Recent Interview in the Seattle Times about Seattle Homebuyers

I’m honored to have been quoted in the Seattle Time‘s yesterday in Katherine Khashimova Long’s article “Autumn of heartbreak for home shoppers as Seattle-area prices hit new record highs”. My quote wound up being a tid-bit in the article and I thought it would be interesting to share some of the points that we discussed during the interview.

Katherine’s article addresses King County’s record high prices and how many home owners are opting to refinance instead of selling their home and buying a new one. This is causing a shortage of inventory which area buyers are probably painfully aware of.

I am seeing many refinances where home owners are taking advantage of interest rates near 50 year lows combined with increased values and pulling out equity to make improvements to their current home.

She inquired if we’re seeing a tightening with underwriting guidelines, which is being reported in the industry and we’re really not…yet. A majority of my refinances and even some purchases are being approved without appraisals being required. Most of the documentation is standard.

The only real times where it may be more challenging to get preapproved for a mortgage is if someone has recently gone into forbearance, which has been offered by lenders and landlords due to the pandemic. Typically lenders will require that someone has made at least 3 regular on-time mortgage payments before they can qualify for a new mortgage. Self-employed borrowers may have to provide some additional documentation as well. It’s really nothing out of the ordinary, people steady income, which covid may have impacted, but it’s not really “tighter” than what it has been. If we start to see foreclosures pick up, which I’m concerned could happen, especially for landlords where rent is not being required to be paid due to covid19, then I believe we will see guidelines tightening up quickly.

My quote that made the cut was about how high the volumes have been in the mortgage industry. It does take some patience for people who are wanting to refinance and purchases generally closing on time. If an appraisal is required, it may delay a transaction (refi or purchase) as appraisers are currently very overloaded.

Bottom line, if you are considering buying or refinancing your home located anywhere in Washington state, I am happy to help you!

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