Archives for May 2007

My new phone…the Treo 700wx

Palmtreo700wxsI was literally counting the days of being able to trade in my Treo 650 for a new phone.  I wasn’t sure if I was going to stick with a Treo or what type of phone I would wind up with.   I love gadgets!  For my phone, beyond the obvious receiving and sending phone calls, I also need:

  • To send and receive emails
  • Manage task/to-do list
  • Calendar
  • Web capability (a girl’s got to blog and research if she has any "down time)
  • Contact/data base management
  • Camera/Video
  • Loads of memory
  • Text messaging (for my Mortgage Market Guide updates on rates)
  • Having the phone backed up to my pc

I decided on the Treo 700wx.

My previous Treo was Palm based.   I’ve been a Palm user for so long that I get a little sentimental tear in my eye when I think back to my first Palm Pilot and having to learn the graffiti in the pre-keyboard days.   With this phone, I made the leap to Microsoft Mobile.   

I love having Word, Excel, PowerPoint and Outlook.  My goal is to consolidate the number of programs that I currently use on a daily basis.   I am longing for Palm’s Task List (you can designate task with different priorities from A-C and then number them within the assigned letter) and the calendar which I had color coded for events and people.

I’m hoping I’ll be happy with my decision to leave Palm for Windows.  I’ve only had the phone for a couple of days and I’m trying to not accidentally call people since I’m learning where all of the new buttons are.

I’m still trying to figure out a few simple things, like how I can add a signature to my email within the new Treo and if there’s a better way to manage my task.  Currently, they are all on the present day, instead of having them just show on what ever day I plan to do a specific task (such as needing to follow up on something for a mortgage in process).   

If any readers have one of the new Treo’s with Windows Mobile…and you have some advice for me…I’m all ears (or thumbs)!

Latest issue of Homes and Money

My "paper newsletter" will be hitting the streets soon.   I produce a newsletter that is mailed three times a year (I give my readers a break for the holidays at end of the year).    This summer issue covers:

  • The Subprime Meltdown
  • Pet Safety Tips for Summer
  • What is a Blog?  (Hopefully if you’re reading Mortgage Porter, you know you’re reading a blog).
  • Regular featured info, such as "What’s New with Rhonda" … all the latest tid bits on my personal life.   TMI for sure!

Last but not least, a reminder for readers to take advantage of their free credit report and selecting Equifax for your report.  (Since there are three bureaus to select from…and my newsletter comes out three times a year…why not use it as a reminder to check your credit?

If you would like to receive my newsletter, Homes and Money, drop me a line with your name and address.   I’m more than happy to add you to my mailing list.

Memorial Day

In honor of the fallen men and women who have served our country, Mortgage Master is closed today to observe Memorial Day.   

We will re-open for business as usual on Tuesday, May 29, 2007.’

Here are some photos from when we went to DC during Spring Break of 2004.



Redpin on 16 Minutes…

I thought you might enjoy this spoof on the Redfin 60 Minutes interview from a few weeks ago.   The only piece this bit is missing is the 6% Agent…it’s funny regardless.

Hat tip to Larry Cragun of Real Estate Undressed for sharing this video.

My first interview on iTunes

Recently I was interviewed by Jeff Chasin of Blogging for Mortgage Brokers with fellow mortgage bloggers Brian Brady of America’s Most Opinionated Mortgage Broker and Morgan Brown of Blown Mortgage.    Although the interview is intended for Mortgage Professionals who are considering blogging… I think the information is relevant to any real estate professional who has been wondering about whether or not a blog is for them.   To download via iTunes, click here or you can click the link under press and interviews.

Funds for closing when you’re buying a home

Mpj030576000001Whenever you are buying a home utilizing a mortgage, your lender is going to need to know where your funds that will be used for the down payment and closing costs are coming from.   And in most cases, they will want the funds to be “seasoned” (statements showing the funds have been in  your account for a two month minimum).

A lender wants assurance that the borrower has enough funds for closing and ideally, enough savings when all is said and done after closing, to have a cushion (2-6 months of your proposed mortgage payment aka “reserves”).  Typically a lender is looking for 2 months of asset account statements.   If large deposits are shown on the statements, the lender (or underwriter) may will require to have the large deposits explained and possibly documented.    Many people have their paychecks go into their bank account and, like the tide, out goes the money.  What ever is shown as ending balance is what the lender will use for your loan application and approval purposes.

Depending on the mortgage program you’re utilizing for your financing, different types of funds for closing may or may not be acceptable.   Here is an example of some traditional funds allowable for closing:

  • Checking and savings accounts
  • 401(k)s and other retirement accounts
  • Stocks, Bonds, Mutual Funds, etc.
  • Income Tax Refund
  • Seller closing cost credit (varies depending on program and loan to value)
  • Gifts from family (depending on loan program)
  • Proceeds from the sale of property (real estate or other)
  • Inheritance
  • Sale of personal property

Cash on hand (also referred to as “mattress money”) is a no-no.   If you’re planning on buying a home in the next 3-6 months, you’ll want to get your dough into a bank account where a “paper trail” can be established of your funds.

With today’s automated underwriting and all of the available mortgage programs, more or less documentation may be required from the lender.   The above list is only a sample.  The requirements for your personal financing may be different.    It’s important that regardless of what funds you’re planning on using for your down payment and closing costs, that you discuss it with your Mortgage Professional.

If you are considering buying a home located anywhere in the State of Washington, I’m happy to help you with your mortgage needs, including reviewing your down payment options.

Related Post:  Qualifying for a mortgage: Funds for Closing

EDITORS NOTE:  This post was last updated on April 11, 2011.  

You don’t need to demolish your old Seattle home…recycle it!

The other night, I actually watched something on the local news that did my heart Prince some good!  A local man noticed that a beautiful old Seattle home was destined to be torn down.  He contacted the owners, bought it and moved it to a vacant lot until the foundation can be poured.   What a great alternative to demolishing a wonderful Seattle home.   In my neighborhood of West Seattle, over 25% of the homes were built before 1930 and it seems as though every day I notice a nice Tudor being tagged to be torn down only to have a townhouse, multifamily or single family monstrosity replace it.   Our property values have outgrown our historic values.

According to the article in the Seattle Times, this was inexpensive (as compared to buying a similar house without plans of moving). 

  • The demolishing of his existing home (okay…so one house was demolished…haven’t seen any photos to see what that property once looked like) and the pouring of the new foundation cost approx. $150,000.
  • The typical cost of moving the home is est. at $35,000 – $50,000.
  • The developer/seller agreed to sell the home for $1.

Nickel Bros. is who was hired to move the home from this story.   I visited their website and they have "listings" of homes that need to be "adopted" or they will be demolished.   

HGTV filmed the move of the Phinney home in Seattle…it must have been amazing to see the old beauty rolling down the street!

Patches Pal Picture of the Week!

Jp_statue_logo I cannot believe how lucky I am… I’ve been selected to be the JP Patches Pal Picture of the week.   Pinch me, Gertrude!

Check it out…after this week, there will be a new Patches Pal Picture.