Neuswanger: Chamonix Vail buyers have many financing options for their homes (column) |

Neuswanger: Chamonix Vail buyers have many financing options for their homes (column)

Chris Neuswanger
The Mountain Mortgage Guy

Now that the first closings on the new Chamonix Vail units are days away from starting and will continue the next three to four months, many homebuyers are suddenly finding the reality that not every lender out there can arrange financing on deed-restricted properties, or they may be finding out the lender that did their prequalification didn’t do his homework thoroughly in evaluating their ability to buy a home.

While there are requirements for every homebuyer to meet in terms of financial ability and credit worthiness, not every lender is created equal and not every lender offers the same options.

While most of the mortgage business conforms, on a certain level, to the same guidelines established by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the two government agencies that end up owning most of the mortgage loans out there), some lenders have more restrictive overlays that make it harder or, in some cases, know the rules extremely well and know how to work through many common obstacles.

Know the Rules

As an independent mortgage broker, I learned early on that knowing the rules better than most of the lenders I deal with would be a key part of my success.

I have spent many hours reading Fannies Mae’s 1,200-page rulebook for approving loans. Freddie Mac has a similar tome. What may be specifically not allowed on one section is often clearly allowed under another section. The trick is to be able to cite chapter and verse as to why my client’s loan should get approved.

Recently, my phone has been ringing with calls from some Chamonix buyers who thought they were qualified to buy a Chamonix Vail unit and suddenly were told they were not. In some cases, I can’t help them, but in a few, I’ve been able to figure out a way.

Get a Few Opinions

For example, a homebuyer suddenly was told that his or her income was not adequate but Dad was willing to co-sign. The first lender they were talking to could not figure out how to get such a situation approved without Dad on the title, which is not allowed by the town of Vail on a deed-restricted unit, as owners must be occupants, but I figured out a path to get it done and follow the town rules on ownership.

I’m also in discussion with another buyer and it appears I can secure a down payment grant (not a loan, free money) to help him make the grade. His interest rate is going to be a bit higher than normal, as the lender providing the grant for the down charges a higher rate to make it happen, but I’m hopeful we can get him in there with a $1,000 down payment. This option has a lot of restrictions and will not work for everyone.

The bottom line is if you are credit challenged or income and down payment impaired and having an issue getting approved for your home loan, then at least get a couple of opinions on your options.

Chris Neuswanger is a mortgage loan originator with Macro Financial Group in Avon and may be reached at 970-748-0342. He welcomes mortgage-related questions from readers. His website and blog can be found at

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