Archives for November 2007

Happy 1st Birthday to Mortgage Porter

I cannot believe that it was one year ago today that I decided to delve into the blogging world. I’m really not sure how I’m suppose to celebrate this!  I am proud of how Mortgage Porter is developing and have enjoyed all of my blogging experiences, including writing for Rain City Guide.  This past year has been nothing short of amazing. 

Mortgage Porter’s first year has included:

  • Over 370 articles (aka posts) written straight from my heart.
  • Nationally recognized as one of the real estate best blogs written by a woman (the only mortgage blog that was included in the Sellsius Top 12 Women Real Estate Bloggers for 2007).
  • Local recognition for outstanding consumer content by Larry Cragun’s Magnificent 7.
  • Interviews from Inman News, KOMO-4 and from fellow RE bloggers for whom I have the utmost respect.
  • Making many new friends and clients from around the world.  The furthest away is a real estate agent who is currently in Ethiopia and who happens to live (most of the time) in Washington!

Maybe on my next blog-birthday or blogoversary I’ll have something more profound to say…for now, I’ll leave you with this video to celebrate today and many more years of Mortgage Porter to come!  Thank you for reading Mortgage Porter. 

A (Very Middle of the Road) Message from Senator Cantwell on HR 3915

Dear Mrs. Porter

Thank you for contacting me regarding the Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007. I appreciate hearing from you on this important issue.

The Mortgage Reform and Anti-Predatory Lending Act of 2007 (H.R. 3915) was introduced on October 22, 2007 by Congressman Brad Miller. If enacted, this legislation would amend the Truth in Lending Act, setting forth standards and requirements to monitor the residential mortgage industry. These changes range from requiring counseling for loan applicants, to laying out requirements that mortgage originators be licensed and registered. The bill was reported from the House Financial Services Committee on November 9, 2007 and is currently awaiting action on the House floor.

While no companion bill has been introduced in the Senate at this time, please be assured that I will continue to work with my colleagues in Congress to respond to the state of our economy in a fair, responsible, and effective manner. Should legislation similar to H.R. 3915 come to a vote in the Senate, I will keep your thoughts in mind.

Thank you again for contacting me to share your thoughts on this matter.  Finally, you may be interested in signing up for my weekly update for Washington state residents. Every Monday, I provide a brief outline about my work in the Senate and issues of importance to Washington State; If you are interested in subscribing to this update, please visit my website at .  Please do not hesitate to contact me in the future if I can be of further assistance.

Maria Cantwell
United States Senator

For future correspondence with my office, please visit my website at

NOW may be the time to refi if you have an ARM or Fixed over 6.5%

Last night I posted that the 30 year fixed rate was at 5.625%…this morning, rates have been moving upwards (I’m all ready receiving new rate sheets from this morning for the worse).  Now may be the time to consider taking advantage of rates being below 6%.   

Just to recap…you should consider refinancing if:

  • You have an Adjustable Rate Mortgage with the fixed period ending in 24 months or less.
  • You have a 30 year fixed rate mortgage over 6.5%.
  • You have a piggy back (second) mortgage and enough equity to restructure the debt.
  • You are paying private mortgage insurance.
  • If you are concerned about the value of your home declining now or in the future (there are loan to value limits on refinances).   

If you’re concerned about your credit scores, FHA may be a great alternative for you as long as your credit history is fine.

If you have a prepayment penalty, it may or may not be worth refinancing at this time.  The penalty is considered prepaid interest so it does qualify as deductible mortgage interest (a small consolation).   

Questions?  Ask!  Don’t wait.   Mortgage rates change constantly and these days, mortgage programs do, too.    I’m here to help!   If you are unsure of your scenario, please contact your trusted Mortgage Professional right away.   It may be that you’re doing fine just where you’re at with your current mortgage and you need to do nothing…if so, at the very least, that 10 minute conversation with your CMPS provided you with a little piece of mind during these turbulent times in the mortgage industry.

PS:  NOW may also be a great time to buy and take advantage of 30 year fixed rates under 6.00%!

Why you should make sure your condo is on the FHA approved list


Editors Update: Loan limits are different than what’s reflected below from when this article was originally written.  Check with your local FHA approved Mortgage Originator to see what your loan limits are (or click on the link in the second paragraph).  

[Read more…]

Getting ready for Christmas

Probably the only one in our house who is more excited than me to drag out the boxes of decorations and ornaments is my old cat, Louise.    I just spied her on my dining room table, which is a “no-no”.   You’d never guess this snoopy cat is over 10 years old.Dsc_0003

A Little Weekend Housekeeping

I don’t know if it’s because Mortgage Porter has a birthday coming up in a few days…or if it’s just overdue.   I did a little "house keeping" on my blog this morning.  Now that she’s a year old, it’s time to reorganize and unclutter.

My intent with Mortgage Porter is to have it very consumer focused.  And I hope it appeals to real estate professionals, too.   When I write for Mortgage Porter, I picture my clients, the questions they’ve asked and experiences they’ve had.   I want to help them understand the process.    I also like to throw in some personal stories and local events…just for fun!

Here are a few of the changes I’ve made…

A while back, I removed the monthly list of Achieves and created one link.   My goal was to list out every post however as far as I can tell with my Typepad platform, this has to be done manually and it’s been a chore!   You can still find Archives listed by month after you click the Archive link on the left right side of the blog.

I’ve also slimmed down my blog roll and separated the local blogs into their own list.  After I did that, I evaluated the remaining blog links and (this was hard) tried to really narrow it down to the (non-local) blogs I read the most and that are consumer focused.  I also created a link for all the other blogs that I enjoy that might be geared more real estate or mortgage professionals.

Plus, I’ve added a couple of badges that I’m proud of.   From top to bottom on the left:

  • CMPS Certified
  • Mortgage Market Guide
  • Top 12 Women RE Bloggers
  • Larry Cragun’s Magnificent 7 Consumer Articles.   

You can click on any of these badges for more information.

I’m learning that a blog is an evolving process full of tweaks and hopefully improvements.   Nothing is permanent or stagnant.   I’m sure I’ll be continuing to adjust and change Mortgage Porter…it’s kind of like moving around your furniture or cleaning out your closets at home!

ChaToe LaFeet’s First Wine Review

Just in time for a Friday funny…at least it’s cracking me up!  My brother-in-law, Mike, just published a review of the wine that my husband and I made and bottled earlier this year:  ChaToe LaFeet.   Here is our first official review:

This week I’ll review a new wine, ChaToe LaFeet, a 2007 Amarone from the upstart West Seattle Winery called Two Dogs Wine. First tasted at a small gathering in Burien we pared the wine with a superb turkey. Once shaken (not stirred) the wine spilled beautifully over a green table cloth. The red over green made for a festive backdrop. Although no tears were shed, eyes did water and noses crinkled while lips were puckered into a deep red foam.

After the first taste and subsequent falling onto our knees, hence the Two Dog all fours position, most of us recovered fully. My doctor advised me that my vision will soon return. Stumbling in the dark I spilled the wine on some olive oil and lettuce and discovered a tasty tart salad dressing. I’ll save that for a future article.

When my doctor came back with the chemical analysis he suggested that the wine may be better pared with a Volkswagon as either biofuel or E-85. However, as I pointed out to the doctor, this is a first tasting of this vintage and having no comparison the Porter family tasters bestowed a Bronze medal and expect great things from this new winery.

Be sure to pick up next weeks review-Spilled Milk/Thanksgiving Tears: 
A new Whine Territory?

Yours truely,
Vashon Vinters and Arsenic Tasters

Look out Gary Vanderchuk!

What to do with your turkey left overs?


Make a sandwich, soup or perhaps enchiladas…sit down, get comfy and read some great mortgage blog articles.  Here are a couple of recent posts that I highly recommend you check out:

HR 3915 – Getting Warmer by Matthew Graham of Mortgage News Daily

What Gas Stations Can Teach Us About Mortgage Brokerages – Part 1  by Russ of Smart Mortgage Advice

Prequalify Your Loan Officer By Asking: "Where Do Mortgage Rates Come From?" by Dan Green of the Mortgage Reports

Honor Among "Thieves" by Gina Gardner of Lenderama

But I Made My Payments by Mike Mueller of Mike’s Minute

7 Things That Have Changed in the Mortgage Industry by Larry Cragun of Real Estate Undressed