Home Buying in Temecula>Question Details

Foxee, Home Buyer in Temecula, CA

Need advice for first time homebuyers! So lost...Should I go to big bank (Wells Fargo), a broker, or something like Quicken Loans?

Asked by Foxee, Temecula, CA Sat Nov 3, 2012

A little info: I'm hoping to get an FHA loan with downpayment/closing cost assistance program. So, my choices are probably limited, from what I understand. Have a BK7 about 2.5 years ago and current scores are between 675-695 range. Income isn't that high, about 55k annually, very little assets/cash in bank. About $4500 in CC debt. Should I bother???

Help the community by answering this question:


HI Foxee,
You should start to bother.
You may want to pay down some debt but do so with a loan originators blessing.
What you will need is the right Lender Loan Officer / Realtor to get the job done.
While you see a stumbling block or two on the loan the property you choose also has to qualify for the loan. In further answer to your question, Could wells help you? in my opinion no. Can quicken help you? again in my opinion no. Do I know lenders from both? Yes. Do you have a chance? Yes possibly. I would personally recommend Brad Yzermans who I see has chimed in below. After that do keep in mind you need an agent to help you pick a property. Not all properties will qualify and making a mistake can cost you time and money. I suggest you make an appointment with Brad, get your financials checked out and then we can start the ball rolling.

Harold Sharpe - Broker
So Cal Homes
(951) 821-8211
California Department of Real Estate Broker License # 01312992
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
I am including a link to my blog below where you can compare three available down payment assistance programs (that have funds) to purchase a home in the Temecula/Murrieta area. Don't be fooled because two of the programs will actually cost you more than the 3% they provide.

And worse yet, the lenders won't tell you that.....some lenders even tell buyers they don't qualify for the assistance programs (when in fact they do) because they can't offer the program due to not being approved to offer the 3% assistance program.

I just funded a home buyer's loan similar to your scenario using the 3% CHDAP assistance program and locked in a 3.25% rate (4.27% APR) for them......no discount or origination fees like most lenders charge. That rate also gave them $4,000 back in lender credit that was used to pay nearly all closing & settlement costs.

being able to provide that much lender credit back to my borrower made getting their offer accepted much easier because their offer beat out all other buyers who were asking the seller to pay all their closing costs!

So all you need is .5% for your own down payment!

Call me and we can discuss your situation. I can prepare a worksheet to review of what you can expect for payment, funds needed to close the transaction, and what you'll need to do to make this process as easy and stress free as possible.
1 vote Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
Hi Foxee!
There are a few items you need to address, however your wanting to wait may not be a bad decision. If you have not sat with a loan pro who is dedicated towards First Time Home Buyers, I suggest you do that. Many times First Time Home Buyers have a different timeline than what is goin to actually work for them. I very much do not suggest going to a bank or credit union as they lack the experience and are limited in the ability to fully assist the First Time Home Buyer. I also suggest working with someone who dedicates themselves to the mortgage field as with the amount of changes in all the programs as of late has made it dangerous for First Time Home Buyers not to do so.
I personally would like to recommend Greg Cook with First Time Home Buyers Network. He's approved with all of the Down Payment Assistant programs in the area and is fully versed on the latest requirements for these programs. You can find him by googling First Time Home Buyer Network or call him at 951-265-4532. Set an appointment and get your personal situation evaluated and then determine how long it will take to get started. Good Luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Feb 17, 2013
Hi, thank you to everybody that took time out of their busy schedules to answer my question. I've decided to wait until September to start the home purchase process (for 2 yr employment verification reasons). All of your responses will be considered once the ball starts rolling. I really appreciate the expert advice!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2013

Your question is somewhat dated; however, I think many First Time Home Buyers (FTHB) have the same trepidaton and anxiety about the home buying process and I alway appreciate the opportunity to clarify and educate about the mortgage process. As a HUD certified FTHB counselor and a mortgage professional with over 20 years helping FHTB I believe I have the experience to shed a little light on your questions.

First, I would never encourage a FTHB to work with a Big Box lender (Wells, BofA, Chase). Frankly, most experience Real Estate professionals I know cringe when a borrower brings any of them into the mortgage process so the recommendations below are a bit baffling. The reasons for my adversion to Big Box lenders are:

1). The loan officers are registered with NMLS, but currently are not required to be licensed. While many loan officers at BBL are excellent (I started my career with Security Pacific Bank), the reality is that there is a huge variance is knowledge and experience.

2). The business model of BBL is one of volume, not consultation and education. Even if the loan officer has the best of intentions, the fact is they are paid on a per file basis and the name of the game is huge volume. FTHB need a consultant who has time for them!

3). The business model is also usually in a centralized processing structure. Once the loan officer takes an application and gathers preliminary documents the file is sent to a "pool" of processors, underwriters, closers and funders. The loan officer has virtually no control of the process. On the contrary, I walk down the hall or make a call to one of my Team members to get clarification or update. Maintaining control of the process is essential for successful closings of my transactions....and my sanity.

Next, I would never recommend a FTHB to work with Quicken or other online discount mortgage companies.

First, as a top producing consultant for an online company(s) for almost five years...closing in excess of 25 loans per month...I know the inside of the business model. Reasons for a FTHB to avoid:

1). The business model is VOLUME. The loan officer is paid per file....the incentive is closings, not service.

2). The business model is "Cookie Cutter". There is no process for a loan that does not "fit" for one reason or another. It would simply be declined.

3). When I worked online I (and other professional, experienced consultants I worked with) had the good sense to tell potential FTHB's that our business model was not set up to service their transaction smoothly and that, ethically, the best advice we could give them would be to work with a mortgage banker/broker who worked with purchase transactions.

Finally, I am not saying there is anything inherently "bad" about either Big Box Lenders or Online Lenders...for goodness sake, I have worked for both! I am just advocating that First Time Home Buyers deserve more service than either would, or could, provide.

All my best,

NMLS #279125
(951) 795-4547
0 votes Thank Flag Link Fri Feb 15, 2013
That's a really good summary Deborah.....nice job.
Flag Fri Feb 15, 2013
Hello Foxee,

I prefer to have my buyers work with a direct lender like Wells Fargo. One reason is many sellers will stipulate that they will ONLY entertain offers from buyer approved by direct lenders.

In my experience working with a direct lender has been best.

Best of luck to you!!

Kawain Payne, Realtor
0 votes Thank Flag Link Tue Feb 12, 2013
Hello Foxee,

We do both loans and real estate. We would need to know more before we could tell you if you can qualify. We wont tell you can qualify unless you can. We do things a little differently. We actually get you approved on a program with interests rates etc... Most lenders will only credit qualify you. Then your loan doesnt actually get to an underwriter for many weeks after your into your escrow. Many times you lose the cost of your apprasial, home inspection etc... Because you entire loan package was not fully approved.

My husband and I are a team - we belong to both San Diego and Temecula Real Estate Boards. Since it in the Temecula Valley for over 20 years. Previous to that I was born and raised in San Diego. So we know both areas very well.

We specialize in REO and Short Sale difficult distressed defauted properties - We are very successful and close 100% of our escrows right now! We've been in the industry 30 years and know both lending and the real estate side of things which I think give us the leg up on agents that dont have this rare combination of skills.Weare very honest and work very hard for our clients. We would be glad to give you phone numbers to speak with any of our past and present clients.

It is incredibly busy time - the market is heating up. Anything below $300k in Temecula is hit with multiple offers. So it is imperative that you are fully approved to have a chance to beat out all the cash offers.

Kind regards,
Scott and Shelley Weier
Cal State Realty
website http://www.CalStateRealty.us
951-587-2100 ofc
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Dec 31, 2012
Check around for references to a local, experienced lender.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2012
Hi Foxee:

Whatever you do, you should talk to several lenders, not just one. And I usually suggest to my clients that they talk to at least one broker because brokers usually have several products to choose from. A recent study suggested that on average people who shop for a mortgage loan get lower interest rates. Some brokers also spend time helping you make simple changes that can improve your credit score, which also helps you get the best rates.

0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2012
Hello Foxee! Just wanted to correct one area here regarding CHDAP. There are no additional restrictions as they work from FHA guidelines. Many times banks as I said earlier, will have these however as a mortgage banker we do not. Also as a note, the approval for the loan in no different than many others. You can read this on my website or going directly to the http://www.calhfa.org website and reading it there as well. It's a great way to get in, as is Access and USDA. Each has it's restrictions and needs to be tailored to your needs.
Also CHDAP 7 months ago eliminated the need for the 1% participation however an FHA requirement of .5% borrower participation is required with these kind of programs.
If you need a full time Realtor who only does Real Estate, I am in the area where you are looking and can provide you with one. It's important to work with specialists as they have the most up to date information for their field. I wish you wel!

Greg Herman
NMLS #215455
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2012
I am answering you from Missouri, so I can't give you a lender's name;however, U S Bank has a good mortgage loan program. You will get the lowest closing cost at a bank. Mortgage brokers sometimes have more options for individuals with unique situations, but as a general rule, have higher closing costs for the borrower. I advise you to stay away from internet lenders. You need someone personal to assist you in the process of obtaining a loan.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2012
There are a few choices that will help you foxee. Your scenario is very doable and both USDA and CHDAP are you least expensive choices to date. I believe Access is a good program but if you qualify for CHDAP, you would want to go that direction as it is much better interest rate wise.
I fully underwrite all of my borrowers before we get started so we eliminate errors that normally happen at the end of the transaction. Also I have a website you can visit which gives you so detail of these programs.
I would be glad to help you evaluate your scenario. With 27 years of helping first time home buyers like yourself, I will be happy to help you.

Greg Herman
0 votes Thank Flag Link Wed Dec 12, 2012
My husband Drake and I work as a team and with his lending background, we have been able to help many buyers like yourself. We are down payment assistance experts and have done a significant amount of work with these programs for the last 3 years. In fact we are currently in escrow with a client who we were able to get over $42,000 in down payment assistance along with almost a $16,000 discount off the listed price. We'd love to talk with you more about your piece of the American dream pie and how we may be able to help you to get it : )
(909) 200-6533
0 votes Thank Flag Link Mon Nov 5, 2012
...just thought I'd clarify...Drake and I are both Realtors at Keller Williams Realty but we do have some great lenders that we trust to put you in contact with when you are ready to interview and look at your options.
Flag Mon Nov 5, 2012
Thank you so much for all your invaluable expertise and advice. I have learned so much from everyone and most of you have given me a little hope that I may have a small chance at obtaining a piece of the american dream pie. I will definitely be contacting somebody from this post!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
Hello Foxee,

If you are looking for an true Down Payment Assistance, you can check out this link:


The County of Riverside and specifically the EDA, (not just a city program that was listed below) offers several avenues for first time buyers. I am an approved lender that works the Temecula Valley area and I can offer you one of these loan programs i.e. NSP, FTHP, NSHP. These programs have different eligibility requirement but I would be more than happy to assist you.

In addition to these programs, I can offer you the CHF Platinum Program which offers a 3% Grant that does not need to paid back as in other DPAs listed below. Moreover, I am a direct lender for the USDA Rural Development Loan that offers the only true $0 down payment loan other than a VA loan in the Nation.

The USDA RDL program has eligible areas in Temecula, Murrieta, Winchester, Wildomar, Menifee, and several other neighboring communities. If you have have questions pertaining to any of these programs, please feel to contact me or just click on the links below. I hope this will be helpful.

CHF Platinum:


Best of Luck!
Web Reference: http://www.AFN-Loans.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
Contact a couple of local "Mortgage Lenders" that have experience in your area.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
Hi Foxee, if your BK7 did not include a property, you might be eligible for FHA financing. So rather than give you a sales pitch, here's a little insight into how a lender might review your loan application.

It's a shortcut, and like all shortcuts should be viewed as such. It might get you to your destination but it may not be the best route.

Take your annual income and divide by twelve (would give you $4583/month). Now take 45% of that ($2062) that gives you an estimate of your maximum debt to income ratio. From the $2062 subtract the monthly payment for each of your credit obligations (credit cards, car loans, student loans etc). The remaining number will give you a monthly housing payment that might be acceptable to a lender.

The next step is overcoming the "very little assets/cash in bank". If you've not owned a home in the last three years, you may be eligible for one of the many down payment assistance programs available, but you're still going to need some money for your earnest money deposit and a portion of your closing costs.

Whether or not you should go to a big bank or broker, the answer isn't necessarily the institution but rather the individual you will be dealing with. If they're a first time home buyer specialist they will know the down payment assistance programs available. If you know more about the down payment assistance programs available than a lender, it's probably a good idea to move on.

Good luck!
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
It seems unlikely you'll be able to buy now, but what a quality lender can do for you is help you clean things up so you'll be positioned to faster.

I would contact some reputable local lenders and go from there.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sun Nov 4, 2012
Hi Foxee!
My website should tell you where my interest is"

You have a viable scenario that could result in you purchasing a home. If you go to my website, you can look through numerous posts on different products for first time home buyers.

I have over 27 years of experience in helping first time home owners like yourself. Please visit my website and contact me regarding getting started on the road to home ownership.

Regarding the difference between banks and Mortgage bankers. Mortgage Bankers such as myself, have fewer restrictive overlays than Banks. I personally chose being a Mortgage Banker for the flexibility of underwriting and the ability to have an underwriter who is part of the company I work with. These are all advantages for you. I invite you to use my experience and my company's flexibility for your purchase.

Greg Herman
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
Thank you to everyone whom has answered thus far. I greatly appreciate the reponses. I have been doing hours and hours of research and am still currently weighing all my options. Hoping to get the ball rolling as the house I'm renting is in the the process of a shortsale and I have been pressured to leave at a moments' notice.
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
Yes, you should definitely bother! You may be pleasantly surprised. I have worked with many people in your same situation. The first step is to find out where you stand. Some people prefer working with the bank they use for their checking and savings account, others prefer a broker. I have found that a broker usually has more options and will search for the best loan for your personal needs.

If you have other questions that you would like answered, or a referral to a lender, please don't hesitate to contact me.

Robin Zapata
Century 21 Award
DRE# 01728913
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
So, I did a little research about down payment assistance in Temecula, and the link is here:

One thing is FHA loans are going to need 2 years from the date your BK. But, the down payment assistance might require longer because they have different guidelines. The one I found shows a max purchase price of 200k, so you might have to do a straight FHA without it if you want to buy higher. There could be other programs out there too, this is just an example.

Usually, you only need a 640 for down payment assistance, and a 530 (at least we can) for straight FHA. I don't like to talk badly about other lenders, but I have worked for a broker and a direct lender or big bank.....in my experience, brokers are able to do more than big banks. They have more options because there are multiple lenders to choose from and a good loan officer isncapable of picking the best for you. Also, big banks do take longer to close loans. Everyone should be able to work with your fico and income here, so really, just finding customer service and the rate you want is what it will come down too.

I personally, cannot officially do loans yet, but I work in a "group" where one of our team members can and we all have the same philosophy and ethics. You can check us out at: https://www.c2financialcorp.com/home/index.php or call us or email us.

Best of Luck,

Valli Lopez
CA DRE #01810641
619.916.9595 cell
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
Hi Valli, that link you provided shows the assistance program has no funds.
Flag Sat Nov 3, 2012
One more thing, I recommend avoiding big banks like the plague. You want to deal with local lenders ( First Mortgage Corp, Wholesale Capitol , Provident Bank, etc.) to get the best service.
That is of course, unless you enjoy getting the run around, closing late , getting denied at the last minute, or having your file handled by 20 different people.

Thats all for now...best wishes!

Jory Blake
Web Reference: http://www.JORYBLAKE.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
You are primed to begin getting qualified. With the BK , most lenders require 3 years from date of discharge which is right around the corner for you. You will want to utilize the FHA access , or chdap program to assist with your down payment.
Your FICO number seems fine , just keep up the good working paying down your debt.

Try and save up some money , or get a gift from friends,family or rich uncle(?) as you will need some money to close.

Do whatever it takes to buy now, the cost of money is very low and values are heading up!

I have some lenders that continually perform well, Im happy to send you two or three to interview.

Jory Blake
Web Reference: http://www.JORYBLAKE.com
0 votes Thank Flag Link Sat Nov 3, 2012
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