Let Luna Lending Help You Get Into Your Next Home

By Valerie Costa

If you’re buying a house in Tahoe, Luna Lending is THE place to go to get the best personalized service and great rates. While larger, corporate lending organizations often see customers as numbers on a screen, Luna Lending’s staff will take the time to get to know you as an individual in order to find the best loan program and rate, whether you are buying your first home, a move up home, vacation home, or an investment property.

Luna Lending owner Aaron Hinson and his dog Luna at home in Lake Tahoe.

“After 15 years of mortgage loan origination, working with big banks and retail lenders, I became frustrated with the higher costs and difficult processes associated with obtaining a mortgage.  I decided to start my own company, which I named after my dog Luna, a wonderful black lab mix that is the best friend I could possibly ask for,” said owner Aaron Hinson. “As a company we are ‘all in’ when it comes to doing right by our clients. We have a motto which we call Luna Love.  Luna Love describes our passion and our focus on providing clients the very best experience when obtaining a mortgage, all while recognizing the importance of making a loan work for the borrower.   We help our clients navigate the mortgage process, ensuring it goes as smoothly and pleasantly as possible, while saving them substantially on their interest rate and fees compared to our competitors.  Our technology and dedicated team make sure of that every single day.  We are also focused on treating our team members and local community with #lunalove.”

About Luna Lending

Hinson started Luna Lending Inc.  three and a half years ago because he found that he could provide better service and save his clients more money than he could as a retail mortgage lender.  Luna Lending only does mortgages, and as an independent broker they can save their clients money because they have lower margins, lower overhead, and do not have to pay the middle managers that larger firms have.  Hinson jokes that they also “have no Super Bowl commercials.”

The customer-first approach is very appreciated by Luna Lending’s clients and has earned them an excellent reputation and over 120 five-star reviews on Google.  They are very focused on helping locals buy in Lake Tahoe; the whole team is focused on serving locals and the community as well. 

Luna Lending offers a large variety of loan products from traditional to nontraditional, from first time buyers to seasoned investors, and everything in between.  They offer conventional, VA, FHA, USDA, and nontraditional loans, and in addition to the South Tahoe office, Luna Lending has four other locations in Colorado and Florida.  There is truly something for everyone, no matter where you are.

Hinson was originally from Baltimore, then lived in Denver for eight years before moving to Tahoe in 2017 because it provided the opportunity to do the things he loves, including listening to and playing music and snowboarding; the beauty of the landscape; and the laidback atmosphere of the community. “The company is named after my dog because I didn’t like the stuffy corporate feel of big banking,” Hinson said.  “When I first opened this office, it was just me and Luna.  Now we have 13 employees, health insurance, 401Ks, and four  offices, and we will just keep growing and helping more people to get into their dream homes.”

Tahoe Housing Market Update

During Covid, the Federal Government was buying mortgage-backed securities (MBS bonds) at record levels, making mortgage rates artificially low.  With people working remotely, a lot of bidding wars were going on in the area because so many people wanted to escape the cities and live where they loved to play. 

Post-Covid, mortgage rates have gone up substantially. However, with the very low levels of current inventory in the area, the market is still tight but has eased up substantially.  Supply and demand is the main factor that drives home prices, and with the brutal winter we just had, there’s little inventory but still a demand for housing, which keeps prices stable. While the home prices have not come down, there are now fewer bidding wars and more likelihood of sellers accepting your offer and possibly even have some room to negotiate on price or concessions.

What Mortgage Rates are Doing

According to Hinson, mortgage rates peaked a couple of months ago and have come down quite a bit recently.  He added that a lot of experts feel that over the next year or so they are going to continue to go down a bit and shouldn’t go up again.  “If we go to war or enter a recession that might change,” Hinson cautioned, “But I think we’re past the peak and should see a slow rate of decline in rates over time.  Anything could happen, though.”

Things to Know if You’re Buying a Home Right Now

Before you start searching for your home, Hinson recommends that you get a no obligation consultation.  He explains that a lot of loan products will overcommit you or approve you for more than you are comfortable with, so cautions prospective buyers to make sure to know what their budget is and what they’re comfortable paying.  Luna Lending looks at ways to optimize your position so that you qualify for the best rates and programs.

Several positive recent changes include FHA lowering their Mortgage Insurance rate from .85 to .55% when doing a 3.5% down payment, which would lower the monthly payment on a $500,000 mortgage loan by $125 per month.   Conventional Mortgage’s have raised their first time home buyer income limits to offer substantial savings to up to 120% of the Area Median Income(AMI).

Another important thing is to have at least 3-5% to put down on the home.  “Down payment assistance programs are available, but the interest rates are much higher for those loans than doing the minimum down payment,” Hinson cautions.

After you have the consultation with a mortgage broker, you get a pre-approval, which is a quick and easy process. From there you will want to connect with a trusted local real estate agent who will help you search for homes and help you negotiate your offer when you find “the one.”

To learn more about Luna Lending, or to schedule your free no obligation consultation, visit or call 530-314-9544.

NMLS 134718 | CA-DFPI134718 | NV 65339 | CO 100055620
Luna Lending Inc. NMLS 2032089 / Equal Housing Opportunity

3079 Harrison Ave #10 South Lake Tahoe, CA 96150
195 US-50, Suite 204 Zephyr Cove, NV 89448

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