Should I Get a Gift or Co-Signer?

Here at RPM, we see a fair amount of high loan-to-value mortgage scenarios – meaning lower down payments with more borrowed from the lender. It’s because the real estate values in our service areas tend to be high and it can take a while for buyers to save the funds needed to purchase a home. So 10% down payments (or even less) are not uncommon and we see them across the borrowing spectrum, from the conforming range (below $417,000) all the way to homes exceeding $1 million. Some buyers also need a boost in their income to be able to meet the debt-to-income ratio requirements to qualify for a loan.

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What Does New FICO Scoring Really Mean for Mortgages?

We asked our Chief Credit Officer, Gary Scoma, to break it down for us.

Gary Scoma PhotoFICO is the most widely used credit score. The three major credit repositories, Equifax, Experian and Transunion, work with FICO to develop their scores. But, when it comes to mortgages, FICO is the only credit score that is considered. So, when FICO recently announced it was changing its scoring system, the resulting headlines caused some confusion and debate. Will FICO’s decision to recalculate credit ratings be a boon for the mortgage industry? Some say the changes will not impact consumer credit in any meaningful way. So, what’s the real story here?

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Why Does Corporate Culture Matter?

Corporate culture can sometimes be difficult for companies to define. It’s something employees feel. It guides them through their work day and sets a tone for their experiences working with their company. It’s more than logos and slogans, it’s a unifying force that drives success or failure. But it is not always easy to capture or describe in words. So when Troy Chambers, branch manager of RPM’s Bellevue office, set out to define the culture that was developing around him, he enlisted the help of his team.

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Is it Really Cheaper to Rent than Buy?

We all know that in the long run, owning a home is typically a sound investment. But, with home prices rising does it make sense to buy now? I started contemplating this question after a recent conversation with a friend. She and her husband purchased their three bedroom, two bathroom home in 2005, then sold it by short sale in 2010. They moved into a more spacious four bedroom, three bathroom rental in a nearby town. It had everything they wanted; lots of living space, a great school district, fantastic neighborhood, and an awesome location close to the city’s downtown.

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Communities Benefit from RPM’s Growth

Spring and summer are typically busy buying and selling seasons for the real estate market. Recent reports from industry experts indicate that the housing market continues to recover at a slow but fairly steady rate. According to Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors, the economy should be rising about 4% – 5% percent to make up for the downfall after a recession. Instead Yun calculates that the economy has been growing closer to 2% a year. As market conditions change, RPM Mortgage is keeping pace and is poised to serve the varying needs of community members. With an effective lending structure and a team of experts already in place, RPM is strengthening its presence in existing service areas and expanding into new communities.

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RPM Cooks Chili For A Cause

Last week, at a fundraising event to benefit the Contra Costa Association of REALTORS’® Helping Hands organization, four members of the RPM team gathered to cook, judge and chow down at a Charity Chili Cook-ON. The fundraising event was the very first of its kind for CCAR and featured chili recipes prepared by members of the community who competed to win in categories for Best REALTOR® Chili Team, Best Chili Affiliate Team and the People’s Choice Award. A panel of five judges, including RPM’s own George Moody, blind-sampled nearly 30 entries based on taste, texture, appearance and aroma.

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