The S Word in Seattle is SNOW

In Seattle, the “s word” is SNOW and it looks like we’re in for a pile of it with this current system.

Seattle snow from 2014.

As pretty as snow is, once we’re all safely tucked away at home, it can cause issues with real estate transactions closing on time.

Snow causes employees to leave early and some offices to close. A major title and escrow company closed their offices at 3:00 p.m. today because of the pending snow storm.

Snow and ice on our hilly streets can make driving to a signing appointment challenging for the buyer, seller/home owner or even a mobile notary.

Bottom line, some transactions that are set to close over the next few days with our Seattle Snowapolusa may experience delayed closings due to the snow despite the efforts of everyone to close on time.

Snow happens.

So what if your transaction is delayed due to Mother Nature? If your purchase and sales agreement is expiring, your real estate agents will need to negotiate an extension. If your mortgage rate lock commitment is expiring, you might need an extension.

Bottom line, if you have a real estate closing coming up this next week, you may want to check with your real estate professionals to talk about the “what if’s” with our current winter forecast.

Mortgage Rates Drop to Lowest in 10 Months!

Freddie Mac reports that mortgage interest rates are at 10 month lows in today’s Prime Market Mortgage Survey.

The Prime Mortgage Market Survey is based on an average of conforming mortgage rates from last week. If you would like to have a current mortgage rate quote based on your personal criteria for your home located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me! I’m happy to provide you with a no-hassle mortgage rate quote.

Could you survive one month without income?

With the government shutdown pushing over a month long, some federal employees are having to juggle another missed paycheck. Yesterday during an interview with CNBC, US Commerce Secretary Ross is quoted stating:

“So the 30 days of pay that some people will be out – there’s no real reason why they shouldn’t be able to get a loan against it and we’ve seen a number of ads from the financial institutions doing that… there really is not a good excuse why there really should be a liquidity crisis,” he said. “True the people might have to pay a little bit of interest.” [Read more…]

Mortgage Payment Breakdown

Your mortgage payment typically includes principal and interest and may also include property taxes, home owners insurance. This is often referred to as PITI in the mortgage industry (principal, interest, taxes and insurance). If you have less than 20% down payment or home equity, then you probably have some form of mortgage insurance as well (unless you qualify for a VA mortgage). Some portions of the mortgage payment may change over time. [Read more…]

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. [Read more…]

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…]