Special Mortgage Interest Rates

Last night on Facebook, I saw an ad for a builder’s lender promoting “limited time opportunity special interest rate” when you purchase one of their new homes. This was being shared by a Realtor whom I’m “Facebook Friends” with. I decided to price out this “special rate” and proved that the rate, while very low, is actually not so special.

The lender is using points to buy down the rate to below what you typically see advertised. This is something that ANY home buyer can do…and here’s the great news – you don’t have to work with the builder’s lender (which is essentially the same as working with the seller’s lender).

The points that are used to buy down the rate can be paid for by the buyer or seller (builder). The amount a seller can contribute towards closing cost vary depending on the loan program and the amount of down payment the buyer is providing on the transaction. The seller contribution can be used to buy down the interest rate, pay closing cost or even reduce private mortgage insurance. There are many possibilities!

I’m actually glad to have seen the FB post. I’ve been meaning to write about “Seller Buy Down” strategies. Sometimes it may actually be more beneficial for a home buyer to negotiate the seller to pay points to go towards lowering an interest rate instead of making a low offer. More on that in a future post!

Here’s the bottom dollar:

  1. You probably do not have to work with the builder’s lender to get a special rate. Your real estate agent can negotiate the seller to pay points regardless of who the lender is.
  2. When you work with the builder’s lender, the loan officer who is supposed to be helping you actually works for the seller.
  3. Often times, when the builder is offering promotions, it’s built into the sales price.
  4. Reduced interest rates are available on any home if you or the seller are willing to pay the points to buy the rate down.
  5. Before making a low offer, check with your lender to see what your scenario would look like doing a “seller buy down” instead”.

Last but not least, if you are interested in buying or refinancing a home located anywhere in Washington state, where I’m licensed, I am happy to help you!

Our Veterans DESERVE to use a VA Mortgage Loan

I’ve been trying to think about how to title this post without “shaming” real estate agents or home sellers… but I do feel that it’s really unfortunate that some still have a low view of VA mortgages. Men and women who have dedicated their lives to serve our country and protect our freedom have EARNED the privilege to have a VA mortgage loan. Those of us who have not committed to serve do not have this benefit… and it is a benefit. [Read more…]

Avoid Delays with your Home Purchase

mortgage-porter-sold-homeHere are a few suggestions for when you are preparing a purchase and sales agreement to help avoid delays. NOTE: I’m NOT an attorney and this is NOT legal advice. I’m simply a Licensed Loan Officer offering suggestions based on my observations.  🙂 [Read more…]

Waiving your financing contingency?

mortgageporter-thinkingThe greater Seattle real estate market is hot. With the lack of inventory, some home buyers have found themselves in a position where they feel they need to waive their financing contingency or the appraisal. I see this strategy happen when home buyers have been competing with multiple and/or cash offers.

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Seattle Real Estate Chat: When your Real Estate Agent or Mortgage Originator “wears two hats” [Video] #SeattleREchat

Our most recent episode of Seattle Real Estate Chat focused on real estate agents or lenders who wear two hats. Jim Reppond of Coldwell Banker Danforth and I discuss transactions where a buyers lender is also their real estate agent OR when the buyer works with the listing agent (listing agent is both sellers agent and buyers agent). Sometimes a buyer may believe the listing agent is working for them, when the listing agent may only be working for the seller. It can be a complicated situation.

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What you need to know about multiple offers when buying a home [Video]

Earlier this week’ during our Seattle Real Estate Chat, Jim Reppond of Coldwell Banker Danforth and I discussed multiple offers, which we are seeing a lot of in the greater Seattle area.

Here’s our “show” from this week and learn more about what you need to know before you find yourself in a multiple offer situation.

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How’s the Market?

This is a question I’m often asked about the greater Seattle/Pacific Northwest region. Since I focus on helping people with mortgages to buy or refinance their homes, I defer these types of questions to local real estate professionals.

I recently posted this question with the challenge that the real estate agents keep their response to one sentence or roughly 140 characters. Here are some of the replies I received.

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Updating your Preapproval Letter

j0403639_2I’m often asked by home buyers “does my preapproval letter expire” or “what happens if we don’t find a home in a few months”. Preapproval letters should include two dates: when the letter was prepared and when the preapproval expires.  Fear not, most of the time, it should just take providing a couple documents to your loan officer so they can “dust off” your application and provide an updated pre-approval letter.

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