Buying Oregon Horse Properties

[dropcap character=”H” color=”red”]Oregon horse properties are a hot ticket! Horse people, horse activities, horse properties, and horses (of course) abound in the Willamette Valley.  From world-class internationally recognized dressage, hunter/jumper trainers and training barns to backyard pasture pets, our region boasts a dizzying array of equestrian opportunities.

If you’re looking to buy or sell an equestrian property in Yamhill County or anywhere in Oregon, Bella Casa Real Estate Group brings plenty of expertise and knowledge of how to market your property or help you find what you need.  We understand what horse people value, whether it’s to find the right type of pasture with good fencing, or the need to emphasize the type and size of the arena or barn you’re trying to sell.  Whatever your needs or desires from a horse property standpoint, we have the experience in the industry to help you achieve your goals. The following are several examples of equestrian opportunities found in the Willamette Valley, Oregon:

Horse Shows

During show season, you’ll find some of the biggest and most attended horse shows in the Northwest. For example, every year in July, DevonWood Equestrian Center hosts Dressage at DevonWood, one of the largest and best attended dressage competitions on the west coast.  DevonWood, owned by Ginny and Justin Rattner and located in Sherwood, is a world-class dressage training and showing barn and is definitely one of the most gorgeous and expansive equestrian facilities you will ever see in your life.  Visit for more information.

Training Barns

DevonWood is just one of several big, beautiful, accomplished dressage training barns in the Willamette Valley.  Year round, there are opportunities to attend a show or audit a clinic taught by an internationally recognized competitor or coach.  The Willamette Valley also boasts an impressive variety of large, successful, and yes – once again- internationally recognized hunter/jumper barns and trainers.

Rich Fellers, aboard the famed Irish Sporthorse stallion, Flexible, has competed and won all over the globe in the Grand Prix jumper arena.  His training operation is located at the prestigious Whip ‘N Spur farm in Wilsonville, owned by Rebekah and JR Swan.  For more information about this beautiful and well-known facility, please visit The drive out to Whip ‘N Spur alone will amaze you with some impressive scenery, including the peaceful, winding road, aptly named Wilsonville Road and of course, the huge number of even more big, beautiful barns.

In fact, it just so happens that on this same road, only about a mile down from Whip ‘N Spur, you will find Hunter Creek, a gorgeous hunter/jumper show venue, which hosts the majority of the big hunter/jumper shows that take place in this area.  A large competition takes place just about every weekend during show season at Hunter Creek, most notably The Country Classic, which is attended by people from all over the West Coast.


If equine breeding holds your interest, the Northwest offers some high octane breeders as well.  Oakhurst Equine, a Thoroughbred racehorse breeding, training, and veterinary operation in Newberg, Oregon stands the stallion, Grindstone, the 1996 Kentucky Derby winner.  Dr. Jack Root, head veterinarian and owner, breeds hundreds of mares every year, not only for the sake of his passion for horse racing, but also for clients who participate in a variety of sport horse disciplines.  Another major player in the risky, yet rewarding game of breeding is Wild Turkey Farm in Wilsonville, also located on Wilsonville Road.  Wild Turkey stands six exceptional Holsteiner stallions, who represent some of the most successful European jumper bloodlines in the world.  Wild Turkey’s facility alone, impresses with gorgeous barns and acres of pastoral pasture land.

All of these exceptional barns, trainers, breeders, and opportunities truly represent only a tiny fraction of what the Willamette Valley has to offer to horse lovers of every persuasion.  For news, updates, great articles, and a comprehensive directory of sporthorse-related businesses, including barns and trainers in the area, please refer to Flying Changes magazine.


Published on: Nov 30, 2012

Buying Investment Properties

[frame align=”right” border=”1″]This information
courtesy of Grace Allen,
Realtor® specializing in
investment properties.

503-550-1299[/frame] [dropcap character=”I” color=”blue”] I recently read that “the lure of free land was overpowering to many families suffering from the threat of a depressed economy.

Technology and the media saturate us with information about the state of our present economy. But did you know the above was extracted from an article about the immigrant wagon trains of the 1800’s that brought original settlers to this area? I believe the passion of these pioneers transcends time and people today are also willing to take action in the hope of a better future. They go after what they know to have inherent value – land – real property.

Although we do not have wagon trains of people or this same free land today, the foreclosures and bank REOs (property that goes back to the mortgage company after an unsuccessful foreclosure auction) are bringing a wave of novice hopeful investors into the real estate market. They see the price and think they can turn a house into a rental. But they may not understand landlording issues, investing intelligently or the local market. Many people use services like property management Katy TX to take care of things such as leasing, screening tenants, and inspection to take some of the workload off themselves.

Local Market Area

Yamhill County covers 459,520 acres – or 718 of Oregon’s total 98,381 square miles. Bound by Washington, Clackamas, Polk, Marion and Tillamook Counties, the county extends from 15 miles southwest of Portland to within about 11 miles of the Pacific Ocean. Incorporated cities include: Amity, Carlton, Dayton, Dundee, Lafayette, McMinnville, Newberg, Sheridan, Willamina and Yamhill. The population of Yamhill County is 95,925 or about 2.5% of Oregon’s total. Other nearby areas include Tualatin, Sherwood, Wilsonville, St. Paul, Gaston, and the Bald Peak area.


Though numbers fluctuate constantly, accessible data indicates that 1 in every 502 housing units received a foreclosure filing in February 2011. Using Regional Multiple Listing data, of the 937 active listings in Yamhill County approximately 10% of these are bank owned.

Pricing and Values

Banks are pricing their inventory unusually low which is good for the buyer though not favorable to property values in general. For example: Two adjacent homes in a newer construction neighborhood with typical home values in the $250k to $450k range were sold by real estate brokers within a few weeks of each other. The foreclosed, bank-owned home was in reasonable condition, slightly smaller and sold for over $100,000 less than the non-foreclosure home next door. Sales like these challenge the real estate community and affiliates to establish and justify value and pricing. Regional Multiple listing data for the period ending in May, 2011 indicates the average sales price in our area is comparable to sales for the period ending in May, 2005. Those looking to use their property to earn money from renting it out to prospective tenants may want to consider hiring a property management company, especially if this is their first foray into real estate.

Mortgage Money

One mortgage banker states investor activity has increased over the past 12 months (2010 to 2011) and attributes this activity to reduced home prices and low interest rates. These investors are primarily looking for inexpensive single family residential properties and are definitely interested in Yamhill County. If an investor does not have all cash, mortgage loans are available. Investors needing loans are wise to seek the assistance of a professional mortgage banker prior to beginning a search for properties.

Get Started

If you are a beginner investor or have simply been unsuccessful in the past, consider these steps:

  • Due diligence is not optional. Understand the local market for rental real estate in your price segment. Investigate local government plans for an area where you are thinking of buying.
  • Have a written plan with an entry strategy and an exit strategy, and know how long you want to hold onto a property including how much will it earn during that time.
  • Calculate all the actual costs of the property and not just the cheap price. What will it cost to fix and maintain – repairs, vacancy costs, taxes and more?
  • Consider enlisting the help of a property management company. If you own multiple properties it can be difficult to stay on top of everything so do not be afraid to outsource the management of your properties to a real estate expert.


The good news is this. Though the above may raise questions, the following does not: the lure of owning real property draws buyers and sellers into the market place – yesterday, today and tomorrow.

[stylebox color=”blue” textcolor=”#f7f7f7″]Contact Grace Allen at 503-550-1299 to learn more about buying investment properties.[/stylebox]


Published on: Nov 30, 2012

Choosing a Real Estate Company

[dropcap character=”I” color=”blue”]In real estate the only thing that matters is what is local, personal, and custom. Clients no longer look to a national brand or a firm to find real estate; they go online directly into the marketplace and see who the local experts are and what properties and services they offer.

Clients do not care how big and successful a company is if they do not receive the very best value. Our industry by nature is as local, personal, and as custom a service as one can imagine. We must have deep local knowledge, broad industry information, expert skills, and availability that is unprecedented in any marketplace. Failure at any level can cost a client the right property, an exceptional value, or cause much turmoil and pain in the process.

Bella Casa Real Estate Group does not aspire to be the biggest brokerage, run the highest sales numbers, nor do we aspire to create the next national brand. We are focused and local because that is what clients need us to be.

We do aspire to be the dominant and most prestigious brand in the greater Yamhill County area, one of the most beautiful places on the earth! Our goal has always been to be the brand of choice. We are accomplishing this with a sterling reputation, which we value more than gold, and by providing the highest level of competent service available for our clients.


Published on: Nov 29, 2012

Equal Opportunity in Housing

[dropcap character=”T” color=”gray”]The Fair Housing Act declares a national policy of fair housing throughout the United States. The law makes illegal any discrimination in the sale, lease or rental housing, or making housing otherwise unavailable, because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin.[space5]

Buyers Have the Right to Expect:

  • Housing in your price range made available to you without discrimination
  • Equal professional service
  • The opportunity to consider a broad range of housing choices
  • No discriminatory limitation on certain communities or locations of housing
  • No discrimination in the financing, appraising or insuring of housing
  • Reasonable accommodations in rules, practices and procedures for persons with disabilities
  • Non-discriminatory terms and conditions for the sale, rental, financing, or insuring of a dwelling
  • To be free from harassment or intimidation for exercising your fair housing rights

The following are Prohibited in the Sale or Rental of Housing:

  • Refuse to rent or sell housing
  • Refuse to negotiate for housing
  • Make housing unavailable
  • Deny a dwelling
  • Set different terms, conditions or privileges for sale or rental of a dwelling
  • Provide different housing services or facilities
  • Falsely deny that housing is available for inspection, sale, or rental
  • For profit, persuade owners to sell or rent (blockbusting) or
  • Deny anyone access to or membership in a facility or service (such as a multiple listing service) related to the sale or rental of housing.

The following are Prohibited in Mortgage Lending:

No one may take any of the following actions based on race, color, national origin, religion, sex, familial status or handicap (disability):

  • Refuse to make a mortgage loan
  • Refuse to provide information regarding loans
  • Impose different terms or conditions on a loan, such as different interest rates, points, or fees
  • Discriminate in appraising property
  • Refuse to purchase a loan or
  • Set different terms or conditions for purchasing a loan

In Addition, it is illegal for anyone to: threaten, coerce, intimidate or interfere with anyone exercising a fair housing right or assisting others who exercise that right.

How Bella Casa Realtors® Uphold the Fair Housing Act

Bella Casa Realtors® are members of the National Association of Realtors®, which requires that “Realtors® shall not deny equal professional services to any person for reasons of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status, or national origin” (Code of Ethics, Article 10). We pledge to conduct business in keeping with the spirit and letter of the Code of Ethics as well as the Fair Housing Act.


Published on: Nov 28, 2012

Pricing to Sell

Competitively pricing your home is key for a quick sale.

[dropcap character=”I” color=”green”]In real estate we have a large tool box of strategies, proven methods, creative ideas, and new technologies we can add to our diligent (now even excessive) labor to get our properties sold. For years now, we have pulled them all out and fully exploited them for our clients, and experimented with a storm of new ideas.  Wow! Even these have left us wanting. So also for our clients…

Since the turn of the market in 2007, sellers, who could be as demanding and inflexible as they wanted for so long, have had to face new realities. The buyer’s market and the radically reduced demand has awakened them to a world of price reductions, prepping their properties for selling, completing projects and repairs, de-cluttering, depersonalizing and staging their castles, and maintaining their homes at standards they did not even live at in order to attract an offer. Sellers now are highly competitive and need thick skin because buyers are  brutal.

Four years into this mess, we can say with certainty that all the glitter is gone and one thing reigns supreme in our marketplace – PRICING.

Values are dictated by tsunamis of distressed sales. These include the desperate, those in default, short sales, and REOs which are foreclosed or ‘bank-owned’ properties. They not only reduce values but have become common comparables for appraisers. Additionally, buyers must ‘buy well’ so that they do not find themselves upside down on their mortgages soon after their purchase. We have also been stripped of our infatuation with dream properties and reckless spending because ‘we want it’ and can afford it. We think more today about survival, good investments, and functionality. No one wants to go through a similar cycle in the future as unprepared as we were for this one.

Today buyers are looking for, finding, and selecting the really good deals. Trust my chastened thinking here, those who price competitively and aggressively get to move, the rest stay put. In a market of low demand where 20% of the active comparable properties will sell this year, you have to be in that 20%, and do all the other things at the top of this article, to be successful.

It is that simple to be sure, and yet it is more complex than I can put in a short article. We will be glad to have this conversation with you anytime if you are on the market, or contemplating a sale.



Published on: Nov 19, 2012

Relocating to Oregon

[dropcap character=”M” color=”red”]Moving across town means packing and hauling your current home’s contents, renting or hiring a moving van, and usually taking a weekend to accomplish the daunting task. Most people find moving stressful and exhausting even in the best of circumstances. Relocation brings its own crate of challenges, but some good planning can save you stress and anxiety as you move through this transition.

Selecting & Researching Your Destination

Your relocation process begins with a destination in mind. Maybe you are moving for family or work reasons, or maybe it’s just time to start somewhere fresh. A great starting point to investigate a city or town is going to be the local chamber of commerce website. Parks and recreation websites will tell you what kind of natural surroundings the area offers.

If you are looking to move somewhere in or around Yamhill County you have just struck gold. We not only work here, we vacation here! We love it here. Yamhill County has so much to offer all year round. We actually have less rain than the Big Apple and our moderate temperature lends itself to all kinds of outdoor enjoyment.

Our website offers a rich resource of community information for each wine country town and popular communities. Each town offers a different feel and vibe, whether a city feel or small village environment. Find out what suits you best by reading personal descriptions of our communities written by Bella Casa agents.

When looking at a big city don’t discount neighboring areas as you might find a better match for your lifestyle. Take time to research what the city or town has to offer. Bella Casa real estate brokers are local experts, we are more than happy to visit with you as you research your new home area options.


What to take and what to leave behind? There are things we brought to London that didn’t return with us. Depending on what type of relocation you are doing, you might want to rent a storage unit. Or look into Storage Buildings that can be shipped all together with contents inside, so you know it is all intact. Shipping across the county is spendy — across the pond is expensive. If it does not have sentimental or legal value, then leave it behind.

Other tips:

  • If packing for international, you cannot pack liquids. So if you want to take wine or spirits, check your airline for quantity in suite cases or look to ship it with UPS or USPS.
  • When shipping any pictures framed with glass, buy blue painters tape and criss-cross all around the picture center out to the edge of the frame, at least 8 strips around. If the glass does break, the tape will hold the glass pieces in place and prevent damage to the photo. Use cardboard corners to protect the edges.
  • Bubble wrap is your best friend, and your best price is going to be online. Go big as you will use a ton of it. They also have plate and dish sleeves now that protect dishes.
  • Space bags are a great invention and can be used for all things fabric. They truly are space saving and a great way to keep your items dry and clean.
  • Pets are another area where you need to research options. Some pets will need passports, shot updates, special carriers, and even plane tickets.
  • Electronics are another item to put some thought into, obviously if you are relocating within the United States it is fine to take electrical items with you. If you are making an international move, forget bringing those types of items. It is a headache to find converters as voltage differences can blow your source easily.

Moving and Shipping

Now that you have a destination in mind, when you are ready to begin your move make sure to interview at least two national or international moving companies. If you’re after moving services in tennessee, there is a great local firm called choosemoveon which a lot of our clients recommend. You’ll also be wanting to think of other possessions such as your vehicles, for these services it’s better to go with specialized vehicle relocators, look into different car and suv shipping companies to find the right service for you.

  • Find out how they pack your belongings: do they put them on pallets and shrink wrap? are they put in wooden crate boxes, like puzzle pieces?
  • Ask about shared containers if you don’t have a full container; sharing can save you some cash. Everything is labeled and the chance of lost items is slim.
  • Make sure you get a contract that discloses all charges associated with delivery as well. There can be fees in Customs.
  • Timing is also an obstacle; ask about length of shipping time. Don’t rely on the quoted delivery time if there are items you will need right away. It is best to keep critical with you or ship UPS or USPS.

Wherever your move takes you, bring your sentimental treasures along. You can’t replace them and you will miss them. Best of luck – and if you need any help, advice or an ear to bend, give us a call. If we don’t have an answer we might have a good idea of where to get one!

Other Resources



Published on: Nov 1, 2012

Why Won’t My Property Sell?

[dropcap character=”M” color=”red”]More than ?ve years of a housing depression have taught us to adjust, adapt, and learn new dynamics of selling in a declining market. This greatest of challenges has brought us back to the very fundamentals of our trade, selling real estate in the public marketplace. If you are fortunate enough to have already found a buyer for your property, it would be worth speaking to Jim’s Conveyancing Services in Brisbane before concluding the sale.[space5] [accordion_group] [accordion title=”1. Price can sell anything, anytime!”]Nothing is as important as pricing the property right. Regardless of the condition of the property, market conditions, or location issues, price can be adjusted to compensate and sell any home in a reasonable time, whether you’re selling it to the House Buyers of America or to anyone else. The banks prove this everyday by selling a high volume of foreclosed properties quickly (accepted offer within 30 days). Banks cannot afford to keep these homes on their books so buyers often get the property at more than 15% under current market pricing. The bottom line is that pricing, appropriate to the goal, works even when other efforts do not. [space5] Buyers today have almost all market knowledge at their ?nger tips and they are savvy about good values, deals, steals, and overpriced properties. If you list your $300,000 property with me today for $50,000 I will have a cash offer for you in a few hours! List it at $315,000 and it will sit there waiting for a price reduction; at $335,000 you are wasting your time; it will not sell no matter what you want or what a Realtor® promises you. No one controls the marketplace! No one can change it! No one violates its realities and gets rewarded for it. If your property sits on the market without showings or offers for too long, it is overpriced, at least as it is right now. Of course most people do not want to unload their property like banks do; they want to sell it at fair market value. You might also want to look at how properties are sold in planned communities similar to HUNT MIDWEST to give you an idea of what is missing. Only recent sold properties reveal what market value really is. Actively listed comparable properties on the market are nothing more than opinions of value by agents (sometimes ?awed) or the dreams of owners (sometimes unrealistic). These prices may change often and dramatically until they reach true market value and sell. Active listings should be viewed only to evaluate your competitive position to gain a buyer who might be in the market place. To get a better price, the following principles apply…[space5] At the core, beneath all the novel ideas of marketing, technologies, advertising, and sales strategies, there are three absolutes to selling your property- Price, Location, and Condition. Apply these properly and most of the work is done. The rest of the glitter is just about improving competitive advantages, and getting your own promotional materials from doesn’t hurt.
There can be other dynamics that play a heightened role for a time. For a time such as this, I add a 4th dynamic which has played loudly for the past 5 years- Sometimes there are no buyers in a particular market.[/accordion][space5] [accordion title=”2. Location is the standard for real estate value”]Location, location, location has always been the key to establishing value and sale-ability in the marketplace. Location is about ‘local’ issues right down to the very home’s neighborhood, location, and setting. If you are where people want to be, for whatever reasons, you will sell it for more money and quicker. Right now urban living is in vogue, is green, is less expensive for commuting, and is convenient to restaurants and great shopping, etc. Guess what? The Pearl District in Portland is expensive and yet it sells well! Walking distance to McMinnville’s down town or convenience to a select school gets a better price. A quiet cul-de-sac sells easier than a home on a busy feeder street. Highway visibility for a commercial space is more expensive than on secondary streets even if the buildings are more attractive. On the other hand a home next to the highway is in trouble in the same way that a home near airport noise suffers. You will have greater challenges on a gravel road, in areas with no cell reception, next door to a dilapidated home, or near a smelly business. These are dif?cult to sell; therefore, the property has to adjust pricing to move it.[/accordion][space5][accordion title=”3. The Property Condition Can Get a Quicker Sale and a Better Price!”]Home “?ippers” want a ?xer-upper but they also require the low price which goes with it. Perfectly manicured, hardly lived in, designer homes sell quicker and get a much higher price. Most people want a turn-key home that needs only cosmetic customization based on the buyer’s preferences. People hate repairs, especially the repairs that are not enjoyable expenditures such as plumbing and electrical ?xes, crawlspace issues, roof and gutters, replacement windows, water heater, cracked concrete, exterior painting, etc.It has been a ruthless buyers’ market with great demands made on sellers for the price and then again after the inspection. Prepare your home for sale by completing projects, making all known repairs, and updating whatever you are able to do, touching up paint, etc. Anything sub-standard about your property will require a price offset to get it sold. You can sell a home in any condition but the more challenges, the less money you get. We can help you think through this complex issue.Presentation is crucial in a competitive market. You do not sell your home in the same condition you living in it. Home and Garden TV has helped Realtors® greatly. These real estate reality shows help buyers to see the competitive process and learn basic principles of property presentation. De-clutter and depersonalize have become the most well known. Sparse and space is good. We also want buyers to imagine themselves in the house not think of it as your home. Remember, in the housing industry, like the clothing and the auto industries, the styles change more often than ever right now. Home Depot and Lowes, specialty stores for ?ooring, tile, paint, light ?xtures, etc. mean that people can remodel and redecorate frequently. Buyers pay most for homes which are not dated.Consider a pre-listing inspection to be able to eliminate repair obstacles. Think about staging your home for sale. If it gets you a quicker offer and a higher price negotiated, your efforts are worth money in your pocket.[/accordion][space5][accordion title=”4. Sometimes, there are no buyers in the marketplace. This is the exception…?”]For 5 years, we have suffered insecurity and uncertainly (never good for marketplaces), outright paralysis (?nancial meltdown of 2008); inability to get ?nancing (new construction for lots and land), a log-jam of unsalable homes (frustrating the ability to move), and a glut of distressed properties systematically reducing home values (and de-motivating buyers because, ‘Next year the price will be even lower!’).For much of this time there were no buyers for city lots and rural buildable properties. While luxury and complex rural properties were losing 50% of their value, there were no jumbo loans and no buyers. Unemployment sucked an enormous number of prospective buyers out of the marketplace for the midrange homes. Distressed markets in California, Arizona, and Nevada cut off the normally vibrant ?ow from out of state buyers affecting rural areas like Yamhill County’s wine region severely. Grass seed farms, normally a strength of our local economy, were a liability as seed prices crashed. In the same way timber properties crash when the lumber sales dive for lack of demand.It is challenging to incentivize buyers when they cannot be found! This has been our greatest challenge in selling. To some degree we had to hit bottom to ?rst attract the scavengers to clean-up the carnage and then the public to believe that the downside risk of buying today is low and the upside potential is great. We are grateful that the real estate market has recovered and properties are selling at a healthy rate.[/accordion]
[/accordion_group]Best regards,

Randy McCreith, Real estate broker
Randy McCreith, Principal Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
Cell: 503-310-9147
Fax: 866-281-6653
McMinnville office (19th & Hwy 99)
207 NE 19th Street, Suite 100
McMinnville OR 97128
Newberg office (College & Hwy 99)
700 E 1st Street, Suite 100
Newberg OR 97132
Published on: Oct 18, 2012

The Challenge of Closing

[dropcap character=”B” color=”red”]Buying or selling a home is like climbing Mount Everest – getting a signed contract is a great accomplishment after all of the processes before that, including having a property evaluator view your home and actually listing it for sale. Yet that’s only half the journey. The typical home transaction today involves more than 20 steps after the initial contract is accepted to complete the transaction.

“Closing” transfers the title of the property from the seller to the buyer. The buyer receives the keys and the seller receives payment for the home, minus money to pay off the existing mortgage and other transaction costs. Deeds, loan papers, and other documents are prepared, signed, and filed with local property record offices.

The good news is that much of what needs to be done before the closing is the responsibility of appraisers, loan processors, attorneys, and inspectors – and it’s your Bella Casa realtor’s role is to coordinate those responsibilities. You agent will help ensure that others do their jobs promptly and correctly and that the closing isn’t jeopardized.

Bella Casa realtors have extensive experience in handling problems that may arise during the time between contract and closing; they can anticipate difficulties and address them in time to ensure a smooth settlement for all involved.

When things go wrong, closing can easily fall behind. Here’s how much time to expect on particular delays:

One-Week Delays

  • Buyer submits incorrect information to lender
  • Source of down-payment changes
  • Escrow fails to notify parties about missing documents
  • Principals leave town without signing all necessary papers
  • Unknown defects are discovered in the property
  • Last-minute liens discovered
  • Cloud on title
  • Move-out date changes

Two-Week Delays

  • Lender decides at the last minute it doesn’t approve of the borrower or the property
  • Lender raises interest rates
  • Lender requires last minute reappraisal or repairs
  • Appraisal too low


Published on: Oct 12, 2012

How to Find a Safe Mortgage Broker

[dropcap character=”W” color=”yellow”] We love good, professional loan people – they are heros! To make sure that you’re working with competent and trust-worthy professionals, we encourage you to personally know your mortgage broker or loan originator.

We want you to have his or her phone number, email address, and office address. We want you to be in constant communication, and to have the ability to go into the your broker’s physical office any time you want face to face, cry your eyes out, or express your anger (civilly of course) in their presence. There needs to be accountability. Someone who does not do their work well and provide excellent customer service needs to see and hear what their laziness, greed, and incompetence does to real people![space10]

Your mortgage broker is the only one who has access to the lender.

It is critical to compare your options before deciding on a lender from whom to borrow money. This is where a good mortgage broker can help. When you go to a lender to borrow money, you will almost always be asked about your credit rating. A good CMB Barrie could be able to advise you on how to improve your credit rating, which is particularly important for those with poor credit.
They must keep the pressure on during the process and preempt problems with the lender. They must have all the documents properly prepared, and they must understand you and your situation so they can represent your interests well to the lender. They must handle objections, assist in correcting a bad appraisal, and must expeditiously satisfy conditions before closing. A good mortgage broker should be deep in the industry and have broad connections. They have worked hard to become a valuable resource to the lenders and build a reliable professional reputation. They can rescue a troubled loan, they can call in a favor if needed, and they can sometimes get the benefit of the doubt. A first-rate mortgage broker is valuable and indispensable.[space10]

Search locally and ask for referrals from Realtors and other industry professionals.

Our reputations depend on you receiving quality service and making your experience rewarding. We cannot afford to refer to unqualified and irresponsible vendors. If you follow our advice, we also have positive influence with the mortgage broker and can better assist you. At Bella Casa Real Estate Group we have chosen not to have Affiliated Business Relationships with mortgage brokers. This means we do not have a financial interest in using anyone. We have no conflict of interest in referring the best to you. We get nothing in return for our referrals. All we ask is that our clients be treated as well as we treat them.[space10]
[button size=”large” link=”” target=”_blank” color=”yellow” ]We urge you to refer to our list of Mortgage Brokers when selecting your broker.[/button][space5]
Take the time to meet with several of the brokers or loan officers before you make your final decision. Get a feel for whom you’ll be working with as well as the rates and mortgage products they offer.
Published on: Jan 2, 2010

Mortgage Brokers to Avoid

[dropcap character=”N” color=”gray”]No one can ruin your life better than a bad mortgage broker and the lender behind them! I cannot tell you how many times we have had grown adults in our real estate office literally crying because the moving truck is coming and the transaction is not complete; the stress is unbearable for everyone. I have rarely seen the kind of anger that wells up when the transaction is in trouble, or is falling apart at the last minute, and the buyer has spent a lot of money, sacrificed a great deal of time, and made unalterable plans which include many people and time off work. The closing days of a transaction are intense. Everything needs to work in concert. If something goes wrong, most likely it is because of the failure of a mortgage broker, bank closing officer, or the lender. You will be miserable and you will want to take it out on somebody, anybody who is near you. As Realtors® this is our most fearful time.

Sketch, Carl Bucks

The lender is usually a huge, bureaucratic institution.

The people are nameless and faceless, and you are no more than a speck of dust in their universe! If your loan gets lost in the bowels of the organization, then there will be 100 new loans to replace yours, and you will never be missed. The processors may punch a clock and could not care less if your deadline is tomorrow; at 5:pm today, even with the simplest task yet to do, they are going to punch the clock and go home! If overworked, they may work at their own pace, oblivious to what this does to your life and your home purchase. Underwriters may delay their conclusions to the very end of your transaction and then require numerous conditions to be fulfilled before funding your loan, thus causing you to close late.

What if, in addition to this ‘no-service’ lender, you also have a nameless, faceless, ‘no service’ mortgage broker? Trust me; it is almost hopeless, and you are helpless, and life is going to get more complicated and painful. Don’t do it!

It’s not a pretty picture, but this scenario can be replicated for almost any industry. Have you tried to get good customer service from any large institution (cell phone, computer, utility, credit card, big box store…)? This is just reality, and it is the challenge that must be overcome for you to have a life and be happy!

Who to Avoid Like the Plague:

[pullquote align=”left”]It is our professional recommendation that you do not select your mortgage lender online unless they have a local office! [/pullquote]

The Internet is a priceless resource for information. It is instant and provides a level of access very few have had in the past. But it is also a dangerous place. You often do not know whom you are dealing with or what kind of company. Sometimes things work; too often they do not.

Avoid Lending Tree, Quicken Loans, and a host of other online options. They may offer a simple process and a lot of products, but like any big company, they sacrifice excellent customer service and accountability to be one of the big boys. Do you want to gamble with your most valuable asset?[space5]

Finally, you love your family and friends, but they may not be the best source for your business decisions.

A good mortgage broker should be deep in the industry and have broad connections. They have worked hard to become a valuable resource to the lenders and build a reliable professional reputation. They can rescue a troubled loan, they can call in a favor if needed, and they can sometimes get the benefit of the doubt. Is your family connection, friend, neighbor, or other personal referral such a person? If so, this is a benefit. If not, you will pay handsomely for your generosity. Do not let emotion cloud your judgment in making a wise decision.

Search locally and ask for referrals from Realtors® and other industry professionals.

[button size=”large” link=”” target=”_self” color=”yellow”] Mortgage Broker Referrals[/button][space5]

At Bella Casa Real Estate Group we have chosen not to have Affiliated Business Relationships with mortgage brokers. This means we do not have a financial interest in using anyone. We have no conflict of interest in referring the best to you. We get nothing in return for our referrals. All we ask is that our clients be treated as well as we treat them. We urge you to refer to our list of Mortgage Brokers when selecting your broker. Take the time to meet with several of the brokers or loan officers before you make your final decision. Get a feel for whom you’ll be working with as well as the rates and mortgage products they offer.

Randy McCreith, Principle Broker
Bella Casa Real Estate Group
503-310-9147 cell



Published on: Dec 28, 2009