Archives for June 2007

Why is my rate quote higher than what is on the internet?

mortgageporter-thinkingEDITORS NOTE: This post was written prior to the regulations in 2010 which require a Good Faith Estimate to be delivered upon application. Please be sure to WHEN a post was written when reading a mortgage blog as regulations and guidelines are subject to change.

This is a question I just received from a gentleman who is considering a low down payment mortgage, such as a VA loan or USDA rural mortgage.

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Happy Father’s Day


Can you guess what decade this photo is from? This my Dad with his three daughters (who are also in the biz as wholesale reps).   I’m the one in the yellow sweater.    Happy Father’s Day!

The Fremont Solstice Parade

The Fremont Summer Solstice Parade is an event that you hear a great deal about as a Seattle-ite…somehow, I have managed to miss it…until this afternoon.   I met up with fellow bloggers Ardell and Deborah Burns, who like me, had never witnessed naked bicyclist (hopefully) painted creatively.   Don’t worry…I’ll only post a few photos.


The event took place along Gasworks Park in the Fremont neighborhood in Seattle and benefits Solid Ground.   Believe it or not, this was a very family event.  I overheard a little girl ask her Dad (both spectators), "Dad, have you ever been in a parade like this?"  He said, "No".


I missed the Seattle Art Car show and many of the other fair events…after a hundred or so bikers AND the parade…I was ready to call it a day! 


The Fremont Fair continues on Sunday.   If you don’t have plans for Father’s Day…here’s something to consider.

Support Your Local Clown

Meandjp All day long on Tuesday, June 19, 2007, Tully’s will donate 20% of all store revenue to support the JP Patches statue fund and Children’s Hospital.    

I am a true Patches Pal…and I’m not alone.   JP Patches was in my home and many others in the Pacific Northwest televised via KIRO from 1958 – 1981.

Let’s raise a coffee cup and toast this local treasure.   Visit your local Tullys next Tuesday.   Cheers!

Take a vacation without leaving home

  • Long Beach Real Estate– Laurie Manny
  • Sacramento Real Estate Voice– Gena Reide
  • Luxury Home Digest– Roberta Murphy
  • Henderson Real Estate– John Novak
  • Manhattan Beach Real Estate– Kaye Thomas
  • Eastern Conecticut Real Estate– Linda Davis
  • Charlotte Real Estate Voice– Leigh Brown
  • Virginia Real Estate Homes– Lenn Harley
  • Columbus Best Blog– Maureen McCabe
  • Manhattan Blog– Mitchell Hall
  • Destination48009 – Sara Lipnitz
  • 3 Oceans Real Estate – Kevin Boer
  • Bloodhound Blog – Greg Swann
  • Real Estate Undressed – Larry Cragun
  • The Phoenix Real Estate Guy – Jay Thomson
  • Denver Real Estate & Relocation – Kristal Kraft
  • St. Paul Real Estate – Teresa Boardman
  • Just in case you’re considering a move away from Seattle…it’s sunny today so wait until it rains again (tomorrow).  Here are some great real estate blogs from across the nation.   

    Buying a home contingent


    I’m noticing more contingent offers lately.  This is when someone makes an offer to purchase their next home and the offer is contingent on the successful closing of their current residence.   Contingent transactions may occur for several reasons:

    • The net proceeds (equity) of the former house may be needed for the down payment on the new home.
    • The buyer may not qualify (or want) to risk having two mortgage payments while waiting for the former house to sell and close.
    • The equity in the former house may not be enough to facilitate a bridge loan.

    In fact, I just had an excellent question from one of my clients that is worthy of sharing with you:

    “Since our purchase is contingent on sale of existing property, when does the loan actually close and what are our liabilities in the event our home fails to sell?  The only other time I bought a house there wasn’t the issue of selling one so it never came up for me.”

    With this scenario, without a bridge loan to tap into the equity of the former home, the loan on the new home will not be able to close until the old home is closed. This is because the proceeds of the old home are needed for the down payment on the new home.   This typically takes place the same day, however, I recommend having the closing take place the day after the day after the old home closes, if possible, to allow for transfer of funds.   This is referred to as a simultaneous closing.   

    A bridge loan allows you to close on your new home quicker, without waiting for the old property to sell and close.   Knowing your closing date, also enables you to secure your interest rate by being able to lock your loan.   A home equity loan on the current residence is also a possibility.   However, the advantage with the bridge loan is that there are no monthly payments due (interest is deferred until the home is sold).

    Check with your Real Estate Agent to see what your liabilities may be if your home does not sell.   There should be an addendum to the purchase and sale agreement addressing what happens if your home does not sell.    The purchase and sale agreement may also address when the closing date will be on your new home (for example, “x” days after the closing of your old home) and what happens if someone else makes an offer on the home you’re buying “non-contingent” (without having to sell their home to close on the new home)…also referred to as being “bumped”.

    People buy homes contingent all the time.   It’s important to have an understanding of the process, what your options are and to have a game plan in the event of a “bump” so you can be ready with your ducks in a row!

    UPDATE 2012: We currently do not have bridge loans available as of 4/20/2012.  

    If you would like me to review your current scenario to help you be preapproved for your home purchase anywhere in Washington state, please contact me.

    Divorce, your mortgage and your credit

    Whether you’re married or are a couple who own a home together and are now facing a separation, dissolving a partnership is never easy.   Even if both parties are amicable and agree to the break up, it is a very emotional time.  You may just be thinking about who gets to keep the house…or you just may want out and not even care about the property.   Your mortgage and credit history is probably the last thing on your mind…however, you may want to consider protecting the credit that you’ve worked hard for.   

    Do contact an attorney who specializes in divorce.   Even if you just contemplating a divorce and you’re not certain you will file.  It’s important to find out the facts and get legal advice from a professional. 

    Obtain your current credit report.   You can get a free copy from    Review it to make sure that your debts are in order and that the other party is not using your credit for “retail therapy”.    Identify which accounts you may want to close if they have your name on them.   The credit company may be all too happy to issue your own card in your own name.    Having an ex-partner with your credit, even if you’re getting along now, can wreck havoc on your scores.   If your name remains on an account they have, even if they pay the debts on time, if the balances exceed 30% of the limit on a credit card, your credit score will suffer too.   

    Consider closing any joint accounts immediately that are not in use and removing your name from any accounts that you are a signer on.

    Secured accounts, such as loans attached to vehicles and mortgages must be dealt with too.   You might consider selling the items that have secured loans in order to remove your name and liability from the debt.   Otherwise, you should consider refinancing the loan.   Plus, the payments may be factored as your debt when qualifying for new loans, such as a  mortgage.

    Should your ex-partner decide they want to keep the house, require that they refinance the mortgage so that your name can be removed from the debt.   Deeding the property from one person to another does not remove the liability of the mortgage.   Even if your partner is a really nice person right now, if they lose their job 5 or 10 years from now, and your name is still on the mortgage, it will dramatically impact your credit if the bills are not being paid. 

    If your ex-partner does not qualify for a refinance of the property, then how can you expect them to make the payment?  It’s too risky.   

    One of my friends went through a divorce.  Her ex really wanted the house.  He did not qualify for the mortgage on his income alone and wasn’t thrilled when she insisted that he needed to refinance to take her name off of the mortgage.   Although it was a tough decision, they sold the house and split the proceeds.   He remarried and bought another house with his new wife and in just a few years, filed bankruptcy and the home was foreclosed.   Imagine what would have happened to her credit if she would have accepted the cash offer of her share of equity without refinancing the mortgage out of her name?  She would have been responsible and included in the foreclosure.   Her credit would have been trashed and it would be extremely difficult for her to buy a home.   

    Should you divorce, your divorce decree will not override your agreements with creditors.   It’s important to be proactive and to always take steps to protect your credit.  Although credit scores are reflective and not permanent, bankruptcy and (especially) foreclosure will impact your credit scores and interest rates for years.

    Remember, take precautions with your mortgage, credit history and consult with an attorney if you are considering a possible divorce.

    Those Amazing Low Rate Offers to Refi Now in the Mail

    Even at our home, we’re getting more and more amazing offers from lenders.  Recently one of my clients asked,

    "We keep getting info in the mail from some odd place that says that we have a mortgage through Mortgage Masters and that they can reduce our house payment to $900.00 per month. We shred them every time we get them but now I am curious if it is true? It does not have the Mortgage Master logo on it, it just says that they know we have a mortgage balance of $266,000."

    It’s amazing how much personal information that you would assume is private, is actually public.   Any lender or real estate agent can obtain a fine tuned list from a title insurance company or various other marketing companies for a fee.  It’s my opinion that if a Loan Originator has to use "cold marketing" (letters, post cards and phone calls to people they don’t know) to drum up business, it’s because they lack referral and/or repeat business from their past clients.  No one wants to work with them or their company again nor refer someone to them…therefore, they must buy leads and mail to strangers (you and me).

    Many of these offers are suspect…if it seems too good to be true, it is.   Bait and switch tactics of offering low rates like 1% or skipping several months of your mortgage payment are hung out in order to have you call "Slick" at the mortgage company.   Often times, the ads will appear as if they are coming from the mortgage company you obtained your financing from (check the very small print at the bottom of the letter).   The gimmick marketing may even appear to be from a government agency or as if it’s a "special limited time offer".  Chances are, it’s a hoax.

    As I mentioned at the beginning of this post, we are personally getting deluged with "amazing offers".   I think it’s because we have an adjustable rate mortgage.   And, the mortgage marketers know this…many of the pieces we receive state that and have emotional rich phrases such as "stabilize your monthly mortgage payment…it’s urgent to refinance now."   Our ARM is fixed for seven years.   We have five years left on it.  It’s not urgent for us to give up equity for closing cost to have a 30 year fixed mortgage at this time.

    Another beauty, which I am going to send in to DFI to see if any actions will take place…came in a gold envelope from the "Department of Public Records" appearing as though it’s a check for $660,000.    When you open this piece (of crap…sorry, this bugs me) it claims that the "sponsored lender" is Mortgage Master Service Corporation.    I can assure you, this is not true.    It also offers us a 1% interest rate and that this loan will fund in 10 days.   This piece is from a Consumer Loan Lender.   They have different guidelines they abide by than Mortgage Bankers or Mortgage Brokers.   

    The bottom line is that there are a plethora of mortgage marketers out there who are trying to take advantage of home owners fears of rates adjusting or debts…you name it.   Don’t fall for it.   If you need help with your mortgage or have any questions, contact a qualified Mortgage Professional.   

    Hopefully you had a good experience with the person who helped you with your original financing…if not…contact someone you respect and trust for a referral to one.    What ever you do, don’t fall for misleading junk you receive in the mail.

    UPDATE:  If you have misleading advertisements sent to your Washington State home, mail it to:

    Enforcement Unit, Division of Consumer Services, DFI,  PO Box 41200, Olympia, WA 98504