Meet Me and My Fellow Rain City Guide Contributers

Ardell, Jillayne and yours truly will at Crossroads in Bellevue at 6:30 pm on February 4, 2009.   I'm bummed that Dustin can't make it (maybe he'll suprise us).  And so far, fellow authors, Craig and Robbie, say they'll be there too!


It's a causal meet-up that Ardell is organizing.  We'd love to meet our readers, commenters and fellow contributors.  For more information or to give us a heads up that you're stopping by, please click here

By the way, if you visit Rain City Guide's About RCG page, you'll see what the four of us are twittering–just like the photo above which was taken at Inman Connect in San Francinsco last summer.  Sadly, RCG contributors rarely have the opportunity to pile on a bean bag chair together.

Magnificent Larry Cragun

Larry Cragun has announced that this month marks the end of his Magnificent 7 Nominees.  For three years, Larry has read thousands (tens of thousands?) of articles and has hand picked those he felt were most consumer focused each month; spotlighting them on his blog, Real Estate Undressed.  In January of the following year, he posts “the Super bowl” of consumer posts and whittles down his top selections from the top 7 of each month for the Magnificent 7 for that year.  It’s quite a task and I thank him for it.  Not only have I been lucky enough to have a few of my articles nominated by Larry, I’ve been introduced to many other real estate bloggers who care just as much about shedding light to consumers as I do.

The final set of nominees for the Magnificent 7 are:

  1. Dan Melson with “Getting Rich Quick in Real Estate
  2. ARDELL with “A buyer’s right to do “an additional inspection
  3. Noah Rosenblatt with “Deflation Buyer Strategy: Buy to Renovate
  4. Mark Clawson with “Should I Refinance
  5. James Lapori with “Re-adjusting Priorities: What’s a House For
  6. Luke Mullins with “Sheila Bair: We Need Foreclosure Mitigation Now” 
  7. Rhonda Porter (my article) with “Can I Buy a $620,000 Home with a 620 Credit Score


An Announcement You Will Never See from a Traditional Broker

"Today Redfin laid off roughly 20% of our employees" writes Glenn Kelman, Redfin CEO on his corporate blog.   

You won’t hear these words from the traditional real estate brokerages where agents are not paid salaries.  They’re living (or trying to) from closing to closing.  Some are doing better than others and others are having to make hard choices about their careers and personal finances.

The traditional brokerages do not announce that 10 or 20% of their agents have not received a commission check in the past few months or are not able to pay their desk fees.  Agents move to less expensive offices or they just move on.

It is a very challenging market.  And while the many will focus on the struggles of Joe Six Pack, who opted for the wrong mortgage at the wrong time; very few will have sympathy for the struggling real estate agent who made their living from the Joes of this world. 

Glenn’s announcement is a sad one.  I don’t have established "relationships" with Redfin agents.  I do with home buyers who have utilized Redfin.  I admire Glenn’s honesty and wish everyone in the market well.  I have been very fortunate to work with Washington State buyers and home owners who read my blogs, my past clients who return for their mortgage needs and who refer their friends to me and real estate agents who are trying to stick out this market.  At this time and always, I THANK YOU ALL.

Hopefully with today’s gains in the market, we’ll have the confidence that our markets need to stabilize.

Jennifer’s Sunset


I learned yesterday that my former Sister in Law, Jennifer Witt, passed away the night before.  I dedicate last night’s sunset to her.

Not only is she my son’s Aunt, Jennifer and I attended high school together and I’ve known her more than half my life.  In fact for a few years, we were roommates, sharing an apartment with her brother (my son’s Dad).   I think we were very close for the 10 years I was with my son’s Dad and we kind of drifted apart these past years.  Not that we didn’t care for each other, we did very much, we just didn’t really get to see each other often. 

Some of my favorite memories of Jennifer are playing pinochle (she was fierce) and I don’t know why I have a memory of us together stuck in my head of sharing some Asti Spumante and deciding to bake an apple pie from a tree she had in her yard.  Smart, funny and beautiful; Jennifer was a spark plug. 

She is missed and loved.  I very sad she’s gone.  My thoughts and prayers are with her and family.

Update:  Here is information on Jennifer’s Memorial on Sunday, September 21.

JP and Gertrude’s Big Day


Today in Fremont amongst hundreds and hundreds of Patches Pals and politicians…JP  and Gertrude’s statue was unveiled to the delight of many.   Pat Cashman did a great job as the narator for this event.

The statue has all ready raised $78,000 for Childrens Hospital and will continue to do so when Pals make donations into the ICU2TV portion of the statue. 

There were so many fans there (most with red noses) that I was not able to get a great shot of the new statue…I plan on visiting again soon.

You can check out more photos from today by clicking here.  (Also included in this photo set are photos taken from when the original statue design was unveiled).

JP Patches & Gertrude Statue Unveiled in Fremont Tomorrow


You know I’m a Patches Pal–I grew up glued to the TV on weekday mornings watching  JP hoping he would see me through his ICU2-TV.   I wasn’t alone–if you are a Puget Sound native around my age, odds are, you’re a Patches Pal too!

Patches Pals have been waiting for this day and many have purchased Patches Pal Pavers to support this great cause (excess proceeds benefits Childrens Hospital).   I even added JP’s mug to the right on Mortgage Porter to make it easy for my subscribers/readers who are fellow Patches Pals to participate.

Well the big day is almost here…"the most anticipated event in human history" according to JP’s website.   You too can witness the great unveiling of the statue:

This Sunday, August 17, 2008 beginning at 1:00 p.m at the Solstice Plaza (N. 34th Street just east of the Fremont  Bridge).

Come celebrate the men (JP and Gertrude) who have touched so many local lives!

Happy Fathers Day

Tim Russert is someone whom I always enjoyed and I’m saddened that he passed away this past week.   What an incredible Dad and Son.   

In this video, he talks about a note he gave to his son when he was beginning college with three points of advice to work (study) hard, laugh often and keep your honor.   He also talks about how he and his wife often tell their son that he is very loved but never entitled.    Classic examples of real family values that I relate too and hope to impart on our children.

My heart and prayers are with the Russert family.

I wish my Dad, my Father in Law, my Out-Law’s and all a very Happy Father’s Day.

Lending Integrity Seal of Approval


I recently received permission from NAMB to post the Lending Integrity Seal of Approval which you may have noticed on the left side of my blog.   This logo isn’t something that just anyone can post or promote, it must be approved by the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.

In order to display the Lending Integrity Seal of Approval, a broker or loan originator must:

George Hanzimanolis, President of NAMB feels this seal will "soon become to the mortgage industry what the Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval is to the makers of consumer products."   George, by the way, is a heck of nice guy.  My husband and I had the opportunity to meet and have have dinner with him last week when he was in town with my brother-in-law, John Porter.

For more information, click here.