Filibusting Out and Harp3ing In

Last week the Senate voted to override their archain filibuster rules to make some progress. Republicans have been stifeling the Obama Administrations efforts in nominating circuit court judges and administrative positions by using the filibuster. Finally the Democratic majority in the senate had enough. They passed the “nuclear option” which means these appointments merely need a simple majority vote to proceed. Why is this important to the Troll you might ask? Well, one of the appointments is Mel Watt, a longtime congressman that was choosen by Obama to head the FHFA. The FHFA is the Federal Housing Finance Agency which is responsible for administering the Harp refinance program. Edward DeMarco is the current director of the FHFA. For the past year he has been unwilling to implement sweeping eligibility changes to the Harp program the Obama administration has wanted. As you probably know the Harp 2.0 program has helped nearly 2.5 million homeowners refinance even if their properties were underwater. The main caveat of Harp 2.0 was that the loans had to be backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac to be eligible. It appears that is about to change. Wide speculation is that the incoming Watt will expedite the changes to the Harp program that the Obama administration has sought and DeMarco has obstructed. This simple appointment may very well provide eligibility to the Harp program for everyone. This is huge! This opens the door for so many more people to refinance that otherwise couldn’t. The Troll will unveil the new Harp rules as soon as they are provided. With interest rates still at all-time lows this program could change the economic outlooks for millions of Americans.

Stay Tuned

The Troll

Case/Shiller Index Up for Seattle

The recently released Case/Shiller index shows that Seattle real estate is up 10.6% for the past year and home prices are back to 2005 levels. This is significant because many homeowners not eligible for the HARP program will be able to refinance their mortgages by traditional means, equity position. That’s right folks, if you have been doing the right thing throughout the credit crisis you can most likely get the loan you’ve wanted for a long time. Lending standards have also steadily relaxed to a point where you do not need perfect credit to qualify for conventional financing. If you know that your loan isn’t HARP and you need some help determining your house value give the Troll a call so he can help you. If your loan is HARP eligible “What Have You Been Waiting For!” – take advantage of this outstanding program that eliminates the appraisal requirement altogether. In either case call the Troll. He is a wholesale mortgage broker that has access to the lowest rates in town.

The Troll


New Study from UW Shows Washington State Real Estate Market is Recovering

The Seattle Times recently put out an article by Nicholas Geranios outlining real estate pricing and volume gains in Washington State. The report was prepared by the Runstad Center for Real Estate Studies. Most intriguing was the real estate market has improved for the third quarter in a row. Existing home sales rose 14.7 percent and the statewide median home prices went up 14.1 percent from the same period a year ago to $237,000. Quarter to quarter home sales also increased in 28 of Washington’s 39 counties.

Glenn Crellin is the Runstad Center’s associate director for research. The Troll found this quote in the article particularly interesting, “The biggest current impediment to the housing market remains a shortage of homes available for sale. Construction activity is improving, but builders cannot improve availability overnight. Lenders need to release properties which have been foreclosed, but are still owned by the lender to allow the market to stabilize and prevent renewed bubble conditions.”

Glenn, you are preaching to the choir.

The Troll

The Far Eastside

A favorite customer of the Troll resides in Bellevue. The Troll helped him purchase a property last year for approximately $560,000. A neighbor of his just listed and sold their similar house to a Chinese couple for a whopping $702,000 all cash offer. Apparently there were 15 full price offers after the open house concluded. Additionally, the Troll had a conversation with his excellent home inspector Jim Breckenridge of Trillion Inspections the other day regarding cash offers from wealthy Chinese buyers. It appears that Chinese buyers have found a new market that speaks to their desire for clean air and water and less population density. According to Sanjay Bhatt a business reporter for the Seattle Times, “it’s part of a cash-buying phenomenon sweeping the home market.” The positive result of course is more competition and increasing home prices. The negative is the inability of a buyer with financing to “win” a property against an all cash offer with no appraisal requirement. The article also mentions other west coast cities with a history of wealthy Chinese investment such as San Fransciso, Los Angeles and Vancuover BC. Is Seattle next? The tea leaves say YES!

The Troll


Out of State Influx?

The Troll is noticing more and more out of state license plates rolling over his bridges. It appears that our town is attracting Americans from across the country in search of better economic conditions. Who can blame them, it’s still nasty out there for most cities in the U.S. and Seattle has the potential to support quite a few newcomers with major employment centers located in our region. If you remember my last post, I discussed unemployment and it’s downward trajectory. The effect of this influx will be more competition for housing. The Troll has noticed a sharp increase in the demand for well located properties many of which are receiving multiple offers. If you are new to our town and need a hard working Troll on your side to find the perfect housing opportunity give us a call. You won’t regret it.

The Troll

Seattle Unemployment Numbers Signal Real Estate Recovery

In today’s Seattle Times we see that the current unemployment numbers for Metropolitan Seattle have dipped below 6% for the first time since 2008. The Troll believes that these numbers will push demand for housing significantly. The current real estate market is already hot and it appears that heat will only increase. As Seattle residents already know there is only a fixed amount of property in close proximity to downtown. Today’s numbers feed into the logical assumption that demand for real estate in these areas will be off the charts. Now the Troll is no economics professor but even he realizes that the cost of housing will increase as demand increases. The Troll can personally attest for this new reality as he represented a buyer for a house in Ballard that secured 22 offers. That number of people interested in one house is staggering and reflects the lack of inventory available for those folks wanting to buy.

This new reality also provides opportunities for those whose property values have been depressed for the past 4-5 years. Interest rates are still at all time lows and now that Seattle residents have a restored equity position in their homes they can take advantage by refinancing. If you haven’t looked into the possibility of refinancing in awhile because you think your property isn’t worth what it takes to complete it give the Troll a call. He can pull some comparable sales and see if you can qualify. And for homeowners who want to  get out without bringing in cash to close you might be surprised to know that you most likely can. In either case the Troll can help.

The Recovering Troll

Harp 3.0 is Coming to a Town Near You

Hello all. The Troll must apologize for his lack of recent postings, he has been focused on helping as many customers as possible and even vacationing when appropriate.

We are entering exciting new territory at Wallingford Mortgage as we have hired some exceptional new talent. I would like to welcome Angi, Mike and Keith and thank them for their hard work and expertise. The Troll most excited to welcome back Mrs Troll who has been working elsewhere during the credit crisis. That’s right folks we are gearing up for the next wave of refinancing and it appears to be Harp 3.0.

For those of you who live in a cave or under a rock or better yet a bridge, there are incredible refinance opportunities under the current Harp 2.0 program. Give us a call and we can fill you in. For those unfortunate trolls that haven’t been able to qualify for Harp 2.0 it appears the newly reelected administration is committed to helping you.  They are rolling out Harp 3.0. The details are still being finalized but it is most certainly a reality. Once we get the official word the Troll will shout it to the masses, until then stay tuned.

The Troll

FHA Offers its Version of Harp 2.0 – Streamline Refinances

Another bold attempt to rescue housing has come to the forefront. If you have an FHA loan that was originated prior to June 2009 you are eligible for the new Streamline refinance offered by FHA. The interest rates on these loans are absolutely incredible at the moment. There is no appraisal required and qualifying is EASY! You must have a job and well, that’s about it. Also, we can also close these loans in about 2-3 weeks. If you fit the bill give the Troll a call to start your application. This is the opportunity you have been waiting for.

If you have missed the Troll over the past couple of months don’t despair. The Troll is recovering the housing market one loan at a time which will benefit all of you.

The Troll


HARP 2.0 – Refinance America Now

If you haven’t heard HARP 2.0 is upon us. The Troll is happy to report that if your mortgage is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac and it was originated before October of 2009 you can probably refinance without an appraisal or LTV restriction. In no uncertain terms it is the GREAT REFINANCE GIVEAWAY! That’s right folks, if your mortgage is current and you have a job UNCLE SAM doesn’t care what your house appraises for. He is hell bent on giving away historically low interest rates for those awesome individuals that actually made their mortgage payments through the financial crisis. For you brave souls it is the opportunity you have been waiting for.

If you are not sure if your loan is owned by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac give the Troll a call at 206-204-4000 and he will look it up for you. Remember, the mortgage must have been originated prior to October 2009 and be current to qualify. Call US Now And Save Money!

The Bold Troll

The Troll is Hiring

The Troll is currently experiencing high call volumes due to an excellent advertising campaign. If you are looking for a job and you think you have what it takes give the old Troll a call or shoot him an email. The Troll is looking for able bodies that have the ability to learn quickly and produce. He also wants people that will have fun while doing it……Did the Troll just say Doing it? I’m quite sure he meant while working you savages. Loan officers, real estate agents and clerical types are now in high demand at Wallingford Mortgage and Wallingford Realty.

If you can bring it he will hire it!

The Troll

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