Oct 5, 2015

Less than 20% Down No MI & No Second – We Can Do That

Park Hills

The Groves Lending Team just closed on this traditional home in Park Hills.

When buying a home with less than 20% down, mortgage insurance is normally required.  We have our clients who want to put between 10% to 19% down take out a second loan in an amount sufficient to the first mortgage to 80% of the home’s value, thus avoiding the need for mortgage insurance.   The second loan is a home equity line of credit has a monthly payment that is less than the normal mortgage insurance monthly payment.

For clients who are putting between 5% and 9% down on a conventional loan, or who are using Fannie Mae’s new 3% down first time homebuyers loan, we have seen the benefits of having them make a one time upfront mortgage insurance payment, paid by the lender in exchange for a slightly higher interest rate.  In this way, the client is able to have his or her mortgage insurance paid upfront and never have to worry about it again.  When comparing a lower rate with monthly mortgage insurance and a slightly higher rate without monthly mortgage insurance, the numbers are surprising.

Of the different scenarios we offered our borrower in this case, a low down payment with lender-paid upfront mortgage insurance made the most sense and saved the most money.

We were also lucky to work with Cesar Leyva from the Regal Agency as the buyer’s agent on this deal. If you are looking to buy or sell from downtown LA to the Westside, team highly recommends you give him a call at (424) 202-4243.

If you have any questions regarding ways to buy a home without mortgage insurance, please call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com


Sep 30, 2015

Concurrent Sale Closed in 15 Days – We Can Do That


The Groves Lending Team just closed on this beautiful Spanish bungalow in Toluca Lake.

When we first met with our amazing borrower he was concerned about the overall time line of this transaction.  He was selling his current condo and using the proceeds of the sale to buy this new home. We explained to him that a concurrent sale is nothing to be afraid of and we walked him through the timeline several times.  Once he had a buyer for his condo, he was able to enter escrow on this new home.  Our client was so happy with the timeline and our progress, he asked if we could close early.  We here are at the Groves Lending Team love to close escrows early.  Once our client’s condo recorded, we were able to close on his new home in only 15 days.

When it comes to concurrent sales, everyone needs to be in constant communication for both transactions.  Thankfully we had a great buyer’s agent who was able to help supervise both escrows.  Champ Davenport from the REO CO Team went above and beyond throughout escrow to make sure everything ran smoothly with both properties.  If you are ever looking to by our sell on the Westside or in the Valley, give Champ a call at (323) 842-1539.

If you have any questions about selling your home and buying a new home or if you want to close your loan quickly, call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com


Sep 29, 2015

Closing a Jumbo Loan in 9 Days, We Can Do That


The Groves Lending Team at Movement Mortgage just closed this amazing Eagle Rock home.  The team was called in at the eleventh hour to jump in and save the day when the previous lender was unable to deliver.  It shows that when you have everyone on both sides of the transaction on the same page and working toward a common goal, amazing things can happen.

We received word on a Thursday that the previous lender was having problems gaining an approval on the file. By the following Tuesday, which was after a holiday, we had all documents from the borrower and a full loan approval. Because we structured the loan correctly upfront we were able to have loan documents out that Friday.  From approval to docs it was only 9 business days.  Closing any loan in 9 business days is a feat in and of itself, but make it a jumbo loan and it is unheard of.

We were very fortunate to work with two amazing agents on this deal.  The one and only Rose Garcia from Garcia Real Estate Group was integral in getting this loan done.  Once she realized that something wasn’t right with the previous lender, she jumped in and told her borrower that they had to come to us in order not to lose any more time.  If you are ever looking for an agent who goes above and beyond for every client, Rose is your first call at (877) 633-6927.

We also had the privilege of working with Matt Morgus from Sotheby’s.  Matt was able to keep the sellers informed and calm once there was a change in mortgage companies.  He was there every step of the way making sure we had everything that we needed to close the loan.  If you are looking to buy or sell in the Eagle Rock area, give Matt a call at (323) 301-3041.

If you have a deal going sideways or would like to close a loan at lightning speed, call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com


Sep 22, 2015

Gift of Equity From a Reverse Mortgage? – We Can Do That

Valenti Burbank

The Groves Lending Team just closed on this Burbank condo.

This was one of the most complicated loans that the team has done in a while.  Our borrowers were buying the condo from their parents.  We used a gift of equity from the parents for the down payment from our borrowers. This got tricky when we found that the current loan on the condo was a reverse mortgage.  There was just enough equity available to make the down payment for the borrowers and close the loan.  Later, during escrow, we found that one of our borrowers had switched jobs and was making less income.  We were able to re-work the entire loan in order to make everything work.  Now we have happy parents and happy borrowers.

As always, if you have any questions please call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com

Sep 22, 2015

Can I Get Rid of My HELOC? – Yes We Can Do That!


The Groves Lending Team just refinanced this awesome duplex in Silverlake.

This picture may look familiar if you read our blog.  We originally helped our borrower purchase this property a year ago.  We were able to do an 80-10-10 loan on this duplex, since it is-owner occupied.  The borrower was able to put 10% down and get a second mortgage for another 10%, making the first mortgage an 80%, conventional mortgage requiring no mortgage insurance.  Now, a year later, our team contacted the borrower, since home values in the area have gone up.  It turned out that so much equity built up in the past year that we were able to refinance both the first and second loans into a single 80% conventional loan, with no further cash invested, with no mortgage insurance required, and  with a lower monthly mortgage payment.

If you want to combine your first and your second home loans into a single loan, or if you just want to get rid of your mortgage insurance please call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com

Sep 16, 2015

Closing A Condo in 21 Days – We Can Do That

Zambri studio city

The team just closed on this cool condo in Studio City.

We have said it before that the Movement Mortgage condo department is the best in the business and with this deal they proved it. The condo department checked on the financial health of the building.  Items that lenders are looking for include, but are not limited to, the following:

  1. What percentage of the condo is owner-occupied?
  2. Does the HOA have a reserve fund?
  3. Does the HOA add to the reserve fund on a monthly basis in order to cover planned maintenance projects and unforeseen issues?
  4. Is the building subject to additional add-ons or zoning issues?
  5. Is the building or the HOA involved in litigation?

Keep in mind that our condo department began this investigation as soon as our borrowers identified this condo as the one they were considering buying. Consequently, when an issue with the complex arose, our condo department had time to go directly to Fannie Mae and get an exception without upsetting our 21 day close of escrow. Most lenders will not look into a condo complex until they are into escrow causing delays with the close of escrow.

We were also lucky to have the amazing help of Christy Lindgren from Bond Real Estate as our buyers agent. She was there every step of the way to help with the clients. If you are looking to buy in Studio City, you need to call her at 323-646-2671.

As always, if you have any questions please call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com

Sep 11, 2015

What do you need to know about TRID?

No need to watch this entire boring video from The National Association of Realtors (NAR) Government Affairs Office. Fast-forward to 3:15 to check out the sobering news. NAR, HUD and the Government Affairs office are encouraging Realtors to write escrow contracts with an additional 15 days baked into the timeline.

SEE 3:15 into this video for HORRIBLE news from NAR
Queue to 3:15.


Effectively, NAR and large institutional lenders are encouraging Realtors to push escrows out to at least a 45-day process.

Movement Mortgage and the Groves Lending Team are ready for these changes and will STILL be able to close escrow in 20-30 days even AFTER the implementation of TRID (which goes into effect October 3rd). Here is what you need to know:

  • WHAT is an “LE” and what is a “CD”
    What is commonly referred to as the GFE (Good Faith Estimate) is now being replaced with an LE (Loan Estimate). The HUD-1, which was traditionally prepared by escrow, will now be called a CD (Closing Disclosure) and will be prepared by the lender. An infinite number of LE’s can be issued and changed prior to the close of escrow. However, only ONE CD (closing disclosure) can be issued for any given loan number. Since this document is being prepared by the lender, it is IMPERATIVE that escrow and title provide accurate fees to the lender early in the process. No more waiting until the end of escrow to “balance” the HUD and get docs out. Fees, costs and pre-paid items need to be provided to the lender within the first 10 days of escrow in order to ensure your deal closes on time. Movement Mortgage has hired 20 new closers who have previous escrow experience and are being trained on our new TRID pre-closing process right now. This rockstar team of pre-closers and disclosure experts will ensure that the LE’s and CD’s are properly handled and that your deal closes on time.
  • Choose your escrow company wisely
    As listing agents, you control who gets selected as the escrow agent. Choose wisely. This new government mandated process will be a huge shift in how escrow officers do business. Work that has historically been done at the tail END of the process will now need to happen in the first 10 days of escrow. Additionally, the most important document of transaction (the HUD) that used to be completed by escrow with the input of the lender, will now be a document (the CD) that is completed by the lender with the input of the escrow officer. Having an escrow officer who is highly responsive to requests from Movement Mortgage and our disclosure department will be key to closing your deal on time.
  • Clients HAVE to lock rates early and move-on?
    Lenders will NOT prepare the final CD (closing disclosure) until a rate is locked. Once the CD is disclosed, nothing can change. If there is a rate or program change AFTER the CD is disclosed, the loan must be cancelled and an entirely new loan file has be created, disclosed and underwritten. Therefore, rate shopping clients will become their own worst enemy and will virtually guarantee that escrow does NOT close on time.  Buyers need to solidify their lender relationship prior to going into escrow and be mentally prepared to lock very early on in the transaction; no more shopping around and playing the market after escrow has opened.

As always if you have any questions, call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com

Aug 26, 2015

Can You Do a Loan in Northern California? – We Can Do That

Hull Roseville


The team just closed on this awesome home in Northern California.  Our clients were referred to us by one of our amazing referral partners here in Los Angeles, who asked whether the Groves Team does loans outside of Los Angeles.  The answer is Yes—we are all licensed to do loans anywhere in California.  Whether you are buying or refinancing a home in Hilt on the Oregon border or San Diego on the Mexican border, the Groves Team has you covered.

The beautiful home pictured above it is located in Roseville, outside of Sacramento.  Our amazing  borrowers were fully approved upfront, which allowed their offer to be accepted without a loan contingency.  Additionally, they were able to use a loan program that came out earlier this year that allows W2 borrowers to borrow without submitting tax returns .  This made the process even faster and we were able once again to close early.

If you or a family member is looking to buy or refinance anywhere in the state of California, call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com

Aug 11, 2015

China and Mortgage Rates

Contrary to popular belief, and the opinion that I’ve been carrying for over five years, it looks like mortgage rates are going to dip once again.

If finances bore you - here is the quick take-away.  If your current 30 year fixed mortgage is over 4.125% OR you want to refinance from an ARM to a 30 year fixed –  email me a copy of your most recent mortgage statement and I’ll see if there is any benefit to refinancing.

If you like reading about finances and interest rates, here is what is going on:

  • China just devalued their currency.  You can find the story here.  Don’t worry.  Don’t believe the talking heads who will spark a “sky is falling” media frenzy.  The financial markets are (probably) NOT on the verge of a global meltdown.

    However, with China downgrading their own currency, money is flowing OUT of global stock markets.  When money leaves stocks, it has to go somewhere.  The short term solution for money movement is a flight to safety and the buying of bonds, stocks, mortgage back securities and US backed treasuries.  As money comes in, these financial instruments can be offered at LOWER rates.  More demand means the supply can be priced cheaper.   Therefore, more money OUT of stocks and into safer securities equals lower prices, AKA,cheaper mortgages.

  • What about the prime rate? The Prime Rate, which is really only used for short term financing and is controlled by the Federal Reserve, has been at record lows for over three years.  The cost for banks to borrow short term money (think lines of credit, short term business loans and credit cards) has basically been at zero for years.  The Federal Reserve has hinted several times that this rate might be going up later this year.

    HOWEVER, what’s important to know is that the Prime Rate is NOT the same index that sets rates on 30 year fixed mortgages.  Historically, when the prime rate rises, there is a knee-jerk reaction for money to come OUT of the stock market.  Investors get worried about higher business costs, short-term borrowing costs and inflation.  As we mentioned above, guess where investments go when money comes out of stocks?   They move to bonds, mortgage backed securities and US Treasuries.  Again, this pushes prices DOWN and mortgage interest rates drop.

  • What if we really are looking at a global slow-down?  Guess what, nothing WE can do about it

The US Government however WILL do something about it and will probably find additional ways to keep rates artificially low (as they’ve done in the past with Quantitative Easing).

As always, if you have any questions please call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com

Aug 11, 2015

How To Introduce Your Lender

As a team we are grateful for every single lead we receive from our Realtor partners, past clients, other loan officers and local professionals.  Without referrals, there would be NO way for our business to thrive.

However, after closing thousands of transactions over the last 14 years, I have come to find that there is a good way and a GREAT way to introduce a lender.

Use the word BECAUSE - “I trust Scott Groves and his team BECAUSE they always get the deal done.”  “I’m actually not sure what rates and fees are right now on a mortgage, however, I use Scott and his team BECAUSE they’ve always treated my clients fairly.”  “I use Scott, not because he’s a great salesman, but because his team really cares about making sure you buy a home you can afford.”

Thanks to radio, TV and internet ads, clients think that the only variable in a mortgage professional is the rate.  You know that nothing could be farther from the truth.  Rate is important, however, did you know that nearly 30% of escrows in America STILL fall apart due to financing and appraisal issues?   I want my team and the company I work for to be known as the group that cares about clients AND closes deals.  Getting the best “deal” is secondary.

Speaking of which, PLEASE introduce the Team-  Recently I got a YELP review that went something like this – “5 out of 5 stars for the team, closed early, great rate, all questions answered by members of Scott’s team in a timely manner.  Process kept me well informed.  However, Scott didn’t answer his phone every time I called, so I give him 3 out of 5 stars.”

My first reaction was that I was angry.  My thoughts were, you got all your questions answered, we closed early, I’m your loan officer, not your boyfriend.

Then, after I cooled down, I realized that the fault for this review was mine.  I have NOT done a great job in the past of explaining my role as a loan officer (think football coach) and the role of my team (Loan Officer Assistant – think quarter-back, Loan Processor – think running back, Escrow officer – think offensive line pushing to get things done, Title Officer – think defense).

I’m currently developing an email + video + phone call script that will go to each new borrower explaining my role and the role of the team.  It truly does take a village to raise a loan.

If you, as the Realtor, can help set the table by introducing the “team” concept, we can ensure that the client experience meets the client’s expectations.

Introducing three lenders - Ah, my favorite urban legend.  I get it, I never want to be sued either.  HOWEVER, there is absolutely NO legal precedent for getting sued if you don’t introduce three referral sources, it’s urban legend.  As long as you refer people whom you know to be honest professionals, you absolutely cannot get sued for the actions of the individual you refer.  Conversely, if you openly refer a service provider who is known to have unethical business practices, then it doesn’t matter if you referred three or three hundred different crooks to pick from, you can still be held liable.

Beyond the issue of the law, I still get it.  Realtors and other professionals seem to feel that by giving three referrals – if something goes wrong, then the client will take on the personal responsibility for having made that poor decision.

Unlikely!!! I’ve NEVER heard a client report back to a Realtor – “thanks for the three referrals, that loan process was really horrible.  However, I don’t hold you accountable though Mr. Realtor as I know I’m the one who picked the wrong lender of the three referred”

Pick a great lender, deepen that relationship and I promise you your deals will get easier and close quicker. 

As always, if you have any questions please call Scott Groves @ 818-679-5188 or apply online at www.LendLA.com


Scott Groves     |     Your Trusted Lender

Groves Lending Team

A Los Angeles based lending team specializing in conventional and FHA purchase mortgages. The Groves Lending team can manage the entire loan process providing clients with efficiency and accuracy.

(7:00am-7:00pm / After hours)