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How to WIN as a buyer in this 2015 Portland market

Posted On: July 1st, 2015 by James Posted In: Mortgages

It is quite astonishing what is happening in Portland real estate this year.  I don’t know who saw this coming, or what exactly is causing it, but the fact is that this city is OVERWHELMED with home buyers.  Partly a hangover from the great recession of 2008 where new development hit the “pause button” for a few years, and now that the market is back the inventory just can’t seem to catch up to demand.  Partly “millennial” buyers flocking to Portland in DROVES with tech jobs that allow them to live anywhere they want to….partly it is developers turning old homes into 2,3,and 4 new homes and selling for a premium… I have lots of pet theories, but none of them matter that much.  There are just TOO MANY BUYERS!

You’d think that if you were considering selling, you’d just say- NOW IS THE TIME- but once you sell, then you become a buyer and then you are in the same world of hurt as the rest of us!   So that is giving pause to lots of would-be sellers.

No matter how we arrived here, if you’ve read this far into my blog post, you simply want to know – “How can we actually win a deal” in this brutally competitive marketplace?  There are no easy answers.  No magic bullets… Continue Reading – How to WIN as a buyer in this 2015 Portland market

How to tell if your taxes are included in your mortgage

Posted On: October 24th, 2014 by James Posted In: FHA MortgageGovernment ActionsLocal InterestMortgagesPortland Real Estate

It’s that time of year again!  Late October in Oregon.  Time for all the non-Multnomah county residents to pat themselves on the back and temporarily feel superior, and bask in the glow of their money savings for a couple weeks.  Property taxes are now certified for the state of Oregon.   This means that the county in which you live will be sending you an actual bill for property taxes in the mail.  Now when this happens,  a not insignificant percentage of my clients who have just purchased in the last 12 months get a quick and I imagine THRILLING spike in their blood pressure upon receipt.  They ask themselves- “doesn’t my mortgage payment include the taxes every month?….. I CAN’T REMEMBER EXACTLY!”.  And they email me or call me for confirmation.  Since this is such a common occurrence, I thought I’d take it upon myself to publish a couple tricks for those with a mortgage in Oregon to determine for themselves if those taxes Continue Reading – How to tell if your taxes are included in your mortgage

What is a Mortgage? (Probably more than what you think)

Posted On: September 29th, 2014 by James Posted In: Financial HealthMortgage ProgramsMortgage RatesMortgagesPortland Real EstateRefinancing

Time to break things way down.  Let’s deconstruct what exactly it is we’re dealing with here in the mortgage industry.  I’ve been in the mortgage loan game since 2003 and it never ceases to thrill me when we close and fund another one!  Why you ask?  Because the great thing about making a mortgage not matter how much silly drudgery goes into the journey, the reason we do it is because it is improving someone’s situation.  They are either acquiring a home for themselves or their family, they are acquiring an investment that will contribute to their net worth and retirement planning somehow, or they are making a refinance that improves their leverage somehow-  making the real estate MORE powerful, MORE valuable.  I’m always blown away by the sheer dollar amounts in a mortgage-  any mortgage.  ONE HUNDRED AND FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS….. FIVE HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS…. more money than most of us ever see in one place, and me and the team get to shoot these dollar figures seemingly out of a cannon on the specified day.

Lately though, I’ve been thinking about mortgages a little differently.  I decided to change the way I looked at it.  I learned recently a LAW that states:  ”when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.  It occurred to me that maybe Continue Reading – What is a Mortgage? (Probably more than what you think)

Buying with cash and then refinancing it back: FNMA delayed financing

Posted On: June 25th, 2014 by James Posted In: Mortgage ProgramsMortgagesPortland Real EstateRefinancing

Q:  How soon can you refinance a piece of real estate after you’ve bought it, if you acquired it with cash?

A:  The very next day!  (maybe)-  thanks to a quirky provision in the Fannie mae guidelines called “delayed financing”.

Delayed financing is actually priced as “cash-out” money, and is restricted to the loan to value ratios of a “cash out” refinance.  One can use delayed financing for a primary residence, a second home, or even an investment purchase (up to 4 units).

Because of this cash-out pricing aspect, this type of loan is more expensive than a straight purchase money mortgage.  (maybe up to .25% in rate higher).  But there may be serious advantages to being Continue Reading – Buying with cash and then refinancing it back: FNMA delayed financing

Is this the top of the Portland Real Estate Market?

Posted On: June 13th, 2014 by James Posted In: Financial HealthMortgagesPortland Real Estate

***SPOILER ALERT***  I’m not an economist, or statistician.  I’m a Portland area mortgage lender, and Portland area home owner, as well as a Portland area landlord.  So I feel I’m writing this as an interested bystander with a ring side view of the action.  My team and I participate in anywhere from 5-15 purchase transactions per month as of late, so I certainly have some high level anecdotal information to bring to bear here.

Let me start by saying this about the spring 2014 real estate market – HOLY SH**!  What is happening out there you guys?!  All the good properties are getting snapped up in a matter of hours it seems,  double digit multiple offers,  buyers offering $10-20k above asking to be told they aren’t even CLOSE.  Agents are knocking on doors to see if they Continue Reading – Is this the top of the Portland Real Estate Market?