Home owners #1 complaint – should have bought bigger home

We continue to buy ever larger homes, now average 2700 SqFt (up 1,000 from 1973).  41% of renters wish they’d bought.  Full details here.

Posted on July 19, 2017 at 11:25 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Mortgage, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,

Triple your down payment money – free !

I just learned of a new down payment match offer from Guild Mortgage, the largest local mortgage lender in the NW.  It’s really simple: you put up 1% of the purchase price of a home and Guild makes a grant of 2% so you qualify for a conventional 3% down payment mortgage.  Yes, you just tripled your money.  You can buy a $350,000 home with only $3,500 of your money down (plus closing costs).  You could buy a nice $100,000 condo with $1,000 down.  There’s even more good news in the fine print in the detail flyer my preferred lender, Kelly Parkman at Guild, gave me today

2% Down Payment Grant

And here’s a short video of Kelly himself explaining it.  We’ve worked together for five years and I’ve never seen him so excited.  

Contact Kelly at 503/528-9800  or KParkman@GuildMortgage.net or contact me and I’ll help, too  

 

 

Posted on June 6, 2017 at 3:58 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Mortgage, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

First time buyer? Ask me about a no-down payment mortgage.

Posted on May 31, 2017 at 2:41 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , ,

We just got approved for a mortgage, now we can buy the new car! NOooooo !!

ALL lenders have the right to do a second credit check (and confirm employment, etc) just before funding.  If you buy the new car after approval (or run up your credit card balance, or anything else that raises your monthly payments) you have changed your debt to income ratio.  iStock_000009005766XSmallAn acceptable ratio was one of the factors in the approval for your mortgage and if you change it by adding debt you may put yourself above the lender's limit and nullify your mortgage approval.

The safest course is to NOT take on ANY new debt after approval but before closing.  Don't buy a car, a timeshare or anything that would affect your debt to income ratio.  You've waited this long, stifle the urge buy whatever it is for another few days.  After closing, you're on your own, but don't risk your purchase by buying something now.  

Any good lender will tell you the same (but you may not have been listening).  If you'd like an introduction to a top-drawer lender who's been delighting my clients for years, let me know.

Posted on March 31, 2016 at 10:22 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , ,

Is Oregon’s Economy Improving? Yes, and Here’s Why

At a Windermere meeting last week we heard Windermere's Chief Economist.  

Here's the takeaway in plain English: http://www.bizjournals.com/portland/blog/real-estate-daily/2016/02/is-the-economy-going-to-be-better-this-year-brian.html

Posted on February 11, 2016 at 2:28 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Home Selling, Portland Real Estate, Portland Real Estate Statistics | Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

What the color on your property tax bill means

Thanks to our friends at Penrith Mortgage:

 

PROPERTY TAX BILLS ARE COMING, PLEASE REMEMBER:

 

If the statement is green, the county thinks you are paying the bill.

If the statement is yellow, the county thinks your lender is paying the bill and they have sent the bill to them; no further action is needed.

 

Did you get a green statement when you should have gotten a yellow statement?

 

Not to worry… simply call your Mortgage Consultant or Lender and they will walk you through what to do.

If you got the green statement, notice that if you pay in full by November 15th, you will sa

Posted on October 21, 2015 at 2:42 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Portland Real Estate | Tagged ,

Home buyers: beware of wire fraud scam

Most home buyers need to transfer money to the escrow company to complete the down payment  the day before closing.  The common way to do that is with a "wire transfer" – an electronic transfer from the buyer's bank to the escrow company.  

The escrow company will send "wire transfer instructions" to the buyer to send to their bank well in advance of the transaction.  The instructions consist of routing and transit numbers, account numbers and lots of other numbers and information to be sure the money gets to the right account at the escrow company.

The fraud begins when the escrow company sends an email to the buyer with new wire transfer instructions, except it's not really from the escrow company (even though it looks like it is). The email has actually comes from a criminal who has hacked the buyer's email account.  If the buyer gives their bank the "new" instructions, the money is transferred to the hacker's account, usually in a foreign country and impossible to recover.  .

Escrow companies almost never change wire transfer instructions.  If you received such a communication, call your escrow officer directly.  

 

Posted on May 22, 2015 at 5:15 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Portland Real Estate, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , ,

Nice Portland Homes for less than $300,000

I often hear people say they'd like to buy a house,"but everything's so expensive now."  It's true that median sale prices of detached homes in Portland are around $300,000, but there are plenty of nice homes for less, sometimes a lot less. 

Yesterday a friend was amazed at a listing I showed him for a very nice 1120 SqFt 2-BR condo – $150,000.  It had granite & stainless upgraded kitchen & bath, two decks and is in a very attractive neighborhood.  My penciling some numbers showed you could probably buy this home for mortgage payments of less than $1400, and if you didn't have a lot of other debt (like huge car payments or whopping credit card bills) you would likely qualify if you made about $55,000.  

So don't let the "everything's so expensive now" trap keep you from buying now.  The place to start is with a good lender, and I'd be happy to introduce to a great one.  

Posted on May 20, 2015 at 6:44 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , ,

Congress extends tax relief for underwater home sellers

Just got word from the National Association of Realtors on key legislation affecting home sellers and investors:

“The package of tax extensions approved by the U.S. House and Senate, and headed to the President’s desk for signature, includes important provisions that will help distressed homeowners and commercial property investors with transactions made during 2014. NAR applauds Congressional leaders in both chambers for their effort to pass this legislation before adjournment.

“Realtors® strongly supported the bipartisan Mortgage Forgiveness Tax Relief Act, which was included in the package to prevent underwater borrowers from paying taxes on any mortgage debt forgiven or cancelled by a lender in a workout or after their home was sold for less money than was owed. We are grateful to Sens. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., and Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Reps. Tom Reed, R-N.Y., and Charlie Rangel, D-N.Y., for championing the provision.

“The legislation also includes one-year extensions of the 15-year depreciation schedule for leasehold improvements and the deduction for improvements to energy efficient commercial buildings.”

Posted on December 30, 2014 at 1:43 pm
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Selling, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , ,

Harvard says (what we already know but sometimes forget) about home buying

Nevermind all the pure joy of living in your own home, where you can decide what color to paint the kids' rooms and what to plant in the yard and hang on the walls in the kitchen and on and on…  Harvard researchers point out five purely FINANCIAL REASONS to own a home. 

Harvard’s 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home | Keeping Current Matters

Eric Belsky is Managing Director of the Joint Center of Housing Studies at Harvard University. He also currently serves on the editorial board of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. Last year, he released a paper on homeownership – The Dream Lives On: the Future of Homeownership in America. In his paper, Belsky reveals five financial reasons people should consider buying a home.

Here are the five reasons, each followed by an excerpt from the study:

1.) Housing is typically the one leveraged investment available.

“Few households are interested in borrowing money to buy stocks and bonds and few lenders are willing to lend them the money. As a result, homeownership allows households to amplify any appreciation on the value of their homes by a leverage factor. Even a hefty 20 percent down payment results in a leverage factor of five so that every percentage point rise in the value of the home is a 5 percent return on their equity. With many buyers putting 10 percent or less down, their leverage factor is 10 or more.”

2.) You're paying for housing whether you own or rent. 

“Homeowners pay debt service to pay down their own principal while households that rent pay down the principal of a landlord.”

3.) Owning is usually a form of “forced savings”.

“Since many people have trouble saving and have to make a housing payment one way or the other, owning a home can overcome people’s tendency to defer savings to another day.”

4.) There are substantial tax benefits to owning.

“Homeowners are able to deduct mortgage interest and property taxes from income…On top of all this, capital gains up to $250,000 are excluded from income for single filers and up to $500,000 for married couples if they sell their homes for a gain.”

5.) Owning is a hedge against inflation.

“Housing costs and rents have tended over most time periods to go up at or higher than the rate of inflation, making owning an attractive proposition.”

Bottom Line

We realize that homeownership makes sense for many Americans for an assortment of social and family reasons. It also makes sense financially.

Harvard’s 5 Financial Reasons to Buy a Home | Keeping Current Matters

Posted on August 15, 2014 at 11:20 am
Dave Sutton | Category: Home Buying, Portland Real Estate | Tagged , , , , , , , ,