Eugene, OR Real Estate News

By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
HUD has announced the new FHA loan limits for 2009 and they are lower than I expected for Lane County. The new loan limit is $271,050 versus the current "temporary" loan limit of $343,750, a reduction of over $70k. There are a few Oregon counties that have higher loan limits, but the majority of the counties are limited to this same number. $271,050 is the magic number nationwide. To take advantage of the current loan limit, a property must have an accepted offer and an FHA case number assigned prior to the end of the year. Like what happened with the phase out of DPAs, individual lenders may have their own rules. If you, or a client, has been fence sitting about buying in this price range, it is time to get off of the fence and onto the bull. Real Estate is selling well below where it ...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
The following is a news release from the Federal Housing Finance Agency regarding loan limits for conforming loans across the United States. High cost states will continue to be above the maximum but, at least for now, the maximum conforming loan for most of the country will stay at $417,000. High cost areas, which does not include any of Oregon, can be found here. CONFORMING LOAN LIMIT FOR U.S. TO REMAIN $417,000 IN 2009; DIFFERENT LIMITS IN SOME AREAS WASHINGTON, DC - The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) today announced the conforming loan limit will remain $417,000 for 2009 for most areas in the U.S. but specified higher limits in certain cities and counties. The conforming loan limit is the maximum size of loans that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can purchase in 2009. According t...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I just have a few random thoughts this morning about what is happening right now in our economy. First of all, the election is over and win or lose for your candidate, get over it! We are all Americans, and America needs all of our help, not just the left or the right or the center. That said, lets talk about one of the most troubling reports, at least for me, and that is Consumer Confidence. This report measures the level of confidence individual households have in the performance of our economy now and in the future. A couple of years ago, this number was in the 90s. Now, it has sunk to the lowest level I have ever seen, 38.0! Experts are always making predictions of what some report or another and the prediction for this was 52.0, down from 61.4 the month before. Now, my definition o...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
So, what is a Reverse Mortgage? Maybe, a better, more specific question is: What the heck is a HECM? Well, HECM stands for Home Equity Conversion Mortgage. It is a way for seniors to tap into the equity in their property without taking on payments that will cause them difficulty in the future. The HECM FHA insured reverse mortgage can be used by senior homeowners age 62 and older to convert the equity in their home into monthly streams of income and/or a line of credit to be repaid when they no longer occupy the home. Borrower Requirements:   Age 62 years of age or older   Own your property   Occupy your property as primary residence   Participation in a consumer information session given by an approved HECM counselor Mortgage Amount Based On:    Age of the youngest borrower   Current i...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
JP Morgan Chase, the bank that took over Washington Mutual (WaMu) recently, had announced that it will halt foreclosures for the next 90 days, according to an article in the San Diego Mail today. During this period, the bank will attempt to re-negotiate loans with delinquent borrowers. Since WaMu was big into the "option ARM" program, this is exceptionally good news for WaMu customers. The "option ARM," also known as the "pay option ARM," is a potential negative amortization product that was used extensively through the WaMu retail outlets. The main difficulty with the "option ARM" is that the loan program had a minimum payment that allowed accrued interest to be added to the loan balance each month. As long as property values were increasing, this didn't cause much of a problem, the ho...
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By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
My hard work this summer has translated into a lot of business (and more hard work) this fall. It feels good to be managing 4 pending deals, working with great buyers and sellers, and having the satisfaction of succeeding in a challenging market. I now it's not fashionable to wax positive in our current climate, but I have much to feel good about and I can't resist making a list of the things I'm thankful for: My home, and the good old fashioned 30 year fixed note that allows me to keep it! 20 years of companionship with a wonderful woman. My darling (above average;-), daughter - the second love of my life! My dogs, cats, chickens and the various wild critters we enjoy in our area. My extended family and friends. The opportunity to work with wise and lovely people at a great real estate...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
As we approach Veteran's Day (Nov. 11), I felt the need to pass on some information about VA loans that many people are not aware of. As a veteran, and a VA Home Loan participant, I believe one of the greatest things the country has done for veterans, is the VA Guaranteed Loan Program. One of the little known portions of recent housing changes was Public Law 110-389, the Veterans' Benefits Improvement Act of 2008. This law does three things: EXTENSION OF ADJUSTABLE RATE MORTGAGE AUTHORITY: VA's authority to guarantee adjustable rate mortgages (ARMs) and hybrid adjustable rate mortgages (HARMs) was scheduled to expire on September 30, 2008. Section 505 of Public Law 110-389 extended this authority through September 30, 2012. All VA program requirements related to ARMs and HARMs remain in...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
Last Friday, I had the pleasure of dining at the Red Agave Restaurant prior to attending Hal Holbrook's presentation of Mark Twain at the Hult Center. The ambiance of the restaurant was open without being like a warehouse. The noise level was quite low and we didn't have to shout to be heard. The wait staff was attentive and responsive. Then we come to the food. The Red Agave explains, in their words: "We create a unique cuisine derived from daydreams of Oaxaca, Havana, Buenas Aires and myriad places in between." The restuarant is located just up the street from the Eugene Amtrak Depot at 454 Willamette St. If no other parking is available, there is plenty of pay to park at the depot. We started with an exceptional Caesar Salad with a very tasty dressing. My companion had the Lamb Birri...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
When there are people in trouble, there is almost always someone around to take advantage of them. Now, with an increase of foreclosures, we have a number of foreclosure scams starting or continuing to operate. Homeowners facing foreclosure should beware of foreclosure scams. Scammers can cause the homeowner to lose both the home and the equity they have built.  Many scammers contact homeowners offering to "save" their houses. Property information is a matter of public record and fairly accessible by anyone interested in obtaining it. In addition to the informa­tion recorded with the county when the home was purchased, notifications of default filed by the lender or a lien holder or if the house is subject to an auction or to be foreclosed are all public record. Unfortunately, unscrupul...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I have become re-aquainted with a new (at least to some) site for great information about Oregon lending and investing. It is the Oregon Department of Finance and Corporate Securities website. One of the items on the website is an announcement for a "Wise and Safe Investing Forum" to be hosted in Eugene in December. The way the market is going, this could be an excellent use of time. AARP Oregon and the Department of Consumer and Business Services are hosting a FREE investment education forum entitled "Wise and Safe Investing." The forum is Tuesday, December 2 at the Valley River Inn in Eugene and begins at 9:30 a.m. A number of speakers will provide information you can use immediately and all participants will receive free resource materials on wise and safe investing plus a compliment...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
If you, or someone you know, is behind or going to get behind on the mortgage payments, there may be a way to keep your home and maintain your credit rating if you confron the problem early. The most common mistake people make when they get behind on their mortgage payments is to ignore the problem. I know that there are some people that don't even open the foreclosure warning they get from the lender. Not all of the following methods will result in saving your credit and two will not save your home but will keep you out of foreclosure. Forbearance - Ask your lender if you can reduce or suspend your montly payments for a short period of time. This option may be available if, for example, you are expecting funds that would help bring your loan current. Sometimes the delinquent amount can...
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By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
I encourage every one of my sellers to get a whole house and pest and dryrot inspection up front, before I list their home in the MLS and launch the marketing campaign. Sometimes the reaction I get is "That's the buyers responsibility - why should I pay for an inspection?" This is what I tell them: For many buyers and sellers, the most stressful event in a real estate transaction is the review of the inspection report. For the buyer (who begans to question whether they overpaid the moment after they sign acknowledgement), the report represents the potential for getting out of the deal with earnest money in hand. Other potential drawbacks about the property or neighborhood are re-visited, and competing properties began to look more attractive in comparison. Fear of choosing the wrong hom...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
They say the way to stay young is to continually learn something. Based on that, I think I am about 20, instead of 61 and I learned something new today. There is a program outlined in FHA Mortgagee Letter 2003-19 called a "partial claim" and it is available to people with FHA loans that are more than 4 months and less than 12 months delinquent on their mortgage. There are specific criteria, actually, it would be pretty dumb if there weren't. One of them is that you are now able to make the payments and another is that you don't have the money to cure the delinquency. Considering we are talking about the government, this is pretty reasonable. The full qualification are: Have overcome the cause of the default; Have sufficient income to resume monthly mortgage payments; Do not have suffici...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I have a simple question today. Do you know the difference between a pigeon and a stock broker?               The difference is that pigeons can still make a deposit on a new Mercedes. I kind of guess that maybe loan officers and Realtors may be in close to the same category but truth to tell, I would rather be a loan officer than a stock broker right now. How about you?
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
HUD had delivered the basic brushstrokes for the new Hope for Homeowners program that came into effect Oct. 1 with the Housing Bill of 2008. Interestingly, apparently there is no list of lenders available yet as to who will be doing these loans. However, the following is very interesting: List of participating lenders COMING SOON The HOPE for Homeowners (H4H) program was created by Congress to help those at risk of default and foreclosure refinance into more affordable, sustainable loans. H4H is an additional mortgage option designed to keep borrowers in their homes. The program is effective from October 1, 2008 to September 30, 2011. As many as 400,000 homeowners could avoid foreclosure through this program over the next three years. If you are having trouble making your mortgage payme...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
Any of you that have been reading my blog posts in the past, know that I am pretty eclectic in my taste in food. If you have met me, you probably can figure out that I like to eat. There may be those that are surprised that one of my favorite things to eat is raw fish, but not just any raw fish. For instance, I have never been known to bite a rainbow after I pull it in and for that matter, I like my catfish breaded. However, I do like properly prepared Sushi and Sashimi and will go out of my way to get the good stuff. There are and have been several excellent Sushi restaurants in Eugene and now, there is another one. I was pointed to Izumi by my friend Scott Vollstedt, a real raw fish officianodo. Scott, not only knows what to order, but he even know the special things you can do to it....
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By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
The Laurel Hill Valley is a unique little enclave in East Eugene. The main route in, Riverview Street, is poorly maintained, and without sidewalks, which adds a rural flavor, and there is an intersting mix of old and new development in this peaceful neighborhood. I was dropping off flyers at one of my condo listings early yesterday morning and got a chance to shoot some wild turkeys (digitally of course). We see quite a few of these in the south hills and outlying areas around Eugene and Springfield, usually traveling in what appears to be a family group. The lighting in this shaded glen was not the best, but I stopped the car, turned on the flashers and grabbed my camera. The big birds were polite enough to wait until I snapped my zoom lens on and I was able to a get a couple of decent...
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By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
According to a survey by Remodeling magazine, homeowners can expect less of a return on upgrades than in the recent past.  In the bubble years of '05 & '06, nearly half the projects undertaken could be expected to return up to 90 cents on the dollar, but in the past two years, nothing has even come close, based on the magazines' survey of thousands of real estate professionals. Consumer Reports magazine has gone a step further and surveyed licensed appraisers, but regional differences in home values make it difficult to gauge what portion of your remodeling dollar you get back at closing time. Projects that pay: Deck additions still top the list at 85.4% of value recovered, based on a national average. Minor kitchen remodels can return 83% of the investment if you focus on cosmetics lik...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
OK, I am a finance guy. I make loans for a living. I watch the markets. I read a huge amount of information about the mortgage melt down, about the market forces, about toxic mortgages, about the bail out, the saving of main street and so forth. But I just don't understand how this is that important: Both McCain and Obama have voiced their support for increasing the FDIC coverage of bank accounts from $100,000 to $250,000. And this is important how? If I had $250,000 cash available you could be damn certain I would have enough intelligence to put it in 3 different banks. I am, without a doubt, not the sharpest pencil in the box. I may be a french fry short of a Happy Meal. It is possible I am a half a bubble off plumb. And, I have (litterally) been know to fall off the turnip truck. I a...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
So, the question is: "What is going to hurt my credit more, a short sale or a foreclosure or a deed-in-lieu of foreclosure?" Here are the most recent guidelines from Fannie Mae:   Bankruptcy (except Chapter 13) 4-year time period applied from either the discharge or dismissal date     Chapter 13 Bankruptcy 2-year time period from the discharge date, or     4-year time period applied from the dismissal date   Extenuating Circumstances 2 year time period from the discharge or dismissal date               Multiple Bankruptcy Filings 5-year time period from the most recent dismissal or discharge date     Multiple BK Extenuating Circumstances 3-year time period from the most recent discharge or dismissal date     Foreclosure 5-year time period from completion date     Additional requirements...
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