Archives for October 2008

Another Classic Piece of Junk…Mail

I actually thought this piece of mail was legit…until we opened it.  This piece of junk was threatening of a possible fine and imprisonment OR BOTH if anyone interfered with it’s delivery.


Once you open the mailer, you quickly see that it’s from a mortgage company that is so desperate, it must utilize trickery to try to obtain new business.

We have good news about your loan originally funded at:


After reviewing your account history we are happy to inform you that you have been preapproved for a new mortgage at a lower monthly payment.  This offer makes you eligible for a modified mortgage at a lower monthly payment regardless of credit, mortgage payment history, or other financial hardships.  If you are in an adjustable loan, this offer makes you eligible to convert to our fixed product line.

There is no rate in this promotion…however it actually states that we’ve been preapproved for a new mortgage with a lower payment.  What a bunch of baloney.

When I receive a piece of junk mail such as this, I forward it to the Department of Financial Institutions in Olympia.  I hope you’ll do the same too.  Misleading advertising in mortgages must stop.  I encourage you to forward your mortgage junk mail (Washington State only) to:

Enforcement Unit, Division of Consumer Service

DFI, P.O. Box 41200, Olympia, WA 98504

Please don’t ever select your Mortgage Professional by something you receive in the mail or hear on the radio.  And remember, rates that are advertised in radio and newspaper print are not current.  Rates change constantly (especially these days).

Listen to The Mortgage Porter

I just added a new feature to The Mortgage Porter.  I’m pleased to announce that you can know listen to the articles immediately or on the go via your iPod or MP3 player.  Simply click the "listen now" under the title and you’re all set!

Check it out!

A BIG tip of the hat to The Real Estate Tomato.

What is a Reconveyance?

This informative video from The Talon Group explains what happens with a reconveyance.  A reconveyance takes place when an existing deed of trust (aka mortgage) is being paid off.  Watch this short video to learn more.

An Announcement You Will Never See from a Traditional Broker

"Today Redfin laid off roughly 20% of our employees" writes Glenn Kelman, Redfin CEO on his corporate blog.   

You won’t hear these words from the traditional real estate brokerages where agents are not paid salaries.  They’re living (or trying to) from closing to closing.  Some are doing better than others and others are having to make hard choices about their careers and personal finances.

The traditional brokerages do not announce that 10 or 20% of their agents have not received a commission check in the past few months or are not able to pay their desk fees.  Agents move to less expensive offices or they just move on.

It is a very challenging market.  And while the many will focus on the struggles of Joe Six Pack, who opted for the wrong mortgage at the wrong time; very few will have sympathy for the struggling real estate agent who made their living from the Joes of this world. 

Glenn’s announcement is a sad one.  I don’t have established "relationships" with Redfin agents.  I do with home buyers who have utilized Redfin.  I admire Glenn’s honesty and wish everyone in the market well.  I have been very fortunate to work with Washington State buyers and home owners who read my blogs, my past clients who return for their mortgage needs and who refer their friends to me and real estate agents who are trying to stick out this market.  At this time and always, I THANK YOU ALL.

Hopefully with today’s gains in the market, we’ll have the confidence that our markets need to stabilize.

Auction benefiting where Seattle was born


Log House Museum – Preserving Heritage Gala and Silent Auction

Saturday, November 22, 2008 from 5pm-9pm

WEST SEATTLE – The Southwest Historical Society invites you to a festive evening to raise funds for the Log House Museum.  The Log House Museum preserves Seattle’s history and as a non-profit, relies on donations from members, the business community and museum enthusiasts to keep the doors open.

We begin with a live jazz trio during the cocktail hour and on the spot jewelry appraisal services from a PBS Antiques Road Show appraiser.  Browse the silent auction featuring items that coincide with this years theme of preserving heritage.  Next we feast on a gourmet dinner with the choice of Confetti Ravioli or Steak and Northwest Salmon.  For dessert, we have a delectable variety of homemade treats on auction from family recipes for you to enjoy.

Tickets are $75 per person and are available by calling the Log House Museum at 206-938-5293or via email.

This event takes place at The Jerry Brockey Center at South Seattle Community College, 6000-16th Avenue SW, Seattle

The Fed Cuts Funds Rate by 0.5% to 1.5%

The FOMC slashed the Funds Rate by 0.5% to 1.5%.  This is an "emergency" cut and coordinated globally.

If you’re a long time Mortgage Porter subscriber, then you all ready know that the Funds Rate does not directly change mortgage interest rates.  However Fed rate cuts do influence mortgage interest rates, depending on how traders react to the cut.  Remember, mortgage interest rates are based on mortgage backed securities (bonds) and bonds tend to react negatively to inflation.  Often times, mortgage interest rates will increase after the Fed cuts rates as it’s viewed as a move against inflation.

This rate cut is different in that it was done global effort which should hopefully keep our currencies, oil and inflation in check.  The markets remain very volatile.  It’s not even 8:30 am and we’ve all ready seen the DOW open down then pop up 150 and back down to a loss of 150.

The FOMC’s next scheduled meeting (where another rate adjustment is possible) is October 29, 2008.

If you’re interested in seeing the rates I’m quoting live, click here.  Presently, mortgage rates are pretty much unchanged by these events.

If you’re waiting to refinance your property in Washington State, I invite you to complete my on-line loan application so that we can be ready to lock should rates dip to point where it make sense.  Rates move quite quickly in this market!

Real Estate Undressed featuring September’s Magnificent 7


Larry Cragun has recently posted his picks for the top 7 consumer focused articles posted during September.  I’m honored that he’s included one I authored, Borrower Beware, along with these fine posts:

You Mortgage Fraud Was Over Think Again by Tucson Real Estate Blog

Losing A Home As A Short Sale is No Better than Foreclosure by FHA Mortgage Center

Top Ten Things Not To Do During a Home Inspection by Debra Sinick

Home Buyer Tips for Buying a New Home from Home Builder by Sacramento Real Estate Voice

When Will the Real Estate Market Return to Normal? by Luxury Home Digest

What to Expect at your Inspections by The Phoenix Real Estate Guy

Happy readings!

What is Title Insurance?

The fine folks at The Talon Group answer a question on everyone’s mind: "what the heck is title insurance?" in this short video.

It’s good to understand what is covered with a title insurance policy.  Typically the seller pays for the buyer’s policy (Owners Policy) which assures the buyer of issues such as vesting (the seller is authorized to sell the property) and that the title is free and clear of liens.   The buyer generally pays for the lenders policy to assure the lender will be in first lien position (Lenders Policy).

Unlike other forms of insurance (auto, health, home, etc.), there are no renewal fees.  Title insurance actually covers you from the point of recording the new deed backwards into time.

Stay tuned for more videos from the cast and crew and The Talon Group.