New Real Estate Market Report for Portland-Metro areas

The most recent Market Action Report has been published. Read Randy McCreith’s analysis and view or download the January Market Action Report.

Here is a snippet of Randy’s analysis:

For over a year now, the sales numbers for the Portland metropolitan area have continued to improve each month, although the progress is slow. Properties have not been this affordable since 2004, prices on average are at 2005 levels, and the numbers of sales continues to rise. Inventories have reduced significantly.

One year ago we began the climb out of the pit created by the financial melt-down of late 2008. Pending and closed sales have improved 25-34% since one year ago. The drop in closed sales from December and the dramatic increase in inventory since last month reflect normal seasonal activity. There was low sales activity in December and in January people put their properties on the market with the hope of selling (and buying) during this year. Continued high figures for ‘days on market’ have conditioned sellers to list their properties sooner rather than later.

FHA Loans – Waiting to Buy Will Hit Your Pocketbook

Yesterday morning mortgage broker Venessa Ward of Pacific Residential Mortgage spoke to the Bella Casa Real Estate brokerage. She covered a lot of valuable information and I wanted to share some of the key points we learned from Venessa.

Venessa provided this FHA loan scenario to illustrate how waiting to purchase will hit your pocketbook in just a short 6 weeks from now. You will notice three upcoming changes that will affect your out-of-pocket expenses:

  • The UFMI rate is increasing from 1.75% to 2.25% (Up Front Mortgage Insurance is an insurance premium collected by FHA at the time the loan is initially made. It is in contrast to private mortgage insurance (PMI), which is collected by the lender each month when a buyer’s down payment is less than 20% of the purchase price.)
  • The allowable Seller Contribution will decrease from 6% to 3%. For example, a seller can only contribute up to 3% toward the buyer’s settlement charges (formerly called “closing costs”).
  • The Homebuyer Tax Credit expires on April 30. Buyers must be under contract, having a signed purchase agreement in hand by April 30th, but you have until June 30th to close the financing. If a first-time homebuyer misses this April 30th deadline then you will miss out on $8,000.

Now take a look at this chart. In the case of $193,000 loan, there is a potential difference of $14,965 by purchasing after April 2010.

The lending industry has undergone big changes this past year, resulting in different paperwork, requirements to qualify for loans, and more complexity. Bella Casa firmly and absolutely encourages all buyers to ONLY seek financing from LOCAL mortgage lenders. You need to be able to sit face-to-face with your lender so they can educate you about the process and your loan, and also so that you can hold your lender accountable.

We realize that these figures can be confusing, so we highly recommend that you call a local lender to discuss your specific situation.

Special thanks to Venessa Ward from Pacific Residential Mortgage!

Pacific Residential Mortgage has offices in McMinnville and Lake Oswego.

Venessa Ward, Sr. Mortgage Banker
NMLS# 140124
“Making it happen in 2010”

Pacific Residential Mortgage, LLC
117 NE Fifth Street, STE D
McMinnville, OR 97128
(503) 437-9200 Office
(971) 241-2001 Cell
(503) 670-0674 Fax
(800) 758-0030 Toll Free

Mortgage Rates – Economic Update

The Fed has told us repeatedly that their massive purchasing program of Mortgage Backed Securities is just about over – and this translates to home loan rates rising in the near future.

As you can see in the chart below, the amounts of Mortgage Backed Securities the Fed is purchasing are slowly dwindling, as the program is set to wrap up by March 31st, and are clearly trying to ration out the remaining portion. Last week, the Fed purchased $11 Billion in Mortgage Backed Securities, which leaves them with $66 Billion to spend out of their original $1.25 Trillion allotment. So about 95% of the total has already been spent and has purchased about 3 out of every 4 home loans during the past year. When such a large buyer leaves the market, it is very likely that prices will worsen.

This is very important because as the Fed has less money to last through the remaining months of the program, their ability to keep home loan rates low via their purchasing power will wane.

And to those who can take advantage of currently low home loan rates, DO NOT WAIT, as the clock on these historically low rates is ticking.

Article Source: Glen Bremer Alpine Mortgage Planning Mobile: 503-502-5373 Email:

Buyers Have Questions?…We Have Answers!

You’ve probably heard that we’re in the midst of a buyer’s market, right? But what exactly makes this market so great for buyers? Find out the specifics by viewing or downloading this brochure. Learn why the market, interest rates, loan options, tax credits, and the current inventory make 2010 an ideal time to buy in Yamhill County. Just click on the icon below.

View or Print this PDF brochure

In 2009 Bella Casa Real Estate Group helped more buyers purchase real estate in Yamhill County than any other brokerage! Like so many others have discovered,  you can trust us to help you buy your next property. We look forward to speaking with you!

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Meet the Bella Casa Realtors®

Who Pays My Real Estate Agent?

Randy McCreith, Principal Broker Bella Casa Real Estate Group

How Real Estate Commissions Work

Like every other product or service in the world, a ‘cost of sales’ is built into the product or service charges. It takes money to design a functional product that meets needs, to appeal to the public, promote the benefits of it, and invites the customer to buy. There are substantial costs building ‘brands’ and identity, packaging strategically, marketing goods and services widely, and advertising precisely. At the point of sale, there are significant labor costs to get the product to you in a way you like. Marketing and sales are a large part of any product or service.

Whenever you buy something, you are paying commissions, fees, and expenses that allowed that product or service to come to market, pique your interest, make your life better and more enjoyable, and allow you to accomplish your goals in life.

Continue reading “Who Pays My Real Estate Agent?”

Steps to Get Out of Debt & Save for Your First Home

RISMEDIA Real Estate Information Systems

Are you ready for a fresh financial start in 2010? What are you looking forward to in the New Year? Buying your first home? Sending your last kid off to college? Being able to start mining and trading cryptocurrency, with something like this z15 miner, for the first time so you can make more money? Quite frankly, the list of possible New Year’s resolutions is limitless. It may feel like “Resolution Impossible,” but if you follow Eric Tyson’s advice, you’ll remember ’10 as the year you finally took control of your financial future.

“While the situation is improving, Americans carry too much consumer debt,” says Tyson, author of Personal Finance for Dummies, 6th Edition.. “If you have credit card debt or auto loans, take some solace in the fact that you’re far from alone and that many others have overcome these hurdles. Consumer debt is not okay, particularly in a slow economy such as this one. It can damage your personal relationships and mental well-being, not to mention the stability of your financial future.”

Here are a few tips from Tyson that will help you improve your financial health in 2010:

Continue reading “Steps to Get Out of Debt & Save for Your First Home”

Do I Need Representation?

You be the judge. Real estate transactions involve one of the biggest financial investments most people experience in their lifetime. Transactions today usually exceed $100,000. If you had a $100,000 income tax problem, would you attempt to deal with it without the help of a CPA? If you had a $100,000 legal question, would you deal with it without the help of an attorney? Considering the small upside cost and the large downside risk, it would be foolish to consider a deal in real estate without the professional assistance of a REALTOR !

  • Realtors are educated, licensed, trained, experienced, and insured for your protection.
  • Their expertise in an extremely complex industry increases the odds of making profitable decisions.
  • Our continuing education never ends and with every challenge we learn more to spare you the pains of what others have endured.

The real estate industry is one of the most heavily regulated industries in Oregon. A major part of a real estate broker’s responsibility is to help reduce your risk, keep you well informed, and guide you through the process so that all that happens is proper.

Our greatest asset to you is not when things go well, but when things go wrong or obstacles are faced, or when uncommon issues arise.

Continue reading “Do I Need Representation?”

Stellar Homebuyer Opportunities Nearing End

Travis Newton, Owner/Sr. Mortgage Banker ML 137

For prospective homebuyers who are on the fence about making a home purchase, the next few months represent a countdown of sorts for two reasons.

First, huge tax incentives are about to expire. April 30, 2010 is the last day to enter into a home purchase contract and still potentially qualify for a federal income tax credit of up to $8,000 for first-time homebuyers and up to $6,500 for repeat homebuyers. The credit can be claimed only on contracts that close by June 30, 2010.

Secondly, another form of stimulus will soon disappear, as the Federal Reserve winds down a program that has been keeping home loan rates artificially low. The fact is that the lowest rates of 2009 were driven down to their attractive levels because of the Fed’s Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) purchase program. The Fed has already used over 80% of the allocated funds for MBS, meaning less than 20% remains to be used over four months.

As the Fed’s program winds down and ends, we’ll likely see two things happen. First, we will probably see higher levels of volatility–with rates sometimes shifting dramatically in the middle of the day. Second, since MBS will have less support from the Fed, rates are likely to rise over time.