Archives for December 2012

Mortgage rate update for the week of December 31, 2012

Happy last day of 2012! Although this is a short week due to the New Year holiday, it’s packed with economic data that may impact mortgage rates, including The Jobs Report on Friday. Here are a few of the scheduled events for this week:

Monday, December 31, 2012: Last day for Congress to avoid the “fiscal cliff”.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013: HAPPY NEW YEAR! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013: ISM Index and FOMC Minutes

Thursday, January 3, 2013: ADP National Employment Report

Friday, January 4, 2013: The Jobs Report

Just a quick reminder, I am on a short vacation and will be returning to work on January 3, 2013.


I’m taking a short break!

I am taking a couple days off to recoup, review and relax! I will be back to help you with your mortgage needs for homes located any where in Washington state on January 3, 2013.  

Mortgage Master Service Corporation will be closed on January 1, 2013 in observance of the New Year Holiday.

Thank you for your continued support and for making 2012 a wonderful year. 

I wish you and yours a very happy, healthy and prosperous 2013.

Obama Administration considering new Refi Program #MyRefi

The WSJ reports that the Obama Administration is “eyeing” a refi program that would allow underwater home owners who currently do not qualify for HARP 2.0 to refinance their homes. Currently in order to qualify for the Home Affordable Refinance Program (aka HARP 2.0) the existing mortgage must be securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and the “securization” must have taken place prior to June 1, 2009.

According to the article, White House officials and the Treasury would like to include mortgages that were not securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. This program would possibly include non-conventional, “alt-a”,  subprime and mortgages held by private lenders. There is no mention of expanding or removing the securitization date requirement in WSJ’s article, which many homeowners are desperately hoping for (also known as HARP 3.0).

In order for these expanded refi programs to be a reality, using Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, Congress and the FHFA must approve them.  When and IF this happens, I’ll be sure to announce that here at Mortgage Porter. 

Stay tuned! Subscribe in the upper right corner of this blog or follow me on Facebook or Twitter.

What May Impact Mortgage Rates the week of December 24, 2012

With the holidays upon us, we don’t have a lot of economic data scheduled for this week. Markets continue to be impacted with the “fiscal cliff” deadline approaching and Congress home for the holidays. Should a deal not come together to avoid falling off the “fiscal cliff” mortgage rates may actually improve as stocks may take a hit. The Bond and Stock Markets will close early today and reopen on Wednesday after the Christmas holiday.

Here are a few of the economic indicators scheduled for this week.

Tuesday, December 25: Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 26: S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index

Thursday, December 27: Initial Jobless Claims; New Home Sales; Consumer Confidence

Friday, December 28: Chicago PMI and Pending Home Sales

Next week will be another short week with the New Year holiday. ‘Tis the Season! 

From my home to yours, we wish you a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Mortgage Master Service Corporation will be closing early on Monday, Christmas Eve and will reopen on Wednesday morning following the Christmas holiday. Our office will also be closed on Tuesday, January 1, 2013 to celebrate New Years Day.

Just for fun this holiday, I decided to paint Santa on black velvet.

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Black Velvet Santa by Rhonda Porter

I entered him into Daniel Smith’s customer art contest and actually wound up being one of their weekly winners! He’ll be entered into the monthly competition in January with all the other weekly winners from December. 

I hope you and yours have a wonderful holiday. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

What may impact mortgage rates the week of December 17, 2012

Boris-S-WortMy apologies for not getting this information posted yesterday, as I try to on every “working” Monday. We had weather related issues and I’m glad to say, all is well now.

This week, mortgage rates will be following the drama surrounding our financial “fiscal cliff”. If traders see optimism that we will avoid “going over the cliff”, you may see mortgage rates trend higher.

Here are a few of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week:

Monday, December 17: Empire State Index

Tuesday, December 18: NAHB’s Home Builder Confidence (this came in at the highest levels since 2006!)

Wednesday, December 19: Building Permits; Housing Starts

Thursday, December 20: Initial Jobless Claims; Gross Domestic Product (GDP); Existing Home Sales; Philadelphia Fed Index

Friday, December 21: Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE); Personal Income; Consumer Sentiment (UofM)

As someone who grew up in Renton, a suburb of Seattle, whenever I hear the phrase “Fiscal Cliff” I have an image an evil villian like, Boris S. Wart. Boris S. Wort was the second meanest man in the world and was a character on the J.P. Patches show that many of us watched growing up.

PS: If I can provide you with a mortgage rate quote for your home located in Renton, near the Seattle dump (JP’s former home) or anywhere in Washington state, please click here.

2013 VA Loan Limits for homes in Washington State

VA has published the loan limits for 2013.  The loan limits listed below are not the maximum loan amounts that an eligible veteran may borrower; the loan amounts below are used to calculate the VA’s maximum guaranty amount in a specific county.  

King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties went up a little while San Juan County was adjusted slightly lower. VA loan limits are based on the county’s median home values as estimated by FHA (Federal Housing Adminstration).

King County: $500,000

Pierce County: $500,000

San Juan County: $468,750

Snohomish County: $500,000

All other counties remain at $417,000

This means that in King County, a qualified Veteran can finance a home with zero down with a sales price up to $500,000.   

Any sales price/loan amount above this amount is considered a “VA Jumbo”.  VA does not have a loan limit for VA jumbos, however most lenders have “overlays” limiting loan amounts for VA Jumbos.  VA Jumbos allow the Vet to buy a home with reduced down payment. A simple formula to estimate the minimum down payment required is sales price minus loan amount x 25% = minimum down payment.

For example, home in Seattle with a sales price of $600,000 would have a down payment requirement of $25,000 for an eligible veteran.  $600,000 sales price less the $500,000 loan limit = $100,000. $100,000 x 25% = $25,000.

If you’re considering a VA mortgage loan to buy or refinance a home located anywhere in Washington state, I’m honored to help you.

Related post on VA Funding Fees

The ABC’s of Preparing to Buy Your First Home

iStock_000020110629XSmallBorrowers getting ready to buy their first home are often surprised…for different reasons. I find that some are surprised to learn that they do qualify for a home in their price range and some are disappointed to learn that they have a little work to do before they can buy a home. Getting preapproved with a mortgage professional helps take some of the “surprise” out of the process.

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