Another extension for HARP…so what

MortgagePorter-HARP2According to Housing Wire, it looks like HARP (aka the Home Affordable Refinance Program) may once again be extended through 2016. The HARP program was created for home owners who have conventional Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac mortgages and who had lost equity in their homes due to the mortgage meltdown, making it impossible to refinance. With HARP, appraisals are often not required and over the past few years, underwriting guidelines have become more relaxed with this program.  So why the “so what”?

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What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: July 7, 2014

mortgageporter-economyI hope you and your family had a fabulous holiday weekend. We began our holiday on our boat at Liberty Bay in Poulsbo with a beautiful display of fireworks on July 3rd – it was a lot of fun.

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What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: June 30, 2014

MortgagePorter-JobsReportThis is a short week with Independence Day on this Friday. Watch for the Jobs Report being released on Thursday, July 3, which could provide some early fireworks depending on if the data comes in less or more than expected.

Here are some of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week:

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Home Buyer Class in South Seattle

Seattle Home Buyer ClassesI will be teaching a Home Buyers Education Class with Ira Sacharoff of Better Properties Real Estate Seattle on Saturday, August 9, 2014 at the Skyway Public Library. This class is sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission.

Students will learn about the home buying process and will receive a certificate at the end of the class making them eligible for:

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Is it time to refi your FHA mortgage?

mortgageporter-thinkingWith the appreciation homes are seeing in the greater Seattle – King County area, home owners who purchased their home a couple years ago using an FHA mortgage may now be able to refinance into a conventional mortgage. FHA mortgages are often used when a home buyer needs a lower down payment option or if credit scores are lower. FHA jumbo mortgages offer home buyers lower down payment with higher loan amounts than what conforming mortgages will permit. There are many reasons why someone might opt for an FHA mortgage when buying a home.

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What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: June 23, 2014

mortgageporter-economyMortgage rates are based on mortgage backed securities (bonds) and often change throughout the day. Since they are based on bonds, mortgage rates will often improve when the stock markets are deteriorating as investors will trade the safety of bonds for the potential greater return found with stocks. The reverse is also true. World events as well as scheduled economic indicators may impact the direction of mortgage interest rates. Watch for signs of inflation, which erodes the value of bonds and therefore, causes mortgage rates to trend higher.

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Washington State Down Payment Assistance Programs and Grants

2013-03-07_0746Washington State home buyers have several various down payment assistance programs available and they’re not just limited to first time home buyers.  These funds can go towards closing cost and the down payment of primary residence.

Here’s an updated list of what I have available.

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HARP still available

MortgagePorter-HARP2HARP (aka the Home Affordable Refi Program or HARP 2.0) is set to expire at the end of 2015. HARP is a refinance program that was designed to help home owners who have good credit, income and job stability and would qualify for a refi except for the reduced value on their home.

HARP is available to home owners who have a conventional mortgage securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac (this is different than where you make your mortgage payments to).

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