Weekly Twitter Digest (Link Roundup) for 2012-03-10

  • Having some site issues at the moment. Working with my host to figure out what's going on. #
  • Site issues appear to be resolved. Hopefully things don't go to heck tomorrow when traffic ramps up during the day again… #
  • Haven't even had my home a year & already @WellsFargo is hawking home equity loans w/ my monthly statement. http://t.co/IqmjaC6y #

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market.


  1. 1

    Heads up on the loan issue. Apparently there are loan originators out there targeting people who bought with a VA loan. Depending on who is holding the VA loan, a refinance can sometimes be done very cheaply, but I’ve heard reports of some companies charging the borrower several thousands of dollars to refinance (on top of what they get from the lender).

    Maybe Rhonda could fill in the details on that, since lending issues are not really my area.

  2. 2

    Tim, you really need to start reading Harney, so Ray won’t get mad at me for going off-topic.


    He addresses a change both you and I would like. FHA is probably going to be restricting it’s seller financing concession limit. Currently a huge 6%! They might go too far the other direction, but I’m okay with the smaller of 3% or $6,000.

    One thing I didn’t realize–those could be used to pay 6 months of interest! Apparently builders used that, per Harney. I don’t see the justification for that (although it probably does make the buyer less likely to default during the first six months!) ;-)

  3. 3

    Hi Kary, VA loans, like FHA, can be done as a streamline (VA calls their version an IRRRL). The biggest benefit for these refinances is that no appraisal is required so it reduces the cost and takes the worry out of what the home might (or might not) appraise for. It also creates a shorter closing since you’re not waiting on an appraisal to be done.

    Do you have examples of what the charges are that you’re referring to in your comment? Additional fees (several thousands of dollars) does not sound kosher but it’s hard for me to comment without seeing a specific scenario.


  4. 4

    RE: Rhonda Porter @ 3 – Unfortunately, I don’t. I only heard about it because one of my buyers was targeted, but I don’t know the specifics of the proposal.

  5. 5
    David Losh says:

    I get a lot of flak for using godaddy hosting, but it has been consistenly up for the past two, or three years, where my previous hosting companies had glitches from time to time.

  6. 6
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 5

    So we can add “sexist pig” to your racist tag? ;-)

    I know , you just watch Bob’s videos for the business hints:


  7. 7
    Scotsman says:

    This should be linked- even God has trouble with his mortgage payments:

    Church foreclosures reach record levels:


    I’m personally aware of two churches that are having issues. Both got into trouble through the lure of low interest rates that led them to over-extend. And of course the slower economy has hurt their donation receipts.

  8. 8
    Dirty Renter says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 7 – Single use commercial properties are not welcome additions to an REO portfolio.

  9. 9

    RE: Scotsman @ 7 – There’s a church with a For Sale sign on it up on or near Camano Island/Stanwood.

  10. 10
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 6

    Like I said I take a lot of flak for using the hosting. Some one else told me that Bob Parsons was boycotted for elephant hunting. He’s not a popular guy.

    The hosting however is consistent.

    I’m open to suggestions for my domain name, and hosting options, but so far no one has provided the set of services at the prices offered by godaddy.

  11. 11
    The Tim says:

    Worth mentioning, I got a Twitter response from someone at Wells Fargo:

    Hi, Ben here. Saw your message. Thanks for sharing your feedback, we’ll take note. Msg us If you need help. ^BB

    How thoughtful.

  12. 12
    Scotsman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 10

    It’s all about the price/service relationship. Who cares if the guy hunts elephants or uses pretty women in his ads. If people were consistently concerned about the political beliefs or private lives of every corporate manager or business owner half would need to quit working or stop shopping. I wouldn’t give it a second thought.

    Bob’s a smart guy- he gets a ton of free advertising every year by coming up with a Super Bowl ad that’s too controversial. In addition to the media reaction he gets a ton of hits from those who need to see the ad. He only has to actually run an ad every other year, but gets a yearly benefit. Brilliant.

  13. 13

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – FHA is going through major changes. April 9, mortgage insurance is going up on both upfront and annual premiums – even more so for “FHA Jumbos”. Underwriting guidelines have tightened up and we’ll see the seller concessions be reduced from 6 to 3% – they’ve been threatening that for a while… I wonder if NAR is fighting them on that. I have never seen a buyer use more than 3% – but in areas of the country where sales prices are lower, I guess it’s easy to go up to 6%.

    Sellers can also pay the upfront mortgage insurance premium as part of the 6% (soon to be 3%) – now that the premium is going from 1% to 1.75% – that could be something attractive a seller could offer a potential buyer.

  14. 14

    RE: Rhonda Porter @ 13 – We have to pay for things totally unrelated to housing somehow! /sarc [The increases are to pay for the withholding tax holiday, as I recall.]

    I mentioned the 3% thing earlier in another thread, and that’s one change I can live with. I thought there was going to be a nominal limit that would be useful for people in lower priced areas (e.g. the greater of $6,000 or 3%). 6% on even a $200,000 house is way too high.

    Finally, is that April 9 date the date of closing or the date of the loan lock (or some other date)?

  15. 15

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 14 – I guess I should look what thread I’m posting in before I post. That 6% comment was this thread!

    (I thought this was related to yesterday’s discussion Ardell started about FHA being assumable, where I mentioned the blog piece Rhonda helped me with.)

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