Is 2017 the year of change for the Atlanta lending environment?

by Atlanta Agent


Whitney Fite is the president of Angel Oak Home Loans

Since the election, the real estate space has been buzzing with what’s to come in the New Year. With almost certain changes on the horizon, due to expectations President-Elect Trump has instilled among the business community, 2017 could see some interesting shifts in the lending environment.

Real estate professionals expect President-Elect Trump to be pro-business, pro-tax cuts and in favor of reducing regulations that have had a stifling effect on the availability of mortgage credit. As the economy and job market continue to improve and home prices rise at a comfortable rate, it only makes sense for mortgage guidelines and product availability to expand as well. Real estate professionals in Atlanta need to position themselves at the forefront of the next credit cycle by working with a lender that has access to proprietary portfolio programs intended to assist the currently underserved.

Over the past three years, we have been able to partner with brokers, builders and even other lenders to increase their sales by helping these buyers achieve the dream of homeownership. Our data and results show that there are many credit worthy borrowers that do not fit today’s tight lending standards and therefore “just miss” qualifying for a conventional loan:

•The “housing event” borrower – They have had a one-time credit event related to housing (which could include a short sale, foreclosure or bankruptcy), and are told they need to be three-to-seven years outside of that event to qualify for a mortgage. However, there are programs that reduce that time requirement to as little as one day, so as long as borrowers are outside of the event, they may qualify for a loan.

•The self-employed borrower – There are many solutions for the non-W2 income, self-employed borrower, including a 24-month bank statement program that allows a borrower to qualify on the average deposits in their personal or business accounts for a period of 24 months.

•The real estate investor – There are many complexities that come with being an active real estate investor, including a maximum number of properties and the level of income needed to qualify for additional mortgages. There are programs available that allow borrowers to qualify using the expected income from the specific property, and do not have a maximum number of properties.

It’s tough to escape stories in the media that speak about the real estate market readying to fully emerge from past difficulties and enter a new frontier. By seeking new means of supporting new borrowers and those previously unable to access mortgage credit, real estate professionals can better position themselves for growth in 2017 and beyond. We’re excited to be at the helm of this new era in lending and what the future could hold for all of us.

Whitney L. Fite is president of Angel Oak Home Loans LLC. Whitney has more than two decades of real estate loan origination experience. Prior to Angel Oak Home Loans, he served as the vice president/area production manager at Regions Mortgage, and served in branch leadership positions at Opteum Mortgage and Homebanc Mortgage, where he consistently ranked among the top five loan originators in Georgia.

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