Greater Seattle’s Shifting Real Estate Market

You’ve probably heard that the Seattle’s sizzling real estate market has cooled a bit with home prices starting to come down. This is great news for folks who have grown weary battling in bidding wars only to have their offers rejected time after time. It looks like, at least right now, things may be returning to be more “normal”.

This also includes having interest rates returning to a more “normal” and no longer being artificially sweet thanks to the Fed. The graph above is from Freddie Mac.

What does this mean for buyers? To begin with, it’s likely there is more inventory for you to chose from without having to deal with a bidding war. What a relief!

Buyers may also be able to ask the seller to contribute funds towards their allowable closing cost and pre-paids (property taxes and home owners insurance). The amount a seller can contribute depends on the mortgage program and the percentage of down payment from the buyer. Buyers should check with their mortgage professional prior to submitting an offer to find out how much a seller can contribute towards closing cost based on their scenario. In order to have the seller contribute towards your closing cost and/or pay discount points to reduce your mortgage interest rate, your real estate agent will need to have this included in the purchase and sales agreement when they present an offer.

Even with a softer real estate market, home buyers should still keep up with their “A” game.

  • DO start the mortgage preapproval process early and get preapproved with a Licensed Loan Officer PRIOR to submitting an offer.
  • DO find a real estate professional who will represent YOU as the home buyer. In other words – avoid working with the Listing Agent as they work for the seller.

If you were preapproved before and re-entering the real estate market after 3 months, you may need to refresh your preapproval status. Your mortgage professional will most likely need to update your credit report and obtain your most recent paystubs and bank statements. They should also send you an updated scenario with current mortgage rates.

If you are considering buying (or refinancing) a home located anywhere in Washington state, I am happy to help you with your mortgage needs!

What is a mortgage “buy down”?

With rising mortgage interest rates, “buy-downs” are the new buzz word. A “buy down” either temporarily or permanently reduces the interest rate on a mortgage loan. With the local real estate market cooling down, it’s not unusual to see a Seller agree to actually pay for a buy-down to help sweeten the deal for a potential home buyer. It can actually be a “win-win” for both buyer and seller as the buyer receives a lower mortgage payment and the contribution paid by the seller may be less than what a price reduction might be. [Read more…]

Amazon Raises and How Changes to Pay Structure Impacts Qualifying for a Mortgage

Amazon recently announced that it’s increasing it’s minimum wage to $15 for all employees, including part-time, seasonal employees and temps effective November 1, 2018. Amazon states this will benefit more than 250,000 employees and over 100,000 people who will be hired for the upcoming holiday season. Even Operations and Customer Service employees who are already making $15 per hour will receive an increase to their hourly wage. [Read more…]

Mortgage interest rates continue to trend higher

This morning Freddie Mac released their weekly Prime Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) showing that mortgage interest rates are continuing to trend higher. Click here for current mortgage interest rates in greater Seattle and beyond.

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Mortgage Master Service Corporation on the radio

You may have noticed hearing “Mortgage Master Service Corporation” mentioned on the radio lately. This is because Mortgage Master Service Corporation has recently welcomed Laura Kiel (MLO54744) and family to join our company. Not only do they advertise on the radio, her team also host weekly radio shows. I’m still surprised when I listen to the radio and hear an ad that mentions our company name. [Read more…]

King County Property Tax Valuation Notice

Did you receive your “Official Property Value Notice” over the weekend? Let’s just say that I’m not surprised to see how much our values have gone up…although, in my opinion, I think the 2018 assessed value of my home is higher than what I could most likely sell it for. [Read more…]

Mortgage rates bumping along

Freddie Mac’s weekly report on mortgage rates, the Prime Mortgage Market Survey (aka PMMS) which shows what mortgage rates averaged last week, shows that rates bumped slightly higher. Remember, mortgage rates change constantly as they are based on bonds (mortgage backed securities). Rates posted are subject to change and, since this is an average from last week, they already have changed. This report is just intended to provide an idea of the direction of where mortgage rates have been and where they may be heading. If you would like current rates for your personal scenario, please contact me.

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BREAKING NEWS: Higher Income Limits for Down Payment Assistance Mortgages

The Washington State Housing Finance Commission has just announced they are increasing the income limits on all of their Home Advantage mortgage programs. The income limits are being increased effective immediately from $97,000 to $145,000! [Read more…]