Mortgage Matters

Move Forward by Looking Back

Our local real estate market feels like it’s changing again. Ask your favorite Realtor what they are seeing with listing activity, and how they think prices will react in coming months. On the lending side, let’s look back ten ye.. Read More

Affordability Snapshot

Our local housing market feels like everyone is holding their breath to see what happens next. Here is a quick rundown of what things feel like at my desk. The usual disclaimers apply: Not everyone will qualify for financing, and rates an.. Read More

The Trouble with HELOCs

All of a sudden everyone is excited about Home Equity Lines of Credit again. Offers are coming at us in print, on TV, and electronically. “Use your home’s equity!” they scream. Do you remember what trouble we got into the last.. Read More

Do Rates Matter?

In comparing today’s mortgage rates to exactly one year ago today, we are up almost exactly 1%. That’s water under the bridge and can’t be changed, but let’s take a quick look to see what future rate increases means in rea.. 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 situation.. Read More

On-Line Approval = Uh Oh!

It’s so easy to fill in a few fields and click a few buttons and shazam, have a home loan pre-approval. After all, the largest home lender in America makes loans simple! And you can get a low rate home loan in as little as 20 minutes at oth.. Read More

Cash-Strapped Millennials

A recent survey by Bank of the West found that one third of recent millennial homebuyers withdrew from, or borrowed against, their retirement accounts to get into their first home. Withdrawing from a retirement account can incur big monetary.. Read More

Having a Senior Moment defines the word “senior” as meaning: 1. older or elder; 2. of earlier appointment or admission, as to an office, status, or rank: a senior partner; 3. of higher or the highest rank or standing. In mortgage lending, &ld.. Read More

USDA Update

If you’re working with a local lender, you may already know about the USDA’s Single Family Housing Guaranteed Loan Program. It works when buying in our zip code and allows for no down payment. The catch? There are income limits i.. Read More

It Matters Who Lives There

Family A bought a big house last year to accommodate a family member who needed to live with them. Over the course of several months, it became clear the arrangement was not ideal, and the extra family member moved out. Now the house is too big, .. Read More

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 ( If you have a credit report (, 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