Mortgage Matters

Who Gets Paid?

Did you know that in a real estate transaction, the seller usually pays for the Realtors? A buyer asked about this last week, so let’s spend a few minutes discussing it. When a property is for sale, the seller signs a listing agr.. Read More

Negotiating Repairs

Of course there will be things wrong with your dream house! The home inspection is designed to tell you that upfront so you can be an informed consumer. What do you do with those findings? Your REALTOR® is your main advocate when .. Read More

Winning the Battle of the Thumbs

We’re short and sweet this week: Here is an article posted in the National Mortgage Professional magazine. While the majority of prospective homebuyers do their research on home loans online, they prefer to handle their applica.. Read More

Community Wide Open House on July 22

The Tehachapi Area Association of Realtors is holding a Community Wide Open House on July 22. Agents in the know tell me that if you want to have much of a choice in our current market, you’ll want to be looking at houses costing around $3.. Read More

Reverse Wins - Sometimes

Don’t fall for the hype – Reverse mortgage isn’t for everyone. When you have a seasoned professional help you with the analysis about what these loans accomplish or not, you can see for yourself if they benefit in your situatio.. Read More

When Cash Is Not King

Really, he was trying to help. Knowing that he needed a clean paper trail for the money they’d use to buy a house, he opened a new account. Since the bank puts holds on checks for the first month, he cashed his paychecks at the old bank t.. Read More

“My Parents Said I Should Refinance”

It’s pretty great that parents watch out for their kids’ finances. A 2015 first-time buyer was in touch because their parents told them to refinance right now, while rates are low. But is that a smart thing to do? The purc.. Read More

$11,000 is Too Much

A repeat client phoned me and she was hoppin’ mad. “We got a VA buyer offer on our house and they want us to pay $11000 in closing costs!” That made me mad, too. Here’s why. The VA home loan program is pretty .. Read More

Ken Harney says …

Kenneth Harney is a nationally-syndicated columnist on real estate for the Washington Post Writers Group. Here’s his March 29 post about credit scores. When is your "credit score" irrelevant in buying a house or refinancing a hom.. Read More

It’s A Conspiracy!

Is there a conspiracy surrounding the appraisal report for your home purchase or refinance? Recently a buyer was upset about an appraisal value matching the purchase price, so let’s review the process. There are layers of consume.. Read More

Rates are UP! Rates are DOWN!

Gotta love the media. They scream at us that interest rates are worse, and that interest rates are better. All they’re doing is reading from a teleprompter – so what’s true? It’s all about context. The Federal.. Read More

Keep Comparing!

Twice this week my local quote has beat an online/mail lender. Once was for a reverse mortgage, and once for a plain refinance. Be sure you are talking to a local mortgage advisor before you latch on to a solicitation for your home loa.. Read More

“You Can Have Any Loan You Want!”

Um, no, you can’t. But this was said by someone holding themselves out as a lender, to a friend of mine. He heard, “If you put 20% down, you can have any loan you want!” First, a check of the NMLS Consumer web site s.. Read More

Affordability Snapshot

We got a GREAT surprise from FHA this week: They’re lowering mortgage insurance premiums! Good news for buyers and refinancers alike. Since interest rates have moved over the last quarter, it’s time for the briefest look a.. Read More

What Happened to Rates?!

Happy New Year. Have you been getting a bunch of mailers about refinancing your current home loan? Me, too. Is it really a good time to refinance? Only “maybe.” Many factors come in to play when evaluating a mortgage fin.. Read More

Be Like “Buyer A”

“I’ve never worked with someone like you before when buying houses … it makes me wonder how many times I’ve been swindled or made bad decisions – thank you for walking us through everything!” This no.. Read More

Need Help?

If you’re behind on your mortgage payments, or worried about how you’ll make the next one, join the more than 1.5 million families who have been helped so far. Fannie Mae has a great resource at This web site te.. Read More

Don’t Fall For It!

After you’ve done a new home loan, your mailbox gets stuffed with all kinds of mail. Anything you receive from your lender would be important, of course, as would anything from the local county tax assessor or recorder. But wha.. Read More

Know Before You Owe

It’s important to have a monthly housing budget in mind when you shop for a new home. The on-line calculators you see on web sites are interesting, but don’t account for everything that might be included in your monthly payment. .. Read More

It’s Taking FOREVER (Again!)

Several weeks back my phone rang and a California City caller wanted to know if it was real that home loan appraisals were taking over a month. For her rural area, it was true. What’s that about?! You heard my story about the ou.. Read More

Notes from a Seller

Now that I’ve been on the other side of the desk, let me share a few personal notes about being the seller in a real estate transaction. It’s really fun to hear your Realtor call to say there’s an offer coming in on yo.. Read More

Really – Shop That Internet Offer!

Out of curiosity, I looked at online mortgage rates today. The findings are astonishing, and suggest that before you click away, you really should shop any on-line mortgage offer you’re entertaining. Three huge internet lenders a.. Read More

Roadblocks to The American Dream

The Center for California Real Estate has released a report about “Roadblocks to The American Dream.” In it, they cite current challenges facing home buyers. Here are their findings: 29% have trouble saving for a down paym.. Read More

“I’m a little put out …”

If you have been party to any home financing recently, you’ve probably said the same thing: “This should not be anything of concern, as I have very strong credit.” Welcome to my world. Once upon a time, the mortgage p.. Read More

Hooray for USDA! … and Other Stuff

This fall, the USDA home loan program is reducing its mortgage insurance premiums, which will make its loan program more affordable than ever. In context, it means that using USDA financing to buy a $200,000 house in October will cost.. Read More