Archives for May 2013

Attend my Home Buyer Education Class on July 13, 2013

UPDATE 7/14/2013:  This class has already taken place.  If you would like to attend another home buyer seminar that I’m teaching, visit my home buyer education page.

I will be teaching a home buyer education class on Saturday, July 13, 2013 at the High Point Library in West Seattle.

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Buying a home together before you get married

Last month I read an interesting article from Coldwell Banker about couples who are buying homes together before they get married. A survey was conducted which “revealed that 1 in 4 young couples are buying a home together before tying the knot”.

“…buying a home together has become “the new engagement ring” for some young couples. The homebuying process forces couples to deal with their competing feelings of money and how to spend it, and that is why successfully purchasing a home with someone else is deemed a significant accomplishment in any relationship. It means the couple has been able to overcome their differences in an effort to create a better future together.”

The survey found that 24% of couples who buy a home before they are married are 18 – 24 years old. When I bought my first house, I was 21 years old and it was with my (then) fiance…many years ago! 🙂

When couples buy together, before they are married (or if they never plan on marrying), they need to consider how they will vest on title. This is important because if either person passes away, how they hold title (vesting) may determine what happens to the home. Most often, vesting is determined a home is purchased by the language on the deed. Two single people who own a home together have different rights than a married couple in Washington state.

I’m not an attorney and I’m feeling a bit like “Debbie Downer” discussing this tidbit…but it is important to consider. Here are two brochures provided by title companies that you can review with your attorney to discuss how to vest in title.

And don’t miss this video of Tim Daniels, Title Officer discussing different ways to take title for real property in Washington state.

If you are considering buying a home anywhere in Washington state and need help with your home loan mortgage, I’m happy to help you!

What May Impact Mortgage Rates the Week of May 27, 2013

We are back to work following the Memorial Day holiday and mortgage rates are trending higher this morning. Mortgage interest rates are still at historically low levels, however they are off their extreme lows.

Yesterday, markets were closed in observance of Memorial Day. Here are some of the scheduled economic indicators that may impact mortgage rates this week:

  • Monday, May 27: Memorial Day
  • Tuesday, May 28: S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index and Consumer Confidence
  • Thursday, May 30: Initial Jobless Claims, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), GDP Chain Deflator and Pending Home Sales
  • Friday, May 31: Personal Consumption Expenditures (PCE), Personal Income, Personal Spending, Chicago PMI and Consumer Sentiment (UoM)

This morning, the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Index for March revealed that year over year, home prices went up 10.9% based on the 20 City Composite. This is the largest increase to home prices since 2006. Seattle’s home prices, according to this report, were up 10.6% year over year.

As I write this post (6:52 am), the DOW is up 171 points and, as I mentioned earlier, mortgage backed securities (bonds) are getting beat up. Remember, investors will trade the safety of bonds for the potentially quicker return found with stocks. As the stock market continues to rally, you can anticipate mortgage rates to continue to trend higher.

You can still have a 30 year fixed rate in the “3’s” as of this morning…you’ll just have to pay more for it.  As of 7:00 am, I’m quoting:

3.875% priced with 0.719% in discount points based on a loan amount of $400,000 with a sales price of $500,000 (80% loan to value) and 740+credit scores (apr 4.005%). Based on a 30 year fixed rate for a purchase in greater Seattle closing July 5, 2013 or sooner.

DON’T FORGET: this is your last week to start an FHA loan and still have mortgage insurance that will terminate. FHA case numbers issued after this will have mortgage insurance on the life of the loan.

If you would like me to provide you with a mortgage rate quote for your home located anywhere in Washington state, where I’m licensed, click here.



What Sales Price Can I Buy with $100,000 Down Payment

EDITORS NOTE: More loan programs and improved guidelines are now available… and of course the rates quoted below are expired. If you would like me to review your scenario and provide you with a free rate quote for your home in Washington state, please click here.

I recently met with clients who have saved $100,000 to use for down payment and closing cost for a home in Bellevue.  They easily qualify for the mortgage payment with their combined incomes and the both have excellent credit with scores of 740 or higher. They are most interested in seeing what sales prices they could qualify for with the $100,000 they had saved for down payment and closing cost using available mortgage programs.

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What the Fed Said

This morning, mortgage rates continue to take a hit from yesterday’s comments by Mr. Ben Bernanke before and after the Fed minutes were released.

Prior to the minutes being released, it seemed as though Ben was letting the cat out of the bag by eeking information regarding the economy, QE3 and the continuation of keeping mortgage rates at their artificial lows. Bernanke had stated that bond buying would continue until labor markets improved, which the bond market favored.

The minutes were released revealing mixed views on when the Fed should pull back on buying bonds, like mortgage backed securities:

“Participants also touched on the conditions under which it might be appropriate to change the pace of asset purchases. Most observed that the outlook for the labor market had shown progress since the program was started in September, but many of these participants indicated that continued progress, more confidence in the outlook, or diminished downside risks would be required before slowing the pace of purchases would become appropriate. A number of participants expressed willingness to adjust the flow of purchases downward as early as the June meeting if the economic information received by that time showed evidence of sufficiently strong and sustained growth; however, views differed about what evidence would be necessary and the likelihood of that outcome. One participant preferred to begin decreasing the rate of purchases immediately, while another participant preferred to add more monetary accommodation at the current meeting and mentioned that the Committee had several other tools it could potentially use to do so. Most participants emphasized that it was important for the Committee to be prepared to adjust the pace of its purchases up or down as needed to align the degree of policy accommodation with changes in the outlook for the labor market and inflation as well as the extent of progress toward the Committee’s economic objectives. Regarding the composition of purchases, one participant expressed the view that, in light of the substantial improvement in the housing market and to avoid further credit allocation across sectors of the economy, the Committee should start to shift any asset purchases away from MBS and toward Treasury securities….

….In their discussion of monetary policy for the period ahead, all but one member judged that a highly accommodative stance of monetary policy was warranted in order to foster a stronger economic recovery in a context of price stability. The Committee agreed to continue purchases of MBS at a pace of $40 billion per month and purchases of longer-term Treasury securities at a pace of $45 billion per month, as well as to maintain the Committee’s reinvestment policies….”

In the Q&A following the release of the FOMC minutes, Ben Bernanke commented that if economic conditions continue to improve, that bond purchases could be tapered by the next Fed meeting in June or July. This caused mortgage rates to trend higher… and today, that trend is continuing.

If you’ve been considering refinancing at a historic low rate, you may want to take action soon! Once the Fed stops manipulating mortgage rates, they’ll be closer to current jumbo/non-conforming rates.

I’m happy to help you with your refinance or purchase on your home located anywhere in Washington state.

Book Release: Buying a Home Again

Hot off the press! I wrote my latest Guide Book for people who have had a short sale or foreclosure and are considering buying their next home. The media has coined these home buyers as “boomerang buyers” because many are returning to buy a home again.

If you know someone who has had a short sale or foreclosure in Washington state and who is considering buying a home again, I hope you’ll share this book with them.

Check out my other guide books at the Mortgage Porter Library.

If you have had a short sale, foreclosure or a loan modification and are considering buying your next home located anywhere in Washington state, I’m happy to help you with your next mortgage.

What May Impact Mortgage Rates this Week: May 20, 2013

There was no economic data released today or scheduled for Tuesday.

On Wednesday, we’ll have the minutes from the last Fed meeting which may cause rates to move based on the clues found in the minutes and how bond traders interpret them. 

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

Wednesday, May 22: Existing Home Sales; FOMC Minutes

Thursday, May 23: Initial Jobless Claims; New Home Sales

Friday, May 24: Durable Goods Orders

Don’t forget, Monday, May 27, 2013 is Memorial Day and most offices will be closed.

Mortgage rates are still historically very low… however over the past couple weeks, they have been trending higher.

Today I quoted 3.750% (apr 3.828) for a 30 year fixed rate priced at “par” (0.141% in discount points – no origination points) based on a sales price of $500,000 with a 20% down payment and credit scores of 740 or higher. The principal and interest payment for this Seattle area home buyer is $1,852.46.

If you would like me to provide you with a mortgage rate quote for a home located anywhere in Washington state, click here.

Pardon me!

UPDATE May 21, 2013: Everything is looking good. Please let me know if you notice anything wonky. Thank you!

I’m in the process of moving my blog to a new host. We’re experiencing a few hiccups and should be back to “normal” soon.

Thank you!