Making Time To Give: Rocket’s Volunteers Go Above And Beyond

As the season of giving thanks begins, The Mortgage Note would like to recognize the people who contribute to their communities. In June, leaders at the Rock Family of Companies and Rocket Community Fund announced that team members had spent one million hours volunteering with community organizations and nonprofits, participating in more than 150,000 events with more than 4,800 organizations nationwide. The milestone was reached at an event with The Greening of Detroit at Lafayette Gardens in downtown Detroit. Rocket Companies is headquartered in the city. “Rocket Companies invests in Detroit through its business, philanthropy and workforce, along with the tens of thousands of team members who help mentor our youth, ensure our food banks are stocked, connect our residents…

Commutes Influencing Homebuyer Decisions

Scores of workers are being called back to their offices after more than three years of working remotely, influencing homebuyers’ choices as commutes are reintroduced to their lives. The typical American commute is 26.4 minutes long, according to a new analysis by LendingTree. Based on median hourly earnings of $30.80, commuting costs $27.10 a day in lost time — or $5,724.56 a year. Losses associated with commuting go beyond working time, according to LendingTree chief credit analyst Matt Schulz. Gas, parking, car maintenance, child care, and the toll on the mind and body add to the overall stresses of a workday involving travel. Price-wise, the typical commute costs nearly 50 cents a mile when total expenses are added together. “The…

The Future Of Build-For-Rent Single-Family Communities Is Bright

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Build-for-rent communities have been growing in popularity as the housing landscape changes in the United States. According to leaders at the National Association of Home Builders, developers are exploring new ways to meet continued housing demand and single-family build-for-rent properties provide a stepping stone between renting and buying for young families, as well as a good downsizing option for aging adults. They say many of the people who choose to live in these neighborhoods are renters by choice. The concept has been getting national attention as people want the flexibility of renting but the amenities that come with homeownership such as more privacy and backyards. It is estimated that hundreds of build-for-rent communities are coming to the…

UWM’s Ishbia Building Michigan’s Biggest House, Complete With Amusement Park

By SCOTT KIMBLER Mat Ishbia may only be 5’ 10”, but the CEO of United Wholesale Mortgage likes things big — including his house. Already the majority owner of the Phoenix Suns NBA team and the Phoenix Mercury WNBA team, the mortgage business billionaire is well on his way to building the largest lived-in residence in Michigan, complete with an amusement park. Ishbia will have to tear down five existing homes — including his current 22,000-square-foot house — to build his 63,000-square-foot mega-mansion on a 14-acre lot in Bloomfield Township. It took the township’s zoning board 18 months of negotiating over variances and changes before giving Ishbia’s palatial spread its unanimous approval. And it’s not just a mansion in the…

Rocket VP Of Public Policy: Goal Is To Reduce Barriers To Homeownership

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The new vice president of public policy at Rocket Central says his goal is to increase opportunities for people who have historically had difficulties achieving home ownership because of a host of barriers. Karan Kaul, a housing finance veteran who worked as a principal research associate in the Housing Finance Policy Center at the Urban Institute prior to joining Rocket, said that means focusing on first-time homebuyers, people of color, and low- to moderate-income borrowers. In a recent interview with The Mortgage Note, Kaul said a well-documented hurdle to homeownership is a lack of an adequate down payment, especially with the increase in home prices over the last decade. “So what can we do to make sure…

Rocket Mortgage EVP: Addressing Affordability Is A Top Priority

By KIMBERLEY HAAS As the housing market moderates after a whirlwind pandemic ride, affordability continues to be a chief concern for consumers and mortgage providers are responding with a variety of programs to encourage potential buyers to get off the sidelines. Leaders at Rocket Mortgage say that a major hurdle on the path to homeownership for their clients is saving for closing costs and earlier this month they announced a national program where buyers can receive help through BUY+, a collaboration with Rocket Homes. Buyers can receive a credit of 1.5% of their loan amount – up to $10,000 off their closing costs – by working with a Rocket Homes Partner Agent. Those working with an unaffiliated real estate professional…

Rocket Pro TPO Competes For Loans Under $200K

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders at Rocket Pro TPO are extending their promotion on 30-year conventional purchase loans at or under $200,000 as they gear up to be more competitive in that market this year. During an IGNITE: Live! webinar on Monday, Executive Vice President Mike Fawaz announced that they are continuing their 37.5 BPS credit on these loans. Fawaz said they want to make sure that they listen to their broker partners and their feedback. “This is something we have been extending every single month since December. And the feedback continues to be incredible and positive and broker partners want it,” Fawaz said. Fawaz explained the philosophy behind the promotion. “When you think about it, we are very competitive when…

Helpers Can Be Found Throughout The Industry

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Leaders in the industry are committed to giving back during the holiday season and throughout the year. It was announced earlier this month that Down Payment Resource in Atlanta, Ga., will help a family in Memphis, Tenn., attain their homeownership dreams by donating $10,000 to the Homeownership Council of America’s Equity Down Payment Assistance program. They provide down payment and closing cost assistance for low-to-moderate income and minority first-time homebuyers. Leaders at Down Payment Resource say that is “a mission that aligns with our company’s founding goal of expanding affordable homeownership program awareness, understanding, and participation.” Rob Chrane, founder and CEO of Down Payment Resource, said in a statement for The Mortgage Note that they are supporting the program because…

Hitting The Market During The Holidays? What Sellers And Buyers Need To Know

By KIMBERLEY HAAS The housing market traditionally cools during the holiday season as people focus on family and friends but industry leaders say it is a good time for potential sellers and buyers to weigh their options. After mortgage rates recently surged above 7%, real estate activity and consumer sentiment took a nosedive. Home delistings hit a record high in November as sellers and buyers pulled out of the market, according to journalists Lily Katz and Ben Walzer at Redfin. Markets where home prices skyrocketed during the pandemic are now cooling the fastest. In Sacramento, Calif., an average of 3.6% of active listings were delisted per week during the 12 weeks ending on November 27, up 1.6 percentage points from one year earlier.…

With The Holidays Here, Industry Leaders Share What They Are Grateful For

By KIMBERLEY HAAS Industry leaders are sharing their thoughts as 2022 winds down and they are expressing gratitude despite challenges in the current market. Bill Banfield, EVP of Capital Markets at Rocket Mortgage in Detroit, Michigan, said he appreciates the mental stimulation of navigating a tough market because people are forced to get creative in finding solutions for customers. “Your company, your teams, you get to try to figure out how you can help people or how you can improve your company. It’s actually a much more fascinating time than when you’re in a super boom and all you can do is talk about rates and payments,” Banfield said. Banfield had just sat down with The Mortgage Note to talk…