ARAMCO Report - The Mother of ALL Mortgage Blogs!

Purchasing Your Home in Retirement: Using HECM Reverse Mortgage

Posted by Craig Sutliff on Thu, May 8, 2014 @ 09:05 AM

Downsizing? Refinancing? Wanting a change of scenery? It is a common misconception that you can’t use a reverse mortgage to purchase a home. That is entirely false!

Purchasing Your Home in Retirement:Using an HECM Reverse Mortgage

Many of our elderly clients live in homes in which they’ve raised their families and some are looking to downsize or move into a retirement community. This move allows them to take advantage of less upkeep of a home and to enjoy their time doing other activities. With a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) they are able to accomplish this, and can avoid moving into costly retirement homes. 

Downsizing is not the only way to reap the benefits of a HECM Reverse Mortgage. With many of our clients, we are able to list and sell their home so they can go on to purchase a new home. This is accomplished by using some or all of the proceeds they received from selling their home as a down payment on a new home. We simply finance the purchase of this new home with a HECM Reverse Mortgage for purchase, and the homeowner enjoys their new home with out the usual burden of monthly payments. If the property purchased is a home of equal or lesser value than your existing home, you in most cases can transfer the current taxable value to your new property (of course it's a great idea to consult your tax professional, we're just the real estate and. Mortgage pros). This means that property taxes WON’T go up AND, with the Reverse Mortgage, you will have NO mortgage Payment (just be sure to follow the terms of the loan)! Even with these benefits, you are not restricted from purchasing a higher-value home if you so choose.

Owning a home is also not a prerequisite to get a Reverse Mortgage. Many seniors that are currently renting and may have saved money over the years or came into an inheritance, can use some of their savings to purchase a home using a Reverse Mortgage.  This provides a tremendous amount of freedom and security for the senior. With ownership, the housing payment is essentially fixed and you, the owner, are no longer subject to ever-increasing rent payments.

While being a homeowner means being responsible for property taxes, insurance, and maintenance, this option provides a freedom that renting does not. With owning a home, YOU are in charge, allowing you to make changes to the space, etc. without having to worry! With no mortgage payment, the costs of owning a home can be very manageable and the benefits of owning far out-weigh the uncertainties of renting.

Call The ARAMCO Group at 877-700-0942 for more information on how a HECM for Purchase Reverse Mortgage can help you!

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Topics: Reverse Mortgage, HECM, home buying, senior citizen, Retirement, Aramco Mortgage, Aramco Properties, Retirement Concerns, downsizing, retireing without a mortgage, 10-31 excahnge, Selling, HECM for Purchase

San Diego Real Estate Market Forecast: HOT! HOT! HOT!

Posted by Craig Sutliff on Sat, May 3, 2014 @ 16:05 PM

Real Estate Market Forecast:  HOT! HOT! HOT!
To say the real estate market in San Diego is HOT, is an understatement. In just the past thirty days, the real estate market has really turned around in a night and day transformation. Many homes are now selling in a matter of days and the times of having MULTIPLE offers on each home are back. The Spring selling season is in full-swing, and with a bang--It truly is a seller’s market out there!

A positive trend is that there has been a 7% increase in the number of homes listed for sale, YTD. Overall, YTD closed sales are down 19% from last year and the average days on the market for a home has also decreased by 16%, which means they are selling a lot faster.  

Throughout 2013 a main complaint was a lack of homes for sale, and the high number of all-cash investors scooping up properties. We saw a very significant activity in the real estate market from January 2013 through September of 2013 with September hitting a median home value of $419,000 for Attached and Detached homes combined in San Diego County.

There was a higher level of nervousness leading up to the end of 2013.  I don’t think it can be understated that there was a palpable nervousness in the market with the governments bungling of the Obamacare rollout.  In addition to a seasonal decrease in sales, people were very nervous about the overall economy and the sharp rise in home values, and the market needed a little break. Then from September 2013 through February 2014 the market cooled off, sales volume dropped and home prices moderated and even dropped for a few months, ending February 2014 with a median home price of $404,700. 

Then came March. Although overall sales volume was down, the average median sales price for all homes, attached and detached increased 7% IN ONE MONTH up to $427,250. March sales of single- family residences, which excludes “attached” properties such as condos and townhomes, SURGED 32% over the previous month!  With the median sales prices for single-family residences hitting $490,000 which is the highest point since December of 2007. To say there is a bull-market in San Diego real estate sales, is an understatement.  If you are looking to sell your home, NOW is a perfect time. 

Additionally, even though prices have increased, rates are at historic lows and buyers are entering the market because they are listening to the Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellin telling us that interest rates will be increasing.  They started last year with a measured decrease in their bond-buying activity, and have indicated they will continue to pare back.  The only thing that has really kept interest rates from spiking higher recently is the instability in the Baltic region with Russia and the Ukraine.  That is creating a flight to safety for investors into the US Treasury market.  Now, I don’t see any quick resolution to this situation, so that will keep rates low for the time being.  But if it is resolved peacefully, the proverbial “music will have stopped,” rates will increase, and you don’t want to be the one standing around without a chair.

Providing some relief is a 7% increase, YTD, in the number of newly listed homes for sale. I think once the numbers for April are released we will see further evidence of the HOT sellers market in San Diego.

For more information on The Aramco Group’s Real Estate call 877-700-0942.

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Topics: home prices, The Aramco Group, San Diego, Loans, real estate, California, home ownership, Aramco Properties, home selling, low rates, Selling

Best of Both Worlds for Real Estate!

Posted by Craig Sutliff on Fri, Nov 1, 2013 @ 16:11 PM
Home, Luxury Home, Home Prices, Real Estate

Is it possible to have the best of both worlds in Real Estate? A great time to sell your home and a great time to be a buyer?  I think the answer is Yes, AND that time is now.  Any expert will tell you that timing the market is near-impossible.  You never know when a “bottom” or “top” of the market is, until it has occurred.  Interest rates were at their lowest this year back in May, and they have trended upwards since then.  Now it is easy for every “expert” and consumer, to look back at a chart and say, “wow interest rates bottomed out in May, that is when you should have purchased a home and locked in a loan.”  The same thing goes for real estate, it is easy to look back on a chart and identify when home values were at their lowest.  And the same “experts” and consumers say, “Wow, I should have purchase real estate in 2011, at the bottom of the market.”  That’s why they say, but hindsight is 20/20, and as we all know, it is easy to identify an event after it has occurred.   

But, during these periods, both buyers and sellers were hesitant to enter the market. Buyers feared that home values would continue to drop, while home sellers didn’t want to sell, hoping that home values would stop dropping or, in many cases they were unfortunately already “underwater,” with no equity. Very few people are skilled enough to “time the market,” no matter what commodity one may be dealing with, be it the real estate market, interest rate market or the stock market. In 2011, when home prices were bottoming out, few home investors and house flippers were buying homes, but after empirical data, such as the National Association of Realtors, Existing Home Sales Statistics and the Case-Shiller Home Price Index, identified 2011 as the low point for home values, in 2012 and 2013 we saw a HUGE surge of real estate investors buying up properties to the extent that over 40% of all property sales in the first Quarter of 2013 were purchased by investors and about 50% of sales were All-Cash! time to be a buyer? I think the answer is Yes, AND that time is now. Any expert will tell you that timing the market is near-impossible. You never know when a “bottom” or “top” of the market is, until it has occurred. Interest rates were at their lowest this year back in May, and they have trended upwards since then. Now it is easy for every “expert” and consumer, to look back at a chart and say, “wow, interest rates bottomed out in May, that is when you should have purchased a home and locked in a loan.” The same thing goes for real estate, it is easy to look back on a chart and identify when home values were at their lowest. And the same “experts” and consumers say, “Wow, I should have purchase real estate in 2011, at the bottom of the market.” That’s why they say, but hindsight is 20/20, and as we all know, it is easy to identify an event after it has occurred.

So you might ask, with the recent run-up in home values; Are we at the peak? Should I sell? Should I Buy? Home values have increased significantly in just the past year, but are still off their, frankly irrational, highs in 2006. For mortgage loans, we have seen about a 1% increase in interest rates since May 2013 which slowed down the number of home sales and cooled-down the uptick in home prices. Inventory of homes for sale are still low, and while home values have had a strong run-up, there are still numerous home buyers wanting to purchase a home especially given the latest drop in interest rates. It is a fact that most home sellers are also home buyers, and thus I can, with much confidence, declare this a real estate market one that truly does benefit both buyers and sellers.

Craig Sutliff

Topics: home prices, real estate, Interest Rates, Aramco Properties, home selling, low rates

How To Speed Up Your Loan Process

Posted by The Aramco Group on Fri, Apr 19, 2013 @ 16:04 PM

Aramco Mortgage Loan ProcessStarting today, The Aramco Group Loan Processors will be giving weekly tips to help borrowers speed up their loan process.

Getting started is very simple. First, PROVIDE COMPLETE DOCUMENTATION. When we receive a file and the basic documentation is missing, we are not able to submit the file to the lender for an approval.

When our Loan Officers send out an application package they include a list of required items, so make sure to complete the paperwork in its entirety and don’t forget to read the list. You will be able to tell which documentation is applicable to you.

Here is a list of the most common items that we have found borrowers overlook providing to us:

- Complete bank statements that are not older than 60 days. Complete also refers to any blank pages within the statement as well.

- Copies of your tax returns from the previous 2 years. Again, we’d like to stress that complete copies of your tax returns need to include any blank pages as well.  If you have K1’s for an S Corporation or Partnership the lender will need copies of those as well.  If you own more than 25% of the S Corporation or Partnership the lender will require returns from the previous 2 years.

*Helpful Hint* - California tax returns are not required; lenders are only interested in the Federal tax returns.

Some of the other necessary items we need to promptly process your loan are:

- Copies of 1 full month of paystubs.

- A copy of your monthly coupon Homeowner’s Association dues or you can provide us a letter on the Homeowners Association’s letterhead showing the monthly dues as well.

- A copy of your mortgage statement if the loan is a refinance. Your lender will also want to see your current interest rate as well and what the term of your loan is (30 yr., 15. yr. etc) to confirm that it makes sense for the borrower.

- If you are divorced and have children a complete copy of the divorce decree will be required showing if there are any child support or alimony payments required.

Here is a list of the most common items NOT disclosed to us that can expedite the loan process:

- Property owned

- Any new debt recently incurred

- Judgments and liens that have been recorded against the borrower. 

The Loan Processor’s job is to try to anticipate what documentation the lender will require to approve the borrower’s loan. It is important to disclose all information to us.

Taking this little bit of extra time at the beginning of the process could save you not only time, but alleviate any stress and hassle in receiving your loan.

The Aramco Group considers our Loan Officers, Loan Processors and Borrowers a team, our common goal is to get the loan approved and closed in a timely manner. It is imperative to keep the lines of communication open as to avoid any mistakes that can slow the loan process down. If you have any concerns or questions regarding the loan process, please feel free to call one of our Loan Professionals, they will be more than happy to assist you.

Topics: Aramco Financial, home buying, loan process, Aramco Mortgage, home ownership, Aramco Properties, refinance

The Steps Required to Qualify for a Reverse Mortgage

Posted by The Aramco Group on Wed, Apr 17, 2013 @ 15:04 PM

Chances are you may already qualify for a reverse mortgage and you don’t know it yet.  The requirements are as follows:

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• Both you and your spouse must be 62 years of age or older

• Live in your home and have sufficient equity in it

•  Must continue to pay your property taxes and homeowners insurance and the up-keep of your home.

 If you meet the eligibility requirements mentioned above, then you are ready to begin the process of applying for a reverse mortgage. It is a eight-step process and each step will be discussed in detail below.

  1. Examination of Financial Situation – The beginning of the process will have you meet with a reverse mortgage professional, a member of the National Reverse Mortgage Lenders Association. They will review your current financial situation and make sure you fulfill all the requirements needed to proceed with the reverse mortgage process and will benefit from it.

  2. You will be Provided a Reverse Mortgage Analysis – Once you provide your basic information, you will be provided with different options of receiving payments from the loan. Your options are:

a. Fixed monthly payments

b. Lump sum payment

c. Line of credit

or a combination of the above.

3. Counseling with a HUD (Housing and Urban Development) Representative – Counseling is a required step in the reverse mortgage process. You will meet with an independent counselor in your community to receive a better understanding of the details that are associated with a reverse mortgage and fulfill the Government requirements.

4. Sign you Loan Application and Disclosures

5. Home Appraisal – This process is necessary as well since the home will be used as collateral and it must meet specific Federal Housing Association guidelines. If repairs are needed then a portion of the loan is set aside to fix those repairs. Items which involve health and safety are required to be completed prior to the close of escrow.

6. Loan Processing – When all of the above have met the required criteria the loan goes through the underwriting process. In this process all pertinent information if verified to be correct such as property ownership and title insurance, allows the loan to move into the closing stage of the process.

7. Closing – The closing requires the signature of a notary or an attorney for verification of the documents. Once this is complete the applicant has a 3 –day period to cancel should some concern arise. This is called the “3-day right of rescission.” If the applicant is satisfied, then the loan process is complete and the applicant can begin receiving payments.

8. Receive Your Money!!

It might seem like an intimidating process, but having the right professionals with you every step of the way makes all the difference. Feel free to contact us here at The Aramco Group. A reverse mortgage professional will be more than glad to answer any questions you might have about beginning the process of a reverse mortgage.

Topics: Reverse Mortgage, Aramco Financial, senior citizen, Aramco Mortgage, home ownership, Aramco Properties, Retirement Concerns

Are Housing Prices Rising Too Fast?

Posted by The Aramco Group on Thu, Apr 11, 2013 @ 10:04 AM

Recent numbers are stating that the housing industry is seeing a substantial increase inred roof home the price of homes.  New home sales in San Diego County are up 17% from last year, the highest for this period of the year since April of 2007. As appealing as this is to home owners, some analysts believe the Federal Reserve policy of lowering interest rates is creating a temporary jolt especially now that the spring buying season is in effect. This is leading home buyers to adopt a “get in while I can” mentality. Housing supply is close to a 20 year low with new construction limited, and investors are buying homes and converting them into rentals.  Demand, on the other hand, is growing because of the purchasing power that is allotted to home buyers from the Federal Reserve’s low interest rates thus boosting the price of homes. Before 2008, a 30-year fixed mortgage was around 6%, in today’s market the 30-year fixed is hovering around 3.5%. With interest rates being so low people are realizing that the price they are currently paying in rent can be better used as a mortgage payment and adding an asset to their name.  What happens though, when median wages do not keep pace with rapid housing increases? The answer is the market will be left with homes too expensive to buy because of the illusion of the low monthly payments brought on by low interest rates. The fact is that interest rates will begin to rise again and when they do, home buyers will have to spend more of their income to buy a home. This will lead to homes prices becoming stagnant so income can catch up and those areas that see a rapid appreciation in value might see it fall eventually.

So as the expression goes, “strike while the iron is hot.” Now is the time to lock in those low interest rates and put yourself in the dream home you have always wanted. Contact one of our real estate or mortgage specialists for details; they will be more than willing to talk to you about your options. With absolutely amazing weather year-round how could you not take advantage of buying and investing in San Diego? It’s the right call to make.

Topics: mortgage interest rates, Aramco Financial, home prices, home buying, real estate, Aramco Mortgage, Refinance San Diego, Aramco Properties

Using a Reverse Mortgage to Supplement Retirement Income

Posted by The Aramco Group on Mon, Apr 8, 2013 @ 13:04 PM

Early retirement can have a dramatic effect on the amount of Social Security payments an individual may receive. defer social security retirement benefits with reverse mortgage resized 600 However, deferring Social Security benefits can be a very appealing idea for those that are in a position to do so. By delaying retirement benefits until the age of 70, deferred payments can grow by an additional 8% a year, greatly surpassing the rate of inflation which has averaged approximately 3% over the past 5 years.  If delaying retirement benefits seems like a suitable option, one point to consider is to sign up ONLY for Medicare at age 65.  It is important to note that not opting to sign up for Medicare within 3 months of eligibility can delay coverage and become more costly.  A good way to supplement your income in retirement is with a reverse mortgage. With a reverse mortgage you can access the equity in your home and receive monthly payments allowing your social security benefit to grow.  Listed below are a few payment distribution options to supplement your retirement income with a reverse mortgage:

  • Lump Sum – the full amount at closing.
  • Tenure – fixed monthly payments for as long as the homeowner resides in the current residence.
  • Term –equal monthly payments for a fixed number of years.
  • Line of credit – taking out any amount necessary until the credit line is depleted.
  • Any combination of the above for even more flexible options.

Please feel free to contact our CRMP (Certified Reverse Mortgage Professional), Mehran Aram or any one of us at The Aramco Group with any questions you may have regarding reverse mortgages. One of our specialists will be more than happy to assist you.

Topics: Reverse Mortgage, HECM, Aramco Financial, The Aramco Group, senior citizen, Deferring Social Security, Aramco Mortgage, Aramco Properties, Retirement Concerns

Is Now The Best Time to Buy a Home? – Home Loan Rates

Posted by The Aramco Group on Tue, Aug 28, 2012 @ 15:08 PM

Being so deeply entrenched in California real estate finance, I am asked daily if now is a good time to buy a home or investment property. And whether this question arises on a TV or radio interview or a one-on-one meeting with a client in the office, I have the same response for everyone, “I’ve never in all my life seen a better time to buy as much real estate as possible.” With a combination of low sales prices (down 42% since their peak in 2006), high inventory, record-low home loan rates, and a strong rental market, it is a fabulous time to grow your real estate portfolio or buy your first home.

After numerous reports from multiple sources including a recent California Association of Realtors report which showed a 6% increase in single family home sales since June 2011, it’s safe to say the housing market has begun a rebound, however sluggish it may be. Will home prices return to the levels seen in 2006 and 2007? Yes, but probably not as quickly as we would all like. One major factor which will be driving up home prices though is future inventory. While today’s high inventory due to unemployment, underemployment, uncertainty and the shock of the Great Recession is lending to low home prices, I believe we will see a major shift in inventory within a few years.

Home Supply Aramco Mortgage

Since 2008, housing permits for both single and multi-family homes have been nearly stagnant as one might expect, due to the economic downturn we've experienced over the last few years. But while the economy has slowed down,the number of college studnets graduating and getting jobs, families moving to California and first-time home buyers continue to rise at extremely high levels. Thus, the simple economic laws of supply and demand should take over, in which construction will be a couple years behind the demand for homes and a fairly serious shortage of homes will occur due to low supply. This lack of supply should boost home prices, and incentivize home builders to increase home devoloping, until the demand and supply are once again balanced.

But even if you wanted to take an ultra-conservative prospective on the housing market and assume 0% appreciation over the next few years, now is still one of the best times in our nation’s history to purchase real estate. The Housing Affordability Index which measures the affordability of home ownership based on median home prices, median income, and average mortgage interest rates, is currently at its highest level since record keeping began in 1970. Record-low long term interest rates are one of the catalysts driving this rebound, making homeownership extremely affordable.  But in addition to rock bottom rates and low prices, the current rental market should attract many more investors into real estate.  Due to uncertainty and a depressed level of income, many families have elected to rent instead of buy. Apartment vacancies are falling monthly, while effective rent has been rising in most parts of the state for 10 consecutive quarters. This combination of low interest rates and high rents are allowing many investors to make a monthly profit even if their properties show zero appreciation.

As you can see, barring any major double-dip recession, or shock to the economy, it seems as though the California housing market is poised for a slow but much anticipated recovery. The perfect combination of low interest rates, deflated prices, and high rents lends to an extremely favorable home buying environment. My final word of advice is to avoid waiting for home prices or interest rates to creep down even lower, as it is much more likely that both rates and prices spike rather than go down any further. 

Mehran Aram

President/CEO The Aramco Group

Topics: home prices, home buying, financial recovery, The Aramco Group, Mehran Aram, California, Aramco Mortgage, home ownership, investing, Aramco Properties, low rates

Hearing Mortgage Rates are Low ?

Posted by The Aramco Group on Mon, Aug 13, 2012 @ 16:08 PM

Mehran Aramadvises refinance-seeking borrowers to act fast:

“Apply for a refinance with a trusted local mortgage professional ASAP. Gather all your income, credit and asset related documents and be prepared to provide more documents, as lenders may ask for more in today’s market. With fixed mortgage rates at all time lows, lenders are overwhelmed with loan volume and the process is slower because of that heavy volume. So the sooner you begin the process the better.

Interest rate refi chart

These rates will not stay this low. Better economic data, higher stock prices and some promising news out of Europe regarding a possible solution to their fiscal crisis have already pushed rates up by about .125 to .25%, depending on the loan program, over the past two weeks. If the election results in more pro-business policies and an economic rebound with Romney or Obama, there could be more upward pressure on mortgage rates, especially if we see any hint of inflation. I am watching the election very closely. What’s good for America and for the overall economy is often bad for interest rates, which are at record lows because of all the bad news. As the economic news improves and the situation in Europe stabilizes, the window of opportunity for home buyers and home owners taking advantage of record low mortgage rates will begin to close as interest rates begin to rise.”

Click Here to read more from the article: "I keep hearing mortgage rates are the lowest they’ve ever been. Why can’t I get a refinance at a rock-bottom rate?" By AMELIA with

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Aramco Financial, Aramco Mortgage, Aramco Properties, Interest Rates, Mortgage Market, mortgage rates, mortgage interest rates, refinance, low rates, Mehran Aram, The Aramco Group, Refinance California, Refinance San Diego 

Topics: mortgage interest rates, Aramco Financial, The Aramco Group, Mehran Aram, Interest Rates, Aramco Mortgage, Refinance California, Refinance San Diego, Mortgage Market, Aramco Properties, refinance, Mortgage rates, low rates

Happy Independence Day! - From The Aramco Group

Posted by The Aramco Group on Wed, Jul 4, 2012 @ 08:07 AM

The Aramco GroupAs we celebrate this Independence Day, I’d like to take just a few minutes of your time from your hot dogs, fireworks and patriotic music to thank the men and women who have given us the amazing blessing of being able to celebrate our Nation’s 236th Birthday. This country has given millions of people the ability to follow their dreams, and has left us with no excuses for falling short. I’d like to thank all those who have served in the armed forces and have sacrificed their time, talents, and even their own lives and the lives of their family members, for the continued safety and freedom that we have come to expect in this great country. 

While there is no shame in celebrating with fireworks, barbeques, friends and family, we should remember the brave soldiers today, who are still stationed across the globe to preserve the freedom that we so often take for granted. A special Thank You goes out to these men and women who have put their country first, and have honorably sacrificed for the greater good of our country. As I sit here watching the magnificent firework show with my neighbors, I can’t help but think of how lucky we are to be living in this country. Whether you’re an immigrant who came to the U.S.A. looking for a better life, or an American, born and raised, we can all agree that we have a lot to be thankful for being able to call ourselves, American. 

This 4th of July is a perfect time to explain Aramco Financial’s new motto, “You Secured Our Future, We’ll Secure Yours.”  Aramco Financial who serves the seniors of California with its Reverse Mortgage expertise, has introduced this as a representation of our thanks to the men and women who have shaped this country into what it is today. To the women who rallied for voting rights, the brave people who protested for equality, to the men who fought in the bloody world wars, and the everyday Americans who took it upon themselves to pass down to us the most amazing gift of freedom, Thank You. 

We truly have today’s seniors to thank for the comforts we enjoy today. So to the Americans who have passed along to us freedom, innovation, and the American Spirit, thank you for Securing Our Future, and in turn We’ll Secure Yours. Whether it’s by securing your retirement with a Reverse Mortgage, or even simply answering a couple burning finance questions you might have, we want to in our own way show our thanks. We wish you all a happy and healthy 4th of July, and once again, Thank You.


You Secured Our Future. We’ll Secure Yours.


Happy Independence Day!

The Aramco Staff

Topics: Veteran's Administration, Reverse Mortgage, HECM, Aramco Financial, The Aramco Group, San Diego, senior citizen, Retirement, veterans, trust, California, Aramco Mortgage, Carlsbad, Senior Moments, Military, retirement planning, Aramco Properties, ethics