Governor Jay Inslee clarifies requirements for Loan Officers and Real Estate Agents during the Pandemic

Last Friday, Governor Inslee issued clarification to real estate agents and lenders regarding real estate and mortgage transactions during the corona virus pandemic. Originally, real estate agents were clarified as “non-essential” which caused a bit of an uproar in the real estate industry.

The memorandum (below) states that:

“While real estate activities along with mortgage lending activities have been approved as essential activities under the Proclamation, such activities shall only be permitted under the following restrictions and limitations:

a) In-person meetings with customers are prohibited except when necessary for a customer to view a property or sign necessary documents;

b) No real estate open houses shall be permitted;

c) Property viewings, inspections, appraisals, and final walk-throughs shall be arranged by appointment and limited to no more than two people on site at any one time, exercising social distancing at all times; and

d) Except for limited exceptions authorized above, all new real estate listings shall be facilitated remotely.

To that end, it is permissible to engage in real estate sales, as appraisers, settlement agents and escrow officers, property inspectors, mortgage loan originators, processors and underwriters and…along with those government workers necessary to review real estate excise tax and record documents.”

 


I have been working from home since this crisis has started. I did cancel a couple of appointments with clients who I were really looking forward to seeing, but during these times, it just doesn’t make sense when everything I do as a mortgage professional can be done either by email or talking on the phone. I do miss seeing my co-workers!

Many of the escrow people we work with are also working remotely and/or are no longer taking appointments. They are using their team of mobile notary publics to perform final signings when they call for original “wet” signatures.

While this is not “business as usual”, we are helping people refinance to lower mortgage rates, shorter terms or pay off debts and we’re helping them finance the purchase of their homes.

I thank Governor Inslee for the added clarification!

Please stay home and stay safe!

Mortgage Rates at Extremely Low Levels

Freddie Mac’s PMMS report was released this morning showing just how low mortgage interest rates have dropped during the pandemic. Remember, the Prime Mortgage Market Survey’s rates are last week’s news as they are based on an average of mortgage rates from last week.

[Read more…]

Getting a Mortgage During the Coronavirus

What strange times we’re in! Last night, Governor Inslee declared we are in a minimum two week “shelter in place” with only essential businesses allowed to operate, unless you can work from home.

Mortgage companies are currently considered essential and Mortgage Master Service Corporation is open to help you with your mortgage needs. I am currently working from my home office as I navigate mortgage rates that are off the charts! We are still helping people with their refinances and home purchases. [Read more…]

Fed Drops Funds Rate to Zero to 0.25% – how does this impact mortgage rates?

In an unprecedented move, the Fed dropped the Fed Funds rate to 0-0.25% today…it’s Sunday! This is a coordinated effort with several other central banks around the world. This move does NOT mean that mortgage interest rates are 0 – 0.25%. The Fed does NOT directly control mortgage interest rates – however, actions taken by the Fed may impact the direction of mortgage interest rates. [Read more…]

How to Grab a Low Mortgage Rate in a Volatile Market

Lately I’ve felt like I’m sitting in the front row of a roller coaster with the wild swings in mortgage interest rates. Mortgage rates have been at 50 year lows this past week – the lowest levels since Freddie Mac started keeping track with their weekly mortgage survey. This is largely due to fears in the market caused by the coronavirus. The Dow has been taking wild plunges, then will rally only to dip again. Mortgage rates are based on bonds (mortgage backed securities) and when investors are pulling funds from stocks, they will often seek the safety of bonds. We’ve seen that this past week when rates dropped to the lowest levels I have seen in my 20 year career as a Mortgage Professional. We are in uncharted territory. [Read more…]

Lowest Mortgage Rates in History!

Freddie Mac’s Prime Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) released this morning states: “The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a record 3.29 percent this week, the lowest level in its nearly 50-year history“…”30-year fixed-rate mortgage averaged 3.29 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 5, 2020, down from last week when it averaged 3.45 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 4.41 percent. ”

[Read more…]

FOMC drops the Fed Funds Rate by 0.50

This morning the Fed lowered the Fed Funds rate by 0.50 to 1-1.25% due to the global financial impacts of the coronavirus. The markets were anticipating the Feds to make a move and reacted favorably…however we’re still seeing plenty of volatility.

What does this mean with regards to mortgage interest rates? They are still very very LOW making this a great time to look at refinancing. [Read more…]

Mortgage Rates Remain at Historic Lows

Freddie Mac released their weekly Prime Mortgage Market Survey this morning showing that mortgage rates continue to be extremely low.


There are many factors that are causing mortgage rates to remain this low, including increased concern over the coronavirus. Hopefully the virus is contained soon…once that happens, we may see rates return to a more normal level.  Also, with this being an election year, if a Democrat is elected to be our next President, we may see mortgage rates move higher.

Mortgage rates are subject to change…in fact, the mortgage rates posted from Freddie Mac’s PMMS report are an average from last week. Please click here for current mortgage rates based on your personal scenario.

Bottom line, rates are at three year lows making it a great time to refinance or if you’re in the market, buy a home. Most of my clients are dropping their monthly payments significantly which helps them pay off debts or build up savings. If your home is located anywhere in Washington state, where I’m licensed, I would love to help you with your mortgage!