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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?


Becoming a first time Landlord

Posted On: February 26th, 2014 by James Posted In: Mortgages

So you want to become a real estate investor….. How to begin?  First of all,  I applaud you!  Most don’t get the gumption to act on their intuition about owning investment real estate in Portland, but here you are- You had the idea, and now you’re doing a little bit o’ internet research.  Most people actually give up before even getting this far, so lets keep pushing!

How does one get more exposure to the real estate market with limited resources?

Q: Buying a rental property usually requires at least 20% down right?

A: wrong!  you can actually purchase a single family residence as an investor with 15% down

Well- that’s great, but it doesn’t really help me because I’ve only got about 5% down…. Well, here’s where I tell you how to buy another property with 5% down.  The trick is that you can buy a Continue Reading – Becoming a first time Landlord