Archives for August 2007

Friday Fun: Announcing ChaToe LaFeet Red Wine

Last Friday, our crew assembled to complete our wines we started weeks ago at Castle Bridge Winery.   It was a lot of fun…down to designing our own label (and labeling the bottles, too).Img_5537_2   The wine is a Amorone style and will be ready to drink in a few months (depending on how picky your taste buds are).

We did spend quite a bit of time laughing.   The folks at Castlebridge are very kind and helpful.

Img_5545We know what we’re giving for Christmas, bringing over to Thanksgiving dinner…you get the idea.

Our label is "ChaToe LaFeet" and those are my husband’s floating feet on the label.  Watch for it in  your finer restaurants (NOT). 

Our group shot is me, Rob, Julie, Marla and Cliff.

Img_5553 Cheers!

You can view more photos by clicking this link.

Be careful relying on posts about mortgages prior to August 2007

It’s occurred to me that consumers who are using the internet to research mortgage information, products and guidelines, etc. need to be aware that anything posted before July 31, 2007 may very well have changed or is no longer valid.   

Do not rely on information on mortgage blogs or websites.  Especially if the information was created before August of 2007.   

Guidelines are changing and programs are being removed daily in this ever changing market. If you are currently preapproved for a mortgage, verify that your program still exists.  As always, I do not recommend floating your interest rate.

Contact your Mortgage Professional for your most current options.

You’re Invited to Vote for the Magnificent 7 – Round 1


Larry Cragun of Real Estate Undressed is asking for your help in selecting the finalist  for the Magnificent 7.   I am once again truly honored to be associated with the group he has assembled.    There are currently ten articles contending in Round 1 that need to be narrowed down to seven.   

Please check out the competition and let Larry know who your top choices are by clicking here.

Twice rejected…the third try is a charm (or so I hope).


On Friday I received a friendly letter from DFI stating that my finger prints have been rejected for a second time!  Darn my fine prints.  I called them right away to see what I should do since I’ve all ready tried this twice unsuccessfully with Alliance.  The helpful person at DFI recommended that I go to the Washington State Patrol office in Olympia.   She assured me that if they could not obtain quality prints from me, DFI would accept WASP prints.

Img_5565_2So I hopped in my car and drove just over an hour today and visited the WASP Criminal Records Division to have my prints extracted.   What pros!

After that, I decided to head over to Tumwater to Washington State’s Department of Financial Institutions to personally hand over my fresh prints.   

Three hours later (of being on the road0…I’m back to work.  I couldn’t help but wonder if I was working at bank-mortgage company if I would have to do all of this since the law targets Loan Originators who are employed by Mortgage Brokers.   I know bank employees go though background checks but I don’t believe it includes finger-printing…oh well! 

I scheduled my Loan Originator exam for next month (Loan Originators who work for bank-mortgage companies do not have to take a state wide competency test, either).    I’ve heard that out of the 15,000 LO’s who have registered as Loan Originators in Washington State, less than 600 have taken the exam and a reported 9% of LOs have failed.   In order for a Loan Originator to retain their license, they must pass the exam before the end of 2007 or they cannot originate mortgages employed by a Mortgage Broker.

How could CNBC use Bankrate as a reference?

I typically have CNBC on while I’m working.   This morning, I watched in dismay as Diana Olick of CNBC used Bankrate to compare jumbo rates.   What on earth was she thinking? 

JumboBankrate does not have a sterling reputation for posting accurate mortgage rates.   In fact, they settled a lawsuit from their advertisers (the mortgage companies who are listed at Bankrate’s site are paying to post rates) using bait and switch with the rates they are promoting.

I just visited Bankrate for a jumbo mortgage using 20% down in Seattle.  Here’s an example of actual rate quotes I received priced at zero points/zero origination:

Lender 1:  APR 8.017% – Rate: 8.000% – APR Fees: $815

Lender 2:  APR 7.428% – Rate: 7.250% – APR Fees: $8740

Lender 3:  APR 8.200% – Rate: 8.125% – APR Fees: $3500

Lender 4:  APR 6.787% – Rate: 6.625% – APR Fees: $8278

Lender 5:  APR 9.855% – Rate: 9.875% – APR Fees: $410

How can there be such a variance in rates that are priced at zero points and zero discount?  Check out the closing costs shown as APR Fees…try telling me points aren’t factored somewhere in with Lenders 2 and 4.   It’s misleading and this is similar to the example used on CNBC this morning.  Worse, CNBC did not include the fees when they were showing the rates.   Good drama, bad reporting.   

The media is digging the mortgage crisis.   They are sensationalist who thrive on bad news.   Yes, we are in historic times with the mortgage industry.  This is why it’s so important for consumers to select qualified mortgage professionals instead of the lowest rate on they believe they’ve found on the internet.

Diana Krall at Chateau Ste Michelle

Last night we went to see Diana Krall at Chateau Ste. Michelle Winery.  She was fantastic (of course).   What could be better than a nice bottle of chardonnay and crab cakes with chipolte sauce while listening to Diana’s smokey voice (not to mention her top notch band).

There may still be tickets available for tonight’s show.  You can check out Ticketmaster, Craigs List or eBay.

Dress warm and enjoy!

Concerned questions from a home owner regarding the “credit crisis”

mortgageporter-thinkingThe other day, one of my past clients asked me:

“I was wondering if there are issues that could arise if this credit crisis continues in a downward spiral? The market hasn’t been doing well in the past week with concerns about the “credit crisis”.

Is there any reason for concern that we could have our home loan called in early if our mortgage company gets into trouble? Are there other issues that we should be thinking about if this causes a ripple affect to other areas of the economy?”


[Read more…]

What’s going on in the mortgage industry? A must see graph spells it out.

This graph from the New York Times paints a picture that I can’t call pretty.   

"So what’s gone wrong in the last few months?  An unfortunate combination:  more loans in default (many borrowers were never in a position to pay them off), risky bets worth billions made by some investors (deals now gone sour), and the reversal of the housing boom."

A big hat tip to Behind The Mortgage.