Archives for July 2007

Your mortgage payment may be going up

Last week we received a postcard from our friendly tax assessor informing us that our assessed value increased 14% over last year.   When I owned my first home, this news would probably excite me.   What it really means is that our mortgage payment is going to increase.

Your note rate determines the principle and interest portion of your mortgage.  However, property taxes and home owners insurance can and do change…count on it.   Your mortgage company received the same notice about your property taxes, too (this is one reason why you pay the "Tax Service Fee" when you obtain a mortgage).   

Our new assessment is effective for our 2008 real estate taxes.   Once this rolls into place in the beginning of the new year, our mortgage company will contact us and may offer the following options, after reviewing our escrow account:

  1. Increasing our mortgage payment to cover the difference in the account.
  2. Allow us to pay the difference in a lump sum.

We will most likely opt to have our payment increased.   

Please do be aware when you’re buying a home, that even if you have a fixed rate mortgage, the taxes and insurance are not "fixed".   If you currently own a home in the Pacific Northwest where our values are still strong, be prepared to have your mortgage payment increase in 2008.   

And for those of you who are squeaking by making your mortgage payment, this is even more reason to put away your credit cards and to have your credit reviewed by a Mortgage Professional in the event you need to restructure your current financial position (do this at least 6 months before you need to refinance so you have a chance to make any corrections or improvements to your credit).   Don’t wait.

It’s so nice to meet you!


Fact is, most of my clients, I never meet face to face.   Odd isn’t it?  I’m caring for   one of their largest financial transactions and it’s all handled via email or phone calls.  I could be standing in line at the grocery store next to someone who I don’t know (or recognize) yet I’ve seen all their financial information…credit scores, bank accounts, retirement portfolio, collections, etc.  if I facilitated their mortgage.

I think when people find me from the internet, they want to make sure that I am "for real" and not some cheesy photo on a web site.    When clients are referred to me from their friends and family, they trust that their friend or family member had a successful experience working with me and they seem to not have the need to see me.   Let’s face it, we are all very busy people and coordinating two or three schedules to coincide can be a small miracle.

The other day, I met a very nice couple during their lunch hours.   It was a refreshing reminder to me of why I should meet with clients face to face.  Not just so they can see me, I enjoyed getting to know them better on a more personal level.    However, sometimes when we have days ticking away on a newly composed purchase and sale agreement and the luxury of time is nil, we may not have the option of trying to schedule a "sit-down" consultation.   Finding the time to complete a loan application, review your good faith estimate or a credit report while sitting across from each other may seem challenging. 

A few months ago, I added a new feature to my mortgage practice that allows me to show my clients what I’m viewing on my computer right on their computer(s).   If a couple are in different locations and cannot travel to the same spot at the same time, we can arrange a virtual meeting to review all of the important documentation and planning that is required in the mortgage process.   It’s very convenient for todays busy schedules.   Imagine this, you’re sitting at your computer at work, home or where ever and your spouse is on their computer:  both of you viewing what I have on my computer.  Together we could be reviewing good faith estimates, credit reports, various reports analyzing possible mortgage structures…you name it!   

The problem is, I’m not using this tool as much as I should be!  So I thought I should put it "out there" to let you know this is available and is a great resource that I want to share with you.   Ask me about it. 

Pike Place Market Blog Tour USA

Excuse me, can we ask you a question…. (sent from my Treo)

Live at Zillow

Ping pong anyone? (sent from my treo)

The Big Day is HERE – Welcome Blog Tour USA!

Just a few quick notes before I dash out the door to meet up with ARDELL and Rudy and Joe from Sellius (aka Blog Tour USA).   I’m going to be away from my phone for most of the day since I’m participating in the tour.   You’re welcome to leave a voicemail or email for me; or you can contact Dina or Marilyn if you need immediate assistance with a transaction or lock.

Here is my schedule for today with Blog Tour USA:

  • 10:00 am Zillow
  • 11:00 am Redfin
  • Possible other Seattle sites
  • 7:00 pm Dinner at Ardells

There are people coming Canada and all over.  This is going to be a great event!  More to follow! 

Fun at the Carnival of Real Estate


No…I didn’t win a prize but this was my first time trying out my luck with the Real Estate Carnival hosted by ARDELL at Rain City Guide.   I’ve never played at the Carnival before and I’m not sure why that is.    Any recognition that Mortgage Porter has received thus far has been from readers on their own; nothing that I applied for or sought out.   I have to say, I’m very surprised and tickled pink like a swirl of cotton candy that I received an "honorable mention" for How an Overdue Library Book Declined a Mortgage.

Here are the real winners of Carnival of Real Estate #51:

  1. Brian Brady "Selling Like a Catholic School Girl"
  2. Peter Comitini "Co-ops Losing Clout with Luxury Buyers"
  3. Jay Thompson "The Combination Real Estate Agent/Lender: One-Stop Shopping, or Half-Assed Service?"
  4. Frank Llosa "Reject THROW-UP Listings.  Do it RIGHT, not RIGHT NOW!"
  5. Brande Bradford "Top Ten Tidbits for Success"
  6. Silicon Valley Blogger "Expected Rate of Decline of Home Prices Next Year"
  7. Greg Swann "Divorcing  the real estate commissions is simply a matter of HUD-1 bookkeeping effected by the mortgage lender"
  8. Richard Kruse "It’s a Bloodbath and Time to Swim with the Sharks"

Hats off to ARDELL who not only hosted this festival but did so while preparing for Blog Tour USA to land in Seattle with dinner at her home on Thursday.   A woman after my own heart!

And I can’t think a better way for Mortgage Porter to celebrate it’s 200th Post!

Refinancing with FHA…now that’s Paris Hilton HOT!

Parishiltonthatshot What?  You’ve never thought of FHA mortgages as “hot”?  Read about this scenario of a client I recently helped and you just might be cooing “that’s hot”, too! [Read more…]

The West Seattle Parade and the Alki Hot Rod Show

Img_5308Do Saturdays get better than this? Somehow we managed to escape the rain just long enought ot enjoy the West Seattle Hi-Yu Summer Parade and the Alki Hot Rod Show.   Considering it’s been raining for over a week and that it was dry for these two events, I’d say we lucked out!Img_5315_3      

Young and old lined up California Avenue to watch the Seattle PD Motorcycles maneuver along with your classic beauty queens and parade floats.  The community of West Seattle has a lot of participation in this annual summertime event.   The drill teams were amazing, too.  There had to be some tired feet at the end of the day with all the stomping and dancing!

Img_5375_2What was my big motivation to get out of bed and hustle to grab a spot on the pavement?  Why none other than JP Patches, my childhood hero, of course! 

And this would not be a Seafair event without the infamous Seafair Pirates!   You can hear them coming from blocks away with the boom and smoke of

Img_5382 their cannons.   Good thing they’re followed by the Seafair Clowns so they can wipe the fear from the younger crowd with some giggles.

For more pictures of the West Seattle Hi-Yu Parade, click here.