Market April 16, 2020


Tiffany Bergsma-Evans  NMLS# 487561
Senior Real Estate Loan Officer
Peoples Bank Bellingham Real Estate Loan Center
3100 Woburn St
Bellingham, WA 98226
Office: 360.650.5379
Cell: 360.303.9540

Banks Tightening Qualification Guidelines
During this uncertain time, banks are in the process of tightening underwriting guidelines by adding more strict “overlays” to the Federal lending guidelines of Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & Ginnie Mae.  These overlays vary from bank to bank and it is important to know that each bank has their own overlays.  Agencies and government loan programs are also making changes that will lessen risk overall.  For example, the minimum credit scores for lending may go up across the board.  Changes are being implemented on a daily basis, so keep in close contact with your lender to be sure your pre-approval still stands.

Mortgage Forbearance Cautions
With the massive increase in unemployment, homeowners are applying for a forbearance on their mortgages.  Be aware that if you have applied for forbearance, or are currently in forbearance, banks will not be able to refinance your loan, nor will you be able to purchase a new home.  Consult your lender about the terms of the forbearance to be sure you agree.  Also, it may even be difficult to sell during forbearance due to the difficulty of obtaining a mortgage payoff from your lender.  The moral of the story is to consult a trusted Realtor and lender to be sure you are making smart financial decisions during this time.

Rates are still low and Buyers are SHOPPING
To end on a positive note, interest rates are extremely low and buyers are still shopping to take advantage of these low rates.  If you’re interested in getting pre-approved to buy a new home in 2020, I’d be honored to help you.  I work very closely with Damian and am happy to answer any questions or concerns you may have during this unique time. Follow me on social media via the links below to get the latest financial and lending information.