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The US House of Representatives just recently passed a new bill this week, that improves and modernizes the VA appraisal requirement. 

The bill is titled HR 7735, and is known as the "Improving access to the VA home loan benefit Act of 2022". The key takeaway from this bill is that the VA will now allow "desktop appraisals" , and will even begin allowing "appraisal waivers", in certain scenarios. This should help to modernize the VA appraisal process and bring it up to speed with Conventional and FHA loans. 

The bill was introduced by Illinois Rep. Mike Bost, who said, "This bill will make sure that veterans are not unfairly disadvantaged during the home buying process and allow for a modern, digital appraisal process, which will get them into their new home faster". 

To learn more, click on the following link:

Posted by Austin Howland on September 15th, 2022 5:31 PM

The following is an excerpt from an article posted on March 21, 2022, by the Fannie Mae Enterprise Innovation Team. CLICK HERE to view the complete article from

"Increasingly, the business world is considering adopting blockchain and many of its underlying, novel technologies. Some market observers touted it as a "Great Disruptor"1 – akin to the emergence of the internet – but that's been said about a number of emerging technologies before, including blockchain in 2017. What, if anything, has changed about this particular technology, and what makes today's blockchain discussion different, particularly among stakeholders in the housing finance industry?

To help answer these questions, it's worth looking more closely at blockchain's current usage in the financial services space and its perception among housing industry stakeholders. To better understand the latter, Fannie Mae's Economic and Strategic Research Group asked senior mortgage executives for their opinions on blockchain technology, including whether they plan to adopt it and its potential impact on the housing industry.

How is blockchain being used today?

Led by consumers' use of cryptocurrencies, blockchain has become fairly mainstream. Networks like Visa and Mastercard have introduced crypto-related capabilities to their product offerings. And consumer-facing brands like Starbucks, Best Buy, GolfNow, and Choice Hotels have entered partnerships to provide consumers with the ability to pay with cryptocurrency."

What are mortgage lenders saying?

"Using our Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey® (MLSS), we surveyed mortgage lenders on a variety of topics related to blockchain, including its adoption, application, and potential future usage. These are some of the highlights of the report:

  • Even with all the recent headlines about blockchain, only 25% of lenders said they were familiar with the technology and its possible applications in the mortgage business.
    • A majority of lenders (68%) said they have not yet looked into the technology.
    • Of the 20% of lenders that have looked into blockchain, 41% said they plan to adopt it within four years.
  • Lenders cited blockchain's potential use for borrower and collateral data as having more applicability than its use as a potential financial instrument.
    • Respondents were most intrigued by the idea of a digital wallet containing borrower information enabling "direct-to-source" validation, followed by a title registry for search and validation to complete title/property transfers.
  • Although familiarity with blockchain is low, approximately 40% of lenders believe decentralized finance (DeFi) has high to very high potential to disrupt incumbent financial institutions.
  • While cryptocurrencies often garner the majority of blockchain headlines, only 31% of lenders believe that mortgage companies are likely to accept cryptocurrency from consumers as mortgage payments over the next three years."

*Finish reading the complete article from, HERE.*

Posted in:General and tagged: Blockchain
Posted by Austin Howland on August 2nd, 2022 7:09 PM

Appraisal Waiver FAQs

When purchasing a home, did you know you might be able to waive the appraisal and the fee?

You could be eligible for an appraisal waiver, allowing you to:

- Save hundreds of dollars on the appraisal fee

- Close faster, usually in 20 days or less

- Eliminate the worry of a low appraisal value?

?? Call us today. 407-834-3377

#appraisal #appraisalwaiver #refinance #mortgage #floridarealestate #movingtoFlorida

Posted in:GeneralPosted in:Appraisals and tagged: appraisal waiver
Posted by Austin Howland on August 2nd, 2022 6:24 PM

What’s the first step of the home buying process?

Getting pre-approved for a mortgage is the first step in the home buying process. A pre-approval letter from a lender (us) gets the ball rolling in the right direction!

Here’s why:

? Knowing how much home you can afford narrows down online home search to suitable properties
? Being pre-approved for a mortgage demonstrates that you are a serious buyer to both your real estate agent and the person selling their home
? Most agents will require a pre-approval before showing homes

Give us a call and let's discuss your financing options. 407-834-3377.

Posted by Holly Ecimovic on July 11th, 2022 1:03 PM

What does "refinance your home loan" mean?

When you refinance, you are trading in your existing mortgage for a new one, and most likely the new one will have a new balance. Your lender will pay off your previous mortgage, and you will owe your lender the new balance.

Refinancing your home loan can be an excellent way to pay off debt, or to consolidate your monthly debts into one payment.

Did you get your original home loan when rates were lower than they are now? You might have. But, that doesn't mean you shouldn't consider refinancing your home loan today - rates are STILL low, historically. Plus, it could be worth it to pay off debts that have been nagging you for quite some time!

Consider giving our office a call to see how significant the savings could be for you each month: 407-834-3377.


Currently, experts say consumers have more home equity than ever before. However, many people are stuck on the idea that a 5% mortgage “just isn’t worth it” in terms of consolidating debt via refinancing.


The benefits of consolidating high interest credit cards, car loans, personal loans, student loans and home equity loans into one, 30-year fixed rate mortgage are definitely something to think about! The amount of money you can save by consolidating debt can be in the hundreds of dollars range, perhaps more.


Think about it this way: would you rather have a 3% mortgage and a bunch of other debts that tie up all of your monthly liquidity, OR would  you rather have a 5% mortgage and save hundreds every month? Reach out to us today at 407-834-3377 and we can show you graphically and numerically just how much you can save. 


Additional information on refinancing: 


(The following is provided by



When you refinance a mortgage, you pay off your existing home loan and replace it with a new one—often with a lower monthly payment or better loan terms.

You’ll work with an independent mortgage broker every step of the way and provide them documents like your bank statements and tax returns to start the process.

How do you know if refinancing is right for you?

Let’s take a look at some of the top reasons why people refinance their home loan.

1. Lower Monthly Payments

This is one of the most common and obvious reasons homeowners decide to refinance. When you have built up equity in your home, you have the opportunity to refinance and possibly get a lower payment. Who doesn’t want that? To ensure you’re getting the best deal, it’s a good idea to work with an independent mortgage broker like us who can compare prices across all lenders to find you the best deal for your financial situation.

2. Improved Credit Score

An improved credit score is a great motivation for looking into a potential refinance. If your score improved since you took out your mortgage loan, you may be eligible for a lower interest rate and new loan terms. Something to think about!

3. Obtain Some Extra Cash 

A popular type of refinancing is a cash-out refi. In some instances, you may be able to find a reduced interest rate and still take cash out of your home to use as you wish. Many use this to pay off other debt or to help cover the costs for home improvements. 

4. Change the Loan Term 

Changing the term of a loan is another common reason why someone may refinance. It’s not unusual for a short-term loan to have a lower interest rate. While this may result in a higher monthly payment, you’ll likely be saving money over the life of the loan. 

5. Switch to a Fixed Rate 

Adjustable-rate mortgages (ARMs) may start with a low interest rate, but often increase significantly throughout the duration of your loan. Switching to a fixed-rate means the interest rate cannot change, making it a smart move if you plan to be in your home for a long time. 

6. Remove Someone from the Loan 

Whether you’re getting a divorce or just going separate ways from a roommate, another common reason to refinance is to remove someone from the title or loan.

7. Eliminate Mortgage Insurance 

Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) is required on loans with less than 20 percent down at closing. However, once the homeowner has acquired at least 20 percent home equity with a conventional loan, it’s no longer required. If you’ve built up enough equity and are looking to cut the cost of insurance, refinancing could be a great option.

8. Consolidate Debt 

For homeowners with a lot of high-interest credit card debt, a refinance can help them consolidate their debt and save on interest payments. If you have enough home equity, this type of refinance may be possible.

Ready refinance your home loan? Talk through your options with us! Give us a call at 407-834-3377. We will guide you through the process and ensure the refinance meets your financial needs.


Doing a refinance in today's market is worth considering, if you are looking to pay off debt. It could truly help you turn things around financially!

Posted by Holly Ecimovic on July 8th, 2022 3:02 PM

What Factors Affect Mortgage Approval?

Before you look at homes, it’s always a good idea to get pre-approved for a mortgage. This way you know how much you can afford and what your mortgage payment will be. Before you get pre-approved, though, it’s important to know what factors affect mortgage approval.

Here are the top factors:

Credit Scores

Your credit score is the first thing lenders look at when deciding if you qualify for a loan.

It doesn’t need to be perfect, but the higher your credit score is, the higher your chances of approval become. 

Ideally, you should have a credit score of 700 or higher, but if it’s not, aim for at least a 660 credit score. 

Credit History

Your credit history is just as important as your credit score. It shows lenders how you handle your finances. To increase your chances of mortgage approval, make sure your credit report doesn’t show any:

Payments over 30 days past due



Credit cards with over 30% of the credit line outstanding

Too many inquiries

Debt-to-Income Ratio

Your debt-to-income ratio shows lenders how much of your income is spoken for already. This includes the new mortgage you applied for, too.

The higher your DTI is, the lower your chances of approval become. Ideally, your debt-to-income ratio should be 43% or less. You can calculate your DTI by totaling up your monthly debts (car loans, personal loans, student loans, minimum credit card payments, and new mortgage PITI) and divide it by your gross monthly income (income before taxes).

If it’s higher than 43%, see what debts you can pay off to lower your DTI.

Employment History

Most lenders want to see a 2-year employment history. This means two years at the same job with a stable income. If you changed jobs within the last 2 years, but it was within the same industry and it was to make more money or take a better position, you may still be in good standing.

Try avoiding changing jobs and/or industries leading up to a mortgage application to improve your chances of mortgage approval.

Money for a Down Payment

Most loan programs require a down payment. It doesn’t have to be 20% or even 10%; you can get by with 3% - 3.5% down today, but you’ll need to prove you have the funds. Lenders look at your bank statements to ensure the money belongs to you and that it’s yours to spend. 

You’ll also need money for closing costs, which can be 2% - 5% of the loan amount, depending on your lender and the qualifying factors.


It’s not as hard as it seems to get a mortgage approval, but you should take the time to prepare yourself for the application. The better your qualifying factors are when you apply, the higher your chances of approval become. Also, with higher credit scores, lower debt ratios, and enough money saved for a down payment, you could get more attractive terms and interest rates on your mortgage! 

Call us today, and we can chat about your financing options: 407-834-3377.

Posted by Holly Ecimovic on July 6th, 2022 12:19 PM

Let us get you in a home with time to settle in before school starts this fall.

We close loans in as little as 14 days so you won't be stuck scrambling to find the bus stop in the morning!

We all know summer is the peak home buying season, and there’s a good reason for it! Summer often presents more opportunities for buyers to get out and about and look at homes, and the weather can be ideal for home shopping and moving, (of course except for the heat sometimes).

Many times, families opt to purchase a home in the summer so that they can get their children settled into a new school district, or specifically the district they desire, by the start of the new school year.

It's also typically better moving weather in most parts of the United States, but of course, the temps can be a little high depending on where you live (here in Central Florida, the heat and humidity will be something to consider!)

People who are looking to move to a place that will shorten their commute time to work will often look at buying a home during the summer. Why? Similar to starting a new school year, lots of people like to take the time to buy a home and move during the summer, when things might be a little bit slower at work (depending of course on what type of job you have!) 

Some experts say that most sellers want to avoid moving during the holidays. That makes summer an ideal time for people to sell their homes.

Some experts have said that historically, there are fewer buyers during the fall season. A lot of times, parents who are homebuyers want to already be settled into that new home by fall -- not moving during the fall.

And hey, if you decide to buy your new home during the summer, there's a great chance you can have a pool party to celebrate your move in day...just sayin'! | 407-834-3377

Posted by Holly Ecimovic on July 5th, 2022 2:25 PM

Veterans and military service members can take advantage of the VA Jumbo Loan 

No down payment requirements*
No maximum loan amount with 100% LTV financing
15-, 20-, and 30-year fixed terms
3/1 Non-conforming ARM and 5/1 non-conforming ARM
Minimum credit score of 580 for each borrower
*Eligibility requirements apply
Call today and let’s finance your home! 407-834-3377
#VALoan #militaryservicemember #veterans #veteran #thosewhoserve #floridarealestate #mortgage #refinance #contemporarymortgage
Contemporary Mortgage Services, Inc. | NMLS #205042 | Licensed Mortgage Broker | Equal Opportunity Lender | Altamonte Springs, Fla. 

Posted by Holly Ecimovic on July 1st, 2022 3:48 PM

Do you know what that interest rate will cost you?

Mortgage rates matter!

If you’re in the market for a house, you might think about the features the house has or the price, but how often do you think about the mortgage rate?

Many buyers don’t realize the importance of the mortgage rate, so we are here to clear the air so you can make an informed decision.

What is a mortgage rate?

The mortgage rate is the fee the lender charges you to borrow money. You borrow principal, or the amount of the loan, and the interest is the fee they charge you. Your monthly mortgage payment includes both the principal (loan amount) and interest (the bank’s fee).

How much of a difference does the mortgage rate make?

You might not think the mortgage rate makes that much of a difference. After all, if it’s just 1%, how much more could you pay?

The difference is tremendous, especially if you’re talking about a 30-year loan. When you borrow funds for 30 years, you keep the bank’s money for that time. This means they charge you interest over 30 years versus 10 or 15 years on a shorter-term loan.

Here’s an example:

You borrow $230,000 at 4% for 30 years. Your principal and interest payment are $1,098 and over the life of the loan, you’d pay $165,299 in interest. 

That’s in addition to the $230,000 that you pay back (the money you borrowed).

Now, if you borrowed $230,000 at 5% for 30 years, your principal and interest payment would be $1,234 per month and over the life of the loan, you’d pay $214,488 in interest.

That’s a difference of $49,189! There’s probably a lot you’d rather do with that amount of money instead of paying the bank, right?

Your interest rate makes a big difference in your mortgage payment and even what house you can afford. Sometimes even an interest rate that ½ point higher can make you ineligible for a mortgage loan.

Don’t take a chance. Give us a call, and let's see what your options are. Call us at 407-834-3377. 

Posted by Holly Ecimovic on June 30th, 2022 2:41 PM

How to Get a Home Loan with a Less-Than-Perfect Credit Score

Many people think you need ‘perfect credit’ and a large down payment to get a home loan.

You don’t.

Today, there are programs for people with less than perfect credit and little money down.

While it helps to have good credit because you have more options, don’t let bad credit stop you from buying the home of your dreams.

What programs are available? Check out the list below.

FHA Loans

The FHA program is the best loan program for borrowers with ‘bad credit.’ All you need is a 580 credit score, which is almost 100 points less than what conventional home loan lenders require. If you have more money to put down (at least 10%), you can even get away with a credit score between 500 – 579.

FHA loans require just a 3.5% down payment and allow debt-to-income ratios between 43 – 50%. This means that your total debts (new mortgage included) don’t take up more than 43 – 50% of your income before taxes.

VA Loans

The VA home loan program is great for veterans or current military members with less than perfect credit.

If you served in the military for 90 days during wartime, 181 days during peacetime, or 6 years in the National Guard or Reserves, you’re likely eligible. 

Why consider VA loans over any other program? They have the most flexible underwriting guidelines and the lowest closing costs. You don’t even need a down payment. The VA mostly focuses on your monthly disposable income or money you have left after paying your bills. If you have enough disposable income and you’re a veteran, you have a good chance at securing the loan.

Other Loan Options for 'Bad Credit'

What if you don’t qualify for an FHA loan and aren’t a veteran?

Lenders have alternative financing options. These loans aren’t backed by the government, so each lender has its own guidelines. Some lenders cater to borrowers with bad credit, giving you a chance to become a homeowner.

Look around for lenders that offer ‘private mortgage loans’ as they are often more flexible with the guidelines, giving you more options.

Ways to Improve your Credit

If you can’t find an affordable loan given the state of your credit right now, try these tips to increase your credit score. In a matter of a few months, you can bring your credit score up and get the loan you need:

  • Pay your bills on time, eliminating all late payments
  • Pay your debts down to reduce your credit utilization rate (the comparison of your total debts to your total credit lines)
  • Don’t apply for new credit (every inquiry brings your credit score down)
  • Keep old credit lines open but don’t use them (the longer credit length helps your score)

Don’t think you can’t get a mortgage just because you have bad credit. There are options. If you take a loan now that’s more expensive than you’d like, work on improving your credit and refinance the loan in a year or two when things look better. This allows you to buy your home when you want, and not let bad credit hold you back. 

Posted by Holly Ecimovic on June 28th, 2022 4:15 PM


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Contemporary Mortgage Services, Inc

498 Palm Springs Drive Suite 220
Altamonte Springs, FL 32701