2010-08-06 22.07.23

Tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and though it is foggy now at my house in Monarch Beach California, the sunset was beautiful. Here in paradise there were few open houses and only the grocery store was busy. The photograph above is one of a few I will share from a trip to Africa. I love the ten minutes as the sun goes down, when we all ought to say a prayer and be thankful. Happy Easter tomorrow or Passover, I'm busy cooking for my crew tomorrow.

Caroline Gerardo


Mortgage Rates Steady

American Flag in Monarch Beach, California
Cheeta on termite mound watching the market?

Pride of Lions
  • Mortgage rates push slightly higher today. The trading session for bond markets including Mortgage backed securities, closed early on Thursday in honor of today’s Good Friday holiday. Although I’m Catholic, I wonder how a religious holiday stops business nationwide. Today fundings and wires are closed early, despite the fact that it is end of the month which is typically the busiest day for home loan closings. Assume all bond traders have left the building and are relaxing in their second home in the Hamptons. I have three loans to close this morning and hope their dreams of moving into houses in Dana Point, Newport Coast and Newport Beach do happen over the Easter weekend.
  • Though there is political bad news in play, none of the worries about run on banks in Cyprus bailout seem to shake and tremble the ten year bond traders. Trading levels rocked back and forth all day yesterday. Best executions on interest rates (with one point) for 30yr Fixed loans hover at 3.625% with the minor weakness being seen in the form of moderately higher borrowing costs. Normally before a three day weekend traders would raise rates, increase margins and protect the igloo to be able to get out of town safely for the holiday. Still there are worries about the economics in Italy and the EU.  A lion or a cheeta lurking on the savannah?
  • Mortgage rates remain low. More money and lenders are jumping into Jumbo and Super Jumbo ARMS with interest only payments and even qualify without taxes for the self -employed (of course priced for that risk)
  • Rates change all the time, this is not an offer to lend you money
  • 30YR FIXED - 3.75% (APR 3.811), 3.625 % (APR 3.789) coming back into view
  • FHA/VA - 3.375 (APR 3.499)
  • 15 YEAR FIXED - 3.00% (APR 3.129) coming back into view.
  • 5 YEAR ARMS - 2.625 (APR 2.713)
  • Of course there are pricing adds for: FICO, property type, time period for lock, loan to value, use, dollar amount, and the proverbial kitchen sink.

Lock/Float Worries for April and May 2013

  • Rates are moderately higher but consistently since hitting their all-time lows in September and October 2012.

Other factors that prevent mortgage loans from sliding back to lower numbers are worldwide concerns about the EU bailouts and still high unemployment. We aren’t out of the woods with those ugly monkeys Toto, not yet.

Though some would wish we were Japanese mortgage rates of recent history (less than 2%) with that comes great sacrifice for the whole. California appears to be miraculously recovering in coastal areas, with values rising. Still there are homeless families on the corner near my house in Monarch Beach with a cardboard sign about their financial troubles. We live in such a beautiful community it is difficult to think about those who are facing hardships this Easter.

I predict we will see another rate dip around Halloween 2013, perhaps triggered by some newly promoted news. It seems the story of the day is interpreted into code that traders take or leave depending on who will profit. I don’t mean to sound jaded.

What does that mean for the individual purchasing a home in Orange County California? Rates are still great, you may not hit the perfect day in the perfect moment but an eighth or a sixteenth isn’t going to break the debt to income ratio and fail your plans. My advice, don’t pay a fortune for your loan, just in case we see a dip again in October. Steady course, keep your credit on track and budget...

Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers for a Happy Easter, a joyful Passover and hopefully low tide will bring good fortune to you.

Laguna Beach Surf California, low tide
HUD House Equal Housing Opportunity


Cheap Home Green Maintenance Orange County


Sunflowers in my Home
A Dozen Cheap HOME Green Maintenance Tips for Your Orange County Home

1.     Used coffee grounds I save the grounds from my coffee to use in the following situations: battles against ants that don’t care for the acid. Ground can be added to compost, in pots as mulch, around the perimeter of your foundation. If you don’t drink coffee, Peet’s or Starbucks coffee houses in Newport Beach, Laguna Beach ect will be happy to give you a couple pounds for free. Supply them with some plastic container, even a plastic trash bag and offer to save them from walking out to the dumpster.

2.    Used pool filter Diatomaceous earth also known as D.E., diatomite, or kieselgur/kieselguhr, is a naturally occurring rock that feels like pumice, it also comes in food grade This fabulous substance is used in swimming pools to catch dirt and bacteria. Snails and ants hate it because it cuts the gentle tissues of these creatures. If you don’t have a pool, ask your neighbor or a local pool man to rinse out those filters on your lawn or throw some of it in a plastic bag for you. This can also be sprinkled around the perimeter of your home and garden to keep away pests, snails and slugs. It must be re-applied as it tends to get washed into your soil. I don’t advise you place in dog or pet sleeping areas as it has a rough feeling to the sand. With so many homes that have pools in Orange County California it should be easy to get a bag of this free.

3.    Plant a lemon tree – put it in a pot and do not overwater. Lemon juice is useful in many ways. Lemon juice removes stains, irritates ants, has a deodorizing quality and is wonderful to make lemonade. I have two types: a Meyer and a Bearrs Lemon. It is nice to have different types to bear fruit at different times.

4.    Start a compost pile  Layer grass clippings, only vegetable cuttings, nothing with rust or pest spores, nothing that has animal or oil products

5.    Four products to clean everything: vinegar, borax, dawn soap, peroxide

6.    Remove firewood stored near the home. Firewood should be stored at least 18 inches off the ground at least 2 feet from the structure. Putting firewood near your foundation is a welcome sign for spiders, ants, termites and mice.

7.    Check your gas- and battery-powered lawn equipment to make sure it is ready for summer use. Clean equipment and sharp cutting blades will make yard work easier Set the lawnmower to 4 inches high, your grass is stressed by giving it a short haircut. Water the grass less and allow it to force the roots to search deeper. Once a week is enough in coastal Orange County, let it look dry wilted then water. Don’t use pesticides or herbicides on grass. Welcome birds by putting out some millet or sunflower black oil seeds (“oilers”) have very thin shells, easy for virtually all seed-eating. Don’t put out a huge portion, the purpose is to entice them to eat the bugs and grubs in your grass.

8.    Change your filters every season and once a month in the summer. Find a heating and cooling contractor clean to service the outside unit of the air conditioning system. Clean coils operate more efficiently, and an annual service call will keep the system working at peak performance levels. I can recommend a couple contractors who are fair in Orange County serving from Huntington Beach, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel and as far south as San Diego. And speaking of filters, the filter in the hood of your kitchen range, run it in the dishwasher and grease is gone.
Photograph shows a simple use of old pumpkin peel to stop run off
9.    Gravel fill low areas in the yard or next to the foundation should be filled with gravel and compacted soil. Spring rains can cause yard flooding, which can lead to foundation flooding and damage. Also, when water pools in these low areas in summer, it creates a breeding ground for insects

10.  Simple repairs include caulking or installing a variety of inexpensive door/window insulating strips or plastic sheeting. (You can even get help from Uncle Sam on these items, but only until the end of this year.)

11.  Extension cords are for temporary use only. Those cords sitting out in the yard that have weathered the winter or inside the house plugged in on a permanent basis need to go. Check all cords for potentially dangerous nicks or frayed spots. If you have fountains, check those as well for cracks as can be dangerous combination of electricity and water around your home.

12.  Do not store Old paint near the furnace or water heater. It is a Big fire hazard. In general it will be a dried up rock when you get around to opening the can. Peel the labels off and put them in a notebook for future reference, or simply writing the color and brand details for the paint used in each room on the back of the light switch plate there. Or write the name and number and brand in an email and send it to yourself label PAINT FILE. It is against the law to dump wet paint in landfills and our local trash CR &R in Orange County has information about when and how you can dispose this safely Information here:

Conservation and rain in an ecosystem



Rush to Buy

Full text of the original Responsible Homeowners Act

Mortgage Regulation has not addressed every American, Californian or Borrowers / homeowners in Orange County. In the panic to make constituents happy, a bill was slapped together trying to address the largest number of distressed homeowners. It was hurry, hurry make somethong happen. In the end, the wind shifts and the rush was perhaps misguided.
Newport Beach sunset without any frozen yogurt

Reminds me of a analogy, a distant story:

Remember when 31 flavors was to die for?
Then Hagen Daz opened and bubble gum ice cream was forgotten.
Cold Stone Creamery next delivered the smell in hand crafted flavors that we never knew we desired. We rushed to the mall to buy.

The market in ice cream shifted to Golden Spoon but now there are twenty yogurt places near where I live in Laguna Niguel. I can walk to any and choose. We've moved to Cherry on Top or some other brand... but what locals in Orange County really seem to crave is healthy Nektar, Active Culture, Banzai Bowls... who is next? Where will we run to next?

The mortgage business is like that right now. Buyers hurry to find a property to make an offer. They  are a spin of emotions.
A borrower was rather dismayed today that their offer on a home in Newport Coast was "beat out" by someone else. They seemed panicked.
My advice twice today was, "nothing too good or too bad lasts too long." This market with no listings and frenzied offers will break into something new. Some other house will come along, it may not be the exact same calories or square footage, but don't go mad over ice cream or yogurt places. This might be a fad.

Something will come along that is great in its own time.

Mortgage rates aren't going fire sale "free yogurt" or some jump in the market, "gold bullion" - yet.


Caroline Gerardo Mortgage Loans

It's a good question. Why should you choose W.J. Bradley to obtain your home financing? You get bombarded by ads, mailers and spam from lots of mortgage lenders. How do you know which bank or mortgage company to call? Who do you click on?

Here are some great reasons to choose C G and WJB:

Direct lender. No middleman, no broker, just you and your loan officer.

Experienced. Caroline Gerardo Barbeau (C. G.) has been a mortgage lender since 1988. She has worked in Newport Beach almost as many incredible years serving Borrowers looking for best mortgage.

Caroline has closed more than two billion dollars in residential home loans.
She has bought and sold nearly eighty properties herself.
She has seen it all and has contacts to help make your mortgage transaction sail through.
Her goal is to offer the best advice free to assist you in selecting the financing that best fits your needs. Caroline has owned properties up and down the State of California. She lives in South Orange County, California

Products you need. From FHA to ARMs to jumbos to HomePath loans, HARP 2.0 no limits, underwater, Purchase, Investment, Refinance, Jumbo, Super Jumbo, Coastal Loans and Land Loans, you name it- If Caroline doesn’t have the loan or loans she will give you to the person who does.

She offers financing to fit nearly every borrower's needs.

Cutting-edge technology. We know it's a high-tech world, and we're using that to our — and your — advantage. I can tell you where in the process your loan is at any time. I even know whose desk it's on.

Fast and flawless. We are fast and we are accurate, which means you close on time. In fact, we lead the industry with our turn times.

Commitment. You're not a number. You are a client that I value highly. I am committed to explaining the loan process and helping you make informed choices.
I’m available any time. Clients call me at 5:30 AM or after work. I will work the way that suits your needs- email, text, telephone call, go to your home, sit on the kitchen table, fax, or messenger. I want to hear from you today and after you close your home mortgage loan.

I welcome your questions on the weekends. I’m no stodgy banker who turns off the phone at five o'clock.

At W.J. Bradley, you come first. Period. I'm here to help you get what you need. Call me today to learn more about what W.J. Bradley and I can deliver

Caroline Gerardo
Also known as C. G. Barbeau
Mortgage Banker
23041 SW Birch
Newport Beach California 92660
W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC
Office: 949.637.8190
NMLS: 324982


Zombie Mortgage Real

Zombie Foreclosures

This week I have seen two Borrowers who believed they were foreclosed upon in 2009, and the discover the Mortgage is still outstanding, property taxes are growing as collections and the Home Owner Association fees are ready to file a judgement. In both cases Borrowers moved out of their
primary residence prior to the actual foreclosure auction date. One sent keys back to J. P. Morgan Chase Bank and the other notified Wells Fargo Home Mortgage that they had moved out, and keys
were at the neighbors.
One property was located in Taft, California and the other in New Jersey.
The sad part of the story is they believed they did the right thing, but the problem will haunt them for years to come.

Here is an article in Reuters about this

 I had some suggestions for immediate action for these people.



March 15th, 2013  "Providing these ready-made programs to communities will help them get resources where they are needed more effectively and efficiently,” said HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan, who also serves as Chair of the Hurricane Sandy Rebuilding Task Force.
Interesting article about HUD programs that will release funds to rehab residential real estate, help home owners with counseling to negotiate with mortgage lenders and buyouts of homes in flood plains.  Is HUD just throwing money at giant problems?

written  by Brendan Gilfillan


FHA Changes Not Primroses

Primroses from Caroline Gerardo's Organic Garden

FHA Policy Changes Frowny Face :(
Mortgage FHA changes, everything is not coming up primroses…

Is an FHA loan the best thing for an Orange County Buyer? Maybe not with all the new rules coming in the next few weeks.
Here are the legal FHA Change Effective Dates for those detail oriented home shoppers in Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel, Ladera Ranch, Mission Viejo, Orange County and all of California
Here’s the legal scuttle:

• Up-front mortgage insurance premium (hereafter called MIP) increased 75 basis points to 1.75%
Effective April 9, 2012

Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) on loans up to $625,500

• Annual MIP increased 10 basis points

LTV ≤ 95% to 1.30%

LTV   95% to 1.35%

Effective April 1, 2013

Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) on loans greater than $625,500

• Annual MIP increased 5 bps

LTV ≤ 95% to 1.50%

LTV > 95% to 1.55%

Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP) NOW Non-Cancellable

• For loans with application dates on or after June 3,

2013, Annual MIP will be collected for the life of the loan, up to 30 years.

• Annual MIP collection had ceased when loan balance reached 78% of original property value.

Effective June 3, 2013

Seller Concessions

• Reducing from 6% to: greater of 3% or $6,000

• Capped at actual allowable costs

• Allowable costs are more restrictive: now disallows homeowner/condo association dues, interim interest and payment protection insurance

Indemnification becomes an issue for lenders to certify:

• Lenders must indemnify FHA against loss for all loans found with:– fraud or misrepresentation, that lender “knew or should have known about”; and/or – serious and material noncompliance with HUD requirements that would make the loan ineligible

• No appeals process or negotiated settlements permitted

Final Rule Issued January 25,

• Compare Ratio Changes:

– No longer compare to national FHA default /delinquency rate

– Mortgagee’s 24 month default/delinquency rate compared to the average rate of all FHA mortgages   only in the state(s) in which the mortgagee operates

• Automatic termination if compare ratio is greater than; 150%

• Automatic termination applies to the institution level of the mortgagee, as opposed to its branches

January 25,2012 (Federal Register /Vol. 77, No. 16)

While the FHA has been a key player in the mortgage industry, the ongoing policy changes were made to strengthen capital reserves—pricing and guideline adjustments, lender enforcement etc.

These changes have a significant impact on the higher cost to close an FHA loan, more careful scrutiny and less appealing product to close a home loan. Someone has to pay and it is going to be on the backs of lower down payment, lower credit score and first time homeowners.

So what’s my solution? 
Where is the Steel Magnolia this Spring in Orange County?

It is blooming right here in Newport Beach. Borrowers enter my credit counseling program prior to making an offer, they gather more down payment to make a solid offer and save money doing a conventional loan with MI. It will be a less costly option to buy a home in O. C.

Caroline Gerardo
NMLS # 324982
Mortgage Banker
(949) 784-9699



Green Clean Your Beach House

It is spring and like many people in Orange County I don’t complain about the fog or the on and off cool weather of this winter. I have some tips to get your home cleaned up and ready for the glory of summer, the long days at the beach or enjoying your backyard Newport Beach pool.

Flooring tips:

Ceramic tile floors can be cleaned easily with warm water. First sweep or vacuum the flooring carefully to remove any loose soil or grit. Do not use a sponge mop to clean ceramic-tile or stone floors. It places the dirt into the grout tracks. A micro-fiber mop picks up all the dirt that a sponge mop leaves behind. Pour the ingredients into a bucket and use a rag or micro-fiber mop to clean. If you do use a rag and the on your hands and knees method, wipe in a circular motion across the floor with a microfiber rag.

I purchased a pack online at amazon see link below and have been very pleased that they are Green to use, last forever and don’t leave lint and dog hair behind. Microfiber cloths and microfiber mops are a must for any Green clean home. Microfiber consists of millions of tiny hooks that attract, absorb and remove dirt, dust and bacteria from surfaces without the use of chemicals! Reducing chemical use is better for the environment and our own health in our homes. Microfiber rags offer energy savings as they need to be washed in ONLY cool water and tumble dried. Don't forget the cabinets and baseboards. I like the smell of a couple drops of lavender oil or peppermint oil and a light spray of "liquid gold" on the rag to clean and dust the cabinets thoroughly. If the grout is very dirty, use a brush, or an old toothbrush. 

Hardwood floors: Boil a quart of water adding two teabags to clean hardwood floors. The tannic acid in tea creates a beautiful shine for hardwood floors. Let two teabags steep in the boiling water for two minutes. Pour the tea into a bucket. Take a soft cloth and wring it out in the tea. Again use a microfiber cloth but not dripping wet. The cloth should be damp, not soaked. The floor to dries quickly and leaves a streak less shine. If there are scratches in the wood that show more after cleaning the hardwood floor, use a brown crayon (the color of the floor) and rub it on the scratch to fill the gap. Turn a blow dryer on high for thirty seconds, heat the area where the crayon was applied and buff it with a soft cloth.

Vinyl floors are not as popular but often used in Orange County laundry areas, or pet areas To clean the vinyl floors mix Borax in a bucket of warm water and wash the floor rinse with warm water.

To remove hairspray residue from hard surfaces like mirrors and countertops with a solution of one part fabric softener and two parts water.

These last two recommendations are not very “green” but sometimes you just have to get serious with dirt. Open all the windows wear gloves and old clothing and one part bleach to one part water to scrub grout with a toothbrush. Put the bleach and water in an old glass jar. Rinse two times with clean water and discard the toothbrush, you don’t want someone to make a mistake and use it.

Sometimes my son’s Lacrosse bag with the sweaty helmet and all those black pellets from the astro turf seems to really dirty up the air. A few suggestions to clean up the air: put the equipment and bag out in the sunshine on a patio. Spraying with Lysol doesn’t seem to get rid of the odor, but rinse with a hose and expose to sun really does the job. I also like to have on hand some peppermint oil that I put a few drops on a white washcloth after his equipment is dry and ready to come inside. The wash cloth can go in the bottom of the bag and makes a fresh scent when unzipped. As to cleaning up floors with those dirty black rubber tire pellets: sweep and vacuum before they get trampled and carried all over the house.
This is the type of rags I purchased to clean my home. I have also used them in my office in Newport Beach to clear dust off computers and desktops.
More tips to come in following posts



Caroline Gerardo is a Mortgage Banker in Newport Beach California
Caroline has been in the Home Loan business twenty four years. NMLS # 324982
Caroline ( also known as C. G. Barbeau ) published four novels, two poetry anthologies and her poetry and short fiction has been published in 40 magazines and major newspapers.



Mortgage Loans on Condominiums in Newport Beach


60 Sea Island Drive, Newport Beach, California, 92660  Condo
3 Bed / 3.5 Bath
1527 Sq Ft
MLS ID - OC13039392

 courtesy of: Regency Real Estate Brokers; Michelle Yegsigian; DRE License Number: 01025400; Co-Listing Firm: First Team Estates; Co-Listing Agent: Nicholas Jordan
Certifying and recertifying condos for an FHA loan can be a real hassle, but when you partner with WJB, we help you every step of the way —

and we don’t pass on any administrativecosts to your clients.
If you are buying a home in Newport Beach, Laguna Niguel or anywhere in California
this mortgage program will be very helpful.
This is also available on a refinance of an existing mortgage loan.
• We maintain a checklist of requirements for initial and recertification

• The WJB branch collects all legal documents and emails them to our Central Processing unit

• We absorb the cost of shipping the package to the FHA

• We check on the status of the file to ensure it is being processed — until it is complete!

• We help you take care of any additional conditions — again, at no additional charge
Caroline Gerardo believes that supporting partners’ business
helps us both accelerate our success and growth.
If you are working with condo units and need assistance with FHA certification, talk to me today about our certification assistance. I'm excited to offer this benefit to my valued partners and clients.
Caroline Gerardo
Mortgage Officer
NMLS# 324982
23041 SW BIRCH # 330
Newport Beach, California 92660

Call me today to see what I can do for you! (949) 784-9699


Underwater Refinance

Underwater Turtle Searching for his Home


We have a NEW Mortgage program that can help!

With the new Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) loan, you may be able to refinance no matter how upside-down your mortgage is!

Are you worried about making your payments? Would you like to have more cash in your pocket every month? Do you want to pay your loan off faster?
Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance Program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantage of these changes. If you currently have a mortgage held by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, the HARP II refinance loan can help you lower your interest rate, decrease your monthly payments and help you start turning your finances around.

Appraisals may be waived

No LTV/CLTV restrictions on fixed-rate loans of 30 years or less

Only 620 FICO required

Loan was sold to Fannie or Freddie before June 1, 2009

If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP 2.0.   The refinance must benefit you in one of four ways:

Reduction in the borrower’s monthly principal and interest payment

Reduction in the interest rate

Reduction in the amortization term

Movement to a more stable product (i.e., interest-only to fully amortizing, ARM to fixed, 30-year to 15-year, etc.)

If you have a Fannie Mae- or Freddie Mac-owned home loan, call me today. I’m here to help make sure you have a home financing program that works for YOU. Let’s see if the HARP II loan is the solution you’ve been looking for!
You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following websites:


W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC

© 2012 W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC. 6465 Greenwood Plaza Blvd, Suite 500, Centennial, CO 80111 Phone #303-825-5670. NMLS ID 3233. Trade/service marks are the property of W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC. This is not a commitment to lend. Restrictions apply. All rights reserved. Some products may not be available in all states. WJB is not
acting on behalf of or at the direction of HUD/FHA or the federal government.
AZ Mortgage Banker License # BK-0903998; Licensed by the Department of Corporations under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act RML# 4131002; Colorado Mortgage
Company Registration NMLS ID 3233 Regulated by the Division of Real Estate. To check the license status of your CO Mortgage Broker, visit; Florida
Mortgage Lender Servicer license #MLD738; ID Mortgage Broker License No. MBL-7766; IL Residential Mortgage Licensee – License #MB.6760738, 6465 Greenwood Plaza Blvd., Suite 500,
Centennial, CO 80111; MN Residential Mortgage Originator License No. MN-MO-3233; NV Mortgage Banker License No. 2061; NV Mortgage Broker License No. 504; NM Mortgage Loan
Company and Loan Broker Act Reg. No. 01856; OK Mortgage Broker – License No. MB001365; OR Mortgage Lender License No. ML-776; TX Registered Mortgage Banker – NMLS 3233; Texas
Mortgage Banker Disclosure:; UT Mortgage Lender Company License No. 5495659-NMLC; Utah Consumer Credit Notification and
Utah Residential First Mortgage Notification regulated by the Utah Department of Financial Institutions; Vermont Lender License #6341; WA Consumer Loan License No. CL-3233; Wisconsin
Mortgage Banker License No. 699991. NMLS consumer access:


Caroline Gerardo

Mortgage Loan Originator

W.J. Bradley Mortgage Capital, LLC

20341 SW Birch St., Suite 330

Newport Beach, CA 92660

Office: 949.637.8190

Cell: 949.784.9699

NMLS: 324982