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Creekside Mortgage is donating $1,000 to Special Operations Warrior Foundation.  We have been working with them over the last year, and give $100 for every VA purchase in the state of Washington & Idaho.  This money provides full scholarships for children of fallen Veterans.  Thank you to everyone for helping make this happen.

Kerry N. Greenwald  

NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

We had an information meeting today with the U.S. Coast Guard Sector Columbia River, District 13, located on Swan Island. We had a meet and greet with about 15 Coast Guard members. We went over the advantages and benefits of using your VA loan. Mike Frakes and myself spent time discussing the mortgage loan aspects, and Stephen Granmo talked about the real estate side. Sean Mele  from First American Title discussed title aspect of the loan process. It was very educational and a great time spend with the Coast Guard Sector Columbia River. We look forward to future opportunities to continue to educate any members of Coast Guard, Navy, or Marines from these units on the benefits of using their VA 100% financing in the Portland area.

Kerry N. Greenwald  

  NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

www.OregonVALoan.com

The Clark County Assessor is seeking to shorten the appeal period for homeowners. It is currently 60 days, and they are going to shorten it to a 30-day limit, which has some concerned about  why they would be making that change. In my opinion it is due to the number of people appealing, based on what they could sell their house for versus what it was assessed for. They are trying to hold hearings to see if this is something they are going to want to do, or keep it at the 60-day period.  If you do get a notice, you want to turn it in as quickly as possible if you disagree with the assessment. You should always contest it to make sure the numbers are accurate in your favor.

Kerry N. Greenwald  

NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

 

Recent Clark County WA statistics on rental units is at a 5-year high, meaning that occupancy in apartments, duplexes, and rental houses is right around 4% availability. This statistic shows that in the very near future, the costs to rent housing will increase based on supply and demand. All the more reason at this point and this time based on interest rates to purchase a home versus renting. Statistics in Clark County WA can show that costs of renting could increase by as much as 10-30% in the next 18 months based on those facts of supply and demand. So anytime you use those statistics of rent versus buy, buying always beats out renting over the long term, based on where current rates are, and economic factors driving that--worldwide economic factors, oil, the stock market, and now the fact that rates continue to drop as they have been in the last couple weeks. All those things put together shows that there is no better time to buy, especially VA in Clark County at 100% financing with seller paying all closing costs. Prices on houses continue to have dropped over the last 6 months. A perfect situation for purchasing is here. This window of opportunity will most likely close in the near future, as rates should continue to increase when instability shows in the markets. However, based on supply and demand, rent will go up in Clark County WA. It is inevitable. It has every time the occupancy is at these high points.

Kerry N. Greenwald  

NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

www.OregonVALoan.com

 

 

 

The dominance of short sales in Vancouver is becoming overwhelming. In conversations I have had with Robin Conrad ,our local VA realtor in Vancouver, he says that more than 60-70% of all transactions are short sales, which means that many buyers are waiting anywhere from 3 to 6 months to get bank clearance for their transaction to go through. A lot of people in Vancouver ask why it takes so long for a bank to decide if they can accept the offered price. The only information we have been able to find on why it takes so long for banks to consider offers is that they don’t want to take the loss on the house to show on their books that as a company, the bank is taking tremendous losses. Most larger banks want to cycle losses in slowly, so their books don’t show overwhelming losses per quarter. If they trickle the short sales into their equation, it shows mediocre losses per quarter, rather than one huge flood of losses. This is why the short sale process takes so long. The reality of short sales is that less than 10% of them ever actually close, meaning that you as the consumer can’t or won’t wait six months, and typically walk away from the transaction, or the bank holds out and waits for someone to come along and give a higher offer than what you are willing to pay for the house. A lot of times if there is a second lienholder involved in the transaction, one bank will agree to sign off on it, and the second will verbally sign off on it, but it gets to the closing table and the bank changes their mind and wants more money. The buyer in that predicament has to either come up with more funds to close on it, or walk away from the deal. This happens an overwhelming number of times. It is always crucial to ask your agent if there are two banks involved that have to sign off, and never under any circumstances, ever accept a verbal agreement from a second bank. Make sure you always get their acceptance in writing. Numerous times when we have had the verbal acceptance, we get to closing, especially in Vancouver, and the bank comes back and says they want $5,000 or $10,000 more to accept this, and the first always says no, and an entire transaction has crashed, so always be aware of that.

 

Kerry N. Greenwald  

NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

www.OregonVALoan.com

Tri Cities, WA continues to lead the nation in most desired places to live. Positive information came out showing that with the low unemployment rates, growth in the cities, taxes, all other factors involved, Tri Cities ranks #1 nationally as the desired place to live. It is one of the only places in the United States that shows positive values on properties. While most areas in the State of Washington and nationwide have continued to drop, Tri Cities--Pasco WA, Kennewick WA, and Richland, WA--have all shown positive numbers, which are unheard of nationwide. All factors considered, this trend seems like it will continue through 2011 and beyond, based on low unemployment numbers and other contributing factors.. Tri Cities is a desired place to move and live. Keep it up, Tri Cities. Keep leading the way out of this economic downturn.

 

 Kerry N. Greenwald  

  NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

www.OregonVALoan.com

Many people in Cowlitz County WA area, including Kelso WA, Longview WA, and Castle Rock WA, held off on refinancing their homes during the last reduction in interest rates. Seize this second opportunity, as the window is open again to potentially refinance while you still have equity in your house, and while rates have again dropped to a low point. Your could secure your interest rate at a lower point for the next 15-30 years. A lot of times if you have been in your loan 10 or 15 years and you don’t want to start over with a 30 year loan, you can get into a 15-year fixed loan while paying your house off in a shorter time period, and keeping your monthly payments relatively the same as they are now due to the drastic differences in 15- year and 30- year interest rates. Changing from a 30-year to a 15-year could save you 2.5% or more percentage points on your loan. We were fortunate to see these low rates once again, caused by worldwide events like gas prices, the stock market, the Middle East, Japan, and other factors continuing to keep rates at an all-time low. No one knows how long this could last. This might be that second opportunity before the government is forced to raise rates based on a lack of influx of money because of how large the national debt is.You should definitely take advantage of this secondary window opening up, especially in Cowlitz County WA.

Kerry N. Greenwald  

 

 

 NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

www.OregonVALoan.com

Mr. Dennis Jolley, a Battle Ground, Washington resident, whose Army National Guard unit recently came back from Afghanistan, just bought a house, and here’s an article as it was written in the Oregonian about Mr. Jolley:  He took advantage of the $8,000 tax credit extension for members of the military who were serving overseas when the credit was offered to other citizens. We want to take this time to thank these individuals for the time they spent over in the Middle East and every member who has been overseas. We welcome them back, are glad for their safe travels, and hope their transitions back into life here are smooth. Thanks for everything 204th Engineer Company!

Kerry N. Greenwald 

 NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

www.OregonVALoan.com

Pat Johnston, realtor with RE/MAX Elite properties in Boise, ID, just got back from a trip to Israel. She said it was FABULOUS....even more than she expected it to be!  They saw all of Israel top to bottom and everything in between!  Pat wrote about her experience: “Going into Jordon was sooo cool!  We had a Jordon military officer with an owwsee accompanying us on the tour buss to Petra. I never realized it would be so beautiful there.  Orange trees, banana trees, olive, mango, almond - even the desert was gorgeous!  I pictured it flat and blowing sand, but no, it was mountainous with deep canyons etc. We stayed on the Mediterranean, the Sea of Galilee, the Red Sea and the Dead Sea. If you get the chance to go DO IT!! Tourism is HUGE and they take extremely good care of all tourists!

 

Kerry N. Greenwald 

 NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

208.424.6770

www.VALoan Boise.com

The Changes in the mortgage industry on April 1, 2011 are going to be overwhelming. It is going to be the good, the bad, and the ugly. But overall, I do see the positive aspects in the changes that will happen on that day. The biggest thing is that everyone is going to have to do it. Where rules and laws in the past have subjected only limited amounts of the industry, at least what can be seen so far of these changes should  affect everyone in the industry.

 There are aspects of the April 1 Frank Dodd Act that I feel will be good in the long run. A lot of people argue with the Safe Harbor Act portion, which states that it is our duty and our job to put the individual in the loan or the best option for them. There are a lot of people who say that hindsight is 20/20 when you look after the fact, for example, If certain individuals who took out a 7-year ARM and then decided to stay in the house longer than seven years, which they had not originally intended when they first moved, their situation appears worse than if they had sold as originally planned…or if they did a 30-year FHA loan when possibly they should have done a different type of loan to fit their needs.

In my industry, what I see in the bill is positive. Everyday I come across people who are Veterans, that in some cases have service-connected disability benefits, and they are pushed in or roped into a loan that does not fit their needs. From my perspective, that should never happen again. If you do have your VA eligibility, and in some cases have disability through the VA, there is no reason and hopefully no time in the future that anyone will ever do a non-VA loan for you. So some parts of the bill I can see as benefits.

Most of the changes, however, will be in accounting and pay structures. The intent of this bill was  to have the consumer have  less in cost, but I don’t think that will be successful. For example, right now, a year plus into the effects of the changes in RESPA that were instituted back in January 1, 2010, you can see that the individual borrower is actually paying more in cost than what they were prior to that event due to bank logistics and the individual companies involved that have to offset their expense to facilitate the law. I feel the same thing is going to happen on April 1. While the intent of the law is to lower the cost to the consumer and enable them to make more free choices, actually, in the end, it’s going to make it more expensive for them because businesses pass that expense on to the consumer. That is the one negative that will come out of this bill. Overcharging is still going to exist. It is not going to go away. It is going to be a shell game on how banks or how brokerages or how mortgage bankers will pay the individual loan officers. That’s just my opinion on what the law is going to effect, and I look forward to that date to find out exactly what is going to happen.

Kerry N. Greenwald 

NMLS # 70269

Sr. VA  Loan Specialist

Creekside Mortgage Inc.

360.571.LOAN (5626)

www.VALoanWA.com

www.OregonVALoan.com

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