Tax Season Approaching...Homebuyers Be Aware

Many of us are excited to get that tax refund, but if you're looking to qualify for a home loan, check with us before filing to ensure you're maximizing your purchasing power.  

If you are wondering how filing your taxes could affect your qualifications for a home loan, we would be happy to review your tax returns before you file. Although we aren't CPA's, we can still give you advice on what can impact your mortgage qualifications and tax liabilities.

Contact us and we will be happy to work with your accountants to ensure you utilize deductions that will not have a negative impact on your qualification. This is very important if there is a slight chance you might purchase a property in the next 2 years. 


*** Watch our classic video on good & bad deductions. Enjoy! 😁 ***

Our Holiday Gift to You? 3.875%!

During the 4th quarter, clients saw interest rates go to their highest levels of 2016. This impacted all buyers but especially ones putting less than 20% down. In an effort combat this, we have begun proposing FHA mortgages with interest rates in the 3% range instead of conventional loans in the high 4% range. The result has been lower mortgage payments despite putting less money down.

This is a ideal proposal for clients purchasing one or two unit properties with either a 5% or 10% down payment. Please look at these payment scenarios for our client who just submitted an offer on a duplex in Mid-City. 

Payment Breakdown.jpg

This financing option was a no brainer! Not only were they able to put less money down but they ALSO saved on their monthly payment.

Email, text, or call if you have clients who may benefit from lower down payment option and would love an interest rate in the 3 percentile.

Happy Holidays from your Mortgage Capital Partners!

Thomas, Micah and Larisa


Fed Raises Interest Rates - What This Means for You...

The Federal Reserve officially raised interest rates for the first time this year and forecasts a steeper path for borrowing costs in 2017. The immediate effect on mortgage bonds/rates has been negative, which has lead to lenders re-pricing their mortgage rates for the worse. For example, Wednesday morning the 15 Year Fixed rate for a $417,000 loan amount started at 3.375% with no points, but after the Fed rate hike Wednesday afternoon this rate now comes at 1 point ($4,170) charged to the borrower. This change happened within the 6.5 hours the markets were open on Wednesday...

In the short term we are advising our clients to lock the available interest rate until volatility dies down. 



The Federal Housing Agency just increased the "conforming" loan limits for the first time in 8+ years! Starting in 2017, homebuyers can buy a little more house.

A noticeable increase from the old $417,000/$625,500 limits and a move in the right direction!  




Monday Mortgage Rate Update

"Stock prices have hit record highs, which is forcing Bond yields higher. Subsequently, mortgage rates are at the 2016 highs.

Mortgage Bonds/Rates are near unchanged this morning in the absence of any economic data to impact trading."

- Mortgage Market Guide 11/21/2016

Per Freddie Mac, the 30 Year Fixed Conventional Mortgage Rate is 3.95% with 0.5 points paid by borrower. Fortunately our team offers rates below the national average, here are current available rates we are offering our clients.

We are helping clients lower their payments and close on purchases all week, do not hesitate to call or email us with a scenario, even if it's Thanksgiving Day. 

Election Postmortem | Where Did Rates End?

Global Bond prices continue to worsen while yields push higher as the markets continue to digest Donald Trump's win for the U.S. presidential election. This has made mortgage rates skyrocket post election. 

There is also speculation that Mr. Trump's anticipated tax cuts, and infrastructure spending could spur a rise in inflation, which is always bad for Bonds and partly the reason for the continued selloff.

However, Mortgage Rates are starting to bounce back from worst levels seen earlier this morning. Carefully floating is recommended. If anything changes, we will get right back to you.


The Influence of the Election on Mortgage Rates

This evening we saw Stock Futures drop by 700+ points with some experts predicting a drop as steep as 2000 points tomorrow (3x worse than ever in history). Anytime investors are nervous or uncertain, they typically pile into safe investments such as mortgage & treasury bonds. This flight to safety directly impacts mortgage rates driving yields/rates down due to increased demand.

We don't have a crystal ball, but tomorrow morning (and possibly weeks to come) may bring an opportunity for buyers/borrowers to lock in significantly lower rates. Tomorrow when the markets open we will let you know if our "professional prediction" is accurate.

In the meanwhile, feel free to contact us with any questions, scenarios, or concerns. 




Thomas & Micah Partner with Mortgage Capital Partners

Throughout our decade-long career in the mortgage business, we have continuously worked to improve the loan experience for our clients. We have created systems to simplify every aspect of the borrowing process; pre-approval, appraisal, loan programs and closing. All our efforts have only one goal - perfecting the client experience. Today we take this client experience to the next level and are proud to announce our partnership with Mortgage Capital Partners. 

Mortgage Capital Partners is a direct lender who provides $2 Billion in annual funding’s for home loans in the Los Angeles market. The unique advantage Mortgage Capital Partners has over most other lenders is the ability to handle 99.9% of all loans internally without investors reviewing the file. This is a game changer for more complex jumbo loans (loan amounts exceeding $625,500). 

With our new partnership comes added responsibility to you - our client. This is our promise...

APPRAISALS - We will continuously work to ensure that appraisers working our markets have a proven track record and have local expertise.  Reports will be provided within 24-48 hours of inspection. 

FULL UNDERWRITES - NO PRE-APPROVALS - before you make an offer, clients are fully approved by our underwriter. This ensures no surprises and allows for client's to place offers with NO LOAN CONTINGENCY. 

INTEREST RATES - By keeping a small and nimble processing team, we are able to pass the benefits to our clients via lower interest rates. 

PROCESS - Our group will maintain exclusive, onsite processing of our client's loans. This will allow for the smoothest, quickest mortgage approval and closing process. 

We appreciate your support and look forward to providing you with the perfect client experience. 

Lower Mortgage Rates Increase Your Buying Power!

Historically low interest rates will save you a lot of money, BUT did you know that low rates can also increase your buying power!? Many of our clients that were once capped at a maximum purchase price are now able to break through the ceiling thanks to the lower interest payments.

Earlier this year when interest rates were at 4.5%, our client was approved for a maximum purchase price of $750,000. With today's rate of 3.75% we can increase his purchase power by $55,000 and keep his payment the same!

We are experts at helping our client's achieve their purchase price goals. Give us a call if you would like to update your approval or see if there are options to help increase your buying power. We can also discuss ways to help your financed offer get accepted in today's competitive market. 


Increase Credit Score to Qualify for Better Mortgage Program & Interest Rate

Although credit policy has loosened over recent years, Jumbo Loans and Home Equity Lines of Credit carry tough credit score restrictions that can prevent buyers from qualifying for loans exceeding $625,500. 

We've recently helped several clients increase their credit score to qualify for better mortgage programs and interest rates (typically within 1 week). Watch our partner, Larisa Lutes, explain the process...

No Money for Down Payment? Gift Funds Can Bridge The Gap

Many potential home buyers are still on the fence about buying a home because of their lack of savings. A simple solution to this is receiving gift funds to cover a portion or all of the down payment. We'll walk you through the dos and don'ts of using gift funds...

Simple Loan Approvals: 5% Down Using Recent Income to Qualify

Over the years we have helped many of our clients finance their homes by using their most recent income (1 year tax return) and omitting previous lower years. We found this loan solution was especially helpful to our clients who were self-employed or who worked in the entertainment industry. However, this program has always required a 10-20% down payment. 

This is no longer the case! 

Now, we can help our clients qualify for conventional mortgages up to $625,500 with 5% down AND while using their current income to qualify. 

This is a HUGE victory for freelance and millennial buyers who have seen their income increase in the last 12-18 months but have not yet been able to save the 10-20% down previously required. 

Tax Deadline = Mortgage Check-up

The April 15th tax deadline is quickly approaching. With recent guideline changes that effect how self-employed borrowers are qualified, it is extremely important that you send a draft of your tax return to your loan officer whether you're thinking of buying a new home or investment property within the next three years. This is an important step that should not be avoided. 

Our team is prepared to work side-by-side with our client's accountants to ensure that we are maximizing our borrower's purchase price while also taking advantage of allowable deductions. Contact us today. We are offering advisory to our past and present clients as well as their friends and family. 

Low Appraisals: What are the solutions?

With record home prices set every month, the chances of an appraisal coming in below the contractual purchase price is a major possibility. This week we've put together a video to help our clients and Realtor partners understand the 3 common solutions to an appraisal coming in below value. Fortunately, as a top producer at Prospect Mortgage, we have an appraisal liaison who can review, assess, and approve a second appraisal within 24-48 hours. 

Our team very rarely has low appraisals come back, however, it is good to know that we have you covered! 

HOMEBUYER PREP 101: What happens if your appraisal comes back lower than your purchase price? Here are your options...

Posted by Prospect Mortgage Los Feliz on Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Thomas Bayles & Micah Raff Named Top 1% Mortgage Originators in America!

Mortgage Executive Magazine just released their annual ranking of top Loan Officers in America, which ranked Prospect Mortgage Los Feliz loan officers, Thomas Bayles & Micah Raff, as the Top 1% of all Mortgage Originators in all of America. Thomas & Micah give all their thanks to the real estate community that serves NELA, which includes Los Feliz, Silver Lake, Echo Park, Atwater Village, Mt. Washington, and Highland Park. 

We want to congratulate Thomas and his team, but more importantly we want to thank everyone that has supported Thomas & Micah and trusted them with their clients and reputation. 

If you are not working with Thomas & Micah yet, they are always available

Thomas Bayles (626)636-5061 or

Micah Raff (818)808-8834 or

Property Values in 20 Metropolitan Cities Increase 5.8%

By Sho Chandra,

Home prices in 20 U.S. cities rose at a faster pace in the year ended November, underscoring the shortage of supply amid steady demand.

The S&P/Case-Shiller index of property values in 20 cities increased 5.8 percent from a year earlier, the biggest advance since July 2014, a report from the group showed Tuesday in New York. The median projection of 31 economists surveyed by Bloomberg called for a 5.7 percent gain. Nationally, prices rose 5.3 percent year-over-year.

Low inventories are boosting property values, helping support household wealth for homeowners and offsetting some of the damage from the drop in stock prices. While mortgage rates are expected to stay low, faster wage growth is needed to bring homes within reach of more Americans, underpinning the industry’s recovery this year.

“There’s a positive underlying picture in the trend in home prices,” said David Sloan, a senior economist at 4Cast Inc. in New York, who correctly projected the gain. “As long as demand is strong, the price appreciation will persist. We expect it to continue this year.”

Economists’ estimates in the Bloomberg survey ranged from gains of 4.9 percent to 6 percent. The October reading showed a year-over-year advance of 5.5 percent.

Another report from the Federal Housing Finance Agency showed prices increased 0.5 percent in November from the previous month on a seasonally adjusted basis. The gauge measures transactions for single-family properties financed with mortgages owned or securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. It doesn’t provide specific prices. 

Three-Month Average

The S&P/Case-Shiller index is based on a three-month average, which means the November figure was also influenced by transactions in October and September.

All 20 cities in the index showed a year-over-year gain, led by an 11.1 percent increase in Portland, Oregon. Chicago had the smallest increase at 2 percent. Gains in November accelerated in 14 cities from the prior month, with indexes for Dallas, Denver and Portland. Oregon, reaching record highs.

The year-over-year gauge provides better indications of trends in prices, the group has said. 

Borrowing Costs

“Home prices extended their gains, supported by continued low mortgage rates, tight supplies and an improving labor market,” David Blitzer, chairman of the S&P index committee, said in a statement. “The consumer portion of the economy is doing well.”

On a monthly basis, home prices in the 20-city index adjusted for seasonal variations climbed 0.9 percent. The Bloomberg survey median called for a 0.8 percent increase.

The month-over-month gain was led by Charlotte, North Carolina, followed by Detroit.

Unadjusted prices in the 20-city gauge rose 0.1 percent from the previous month.

By lowering household wealth, the slump in stock prices will subtract about 0.3 to 0.4 percentage point from consumer spending this year, according to a research note e-mailed today by economists at Goldman Sachs Group Inc. in New York. They projected increasing home prices will make up for some of the decline, limiting the overall reduction in consumption to 0.2 percent.


The Rumors are True...

When it comes to lending there is no better customer experience than working with Thomas and Micah. See what our colleagues have to say…