Eugene, OR Real Estate News

By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
The latest rumor (anonymous comment) coming from our "tight lipped" bureaucrats in Washington is that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson is considering a new plan to reduce mortgage rates in another bid to revive the U.S. housing market. The Treasury could, under this new plan, step up purchases of mortgage backed securities (MBS) to drive down interest rates on some loans to 4.5 percent, the official said on condition of anonymity. The possibility that this plan could change is enormous. Mortgage applications surged by a record last week and the average rate on a 30-year fixed-rate loan dropped to 5.47 percent, the lowest level since June 2005, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. So, what will this latest "news" do to the clients that have started application and (probably) lo...
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By Anthony Freed
(Everybody's Holding Company LLC)
"On Wednesday, December 3, 2008 The New York Federal Reserve website reported that they will begin to purchase Asset Backed Securities (ABS) from failed mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, as well as the Federal Home Loan Banks. They also hinted that they will stop there - everything seems to be on the table now, officially. Treasuries and stocks may see direct effects, with outcomes mixed. Initially, the program will concentrate on non-callable, fixed-rate senior benchmark securities such as Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS), but there are indications in the language used that the program may expand to include other ABS such as privately issued MBS (non-GSE), bonds, stocks and other equities. With this much unprecedented Government intervention in the markets, I find it difficul...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
  Call me slow if you want to, but I have been trying to digest the "long-anticipated mortgage reforms that will help consumers to shop for the lowest cost mortgage and avoid costly and potentially harmful loan offers" announced by HUD on Nov. 12. It has taken some time, but I think I understand what has been done so far and how it will affect lenders and consumers after implementation. According to HUD Secretary Steve Preston, ".... the mortgage crisis was fueled in part by people agreeing to mortgages that they ultimately could not afford. In some cases, people didn't understand or know that their mortgages could result in large payment increasesafter just two or three years. Others did not recognize the total costs that come with home ownership. And others paid higher loan originatio...
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By Anthony Freed
(Everybody's Holding Company LLC)
The Wall Street Bailout is quickly reaching into the the trillions-of-dollars, and many analysts are speculating as to the current running total of the outlays thus far, while other financial experts like John Bogle, the founder of the Vanguard Group, are questioning the legitimacy and impact of the costs to maintain this overly-complicated system even when economic conditions are good. Henry Paulson today presented his latest in a series of bewildering press conferences, each of which seems to be orchestrated to reveal - in only an incremental fashion - the true extent of the damage to our financial system.  Today's installment from Paulson in summary:  Things are really bad, and they will get worse.  Whatever we told you our plan to stop the markets from further hemorrhaging was last ...
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By Anthony Freed
(Everybody's Holding Company LLC)
A Foreclosure Solution so Simple it Would Work By Anthony M. Freed Here is the solution to most of the ills of the current housing crisis - in the form of a languishing US House Bill that would allow homeowners facing foreclosure the option to stay in their homes as renters, and perhaps even compel their lenders to be more cooperative with the distressed borrowers when negotiating loan workouts. That's right - a solution to the foreclosure problem that would save banks from certain ruin, keep homeowners in their homes instead of out on the streets and onto Public Assistance, put a bottom on the housing price crash while allowing for high-cost areas to come into par with median income levels, and save the taxpayer trillions of dollars in debt that is to be piled on to the trillions of do...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I know there are still lenders out there that think the 10 year Treasury bond controls the mortgage market but it doesn't and lately hasn't even been a viable indicator of what the market is doing. Mortgage rates are volatile. What else is new when talking about mortgage rates? Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) are the basis for all mortgage rates for Fannie and Freddie and for government loans also. Today, we saw MBS swings of 50 basis points so far with rapid changes throughout the day. We started the day with better rates than Thursday and thought for a while we might have much better rates by the end of the day.....but we are talking about an extremely volatile market here. Stocks are taking it in the shorts after several days of gains and the question is why? The answer all comes do...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
The HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) loan modification program was changed last week by HUD. HOPEfully, these changes will invigorate the program with the jumpstart that it needs to make it more viable. Possibly it will become the way to help more distressed borrowers refinance into affordable, government-back mortgages that it was designed to do. Foreclosure avoidance is possible. At the risk of gathering the ire of Jeff, the Mortgage Man, again, I didn't think the program would work the way it was written and it hasn't. HUD is already making changes to the program because they had only received 111 application nationwide according to a recent blog by CNBC's Diana Olick. The changes are supposed to reduce the program costs for consumers and lenders alike while also expanding eligibility by dr...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
There has been discussion on the blogs about why FHA loans are coming to prominence, but I haven't seen a side by side comparison, so I thought it was about time that we did that. FHA Mortgage Loan vs. a Conventional Mortgage Loan with a limited down payment. How do they compare? First, the assumptions, you can't make a comparison without knowing what the parameters are. Needless to say, these are arbitrary, but fair to both types of loans. I am also going into this without knowing the result, just knowing my product. Here they are:                                                  FHA                                        Conventional Purchase Price                  $200,000 Down Payment                 3% FHA                                 5% Credit Score                       620 Ta...
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By Janis Gaines, Home Stager Eugene OR - The Notably Well-Dressed H
(Staging Sells Eugene Homes)
I saw a blog a few months ago with a claw foot tub in the bedroom and thought that was rather strange. Then a client recently contacted my company, The Notably Well-Dressed Home in Eugene OR for an owner-occupied staging where the master bedroom had a vanity and sink in it - with a separate small room for the toilet and shower. When I first walked in the bedroom, my eye was immediately drawn to the white sink and I thought, "how strange". I took some of the emphasis off this 'not so great' feature by placing a green plant on the end of the vanity, closest to the door. Now, as you walk into the room, the first thing you see is the bed and wall decor, taking a bit of the "sting" from the oddly placed vanity. The new online pictures also focus the eye differently. No need to start scratchi...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I know this is going to be a company by company thing, however, my company has announced that they will not be accepting loan locks on FHA "increased" loan limits after December 5, 2008. This means that any FHA Real Estate Loans going into our system after that date must conform with the 2009 FHA Loan Limits. Since Lane County will be falling under the new minimum FHA Loan Limit of $271,050, from our current limit of $343,750, this will be a reduction of $42,700 in loan amount. At this time, I am not aware of other lenders cut off date for acceptance of the enhanced loan limit. I am sure this information will be forthcoming. I expect most lenders will be following pretty closely to this announcement. Customers on the fence regarding their purchase in this price range should make certain...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
The City of Springfield administers a program to help low to moderate income purchasers get into their first home. It is called SHOP which stands for Springfield Home Ownership Program. This assistance program was created to encourage home ownership in Springfield by assisting low income residents with their first-time home purchase. The Springfield home ownership program is designed to help first time home buyers with the down payment and closing costs in their purchase. A $10,000 interest free, payment free second mortgage is available for this purpose. The loan is accepted by FHA as a viable method of obtaining down payment money and is also accepted on some conforming products. Prospective SHOP recipients are required to complete The ABC's of Homebuying seminar. The course is design...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I got an interesting e-mail this weekend from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. I was really surprised to find out (according to the e-mail) that they had an AOL address. I guess they needed the SPAM protection. Anyway, the e-mail proceeded to tell me that they had been monitoring an illegal transaction between me and a Nigerian entity. Then gave me instruction on what I needed to do to keep out of trouble with the FBI and help with our national security. Of course, I followed their instructions to the letter (tongue in cheek time) and sent my financial information as soon as I could so that we could capture these bad guys. Really, what I did was forward the e-mail to the FBI which is at FBI.gov, not an AOL address afterall. It is really interesting what one of the last paragraphs ha...
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By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
Inventory, listings, sales, and sale prices decline for the October 2008 reporting period. Each month the RMLS (Regional Multiple Listing Service) publishes market statistics for it's service area. As a Eugene area Realtor I focus on the data for Lane County. Being intimately familiar with these numbers helps me to better serve my clients, both buyers and sellers, in a changing market. For the month of October, total inventory stood at 9.2 months, down from 10.2 in September and up from 7.2 one year ago. This means at the current rate of sales, with no new listings entering the market, it would take over 9 months to sell all of the approximately 2,307 residential properties currently listed. New property listings have decreased 18.5% and closed sales are down 17.2% compared to October 2...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I got the news yesterday that Frontier Home Mortgage was closing in Eugene. Since they are in the same building as us, that was communicated though the grapevine that all buildings seem to have. I am not sure how long Frontier was in business but I know they were in operation when I started as a lender in Eugene and that was in the Stone Age. They had management change when the owner of the company Jay Dent, a Eugene mortgage pioneer, died a few years ago. Helping with the operation was his son, Mark Dent, and then Mark passed away also. I just wanted to take a moment and say goodbye to a loyal competitor. You will be missed and I am sorry to see you go. Authored by Fred Chamberlin, a senior mortgage consultant, Eugene/Springfield Oregon, 541-342-7576.
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
All of us on Active Rain want the Real Estate market to turn around. We want to see homes selling. We want people to be taking out mortgages. But, we also want to have our clients well served by what we do and in this, I want to suggest Cash Flow as a method of determining suitability. By this, I mean if you are a renter or have a renter for a client, is it really a good move for you and them to think of buying in this market. In many cases, the answer is yes. In some, the answer may be no. So, how do you determine the cash flow of a home? One of the easiest tools is the rent vs buy mortgage tool. If you don't have access to one, feel free to give me a call and I would be happy to run the numbers for you. Today, I want to run a few numbers just to give you a clue about this process. Let...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have announced they are working on a mass loan modification program to rework hundreds of thousands of delinquent mortgages. Loan modifications are a way to bring delinquent mortgages back to producing status from the lenders "toxic" mortgage pool. This came on the news that Citi Group was imposing a moratorium on most "new" foreclosures in an effort to help people stay in their homes. It almost makes me feel like someone was listening to me. I have been saying that the best way to get through this mess was through loan modifications directly with the lenders. Now, maybe we have a chance of that happening. According to Fox Business News, the announcement from Fannie and Freddie are due by 2 p.m. EST. The Wall Street Journal says that the modification effort ha...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
Oregon seniors have a new way of buying property as of January 1, 2009. They will be able to use the FHA Reverse Mortgage Program (HECM).  These loans were authorized by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA). HERA  defines "HECM (Reverse Mortgage) for Purchase" as a real estate purchase where title to the property is transferred to the HECM (Reverse Mortgage) mortgagor, which the mortgagor will occupy as a principal residence, and, at the time of closing, the HECM (Reverse Mortgage) first and second liens will be the only liens against the property." Buyers must also occupy the property in the first 60 days and the FHA case number cannot be assigned prior to Jan. 1. The Reverse Mortgage is only available on completed homes, so construction loans are not available, however...
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By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
To me, it's a thing of beauty when energy conserving "green" alternatives can end up conserving that other green - money! I've been using two pellet stoves to heat my century old farmhouse for over four years now, and while it involves considerably more labor than adjusting a thermostat and writing a check to the power company, I do enjoy the money savings and the satisfaction of using a carbon-neutral heat source to keep my home comfortable. Pellet stoves aren't the only way to conserve resources and cash. This series of articles from This Old House shows how eight homeowners slashed a combined $12,000 off their energy bills. Stay warm!Bobby  
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I know there are a lot of reasons for buying a home. I also know there may be a lot more than three for buying now with an FHA real estate mortgage. First time homebuyers could be making a mistake by waiting to purchase their new home. (Maximum FHA loan amount, down payment & tax credit.) Those reasons are: January 1, the maximum loan amount in most areas will be reduced for FHA loans. For instance, in Lane County, the maximum loan amount will go from $343,750 to $271,050. January 1, the minimum down payment on FHA loans will go from 3% to 3.5%. On a $200,000 purchase, this is a difference of $1,000, a significant number if you are already thin on down payment. July 1, 2009, the $7,500 tax credit goes away for first time homebuyers. This credit is temporary, and depending on action of C...
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By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
In my former career as a licensed contractor, I ordered light fixtures for several clients online at csn lighting. I was pleased with the quality of the company's products as well as their customer service, so when they recently offered to author the following piece on the benefits of lighting, I was happy to partner with them and provide the information on my blog: When it comes to putting your house on the market, there's no question that your interior space has got to look its best. But what about your exterior? A poorly landscaped or lit exterior really can make or break a potential sale, which makes sense, considering that first impressions are everything! In a housing marketing as volatile as today’s it's important that you maximize your home's value wherever you can. While the ve...
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