Archives for April 2013

S&P Case-Shiller reports homes prices up in Seattle

The  S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index was released this morning showing that home prices across the country are up 9.3% year over year through February based on the 20-City Composite. All 20 cities in the composite have reported increases in home prices over the last two months.

Some cites are experiencing double digit increases. Seattle’s home prices are up 9.3% year over year per this report.

SP Case Shiller Apr30

From the report:

“Home prices continue to show solid increases across all 20 cities,” says David M. Blitzer, Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “The 10- and 20-City Composites recorded their highest annual growth rates since May 2006; seasonally adjusted monthly data show all 20 cities saw higher prices for two months in a row – the last time that happened was in early 2005….”

If you are considering buying a home in Seattle or anywhere in Washington state, I strongly recommend that you meet with a licensed mortgage originator and start the preapproval process early. I’ll often meet with home buyer six months to a year before they’re planning on buying a home. If I can help you, please let me know!

What may impact mortgage rates the week of April 29, 2013

This week is jam packed with economic data that may move mortgage rates, including the Fed meeting wrapping up on Wednesday and Friday’s Jobs Report.

This morning’s PCE came in with inflation continuing to be tame (good news for bonds, like mortgage backed securities). And more good news for housing, Pending Home Sales for March came in much stronger than expected.

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

Monday, April 29: Personal Consumption Expenditures and Core PCE; Pending Home Sales

Tuesday, April 30: Employment Cost Index (ECI); S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index; Chicago PMI; Consumer Confidence

Wednesday, May 1: ADP National Employment Report; ISM Index; FOMC Meeting

Thursday, May 2: Productivity and Initial Jobless Claims

Friday: The Jobs Report; ISM Services Index

As I get ready to publish this post (9:30 am) the DOW is up 94 points at 14,806 and mortgage backed securities are up 12 bps (FNMA 30 year 3.0%).

If you want to keep current with the results from the economic indicators for the rest of this week, you can follow me on Twitter @mortgageporter or Facebook.

Of course if you are considering buying or refinancing a home located in Everett, Edmonds, Enumclaw or anywhere in Washington state, where I’m licensed, I’m happy to help you – click here for a mortgage rate quote.



Buying a Duplex to live in with an FHA mortgage

mortgageporter-seattle-duplex-1One of my favorite blogs to follow, Get Rich Slowly, recently published Reader Stories: I bought a duplex to save money on rent. The author of the post describes how he used an FHA mortgage to buy a duplex and with renting out the unit he was not living in, he wound up paying less for his housing than when he was renting.

[Read more…]

Why you should compare FHA to a Home Advantage Mortgage

If your credit scores are 680 or higher and you’re considering buying a home located anywhere in Washington state using FHA for your mortgage, you may want to consider the Home Advantage Mortgage program.

Home Advantage is a mortgage program created by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. Only Loan Officers, like yours truly, who have completed WSHFC training are allowed to offer this program.

[Read more…]

Your First Home Mortgage Guide Book

My most recent guide book, Your First Home Mortgage, is filled with information that I hope first time home buyers will find useful. Please feel free to share this book with anyone you know who is considering buying their first home.

You can find a collection of my other guide books and slide shows by visiting the Mortgage Porter library.

Remember, if I can help you with your mortgage needs, including buying or refinancing a home located anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you! Click here for a free rate quote.

PS: If you’re interested in attending one of my home buyer seminars sponsored by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission, click here.

What May Impact Mortgage Rates the week of April 22, 2013

Mortgage rates continue to be very low, helping to spur on greater Seattle area home buyers and home owners wanting to refinance. If you’ve been considering locking in a low mortgage interest rate, now could be a good time to do so!

Here are some of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week that may impact mortgage interest rates.

  • Monday, April 22: Existing Home Sales
  • Tuesday, April 23: New Home Sales
  • Wednesday, April 24: Durable Goods Orders
  • Thursday, April 25: Initial Jobless Claims
  • Friday, April 26: Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)

Don’t forget, we have just over one month left to get FHA case numbers in order to avoid having FHA mortgage insurance on the life of the loan. This will impact FHA case numbers issued June 3, 2013 and later. FHA case numbers are typically issued after full application.

If you are considering buying or refinancing a home in Sammamish, Sumner, Sultan or anywhere in Washington State, where I’m licensed to be a Loan Officer, please contact me I’m happy to help you!

You can also follow me on Twitter @mortgageporter or “like me” on Facebook.

House Key Opportunity – Washington State Bond Mortgage Program


House Key Opportunity is a mortgage program offered by the Washington State Housing Finance Commission. House Key Opportunity is probably the program you’ve heard about when someone mentions “state bond” mortgages. This program offers below market mortgage rates for a select group of home buyers and is often combined with a WSHFC second mortgage for down payment assistance. The rates are only available until the funds reserved for the program run out.

Here’s a quick review of House Key Opportunity:

  • Borrowers must be first time home buyers (or have not owned a home in the last three years) unless you’re buying in a “targeted area”.
  • Income limits apply based on the size of the household with the first mortgage. Additional income restrictions may apply with the DPA (down payment assistance) second mortgage.
  • Maximum acquisition cost applies based on county.
  • Home buyers must attend a WSFHC approved class.
  • Property must remain owner occupied or recapture tax applies.
  • Properties must have an inspection unless a 1 year warranty is provided by the builder.

The House Key Opportunity Program with down payment assistance programs are available to borrowers who meet specific program requirements. Amounts and terms of the DPA vary with each program. The second mortgage programs listed below may also be used with a Home Advantage first mortgage and are provided based on need. Not all of the DPAs listed below have constant funding so availability may be limited.

  • The HomeChoice Program: eligible borrowers must have a qualifying disability or have a family member with a qualified disability living with them. Maximum DPA is $15,000.
  • House Key Schools: borrower must be an employee of an accredited or state recognized K-12, public or private school including community and technical schools. Max DPA is up to $10,000.
  • House Key Veterans: eligible borrowers are veterans who received an honorable discharge and include members and honorably discharged former members of the Washington national guard and reserve or never remarried spouses and dependent/children of deceased veterans. Max DPA is $10,000.
  • New Home for You: available to first time home buyers (or targeted area) meeting criteria and buying a never occupied new construction home. This program is only available with a House Key first mortgage and requires credit scores of 680 or higher. Max DPA is $10,000.
  • House Key Plus ARCH: first time home buyers must be purchasing a home in designated areas of east King County. Max DPA is up to $30,0000.
  • Home Advantage Rebound: the home being purchased must be bank owned, foreclosed or a short sale. Max DPA is up to $10,000

Home buyers seeking down payment assistance, who do not want to buy in a targeted area or who are not first time home buyers or who do not meet the specific needs criteria, may opt for WSFHC Home Advantage Program.

For current rates on House Key Opportunity and more information about this program, click here.

As a Washington State Housing Finance Commissioned trained Loan Officer, I’m pleased to offer both House Key Opportunity and Home Advantage mortgage programs. Here as a list of WSHFC classes where I will be one of the instructors.

If I can help you with your home purchase or refinance on property located anywhere in Washington, please contact me.

What may impact mortgage rates the week of April 15, 2013

Here are some of the economic indicators scheduled to be released this week which may impact mortgage rates:

Monday, April 15: Empire State Index

Tuesday, April 16: Building Permits; Consumer Price Index (CPI); Housing Starts; Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization

Wednesday, April 17: Fed’s Beige Book

Thursday, April 18: Initial Jobless Claims and Philadelphia Fed Index

Remember, mortgage rates are based on mortgage backed securities. When the stock market is deteriorating, mortgage rates tend to improve (or not decline) as investors will seek the safety of bonds over the quicker profits potentially found in stocks. And when the stock market is rallying, mortgage rates tend to trend higher as investors seek a higher return from stocks.

What also impacts mortgage rates is the Fed’s buying of mortgage backed securities to keep rates lower while unemployment is higher. By keeping mortgage rates low, the housing market has improved by making mortgages more affordable (and tempting with extremely low rates) to buy homes and also by helping Americans reduce their mortgage payments by hundreds of dollars each month, which puts more cash back into the economy.

Speaking of refi’s, last week, HARP 2.0 was extended through 2015

Another important date to remember is May 31, 2013. If you’re considering an FHA refinance or streamline refi or are in the process of buying a home using FHA financing, you’ll want to start soon. FHA case numbers issued June 3 or later will have mortgage insurance for the life of the FHA loan (until it is refinanced or paid off).

If you are interested in buying or refinancing a home located in Bellingham, Bainbridge Island, Bellevue or anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you. Click here for a mortgage rate quote.