Archives for April 2008

April’s YOU Magazine is Now Available

This month’s YOU Magazine is now available for your review.  YOU Magazine is one of the many tools that I subscribe to for my clients.  This month’s articles include:

Does The Fed Change Your Monthly Mortgage Payment?

Does the Fed Change Your Monthly Mortgage Payment?

The Federal Reserve has cut interest rates six straight times since September 2007. Most analysts are predicting that the Fed will cut rates even further when it meets at the end of this month. And yet, despite a full 3% in interest rate cuts during this time, mortgage rates are significantly higher now than they were just three months ago. How is that possible? Don’t rate cuts equal lower mortgage rates? Read on as the team at YOU Magazine goes behind the headlines to show you how these Fed cuts do and don’t affect your mortgage. 

Everything You Need to Know About 529 Plans

Accidental Landlords: A Great Unplanned Investment

Accidental Landlords: - A Great Unplanned Investment

Lower house prices and higher rents have created a new breed of real estate investor: the accidental landlord. Some bought new homes and couldn’t sell their old ones while others chose to invest in the changing market. Either way, being a landlord is more than just sitting back and collecting the rent. This month YOU Magazine takes a closer look at how being a successful landlord is no accident.

Just to name a few…

Happy 80th Birthday, JP Patches!

How perfect that not only is it Good People Day, that it also JP Patches 80th birthday.  If you’re a long time reader of Mortgage Porter, you know I’m a Patches Pal who has watched him since I was a tyke. 

Today’s article in the Seattle PI also announced that the Statue will be complete and unveiled in Fremont on August 17, 2008!  Donations are still needed and JP’s handsome mug will remain on my blog (right side of the page) until the fundraising is complete.

It looks like the statue has changed from what was previously unveiled…I wonder if it Jp1ststatue was the finger issue?  During the unveiling at Fremont last year, the statue featured waving hands of the duo and someone (can’t remember if it was JP, Gertrude or from the crowd) said…"wonder how long until someone breaks off the fingers leaving just one?" 

A tip of the hat to The Tim of Seattle Bubble.

Filed Under: Charity, Current Affairs, Just for Fun

April 3, 2008 is “Good People Day” Pass It On!

I’m a big fan of Gary Vaynerchuck for many reasons:

  1. He’s hysterically funny.
  2. He reviews wine in common easy to understand terms.
  3. He’s mastered web marketing 2.0
  4. He just seems like a real nice guy.  Here’s proof:

Gary has declared today as "Good People Day"…a day to recognize all the good in people instead of focusing on all the negative that often surrounds us. 

I’m so fortunate to have so many wonderful people in my life and I thank you all from family, friends, clients, my blog readers, fellow bloggers, the many people who help us in our business transactions and daily life…I can go on and on and on.   The world is a great place and I thank Gary for reminding us of this and a big tip of the hat to Morgan Brown of Blown Mortgage–both Good People!   My heartfelt thanks to all of you.

Share the love and spread the word: today is Good People Day.

A Useful Tip from Our Home to Yours


Here’s a tip from my husband: don’t scratch your back using the wrong side (or should I say write side) of a ball point pen.

The Current Value of a Preapproval Letter

Fellow Rain City Guide Contributor, Tim Kane wrote an interesting post while I was on vacation asking if preapproval letters are worth their ink in our current market.  Truth be told, this was a valid question prior to our current market conditions and has been for years.   The true worth of the preapproval letter prior to the mortgage "melt down" was based on the merit of the loan originator who was preparing the letter.   I’ve addressed this issue before here and here.   Anyone can type a letter or issue a fancy certificate; has the borrower really submitted supporting documents verify their income, employment and assets required per underwriting (i.e. the borrower has been credit underwritten)?   

The fact is, in today’s current mortgage climate, where loan programs are terminated, guidelines tightened, private mortgage insurance restricted and geographical areas are being deemed soft: a preapproval letter is not any sort of guarantee that a home buyer will be able to close on a proposed home purchase.   

So why bother with preapproval letters?  Here is the current value of a true preapproval letter:

  • It demonstrates that the buyer has completed loan application and is preapproved at that moment for a specific product.   
  • There is a level of commitment that a buyer has if they have provided all of their documentation to a lender over one who has not taken the steps to become preapproved.
  • You know who the loan originator and lender is that the buyer is working with.   I’ve recommended before, and especially do now, that Selling and Listing Agents give the Loan Originator a friendly phone call to introduce yourself…allowing you to see if the LO passes "the smell test".

What can you do if preapproval letters are worth less than they were before?

  • I recommend that all buyers with a credit score below 700 and/or using less than 20% down have a "Plan B" for their mortgage scenario.   Consider "what if" the mortgage scenario they are current approved for is terminated with no notice from the lender or if the area they are buying a home in is considered soft?  Is your Loan Originator able to offer FHA or VA financing?  Note:  FHA and VA jumbos are quite attractive.
  • Home buyers should start even earlier in the home buying process (six months to a year is fine).  A Mortgage Professional can help improve credit scores and provide advise on how work on where they may need more strength to be on the best position possible to buy a home.
  • Allow more time for preapprovals from lenders.  Underwriting (and appraisals) are taking more time in this climate.   Everything is being reviewed under a microscope.
  • Review your current preapproval with your Loan Originator.  There have been recent pullbacks with private mortgage insurance (including LPMI, Fannie Flex and Freddie Mac higher LTV products).
  • Home Buyers should discuss with their Real Estate Agent (not the Listing Agent) the "what ifs" of losing their financing and how it may impact their earnest money deposit.
  • Listing Agents should have their preferred Mortgage Professional review the preapproval letter should their be any doubt regarding the letter in question.  The preferred Mortgage Professional can at the very least provide some valid questions for the Listing Agent to ask the loan originator and Selling Agent.

This market demands that you select a Mortgage Professional based on ability, expertise, commitment and available products.   Trying to get the lowest rate in a market where rates change up to 3 to 5 times per day is insanity.  A true Mortgage Professional will provide you with the most competitve rate available considering your current mortgage plan. 

Blog dot blog

Hat to Dan Green of The Mortgage Reports for pointing out Blog dot Blog: a domain name created just for bloggers.  This is a chance to drive more traffic to your blog with this new url.  For example, I am registering   

Check it out–domain names will go quickly!  You can register your blog at today.