Quick Video on November’s Real Estate Closings in King County

In the Seattle area, many home buyers may be trying to purchase their first home before the tax credit expires.  I highly recommend not waiting until the end of November to do so.  Here's why…

Click here for a larger image of this video

For King, Snohomish and Pierce County Recorder's office closures, click here.

September’s Recording Office Closings for King, Pierce and Snohomish Counities

Be sure to mark your calendars and plan your closings around these dates next month:

September 3, 2009 – Snohomish County closing early at 3:30 p.m.

September 4, 2009 – King, Pierce and Snohomish County closed due to the furlogh.  Mortgage Master will be closing at 3:00 pm for the holiday weekend. 

September 7, 2009 – Labor Day Holiday:  King, Pierce and Snohomish County closed.  Mortgage Master is closed too!

Don't forget that  Snohomish and Kitsap Counties are closing early on Fridays and to hug your Escrow Officers and Funders. 

August Recorder’s Office Closure for Snohomish and Kitsap Counties

If you have transactions scheduled for closings in these counties on the dates below, please contact your real estate professional. 

August 13, 2009 ~ Snohomish County closes early at 3:30

August 14, 2009 ~ Snohomish County Recorder's office will be closed.

This means you need to be extra sweet to your funders and escrow officers before and after a furlough day…missing that extra day to record a transaction is enough to cause a few furrowed brows!

Don't forget, Snohomish and Kitsap County's Recorder's office is closed every Friday for the remainder of the year!

July’s Furlough Dates and Recording Office Closures for King, Pierce, Snohomish and Kitsap Counties

If you have transactions scheduled for closings in these counties on the dates below, please contact your real estate professional. 

July 1, 2009 – Snohomish County closes early at 3:30 pm. [updated 6/30/2009]

July 2, 2009 ~ Snohomish County's Recorder's Office is closed.

July 3, 2009 ~ King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties recorder's office will be closed in observance of Independence Day.

July 6, 2009 ~ King County's Recorder's Office will be closed.

Closing in the first week of July are really going to be pinched on time in Snohomish and King Counties due to the combined furlough and holiday closure.

This means you need to be extra sweet to your funders and escrow officers before and after a furlough day…missing that extra day to record a transaction is enough to cause a few furrowed brows!

Don't forget, Kitsap County's Recorder's office is closed every Friday for the remainder of the year!

June’s Furlough Days for King, Pierce and Snohomish Counties

If you have transactions scheduled for closings in these counties on the dates below, please contact your real estate professional. 

June 19, 2009 ~ King and Snohomish Counties recorder's office will be closed.

This means you need to be extra sweet to your funders and escrow officers before and after a furlough day…missing that extra day to record a transaction is enough to cause a few furrowed brows!

Update June 3, 2009: I recently learned that Kitsap County's recorders office will be closed every Friday until the end of the year! 

Why I’m Thankful I Don’t Work for a Bank or a Mortgage Broker

Mortgage Master Service Corporation, my employer for the past nine years, is a Correspondent Lender–which is kind of like a blend of a bank and a broker.  I think it's the best of both worlds because like a broker, we have the ability to select which bank/lender we're going to work with and like a bank, we fund the mortgage.  We also process, underwrite and prepare loan documents at our location in South King County (this may be unlike a bank who'd processing center can be located in another State).

I've recently been provided a few examples of why it's advantageous to be a Correspondent Lender.   Ardell wrote a post at Rain City Guide about home buyers (or borrowers) being informed of when loan docs are "ordered", "sent" and "in".  A mortgage broker has to "order" loan documents from the wholesale lender/bank.   A form is submitted on paper or on-line requesting the loan documents be drafted.   The wholesale lender/bank where the loan is being brokered to will notify the mortgage broker once loan documents have been "sent" to the escrow company.  The escrow company will then send a confirmation to the mortgage broker that they have received loan documents–docs are "in". 

At our office, once conditions are met and we have final loan approval from our in-house underwriters, my processor prepares loan documents.  They are reviewed and then delivered electronically to the escrow company.  I receive notification from my processor that loan docs have been delivered to escrow and escrow confirms.  Our loan doc steps are "sent" and "in".

This creates a much smoother transaction since we remain in control of these vital steps.  Especially if there are any modifications or corrections that need to be made to the loan documents.  Instead of having to order a correction from the wholesale lender, our company is able to quickly react to any required changes.

The reason why I'm thanking my lucky stars I work for a correspondent lender and not a bank is because the bank is generally limited to their products and guidelines.   (A bank loan officer will tell you that they can broker or use outside lenders–just ask them how often they do–they're often compensated at a lower split if they send a mortgage outside of the bank).   Recently Wells Fargo decided they are going to start requiring appraisals on VA Streamline refinances.  (Hopefully other banks don't follow).  One of the benefits of a VA (or FHA) Streamline refinance is that an appraisal may not be required.   If I was a mortgage originator employed at this bank, then I would be stuck with their underwriting overlays (guidelines in addition to what VA is requiring); my clients who are Veterans would be required to prove their homes values and may not receive the benefit of reducing their mortgage rate.

As a correspondent lender (or mortgage broker), I know that odds are, if I have a VA Streamline refi (aka IRRL: Interest Rate Reduction Loan) I'm going to use another source for my client where an appraisal is not required.  

During these times, many banks/wholesale lenders have their own underwriting overlays in addition to what is being required by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, HUD or VA.  Correspondent lenders and mortgage brokers have the ability to review wholesale lending guidelines to help direct their clients to a product best suited for their needs.

It's nice to have options and control–it's nice to be a correspondent lender.

How to Read a HUD-1 Settlement Statement

UPDATE: Sadly when First American Title decided to absorb their brands in the greater Seattle area, including The Talon Group, they decided to remove many of the great videos Talon created leaving voids in several of my blog post. My apologies!

EDITORS NOTE:  Although the HUD-1 Settlement Statment was modified in 2010 with the Good Faith Estimate, this video still is a good review of what to expect at your closing appointment. 

The Talon Group has created another video.  This one explains how to read your estimated HUD-1 Settlement Statement.  This is the document that includes all of your costs, fees and credits involved with your real estate transaction. 

Ideally, your Good Faith Estimate should correlate closely with your estimated HUD-1 Settlement Statement.  I encourage borrowers to bring their good faith estimate with them to closing and (even better) request a copy of your estimated HUD at least 24 hours prior to your appointment at the escrow company.  In order for your closer to be able to do this, the lender will need to provide them documents in a timely manner…and there's nothing wrong with that!

Watch for a new HUD and Good Faith Estimate that was just approved and will be in effect January 2010.

Related post:

Before you go to your signing appointment

Why is my payoff higher than the principal balance?

What takes place between signing and closing?

What happens between signing documents and closing? Watch this video featuring The Talon Group’s Chief Title Officer, Tim Daniels as he explains what happens with your loan documents after you finish signing at the escrow company.