An interview on COVID and Mortgages

Paula Switzer of Union Home Mortgage joins Matt Leicht to discuss how COVID-19 has affected the mortgage industry from a residential aspect. Paula has lived in the Sarasota area for 40 years and has been a local lender for 17 years. She has a strong background in financial institutions and worked in a real estate company for 10 years.  She covers loan forbearance and what mortgage interest rates are doing during this COVID-19 pandemic. Watch the interview above for a full report, or check out some tidbits below of our interview.

1:25 - How has COVID-19 affected the mortgage industry?

“Mortgage lenders are busy, busy, busy! Rates have dropped, so everyone out there with a current existing mortgage has called to refinance.”

“There are a lot of people still inquiring about purchases.”

"There has been a lot of communication between Washington DC and the Mortgage Bankers Association into, 'how do we accommodate the needs of people?'... and there's obviously been a lot of restrictions as far as tightening... there's not quite as many programs available right now."

“There is plenty of money for conventional loans.” 

3:50 - Are mortgage interest rates lower due to coronavirus? Where do you see them going the next few months?

“Interest rates are fantastic right now, they're really low. They were historically low before COVID came and now that it’s here it has dropped them even lower.”

“The 30 year fixed is sitting at 3.25 give or take [speaking without fees]...We’re in the low 3’s, 15 years are in the higher two’s.”

“10% of people think interest rates are going to go up. 45% think they are going to go down. 45% think they are going to be unchanged.” 

5:05 - How volatile are interest rates right now?

“Fortunately, the past couple of weeks we’ve seen rates level out.

6:12 - Is now the time to refinance? And who should consider doing a refinance?

“If you’ve got anything over 4.25, 4.125 or even 4%, call a lender and find out a little bit about the benefit. In Florida we don’t pay a state tax, so in Florida our closing costs are a little bit more to do a refinance. That being said, you really have to do the math on it."

"Any lender can can roll in the closing costs and compare the closing costs for you. It’s just a matter of how long do you want to be in the house, when’s your break even period, and when is it going to be worth it.” 

7:40 - What is loan forbearance and how does it work?

“Loan Forbearance is not loan forgiveness. Forbearance is stopping, taking a time out on your mortgage, so to speak. That lender might be putting it on the back end of the mortgage, they might be making arrangements where you're just doing forbearance for a couple of months...We don't know exactly how that's going to look on the back end, however, it's not forgiveness. That money is eventually going to be due.”

“If you are going to be buying a home, just because you can, doesn’t mean you should.”

“Unless you really have a reason, I wouldn’t take advantage of that [forbearance]. But certainly if you need it, it’s there for you.”

"Different servicers [that's who you make your payment to], are handling things a little bit differently. We do know that it’s not causing a negative impact on your credit score right now.”

11:15 - Will an income dip during COVID-19 affect their ability to obtain a mortgage in the future?

“I would think, again this is my opinion it's not a fact, that lenders are going to be looking at it like you’ve had a surgery, you're off work for a period of time, you've had a maternity leave…”

“I think as long as you can explain it, and there’s that snapshot of them being unemployed, I think that we can take that out. Because obviously that’s going to drag down their income.” 

*Listen in for Paula's opinion on obtaining a mortgage for commission, bonus, and overtime income situations

Contact Information

Paula Switzer, Loan Officer
Cell - 941.232.5884
Matt Leicht, Realtor®
Cell - 941.256.3321
Email -
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