Gorgeous homes around $500k? Get OUT of Seattle!

This week, a real estate agent asked me to prepare some financial flyers for listings in Pierce County. The homes are stunning – I live in Seattle and cannot imagine having a large garage for our cars…although before living in Seattle, I had a sweet 2 3/4 garage.

My first home that I bought was in northeast Tacoma, literally on the county line. It was a 3 bedroom, 1 (Continental) bathroom with a large back yard. I remember being shocked at the tall homes being built squeezed in so close to our property. When  we bought this home in northeast Tacoma in the late 80’s, I had a desk job at Chicago Title in  downtown Seattle. I typically drove or took the bus to work and even then, it was well over an hour each way.  It was a long commute, however I was always so happy when I pulled into MY driveway.

My first home does not compare to the half-million plus dollar homes that I’m referencing to in this post – however, in the greater Seattle area, many of the first time homebuyers that I work with are in this price range.

The home pictured in this post is just an example of what you can buy if you expanding your options of where you buy your home. Offered at $529,950, it’s a rambler built in 2014 with a 3 car garage (drool) that has beautiful woodwork throughout.  There’s even a covered patio with an outdoor fireplace. This 3 bedroom/3 bathroom craftsman home is located in Puyallup and is about 25 minutes from the Sound Transit Station. Click here for more info (and photos) about this home.  You got to check out the bathtub in master suite!

And how about financing options? Well, I’m so glad you asked! Here are a couple scenarios to consider based on a sales price of $529,950. The rates posted are from July 19, 2017.  Click this link to get more details about the quotes listed below.

Rates are subject to credit approval and may (will) change at any time. The VA scenario is based on first time use and the VA funding fee is 2.15%. Again, this is just a small sample of what we have available. I think a piggy back mortgage would work great at this price point too. Please contact me if you would like me to prepare a quote for you with current rates for your personal scenario.

According to Zillow, there are 62 homes for sale right now in Seattle priced from $500,000 to $550,000. Most of them are half the size or are a condo compared to what you will find outside of Seattle.

PS: Don’t get me wrong. I love living in Seattle. I just think there are a lot of other areas where home buyers can get more bang for their buck.

If I can help you with getting preapproved to buy a home (or refinance) please contact me.

Fannie Mae updates underwriting guidelines at the end of this month

Effective July 29, 2017, Fannie Mae will release DU Version 10.1, packed full to changes to their underwriting guidelines. These changes apply to Fannie Mae conforming mortgages (Freddie Mac has different guidelines). Here are some of updates effective at the end of this month:

50% Debt-to-Income Ratios. [Read more…]

Limited Time Offer: WSHFC is offering grants for closing cost!

Last night, the Washington State Housing Finance Commission announced it is offering grants to help with down payment and closing cost for buyers when they use specific programs offered by WSHFC. This is very helpful in a “seller’s market” where sellers are very unlikely to contribute towards closing cost for a potential buyer. [Read more…]

Financing a “multi-generational” home


It’s becoming more common for families to have multiple generations living under the same roof. Some families opt to commit to buying a “multi-generational” home together designed to accommodate their lifestyle, whether it’s a home with an attached or detached dwelling unit (aka mother-in-law apartment) or even a home built specifically for generations to live together, there are options available for living with your parents and/or grown children. [Read more…]

Second Mortgages and Home Equity Lines of Credit

Mortgage Master Service Corporation has second mortgages (home equity lines of credit aka HELOC) available for homes located anywhere in Washington state. The second mortgage/HELOC is limited to owner occupied/primary residences and second homes. They are not currently available for investment property. [Read more…]

Mortgage rates holding steady at record lows

Freddie Mac’s weekly survey of mortgage rates (PMMS) were released this morning showing rates remaining at near record lows.


Click here for current rates for your home located in Washington state. [Read more…]

The Fed raises the Funds Rate by 0.25%

Today the FOMC increased the Fed Funds rate by a quarter point from 1 to 1.25%.  This increase to the Funds Rate was highly anticipated by the markets. As long as the economy stays on it’s current path, the Fed anticipates it will begin to gradually reduce the Federal Reserve’s securities holdings by decreasing reinvestment of principal payments from agency debt and mortgage backed securites.  The Fed has been manipulating mortgage rates for a very long time. As they begin to pull out of mortgage markets, this will most likely cause mortgage rates to trend higher. [Read more…]

Mortgage Rates continue Lower

Freddie Mac released the weekly PMMS (Prime Mortgage Market Survey) showing that mortgage rates continue to be at the lowest levels of 2017 with the 30 year fixed back under 4.000%.

The PMMS reports on average rates from the previous week based on a survey for conforming loans (loan amounts $422,950 and below). Last week, the 30 year fixed averaged 3.89 with 0.5 points. From the PMMS:

“The 10-year Treasury yield fell 3 basis points this week. The 30-year mortgage rate moved in tandem with Treasury yields, falling 5 basis points to 3.89 percent. Mixed economic data and increasing uncertainty are continuing to push rates to the lowest levels in nearly seven months.”

We are noticing an increase in refinances with the 30 year fixed being back below four percent.

If you’re considering refinancing or buying a home located anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you. Click here for a no-hassle mortgage rate quote.