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Archive for Pensacola

Lambda Rail Coming To Pensacola

The Lambda Rail could provide high paying jobs in the Pensacola area.

For those of you not familiar with a Lambda Rail, you are not alone.  It is a way of transmitting data digitally over great distances at high speed with virtually no loss in quality.  It was described on the news as compared to existing high speed Internet.  if your existing high speed connection is the size of a drinking straw, a lambda rail would be more comparable with a PVC pipe.  The bandwidth and speed is exponentially faster than current Internet connections.

So what does it mean to Pensacola?  Pensacola has been approved to be a “Hub city” for lambda rail, and it is one of only a handful of cities in America with this distinction.  What this means is that there is now a rock solid draw for technology companies to set up shop here and connect to the hub.  With technology companies come high paying jobs, and a better outlook for the local economy.

According to the report, the lambda rail could be operational by the end of the year.  You can see a transcript of the news segment on WEAR’s website here.


Island Real Estate – Ono Island Alabama

Island Real Estate – Ono Island Alabama

Ono Island Alabama

Ono Island Alabama

When most people think of Island Real Estate or Island Vacations, they don’t think of Alabama.  There is, however, a hidden gem on the gulf coast of Alabama called Ono Island.  This unique paradise is nestled between Perdido Key Florida on the south and main land Alabama on the north.  Even though it is less than 40 minutes from Pensacola, and less than an hour from Mobile, Alabama, you will feel like you have moved to a secluded caribean island when you are there.

With a contrast of older original beach homes, and newer super mansions, this island has an eclectic mix of arcitecture.  What many locals may not even know is that Ono Island is world renowed as one of the best fishing spots for speckled trout.  Hidden under the illuminated docks of the private residences around the island, the speckled trout makes for good eating, and a whole lot of fun to catch.

If you would like to learn more about how you can buy your slice of a private paradise, go to and find out what your options are today.

The Oar House In Pensacola Burns

Our beloved Oar House burned this weekend.

The Oar House Pensacola

Our beloved Oar House burned this weekend.

The full story can be read on the Pensacola News Journal’s website.  Apparently the fire started shortly after 3:00 AM yesterday, and damage is estimated at over $1 million.  The fire started in the main building which houses the kitchen area and main dining area, then spread to the new tiki bar.  The only part of the property that remained in tact was the separate building that housed the bathrooms and prep area.

The Oar House after the fire

Plans are underway to get a temporary kitchen in place as early as this week.  Read the full story at the Pensacola News Journal.

No “Hope Now” For Government Program

Hope Now government sponsored mortgage bailout program falls short.

While the Hope Now organization claims to have helped more than 1 million home owners since its inception late in 2007, a recent inquiry by another high ranking government official claims that the numbers are much lower.

For anyone who thinks that the government is going to swoop in and save you from your problems, here is yet another glowing example that government programs suck up tax payer money while providing little help.  According to a recent investigation by the treasury department, only 187,000 home owners have been helped by the program.  Of those, only 30,000 resulted in an actual mortgage modification.

This of course is no surprise to me, or most people in the real estate industry, but it is an example that you are better off in the private sector than muddling through a government program.  A press release posted on today makes mention of a new company here in Pensacola that is seeking a solution (or at least more help) for the problem with foreclosures.  In many cases, the problem is deeper than a modification.  If you can’t afford to keep the house, you are better off selling to avoid foreclosure so that you can be in a better position to buy in the future. is using the simple concept of a short sale to help home owners sell with no equity to escape foreclosure.

Friday May 16, 2008

The Bond Market Rallies Leading The Way For Mortgages Rates To Plunge.

Bond Market Rallies

Strength in today’s mortgage bond market could lead to a great opportunity for home owners looking to refinance.

As usual, what is good for the economy is good for stocks and bad for bonds and vice versa. And, what is good for bonds is also good for mortgage rates. This morning, the bond market was lumbering along without much going on…and then the University of Michigan’s Consumer Sentiment report came out with the worst reported numbers in 26 years. This triggered a buying frenzy in the bond market, and mortgage bonds are currently trading at 70 basis points higher than the open.

On the surface there was good news in the housing market with Housing Starts for April up to 1.038 million, up from March’s 932,000 and significantly higher than the projected 940,000. I say on the surface because even though housing starts and building permits are up, it is yet to be seen how oil prices hitting record highs on a daily basis will affect the costs to build later. (Oil hit a new high again this morning at $127.43 per barrel).

Goldman Sach’s (one of the world’s leading securities firms) said today that they expect oil to hit $141 per barrel by the end of the year, and as much as $149 in 2009. If this is true, you better dust off the solar panels and check the air in the bicycle tires because this may be a bumpy ride.

As far as mortgages go, the bond has soared past resistance levels at the 25, 50 and 100 day moving averages. With strength like that, we may see push in the refinance market soon. If you are even considering refinancing, get your ducks in a row as movement like this will correct itself quickly, and the window of opportunity will be short.

What Do You Do If You Have An Adjustable Rate Mortgage Coming Due?

Hundreds of thousands of adjustable rate 3/1 ARMs were originated in 2005, and will be resetting this year. So what do you do if you are faced with this?

Adjustable rate mortgage ARM

Millions of home owners nationwide are concerned about the economy, the real estate market, and the rising energy costs. As if that weren’t enough, many of them have a ticking clock on their mortgage rate that will be adjusting soon. Like sands through the hourglass, that day will eventually come and you can bury your head in the sand and hope that it goes away, or you can be proactive.

So, what are your options if your ARM is coming due?

  1. You can allow the rate to adjust if the difference in the new payment is negligible and you can still afford the payment after the adjustment. this will depend largely on the index that your loan is based on. If you have a treasury index loan, it is likely that you will have a larger adjustment than if you had a LIBOR index loan. This of course was just the luck of the draw at the time you got your loan as to which one had the better rate at the time. But, the LIBOR loan is more likely if you were in a non conforming type underwriting scenario such as “stated income” or “interest only” or both. If this is not a problem, you can sleep better at night knowing that your payment adjustment will not be the end of the world.
  2. If you can not afford the new payment, you may need to refinance into a fixed rate loan. Fixed rate loans are still very competitive right now, and as I write this, the national average is 6.05% for a conventional 30 year fixed rate mortgage (there is a lot of fine print with that quote that includes primary residence, 20% equity, no cash out at closing, etc.). If you have an adjustable rate, and you have equity in your home that will allow you to refinance, it may very well be worth it even if you take a higher rate than you have currently. For example, if your current rate is 5.5% and it will adjust this year with a maximum adjustment cap of 1%, you may consider refinancing at 6% for the long term security of knowing that the rate will never adjust again, rather than wait for the adjustable rate to move to 6.5%.
  3. If your overall financial situation has changed, and you can no longer afford the payment regardless whether you refinance or not, you have to sell. The government is not going to step in and save you, and neither will your mortgage company. All of the consumer protection discussions going on have nothing to do with changes in lifestyle, they directly address mortgage practices that took place at the time your loan was originated. So be aware, you have to be proactive, particularly if you are past due on your payment already.
  4. If you have no equity in your home, and you can no longer afford the payment, you have 2 choices: 1) Foreclosure, or 2) a Short Sale. A short sale is no easy task, and not everyone qualifies, but it is worth the hassle to not have a foreclosure on your record. A short sale, simply put, is getting a buyer to pay less than what you owe on the property, and convincing the lender to accept that as payment in full. This is not a new program, but it has exploded in popularity in the last year. This option will affect your credit in about the same way that a credit card account would where they agreed to settle for less than the amount owed. it is not a glowing recommendation on your credit, but it is significantly better than a foreclosure.

There are obviously more details involved in your situation than what I have covered here, but hopefully this helps to put your options out on the table.

Pensacola Home Values Down 6.5%

Pensacola Home Values Down 6.5%

Pensacola Home Values Down Less than the national average

Nationwide Home Values Down 7.5% For The First Quarter Of 2008.

According to a recent article in Zillow, home values in the Pensacola area fell 6.5% for the first quarter of 2008 compared to the same period in 2007.  In addition, the median home price nationwide has had the most significant year over year decrease in value in 12 years pushing home prices back to levels seen in 2005.

See the complete Zillow article here along with some really cool national real estate data tools.

For those who are not familiar with zillow, it can be a good resource to see general information about your home value, and the values and recent sales in your area.  This is a free service, and as such, you get what you pay for.  It is packed with good information, and some cool resources and tools, but actual values reported are not to be taken literally.  They are typically off by about 10%, and in some areas it could be as much as 20%.  For location based property (such as waterfront), don’t even bother.

That being said, it is a fun site to surf around in.