Posts Tagged ‘Lending’

Target Security Breach and How it Could Affect Lending Soon

Wednesday, February 5th, 2014

Unless you’ve been sleeping under a rock for the last few months you’ve heard of the Target security breach that’s effected a whopping 1 in 5 people. Well an interesting question has been raised recently and that is how this breach will affect lending and the housing market in general when loan approvals start becoming loan denials due to some guy buying a new $3,000 4K flat screen on your card as a result of that breach.

The National Real Estate Post put up a video on this topic yesterday that I’d recommend taking a look at:

Your Realtor, Scott McDonald
Everything. Portland. Real Estate. Blog.

McDonald Group Real Estate Trends: It’s Still a Buyer’s Market in Portland

Wednesday, September 15th, 2010

The latest market report for the Portland Real Estate market shows a steady level of continued price reductions on homes for sale around the Portland Metro area. Back in August we talked here on the McDonald Group Real Estate blog about the Portland Business Journal article stating that thirty-two percent of Portland homes for sale in early summer experienced at least one price reduction, ranking  Portland No. 16 on Trulia’s list of price reductions in America’s 50 largest cities. Those numbers are sticking around.

A buyers market is one in which there are more homes available that there are people ready and willing to purchase them. With so many options to choose from in the Portland Real Estate market, buyers have the opportunity to pick up ridiculous deals on homes for sale in Portland that would otherwise be snapped up for much more. The buyers market means more options, lower prices, and higher competition amongst sellers, which makes homeowners and Portland real estate agents more willing to compromise and negotiate price reductions on all types of homes.

Signs of a buyers market in Portland are everywhere – this is the time to upsize or move into a more desirable area, as there are literally hundreds of gorgeous homes at rock bottom prices, including luxury foreclosures, high-end short-sales, bank-owned homes, and affordable listing prices on homes priced well below their previous market value. A balanced buyer/seller market has around 5 or 6 months of inventory. The Portland Real Estate market is currently just below 11 months. If you’re trying to sell a home in Portland, you’re going to need to price competitively and think about upgrades to make your house more attractive to the increasingly savvy buyers. The average sale price in the Portland Real Estate market is around $297,000 and homes for sale in Portland typically stay on the market for around 121 days. There’s really no good way to tell how long this buyers market will last, so be sure to take advantage of these record low prices, record low interest rates, and the amazing supply of affordable dream homes out there on the Portland Real Estate Market.


Portland Real Estate Trends: Homeowners Slashing Prices

Thursday, August 12th, 2010

In a report published in the Portland Business Journal yesterday, we learned that thirty-two percent of Portland homes for sale, listed since the beginning of this month, experienced at least one price reduction. That ranked Portland No. 16 on the website Trulia’s list of price reductions in America’s 50 largest cities.

The average reduction for Portland homes was 9 percent, just under the national average of a 10 percent reduction on 25 percent of newly listed homes. With historically low interest rates, cutting-edge sustainability renovation rebates and low remodeling costs, and a high supply of beautiful homes for sale with great Walk Scores, this is a perfect time to grab a great deal.

As Scott McDonald of the McDonald Group said back in June, “We all know mortgage rates are low right now, but Freddie Mac really put a light on it by saying they are currently lower than they have been since they began tracking this data in 1971 and states the last time they were this low was in the 1950′s. Yup, the economy stinks right now, but if you’re in a position that’s somewhat insulated from economic trends and are thinking of buying a home, now really is the time.”


LENDING 101 – Loan Types, Bankruptcy, VA, FHA, USDA….

Tuesday, June 15th, 2010

Steve Nassar of Alpine Mortgage (503) 805-5582 has shared the following great info on all sorts of lending topics. Read on- 


  • Although FHA has a minimum FICO score of 580,  the industry has dictated a minimum 620 score with most investors requiring a minimum of 640.
  • Minimum Down Payment is 3.50% and must come from the buyer or be an acceptable gift to the buyer.
  • Seller can contribute up to 6% of the sales price.
  • No Non-Allowables required to be paid by the seller.
  • Buyer can currently be in a Chapter 13 Bankruptcy and still purchase.   They can also purchase as soon as three years after a foreclosure and two years after a Chapter 7.
  • It is an assumable loan (important when rates go to 8% and they are at 5%)
  • Buyer can have collection accounts and not have to pay them off
  • Don’t forget that beginning this Friday June 18th we will also have the FHA 203k loan program available in-house with our own underwriting, docs and funding department in complete control.                                                                        


Condos Becoming even more difficult to finance with FHA… oh GREAT!

Friday, February 5th, 2010

“Lender Tu” had this to say about recent lending changes concerning condo purchases:

As the mortgage industry continues to go through its 2010 metamorphosis, FHA/HUD is leading the way!  As promised last year, one of many changes.  FHA is following through with their New Condo Review Process. They are removing the Spot Approval process on Condos that are not approved by FHA, but meet traditional occupancy requirements.  Further they will be adhering to the current HRAP (Hud Review Approval Process).  Which means Condominium Project owners still have the ability to submit the project for FHA approval as long as it meets FHA’s requirements. 

New is the DEL-RAP (Delegated Lending Review Approval Process).  This added approval process sounds great initially as it gives the endorsing lender or bank underwriting the loan the ability to Approve the Condo Project.   Sounds good right?  Not really… The lender is still required to obtain all necessary FHA requirements for a traditional Condo Approval.  However, the risk now falls on the lenderand by them approving the condo and the loan they take ALL responsibility of that loan when they send it to HUD for insurability.  For now, I don’t know too many lenders that want to take on that risk.

HUD added this additional approval piece to mainly ease up their Condominium project back log as they could not keep up with demand for Condo project approvals.  So in essence if a lender is  confident and excited about a condo project and eager to close on a unit… the lender can take it upon themselves to approve the project.  Which could certainly streamline the process… a word of caution, not every lender will feel confident about doing this.  With all new regulations and opportunities.  I would give this new process some time to settle out in the coming months and years.  And as more lenders become comfortable with the concept, they will begin taking the initiative.



Friday, January 29th, 2010

TAKE ACTION NOW  if you need to use FHA financing for your purchase or refinance! 

Beginning Spring of 2010 and mostly likely shortly after the extended first time and move up buyer credit expires, FHA will be increasing their fees to ensure they have continued funds in reserve to operate their low down payment and high loan to value loan programs. The most dramatic change comes in the form of and increase of Up Front Mortgage Insurance Premium (UFMIP) typically financed into your mortgage, will go from 1.75% up to 2.25% of your loan amount. This applies to purchases and refinances.

The second most dramatic change is the reduction of Seller contribution on purchases. Originally it was 6% of the sales price, it will drop to 3% of the sales price. What these two changes immediately mean to a borrower is increased monthly cost as well as out of pocket costs at closing.

There are two additional changes simultaneous to the recent HUD letter, they are borrowers with credit scores below 580 will be required to put at least 10% down on a purchase. This is more of HUD shoring up their back side. Many lenders have already adjusted their risk levels to lend no lower than a 620 credit score. I wouldn’t hold your breath if you have a score below that as you should have some extremely “great” compensating factors or circumstances to qualify.


Appraisal Fraud up since HVCC in Place? Lending Brokers Getting Pushed out of the Lending Biz?

Monday, November 2nd, 2009

TBWSSince the HVCC  appraisal system has been implemented appraisal fraud is up in spite of the new laws setup to avoid just that. It’s said that properties are being valued higher than their true value (interesting as my experience is the opposite).  TBWS (my favorite morning video news guys in the link below) have something to say about this! I would like to say AGAIN how HVCC has complicated the process of home buying. If your lender isn’t on the ball the appraisal delays can kill a deal; a GOOD LENDER IS CRUCIAL TO THE SUCCESS OF YOUR HOME PURCHASE!

I would like to comment that I am hearing more and more that lender brokers are being pushed out of the business and that we are being pushed to work with banks directly; I want to say what a disaster that would be as with an exception of a few bank lenders I have found most of them tend to have no regard for deadlines and will not make themselves available on the weekend or after hours.  -Kristie McD.

Take a watch of my favorite Lending guys! CLICK ME

FHA to Raise Min Down to 5% & to allow No Closing Costs!!!??? HR 3706

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

TBWSWow, that would really effect home purchases!  Watch my favorite daily video guys “TBWS”.  They are hilarious as well as informative.  Watch Video:   CLICK HERE!   CLICK HERE!!

To read the Bill at Washington Watch (click me). They will list the pros & cons and you can read the entire bill. No closings costs to be included? That would REALLY restrict home purchases, what are they thinking?  Tell me I’m missing something here…..!!!!  -Kristie McD.

Oregon Senate Bill To Help Homeowners Facing Foreclosure…. okay….

Thursday, October 1st, 2009

senateSenate Bill 628 is congested with too many words for me to read thoroughly but it “sounds” like all it is is a law that says that lenders must send homeowners a notice of clear instructions on who and how to can contact someone via phone or in person to discuss whether they would qualify for a loan modification. (We know that few homeowners will have the opportunity to meet with someone in person)

I know people that have started the process months ago with still no status… it’s a mess.  -Kristie McD. Your Realtor. :)

To read more about it check out the article on Koin News:  CLICK HERE

New to Our Blog: Tu Phan with Premier Mortgage Group

Saturday, September 12th, 2009

Tu Phan is a lender we work with frequently, he’s the President of tuPremier Mortgage Group here in the Portland area and has offered to write a blog entry for us here and there about whats going on in lending, here is his very first entry!

Thanks Tu!

Thanks to Kristie and Scott for allowing me to participate with a mortgage blog. First things first, we just finished off our first month with the Mortgage Disclosure Improvement Act (MDIA). I will have to commend all my processors, lenders, and escrow officers for making sure we were on top of all of our legal disclosures to ensure timely closings for all transactions that required loans.

For those not familiar with the Act, it went into effect July 30. In essence as a loan officer, I cannot collect any funds from the borrower except for a credit report within 7 days of the initial application if the good faith and truth in lending were sent in the mail. We managed to limit these days by making sure we had face to face meetings with clients to ensure documents were dated in front of the loan officer. (Back to the days of personal face to face client contact). Lastly, if the APR should change by .125 or 1/8 % then the borrower would need to be resent the disclosures 3 days prior to closing. I believe as a whole many of us loan officers were on top this and made sure we stayed in compliance. (IE no last minute marking up of fees). However, I will preface that as time goes on I’m sure many of our lenders will go back to make sure all these loan closings were compliant. And should they not be… we may see additional changes coming from the lender level… fun.

The big topic in the real estate community would be life after HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct). It is in place. There maybe even legislation to put a moratorium on it, unfortunately it is here and we have to work with it. No more… I’ve got a friend of a friend whose a really “Good” Appraiser. In most cases we are ordering appraisals through a third party (AMC – Appraisal Management Company). They in term randomly choose an appraiser from their database to complete the appraisal. Once assigned there is no contact allowed between the appraiser and loan officer. Pretty straight forward… to some degree this has given some appraisers the right to complete reports with sheer impunity. IE, lower values and some cases lower than the purchase price. Calling for unnecessary repairs…As a whole I believe the industry is experiencing the lower valuation part which really doesn’t help the borrower half the time and has cost them the appraisal fee. (more…)

My fave Daily Video: FHA & how they define a “Flip”

Wednesday, September 9th, 2009

I love these guys! Their daily video touches on a bit of everything. In this one they mention how FHA delays the purchase of a  ”flip” or home that has not been under the same name on title for a min. of 3 months. This happens and unfortunately if the buyer is going FHA it requires the buyer wait until the 3 months is up! -Kristie McD.

THINK BIG WORK SMALL video: click here

TBWS Video Daily: My Favorite Real Estate & Lender News

Thursday, September 3rd, 2009

tbwsThese guys are great! I watch them with morning coffee every morning! Lender topics that effect lenders, real estate agents, home buyers & sellers! -Kristie McDonald Your Portland, Ore Realtor!

Appraisal Problems? Who ya gunna call!?

Thursday, August 6th, 2009

Firstly, there are some great appraisers out there. However, Scott & I have had more than a fair share of of appraisal issues lately.  Real Estate Agents… if you are experiencing similar pains PLEASE send a professional but stern statement to the email address below.  There are also additional names & numbers to vent to in the below link as well as a summary of what’s going wrong.  Don’t forget to link to and sign the petition below to stop HVCC.


  1. Appraisers that think they are inspectors and taking pictures of foundation, electrical, etc. and mis-labeling in the appraisal; killing the home purchase for the buyer because you can’t get it removed from the appraisal.
  2. Appraisers overlooking over 100 sq. ft. of completed basement in a newly constructed home (then referred to it as “below grade” when it was clearly a bottom but 3rd level going to the back yard)
  3. Appraisers strongly requesting a copy of the inspection report (you can image what they do with that)
  4. Over a 10 day wait to get the appraisal in
  5. Appraisers from out of the area appraising homes in areas they know nothing about
  6. Appraisers insisting that sticks in windows be replaced with thumb screw locks for “quick easy escape” (I prefer a stick for quick easy escape thank you)
  7. Appraisers miscalculating sq. footage in the subject home as well as in the comps… I could go on and on!

Email complaints to the Director of FHFA:


“With a little help from FHA”…or not…

Friday, May 15th, 2009

With current market conditions there’s a significant swing towards FHA for many reasons, copy-2-of-equalhousing3.5% down being the big one, but also the MI, or Mortgage Insurance, is cheaper than with conventional loans with say 5% down. While these programs do help get buyers into homes, there are times where they work against the buyer and on occassion cost the buyer hundreds of dollars in losing a home or thousands more than initially agreed upon with the seller to be able to get it; this is the focus of today’s blog entry.

FHA requirements for conditions to the buyer (employment, credit, repairs to home etc) are fairly complicated and we’ve seen buyers get pelted with condition, after condition, often pro-longing the close and/or jeopardizing the home purchase with little to no concern for the buyer who has already paid out $350 for a home inspection and $400+ for an appraisal. If the seller refuses to extend closing due to FHA underwriting constantly coming up with new/changed condtions to be met, the buyer could lose those dollars and the home. This is however not the reason we’re posting this blog, but it is a significant problem we occassionally see with FHA insured loans.

What we are addressing here specifically are FHA appraisals, not the value mind you, but the condition of the home. We’ve seen FHA underwriters refuse to fund a loan because an FHA appraiser noted that a light fixture was not functioning – the bulb needed to be replaced. Or how about a portion of a fence that the previous owner removed to get a trailer through to move their backyard stuff out, they didn’t put it back up, just laying on the ground…FHA underwriting refused to fund until it was “repaired”. Or how about this hypothetical scenario where a buyer and seller have agreed to a price on a fantastic home for the buyer. Buyer pays for the inspection – clean…Pays for the FHA appraisal, appraiser notes extremely minor problems similar to previous examples as conditions to be corrected prior to close. Meanwhile the seller gets a backup offer higher than the current buyers offer so now they want this buyer to back out so they can work with the higher offer. FHA requires the seller to fix these issues or they will not fund the loan, seller refuses to do repairs or even let the buyer do them so they can move forward causing that buyers FHA insured lending to fail allowing the seller to then accept the higher backup offer.


$8,000 Tax Credit Advance… Don’t Hold Your Breath…

Friday, May 15th, 2009

bruce2The below comes directly from Bruce our blogging lender with Landover Mortgage in response to the recent announcement that the $8,000 may be available at the closing table (or at the time of purchase). To read an article on the topic: ARTICLE:CLICK HERE

The announcement yesterday on the tax credit is only “step 1″ in the process. There is no account set up to deposit the funds into, there is no mechanism set up to guide the distribution of the funds once they are set aside, there is no direction yet given to the lenders on how to access the funds and there is no mechanism in place to track how these funds if the customer doesn’t take advantage of the credit up front VS claiming it on the their 09′ returns. I’m confident that there are numerous other factors to consider as well.

This process may take the federal government a week, a month, 2,3 months…(who knows?) before everything’s in place. The problem is, by then what will interest rates and home prices look like? This could help to drive home prices in the first time homebuyer range UP as sellers realize the advantage to sell is now back in their hands because the major stumbling block to the first time homebuyer scenario has always been the funds needed to buy the home.


Your Credit Score in the Eyes of a Mortgage Lender

Saturday, April 11th, 2009
bruceI get asked about about credit scores all the time, particularly because there are 3 different sources from which they come.  I recently spoke with Bruce Howard of Landover Mortgage (his link is below) and he stated that the credit score is derived by pulling all three scores (Equifax, TransUnion, Experian) and using the report score that falls in the middle. If two applicants are involved then the same method is used taking the lower score of the two applicants.  


Lending Programs Through the PDC- Portland Development Commission

Monday, April 6th, 2009

pdc-50th-logoI love to attend classes; I recently caught a great one hosted by Portland’s PDC on the various lending programs they offer home buyers. Many of the programs are available only in Rural Development areas or areas within the Urban Renewal Boundaries (such as St. Johns or Lents) but I was truly amazed at the programs that are available. There is some limiting criteria (such as having to live in the home for a specified number of years) but what they offer is an opportunity to purchase with zero down.  If you are interested, checkout their site below! -Kristie McD. Your Portland Real Estate Agent!

PDC -Portland Development Commission Site CLICK HERE

Appraisers are being forced in the pool!

Sunday, March 22nd, 2009
toesEffective on May 1st of this year, it is said that lenders, mortgage brokers and the like will no longer be able to utilize their own pool of appraisers but that they will be required to pull from a general pool or “collection” of them.  Of course we can see why it has come to this with so much weighing on a good appraisal that meets or beats the home’s sale price HOWEVER what concerns me is the number of horrible appraisers that are now going into the pool for business that in all honesty aren’t good enough to even dangle their toes in the water.  The really good appraisers are now being lumped in with all the “leftovers”…
Somehow this reminds me of when I worked in administration for OHSU years and years ago… I worked harder, smarter, quicker than those around me…. (subjective but true) but because I worked in a system where promotion was only based on seniority and not performance (pay equally so) I found myself quickly looking elsewhere for employment where my hard work would be noticed and rewarded justly…
For instance, I had an appraisers round “down” the square footage per room instead of “up” as the county tax records does and it threw off our numbers by over $5,000; it almost cost us the home.  The appraiser didn’t feel he needed to reconsider re-writing because his contract allowed for a percentage of error and/or variance.  Because every appraiser appraises differently you never know what will happen or what you’ll get.


Short Sales & Bank Owned -lenders requiring you apply for loan through THEM?

Thursday, March 5th, 2009

I have a link to an article below that is focused around this happening with short sales, but here in Portland I’m seeing it mostly with bank owned. What am I talking about? When a bank or lender (I’ll use Countrywide as an example as that’s the one I see the most often) lists a home with an agent it is not uncommon to see the words “buyer must be pre-qualified for purchase through Countrywide” in the listing. Many buyers (more…)

A Lender Opinion on the 4.5 Percent Interest Rate

Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

A great lender and friend of ours sent out an email today pertaining to the potential 4.5% interest rate we keep hearing about. Apparently he gets asked about it daily so decided to write sunset (more…)

Zero Down Lending and What Rural Area Qualifies

Friday, February 6th, 2009

boonies2In a recently posted blog I talked about USDA rural loans that require zero down…. well now I have a link you can go to, type in an address and confirm if a specific home or area qualifies… I know Sandy, Oregon makes the list!  Click the link below and enter a home address under Property Eligibility.


Still 100 Percent Financing in Rural Areas. Includes Sandy Oregon.

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

Just a reminder that USDA has a program that offers 100% financing! I’ve seen it work for buyers and there are no funky mt-hood1 (more…)

A GREAT Buy and Fix That House Up LOAN

Sunday, January 18th, 2009

It’s not necessarily new but it’s been modified and lenders are excited to put it to work!  I believe it’s referred to as the “203K FHA rehab loan”.  I’m still learning the details but it sounds like it’s tailored to help those buyers out there that are wanting to purchase homes that are in need of cosmetic repair. I believe the amount (more…)

New Mortgage & Lending Information Page

Thursday, December 18th, 2008

We have several resources on our site for buyers but nothing really detailed about lending, credit issues, points etc until now. Obviously there are a lot of sites on the internet that provide this information however we find most of the information out there is either sporadic bits and pieces here and there or far too extensive and confusing or just a page with limited information and riddled with ads. So in an effort to provide a “one stop” mortgage and lending information page for our clients and website users we put together the following page: (more…)

Lending is Tightening Again READ FOR BRIEF UPDATE

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Before I break in the bad news, know that there is a fantastic 100% financing program still available if you are interested in living in the rural area. Homes in SANDY, Oregon QUALIFY!  It’s called the “USDA Rural Housing Program”.  Now to the unfortunate news. (more…)