Refinancing in Cautious Times

Customer Story: Refinancing in a Cautious Climate
John had a good salary, perfect payment record, he wasn’t underwater on his mortgage – but he couldn’t get a lender to refinance his home. John needed to refinance to remove his ex-wife from the mortgage as a term of his recent divorce. Yet his new alimony obligation was part of the reason why three lenders had turned him down.

“I work for salary plus bonuses. Lenders couldn’t fit my bonuses into their formula so they didn’t count them as income,” John explains.

John turned to Westchester Mortgage for help. We located a lender who could count the bonuses – and then the real work began.

First, John needed to provide three years worth of complete financial records. Then his 1830s home tripped up appraisers and resulted in falsely low appraisals. Next, the lender found John’s name in a deed for undevelopable land in Connecticut that he had received from his father. That discovery led to a round of title searches and reviews of tax records. Finally, so much time had passed since the beginning of the process that the lender pulled John’s credit report again. The report reflected an unpaid gas bill for a statement that John had never received. John paid the bill and was then was required to jump through hoops to provide proof of payment.”

From start to finish, the process took 4 ½ months. “Debbiereally earned her money on this one,” John says. He adds: “My advice is to batten down the hatches unless you have a very simple financial situation. It’s going to be a long, drawn-out process.”

February’s Home Value Improver

Prepare Your Home for Snow

Let’s keep our fingers crossed that we don’t experience another snowstorm like the blizzard earlier this month. If we do, are you prepared? The Institute for Business and Home Safety (IBHS) says that heavy snow accumulation is the biggest threat, both as it builds up and as it melts.

IBHS recommends that every homeowner take the following steps:

  • Watch for snow accumulation on the leeward (downwind) side of a higher-level roof, where blowing snow will collect. For safe removal that won’t endanger you or damage your roof, consult a roofing contractor for a referral.
  • Remove snow from basement stairwells, window wells and all walls. Melting snow can lead to water damage and moisture intrusion.
  • Keep your attic well ventilated to maintain a temperature close to that of the outdoors to minimize the risk of ice dams forming. A warm attic melts snow on the roof, causing water to run down and refreeze at the roof’s edge, where it’s much cooler. If ice builds up and blocks water from draining, water is forced under the roof covering and into your attic or down the inside walls of your house.