Archives for September 2008

Just 10 Days Left to Sign Up for FREE Credit Monitoring

Due to a settlement made by TransUnion (one of the "big three" credit bureaus) you have a limited time left to sign up for FREE credit monitoring.   In this day and age of identity theft, I highly encourage that you take advantage of this offer.  But you only have 10 days left to do so.

Anyone who has obtained any type of credit over the past 20 years is eligible for this benefit.   For more information, please click here

I signed up!  Why not? I hope you will too.

Jennifer’s Sunset


I learned yesterday that my former Sister in Law, Jennifer Witt, passed away the night before.  I dedicate last night’s sunset to her.

Not only is she my son’s Aunt, Jennifer and I attended high school together and I’ve known her more than half my life.  In fact for a few years, we were roommates, sharing an apartment with her brother (my son’s Dad).   I think we were very close for the 10 years I was with my son’s Dad and we kind of drifted apart these past years.  Not that we didn’t care for each other, we did very much, we just didn’t really get to see each other often. 

Some of my favorite memories of Jennifer are playing pinochle (she was fierce) and I don’t know why I have a memory of us together stuck in my head of sharing some Asti Spumante and deciding to bake an apple pie from a tree she had in her yard.  Smart, funny and beautiful; Jennifer was a spark plug. 

She is missed and loved.  I very sad she’s gone.  My thoughts and prayers are with her and family.

Update:  Here is information on Jennifer’s Memorial on Sunday, September 21.

Seven Years Ago Today


I’ll never forget it…nobody will.  Seven years ago, my son (who had just turned 9) was getting ready for school and I was emailing clients with my AOL account in my home office in my home on North Lake when shots of horrifying photos began to appear on AOL.  I really couldn’t believe what I was seeing.  In fact, I thought it must have been a terrible promotion for a movie–it just couldn’t be true.  Sadly, it was.  I kept my son home from school that day, we watched the news unfold and just spent time with each other.

9-11 has forever changed our Country.  My thoughts and prayers are with those who lost their lives from the events that took place seven years ago today.

Form 4506: Not Just for Stated Income Loans Anymore

I like to check out how my readers found me via the terms that were entered into a search engine (such as Google or Yahoo).  Earlier this week, someone asked:

Why did I have to sign a form 4506?

[Read more…]

Just a Friendly Reminder of All the Changes Coming Up in 20 Days

The passage of HR 3221 has made many changes effective October 1, 2008.   Here are just a few that will officially go into effect in 20 days:

FHA Mortgage Insurance is Increasing

Down Payment Assistance Programs will be gone

You have until the end of this year to take advantage of the higher conforming-jumbo and FHA-jumbo loan limits.   Effective January 1, 2009, they will be reduced (from the passage of HR 3221).

And if you have not owned a home over the past 36 months, you have until the first half of 2009 to take advantage of the first time home buyers tax credit (interest free loan).

Is HR 3221 effecting you for better or worse?  I’d love to hear how.

Get Ready, Get Set: Refi!


Mortgage interest rates are back at attractive level ranging in the mid-5s for a 30 year fixed with only one point (high5’s with zero points).   Our last refinance opportunity was an exercise in frustration for many.   Home owners were contacting their loan originators with "what’s the rate now?" and calling later that day or next with the same question.   Mortgage interest rates are a moving target.  In our present market, I’m receiving on average 2-3 rate sheets per day.   Mortgage interest rates can move just as quickly up as they have down.  In addition, there are fewer and fewer loan originators remaining in the market to help those who are ready to refinance.   

If you are serious about refinancing, I suggest the following:

  1. Contact your local Mortgage Professional (sorry, I can only help those who have property in the State of Washington) to find out what the current rates are and to see if refinancing makes sense for you.
  2. Have a recent mortgage statement or your Note to provide detailed information.
  3. Complete a loan application and be prepared to have your credit report ran (interest rates are very credit score sensitive).
  4. Have your most recent paystubs and last W2 ready.  Your LO may also want your last bank statements and copies of your drivers license.

Refinances take approximately 30 days in this market, assuming there are no issues with your appraisal (a second appraisal or additional comps may cause extra time).   Make sure that your Mortgage Professional is allowing plenty of time for your lock in order to avoid needing an extension.

If rates stay low and enough people take advantage and jump on the refi bandwagon, be prepared for the process to take longer than it seems it should.  It’s a simple fact in this market there are fewer people doing the same amount of work.  Every aspect of the transaction may become bogged down.   

If you have a mortgage with a higher rate with a loan amount of $522,100 – $567,500, you may really want to act soon with your refinance as conforming jumbo and FHA jumbo loan limits are being reduced at the first of the year to $522,100.

Have a little patience, cooperate with your Mortgage Professional and get your lower mortgage interest rate.

It’s Official: Fannie & Freddie are Not Dead Yet

I just received the official statement from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA)regarding the status of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.   It has been announced that they are now in "conservatorship".   FHFA has defined conservatorship on their handy Conservatorship Q&A page as:

"A conservatorship is a legal process in which a person or entity is appointed to establish control and oversight of a Company to put it in a sound a solvent condition.  In a conservatorship, the powers of the Company’s directors, officers, and shareholders are transferred to the designated Conservator….

In this instance, the Federal Housing Finance Agency has been appointed by its Director to be the Conservator of the Company [Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac]…to keep the Company in a safe and solvent financial condition."

From this morning’s press release:

"The goal of these actions is to help restore confidence in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, enhance their capacity to fulfill their mission, and mitigate the systematic risk that has contributed directly to the instability in the current market.  The lack of confidence has resulted in the continuing widening of their MBS [mortgage backed securities], which means that virtually none of the large drop in interest rates over the past year has been passed on to the mortgage markets.  On top of that, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, in order to try to build capital, have continued to raise prices and tighten credit standards."

This could eventually translate to lower mortgage interest rates for you and me.  Monday and the days following will be fascinating as we continue during these historic times in the mortgage industry.

I think it’s a little too early in the game for Fannie and Freddie’s Eulogy.   The Government is all over making sure this patient is stable and recovering.   Fannie and Freddie are "not dead yet"!

Calling All Seattle Flippers


If you have flipped 10-12 house in the Seattle area, A & E’s "Flip This House" is looking for YOU!   Read all about it here.

A tip of the hat to ARDELL.