Archives for July 2007

Mortgage Porter tweaks

I’m doing a little tidying up around The Mortgage Porter.   You may not even notice…so I thought I’d point it out.  I’ve swapped the list of monthly Archives for one link to the archived post.   

Currently, after you click the link (located on the left side of the page) you’ll be redirected to a list of all my old post.   The "Months" have active links…I’m still working on adding links to each title (in my spare time).   

It was actually pretty fun to do (listing out all of the articles I’ve done).   Showing how long you’ve been posting does seem like a well earned badge…but it’s nice to polish up the blog a bit, too. 

Friday Fun Post: An Evening with JP Patches


I can personally assure you that you will be hard pressed to find a more fun way to spend an evening than to do so with local treasure JP Patches

On August 9, 2007 at 7:00 p.m. all (well most) of your wildest dreams will come true at the Museum of History and Industry.  You can spend an evening with JP Patches and ask him all the questions you were afraid to (when you were you where a little tikey turkey).   

This event is a fund raiser to benefit JP Patches’ statue fund and Children’s Hospital.   

For more information, or to buy tickets click here.

Mortgage Master will be closed on Thursday


Last Friday, my sister-in-law Kathy Porter Walker, passed away.  Kathy’s passing was not unexpected to family and close friends.  However, we all have heavy hearts and miss her tremendously.   

Kathy will be reunited in heaven with her eldest daughter.  She is survived by her husband, four children, both of her parents, five siblings and eight grandchildren.   Kathy brought a lot of love and life to this world.   I am grateful to have known her.

Kathy was also a co-worker, employed at Mortgage Master which is a Porter family business.   Mortgage Master will be closed Thursday morning with a few employees working in the afternoon.   We will re-open with a full staff on Friday, July 13, 2007.

Services for Kathy will be on Thursday, July 12, 2007 at 10:00 a.m. at St. Philomena Catholic Church in Des Moines.   

How Returning an Overdue Library Book Declined a Mortgage Loan


Okay…it’s not just the overdue library book…we have a few other factors involved with this scenario.   In February I began working with buyer who was contemplating buying his first home, a condo to be exact.   We were able to offer a preapproval based on:

  • mid-credit score of 705
  • 100% LTV Fannie Mae My Community with LPMI (Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance)
  • 5 year fixed 10 year interest only payments (he qualified for fully amortized but opted to have flexibility with his payments)

The buyer, we’ll call him “Joe”, makes an offer on a condo that is in the process of going through a conversion.   The builder also has a “preferred lender” and will only provide a seller credit to the buyer if the buyer uses their lender.   Joe elects to stay with me because the builder’s lender cannot offer the same product and payment options, even though the seller credit was significant. 

Here’s all the scoop:

Joe had an old collection on his credit report from a library book that was overdue.  We had loan approval so I advised Joe to not pay it off until after closing.   Paying off collections lowers your credit score: the credit scoring system recognizes it as new activity on a collection.    Joe finds the book a few months into the transaction and returns it to the public library and paid his overdue collection.   It’s a noble action and would have been perfectly fine…had he done it after closing.

Joe also wanted to make sure he was getting the best deal and decided to continue shopping lenders even though we were locked and approved with his mortgage.  Shop, shop, shop…he did…and the lenders ran his credit report over and over again.   30 inquires over a couple of months HURTS your credit scores.

The condo conversion took months to complete (it was suppose to be done in early May and it won’t be finished until later this month)…so Joe’s credit report expired.   Typically, credit reports are valid for 120 days.   This is when we made the discovery that Joe’s credit score had dropped 40 points.   Forty points may not sound like a lot to you, however…zero down financing is very sensative to credit scores.  There is a tremendous difference between 660 and 700 with regards to your credit score…especially when you’re looking at 100% financing (zero down).   

Joe is a great candidate for FHA financing, however the condo (being a conversion) is not.   Zero down financing with a 660 mid score is not a pretty option.

Lessons (if you’re getting ready to buy or refinance a home…if you’re not, a different strategy may better suit you):

  1. Don’t pay off collections prior to closing UNLESS it is required by the underwriter.   (Pay them off after closing and be sure to get a documentation that they are paid).
  2. To have the best credit score, try to have 3 established accounts that you use at least every 30 days.  This could just be charging a tank of gas and then paying it off every month.   When revolving accounts go “unactive” for a couple months, they are considered “closed” by the scoring system which does not help your score. 
  3. Keep your credit balances below 30% of the available credit line.
  4. If you’re going to shop your Mortgage Professional, don’t let other LOs pull your credit.   You all ready have your scores and that is all the information a LO needs for a rate quote.
  5. Your documentation (such as credit reports, paystubs, etc.) are only valid for a certain time period.   With longer transactions,  be aware that your credit report may be re-pulled and/or employment may be re-verified.
  6. Return your library books before they become overdue.

How I Beat the Heat…Watermelon and Raspberry Sorbet

I thought about saving this for a "fun Friday post…but with our record temps here, you may not want to wait!   My neighbor has turned me onto homemade sorbet…here’s my first attempt last night.   WINNER!!!


I love to cook (well, I guess there’s no cooking involved here) and I promise this will not become a recipe site…but I just had to share this treat with you.  It’s too easy, healthy (80 calories/0 fat) and very refreshing!   

Watermelon and Raspberry Sorbet

  • 1 cup simple syrup (ask me if you don’t know what this is)
  • 4 1/2 cups of fresh watermelon chunks (no rind)
  • 1 cup fresh raspberries, plus extra to top off your sorbet
  • 4 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Add all ingredients to a blender and puree.  I had to do the watermelon and raspberry separate…my blender isn’t big enough for all of this.   I left about one cup of watermelon liquid in the blender and added the whole raspberries to puree.

Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a bowl (you don’t want raspberry seeds in your sorbet).  Cover and chill in the fridge until cold (1-2 hours).   Pour mixture into an ice-cream maker and let it work it’s magic (about an hour in my ice cream maker, times will vary).

Sorbet can be saved…but I think it’s best fresh.  The freezer can turn this delightful treat into hard ice.   And if you have kids, this stuff won’t last long enough to see the freezer!   

Yields about 5 cups.

You can thank me later!

Seattle’s Top Neighborhoods


According to the July issue of The Seattle Magazine, the overall top places to live in the Seattle area based on "affordability (a relative term in our hot real estate market), return on investment, diversity, good schools, parks, low crime rate and commute times", including the median house price are:

  1. Bellevue (Somerset, Newport Hills neighborhoods): $596,000.
  2. Delridge (West Seattle/High Point): $276,000.
  3. Kent: $315,000.
  4. Bellevue (Crossroads, Lake Hills neighborhoods):  $435,000.
  5. Renton: $350,000.
  6. Maple Valley:  $385,700.
  7. Bothell:  $395,000
  8. Georgtown (South Seattle): $325,000.
  9. Highland Park (West Seattle):  $305,000.
  10. Shoreline:  $340,000.
  11. Everett:  $295,000.
  12. Federal Way:  $274,950.

This month’s issue includes a detailed list including the top 98 Seattle-area neighborhoods and of course, features an article on "condo mania".   You can get your copy at local newsstands….

GNO last weekend at the Roanoke Park Place Tavern

Last Saturday, a group of us from Rain City Guide invited our newest member, Karen for a little "Girls Night Out".  Karen just moved to Seattle from the Chicago area and she has been documenting her transition from the windy to the rainy city.


We met up at The Roanoke Park Place Tavern in Capitol Hill (off 10th E aka Broadway).   I’ve never been to the Roanoke, and since it’s covered in ivy this time of year, I accidentally drove right passed it!   They have excellent French Dip and Nachos.  I never really had a chance to see the entire menu–we were too busy gabbing.  If you’re looking for a friendly neighborhood bar, this is the place!

Welcome to Seattle, Karen!   Pictured from left to right is Karen, Ardell, Jillayne and me.   Photography by KimCheers!

Online Networking and Facebook

I signed up for Facebook after reading Dustin Luther’s post at Rain City Guide.    I must admit, it feels odd to me (and I’m not sure why) to have "profiles" every where on the internet.   I guess I’m more use to people knowing how to find me via visiting my website…blogging, is much more social than a static website.

I created a MySpace page quite a while ago…I’d share the link with you but I hardly ever use it anymore!   My original motives for setting up was to learn more about it and try to see why our kids were so ga-ga over it.   

I’ve only had this account for a few days (not as long as Dustin with 6 months) so I have not figured all the ins and outs yet.Facebook, at least for me, is more professional (than my myspace page).   If you have a profile, stop by and say "hello"!  I’m always happy to add a friend.