Mortgage Matters

Maybe It's Your Tax Bill

Kern County’s Treasurer-Tax Collector website says this month is the deadline to pay your current property taxes and penalties prior to defaulting. In October we’ll all get a new tax bill for 2018. Why does it matter? Most homeowners .. Read More

Then and Now

Interest rates are up. Want to know what that means in real terms? I pulled rate sheets from June 1, 2017 and am comparing to today’s rate sheet. Here are some rough ideas about what is real in today’s market. If you had financed.. Read More

What Should I Do?

This is an open letter to the many folks who have sat across the desk from me in the past month. Together we spent hours poring over scenarios, and figures, and life questions. I want to honor you for knowing that there is so much more to “.. Read More

Make It Home

We know we have a topic when the same subject comes up repeatedly. In the past week three families have asked me “what is the more strategic house to buy? Which one will be easiest to sell for a profit?” None of these transacti.. Read More

Do I Have to Pay Escrow?

A new home buyer asked their Realtor: “If we are putting 30% down, do we still have to pay escrow?” It’s a good question, but first we need to know what they are really asking. One meaning of “escrow” is the co.. Read More

Please Participate

The first caller just heard that her husband wanted a divorce. She rang me in a panic, having no idea what to do when he offered that she buy the house from him. The next was a widow of three weeks, who wondered if a reverse mortgage would be her s.. Read More

Who Can You Trust?

Buyers! Sellers! Realtors! Lend me your ears! Unless it’s a cash transaction, the success of your home buying or selling rests quite firmly on the lender. If the loan doesn’t fund, nobody moves, and nobody gets paid. .. Read More

Check It Twice …

Haven’t I told you to shop around? Just this weekend a past client contacted me about a mortgage transaction. They are moving out of state and the paperwork didn’t look right. They had told the online lender they wanted .. Read More

How to Get Started

The caller wanted to learn how to get ready to buy his first house. “I just paid cash for my business, and I have no credit.” Nice, a clean slate to work with! After the mortgage meltdown, Congress was really interested in.. Read More

The Equifax Data Breach: What To Do

This article is taken in its entirety from this link (https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/blog/2017/09/equifax-data-breach-what-do). If you have a credit report (https://www.consumer.gov/articles/1009-your-credit-history), there’s a good chance th.. Read More

Hurry! Reverse Changes Coming October 2

We’re short and sweet this week, since something big is happening in the world of reverse mortgage. On August 29, 2017 the U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development announced changes to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage .. Read More

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