Saturday, October 18, 2008

Interest Rates vs. Prices

If you have been considering buying a home, and waiting for prices to go down some more, keep in mind that the fluctuation in mortgage loan rates is AT LEAST as significant as price in determining your monthly payments. Consider the information below:

Reprinted from: Daily Real Estate News October 17, 2008

"30-Year Rates Rise to 8-Week High

Interest rates for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rose this week to an 8-week high, according to Freddie Mac, while ARM rates showed smaller gains.

The 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose to 6.46 percent during the week ended Oct. 16, up from 5.94 percent the prior week.

Last year at this time, the 30-year fixed rate mortgage averaged 6.40 percent. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate climbed to 6.14 percent from 5.63 percent over the same period."

This weekend's Open House

Did you know there are view homes in the Puget Ridge area of West Seattle? Did you even know there IS an area called Puget Ridge? Yep, it's an area just West of the Duwamish, overlooking the city of Seattle, and much of it is also cushioned by protected green belt.

The home I will be holding Open today and tomorrow from 1-4PM is located at 5250 16th Ave SW, just blocks from South Seattle Community College. This 4 bedroom, 3.5 bath home was custom built in 1992 and has a terrific view of downtown Seattle from both the living room and the Master Bedroom. Arguably the nicest home in the neighborhood, it sits on an 11,000 sq. ft. lot and boasts 3900 sq. ft. of living space, including a finished basement. Offered at $775,000 by my Prudential colleagues George Butterfield and Chris Koelling. Come by and take a look!

Current loan rates

Here is the weekly update on mortgage loan rates, courtesy of Troy Chambers, Loan Officer for Arboretum Mortgage.

"Rates are pretty stable in the mid 6’s right now. We are all waiting to see what will happen with
the economy as well as the rates. If you have any questions regarding mortgages please contact
me on my cell at 425-418-5103. I am always available!"

Troy Chambers
Arboretum Mortgage
Phone: 206-720-6628
Fax: 206-860-9340

Click here to see a table of current loans and rates.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Tax Break for "Green" Cars!

Okay, so this has little or nothing to do with real estate, but I was so excited to read this that I wanted to share it with as many people as possible!

Reprinted from: NWREporter November 2008

Purchases of new clean alternative fuel vehicles and hybrids that get at least 40 miles per gallon highway will be exempt from sales tax beginning Jan. 1, 2009.

The exemption was enacted by the Legislature in 2005 with a delayed effective date. The exemption is effective through Dec. 31, 2010. It includes the 0.3 percent motor vehicle sales tax.

Qualifying vehicles include new passenger cars, light duty trucks, and medium duty passenger vehicles that:
Are powered by clean alternative fuels such as natural gas, propane, hydrogen or electricity; or
Use hybrid technology and have an estimated EPA highway mileage rating of at least 40 miles per gallon.

Any payment or deposit made toward the purchase of a qualifying vehicle before January 1, 2009 still qualifies for the tax exemption as long as the vehicle is registered, titled, and delivered to the purchaser from January l, 2009 through Dec. 31, 2010.

The exemptions also generally apply to leases and out-of-state purchases of new qualifying vehicles. Purchases of new vehicles that the sellers convert into qualifying vehicles prior to or as part of the sale also qualify for the exemptions.

More information is available through a special notice sent to automobile dealers. The notice is available at http://dor.wa.gov/docs/pubs/specialnotices/2008/sn_08_greenvehicleexmpt.pdf

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Free Homebuyer Education Seminar

On Saturdays, Oct. 25 & Nov. 8th, David Todd, Loan Officer for Northwest Mortgage Alliance, and I will be offering FREE Homebuyer Education Seminars. These seminars originate from the Washington State Housing Finance Commission and are NOT designed to sell you a home. Rather the purpose is to give you an opportunity to explore and learn about the process of buying a home, including financing options and downpayment assistance.

For more information or to register, click here or give me a call at 206-708-9800.