Jennifer has been a licensed Realtor since 1980. She began her real estate career in Dallas and was active in sales as well as mortgage lending for 15 years before relocating to Colorado Springs in 1996. Jennifer is the Employing Broker of Springs Homes overseeing our daily operations, reviews all contracts, counsels Buyers and Sellers, negotiates contracts and manages both the Buy/Sell side of Real Estate as well as Property Management. She graduated from SMU with a degree in Music Education and has been actively involved with the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony. She has been a past member of the Board of Directors as well as the conductor of the Vivace Strings Orchestra.

How did the Town of Monument get its name?

Monument, Colorado is a small town located in the Tri-Lakes Region of northern part of El Paso County, approximately 15 miles north of Colorado Springs and 50 miles south of Denver.

The area was first settled in the 1860s. Its settlers came primarily from Iowa and Germany. Monument first became a town in 1870 when Henry Limbach purchased 160 acres and registered as a town with the Colorado land office of the department of the interior.

In the early days monument was actually called Henry's station after Henry Limbach. When the Rio Grande railroad was built in 1871, the name was changed by Limbach and the railroad to Monument. This name was chosen because of the large monument rock situated at the base of Mount Herman. This rock can clearly be seen from the town.

monument rock

The town of Monument has not forgotten its founder Henry Limbach, there is a park at the center of town bearing his name, Limbach Park.

limbach park

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Everything You Need to Know About Mortgages, But Didn’t Know Who to Ask

colorado springs home loansThe world of home financing is a multi-faceted one and we at Springs Homes would like to help you understand the ins and outs of the mortgage world. Much of the confusion and seemingly random nature of the home loan and mortgage process has to do with where the money comes from and how it flows. In this article we will discuss the various roles played in this process.

 

 

 

 

 

  In general, there are three “tiers” in Mortgage Lending. I am going to refer to them as follows:

  1. The Origination Stage
  2. The Middle Man
  3. The Secondary Market

The Origination Stage:

There are five types of lenders in the Origination Stage:

1. Correspondent Lenders are companies that actually loan homebuyers the money they need to purchase a home. They have their own money and their own underwriters.

2. Direct Lenders are the “Big Guns” of the mortgage world, e.g. Chase and Wells Fargo. They have a division which functions as a Correspondent Lender in the Origination Stage. (This is confusing because they also have a department that packages the loans and offers them for sale to the secondary market.) They also have their own money and underwriters.

3. Brokers shop Direct Lenders to find you the best mortgage. They do not have their own money or their own underwriters. Once you have chosen the mortgage you want from the ones offered, brokers present your file to that lender and wait for approval.

4. Portfolio Banks originate loans, finance and keep some of them, and sell some to the Secondary Market. First Bank and ENT Credit Union are the major Portfolio Banks in Colorado.

5. Sub Prime: These lenders loan money that does not meet the guidelines of FNMA, FHLMC, GNMA. Rates and fees are usually high to offset the risk of the loan.

The Middle Man:

Once the loan is closed in the Origination Stage, lenders sell the loans to The Middle Man (or one of the Big Guns), like Wells Fargo or Chase. Those banks then package loans into huge portfolios of similar loans and sell them to the secondary market while retaining the servicing, another income stream for the Middle Man. Because FNMA, FHLMC,GNMA have a list of strict guidelines for the loans they purchase, each file is reviewed before it is added to a portfolio. These auditors are dedicated to reviewing each file. If the file doesn’t meet all the guidelines, the loan will be kicked back to the original lender. If the file is rejected for any reason, the Originating Lender is required to buy the loan back. The Originating Lender is then holding an “unsellable” loan, restricting their liquidity. This is why mortgage companies are fanatic about following all the rules.

The Secondary Market:

The secondary mortgage market is comprised of private and government agencies, which buy mortgage loans.

Fannie Mae (Federal National Mortgage Association, or FNMA) buys portfolios of conventional loans, with or without Private Mortgage Insurance from Direct Lenders.

Freddie Mac (Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation or FHLMC) buys portfolios of conventional loans, with or without Private Mortgage Insurance from Direct Lenders as well as portfolios from banks, savings and loans as well as Direct Lenders.

Ginnie Mae (Government National Mortgage Association or GNMA) buys portfolios of government loans, e.g. Veterans Administration (VA) and Federal Housing Administration (FHA) from Direct Lenders.

The purpose of the secondary market is to allow Originating Lenders to lend more money to potential homeowners. By purchasing loans from the Middle Man, Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie provide liquidity to those lenders, who can now offer more loans. Both Fannie and Freddie are limited to purchasing loans of $417,000 or less—this figure is reevaluated every year.

Once Fannie, Freddie and Ginnie have purchased the loans, they are converted into mortgage securities and bonds and offered as trading commodities. Because Ginnie Mae handles government guaranteed loans, their yield is generally higher than those of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

There are of course multitudes of exceptions and guidelines can change daily, making explanations a challenge.

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1635 Capadaro Court. Monument Colorado. 80132

We have just listed this beautiful ranch style home in the popular Doewood Estates Subdivision of Monument, Colorado. This home has it all, sitting on a secluded cul-de-sac with a large lot full of natural trees and vegetation.The main level features hardwood floors throughout and is full of beautiful natural light with an open feel while still separating the living spaces. See for yourself in this video walkthrough.

 

 

For More information, please visit: http://CapadaroCt.com

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How to Improve Your Credit Score and Get the Best Mortgage Rates

As part of your Colorado Springs home buying process, you will mostly likely be applying for a mortgage. And one of the most important components lenders will consider is your FICO credit score. There are many factors that contribute to that score—some of them seemingly counterintuitive. For example, when you open a new account, your score is negatively affected—the same thing also happens when you close an existing, but non-used account. Also, when you apply for credit and the company searches your report, you are negatively affected as well.

So, if you’re thinking of buying a home in the Colorado Springs area, do you need to worry that your credit score will suffer when a mortgage lender pulls up your credit report? The answer, fortunately, is no.

When the mortgage lender pulls your first credit report, there is a 45-day window in which other people can search your report without hurting your score. This is called a “soft pull.” If, however, you apply for 3 credit cards in one month, you will experience 3 “hard pulls” which will cause major “dings” in your report.

However, you can take steps to improve your score. Here are some tips to help you make sure that your credit report is in the best possible condition before you start your home search:

  • Don’t co-sign loans. If your co-signer defaults, you will be responsible for the payments. If you can’t pay, your credit report will show you to be in default.
  • Keep old revolving accounts open, even if you have paid them off or no longer use them.
  • Avoid “same as cash” credit offers (often available at appliance and big box stores). These offers usually give you a credit limit for the amount of purchase, so you will immediately max it out. You will be “dinged” when the store does the credit search and then again when you close the account after payoff.
  • Keep your credit card balances at a maximum of 30% of the total allotted credit.
  • Don’t open new accounts or make large purchases in the six months before you plan to apply for a mortgage, unless absolutely necessary.
  • Monitor your credit report frequently at www.annualcreditreport.com to check for errors.
  • Pay your bills on time. Even one late charge or missed payment can negatively affect your score.
  • If you have not previously established any credit, sign up for a secured credit card. You will prepay a set amount and then receive a card with a spending limit of that same amount—you can then use the card as you would a regular credit card.

Coming Soon: How to deal with credit disputes, bankruptcy, short sale vs. foreclosure and loan modification.

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