Mortgage Tips from One of the Valley’s Experts

Advice from Michael Picore of Bay Equity

Recently, Roaring Fork Lifestyle talked with Michael Picore, area sales manager for Bay Equity Home Loans. One of the valley’s most experienced mortgage brokers, Picore started his career in commercial lending straight out of college. After working in home mortgage lending with Wells Fargo, he weathered the 2008 mortgage market meltdown. Building on hard lessons learned during that time, he started a branch of W.J. Bradley Mortgage, gradually expanding it from Glenwood Springs to Frisco, Basalt and Edwards.

In mid-2015, Picore’s entire team switched over to Bay Equity Home Loans, a firm that was voted tenth in the Best Places to Work competition by Mortgage Executive Magazine and was also recently recognized as one of America’s fastest-growing companies by Inc. Magazine.

Here’s Picore’s sage advice for readers in the market for home loans.

Lifestyle: What do buyers need to know about mortgages?
Picore: When shopping for mortgages, there are basic things to consider such as interest rates, loan terms, fees, etc. It’s good to also know that all mortgage companies are not created equally. It’s advantageous to work with a local mortgage office that understands the nuances of our market. The Roaring Fork Valley is unique and an online company or a non-local mortgage company may not understand it. Where else in the world besides Aspen, Colorado can you buy a mobile home for $1,000,000?

At Bay Equity Home Loans, we serve as a financial partner to first-time homebuyers so that they have a good financial foundation. At Bay Equity, we also have strong financial acumen that allows us to assist the sophisticated homebuyer to buy second homes and investment properties.

Lifestyle: Is this a good time to buy a home?
Picore: Because of very high demand and low inventory, both the rental and purchase markets are tight from Aspen to Rifle. Mortgage rates continue to hover around 40-year lows, while underwriting has loosened up and properties continue to appreciate. That’s making for a hot and competitive market. We strongly encourage our clients to get pre-qualified for a mortgage so they can put in an offer quickly when they find their perfect home.

Lifestyle: What about land?
Picore: There is a good inventory of land available in the Roaring Fork Valley. Due to low existing home inventory, more new homes are being built. Our company is set up with a couple banks that handle land and construction loans. We are happy to walk the buyer through the details of a construction loan, but that’s typically a little lengthier process.

Lifestyle: How much lead-time does a buyer need?
Picore: That all depends on the borrower. The more complicated the situation, the more time it will require. A mortgage pre-approval can be done in about an hour, and we recommend doing that so you know your baseline.

For a pre-approval, we take the customer’s application, review their financial package, and then run an analysis based on their desires. From there, we can determine the maximum purchase price, make suggestions to improve credit scores, and recommend ways for buyers to best position themselves. We know a lot of tricks and can help you to position yourself to get the best mortgage possible. This is an expensive valley, so getting the best mortgage you can will help to make living here long-term a reality. We’re all locals, and our goal is to find what’s best for our customers and to develop a life-long partnership with them.

Lifestyle: Is the local market seasonal?
Picore: As the market continues to get hotter, we’re seeing less and less off-season. The best time to buy is when you find the home that’s right for you and your family.

Lifestyle: After 2008, lenders really tightened up. What’s the process like now?
Picore: The mortgage process went from “if you want a mortgage, you should have one” to “if you don’t need a mortgage, you can get one.” The process now is somewhere in the middle. Borrowers do need to document their assets and income. However, there are a lot of different mortgage programs that cater to varying qualifications. Borrowers can do zero percent down or have credit scores as low as 580; ideally, borrowers should have at least a 620 credit score and some downpayment. There are a lot of programs available for various borrowing needs. An expert guide, like our team at Bay Equity Home Loans, can help you find them. We like to help align borrowers with the best mortgage for them.

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