My Initial Thoughts on the Middle Housing Class


Wow!
Thursday, our classroom was packed with real estate agents wanting to learn the latest on the new zoning laws impacting neighborhoods in Washington. Richard Hagar did an amazing job covering this complicated subject. If you are a real estate agent, appraiser or city planner, I highly recommend attending one of his classes. The class focuses on the impacts of state regulations HB1110 and HB1337.

Ultimately, if you live in a designated urban area, zoning for single-family dwellings has been largely scrapped. Many homes will be eligible to have accessory dwelling units (ADUs) added. Depending on the population of the city, we may see additional multi-family homes as well.

This is largely intended to help create affordable housing and ease the missing “middle housing”. What may be happening, more often than not, is that when a semi-affordable home becomes available on the market, it is quickly bought by builders/developers to most likely be demolished so that a multi-unit (more profitable) properties can be added.

The addition of the units is being encouraged with the regulations. However, I’m not certain that our elected officials thought out the possible downsides and how this may impact first-time home buyers, renters and neighborhoods living next to these packed in buildings. Instead of a homeowner keeping a rental or creating a rental property, it may be more lucrative to sell the property to a developer.  Many of these “improvements” will take place without public notice and in many cases, without parking being required for the additional units.

I am all for ADU’s. Honestly, I think they are a great. Some of them are very cool and a great way to actually potentially offer affordable housing for family or to create rental income. I even have financing available for ADU’s and full construction loans. Please note: conventional and FHA financing will currently allow for one permitted ADU to be on a property and I potentially have an option for properties with 2 ADU’s.  Some of the proposed changes by the state are not eligible for traditional financing.

I also don’t mind the additional of more housing units.

My big concern is more in the potential unintended consequences; especially to those who can afford it the least.

 

Tired of “Trigger Leads”? Take ACTION NOW!

If you’ve applied for a mortgage, you are probably painfully aware of what it’s like to be a “trigger lead”. When your credit is pulled, the consumer reporting agencies resell your information to lenders. These unfamiliar lenders relentlessly harass consumers via phone calls and even text messages. This is very different than consumers who sign up to receive calls from various lenders when the consumer visits and enters their contact info into “lead generating” websites in search of rate quotes. A person having their credit pulled by a lender they have selected should not involuntarily be subject to having strange lenders contact them. [Read more…]

Big Changes Coming to Real Estate Excise Tax for Washington State Homes

wordswag_1556818054305The Washington State Senate has passed revisions to excise tax that is paid when real estate is sold or transferred. Instead of having a flat rate, the new tax once signed into law by Governor Inslee, will be graduated. Some will enjoy a lower tax rate while others will pay a significantly higher tax rate. Real estate excise tax is typically a cost paid for by the seller. In San Juan County, the excise tax has been split by both the seller and buyer of real estate. Many would argue that excise tax (as with other cost of selling, such as real estate commission) is often passed onto the buyer as it is factored into the sales price. [Read more…]

Improvements to Credit Scoring

Earlier this year, the three major credit bureaus (aka “credit reporting agencies” or “CRAs”), Experian, Equifax and Transunion, came to a settlement with the New York Attorney General impacting credit reporting. It is anticipated that the settlement will help some consumers improve their scores by 10-40 points. [Read more…]

Mortgage Insurance Deductible through 2014

You may have heard that last week, Congress passed and President Obama signed the 2014 Tax Increase Prevention Act. It has some good news for home owners who currently pay various forms of mortgage insurance. If you pay mortgage insurance, including private mortgage insurance (pmi), or VA, FHA or USDA forms of mortgage insurance during 2014,  you may be able to deduct that on your 2014 income taxes.

Before you get too excited, this act does not extend the mortgage insurance deduction past 2014.

So if you are paying any form of mortgage insurance, especially if it’s private mortgage insurance or FHA mortgage insurance, it still makes sense to see if you can eliminate or reduce your payment with a refinance as you will not be able to deduct your mortgage insurance during 2015 (as things currently stand).

If I can help you with your refi or home purchase on property located anywhere in Washington state, please contact me!

 

Why would a consumer work with a non-licensed Mortgage Originator?

Following the release of the QM and Ability to Repay rules from CFPB, I decided to try to read through the proposed Loan Originator Compensation rules. I found this pretty interesting. Instead of making additional regulations for Mortgage Originators who work at banks or credit unions, why not just make them subject to the SAFE Act and require them be licensed?

[Read more…]

CFPB’s Qualified Mortgage Rule and the Ability to Repay

Today the CFPB released the “ability-to-repay” and “qualified mortgage” rule which is set to go into effect next year on January 10, 2014. These new laws will require that lenders consider a borrowers ability to repay a mortgage.

[Read more…]

Happy New Year! Is your Loan Officer Legal?

Mortgage originators (also referred to as Loan Officers or MLOs) are required to be licensed with the NMLS unless they work for a depository bank or credit union, in which case they are only required to be “registered” (per the SAFE Act).

[Read more…]