Eugene, OR Real Estate News

By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I woke up this morning to the news that the Office of Thrift Supervison had taken over the operation of Washington Mutual Banking Corp. and sold its assets to J.P. Morgan Chase. When I logged into my WAMU account, there was a new message over the artwork. It said: " WAMU Customers, Welcome to JP Morgan Chase." Customers, such as me, should see no change in their banking operation at this time. I am sure that J.P. Morgan will make some operation changes as time goes by. More than likely people currently working for WAMU will be looking for a job soon. More indication of hard times in the financial markets.
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By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
When it comes to home maintenance it's always "better late than never", but who wants to work outside when it's too cold to move your fingers! Here are my top 5 things to take care of before cold and damp becomes the default condition: Clean your roof, muck out the gutters, clear the downspouts, and seal corner joints if necessary. I see a lot of roof and fascia (wooden trim) damage caused by rain gutters that are unable to do thier job because they are packed with leaves, and in some cases hosting a crop of grass! If you don't like heights, hire a handyperson. Clean the deck, and seal the surface. This is another area where a little neglect can cause a lot of damage, and a dirty deck is slippery when wet, so don't risk damaging yourself! Touch up missing paint or finishes on your home ...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I cannot be more succinct about what is happening than my title. We are in a very strange time in the real estate industry and there are sharks out there trying to make money out of other peoples misery. I personally find this attitude repugnant. Let me give you an example, there are credit counseling companies that are non profit and don't charge their clients for getting them a lower interest rate on their credit cards. Then there are for profit companies that perform the same service and charge more than enough for doing the same thing. OK, I know that doesn't have anything to do with real estate, so here goes my statement on this. There are companies out there charging anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 to re-negotiate your mortgage for you. They are not doing anything that you can't d...
Comments 34
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
Are you aware of Fannie Mae's HomePath website? They answer the following two questions for home owners: I Am Current on My Mortgage. I Want To Stay That Way I Am Worried About Losing My Home Both questions are covered in a very upfront and business like manner. I am impressed with the information available here. There are also links to the Home Loan Learning Center, Home Preservation Foundation and HopeNOW. For home buyers, the basics of home buying are covered, along with a link to Fannie Mae owned homes. According to my search, there is only one in Eugene and two in Springfield. Apparently, there are 157 in Oregon. The REO search is an interesting tool. The link to the HUD Tips for Avoiding Foreclosure is also an excellent reference. The number one tip is: "Don't ignore the problem."...
Comments 7
By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
Inventory, listings, sales, and sale prices decline for the August 2008 reporting period. Each month the RMLS (Regional Multiple Listing Service) publishes market statistics for it's service area. Being a Eugene area Realtor I focus on the data for Lane County. Being intimately familiar with these numbers helps me to serve my clients, both buyers and sellers, in a continually changing market. For the month of August, total inventory stands at 8.1 months, down from 8.8 in July and up from 5.1 one year ago. This means at the current rate of sale, with no new listings entering the market, it would take 8 months to sell all of the approximately 2,500 currently listed properties. New property listings have decreased 18.6% and closed sales are down 28.7% since August 2007. Average sale price ...
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By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I just received notice that the Big Look Task Force will be in Eugene Friday to get feeback on land use. This will be used to help make decisions about farm and forest lands, urban communities, issues related to sustainabiltiy, climate change, housing choice and economic prosperity. This will be a town hall format held at Lane Community College from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. If unable to attend the town hall, you can fill out a survey about your thoughts on land use. For a complete copy of the Big Look Task Force recommentations in June of this year, visit: "Choices for Oregon's Future." Here are the talking points of the town hall meeting: 1.  "One size does not fit all" -- there must be increased flexibility in our land use system that accounts for the regional differences throughout the stat...
Comments 10
By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
Like farm-fresh eggs? How about the good feeling of feeding your family a healthy protein source from happy organic free range hens? If you own your own single family home, chances are you can be an egg farmer! In Eugene and Springfield the requirements are few… No Roosters allowed. Sorry boys, no one likes a 4:30 wake up call on a Sunday morning.  Zoning must be Low Density Residential (R1). If the square footage of your lot is between 0 and 10,000 square feet you can keep up to 4 hens.  At 10,000 square feet you can keep 5 hens. And for each additional 1,000 s.f. you can add an another hen. Make sure to check the CCR’s for your subdivision for additional restrictions beyond what the county and city impose. And the benefits are many: Chickens are voracious bug eaters and they also peck...
Comments 10
By Bobby Stevens, Realtor, Eugene, Oregon
(Windermere Real Estate/Lane County)
I grew up in this town, and have wonderful childhood memories, but after high school I couldn’t wait to get out and explore the world. Moving back 20 years later, I have a new appreciation for all the Eugene area has to offer, and I love sharing – especially with my clients who are new to town. The following list is by no means exhaustive, but it hits some of the high points for me!Walk among the mighty oaks.The Willamette valley once featured a vast savannah of open grassland dotted with indigenous oak trees. Less than one percent of this unique habitat remains, but you can get a feel for what once was at the Mount Pisgah Arboretum. There are miles of trails, a lazy fork of the Willamette river, and a summit with an expansive view. There are also seasonal activities for all ages.Climb ...
Comments 3
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development released Mortgagee Letter 2009-23 Sept. 5, 2008, (that means it is the 23rd this year) regarding the revised downpayment requirements of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This change will take place Jan. 1, 2009 and will require a borrower "shall have paid, in cash or its equivalent...an amount equal to not less than 3.5% of the appraised value of the property..." What this means is that were an FHA buyer had to have a minimum of 3% contribution into the purchase of a home, it could be a combination of down payment and closing costs prior to the change. This was actually a fairly complicated computation and the change is called "downpayment simplification." This may be one of the first times something like this is names c...
Comments 0
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I used to work for Washington Mutual in the Home Loan Center of Eugene. When they stopped making government loans, I left for a lender that did. But, because I worked there and keep in touch with my past clients, I got a call a few minutes ago that may have interest for more than my customer. She was concerned with what would happen with her loan if Washington Mutual ceased to exist. Actually, a pretty good question with the recent news about the company. Now, I am not making judgements about the soundness of WaMu, but yesterday their rating went from BBB to BBB- on long term and from F2 to F3 on short term, never a good thing. Also, they replaced their chief executive on Monday and signed an agreement with regulators requiring them to provide an update on forecasts. But, to answer the ...
Comments 10
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
There are benefits to being a First Time Home Buyer. I will be going over what some of those benefits are but first I want to explain what a First Time Home Buyer actually is. By definition with the lenders, and the government, a First Time Home Buyer is someone that hasn't owned a home in the last three years. In some cases, that includes manufactured homes on rented land, in others, it doesn't. Also, there can be exceptions from someone coming out of a divorce. First benefit: The cities of Eugene and Springfield both have programs for First Time Home Buyers to assist with down payment and closing costs. In Eugene it is HAP. In Springfield, it is SHOP. I covered a lot of information on these programs in a previous blog. If someone can qualify for the program (income limited), up to $10...
Comments 2
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I saw someone else do this recently and decided it was probably a good idea. What I am doing is bringing to the front some of the blog posts I did earlier about a particular subject, in this case FHA loans. I really want to spend days and days explaining the intriquite workings of FHA loans, but I don't have the time and you don't want to spend that much time reading. So, I have decided to point you toward some of my past blogs that will explain part of the programs. More will be coming later. To understand the FHA Secure program (which ends December 31, 2008) take a look at this link: http://activerain.com/blogsview/591203/FHA-Secure or this one: http://activerain.com/blogsview/616415/Wonderful-Panacea-FHA-Secure. This is a program that, in my opinion works. Although most often the peo...
Comments 4
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
First of all, it needs to be stressed that there are limitations and qualification for this program. The most stringent is that it is availalbe from homes purchased between April 9 of this year and July 1 of next year. If you miss that window, you miss the tax credit. Next, the credit is only available to single taxpayers with an Adjusted Gross Income (AGI) of $75,000 or less or married taxpayers with a AGI or $150,000 or less to get the full credit. Lesser credits are available for those making more than the limits listed here. Additionally, this is not a gift from the government. It is a tax credit that has to be paid back. It is in essence a interest-free loan. You are required to pay it back (with your taxes) at $500 per year starting with the tax return of the year after you receiv...
Comments 25
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
Barry Habib, Chairman of Mortgage Success Source, was recently interviewed by Fox Business News and he was asked about inproving your credit scores. You can see the interview here. I found a lot of his answers a bit simplistic but still very helpful to the majority of people that have lower credit than their payment history deserves. Now, there are no "Credit Faries," even if you believe in the Tooth Fairy. There is not magic thing that will correct your credit if it actually reveals your method of handling credit. In other words, if you pay things late as a general rule, your credit score will reflect that payment habit. Also, if you have collections (genuine), charge-offs (genuine), public records such as bankruptcy, foreclosure and judgements (genuine), and your credit report actuall...
Comments 0
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I just received my link to the Summer newsletter from the Community Development Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. You can access the entire newsletter, "Community Investments" by clicking here. This issue is their Green Issue. In this issue, they ask what does it mean to go green? "But for many developers-nonprofit and for-profit alike-greening is a new concept, and assistance is needed in determining which types of designs, materials, and technologies truly contribute to the kinds of outcomes noted above. Is it enough to offer recycling bins? Or to use non-toxic paints?" Discussion of Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED), a green certification program developed by the U.S. Green Building Council, follows. Overall, it is a good read for information...
Comments 4
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
I know there are Realtors out there that remember the bad old days of FHA financing. I still remember having to have and FHA certified inspector check over the house and make the sellers sweep up the basement or clean a spot on the carpet. Anyone remember the VC sheet (that hasn't been that long ago)? Well, that isn't the case anymore. FHA loans are nearly the same as conventional loans, except in some (many) cases better. Take a look at these common myths about FHA: Myth: Takes more time processing.Truth: Takes no more time than a conventional loan. Adds no additional or special requirements. Uses TOTAL Scorecard/AUS approval allowing you to complete a loan in the amount of time it takes to get the appraisal. Myth: More paperwork is involved.Truth: Requires only one additional document...
Comments 20
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
Yesterday I got this e-mail from Countrywide: Effective on Friday, August 29, 2008, Countrywide will no longer accept Seller-Funded Grant Programs on FHA transactions, sometimes described by HUD as Seller-Financed Downpayment Assistance Programs. The Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008, which was formally passed into law Wednesday, July 30, 2008, prohibits any portion of the required down payment to be provided by the seller or any other person or entity that financially benefits from the transaction or any third party or entity that is reimbursed, directly or indirectly, by the seller. Impact to Pipeline: · Loans with applications for Seller-Funded Grant programs for all or part of the down payment must be received on or before Friday, August 29, 2008, and must be approved by the...
Comments 6
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
Did you know? Conforming loans are only available to 80% loan to value for 3 and 4 unit personal residence properties and require a 620 credit score for purchase or rate and term refinance and only 75% for cash out refinances. Did you know? You can get a 95% cash out refinance on an FHA refinance for your single family personal residence, generally at a lower overall payment than if you got a 90% conforming cash out. Did you know? That a cash-out refinance on a 3-4 unit personal residence is available through an FHA loan to 85% loan to value and 97% purchase and the current loan limit in Lane County for a 3 unit property is $531,900. The credit score requirement is only 580. Did you know? Conforming 30 year fixed interest only (10 year interest only) are still available up to 95% purch...
Comments 5
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
The Democratic Party Convention started today in Denver. Barack Obama is the presumptive nominee and he has chosen Joe Biden as his running mate. So what does this mean to mortgage lending? To be real honest about that, I don't know. The markets are very iffy on almost any news coming from the financial arena and I know they are watching the political arena also. If Obama/Biden are elected will this mean higher taxes and slower growth? Is that good or bad? Slower growth will mean less inflation (maybe) unless we go into stagflation. Right now, my advice is take every advantage to find out what every candidate is promoting. Don't be swayed by TV spots and sound bites. Research. There is so much information available, there is no reason for anyone to make an uninformed vote. And, not voti...
Comments 6
By Fred Chamberlin, Oak Harbor/Whidbeynulls, #1 Experienced FHA Mortgage Consultant
(Guild Mortgage Co - Oak Harbor WA)
FHA increased the loan limit (temporarily) in Lane County to $343,750 as part of the stimulus package. This has opened a lot of homes to FHA loans that weren't open in the past but that new limit is only good until December 31. We won't know what the new loan limit is until about a month before the end of the year, but it is my opinion that we will be very near the floor for FHA loans of $271,050. The actual amount will be 115% of the median sales price and from what I have been seeing, I think we will be about there. So, if you are selling or buying in the area between $271k and $343k, now would be a good time to get it going. It is almost September, time is running out. As always, I am available to help you in this endeavor. I am an expert in FHA financing. There are procedures that a...
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