2019 Property Taxes for King County

King County will unveil how much your property taxes are for 2019 on February 15, the day after Valentines Day. <3

If you recall last year, many were stunned to see just how much their property taxes jumped. Our property taxes increased roughly 27% just last year alone!

If you are in the process of buying or refinancing a home, you need to be aware of changes to the property taxes if the transaction is closing around February 15, 2018 as this could potentially impact qualifying for the mortgage since it will most likely mean an increase to the total mortgage payment. This is especially true if your debt-to-income (DTI) ratios are anywhere near the limits for qualifying.

Once the property tax amounts are released, lenders have to use the new (most likely higher) amount. If the proposed mortgage payment is higher due to the property taxes and it causes the debt-to-income ratios to exceed underwriting guidelines, a once pre-approved mortgage could become disqualified. If you’re using conventional financing, you might be able to switch to an FHA mortgage in this event depending on the loan amount and your personal scenario.

If I can be of any assistance with your home buying or refinancing needs for homes located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me!

Good Bye, Seattle’s Alaskan Way Viaduct

The Alaskan Way Viaduct aka Highway 99, was my preferred route when traveling through Seattle. As someone who lives in West Seattle, Highway 99 (or the viaduct) was a great alternative when traveling to downtown Seattle or north Seattle. I voted against the tunnel twice and will miss the views driving the viaduct. I really wish the viaduct would have been retrofitted or rebuilt instead of the tunnel. Anyhow… I thought I would share a video our family created a few years ago about the viaduct – tunnel. No animals were harmed in this video!

I will really miss the viaduct. I enjoyed the gritty drive and will miss the amazing views. When our beloved JP Patches was at our home for my surprise 40th party, he said our elected officials had “tunnel vision” and I could not agree more.

Changes to Limited-Cash Out Refinances

A limited-cash out refinance is a refinance where typically, the home owner receives little to no-cash back at closing. It’s also referred to as a “rate-term” refinance. A limited cash-out or rate-term refinance offers better interest rates and/or pricing for interest rates than a true “cash out” refinance. [Read more…]

Lowest Mortgage Rates of the Year!

Freddie Mac’s Prime Mortgage Market Survey reveals mortgage rates are at very low levels.

The low rates are due to the volatility taking place in the stock market. Sam Khater, Chief Economist states, “it will be interesting to see how the recent turmoil in the stock market will affect home buying activity in the coming months.” [Read more…]

2019 FHA Loan Limits for Washington State

HUD had just announced the FHA loan limits for 2019. Homes in the greater Seattle area, including King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, will have a higher loan limit, often referred to as an FHA jumbo. Not all counties received higher loan limits for 2019. Clark, Island, King, Kitsap, Pierce, Skagit, Skamania, Snohomish, Thurston and Whatcom counties have increased loan limits for 2019.

Here is a complete list of FHA loan limits for all counties in Washington. [Read more…]

BREAKING NEWS: 2019 FHA Loan Limits for Greater Seattle

HUD had just announced the FHA loan limits for 2019. Homes in the greater Seattle area, including King, Pierce and Snohomish counties, will have a higher loan limit, often referred to as an FHA jumbo. The FHA loan limits match those of conforming high balance loan amounts in these counties.

The 2019 FHA Loan Limits for homes located in King County, Snohomish County and Pierce County are:

  • One Unit: $726,525
  • Two Unit: $930,300
  • Three Unit: $1,234,475
  • Four Unit: $1,397,400

Stay tuned for a follow up post which will include all counties in Washington state.

 

2019 VA Loan Limits for Washington State

The loan limits for VA mortgage loans have been announced. 2019 VA loan limits will follow conforming mortgage limits for single family homes.

Here are the 2019 VA Loan Limits:

King County, Pierce County and Snohomish County: $726,525

All other counties: $484,350

VA loan amounts can exceed the loan amounts referenced above. The “limit” is the maximum a veteran can borrower without having a down payment.  Veterans may receive a reduced down payment when the loan amount exceed the loan “limit”.

If a qualified Veteran wanted to buy a home above the loan limit (aka “VA Jumbo”), their minimum down payment is 25% of the difference between the county loan limit and the sales price.

Home Sellers should really consider accepting VA home buyers. Just because they’re putting less down, does not mean they are less qualified. VA home buyers have EARNED this benefit by serving our country. And these days, VA mortgage loans are not any more or less challenging to process and close than any other type of home mortgage. VA loans do not have monthly mortgage insurance and they have very competitive mortgage rates.

If I can help you with a VA mortgage or any type of home loan for property located in Washington state, please contact me.

 

 

Market Volatility and Lower Mortgage Rates

Freddie Mac’s PMMS report shows that mortgage interest rates have dropped this week largely due to the market volatility with the on again off again trade war with China.

[Read more…]