Saturday, April 24, 2010

Save Hundreds of Dollars And Fight Your Real Estate Tax Bill WITHOUT A Lawyer

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More than 60 percent of U.S. homes are “over-assessed”, says an industry trade group. Homeowners in Washington State pay more in property taxes than they otherwise should have to. You might be one of them. Have you considered fighting your real estate tax bill?
In this 4-minute piece from The Today Show, you’ll learn:
•When to file your tax bill dispute for the best chances of winning
•How to pull your “property card” and check for tax bill-raising errors
•What to do if the taxing authority turns down your request
Most importantly, you’ll learn that don’t need to hire an attorney to fight your tax bill. You just need to be prepared. Do your research and make your case. It’s estimated that nearly half of all contesting homeowners are successful.

As always, please do not hesitate to contact me with any questions -

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Breaking News! Rep Shelly Capitio Introduces Bill To Resolve USDA Funding Crisis

I am pleased to share with you that a supplemental bill has been introduced today by Republican Shelly Capito, Mrs. Capito happens to be a ranking member of the Financial Service Committee and Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity. Below is a copy of the announcement.

Capito Introduces Bill to Continue Access to Home Ownership in Rural Communities

This Legislation Would Increase USDA Rural Housing Loan Guarantee Program’s Capital Reserve - Washington-Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, R-W.Va., the Ranking Republican Member of the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity, yesterday introduced legislation in the House Financial Services Committee to shore up funds for the U.S. Department of Agriculture 502 Rural Housing loan guarantee program. Capito's bill, H.R. 5003, The Rural Housing Improvement Act, would ensure that responsible families in rural communities continue to have access to the credit market to finance their homes.

"I have received hundreds of letters, emails and calls from my constituents, including home buyers and sellers, who are concerned that the 502 loan guarantee program will soon run out of funds," said Capito. "My legislation would continue to assist thousands of responsible, low to moderate income West Virginians who otherwise wouldn't have access to home ownership."

This supplemental bill will resolve the funding crisis and will help us get through the year without any funding interruptions. All concerned USDA GRH originators and other interested parties (real estate agents, builders, settlement agents, appraisers, community leaders, etc.) are encouraged to contact their members of Congress and Senate regarding their support for this bill. Please
click here, and take 20 seconds to email our congress rep in WA State!


Sunday, April 11, 2010

You May Want To Get Your Pre-Approval RE-Approved

On a weekly basis I am getting 911 calls from Real Estate Agents at the 11th hour of a closing begging me for a miracle... Their client's previous financing (or the other agent's buyer's financing)has failed and they are in need of dire help... With all of the banking guideline changes that we have seen thus far in 2010, this blog post in overdue, and I apologize...

As the Federal Home Buyer Tax Credit approaches its April 30 end-date, there are numerous would-be home buyers throughout our area who are still working to get under contract.

Here is an important piece of advice to pass along: If their pre-qualification and/or pre-approval letter is more than 6 weeks old, it is strongly advised that they have their lender “Re-Approve” their Pre-Approval. Mortgage guidelines have been in flux and their original lender letter may now be invalid due to recent changes in qualification criteria.

For example, over the past half-dozen months, the majority of mortgage lenders have reduced their risk tolerance with respect to:

* Maximum debt-to-income ratios
* Minimum allowable credit scores
* Calculation of “assets in reserve”

For buyers of condominiums and co-ops, it is reported that the complex in its entirety has come under tougher scrutiny.

Mortgage applicants today MUST be in complete compliance and many new factors can now affect the qualification of the buyer. It takes more than just good income and credit to get approved in this market. It is strongly advised Agents inform their buyers revisit their qualifications. What qualified underwriting in January may not be adequate in May.

Being proactive will provide additional advantages: For instance, in the event, a mortgage re-pre-approval does happen to unearth an issue, it can be addressed immediately and resolved, rather than trying to clean up a mess and put fires out, causing potential delays and undo stress...

It is a good idea to advise buyers to have a discussion with their Agent and/or Loan Officer about their pre-qualification/pre-approval letter prior to making the offer on a home. If you are a Realtor and would like more information and FREE access to my daily "Tools You Can Use" tips to help you grow your business, you can follow me on facebook at NW Real Estate Agent Network. Enjoy!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Is USDA Out of Funds To Loan Home Buyers?

The answer today (April 4th, 2010) is NO. The Department of USDA-RD still has allocated funds to cover mortgage loans. Now, with that said, as of today, USDA is reporting that they have $2.8 billion dollars left to lend. That sounds like a lot of money, but considering they were allocated $13+ billion in October of 2009, it's not. Based on the current volume of fundings, experts are estimating that USDA will be able to uphold their committment to funding mortgage loans through April 2010. At that time when funds are exhausted, the USDA-RD division will await a re-allocation of funds, which sceptics say will not be filled until October-November 2010. I on the other hand tend to be more optimistic and realistic, and "speculate" USDA-RD will be re-allocated funds by July 2010 ("by" being the key word, I beleive sooner...). I am currently closing USDA purchase loans in 17-20 days. So to date, I am continuing to take USDA mortgage applications. Make sure you visit my USDA Website @ and feel free to contact me directly at (425) 350-7136 with any questions!