Thursday, December 20, 2007

Economy is Solid And Encouraging

Despite the impressions you might get from the network news, the U.S. economy continues to churn out solid, even encouraging, numbers -- and that's important for anyone interested in real estate. Last week the federal government reported retail sales up by 1.2 percent in the past month, strong growth in new jobs, exports and household incomes. When the economy looks like it's expanding a bit faster than Wall Street expected it to, investors sometimes begin to worry about the "I" word-inflation -- and interest rates tick back up a little. But the fact is: rates this low are great for anyone looking to buy a house. They are nearly at two year lows; and barely half a point higher than their 40 year lows. So maybe it was no surprise that despite the slight rate increase, mortgage applications rose last week rather than fell. In the short of the matter, Low home prices combined with low mortgage rates means potentially excellent buying opportunities!

for more info you can check out Kenneth R. Harney

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Appearances mean EVERYTHING

According to the results of the 2007 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report, three of the four projects with the highest national percentage of costs recouped this year were exterior upgrades. The most profitable project on the national level was upscale siding replacement, recouping 88 percent of costs upon resale. Wood deck additions and wood window replacements were a close second returning more than 80 percent of costs, at 85 percent and 81 percent, respectively. But the the only interior project to return more than 80 percent of remodeling costs this year was a minor kitchen remodel, returning 83 percent of project costs at resale.
Homeowners who reside in the Pacific region could expect to see some of the highest percentages of remodeling expenses returned at resale, with 13 of the 29 projects returning 90 percent or higher of project costs.
For more information Check out

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Top 10 Best Performing Housing Markets

As anybody who has ever sold real estate knows, there are no national markets, only local markets. That adage holds true when you look at the condition of the real estate business nationwide.

Business may be tough in many places, but it’s not tough all over. In Salt Lake City, Charlotte, N.C., and San Jose, Calif., prices have climbed relentlessly. In the Northeast, the biggest gainers are the gritty cities of Buffalo, N.Y., Pittsburgh, Pa., and Philadelphia. In the West, business is brisk in Northern California and the Pacific Northwest.

Here are the top 10 best performing housing markets, according to Forbes magazine, their third quarter median home sale prices, and the percentage that prices have risen compared to third quarter 2006.

Salt Lake City - median home sales price: $246,700; Percent change: 14.1%

Charlotte, N.C. — $220,000, 11%

San Jose, Calif. — $852,500, 9.4%

San Francisco — $825,400, 8.6%

Raleigh, N.C. — $229,500, 7.5%

Austin — $188,200, 7.2%

Pittsburgh — $127,700, 6.1%

Seattle — $394,700, 6%

San Antonio — $154,700, 5.7%

Portland, Ore. — $299,700, 5.2%

source: Forbes, Matt Woolsey (11/21/07)

Fellow Bloggers; Please note that forbes indicated the the entire Pacific Norwest was a still a strong Market. That includes Eugene, Springfield and all of Lane County. We are one of the few still rising markets (albeit a slow gradual gain, a gain none the less!) -- Sally Jo Wickham

How is My Interest Rate Determined?

Guest Blogger Jeffrey Nunley co-writes this article with David Muti

Why did my friend get a lower Interest rate than I did?

As mortgage planners that work with clients from all walks of life, we are often asked "why did my friend get a lower rate?" In fact, I was just asked the question by a repeat client of mine last week. We always try and explain why this might be. The usual answer is that they are comparing apples to oranges. In that particular circumstance my client was mistaken about the type of mortgage her friend had and upon questioning she understood the difference. My Client (who just purchased her new home) was recently separated, had no job, never worked and could not prove her alimony as it was not yet part of a property settlement agreement. We were able to accomplish this using a "no documentation-jumbo" program. her friend was gainfully employed and was able to verify her earnings as well as her assets.

How your rate is determined is much more complex than the "type of mortgage you have.

Click here to read the rest of this Article:

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Broke? 5 ways to turn your finances around

Yes, it is possible to take total financial control even when you're in the worst economic straits. Here's how the Women in Red are taking charge of their financial lives.
By Mp Dunleavey

1. Get to know your money
Being good with money doesn't require a Ph.D. in physics. But you do have to get a certain amount of good, basic personal finance knowledge under your belt to recover from past mistakes, ditch bad money habits and make real financial progress.
2. Get to know your financial self
One of the hardest tasks in taking financial control has nothing to do with money but with getting to know yourself financially.
This is one of the primary goals for women who join the ranks of the Women in Red. You can't fix those numbers until you have some idea of where your weak spots lurk, what your financial demons look like, and how and why they manage to trip you up.
3. Slash expenses
Sometimes you need to take a meat cleaver to your expenses, as new Women in Red member Jane has discovered.
4. Save, save, save
Few people recognize that saving doesn't just mean having an account. It's a habit you have to teach yourself, starting with dimes, nickels and quarters, if that's all that's possible.
The routine of saving is more important than the amount saved. This saving is separate from retirement. It's the financial cushion that helps you keep an even keel.
5. Be brave
Above all, what many of the Women in Red learn as they change their financial lives is that it's a "no guts, no glory" scenario.
Does it take time (and sometimes feeling like a fool) to read and learn and ask basic questions in order to find the answers you need? Yes.
Is it painful to examine your past mistakes and be humble enough to learn from them? You bet.
Is it tough to reorganize your priorities so you can live on what you make? Of course.
These steps are hard for everyone, but they can feel nearly impossible when you have so little money to start with, when you're behind on the bills, and no matter how hard you yank those two ends they never seem to meet.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Faced with foreclosure?? Consider this:

Housing experts say people faced with possible foreclosure, or a big upward reset in what they owe on an ARM, might consider this advice:

Know the value of your home. Selling probably isn't your first choice, but it's important to know whether the house could be sold for enough to pay off the loan, plus closing costs. Ask a real-estate agent for a free estimate, while mentioning that you have no immediate plans to put the house on the market. Also check out, an online real-estate information Web site that provides home-value estimates.

Consider refinancing. If your credit is poor, refinancing may not be possible or will carry big fees, but if a deal sounds good, get an estimate in writing. You can consider whether the offer is worthwhile by using an online calculator such as Financial Calculators (look under "Home & Mortgage").

Talk to your lender. Troubled homeowners may want to run and hide, and lenders may seem unresponsive, but "the longer you wait, the fewer options you have for a workout," says Ren Essene of Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. Keep records of when you called and whom you talked to.

Seek a loan-modification deal. If you're heading into default, ask to speak with someone in your mortgage lender's "loss mitigation" department. This individual generally has the authority to set new terms for your loan to avoid foreclosure. "Lenders will often ask for good-faith money toward a modification," so hoard cash if you can, says Michele Rodriguez Taylor of NTIC.

Get help. Some nonprofit groups can serve as a go-between with the lender or can offer advice about your options. A nationwide HOPE Hotline (888-995-4673), run by the Homeownership Preservation Foundation, offers counseling. Through the group Neighborworks, it provides referrals to local organizations that can act on your behalf. Some states have set up rescue funds for homeowners. The federal Department of Housing and Urban Development offers links to community groups, among other aids, on its Web site.

Beware of "rescue" scams. If someone calls out of the blue and offers to repay your loan if you sign the deed to them or asks for lots of money to help you stay in your home, hang up.
Selling may be best. "Consumers will do everything to keep their home, even if it's irrational," Essene says. Some refinance multiple times, draining their equity in the home, and still can't afford to keep it. They would have been better off selling sooner, she says.

Choose the lesser of evils. Foreclosure is generally the worst outcome for homeowners, blackening their creditworthiness for years to come. For families on the brink, some alternatives include a "deed in lieu of foreclosure" transfer of ownership to the lender. In other cases, the lender may let you sell the home for a value that won't fully pay off the loan.

Amid these troubles, it's important to keep the challenge in perspective. The current housing market, financial experts say, is tough for just about everyone.

"It's become tighter across the board" for borrowers, says Celia Chen, who tracks housing issues at Moody's in West Chester, Pa. "There are few subprime loans being written. [But] for someone who has built up equity and is a prime borrower, they'll still be able to refinance."

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Home Prices Still Rising in Some Markets

Home prices have risen in five major markets, while continuing to fall in the rest of the country, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller home price index for August, released Tuesday.

The largest price declines are in rust belt cities, although Tampa came out as the big loser as speculators abandoned properties.

“The fall in home prices is showing no real signs of a slowdown or turnaround," says Robert J. Shiller, co-creator of the index and chief economist for MacroMarkets LLC.

The Case-Shiller indexes track multiple sales of the same homes in an attempt to screen out price differences caused by shifts in the size and type of houses being sold. Some housing economists consider these indexes the best gauge of national and metro real-estate values.

Here are the changes in the August price level from a year earlier for single-family homes.

5 Cities Where Prices Rose
Seattle: 5.7
Charlotte: 5.6
Portland: 2.8
Atlanta: 0.8
Dallas: 0.5

15 Cities Where Prices Fell
Tampa: -10.1
Detroit: -9.3
San Diego: -8.3
Phoenix: -8.0
Miami: -7.8
Las Vegas: -7.6
Washington, D.C.: -7.2
Los Angeles: -5.7
San Francisco: -4.2
Cleveland: -4.1
Minneapolis: -4.0
New York: -3.8
Boston: -3.6
Chicago: -1.3
Denver: -0.4

Source: The Wall Street Journal, Rex Nutting, and S&P Case-Shiller Index (10/31/07)

What does this mean in the Eugene Market? Well we wrote a blog back in October that showed our local market was still averaging at least a 5% appreciation for this year. Check it out at: Oregon Market Still Appreciating. Guess what we are in the rising markets!!

Steve & Sally Jo Wickham


Guest Blogger Terry Johnson, of OMT Mortgage writes.....

In the early 1970's the then Governor of Ore. Tom McCall created the LCDC (Land Conservation and Development Commission). City growth had to fit within a County and State plan. The Municipalities were required to create an urban growth boundary that allowed for planned growth for 20 years.

The UGB here was an area circling Eugene & Springfield called "The Metro Plan". Originally it was a large area, and as growth filled it up, it was also to grow to retain a 20 year supply of land.

Then some local anti-growth politicians (read Eugene) hijacked it and imposed their vision for the future. That vision is an inflexible boundary that becomes denser and denser as time goes by. Allowable lot sizes were reduced to 4500 sq. ft. Streets became narrower.

There was a newspaper (guess which one) with an article a couple of years ago that predicted new neighborhoods built at a density of 20 homes per acre. (It was around 6).

It is happening. You've seen it.

Land is becoming scarcer and prices are skyrocketing, taking new home prices with it. New houses are being crammed into every nook and cranny almost on top of each other.

This is NOT because of greedy developers. Springfield planners have long wanted to allow the boundaries to grow, but they have been dominated and restricted by Eugene, because it is one Metro Plan.


Senate Bill 3337 has passed into law!

Eugene and Springfield are now separated. This is monumental for the area. The stranglehold that some Eugene politicians have had on growth is broken. The Bill requires each city to create their independent 20 year plan within 2 years. Springfield has theirs already a year in planning.

Some Eugene politicians say that they don't interpret it that way, and don't intend to do anything until FORCED to. (Duh!-what a surprise).

I’ll keep you posted.
November 1, 2007 10:56 AM

How To Make a Comment on the Blog

I have noticed that some people are having trouble commenting on the blog. Well Here is a step-by-step instruction on how to add a comment.

1- This blog does not allow anonymous blogging. It is sponsered by Google so the very first thing you need (assuming you have a computer because you are able to read this) is a gmail account (Google email account). It is quick, easy and FREE! All you have to do is go to . Once at google mail you will be given step by step instructions to complete your Free gmail Account.
2- After that all you have to do is go to the blog, click on the comments Link below (the # will change depending on how many comments there are)
3- Type your comments in the box under the label "Leave Your Comments"
4- you will be asked at this point to sign into your google account. If you do not have a google account it will say "No Google Account? Sign up here". You can also use your goggle blogger account if you have one. when you have them, input your gmail or blogger user name and password in the boxes provided.
5- Your comment is not posted until you press the "PUBLISH YOUR COMMENT" button. you can choose to preview your comment before you publish your comment by pressing the "PREVIEW" button.

We look Forward to your many Comments. :-)

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Need To Get A Good Foreclosure Deal?

In the market lately, foreclosure rates have been spiking and brewing up a hot market for investors and buyers. To get the best deal possible you should follow these 5 simple steps.

1) Timing is everything, meaning when the borrowers are in their grace period of paying back the amount they owe this is the best time to strike up a deal.

2) Look in the right places, online services, such as RealtyTrac provide national information on foreclosures, broken down into such categories as bank-owned, auction, and pre-foreclosure. The Hudson & Marshall Web site has auction schedules and even lets you make bids online.

3) Know when to walk away, meaning check the property, make sure its not vandalized, plumbing work, any other problems?

4) Do your research. Before buying a foreclosed property, your clients should have the home appraised to get an accurate estimate of value.

5) Buckle your seatbelt. Foreclosure deals often move fast and require constant monitoring as properties wind their way through the process.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Doom and Gloom?

Terry Johnson, from OMT Mortgage, thinks that people who see nothing but gloom and doom when looking at the real estate market arent looking at the market correctly. Our local market is solid. Values continue to rise at around 6.5% a year. There certainly is a segment of buyers that could have qualified for a sub-prime loan a year ago, but can’t buy a home today. If you have poor credit history and too much debt, you probably won’t be buying a house until you fix that. Contact a good loan officer for advice. Here’s how the mortgage system works (simplified): Banks loan out money and take back mortgages. If they kept it up, the vaults would be full of mortgages, and they would be out of money. So banks package up and sell mortgages on the “secondary mortgage market”. That secondary market is in a real slump. Foreclosures have left too many investors holding the bag on those mortgages they had invested in, so they have shied away from mortgage backed securities with their investment money. That’s left the banking industry short on cash for new mortgages

Monday, October 29, 2007

Fed Rate Cuts Do Not Equal Lower Mortage Rates

Guest blogger of Evergreen Mortage contributes the following.....

Today’s article is a re-post of an older article about the last round of FED rate cuts. YES!, we probably all forgot that the FED has cut rates in the past given the 15 upward moves of the last few years but it did indeed happen before. This article, by one of the best in the business Barry Habib, does a great job of explaining this often confusing conundrum.

All my best,
Jeffrey Nunley
Fed Rate Cuts Do Not Equal Lower Mortage Rates
By Barry Habib contributing editor to

So the Federal Reserve cut rates again. Many mortgage applicants are calling their mortgage representative and expecting a lower interest rate. Others who have been waiting to refinance are puzzled as to why mortgage rates have not moved lower during recent 5 Fed rate cuts. In fact mortgage rates are now higher than they were before the Fed began cutting rates by in January. This is difficult to explain to many consumers who have watched a 2.5% reduction by the Fed with no benefit in mortgage rates.
Is a Fed rate cut really good news for mortgage rates? The facts may be surprising. The Fed can only control the Discount Rate and the Fed Funds Rate. This is very different from mortgage rates. A mortgage rate can be in effect for 30-years, a rate that is set by the Fed can change from one day to another.
Another common mistake is in thinking that 30-year Treasury bonds or 10-year Treasury notes are directly pegged to mortgage rates.
Those are government securities that are backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government and have no direct effect on mortgage rates.
So what are mortgage rates based on? As it turns out the answer is mortgage-backed bonds known as Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS). Bonds issued by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (MBS) and the trading performance of those bonds will determine the direction of mortgage rates. Finding the catalyst that causes mortgage bonds to move will give you the keys to finding out what makes mortgage rates rise or fall.
We know that inflation will always be a negative for any long-term bond because it eats away at the future returns. Since the bond will pay a set amount over a long period of time, that amount will be less valuable if inflation is high. Over the past several years, one catalyst that seems to be working in the opposite direction of MBS prices is the Nasdaq and broader stock market.
As bond prices rise, interest rates fall. As bond prices fall, interest rates rise. The charts accompanying this article show the Nasdaq Composite Index and the Fannie Mae 6.5% mortgage bond tend to follow paths that are almost mirror images of each other. The consistency of this behavior is astounding.
As the Nasdaq moves higher, bond prices move lower causing interest rates to rise. As the Nasdaq declines, mortgage bonds benefit, causing mortgage rates to fall. Additionally, and unlike common opinion, Fed rate cuts have had virtually no direct effect on mortgage rates. Moreover, it appears that since Fed rate cuts act to stimulate the Nasdaq, they have a negative effect on mortgage rates.
The bottom line is that it appears mortgage rates will get better if the Nasdaq sells off and will get worse if the Nasdaq rallies. So it is not necessarily what the Fed does that affects mortgage rates, it's how the Nasdaq and broader stock market interprets the Fed's action that will ultimately influence the direction of mortgage rates. This is because money managers and mutual fund companies typically keep funds in either stocks or bonds with very little in cash. If stocks are in favor, money is pulled from bonds, causing bond prices to drop and interest rates to rise. When stocks are being sold off, the money is then parked into bonds, which improves bond prices and causes interest rates to decline.
On the chart of the Nasdaq Composite Index above, notice how the price movement higher on the Nasdaq seems to correlate to mortgage bond price deterioration (shown below) and vice versa. Once again, lower bond prices translate to higher mortgage rates and higher mortgage bond prices mean lower mortgage rates.
The chart below shows how the Fannie Mae 6.5% mortgage bond has performed during the same time period. The green circles indicate Fed rate cuts and the area circled in red shows when the Fed hiked rates.
A closer look at the 5 rate cuts by the Fed this year (see chart below) shows that mortgage bond prices deteriorated after each Fed rate cut. This means that mortgage rates rose after the Fed had cut rates while many consumers were expecting their mortgage rates to decline. Worse yet are the consumers who missed the opportunity to obtain a lower rate because they mistakenly waited for the anticipated Fed action to cut short-term rates, thinking that longer-term mortgage rates would decline as a result.
Predicting the future is tough, so nothing is written in stone. Keep an eye on the Nasdaq, and keep in mind that the best rates may be behind us. But, mortgage rates are still low and could have some quick dips so make the most of them while they last.

6 Common Housing Problems that Spook Buyers

Potential home buyers with lots of homes to choose from can be easily spooked by disclosures and the results of property inspections — even when the shortcomings are typical for homes of a certain age.In a jittery market such as this one, it’s critical to give buyers tools and knowledge so they can decide which problems are serious.Judi Seip, an associate with Coldwell Banker in Southern California, tells her clients to accompany the inspector so they can put the problems in perspective. Anything a handyman or an electrician could fix in a few hours isn’t worth worrying about, she says.
Here are six common issues that trouble buyers and some factors to weigh:
1. Water damage. Evidence of water damage frightens buyers, but all water damage isn’t serious. Minor leaks generally cost no more than a few hundred to repair. Get an estimate.
2. Missing permits. Ask the home inspector if the work was done well and meets code requirements, even though a permit wasn’t issued.
3. Code violations. How expensive is the repair? Ungrounded electrical outlets are common in old houses and easily fixed.
4. Cracks in the garage floor. Ask the inspector whether these cracks suggest other related problems. Generally these don’t affect the structure of a home.
5. Termites. Termites and termite damage are very common in many parts of the country. It’s important to get rid of them and to get a clear sense of how bad the damage is.
6. Foundation cracks and other foundation issues. Older homes often have cracks in the foundation. Get an expert to inspect the problem and estimate — what if anything — needs to be done.

Source: The Mercury News, Margaret Steen (10/19/07)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Doom and Gloom

Our guest blogger Terry Johnson contributes the following...


I don’t know about you, but I’m sick & tired of people who see nothing but DOOM and GLOOM all around us. I remember when interest rates were 20%. Property values falling? In the 1950’s, $10,000 bought a nice ranch style house with a barn and a few acres. Today a $10,000 home would be someone sleeping in a used car. Is real estate a great long term investment or what?
The foreclosure rate in many areas of the country (like Oregon) is low. In other areas where declining home values are coupled with a higher percentage of adjustable rate mortgages, the foreclosure picture is bad.
Our local market is solid. Values continue to rise at around 6.5% a year. There certainly is a segment of buyers that could have qualified for a sub-prime loan a year ago, but can’t buy a home today. If you have poor credit history and too much debt, you probably won’t be buying a house until you fix that. Contact a good loan officer for advice. If you could only qualify for a sub-prime adjustable rate mortgage 3 years ago, and have since followed your loan officers’ advice and reduced your debt and cleaned up your credit, you’re ready to re-fi out into a great fixed-rate loan. If you still have crummy credit and too much debt, you’ve got a problem. Sorry. (Really).
Today, with good credit and a steady job, you can get a 30-year fixed rate mortgage at a great interest rate, even with 100% financing. It wasn’t too many years ago that it took that kind of good buyer to be able to purchase a home. Period. Welcome to the past. With a segment of the banking industry imploding, the rest of it did a knee jerk reaction. Banks closed or withdrew programs daily. A year ago there were programs for buyers that had no money, bad credit, and were 1 day out of bankruptcy. That stuff is gone, maybe forever. That’s not a bad thing. Reasonable, less risky programs are starting to come back. I get 2 or 3 e-mails a week announcing the return of specific programs. I got a call yesterday from a well known wholesale bank. The Rep introduced himself as the regional manager of their new SUB PRIME division. I’ll be danged. So is there a crisis in the mortgage banking industry? Sure. Does it affect you directly? For 90% of you looking for a home, probably not. In fact, it is the reason rates are so good right now. It’s called a silver lining.
Here’s how the mortgage system works (simplified): Banks loan out money and take back mortgages. If they kept it up, the vaults would be full of mortgages, and they would be out of money. So banks package up and sell mortgages on the “secondary mortgage market”. That secondary market is in a real slump. Foreclosures have left too many investors holding the bag on those mortgages they had invested in, so they have shied away from mortgage backed securities with their investment money. That’s left the banking industry short on cash for new mortgages.
However, most borrowers who buy houses are not credit risks likely to be foreclosed on. But there is such bad press (daily) on the Doom and Gloom of the housing/mortgage industry, that it further erodes investor confidence in that secondary mortgage market. It does the same to you, our customers. The good things that are going on do not sell newspapers, or help sagging media ratings. So this constant negativity becomes a self – fulfilling prophecy. Daily reports of Doom and Gloom help create the very lack of confidence which leads to more Doom and Gloom. I actually see professionals use this fear as a marketing tool to scare customers into calling. That disturbs me. A lot. It does not help our industry or our market and actually adds to the problem. The glass is either half full or half empty, depending on one’s personal perspective. You don’t have to be naïve to see that it is half full.
I joined the real estate industry in this area in 1994. For years there averaged 2700 or so listings of all types in our MLS, with an average market time of around 75 days on market. Those years were GOOD market conditions. Hmmm. That’s about what it is today. Welcome to the past. Did I already say that?

Terry Johnson, OMT Mortgage 541-242-8083

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Credit Crisis Cripples Markets

Guest Blogger Jeff Nunley of Evergreen Mortgage Contributes the following......

The purpose of this communication is not to alarm you but to alert you to drastic and irreversible changes currently taking place in the mortgage market. If you or anyone else you know will need mortgage financing in the next 18 months, you need to read this!

Just last week, American Home Mortgage and its wholesale counterpart, American Brokers Conduit, became the latest casualties of the credit crisis. Last year, this company closed over $58 billion in home loans. Despite being, by all accounts, a well-run business, market conditions forced them to file for bankruptcy, leaving billions of dollars in loans in their pipeline unable to close. Tens of thousands of borrowers have now been left without financing as a result of companies like this going under.

Clearly, with over 100 national lenders having now closed shop in the last eight months, this is no longer simply a subprime lending issue. The credit market is experiencing unprecedented turmoil. According to Federal Reserve Chairman, Ben Bernanke, "Financial markets have been volatile in recent weeks, credit conditions have become tighter for some households and businesses, and the housing correction is ongoing."

What does this mean to consumers?

Potential borrowers cannot wait any longer. For those who are considering buying a home, be aware that the volatile credit market can change overnight, leaving fewer options available to borrowers attempting to qualify for a mortgage. This is even more true for those looking to refinance. With decreases in home values and fewer available mortgage instruments, delaying any longer could get significantly more expensive.

Borrowers with applications in process must not delay. Applicants should work with their mortgage professional to complete all paperwork quickly, especially on non-conforming, stated-income, and stated-asset loans. Even minor delays can result in funds being yanked at the closing table!

Sellers can no longer be reluctant to accept offers or reduce prices. Tightening credit and diminishing mortgage products will continue to reduce the pool of qualified buyers. This, along with the increase in national housing inventories, means now is not the time to hold out for the "best" price possible.

Buyers with credit issues or who have difficulty providing required documentation can no longer sit on the fence. If market conditions change, buyers who qualify for a loan today may not qualify a few weeks from now for the same exact loan. Just this week, many lenders have stopped offering No-Doc loans, and some lenders have even pulled back on all forms of stated loans. As market conditions continue to change, a buyer's pre-approval status can disappear even more quickly, delaying or spoiling the deal.

Subprime and Alt-A refi candidates, especially those with ARMs scheduled to reset over the next 12 months, need to act now - even those with a pre-payment penalty. ARMs borrowers struggling with monthly payments now might be shocked to know that monthly payments can double in some cases once an ARM resets.

What does this mean to you?

If you or someone you know has an ongoing real estate transaction, I would be glad to help. Please call me right away. As an educated mortgage professional, I will utilize my experience and resources to help you and your loved ones to navigate through these turbulent times. Don't leave your future in the hands of some random mortgage provider. I'm local, accountable, and you can trust that I'll do everything in my power to help you succeed.

Friday, October 19, 2007

10 LITTLE expenses that add up fast

Do you wonder where your money goes, especially if you're not a big spender? It's surprisingly easy to blow thousands, a few dollars at a time. It's easy to fritter away money on little daily expenses. If you fall into these money traps, learn to avoid them and pocket the savings.
Coffee: According to the National Coffee Association, the average price for a cup of brewed coffee is $1.38. There are roughly 260 weekdays per year, so buying one coffee every weekday morning costs almost $360 per year.
Cigarettes: The Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids reports that the average price for a pack of cigarettes in the United States is $4.54. Pack-a-day smokers fork out $1,650 a year. Weekend smoker? Buying a pack once a week adds up, too: $236.
Alcohol: Drink prices vary based on the location. But assuming an average of $5 per beer including tip, buying two beers per day adds up to $3,650 per year. Figure twice that for two mixed drinks a day at the local bar. That's not chump change.
Bottled water from convenience stores: A 20-ounce bottle of Aquafina bottled water costs about $1. One bottle of water per day costs $365 per year. It costs the environment plenty, too.
Manicures: The Day Spa Magazine Price Survey of 2004 found that the average cost of a manicure is $20.53. A weekly manicure sets you back about $1,068 per year.
Car washes: The average cost for a basic auto detailing package is $58, according to The tab for getting your car detailed every two months: $348 per year.
Weekday lunches out: $9 will generally cover a decent lunch most workdays. If you buy, rather than pack, a lunch five days a week for one year, you shell out about $2,340 a year.
Vending-machines snacks: The average vending machine snack costs $1. Buy a pack of cookies every afternoon at work and pay $260 per year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

In the NEWS: Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend

Construction of Sacred Heart Medical Center at RiverBend continues to move forward on budget and on time for an August 2008 opening. For more information on the hospital click here...

They Buy to Own- No Matter what the Media Says

One of every 16 Americans is buying a home this year...

A desire to own a home of their own and to establish a household is the most often sited reason for purchasing a home, according to preliminary results from NAR’s Profile of Home Buyers and Sellers. Thirty-three percent of all buyers, and a whopping 70 percent of first-time buyers, express this as their prime motivator in the 2007 report, scheduled for release in November. A job-related move, desire for a larger home, a change in family situation, desire for a home in a better area and a desire to be closer to family and friends are also high on the list of reasons for purchasing a home. Interestingly enough, taking advantage of perfect market conditions was not mentioned -- not this year, last year or...well... ever!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Mortgage Spam....home owners beware!!

According to the National Mortgage Complaint Center, home owners who who plan to finance or refinance their homes should steer clear from any mortgage services or referral services that are televised on tv or even the internet. The hook they usually use is "it gets rid of your debt or credit card bills," but in reality they end up gouging you and over charging you, there have been instances where a "competitive lender" is under investigations by numerous state attorney general's for gouging consumers. Thomas Martin, the pres. of the national mortgage complaint center, says this could be the biggest case of fraud in US History. The best solution is to "keep it local, deal with people you know, or deal with companies that have been around for a while".

Friday, October 12, 2007

Are Open Houses Passé?

According to the National Association of Realtors, 80% of home buyers last year started their search on the Internet, up from only 2% in 1995. But 42% of buyers also went to open houses as part of their search process.
For buyers, open houses offer an opportunity to see properties in person and get a feel for the market without the pressure of working with a real estate agent. For sellers, just the act of scheduling the first open house can jump-start an effort to get a property market-ready by ridding the house of clutter and attending to small repairs.
The Internet, and the opportunity it gives buyers to get detailed information about properties through virtual tours, and even detailed floor plans online, may make the open house less relevant.
Some contend that “real buyers” call and make appointments to see properties, and open houses usually attract only the curious and unserious.
With a home purchase being one of the most important investments in a person’s lifetime most people still want to get out there and kick the tires. They may do preliminary research on the internet but may want to interview possible Buyer/Seller’s agents, as well as physically walk through some properties and get the lay of the land. An open house gives the serious Buyer the opportunity to do all of the above.

Recent changes and rulings for FHA Loans

HUD has eliminated the use of the DPA (Down Payment Assistance) programs like AmeriDream, Nehemiah and These programs allowed the seller to give the money for the down payment to a third party “charity” that would in turn gift the money to the buyer. HUD is no longer going to accept these programs as an acceptable source of gift funds for down payment.

Also affected is the use of FHA and Oregon Bond with Cash Advatage. You may no longer use the Cash Advantage for down payment on FHA Oregon Bond loans only (conventional Bond still OK). HUD recently issued a ruling that prohibits use of such programs as AmeriDream, Nehemiah, etc. and included reference to other cash assistance that is from an “interested” third party or other entity. This regulation will be effective October 31, 2007 and will not affect any loans in the pipeline scheduled to close before that date.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Quote Of The Day

If you have an apartment for rent, advertise the geek appeal as well as the curb appeal. More and more often renters want a wireless community just as much as they want a garden community, according to the National Multi Housing Council (NMHC) survey of 1,000 renters, "Apartment Renter Technology Survey".


This week there will be 4 Open Houses Sunday 14Oct2007!

The First House is from 1:30-3:30 in Thurston. for more information Click on this link:

The second house will be the luxurious house on Richardson.
1-3:30pm. You can find out about it here

The third house will be the biggest bargain of the bunch located on Rollie Loop. 2:30-4:30pm. You can find out more about it here

or go to for more information.

The Fourth house is a close in country property with acreage. 1-4pm. You can find out more about it here:
for more information.
All four Open houses should be fun so bring your friends, bring your families, and even bring your neighbors!

Monday, October 1, 2007

Top 25 Appreciating US Markets

Oregon Market Still Appreciating

In a city where all you see are trees and college students. Eugene has erupted in growth more in the last few years then in the previous twenty. The community has attracted new business and jobs. But like the rest of Oregon the market has slowed. The current median price of a home in Eugene is about $206,000, up more then 50% within the past couple of years. Eugene is hypothesized to finish 2007 with an average of 5.2% in appreciation. According to RMLS of Oregon, Portland is among the top ten appreciating US markets. Oregon was once one of the weakest economic state in the west coast but the economic status has increased drastically due to the new business and new employers. Many of the new residents have been drawn to the lower cost of living, lower priced homes, and high employment rate. But now the price of homes are also changing.

Quote of the Day

Apartment demand has increased for the following reasons:
Apartments being purchased by condominium-converters are taking units offline
Increased immigration and job growth
Cost of construction for new units has increased, limiting the growth of new apartment construction to about 2000 units for 2007
Land seems to be available but at a high cost exceeding the $15,000 to $20,000 per unit that apartment developers might consider

Market Update For The Week Of September 27th to October 1st

This week in the Market Update,, we find that the mortgage rates are up for the third straight week. "McLEAN, VA -- Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 6.42 percent with an average 0.5 point for the week ending September 27, 2007, up from last week when it averaged 6.34 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 6.31 percent. "
On a lighter note we see that the popularity of outdoor living spaces sky-rocket. '"Outdoor living is no longer a noun. It's a verb," says Susan McCoy, president of the Garden Media Group.' Entertaining people outside is always a plus, If you have the lawn to do it in. If you are in the market for a spacious entertaining area you should check out!
Now we move on to the more pressing matters. 10 Ways To Buy Better In A Down Market.
It basically gives you a run down on what to do to improve your odds. For example you shouldn't buy the first bargain you see, tip number seven, or how about "be aware that no one knows what the future will bring. As they say on Wall Street, past performance does not guarantee future results." tip number ten. You should really take a look at this if you plan to buy a house soon.

Thursday, September 27, 2007


The Himalayan Health Secret

Did you know that in some remote places in this world, a life expectancy of more than 100 years is not uncommon? Not only do people in these remote regions live long lives, they also enjoy abundant health and happiness.What factors have contributed to their great fortune? These centenarians often live in isolated places. Away from the harmful influences of modern civilisation. Their diet contains fresh fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and is low in animal fats.

During the Tang Dynasty (around 800 AD), a well had been dug beside a wall near a famous Buddhist temple that was covered with goji vines. Over the years, countless berries had fallen into the well. Those who prayed there had the ruddy complexion of good health, and even at the age of eighty they had no white hair and had lost no teeth, simply because they drank the water from the well.

Research strongly suggests that Goji’s four unique polysaccharides work in the body by serving as directors and carriers of the instructions that cells use to communicate with each other. In this way, it can be said that these polysaccharides are "Master Molecules" by virtue of their ability to promote optimal health throughout the body. In the goji berry, polysaccharide levels can vary widely depending upon where and when the berry is grown, and that may explain why some berries are said to be more beneficial than others.

Rollie Loop

South West Eugene Craftsman!
New Custom craftsman. Tile entry into kitchen with hickory cabinets & granite countertops. Hickory floors in great-room, formal dining room, & upstairs landing. Cultured marble & tile in bathrooms. Central vac, gas fireplace, wired for surround & computer. Walk-in closets in all bedrooms! Landscaped & fenced, underground sprinklers. Great Views. Owner carry 2nd terms available. And with a SqFt of 3100, it makes the price $148 per SqFt.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Quote Of The Day

When is it a good time to buy a home? It's a good time to buy when your finances, planning, goals and lifestyle mesh with the financial responsibilities required for homeownership.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Junction City Events and Activities

For more information call Jean Fogden - 998-2 391

FALL GARAGE SALE First Christian Church -12th & NyssaDonations of saleable household goods will be accepted for the sale on Thursday, October 25th, 9AM-6PM at the church. We will accept clean, working appliances with a $5.00 disposal deposit. No sofa beds or used paint will be accepted. Proceeds from the sale go to help construct homes for families in need in Junction City, Harrisburg and Monroe. For more information on how you can help, or for time and location of donation drop offs, please call 998-9548 or visit our website. Contact Person after October 1st will be Lois Munson 998-8565


Beautiful Contemporary Craftsman Country Home Located In Junction City. Features a great room living room & kitchen. Separate formal dining room. Cambria countertops, hickory & tile floors. Breakfast bar & bay window eating area nook in kitchen. Wrap around covered porch with great sunset views! In a country subdivision of newer upscale homes, each on at least one acre. Price Reduced $10,000!

Feel free to get more information at

Quote of the day

According to Mayer, the top five hottest market growth areas are:
- Green building and design
- Assisted living centers
- Hospital expansions, education campus additions
- Mixed-use developments
- Urban revitalization.