Mike Stein

NMLS# 1267535

Loan Officer

Mike Stein
Loan Officer

NMLS# 1267535
State Lic: CO # 100053783;
1951 Wilmington Dr.
Fort Collins, CO 80528
Direct: (970) 530-0464
Mobile: (970) 297-8809

Payment Calculator
April Neuhaus
Academy's My Mortgage App


It’s all about service at Academy Mortgage, and our company has been meeting the needs of homebuyers across the United States since 1988. I joined Academy because of its strong reputation for integrity-based mortgage lending, its unwavering commitment to responsible lending practices, and for its broad portfolio of mortgage solutions and tools.

Since joining Academy, I have helped many individuals and families attain the dream of homeownership. Whether you want to buy a new home or refinance an existing mortgage, I will provide a customized solution for you at competitive rates. No brokering, no middleman, no hassle, no surprises.

Academy is a direct lender, which means that my Branch and Regional Offices are equipped to complete the entire loan process in-house—all loan processing, underwriting, closings, and funding are handled locally. As a result, we have a proven track record of closing loans as quickly and efficiently as possible.

I will be in control of your loan file from start to finish, and I will be up-to-date on the status of your loan at all times. I understand the importance of maintaining continuous communication throughout the loan process and commit to providing you accurate, timely, and honest mortgage advice.

I invite you to put us to the test. Let me show you how simple and easy securing a mortgage can be.


Watch helpful videos to learn more about Academy.

NMLS# 1267535

State Lic: CO: 100053783;

Corp Lic: CO: 3113;


What the Fed has in store for 2017 interest rates

After completing its second meeting of 2017, the Federal Reserve announced it had decided to increase the federal funds rate for the second time in three months, according to an official statement.

The Fed's long-discussed goal is to encourage inflation to reach 2%. The statement released after the March 14-15 meeting pointed out that this objective is within reach, though the country remains just shy of it.

The federal funds rate is now at a range of 0.75% to 1%, though several central bank officials have spoken up with predictions of multiple increases yet to come before the year ends.

Fed members discuss rate predictions

Boston Federal Reserve President Eric Rosengren said in a speech that he's in favor of one increase for every two FOMC meetings. That amounts to four rate hikes total (including March's rise), all an increase of one-quarter point, CNBC reported.

"Several Fed members have spoken up with predictions of multiple increases yet to come."

Rosengren argues that this approach is necessary to keep wages steady. A labor shortage amid a growing economy could push wages up and may, in turn, "overheat" the economy, as he put it.

"If the economy runs too hot, it could ultimately require a less gradual monetary policy adjustment – which could potentially place at risk the significant progress the economy and labor market have made since the Great Recession," Rosengren said, according to CNBC.

San Francisco Fed President John Williams echoed Rosengren's sentiments, CBNC reported.

"What a difference four years makes," Williams said in a statement addressing the Forecasters Club in New York. "We're now very close to reaching the Fed's dual mandate goals of maximum employment and price stability. In fact, if you do the math, we are about as close to these goals as we've ever been."

Williams, a non-voting member who contributes to policy discussions, noted that investors shouldn't rule out at least three more hikes this year.

Chicago Fed President Charles Evans also indicated his support for another couple potential increases - though he was cautious of indicating he would vote for three.

"To the extent that I gain more confidence in the forecast that I have, that would be a good indicator that I could perhaps support three," he told Bloomberg TV. "Two might be the right number if there's a little bit more uncertainty."

One Fed member goes against the grain

Nine of the 10 voting members supported the March increase, according to the Fed's statement. The one member who didn't was Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari. Kashkari also voted against increasing it during the first meeting of the year, ending on Feb. 1, though he was in good company then; the final decision was to keep it at between 0.5 and 0.75 for another month.

Kashkari, who is new to the FOMC vote this year, took to Medium following the Feb. 1 meeting to elaborate on his individual position. He wrote that, though inflation is moving in the right direction, it's not doing so very rapidly. Additionally, he noted that while employment numbers look positive, there still seem to be challenges in many corners of the country.

"We also know that the aggregate national averages don't highlight the serious challenges individual communities are experiencing," he wrote. "For example, today while the headline unemployment rate for all Americans is 4.8%, it is 7.7% for African Americans and 5.9% for Hispanics."

About a month after Kashkari published his essay, the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that 235,000 jobs were added in February and unemployment came in at 4.7% for the nation. However, black and Hispanic Americans showed unemployment rates of 8.1% and 5.6%, respectively.

Kashkari refrains from making any predictions. He says attempting to estimate what will happen in future meetings can take a negative turn in the event that economic indicators don't pan out as expected, forcing Fed members to reverse their previous stances.

On that point, Kashkari is correct; There is no way to predict what future interest rates will be or which particular economic indicators will influence them. For now, though, consumers can expect that rates will begin to tick upward. Those looking to make a home purchase this spring may benefit from locking in a low rate sooner rather than risking a higher quote later.


3 hot housing markets to check out this summer

The homebuying season is heating up and though inventory seems slim in many areas, many homebuyers are taking out residential mortgages and finding their perfect places to move into. This summer, certain cities are experiencing particularly high demand as buyers look for homes in growing areas.

Here are three of the hottest - as in, most competitive - housing markets so far this summer:

Vallejo, California

This city on San Pablo Bay, California, has maintained the top spot for several months this year, according to Realtor.com. The trend can largely be attributed to the high price of housing in the San Francisco Bay area, East Bay Times reported. As prices in these areas continue to climb, consumers are seeking elsewhere for affordable housing, and that market is greatly attracted to Vallejo.

Aside from attractive housing costs, there are plenty of aspects drawing more residents to Vallejo. Two universities in the community, and more than 50 within 50 miles, mean that citizens have convenient access to good education. Additionally, with more than 3,300 local establishments, many residents are able to find a quality job. The two sectors that employ the largest percentage of the population are healthcare and social services, and retail.

Vallejo isn't all work and no play, though. Residents enjoy visiting Mare Island, where St. Peter's Chapel is located as well as the Mare Island Historic Museum. And, as Vallejo is just south of California's Napa Valley, Vallejo has easy access to high-quality wines and vineyards to tour.

Kennewick, Washington

Kennewick, Washington, came in third for Realtor.com's hottest housing markets of June 2017.

This Evergreen State city is often referred to as one of the Tri-Cities, the other two being Pasco and Richland, Washington. Together, the Tri-Cities enjoyed the fastest job growth in the Evergreen State, according to local CBS affiliate station KEPR. Industries fueling that growth include manufacturing, construction, healthcare, hospitality and education.

Jobs have a tendency to attract people, which is a large part of what's heating up this housing market. However, the beautiful region helps, too. Mountain bike trails are aplenty, and the winding Columbia River provides plenty of opportunities for swimming, boating, fishing and tubing, Movoto pointed out.

Good food is a big deal in Kennewick. The Tri-Cities are the French Fry Capital of the World, but they didn't stop there. Microbrewed beers, food trucks and potato doughnuts are among the local delicacies residents enjoy on a regular basis.

Colorado Springs, Colorado

Colorado Springs, Colorado, came in No. 8 on Realtor.com's Top 20 hottest housing markets of June 2017, and Credit.com reported it was the city with the highest pre-mover index of 251.

The index is calculated based on the number of mortgage applications with an estimated loan settlement date compared to the number of homes in an area. With 218,034 available homes as of June 1, according to Credit.com, many buyers are finding attractive houses to purchase.

Colorado Springs boasts a healthy job market, with a 3.9% unemployment rate and a job market index of 7 out of 10, U.S. News & World Report noted.

All across the state, Colorado attracts outdoor enthusiasts, and Colorado Springs is no different. Residents don't have to travel far to go hiking, skiing, mountain biking, rock climbing and more.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.


Debunked: 5 down payment myths you probably still believe

More than 200 million Americans live in homes they own themselves, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Still, despite the large percentage of the population that has successfully gone through the homebuying process, it remains a mystery to many citizens. For those considering a home purchase this year, myths about what is necessary to buy a home may keep them from joining the 64 percent of the country who live in owner-occupied houses.

Here are 5 down payment myths you probably still believe, but shouldn't:

Myth No. 5: I need a 20% down payment.

Many people have heard that a 20% down payment - at minimum - is required to obtain a residential mortgage. This myth became popular because it's generally recommended that most people have a 20% down payment ready when they wish to buy a home. However, that doesn't mean it's necessary. In fact, the typical down payment today is between 5 and 10%, according to SmartAsset.

Myth No. 4: My down payment has to be all my own money.

For many people, the most challenging aspect of buying a home is saving for the down payment, according to the National Association of Realtors. While the majority of people use their own money for the down payment, this is hardly required. Freddie Mac pointed out that there are several options for those saving up for a home, including:

Myth No. 3: Down payment assistance programs are only for first-timers.

Down payment assistance programs can be a wonderful help to first-time homebuyers who are new to the world of real estate. But, as any second-time homebuyer may tell you, it's not always smooth sailing on your second go-round.

This is particularly true for those who haven't gone through the homebuying process in several years. And, considering the average time spent in a home is a decade, it seems safe to say that most home sellers are out of practice when it comes to navigating a home purchase.

Because of this, the definition of "first-time homebuyer" is a bit more complicated than one might assume. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a first-time homebuyer is someone who:

Beyond these many definitions, it's important to note that not all down payment assistance programs specify that they're only available to first-timers.

Myth No. 2: Programs are only available in big cities.

Down payment and homebuyer assistance programs are available in every corner of the country. Every homebuyer, whether they're living in a big, bustling city like Los Angeles or New York City, or in a tiny, rural community, has access to a program that can simplify the homebuying journey. To find one for you, begin by browsing through the state housing agency loans available through Academy Mortgage.

Myth No. 1: Down payments are always required.

Not every home purchase is secured with a down payment. Crazy as it sounds (especially if you believed you needed as much as 20%), some homes can be bought with no cash down. Here are two popular 100% financing options you can look into:

VA Loans

If you or your spouse is a veteran, an active-duty service member or a part of a reserve program, you could qualify for a VA loan, and may not be required to make a down payment upfront.

USDA Loans

Also called farmers' or rural loans, the U.S. Department of Agriculture backs these loans which encourage buyers to make a home purchase in qualifying areas of the country. While their name suggests that it only applies to far-away plains, it actually encompasses some surprisingly suburban areas. While you won't find a qualifying home in the center of a major metropolitan area, you'll likely find one within driving distance. Check out the USDA website to explore eligible areas.

Academy Mortgage is one of the top independent purchase lenders in the country as ranked in the 2015 CoreLogic Marketrac Report. Visit www.academymortgage.com to find a loan, get a rate, or calculate your payment today.