Friday, November 6, 2009

New & Revised Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended

The much-anticipated extension & revision to the home buyer tax credit has finally been approved. The Senate's vote yesterday resulted in a 98-0 win and today it was passed in the house. The bill now moves to the President's desk for a final signature which he is expected to sign.

First-time home buyers have been eligible for tax credits of up to $8,000 since last January as part of this year's economic stimulus package. The newly backed program will expand the credit to include existing home owners.

Under the revised program, those who have owned a home for at least five years will be able to apply for tax credits of up to $6,500 when they purchase their next home. To qualify, buyers will have to sign a purchase agreement by April 30, 2010 and close by June 30.

The maximum purchase price on a home will be $800,000 with vacation homes not eligible. Income limitations are $125,000 for single tax payers and $225,000 for joint filers.

The National Association of Realtors (NAR), the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB), the National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) have been lobbying hard for the extension and expansion of the tax credit. NAR claims that so far, about 1.4 million first-time homebuyers have qualified for the program and they estimated that 350,000 of these buyers would not have otherwise purchased.

The tax credit is also set to be extended for another year for military personnel serving outside of the United States until June 30, 2011.

Senator Johnny Isakson, who heavily pushed for the extension, along with his own version that would have increased the credit to $15,000 stated, "This is probably the last extension."

But, really? You think so? When April 2011 comes around and the housing market is still not in full recovery mode, will the politicians be able to let this go and actually come to an end, or could it possibly become a more permanent subsidy?
for more helpful market tips!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Credit Repair Success Story: 80 points In 40 Days!

One of the best relationships that I have made in my career was in 2009 with a credit repair firm that specializes in Legal and Permanent Credit Repair & Restoration. From time to time I have clients come to me wishing they could purchase a home, if only they had better credit. I finally have the solution... National Credit Care has joined my team and partnered with me to assist my clients in rebuilding their credit. We have the ability to remove bankruptcies, foreclosures, collections, liens, and lates.

I have attached an example for you to see. On August 15, 2009 I had a client want to get pre-approved for a home purchase, but due to certain circumstances in her past, her credit score was below 600, and I was unable to approve her at the time. I referred her to speak with Ryan, a week later she paid the $49 join fee, and the $49/monthly fee and in less than 2 months (and less than $200 later) they are buying a home with her credit exceeding 680!!! (all we really needed was 620). Check out the proof... Even a Chapter 13 bankruptcy was removed! (please note that fees are subject to change) See what we had deleted in less than 40 days -
For more information on Credit Repair, you can contact me at (425) 350-7136 or

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Dan Keller's Home Ownership For Heroes Program

I have developed this exclusive program so that I may have the opportunity to "Serve Those Who Serve".
  • Teachers
  • Law Enforcement
  • Fire Fighters/EMT's
  • Military/Veterans
  • Physicians/Nurses
  • Boeing Employees

My Home Ownership For Heroes Program is a program that I designed specifically to provide "Everyday Heroes" in our community significant benefits as they buy and own real estate. As a son of a Vietnam Veteran, and as a former teacher/coach, I understand your lifestyle and the very special reasons you have chosen your challenging career. This is my opportunity to give back and Serve You!

It is my commitment to not only give back 25% of my income on your mortgage transaction, but to provide you a Mortgage Concierge Experience that you deserve! For more information on my exclusive program, download my flyer at

These benefits are significant and are NOT a part of any government program. On average with this program, I provide a lender credit of $500 - $1,500 at closing toward closing costs, pre-paid expenses, and/or buydown points.

You can always go to my website at for more information on the various loan programs and discounts that I offer in-house to my preferred clients.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

New Bill (Howard C. Rep NC) Seeks To Improve & Expand Home Buyer Tax Credit

Okay, the name for this new bill may not be as catchy as "Cash for Clunkers" but you gotta love it: Home Ownership Moves the Economy(HOME) Act of 2009 - HR 2801.

It would continue the current tax credit for first time homebuyers set to expire on December 1, 2009, with a couple of notable changes:
- Income restrictions would be removed
- Buyers do not need to be first time buyers

Okay, everybody, all together now "SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH". For those of us who decided not to take a vacation in October and November to handle the "rush" of people trying to beat the deadline, this will squash that idea.

Who will rush to buy if they extend the tax credit anyway?
Well, they will be the same kind of people that have contributed to a record year for me in the mortgage business, but a different breed -
They are potential first time buyers who make way too much money to qualify and get KILLED each year paying income tax. They may be jumping off the fence when they reads this.
And people like them are much more likely to help the economy (they have more disposable income) than first time lower income home buyers...

Stay Tuned...


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

How To Buy A Home For $100 Down Using FHA?

"Opportunity Is Often Missed By Most People Becasue It Shows Up Dressed In Overalls and Looks Like Work." (Thomas Edison) Wow, was he right!
Check This Out - Click On This Property Below

Buying a HUD home may be a little work, but wow, will it pay off, especially today! The first step is to check my blog daily for an updated list of local "Just Listed" HUD Homes. There aren't many, so when they hit the market, they sell quick.
(1) Go to my website and get pre-approved
(2) Search for local HUD Homes For Sale at
(3) Contact me if you need a Realtor, I'd be happy to refer a pro
I welcome your phone calls and e-mails, so please don't hesitate to contact me directly at (425) 350-7136 or I hope that you are ENJOYING this amazing summer!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Exclusive Nationwide MLS Search Feature

FORWARD THIS EXCLUSIVE PROPERTY SEARCH ENGINE TO ALL OF YOUR FRIENDS AND FAMILY...I am now able to provide FREE MLS access to all of my clients. Take a look and enjoy! Let me know if you have any questions.
Find Washington MLS Listings

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act - (Reg. Z Disclosure)

Another change, but I do believe that change is good... Just know that I am committed to keeping my business partners informed about changes occurring within the mortgage industry. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) was developed to protect the mortgage consumer when purchasing a home. The Act contains provisions that revise the Truth in Lending Act under rules known as the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act (MDIA). These rules apply to all loan applications received on or after July 30, 2009.

This applies to primary and second homes only!

Initial Truth in Lending (TIL) Disclosure
The initial TIL disclosure has been amended to require specific language to notify the consumer that they are not required to complete the loan agreement merely because they have received the disclosure or signed a loan application.

Waiting Periods
For all timing requirements set forth below, “business days” are Monday through Saturday and exclude all legal federal holidays (Bank Holidays).

The revised rules implement waiting periods for the collection of fees and loan closings:
Creditors, mortgage brokers and any other person are prohibited from imposing any fee, other than a reasonable credit report fee, until the consumer has received my bank’s initial disclosures.
The loan cannot close (document signing) until 7 business days after the initial TIL disclosure has been mailed.
The loan cannot close until 3 business days after a re-disclosure TIL is received (if applicable).
If the disclosures are delivered via regular mail, the disclosures are considered received by the borrower three 3 business days after they are mailed.

Annual Percentage Rate Changes (APR)
If the APR increased by more than 0.125% from the previously disclosed APR, a re-disclosure TIL must be provided to the consumer. The loan cannot close (document signing) until 3 business days after the re-disclosure TIL is received by the borrower.

Appraisal Timing
Our banks will not allow conventional appraisals to be ordered through our website until 3 days after we have disclosed. FHA and VA appraisals cannot be ordered by the broker until the 3 day delivery period has expired.

So What Do We Do?
It’s simple – we write longer contracts and tighter loan application. A longer Purchase and Sale contract means 35-40 day closings. Talk to your lender to discuss the file to see what hurdles he/she envisions, and worse case scenario, you close an extra 10 days late. However, it is important that your lender writes an air tight loan application to avoid the re-disclosure delay of 3 days due to a .125% increase in APR

I am happy to answer any questions you may have regarding these new guidelines. So please, do not hesitate to call me directly at (425) 350-7136.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

New $8,000 Tax Credit For First Time Home Buyers

Great news for first-time home buyers in 2009! The stimulus plan that President Obama signed into law contains a new $8,000 tax credit for qualified first-time home buyers. And, unlike the $7,500 tax credit from last year, this credit does NOT have to be repaid to the government, as long as you stay in the home for at least 36 months after the purchase date. Remember, a tax credit is much more valuable than a tax deduction. A tax credit reduces dollar for dollar the amount of tax you owe. A deduction merely reduces the amount of your income that is taxable. This means the home buyer credit can be claimed even if the taxpayer has little or no federal income tax liability to offset. Click here to download a copy of the IRS Form 5405 needed to apply for the tax credit.
First-time buyers or anyone who hasn't owned a home in the 3 years prior to a purchase of a primary residence may qualify for a tax credit of up to 10% of the purchase price or $8,000, whichever is less. To qualify for the full credit, the buyer's modified adjusted gross income must be less than $75,000 for single taxpayers and $150,000 for married taxpayers filing a joint return. Partial credit is proportionally reduced for incomes under $95,000 (single) or $170,000 (married). For married taxpayers, the homeownership history of both the home buyer and his/her spouse are taken into account. This means if you or your spouse has owned a principal residence in the last 3 years, neither you nor your spouse qualifies for the credit.
According to the IRS, a primary residence is the one you live in most of the time. It can be a house, houseboat, housetrailer, cooperative apartment, condominium, or other type of residence. If you constructed your main home, you are treated as having purchased it on the date you first occupied it.
The $8,000 tax credit is available for qualifying home purchases made from Jan. 1, 2009, until Dec. 1, 2009. This is not a typ-o. To receive the credit you must purchase a qualified home before December 1st, 2009 – not the end of the year.
Unfortunately, as of today (July 23, 2009) you can NOT use the credit as a down payment. But, law makers are pushing to implement a creative way to do so. To receive the credit, you must purchase a qualified home first and then claim it on either your 2008 or 2009 taxes. If you make a qualified purchase after April 15, or after having already filed your 2008 taxes, you and your tax professional can submit an amendment to your return. To claim the credit, use form 5405. For help with amending your 2008 tax returns, contact me and I will give you the necessary information to do so.
The current combination of Zero Down home loans, lower home prices and lower interest rates makes for an amazing opportunity to buy real estate. Add to that, this $8,000 gift from the government, and renting a home just doesn't make much sense. If you or someone you know is ready to stop paying the landlord's mortgage and start building equity in your own home, give us a call. We'll run the numbers and see what makes sense for your individual financial needs.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

5 Ways To Increase Your Credit Score - And FAST!

If you are looking to improve your credit score quickly, now is the time to get started. Give us a call. We'll review your credit and find out exactly where you stand and where you need to get to. In the meantime, here are some great strategies you can utilize right away to give your score a little boost.

Create Some Balance: While paying down installment debt (car, school, mortgage, etc.) will definitely boost your credit score, paying down or paying off revolving debt, such as credit cards, can cause a quick jump in your credit score. The trick is to get and keep your balances below 30% of your credit limit on each card. For faster results, attack those cards with balances closer to their respective credit limits first, as opposed to those cards with simply the highest debt. Remember, if you pay off any credit cards completely, do not close your accounts without discussing it with your mortgage professional first. Canceling those cards may inadvertently undo all of your hard work.

Know Your Limits: Make sure that your credit card issuers are reporting the correct limits on your accounts to the three major credit bureaus. Without an available limit, your account will appear to be maxed out at its highest reported balance each month. This could cost you up to 80 points in certain instances. Some creditors, such as American Express® and certain cards issued by Capital One®, actually have a policy of not reporting available credit. However, most companies will report your credit limits if you ask them in writing.

Take Some Credit: If you have a credit card account in very good standing, make sure that all three credit bureaus know about it. Just like your credit limits, some creditors don't report your information to all three credit companies - this is why credit scores often vary between bureaus. If this is the case, give them a call to find out why. Correcting this oversight could provide a significant boost to your score. Also, if you're in very good standing, ask your creditor for a lower rate or higher credit limit. This will increase the gap in the debt you owe versus the credit you have available. Sometimes hinting about closing an account can suddenly bring out the generous spirit of certain card issuers. Give it a try. The worst they can say isn’t.

Protect Your Interests: Your credit is calculated based solely on the information available to your creditors. If you have a HELOC, make sure it's listed as a mortgage or an installment account on your credit reports and not a revolving debt. If you had a bankruptcy, be sure that all items associated with the bankruptcy are being reported correctly, that is with a zero balance. This action could increase your score by 50-100 points. Because simple mistakes like these can wreak havoc on your credit score, it's important to monitor your credit every four to six months.

Even the Score: If you find information on your credit report that you believe is inaccurate or incomplete, then you have the right to dispute it free of charge. For the fastest results, visit the appropriate credit bureau's website and file a complaint online. If supporting documents are necessary, you have to file your dispute by mail. If you'd like more information or a copy of our Sample Dispute Letter, give us a call right away. We'll be glad to help you in any way we can or, if it becomes necessary, refer you to credit professionals you can trust. If you or anyone you know has any questions about credit scores or what can be done to repair them, please don't hesitate to call me.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

SMART MONEY - Interest Rate Buydown vs. Price Reductions

In nearly every instance when you negotiate with a seller to lower their asking/selling price, you are leaving thousands-and-thousands of dollars on the table - dollars that could have been used to create compelling reasons for a buyer to purchase your listing.

“My goal is to help you change your mind-set and implement new strategies when it comes to marketing slow moving property. The most popular strategy employed today by Realtors to sell slow moving property is to REDUCE THE PRICE on a home.”
------------- Rate Buydown Flyer:
------------- Rate Buydown Packet:

The idea that price reduction is a great marketing tool for selling property in today’s changed market is a myth. Price reductions are a “Ho Hum” means of marketing. It is certainly not a “Thinking Outside The Box” type of marketing. Potential buyers that drive through neighborhoods looking for that “special” house are confronted with FOR SALE signs all over the place that tell them nothing about the property except that there is perhaps a “new price” for the home. Most Realtors fail in their observable marketing to provide a compelling reason for buyers to inquire further about their listings. Lowering the sales price may move some stagnant properties a bit sooner, but as a primary marketing tool, it falls way short of the benefits you will gain from the other efforts talked about in the attached booklet.

With a full shift in power from a seller’s market to a buyer’s market, both buyers and sellers need to re- evaluate the best approach to a transaction. The examples below illustrate how a “Closing Cost Credit” (3% for closing) from the seller, when applied toward a buyer’s Interest Rate can produce significant monthly savings for the buyer, and re-position the property to stand out against it’s competition. In this example, we used 3% in points or $13,500 to permanently buy down the interest rate from 5.00% to 4.00% resulting in a Net Savings of $241 a month.

Also, the “points” are usually a tax deduction in the year the property was purchased for the buyer. Please consult your CPA for specific information. This example shows you the power of reducing Interest Rate versus Sale Price. BUYER: Let me show you a smarter strategy to help you finance the purchase of the home of your dreams! SELLER: Let me show you a money saving strategy to help you market the sale of your home and saving you thousands of dollars in the meantime. E-mail me for more information at

Monday, July 6, 2009


Yes The Bank Will Modify Your Loan, They Just Won’t Deal With You...
After I declined approximately 30 loans in early 2009, I knew that I had to do something to help my clients through the declining real estate market as well as the tough economic times. I was beginning to get more phone calls concerning the need to lower their monthly payment due to a hardship or potential employment issue. I tried researching different types of loan programs, loan modification, as well as talking to certain banks and lenders about their own loss mitigation guidelines... and nothing, I got nothing other than “Just have your clients call their bank and work it out with them...”. Well, that’s a joke. If you’ve ever called your mortgage servicer, you understand that most of the time you are talking to someone that speaks fluently in another country, and 10 times out of 10, they cannot help you... Countrywide alone has over 23,000 listings themselves and they are a bank, not a real estate firm... these banks do not have the time or staff to take on any more foreclosures... So eventually after trying to help a client through a loan modification in February, I realized that 3 months and hundreds of hours later, we finally got through to someone in their loss mitigation dept. that could help us, and eventually they did - 2 ½ months after that conversation... So, 6 months later, and numerous payments in default, my client’s loan was modified, but come to find out, very poorly modified, and now they were stuck with paying back all past due payments as well as the reduction in interest rate as capital gains (the importance of using an attorney assisted loan modification company). But check this out - in March, a miracle happened at Disney Land of all place... I took my family on a vacation to Disney Land and met my wife’s uncle Ken. I've heard about Ken, but never met him. On the way to dropping us off at Disney Land, we began talking about what he does, and immediately, I felt like a kid in a candy store, as though I was talking to the Babe Ruth of finance... (forget Disney Land I said, let’s go back to your office, but unfortunately Jenny would allow that...) He has been originating loans in Orange County for years and he basically stopped originating loans to begin modifying loans... California is one of the hardest hit states from our recent housing bubble and Ken, thinking outside the box, shifted gears in 2008 and is strictly modifying loans today. He has partnered with a law group in Orange County and together they are changing lives, seriously - amazing, credible, stuff that it keeping people in their homes, and securing their mortgage. He showed me some amazing examples of how they are taking hundreds of clients from higher 6%-7% interest rates, to 3%-3.5% fixed for 30-years... this stuff was amazing. He showed me numerous examples of people they were even able to help reduce their principle balance and interest rate together... I was ready to start doing this full time once I returned from my vacation. However, I got back and my company published a press release prohibiting any of their loan officers to participate in loan modification up in WA State... so in the meantime, until we can, I am referring people to my uncle Ken in California... Let me know if you have someone in mind that is in a hardship or faced with losing their home. I will get you his contact information- it's never too late. SPREAD THE WORD ABOUT THIS NEWS! IT IS TRULY UNBELIEVABLE!!!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Financial Peace Class # 1 - A Huge Success!

Congratulations to those who graduated from my Financial Peace University Course last night! You are well on your way to Financial Peace! I had the privilege to teach Dave Ramsey's 12-week financial literacy course called Financial Peace over the past 3 months to 20 amazing people who now have a plan, a "Peace" of what to do in creating their budget, savings, insurance planning, mortgage, real estate, and longer-term investments. If you are interested in taking this course, I am offering it again in September and the cost is FREE, except for the workbook you have to purchase through Financial Peace University ($100). I was able to see this course change people's financial lives, and through these principles, my students now have a blue-print, a game plan for achieving their own Financial Peace in BECOMING DEBT FREE! I was absolutely amazed: In a 12-week period, how many of my students accomplished "baby steps 1, 2, and even 3, in creating an emergency fund of $1000, paying off debt using the debt-snowball method, and even beginning to save up their entire 6 month reserve account. Great Work Team! If you are interested in this course, I'd be happy to get you additional information and in the meantime, buy you a copy of Dave's book, "The Total Money Makeover" to get you started. The next step would be to enrol in our fall course at View Ridge Community Church. For your own copy of Dave's Total Money Makeover, e-mail me at

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Mortgage Window Shopping Again - Doing It Right

Rates Have Been Volatile, But Get Ready -
They May Fall Again

read the attachment ( ) -
Shopping Around? Make Sure You A Doing It Right

After a recent spike seen in mortgage rates, some consumers are wondering whether they've missed their chance to refinance into an ultra-low rate. Fear not: While the conforming 30-year fixed-rate mortgage hit a daily average of 5.81% last Thursday, it averaged 5.53% on Tuesday, said Keith Gumbinger, vice president of HSH Associates, a publisher of consumer loan information. And it's possible that rates could continue to fall. "Predicting interest rates is like predicting who is going to win the World Series in January," said Guy Cecala, publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. That said, he calls the recent spike "somewhat of an aberration," and expects rates will continue to drift down. Why the recent run-up in rates? Over the past month or two, "the economic skies have brightened somewhat," Gumbinger said in an email, and the threat of "trillion-dollar budget deficits for the foreseeable future, the potential for significant inflation, and few clues as to how the government might extricate itself from intrusions into markets" created a landscape that was not appealing to investors.But now, rates are retreating partly because inflation doesn't seem as immediate a threat as investors feared, Cecala said. In his opinion, nothing fundamentally has changed in the economy over recent weeks to warrant the rate rise, yet he expects volatility through the remainder of the year as investors debate the economy's health. "Realistically, I think that the rates will drift under 5% again. It may take a month, may take two months," he said. It's also important, however, to realize that extremely low rates likely won't be around forever, said Bob Walters, chief economist of Quicken Loans, in a statement. "Luckily, we have seen rates drop some this week, which should help many consumers breathe a little easier," Walters said. "But the fact remains, the government's plan of purchasing mortgage-backed securities cannot go on indefinitely, and when it ends, we will most certainly see a spike in rates. The hope is that the Fed can keep rates low long enough to kick-start a housing recovery. Whether that will work remains to be seen." "Volatility is the key word in the mortgage industry these days when it comes to rates," said Kyle Kerwin, senior vice president of mortgage lending for Signature Bank of Arkansas.

Here are five tips for those shopping for a mortgage today, particularly those who need to refinance an existing loan:
1. Get started on paperwork. Call Dan and get started on the necessary paperwork. Rates move regularly, and if paperwork has been started your file can be processed more quickly when rates hit a low. When you start the application process, your credit score will be pulled and you'll need to submit support documentation including W-2 forms and pay stubs. You might be asked for updated documents nearer to closing.
2. Make sure your credit is in good shape. Check credit reports and fix problems as soon as possible, said Mary Curran, president of Highland Financial Mortgage Corp. in Northbrook, Ill. Even seemingly small charges can haunt a borrower: A forgotten, unpaid parking ticket, for example, can noticeably affect a credit score, she said.
3. Decide at what rate it makes sense to pull the trigger. If you have a 6% rate now, rates would have to hit 5% or lower for it to make financial sense to refinance, Cecala said. Talk with your mortgage professional about what's best for your particular situation.
4. Stick to your guns. Once you determine the rate you'd need to get, it's probably wise to stick to that decision. Consumers sometimes gamble that rates will go lower, and the plan can backfire if rates reverse course, Kerwin said. A couple of weeks ago, rates were close to 4.5% in his market, "and people wanted to hold out for an extra eighth of a percent."
5. Remember, rates are still good. Yes, rates could fall and create another record low as a result of a swoon in the stock market, a collapse of a major bank or a deepening of a recession, Gumbinger said. But it isn't likely that many consumers would crave those economic shocks. "Why would anyone wish for those things again to simply get a rock-bottom, ultra low mortgage rate? If it means saving $250 per month on your mortgage but it costs you $50,000 in your 401(k), how could this be seen as any kind of benefit?" he said. Amy Hoak is a MarketWatch reporter based in Chicago.