Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

The Many Challenges of Refinancing Condos

Newspaper article Sarasota Herald Tribune

The Many Challenges of Refinancing Condos

Article excerpt

With her bubbly personality and easy laugh, Rosemary Chapura does not come across like a mortgage loan officer. But she is thoroughly professional when it comes to her work. She came to Regions Bank seven years ago when it merged with AmSouth Bank and, after 25 years in the business, she still gets excited about her work, especially when she can solve a problem for a client. Her expertise is in residential real estate, but unlike some other lenders in the area, she loves the financing of condominiums. Currently, 30 percent to 40 percent of her business is second-home condos on Siesta Key.

Correspondent Chris Angermann interviewed her at her office at the Cattlemen Road branch of Regions Bank.

Q:Why do you concentrate on condos?

A:It's a big market right now, and I have a lending product that can finance them. Many of the attributes that make condos attractive to home buyers -- having a rental program, a rental manager on site, a website from where others can rent them out -- make them not qualified for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac conventional financing. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are pricing conventional loans for owner- occupancy, not for investors. So it can raise the red flag, even though many of my borrowers are buying condos for true second homes. For instance, a condo that's Fannie qualified can have no on-site renter, no short-term rentals, and no more than 40 percent renter concentration occupancy.

At Regions Bank, we have a portfolio program so we can do those loans, whether they are for primary, secondary or investor financing.

I often get those deals when they're falling apart somewhere else. Someone from Ohio buying a second home here may rent it out, but use it for personal family vacations, too. But when he approached the people at his hometown bank, they see it's a condo in Florida, and that's not a market they want to get into. …

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