities, from lower-income areas, and they are more likely to have a mortgage that eats up a higher percentage of their income.

“One possible explanation is that women, particularly minority women, experience higher rates of subprime lending than their male peers,” the UI study said. “Another explanation is that women tend to have weaker credit profiles. We find that both these explanations are true and largely account for the higher rates.”

Though subprime lending has declined since the study’s publication, mortgage underwriting standards in general are much tougher since the financial crisis, and aren’t particularly flexible.

“There is somewhat of a plain vanilla, one-size-fits-all mortgage underwriting standard, and that’s not very good at accommodating minority borrowers in general, or anybody with any sort of a non-typical, non-generic credit profile,” Guy Cecala, CEO of Inside Mortgage Finance, told Wharton Business Radio in 2016. “Minority buyers in general are getting fewer mortgages than they did before. The good news is that they’re not getting subprime loans, because the subprime market has dried up completely, but they’re not getting mortgages at all in many cases.”

Asked if there could be a potential level of bias against women borrowers, Cecala said in the same interview, “I think there can be. The mortgage market prides itself on being color blind, and essentially using a black box, but any sort of black box basically discriminates against single borrowers, lower-income borrowers and borrowers with lower credit scores. If those happen to be predominantly women, you have to assume that they are getting that kind of treatment from the mortgage market.”

Boyaggi, whose firm Own Up helps consumers shop for mortgages and negotiates prices on their behalf, said more awareness simply needs to be raised.

“There’s a lot of things that happen in this industry where if you just looked at it you’d be like, ‘Oh 10 basis points, .010%. What are we talking about?’” he said. “But if you were to say, ‘Hey, this gas station charges women 10 cents more than men,’ we would be in an uproar. There would be stories about it everywhere, right? People would vilify that gas station, and rightly so.”

Source: housingwire.com

Messy Tahoe Home Filled With Mannequins Is the Week’s Most Popular Home

A wild residence in South Lake Tahoe, CA, crammed with clutter—including dozens of dead-eyed mannequins dressed in evening wear—is the week’s most popular listing on realtor.com®.

The home ticked all the boxes for the kind of listing designed to be shared far and wide across the web. Unassuming exterior? Check. Listing details with no acknowledgment of the weirdness within? Check. Photos that defy easy description—and leave you with more questions than answers? Check!

Carefully posed throughout the house, with at least one mannequin sprawled across a rug wearing nothing, these eerie ladies—and at least one gentleman—serve a dual purpose. They force you to take a closer look at the listing for an otherwise humdrum duplex and serve to distract from the messy kitchen and bathroom.

The combination was enough to send the listing ricocheting on social media.

Bold move.

Mannequin mania
Mannequin mania

realtor.com

But that wasn’t the only off-the wall listing racking up clicks this week.

A Pennsylvania home with painstakingly customized interior touches—including rounded doorways, a honeycomb-style grand staircase, and floating light fixtures—grabbed your attention, as did a Disney-themed home in Disneyland’s home town.

Other popular picks this week included a pair of dreamy celebrity properties: the historic New Orleans home of a politically polar-opposite power couple, as well as A-lister John Travolta‘s 43-acre oceanfront Maine estate.

There’s a lot going on this week. Scroll on down through the list, and take it all in for yourself.

Price: $3,380,000
Why it’s here: No partisan bickering here. We love this house. The sellers, political consultants James Carville and Mary Matalin, are staying in NOLA but have decided to downsize from this 8,279-square-foot Colonial Revival home.

The massive home was built in 1906 and has been updated to perfection. The quarter-acre lot is described as a “tropical oasis,” filled with gardens, mature shade trees, a terrace, a pool, and fountains.

New Orleans, LA
New Orleans, LA

realtor.com

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Price: $197,000
Why it’s here: This is for a buyer looking for something outside the box. Surrounded by 8 acres of privacy, it’s a legitimate, two-bedroom treehouse. There’s a fairly large caveat: The place isn’t finished.

The raised octagon has an open second floor, a deck, and a shop with kitchenette. The home is outfitted with electrical and septic systems and well service, but needs to be completed by a buyer with big dreams.

Cortland, OH
Cortland, OH

realtor.com

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Price: $195,000
Why it’s here: Sitting on just over a half-acre at the top of a hill, this stone house from 1890 is a classic. The five-bedroom home comes with a four-car garage, lookout tower, original hardwood floors, curved interior walls, and updated bathrooms—for a combination of charm and convenience.

Ithaca, NY
Ithaca, NY

realtor.com

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Price: $1,399,999
Why it’s here: This curious five-bedroom house is all angles and sharp edges from the outside, but the interiors were designed with curves in mind. The contemporary home features custom effects like the butterfly-wing entry staircase, rounded doorways, and floating light fixtures that suggest sand dollars from space.

Although it was designed for a very specific taste, the home, from 1987, is upscale, with a saltwater pool, kids playhouse, whole-house generator, and many upgrades.

Southampton, PA
Southampton, PA

realtor.com

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Price: $535,770
Why it’s here: Known as the O’Leary mansion, this historic brownstone dates to 1890. It was built by James Patrick O’Leary for his mother, Catherine O’Leary—the woman considered to be responsible for the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.

Today, the four-level, 12-bedroom home is in need of repair and is being sold as is. It still has much of the original woodwork and moldings, as well as walk-in vaults and a two-story coach house.

Chicago, IL
Chicago, IL

realtor.com

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Price: $700,000
Why it’s here: This hideaway on 11 acres is just steps from the Ice Age Trail, and includes a three-bedroom home built in 1991. Highlights include a large kitchen, a living room with cathedral ceiling, log beams, a stone fireplace, and wet bar.

There’s a heated shop off the garage, a private pond, a new roof, as well as a number of other recent upgrades.

Hartford, IL
Hartford, IL

realtor.com

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Price: $255,000
Why it’s here: Although this storybook home hasn’t been featured on HGTV’s “Home Town,” that didn’t stop folks from clicking. Built in 1929, the three-bedroom residence recently had a stylish makeover, including new paint, windows, and refinished floors.

Laurel, MS
Laurel, MS

realtor.com

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Price: $835,000
Why it’s here: Built in the shadows of Disneyland, this ranch home has been decked out as an homage to all things Mickey Mouse. Happiest Airbnb opportunity on Earth?

The custom Disney designs are so spectacular, the four-bedroom home was featured on the Discovery Channel. Besides the decor, the home includes a heated pool, custom carpets, and a toddler-safe playroom floor.

Anaheim, CA
Anaheim, CA

realtor.com

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Price: $5,000,000
Why it’s here: This 48-acre oceanfront estate is being sold by actor John Travolta. The massive 20-bedroom mansion was featured in Architectural Digest in the 1990s and has been recently renovated.

The extraordinary property includes a deepwater dock, open fields with ocean views, a third-floor children’s space, and a detached barn used for car storage.

Islesboro, ME
Islesboro, ME

realtor.com

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Price: $650,000
Why it’s here: Nondescript from the curb, this five-bedroom residence made waves this week, thanks to the mannequins staged throughout the property.

Most of the mannequins are dressed in evening gowns—adding to the mystique. Built in 1962, the place could use some work—and a lot of tidying up. There’s no word on whether the list price includes the mannequins and/or their glittery gowns.

South Lake Tahoe, CA
South Lake Tahoe, CA

realtor.com

Source: realtor.com

Amerifirst Financial Review: They Take Home Purchase Lending Seriously

Posted on February 24th, 2021

It’s not every day you come across a large-scale independent mortgage lender that has been around since the 1980s, but Amerifirst Financial Inc. fits that description.

The Arizona-based company understands that there’s more to the mortgage business than just refinances, which is why their goal is to be the lender of choice for real estate professionals in all the markets they serve.

This could be a pretty smart strategy if and when interest rates rise and the pool of eligible refinance candidates begins to run dry.

If you’re thinking about buying a home, Amerifirst could be good choice for your financing needs since they’re heavily focused on purchase loans. Let’s discover more about them.

Amerifirst Financial Fast Facts

  • Direct-to-consumer retail mortgage lender
  • Founded in 1989, headquartered Mesa, Arizona
  • Offers home purchase financing and mortgage refinances
  • Funded more than $2 billion in home loans last year
  • Most active in Arizona, Colorado, and California
  • Licensed to do business in 43 states and the District of Columbia
  • Also operate several DBAs including AFI Mortgage, Spire Financial, and Truly Mortgage

Amerifirst Financial Inc. is a direct-to-consumer retail mortgage lender, meaning they operate a call center along with branches throughout the country.

The company was founded all the way back in 1989 and is headquartered in Mesa, Arizona, which is just east of Phoenix.

They also have branches in nine states, including Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, Mississippi, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, and Utah.

Amerifirst appears to specialize in home purchase financing, with roughly two-thirds of total volume dedicated to home buyers.

The rest can be attributed to mortgage refinances, including rate and term refinances and cash out refinances.

Last year, the company funded more than $2 billion in home loans, with nearly a billion in their home state of Arizona.

They’re also very active in Colorado and California, and have a decent presence in Nevada and Texas as well.

While they’re licensed in most states nationally, they don’t seem to be available in Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont, or West Virginia.

How to Apply with Amerifirst Financial

  • You can get started instantly by visiting their website and clicking “Apply Now”
  • They offer a digital mortgage application powered by ICE that lets you complete most tasks on your own
  • It’s also possible to browse their online loan officer (or branch) directory first to find someone to work with nearby
  • Once your loan is submitted you can manage it 24/7 via the online borrower portal

Amerifirst Financial makes it super easy to get started on your home loan application.

Simply head to their website and click on the big “Apply Now” button and you’ll be off to the races.

That will take you to their digital mortgage application powered by ICE that lets you input all your personal and financial details electronically.

Then you can link financial accounts using your credentials to avoid having to scan/upload or track down your documents.

Additionally, you can order your own credit report and eSign disclosures to speed through the more painstaking part of the process in a matter of minutes.

Once your loan is submitted and approved, you’ll receive a to-do list with any conditions that must be met to get to the finish line.

You’ll also be able to track and manage your loan via the online borrower portal, and get in touch with your lending team if and when you have questions.

Those who prefer a more human touch can also visit a local branch and/or browse the online loan officer directory to learn more about the individuals who work there.

It may also be advisable to speak with a loan officer first to discuss loan pricing and available loan programs, then proceed to the online mortgage application.

In any case, they make it really simple to apply for a mortgage and manage your loan from start to finish thanks to the latest technology.

Protect Your Transaction Pre-Approval for Home Buyers

Protect Your Transaction

One perk to using Amerifirst Financial, especially if you’re buying a home in a competitive market, is their “Protect Your Transaction” loan commitment.

It goes beyond both a pre-qualification and pre-approval in that it’s underwritten upfront by a real human loan underwriter.

In fact, the PYT even comes with monetary assurance (up to $15,000, with an additional $5,000 for first responders and teachers), which represents their belief in the strength of your application.

So if the loan falls through and it turns out to be the lender’s fault, you could be entitled to that cash, which can also be shared with the seller. This may strengthen your offer.

Next to a cash offer, they believe it provides the greatest assurance that they can provide financing for your home purchase.

And that could just be enough to give you edge versus other home buyers on a hot home.

It may also give you peace of mind in the process, knowing you can actually get financing when all is said and done.

Loan Programs Offered by Amerifirst Financial

  • Home purchase loans
  • Refinance loans: rate and term, cash out, streamline
  • Conforming home loans
  • High-balance and jumbo home loans
  • FHA/USDA/VA loans
  • Down payment assistance
  • Green Value Mortgage
  • Fixed-rate and adjustable-rate options available

Amerifirst Financial offers both home purchase loans and refinance loans, including rate and term, cash out, and streamline refinances.

You can get financing on a primary residence, including townhomes/condos, along with a vacation home or 1-4 unit investment property.

They offer all the popular loan types, including conforming loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, high-balance and jumbo loans, and government-backed options like FHA, USDA, and VA loans.

They also offer an exclusive loan program known as the “Green Value Mortgage” that offers a reduced interest rate, fees, and discounted mortgage insurance if your property has a green score of 75 or lower.

You may also be eligible to receive up to 3.5% of the purchase price as a non-repayable gift. All the more reason to go green!

In terms of loan programs, you can get either a fixed-rate mortgage such as a 30-year or 15-year fixed, or an adjustable-rate mortgage like a 7/1 or 5/1 ARM.

Amerifirst Financial Mortgage Rates

One slight negative to Amerifirst Financial is the fact that they don’t mention their mortgage rates anywhere on their website.

As such, we don’t have any clues about their loan pricing relative to other banks and lenders out there.

The same goes for lender fees, which aren’t clearly listed on their website to my knowledge.

This means you’ll need to get in touch with a loan officer to discuss rates and fees to ensure they are competitively priced.

Be sure to compare their rates/fees with other lenders before you proceed to the application if you want peace of mind on pricing front.

Customer service and competence is always important, especially when it comes to a home loan, but so is cost.

Amerifirst Financial Reviews

On Zillow, Amerifirst has a very impressive 4.98-star rating out of 5 from roughly 900 customer reviews, which is quite impressive given the volume of feedback.

On LendingTree, they have a perfect 5-star rating, though it’s based on just about 30 reviews. They also have a 100% recommended score there.

If you’re looking for more reviews, you can also check out local ones on Google for their brick-and-mortar branches nearest you.

Lastly, the company is Better Business Bureau accredited, and has been since 2014. They currently enjoy an ‘A+’ rating based on complaint history.

To sum it up, Amerifirst Financial could be a solid choice for someone purchasing a home (especially a first-time buyer) thanks to their robust Protect Your Transaction loan approval and variety of down payment assistance programs.

Amerifirst Financial Pros and Cons

The Good

  • You can apply for a home loan from any device in minutes
  • Offer a digital mortgage application powered by ICE
  • Lots of loan programs to choose from
  • Discounts for those who purchase a green home
  • Protect Your Transaction loan approval for home buyers
  • Excellent customer reviews from former customers
  • A+ BBB rating, accredited business since 2014
  • Free mortgage calculators and mortgage dictionary on site

The Not

  • Not available in all states currently
  • Do not list mortgage rates or lender fees on their website

(photo: nathanmac87)

Source: thetruthaboutmortgage.com

John Travolta Selling Massive Waterfront Mansion in Maine for $5M

The actor John Travolta is selling his massive, oceanfront Maine mansion for $5 million. The star had owned the longtime retreat with his wife, the actress Kelly Preston, who died last year at the age of 57 of breast cancer.

The couple purchased the 30-room estate, on the north end of Islesboro Island, in the early 1990s, according to a spread about the vacation getaway in Architectural Digest.

They had heard about the area from Travolta’s actor pal Kirstie Alley, who apparently also had a vacation pad there at the time. They also owned real estate in Los Angeles, Hawaii, and Florida, according to AD.

Once they found the perfect place, the couple set about redecorating the home. Built in 1903, it is filled with a mix of antiques, plush custom seating, and dining areas, all in vibrant colors.

The Travoltas tapped Christopher B. Boshears to reimagine the space.

“‘They couldn’t quite put their finger on what they wanted, but when I showed up with lots of color, they went nuts,’” Boshears told AD in 1999 of his celebrity clients.

The massive property is reached by a winding, tree-covered drive and includes a 10,830-square-foot main house on four lots, with 48 acres of oceanfront property. It also has a deepwater dock on Sabbathday Harbor.

Travolta and Preston purchased the property for the express purpose of hosting their large extended families for holidays. It’s set up for large gatherings, and includes 20 bedrooms and 7.5 bathrooms. 

The living room has a large fieldstone fireplace, along with a custom-built bar area, a dining room with a fireplace, and a large, well-equipped kitchen with a walk-in refrigerator and pantry.

The layout also features an office and laundry room. Upstairs, the spacious master suite includes a private sunporch, a full bathroom with a clawfoot tub, and a separate shower. The floor also houses 14 bedrooms and four bathrooms.

On the third floor is a children’s paradise, with a series of themed bedrooms, a full bathroom, play equipment, schoolhouse, library, and a built-in stage.

The property also boasts two large sunporches, and a sunny back deck overlooking the swimming pool. It also includes a detached barn for car storage.

The land, partially in conservation with the Islesboro Island Trust, includes open fields with ocean views, walking paths through the woods down to the shoreline, a beach, open ocean access, and garden areas.

Travolta is known for his iconic roles in “Grease” and “Saturday Night Fever,” as well as “Look Who’s Talking,” “Pulp Fiction,” and “Get Shorty.” Preston had roles in “Jerry Maguire,” “The Experts,” and “Gotti.”

Travolta announced the death of his wife on Instagram, writing, in part, “Kelly’s love and life will always be remembered. I will be taking some time to be there for my children who have lost their mother, so forgive me in advance if you don’t hear from us for a while.”

However, he recently resurfaced with his daughter Ella, for an appearance in a sweet and very buzzy Super Bowl ad showing off some “Grease” dance moves.

Brian Wickenden with Legacy Properties Sotheby’s International Realty holds the listing.

Source: realtor.com