Are you remodeling your greater Seattle or Tacoma area home?

We’re getting ready to remodel our kitchen and recently discovered Second Use. Second Use is locations in Seattle Tacoma. They sell second-hand items for your home from furniture to all types of fixtures. [Read more…]

Get a sneak preview of the art at Bumbershoot FREE!

This year, if you want to enjoy the art at Bumbershoot, you’ll need to buy a ticket…UNLESS you go on Friday, August 31, 2012 from 1:00 –  9:00 pm. for the free public preview.  The free preview takes place following Mayor McGinn’s Arts Awards ceremony which begins at noon at the north fountain lawn at the Seattle Center.  For more information, click here.

My black velvet painting of Elvis Presley enjoying a peanut butter bacon banana sandwich will be part of the Elvistravaganza exhibit celebrating the 50th anniversary of Elvis’s visit to the Seattle Center.

I am allowing my painting to be auctioned at the event with proceeds going to Cafe Race Love

Hope to see you there!

Should You Refinance Now or Wait for the New HARP Program?

Today someone body found my blog by googlineg: "Should I refi now or wait for the new HARP program". This is such a great and timely question that I thought I'd take a few moments to answer. 

The "new HARP" is actually available now on applications that are dated December 1, 2011 and later.  HARP (Home Affordable Refinance Program) is for mortgages that were securitized by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac prior to May 31, 2009. This is different than who your mortgage servicer is (who you make your mortgage payments to) and the date the mortgage was securitized is often several weeks after the actual date your transaction closed. 

Washington State home owners are eligible for this program are especially excited for the "new HARP" (also referred to as HARP 2) because of the expanded loan-to-value guidelines.  Owner occupied homes will eventually have the 125% loan to value limit removed making it possible for more home owners who have made their payments on time but have lost equity in their homes to refinance into a fixed rate mortgage. Those opting for an adjustable rate mortgage will have a maximum LTV of 105%.

Why would somebody wait to refinance?  HARP 2 is releasing the expanded guidelines in phases. Fannie and Freddie are allowing lenders to offer HARP (DU Plus and Open Access) with March 15, 2012 being the date that loan to value restrictions are removed for this program. 

Another reason some home owners are waiting is that some private mortgage insurance companies and mortgage servicers are working out the final details on how to transfer or reissue pmi certificates. With HARP 2, borrowers with pmi should have more possibility of being able to refinance.

Why you should begin the refinance process now. I'm currently helping several Washington home owners with their HARP refi without an appraisal being required. After we receive the full loan application, we submit the loan to Fannie or Freddie's automated underwriting system to see what our approval is and what the conditions may be. Many HARP refi's are being now approved with the apprasial being waived which allows my client to decide if they'd like to lock in today's low rate now or wait and float their interest rate. 

If we discover that Fannie or Freddie are not accepting the value based on the current phase of HARP we are in, we continue the application and wait for the next phase to try again. This gives us time to work on anything that may need a little extra attention such as reducing debt to income ratios or improving credit scores. 


This also provides an opportunity to get our ducks in a row and have your application completely ready so that when and if your transaction is approved without an apprasial being required, you're in position to close rather than starting with volumes other home owners hoping for their HARP refi.

We are currently accepting applications for HARP 2 refinances for homes located in Washington, even if some of the refinances may have delayed closings. I have several clients who are getting ready to close just after the new year, enjoying the benefit of their much reduced mortgage payments.

If your home is located anywhere in Washington State, I'm happy to help you with your refinance, click here for a HARP 2.0 rate quote.

I am required to have the language below if I am soliciting your Home Affordable Refi for your home in Washington…and yes, I would love to help you with your HARP (or any) refinance:

Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae have adopted changes to the Home Affordable Refinance program (HARP) and you may be eligible to take advantages of these changes.  

If your mortgage is owned or guaranteed by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae, you may be eligible to refinance your mortgage under the enhanced and expanded provisions of HARP.

You can determine whether your mortgage is owned by either Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae by checking the following or


I’m at Angelina’s Restaurant in West Seattle this afternoon for Jerry’s Kids

Around 11:00 today I will be at Angelina's Restaurant in West Seattle to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association aka Jerry's Kids.   All donations are tax deductible and this is a very worthy cause.  If you can spare $10 or $20, please consider "bailing me out".  

You can click this link or give me a call or email… I don't think the folks at MDA are planning on comfiscating my cell phone!

Thank you!

UPDATE:  Here's my MUG SHOT! 


Please bail me out with your donation and help King County kids who are dealing with MDA.

HELP!! I’m goint to be “locked up” in West Seattle to raise funds for MDA

MDAI'm scheduled to be "locked up" to raise funds for the Muscular Dystrophy Association on April 7, 2011 at Angelina's Trattoria in West Seattle. 

While I have no idea who the special person was who nominated me to this event, I do know that I'm tasked to raise $2,000 to help King County families.

Please help "bail me out" by making a donation (click here).  Every donation counts and I appreciate your support for this important cause.

Thank you!

I’m supporting NAMI

In less than a month, I’ll be joining thousands of others who will be walking for NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, to help raise money and awareness.  Mental illness impacts many Americans and includes everything from autism, ADD, bipolar disorders, eating disorders, depression, schizophrenia…and so much more.

The walk is on May 15, 2010 and is a short 5k at Magnuson Park in Seattle…I’m asking friends and family to chip in what ever they can, even if it’s five bucks, every donation counts.

You can click on the link on the left for more information or to sponsor me.

Thank you for your support!

Dawn’s Army is doing The Big Climb for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

Bigclimb My husband and step-son will be marching up 69 floors of the Columbia Tower on Sunday, March 21, 2010.   They're doing this as part of the team proudly called Dawn's Army to raise funds for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Societyalong with friends, family and Dawn Appel's former co-workers at The Talon Group.

This is not the first time this team has assembled for their friend, Dawn Appel.  Dawn has been battling Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia long enough for this to be the third annual climb by her friends.

The Columbia Tower is located in down town Seattle and many will climb (some race) 1,311 steps for this worthy cause in just a few weeks. 

Please click here if you can make a donation–every bit helps!

Thank you.

West Seattle Food Drive Today

Update 3:00 pm: My husband and I popped into Thriftway to make our donation just as the event was wrapping up and Prudential agents were loading up the van with shopping carts of donated food for the West Seattle Food Bank.


Prudential Northwest Realty is having a food drive today from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm at these five West Seattle grocery stores. 

Safeway 2622 California Avenue SW, Seattle

Safeway  4754 42nd Avenue SW, Seattle

West Seattle Thriftway 4201 SW Morgan Street, Seattle

Albertsons 10616 16TH Avenue SW, Seattle

Safeway 9620 28th Avenue SW, Seattle

Hat tip to West Seattle Blog.