Big Changes Coming to Real Estate Excise Tax for Washington State Homes

wordswag_1556818054305The Washington State Senate has passed revisions to excise tax that is paid when real estate is sold or transferred. Instead of having a flat rate, the new tax once signed into law by Governor Inslee, will be graduated. Some will enjoy a lower tax rate while others will pay a significantly higher tax rate. Real estate excise tax is typically a cost paid for by the seller. In San Juan County, the excise tax has been split by both the seller and buyer of real estate. Many would argue that excise tax (as with other cost of selling, such as real estate commission) is often passed onto the buyer as it is factored into the sales price. [Read more…]

Mortgage Home Loans for Non-Citizen Borrowers

Recently Fannie Mae added clarity to their guidelines regarding non-citizen borrowers being eligible to qualify for a conventional mortgage. According to Fannie Mae, this is not a change to existing policy, it is just (much needed) clarification for lenders.

In order to be eligible, a borrower must be “legally present” in the United States. This means the borrower must have: [Read more…]

The REAL Income Needed to Buy Median-Priced Home in Seattle

Seattle income

KOMO News is reporting that it takes an income of $105K to buy a median-priced home in the Seattle area. This is based off a report from HSH.com.  When you dig deeper into the report, here’s how HSH.com came up with their numbers: [Read more…]

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”. [Read more…]

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…]

The Beauty of a Bridge Loan

I recently helped a couple successfully close on their new home in Seattle before having to close on their former home in Everett. By using a bridge loan to access equity on the Everett home, they were able to make a winning offer on the Seattle home without it having to be “subject to the sale” of their former home. This help to make their offer far more attractive in a very competitive real estate market. [Read more…]

Coming Soon: Freddie Mac’s HomeOne Mortgage Program

Later next month, Freddie Mac will be offering a new program for first time home buyers. This mortgage program offers low down payment options without the income limit or geographic restrictions that Home Possible has.

HomeOne will be available for both purchases and rate-term refinances on single family dwellings. At least one borrower on the application must be a first time home buyer when the transaction is a purchase and home buyer education is required. [Read more…]

Possible Relief for Seattle – King County Home Buyers

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service issued a press release indicating that we are finally seeing an increase in new listings being added to the market. The 14,524 new listings that came on during May, in the 23 counties that the NWMLS serves, are the most listings added in one month in 10 years. In King County, there were almost 1000 homes added to the market creating just over one month of inventory – the first time since September of last year. Here’s a link to the NWMLS market snapshot for May 2018. [Read more…]