Why is My Mortgage Payment Going Up?
June 28, 2018 by 2 Comments

If you live in the greater Seattle area, you may be receiving a notice from your mortgage servicer stating that they need to adjust your mortgage payment because of an “escrow shortage”.  We actually just received such notice from our mortgage servicer.

This is most likely do to the staggering increases many of us are seeing to real estate property taxes. Property taxes and home owners insurance are the two things that can change with your total mortgage payment. If you have an adjustable rate or interest only mortgage that is converting to principal, then your mortgage payment will change too.  However, many home owners in the greater Seattle – Bellevue – Tacoma – Everett areas with fixed rate mortgages are learning that their mortgage payments are going up…and for some it’s quite a bit higher.

Notices from the mortgage servicers are going out now as the first half of property taxes were paid from the escrow reserve account in late April. The larger amount due caused a shortage since the amount that is being collected in the monthly mortgage payment is not enough to cover the higher amount due. Mortgage services will give you options of how to make up the shortage, such as making a lump sum payment and/or increasing your monthly mortgage payment to make up for the taxes.

Part of the reason the taxes are so high is due to Washington State using home owners to resolve the McCleary case which funds public education. Combine this with higher assessed values and it’s a whopping surprise for many home owners when they receive their property tax bill and notice of escrow shortage from the mortgage company.

Mayor Durkan is hoping to pass another huge levy, in the amount of $600 million, attached to property taxes in the Seattle area to make community college free to those students who attended Seattle public high schools. She is excluding those who attended private schools (even though their parents paid for public schools with their property taxes). I have a difficult time believing the City’s math on how much this will impact the average home owner (and renter) when the numbers I’m hearing of what people are actually seeing in their tax bill and what was originally warned (17% average increase in King County) are pretty far apart. Our property taxes jumped 27.2% in one year! Some of my neighbors are seeing even higher increases. It’s really concerning to me as someone who qualifies people to buy a home. Increases this significant are enough to cause some to not be able to afford their home which can be very dicey when we are living in a region that is battling having affordable housing. It also puts those who are eyeing retirement with plans of enjoying their golden years in a tricky situation (unless they qualify for a reverse mortgage to pay for their taxes). In my opinion, we desperately need to have a cap limiting how much property taxes can increase in a year.

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By the way, this doesn’t just impact home owners. If you are renting a home in the greater Seattle/King County area – don’t be surprised if your rent is increased to cover this hard cost. Actually, if you’re renting almost anywhere in Washington state and your landlord has been hit with a higher tax bill – you will most likely be feeling a pinch to your pocket book too. I have friends in Thurston County who tell me their property taxes shot up 47% in one year!

Are you considering buying or refinancing your home in Washington state? I’m happy to help you. Click here for a detailed rate quote or here to get prequalified for a mortgage.

Filed Under: Politics, Rant, Real Estate Tagged With:
USDA Maps Updated
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June 28, 2018 by Leave a Comment

Earlier this month, USDA updated the maps that determine if homes are eligible for USDA financing. USDA allows eligible home buyers to purchase a home with no down payment. In order the qualify, the borrowers must meet the income limit requirements and the property needs to be in a designated rural area.

Current eligible areas include areas like Enumclaw, Fall City and Vashon Island as well as parts of Black Diamond and parts of Duvall. The specific address really needs to be ran as homes directly across the street from each other may or may not be eligible. [Read more…]

Filed Under: USDA Tagged With:
The Beauty of a Bridge Loan
June 27, 2018 by Leave a Comment

I recently helped a couple successfully close on their new home in Seattle before having to close on their former home in Everett. By using a bridge loan to access equity on the Everett home, they were able to make a winning offer on the Seattle home without it having to be “subject to the sale” of their former home. This help to make their offer far more attractive in a very competitive real estate market. [Read more…]

Filed Under: Bridge Loans, Residential Purchase Tagged With: ,
Coming Soon: Freddie Mac’s HomeOne Mortgage Program
June 21, 2018 by Leave a Comment

Later next month, Freddie Mac will be offering a new program for first time home buyers. This mortgage program offers low down payment options without the income limit or geographic restrictions that Home Possible has.

HomeOne will be available for both purchases and rate-term refinances on single family dwellings. At least one borrower on the application must be a first time home buyer when the transaction is a purchase and home buyer education is required. [Read more…]

Filed Under: First Time Home Buyer, HomeOne, Refinance, Residential Purchase Tagged With: , ,
Possible Relief for Seattle – King County Home Buyers
June 15, 2018 by Leave a Comment

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service issued a press release indicating that we are finally seeing an increase in new listings being added to the market. The 14,524 new listings that came on during May, in the 23 counties that the NWMLS serves, are the most listings added in one month in 10 years. In King County, there were almost 1000 homes added to the market creating just over one month of inventory – the first time since September of last year. Here’s a link to the NWMLS market snapshot for May 2018. [Read more…]

Filed Under: Interest Rates, Residential Purchase Tagged With: , ,
Fed Increases Funds Rate by 0.25%
June 13, 2018 by Leave a Comment

As expected, the Fed increased the Funds rate by 0.25% moments ago.  The markets were anticipating this move by the Fed and, as I write this post, I’m not seeing any significant rate changes to mortgage interest rates. The rates were already “baked in the cake”. Had the Fed decided to increase rates beyond 0.25% or not to take action, we would potentially be being seeing a reaction with the bond market which would be reflected in mortgage interest rates. [Read more…]

Filed Under: The Fed - FOMC
Common Misconceptions about FHA and Conventional Mortgages
June 1, 2018 by Leave a Comment

I just received a newsletter from a local real estate agent which had an article about whether buyers should opt for a conventional or FHA loan. I’m pretty certain the real estate agent didn’t write the article, however the author, whoever they are, got a lot of things wrong regarding these two mortgage programs. Many of the items that were wrong are what I think are fairly common misconceptions with these two popular mortgage programs. So I thought this was a grand opportunity to write a post to correct them…I’ll skip the fine hairs 😉 [Read more…]

Filed Under: Fannie, Freddie and FHFA, FHA, First Time Home Buyer, Home Advantage Program, Home Possible, HomeReady, Rant Tagged With: , ,
Mortgage Rates Improved
May 31, 2018 by Leave a Comment

Freddie Mac’s Prime Mortgage Market Survey released today shows that mortgage rates improved based on average conforming rates last week.

[Read more…]

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About the Author

Rhonda Porter is a Licensed Mortgage Originator MLO121324 living in the greater Seattle area. Rhonda began her career in 1986 in the title and escrow industry and joined Mortgage Master Service Corporation as a Loan Officer in 2000 and began blogging in 2006. Read More…

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Rhonda has been helping people with their mortgage needs at Mortgage Master since April 2000. If you are buying or refinancing a home in WA, she's happy to help you! Mortgage Master Service Corporation's NMLS ID is #40445.

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