Bobby Cloud

Production Manager | NMLS 247321
Phone | Fax:
6031 Connection Drive, Suite 700, Irving, TX 75039

Mortgage lending is more than selling loans. It’s about helping people achieve their homeownership goals. Whether that’s helping them reach a better financial position or connecting them to the home of their dreams, it’s about guiding them to the finish line.

My industry experience has taught me to take the time to understand my customers: What’s their story? How can I help them in their pursuit of a home? When I see my customers as real people with real goals, needs, and dreams, I get to match them with the best loan product and create a truly seamless lending experience.

Everyone has a story to tell. What they need is a Loan Originator who will listen, customize a loan to meet their needs, and guide them every step of the way.

Causes I Care About

Saint Jude Children's Hospital

My Favorite Restaurant

Eddie V's

My Ideal Vacation Spot

St Thomas

My Favorite Pastime

Boating with the Wife

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"Insanity, doing the same thing over and over expecting different results"

— Anonymous

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Refinancing a home loan can be stress-free when you consider these tips.

So you’ve heard about the benefits of refinancing a home loan. It’s true some homeowners do it to lower their interest rate, get cash out, or gain financial stability. Others refinance their mortgage to consolidate debt or pay off their mortgage sooner. One of these reasons may in fact be yours. And between creating a new, affordable monthly payment and lowering your borrowing costs, selecting a new loan term for your refinance can be a tricky balance. The good news is we’re here to help. We know you’ve made up your mind about refinancing so here are some useful tips to help you have the smoothest home loan refinance possible.

1. start with our refinance calculator

Will refinancing a home loan actually save you money? A good way to help gauge how much money you’ll save is to use our refinance calculator. It factors in your original loan amount, APR, and term; your new loan amount, APR, and term; and various fees associated with the transaction to come up with an estimated new monthly payment and savings. Using a refinance calculator when refinancing a home loan can help you shop for the right loan, give you a good idea of what to expect, and calculate how long it might take you to recover from the costs of refinancing. Doing your own research can be beneficial, but keep in mind this is an estimate—you’ll have a better idea of your real payment and costs once you get on the phone with a Loan Originator (LO).

Here’s a tip to keep in mind: One thing that’s common among borrowers who refinance is that they’re less concerned about their rate, unlike borrowers who are taking out a mortgage for their home purchase. They’re generally more concerned with their monthly savings than their rate. Borrowers tend to think it’s all about the rate, but when you’re refinancing a home loan, the focus is more about your savings (or, for cash-out refis, the amount of equity you’re tapping into).

2. figure out how you will repay the loan

Once you’ve decided that refinancing is a financially wise decision that will benefit you, it’s time to sit down and figure out how you’ll pay back the loan. Are you taking out a HELOC to cover some of the cost of your home renovations and increase the value of your home? You may want to consider putting the profit you make from selling the house toward paying off the loan. Or maybe you’re doing a cash-out refi to pay down some other debt. Still, you’ll want to assess your finances (especially with your financial advisor) and come up with a plan to pay off the loan.

Borrowers tend to think it’s all about the rate, but when you’re refinancing a home loan, the focus is more about your savings.

3. get familiar with the process

You may think refinancing a home loan is just a couple of phone calls here and an email or two there. Make no mistake, refinancing can be a quicker process than a home purchase. However, most of the steps of the process still apply so you should get familiar with the home loan refinance process. Just like when you take out a mortgage for a home purchase, once the process starts, you’ll want to consult your LO before you take out a line of credit, change jobs, transfer large sums of money, etc. The analysis an underwriter makes is based on your finances as they are today. Whenever you make changes, it requires another look, which can slow down the loan process and potentially even change the terms of your loan. Ask before you do anything that could jeopardize your credibility with your lender to ensure the process goes smoothly.

4. shop around

It’s all right to talk to multiple lenders. Don’t be afraid to chat with a few different companies and get a Loan Estimate from everyone you talk to. A Loan Estimate is great because it outlines the offer they’re willing to make in detail, which allows you to make a clear comparison between offers and can help you more easily decide which lender to choose.

It’s all right to talk to multiple lenders. Don’t be afraid to chat with a few different companies and get a Loan Estimate from everyone you talk to.

5. be careful about buying down your rate

These days, the average time an individual owns their home is often shorter than the time it would take them to recuperate the closing costs. If you choose to buy down your rate, there are many tools available online that can help you do the math. And, as always, your LO should be able to calculate this for you over the phone, so consider giving them a call.

6. factor in fees and closing costs

When you’re refinancing a home loan, you have to pay many of the same fees you would with a home purchase. Property taxes, homeowners insurance, and closing costs are just a few of these fees. Make sure you set aside some money to cover these expenses at closing.

7. don’t just sign your closing documents

Don’t just sign your closing documents—review them carefully. After all the moving parts of the process have settled, it’s possible that there may be a mistake or two on your closing documents. Mortgage lenders are legally required to give you a Closing Disclosure before you reach the closing table so take the opportunity to make sure these documents represent the offer you agreed upon at the beginning of the refinance process.

8. look into auto-payment incentives

If the lender you choose to go with offers incentives for setting up automated mortgage payments, take it as something to consider. What’s the harm in setting up automated payments and taking advantage of a lower rate or payment? Plus, when your bill is due, you won’t have to fuss with manually writing and mailing a check—it will automatically be taken out of your bank account. How’s that for convenience?

9. if you’re a cardinal customer, stay a cardinal customer

Have you taken out an FHA or VA loan with us before? Trust us with your home loan refi and you may be eligible for a streamline refinance. Basically, a streamline refinance just means a streamlined process. It’s designed to be a simpler, smoother transaction that saves you time and money. If you’re already a Cardinal Financial customer, it’s worth it to stay a Cardinal Financial customer. All of your information from your original mortgage is on file with us making asset and income verification simpler and faster; you get the benefit of faster processing and minimal credit requirements; there’s less paperwork for you to fill out and closing costs are generally lower; you may even be able to get a refund at closing for the cost of your appraisal! Think of a streamline refinance with Cardinal as the fast track to refinancing an FHA or VA loan.

Did any of these tips help you with your home loan refinance? Tell us on social media!

Start the new year with smart goals for buying a house in 2018.

In this blog post, we are not giving advice. We recommend you consult your financial advisor or legal counsel before you make any financial decisions toward purchasing a home.

Is your New Year’s resolution to become a homeowner? You’ve come to the right place! Many people right now are making plans and taking steps toward the goal of homeownership this year. So, why become a homeowner? Some people do it because it’s still part of the American Dream. Some because real estate appreciates and there’s money in that. Some because of the tax advantages and some because they just want a place they can call their own. A place they can truly call home. There’s something beautiful about ownership and Americans know that. You know that. It’s probably why you made a resolution to become a homeowner this year.

If you’re looking to make 2018 the year you buy your own home, you may want to keep reading. Let’s dive into some smart goals for buying a house this year.

Make a commitment

You often see the most people at the gym in January and, slowly but surely, by February, March, April . . . it trickles down to the people who are always at the gym. The committed few. Here’s a tip: be one of the committed few. If you’re serious about wanting to become a homeowner in 2018, commit to this goal. It’s not just about following the steps of the process, it’s about getting your mind right. It’s an attitude; a posture. Buckle up and get ready for a ride because (news flash) homeownership is a commitment. When you’re making such a monumental decision as this, you’ve got to be committed.

Get to know your finances

You can’t make a list of smart goals for buying a house without getting well-acquainted with your finances. Do you know your credit score? We don’t recommend you go pull your credit, but if you already know it, that’s a good piece of information to keep on-hand. (If you don’t know your credit score, your Loan Originator can pull it later.)

Assess your debt. What types of debt (and how many) do you have? This might include credit card expenses, furniture financing, student loans, a car loan, and more. Whatever it is, write it down. When you apply for a mortgage, your lender will ask about this in order to calculate your debt-to-income (DTI) ratio—and your DTI ratio is extremely important because it will determine whether you get approved for a home loan.

Make mini goals to spend less and save more and you could be in a better position to buy a home.

It’s also good to take a peek at your savings account. How much do you have saved up? If you have the coveted 20% down payment in savings, that’s great! If not, there are low down payment options out there—but beware because a down payment below 20% comes with a monthly mortgage insurance premium. If your savings is looking a little low, perhaps you should spend the first part of the year saving money and plan to buy a house in the fall.

On the topic of finances, as you save up and try to eliminate some debt, you might have to make some financial sacrifices. Again, if you’re serious about buying a house in 2018, it’s going to take commitment! And a commitment to anything almost always requires some sort of sacrifice. Make mini goals to spend less and save more and you could be in a better position to buy a home.

What do you want?

Have you ever sat down and seriously thought about what you want in a home? We’re not just talking bed and bath combinations—it’s much more than that. Is there a specific town or neighborhood you want to live in? Do you want some outdoor space? What about a dine-in kitchen? Or a dual vanity in the bathroom? Think critically about your lifestyle and how your current place is or isn’t working for you. Then, map out your wants vs. needs.

What can you afford?

You can’t really start house hunting until you know how much home you can afford. That’s where we come in. Call us. We’re much more than mortgage lenders. We’re experts in our field. Call us and ask questions—we want to help get you home! When you give us a call, we’ll be able to pre-qualify and maybe even pre-approve you for a loan. Once you’re pre-approved, you’ll know what you can afford to spend. Then comes the fun part.

Start shopping (for a home and a real estate agent)

Based on your wants and needs and the loan amount you’re pre-approved for, it’s time to start shopping! Have fun with this, but don’t over-commit to one house. Keep an open mind about it and try not to get too attached to one property. Things may change and you have to be prepared for that. This is where a savvy real estate agent would be nice to have.

A great real estate agent can help you negotiate terms, home repairs, and the purchase price.

Hiring a real estate agent to help in your home buying process isn’t required, but it is a good thing. A great real estate agent can help you negotiate terms, home repairs, and the purchase price. They can give you advice and speak from experience. They probably have a wide professional network and can connect you with a title company, an insurance company, a home inspector, and more. Don’t underestimate the value of a real estate agent who represents you and your best interests in one of the biggest purchases of your life!

Did this blog post help you set some smart goals for buying a house in 2018? Share your thoughts with us on social media or forward this article to a friend.

Our bold housing predictions for 2018 say the future’s bright.

In the mortgage business, things never stay the same for too long. It’s a cyclical industry and that’s why we’re always keeping tabs on what’s happening and letting you know what may be coming next. Last year was interesting to say the least. If we could sum it up in one word: growth. Interest rates, home prices, and the rate of homeownership all increased. This month, it’s the start of a new year, and we’re making three bold housing predictions for 2018 (you might be surprised at number two).

Home prices will rise

It’s the current “inventory crisis” that’s got everyone talking. Since the number of homes for sale is low, competition is high, and sellers are taking advantage of their chance to post higher asking prices. And, if interest rates continue to increase (as they steadily did in 2017) we’re looking at a tough market for home buyers in 2018, especially for first-timers. Some sources may predict home price growth will slow down, but we’re predicting a slight uptick. Needless to say, one of our bold housing predictions for 2018 is that housing will become less affordable for would-be home buyers.

If interest rates continue to increase (as they steadily did in 2017) we’re looking at a tough market for home buyers in 2018, especially for first-timers.

For those of you who made a New Year’s resolution to buy a home this year, if this prediction comes true, it might make the jump from renting to owning more difficult. Beyond that, you’re competing against experienced buyers who have at least one successful home sale under their belts and are well-versed in the art of negotiation. But even experienced buyers might avoid the market in 2018…

Homeowners will remodel, not sell

Due to rising home prices—coupled with low housing inventory and the possibility of interest rates rising even more—we’re predicting a lot of current homeowners who are due for an upgrade will stay put instead. Let’s say you bought your home seven years ago and you’re getting serious about buying a new home this year. Maybe you’re upsizing, downsizing, or you’re looking to move out of the city and into the suburbs. Whatever your motivation, we like to call homeowners like you “rebound buyers” because you’re re-entering the market.

Another one of our 2018 housing predictions is that, rather than jumping into today’s tough landscape and competing with other buyers over high home prices, these homeowners will stay in place and opt for renovations. But that doesn’t mean they don’t need a mortgage! These homeowners might take out a HELOC or cash-out refinance to help fund the cost of making their current digs feel more like new.

We’re predicting a lot of current homeowners who are due for an upgrade will stay put instead.

More assistance programs will launch

Last year was big in the way of homeownership assistance. In 2017, we saw more mortgage lenders adopt new down payment assistance (DPA) programs, lower their minimum credit score requirements, and lower their down payment minimums. Last June, Fannie Mae raised their debt-to-income ceiling from 45% to 50%, making homeownership possible for many more Americans who have debt. Where a high DTI keeps people from qualifying for a mortgage, this ceiling increase helps many more become eligible.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also raised their conforming loan limits from $424,100 to $453,100 for single-family residential loans closed after January 1, 2018—which means home buyers looking to purchase a high-priced home may not have to take out Jumbo loan financing. This will allow more home buyers who either don’t qualify for a Jumbo loan or simply don’t want to deal with the hassle of a strict Jumbo loan process to get that dream home. We’re predicting this loan limit increase will be huge for home buyers in 2018 seeing as we’re also predicting home prices will continue to rise.

These are just a few of the changes to the mortgage industry that are making homeownership more affordable for many Americans. And one of our bold housing predictions for 2018 is that advancements like these will only continue!

Do you have any bold housing predictions for 2018? Tell us on any one of our social media channels or tag #Cardinal2018Predictions!

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