541.349.2620 or Email us


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 65

Changes to Your New Mortgage Loan

by Galand Haas

Good Morning!

Things have now changed with your new mortgage loan.  New documents are now going to be required on all transactions and these new documents and new rules will most likely increase the amount of time it takes to close on your loan.  Here is a recent article from Realty Times that talks about the new items that went into effect on October 3rd of this year.

The Know Before You Owe disclosure form issued by The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau will go into effect on October 3, 2015. The rule provides for easier-to-use mortgage disclosure forms that clearly lay out the terms of a mortgage for a homebuyer.

But some lenders and real estate agents say the new mortgage rules may delay closings. What will change is that three documents, the HUD-1 Settlement Statement, the Good Faith Estimate, and the Truth-in-Lending disclosure will be pared down to two new closing forms called a Loan Estimate and a Closing Disclosure.

The Loan Estimate form must be given to consumers no later than three days after they formally apply for a loan. That means providing financial information to the lender and signing a mortgage application.

When the consumer receives the Loan Estimate form, he or she will know what the loan amount and the interest rate will be, how much the monthly payment is, an estimate of taxes and insurance based on local rates, and how much down payment is required.

To prepare for settlement, homebuyers will have a three-day period to review the Closing Disclosure form. Because of the added review period, lenders are recommending that borrowers lock in their mortgage rates for longer periods than they normally would.

CNBC real estate reporter Diane Olick explains that the "new rules will require lenders, title companies, real estate professionals and insurance representatives to all come together sooner in the process to ensure the disclosures do get out in time."

For example, a 30-day rate lock is typical, but borrowers can extend the lock period up to 45 days or 60 days. However, there may be a question as to whether or not more time is really needed to close the loan.

According to Bankrate.com, Borrowers are often told there's no charge for a rate lock. That's true in the sense that the rate lock isn't associated with a fee. But a rate lock isn't free.

Josh: A longer rate lock typically involves a higher interest rate, which is more expensive for the borrower. The interest rate or "pricing" difference between a 15-day rate lock and 60-day rate lock might be as little as one-eighth or as much as half of a percentage point, or roughly $25 to $50 per month for the life of the loan.

Laura: Meanwhile, real estate agents are preparing for the worst. According to a new survey by the National Association of REALTORS® says that about 56 percent of REALTORS® say they plan to add more time to their contracts.

Have An Awesome Week!


755 Horn Lane

Price: $274,000     Beds: 4     Baths: 2     Sq Ft: 1868

Tranquil & spacious property! Beautifully landscaped 0.41 acre lot provides seclusion & great entertaining spaces. Remodeled home offers updated kitchen & baths, large living rm w/ gas fp, formal dining, large windows+skylight. Private master ste w/...
View this property >>


Mortgage Interest Rates & Their Impact on Your Monthly Payment

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Do you ever wonder how mortgage interest rates effect your ability to purchase a home, your home payment and what you actually pay over the term of the home loan? The following will give you an idea as to just how much impact mortgage interest rates have.

National average 30-year fixed rate mortgage interest rates have been under five percent for over five years. They should stay low forever, right?

Economists predict that the soaring economy, improved job outlook and ebullient consumer confidence will cause the Federal Reserve to start raising overnight borrowing rates to banks. Mortgage interest rates will become volatile, and things can change quickly for consumers.

To illustrate changing mortgage interest rates and their impact on your monthly payment, consider what a difference even a small dip and rise in interest rates means to you.

In December 2014, the median-priced home in the U.S. was $209,500, according to the National Association of REALTORS®. If you purchased this home for $200,000 and with 20 percent down and a benchmark fixed-rate mortgage with the December national average commitment rate of 3.86 percent (Freddie Mac), your payment would be $751.01 a month.

You'll make 360 total payments of $270, 362.59, with $110,362.59 in interest over the term of the loan.

The same home with the same loan on February 5 would be very different. The national average commitment rate is 3.59 percent, your payment is 726.53 and your total payments add up to $261,552.16 and 101,552.16 in interest.

The difference isn't much -- just under $25 a month and $8,810 in round numbers.

But what if interest rates go up as economists predict? The January 2015 outlook by Kiplinger's predicts that interest rates could go as high as 4.9 percent. What would your monthly payments look like then?

Your monthly payment would be $849.16, for a total of $305,698.59, and interest payments of $145,698.59, a difference of $122.63 monthly and $44,146.43 in interest by the end of the loan.

If you're interested in buying a home, mortgage rates are unlikely to stay low much longer. If you would like to see just how affordable a home purchase might be with the current low mortgage interest rates, please contact us. We would be more than happy to furnish you with a complete home purchase analysis.  This costs nothing and there is certainly no obligation.

Have An Awesome Week!



Price: $225,000     Beds: 2     Baths: 2     Sq Ft: 1034
Riverfront retreat on 1.65 Acres! Enjoy river views spanning entire south side of property from large deck overlooking an island. Privacy from every direction! Sunlight floods into this updated home with 3 french doors. Relax in the master suite jet...
View this property >>


Good Monday Morning!

I find that many clients that I assist are confused about the difference between a CMA (market Analysis) and an appraisal.  There is a difference and the two are used for different purposes.  The following is an article from "Realty Times" that will give you a good idea about what both are and what they are used for.

As part of the homebuying process, your real estate agent may create a comprehensive market analysis or CMA. Later, when you apply for a mortgage, a bank appraisal is conducted by a licensed appraiser. Are CMAs and appraisals the same thing?

While both CMAs and appraisals help determine a home's market value, their purposes are not the same. The CMA is a sales tool to help you find an offer price for the home you want to buy. The homes in the CMA include the home you want to buy plus similar nearby homes. This helps you see how the home you want compares to other homes so you have an idea what to offer.

A real estate professional may prepare a CMA for their sellers to help them choose a listing price. The CMA includes recently sold homes and homes for sale in the seller's neighborhood that are most similar to the seller's home in appearance, features, and general price range.

Although the CMA is used to help determine current market value, the seller's home is typically not even featured in the CMA. The CMA is merely a guide to help the seller learn what's happening in their local market, so they can better understand where their home fits in term of price ranges, based on location, features, size, condition and other factors.

The CMA offers the same advantages to you as a buyer. They help you better understand the local market. You can expand the search and get different results in a CMA simply by changing the zip code or the price range or the number of bedrooms and baths.

Appraisals are all about risk retention for banks and their customers. If the buyer is receiving financing through a bank, the bank will order an appraisal.

Unlike the CMA, a bank appraisal is a professional determination of a home's value. It's performed by a licensed appraiser, using guidelines established by the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which regulates federal housing loan guarantors such as FHA, VA and housing loan purchasers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

An appraisal is a comprehensive look at a home's location, condition, age and relativity to the market of like properties. It reflects only the data that comes form historic sales, typically over the past six months and does not consider market conditions and existing competing homes like a CMA does.

Have An Awesome Week!

Fall?Winter Just May Be The Best Time To Sell Your Home!!

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

If you are cnsidering the sale of your Eugene and Springfield area home, then seriously consider putting your home on the market for sale right now.  Most people feel that the only season that homes sell is Spring and Summer.  Statistics for home sales in our local market area show that this is not always the case.  Typically, starting in September many people who failed to sell their homes during the Summer months, take their homes off of the market.  Also, fewer new listings hit the market during the Fall and Winter months. Because of this, the inventory of homes for sale is typically at it lowest point from September through April.  This means that competition levels are significantly lower and ofter times the chances for selling your home increase dramatically during the Fall and Winter months.  Another factor that weighs in heavily are the record low mortgage interest rates that we currently have.  Chances are that by Spring, these rates are going to be higher, which may also have a detrimental effect on the number of active home buyers.  

If you are considering a home sale now or in the future, contact me and I can take a look at your home and give you some guidance on the best time to sell and mximize your dollar proceeds from the sale.

Have An Awesome Week!


Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-in-Real-Estate-October-2014

Image Unavailable
Price: $1,200,000 Beds: 4 Baths: 4 Sq Ft: 4776
Fantastic views, gourmet kitchen, top-of-the-line finishes on 8+ manicured acres in a prestigious neighborhood just 12 minutes from the University of Oregon. This one-level 2006 Koala built home features granite counters, cherry cabinets, hardwood f...


Do I Purchase a large Home or a Small Home?

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Depending upon your stage in life and your economic position, the size of home you purchase can be a large consideration.  This article from "Realty Times" gives some insight into making the home size decision.

Do I purchase a large home or a smaller home? This can be a tricky question to answer. Partly because our needs change over the years and decades. After kids leave home, maybe smaller is better but prior to that, maybe a bigger home is what you're seeking–room for the kids, dog, and tons of the kids' sleepover friends.

The trends reflect our indecisiveness too. Sometimes McMansions are on the rise and then there's the complete opposite: tiny, tiny homes. In fact, you can watch fascinating shows online about families of four with a couple of dogs moving into these tiny well-designed homes or homes on wheels.

While that small may be far too small, size is a big consideration. It's also something you should think about before you go house-hunting for that perfect home.

Of course,while there are many personal reasons involved in choosing which size home is the best fit, there are also some very important considerations that can help you decide.

Here are few things to help you weigh your options.

The bigger the home, usually the higher the mortgage. You pay for what you get. It's likely the mortgage payments will be more. However, a smaller home with more amenities is sometimes not that far off in price from a larger home that gives you a bit more square footage.

Think about if you are planning to stay in the home a long time. If so, getting a bit more square footage now might be better than having to move again in a short period of time when you may outgrow the home.

Decide how much home you're willing to maintain. For instance, do you want the responsibility of a big back yard or do you want to have something in a planned development, such as a town home, where there is limited yard space to decorate and maintain. That reduced yard size can give you a lot more freedom and leave you with more money in your bank account as opposed to paying for landscaping maintenance.

Do you work from home or might you someday? This is really important these days as more and more people are working from home and setting up desk space on the dining room table is not optimal. If you think you might be working from home someday, look for a home that will have enough space for you to work, even it it's just a screened-off nook somewhere in the house. No doubt, you'll find a good use for the space, whether or not you actually work from home

If you want a bigger home but aren't sure you can afford it, consider your options. Can you get a roommate? Increase your income? Decrease your debt? Or maybe you can wait a little bit longer and save more to get into the home you really want.

The important thing is to think about the size and style of home you want before you start your house-hunting. This will help you target homes that are most suitable for your needs. Be sure to consult with experts to get the best advice and find out how much home you can really afford.

 Have An Awsome Week!


Image Unavailable
Price: $258,900 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 ½ Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 1836
Delightfully updated home with extras! Shop with workbench, built-ins and sink. Bonus/rec room, 3 sliders, great room layout, RV parking, tons of storage space & utility room. Living room with wood fireplace and extra-wide slider opens to large kitc...


National Home Sales Remain Strong

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Nationally, home sales and home prices are still on the rise.  This trend is being fueled by an improving economy and the continuation of historic low mortgage interest rates.  The housing market that we are enjoying today could be short lived though.  Any increase in mortgage interest rates could quickly put the brakes on our current market.  The Fed has already stated that if the economy continues to improve, they will begin their strategy of increasing interest rates to hedge on inflation.  

If you are considering the sale of your home in the near future, you might want to consider putting it on the market soon.  The price of your home just could be at it's peak right now and it may be years before we see another housing market like we have today.  

If you are curious about what the market for your home in the Eugene and Springfield area looks like, give me a call.  With a short visit to your home I can provide you with an in depth look at your homes value and also give you the information that you need to make an informed decision about selling your home.

Have An Awesome Week!


Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-In-Real-Estate-September-2014

Image Unavailable
1313 LINCOLN ST 1201
Price: $174,900 Beds: 2 Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 774
High-rise condo with valley views! Beautiful valley views from the West - enjoy sunsets everyday! Features bamboo & tile floor, quartz counters, lots of windows for natural light, great room layout. Includes gated and covered parking spot, plus secu...


Important Tips for Your First Home Purchase

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

A large percentage of home sales today are to first time home buyers.  The current market of low mortgage interest rates has given first time buyers an excellent opportunity to become home buyers.  The following is an article from Realty Times that offers some great tips for anyone considering the opurchase of their first home.

Before you start seriously shopping for a home, there's some groundwork you should do to put yourself in the best position to buy a home.

Start early, a couple of months before you talk to a lender or hire a real estate professional.

Check and repair your credit


The Fair Credit Reporting Act requires the three nationwide consumer credit report companies, Equifax, Experian, and TransUnion, to provide you with a free copy of your credit report and FICO scores upon request once a year. You can order the reports by visiting AnnualCreditReport.com, or call 1-877-322-8228.

Each credit report company has its own criteria for scoring your credit report. A lender will usually use the middle FICO score. All three scores need to be as high as possible for you to receive the best interest rates.

If you can, order the reports at least three months before applying for your home loan. If you find a mistake you need to correct, or you want to improve your score by paying down an account, you'll need at least two months before the credit score improves.

You can dispute an inaccurate item on the report by contacting the consumer reporting company and the information provider in writing. Be sure to include copies of your proof.

Don't accidentally raise your scores

Lenders not only look at how much credit you're using, they consider how much credit you have available. However, now is not the time to be opening any new accounts or closing existing accounts.

Don't purchase furniture or a new car or any other big ticket item before buying a home. Lenders are very careful about the amount of debt you have and how much you pay down every month on the debt payments you have.

Get Loan Pre-approval

Don't start house hunting without knowing how much home you can buy. To find out, you have to apply for a loan, which means you're sharing financial information with the lender such as income and work history, student loans, child support or alimony, and credit card balances.

Contact your lender for a preapproval letter. The letter shows that the lender has taken a 1003 loan application, studied your debt ratios to your income, and helped you select a loan program such as fixed rate, ARMs (adjustable rate mortgages), FHA or VA government-backed loans, etc.

Your lender will confirm your down payment source, interest rate, type of loan that's best for your circumstances, and the terms of your loan. The lender will give you a loan commitment based on your qualifications. The home you select must meet appraisal, and the underwriting department must approve the loan.

A preapproval letter will open doors for you, pardon the pun. Sellers will be impressed because you're prepared to buy and that a lender has agreed to process your loan. Your real estate agent will have to know the terms of your loan in order to write your offer.

Find out about federal, state, and local government incentives

Get help with your loan rate, closing costs and/or down payments through federal and state housing authority programs. For example, there are also incentives for workforce personnel – police, fire fighters/emergency services personnel and teachers.

Each community is different, so click on HUD's Housing Authorities to find out what's being offered in your community. Your city may be offering tax incentives to revitalize a designated public improvement area.

Narrow the choices

Think about how you want to live. One story or two? Low-maintenance condo or big yard for the kids? New or older home?

Drive through the neighborhoods you're interested in and look at homes. Visit a few open houses in the neighborhoods you will consider. They will usually be listed in your local newspaper with the hours hosted. Be sure to tell the real estate professional hosting the open house that you are already working with a buyer's agent.

With Google maps, video, virtual tours, multiple photos, school reports, neighborhood reports and more available online or on phone apps, you can get a good idea of what neighborhoods, home styles, and home prices are like where you want to live.

Find an Experienced Real Estate Broker or Agent

Buying a first home is a complex process. An experienced real estate broker or agent will assist you all through the process: the home search, comparable homes sold, making an offer, inspection, repairs, and the appraisal, as well as help you find the best value, neighborhood, and quality home for your budget and requirements.

The seller's real estate broker pays your broker or agent out of your loan proceeds. If you don't use your own agent, the seller's broker keeps the commission, so you might as well avail yourself of professional advice. Your real estate broker or agent works in your best interest.

Don't expect perfection

There's no perfect home. You may want all the latest amenities of a new home, but even new homes come at a price, including longer commutes, higher community fees, and bigger pricetags.

Homes that need updating are priced below homes that are up to the minute and move-in ready. That could be to your financial advantage, so try to look beyond outdated fixtures and focus instead on the floorplan and dimensions. Ignore the seller's tastes and imagine each room clean and clear of clutter and with your own things in them.

Most cosmetic changes are relatively inexpensive, and you can even pay for them with your mortgage loan, in some cases. Talk to your lender.

Think long-term investment

Buying a home can be a wise financial investment, if you buy right and hold your home for long-term gain. Because of closing and moving costs, it's nearly impossible to buy a home and sell it immediately for a large gain, but it is possible to sell after a couple of years with no capital gains tax should you make a profit.

According to the National Association of REALTORS®, home equity growth beats inflation by about one to two percent annually, not to mention government subsidies for home ownership in the form of tax relief and other incentives.

However, if you look at owning a home strictly as an investment, you'll miss many pleasures. Look at your home as a home, rather than part of your portfolio. Buying a home allows you to live in the neighborhood you want for as long as you want, without having to worry that the landlord is going to sell out from under you. Your stake in a home makes you part of the community, committed to making it a better place to live.

Have An Awesome Week!



Image Unavailable
Price: $539,000 Beds: 5 Baths: 4 ½ Baths: 1 Sq Ft: 5568
Outstanding value at $96 per sq ft - Hardwood flooring, granite counters, travertine tile, hickory cabinets, two walk-in closets, solid core 8ft doors, creek views, next to Emerald Valley Golf Resort. Too many high end amenities to list. Less than 2...


When is the Best Time to Purchase a Home!

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

One oif the most frequent questions I am asked comes from potential first time home buyers who are exploring the possibility of shifting from being a renter to being a homeowner.  The following is an excellent article from "Realty Times", that addresses the question as to whether now is the time to become a homeowner.

You've done the math. With the down payment you've saved, you can safely buy a home for less money than you could ever have as a renter.

Yet, you seem unable to make a commitment. Are you sure you're really ready to buy a home?

If you find yourself saying any of the following to family, friends, or your real estate agent, you're not ready.

"I'll know when I see the right place."

"I want to see what I can find on my own."

"I'll only buy if I can get a fantastic deal."

"I'm waiting for interest rates to go down."

With houses for sale all over the place, you can easily find the right place, especially with your real estate agent screening houses for you. Prices are still lower than they were at the peak. Interest rates are still low. So what are you waiting for -- prices to rise more than they already have, for interest rates to go up? You get the idea.

Owning a home is a big responsibility, and the market has been volatile for years. If you're scared, that's understandable. So, maybe you need to examine your tolerance for risk.

Like the stock market or any other money investment, there is no sure thing, but there is plenty of evidence that returns are built over time. You'll eventually get your money back, or you might even make money on your home, if you:

1. Are realistic. A home should meet your needs for shelter and your family's activities. Don't expect your home to make you rich.

2. Buy within your means. It's no fun dreading your monthly mortgage payment.

3. Occupy your home long enough. It takes approximately four years just to get your closing costs back in equity.

4. Keep your home repaired and updated. If you have to sell quickly, you'll get a better price if your home doesn't need work.

Currently, market conditions are in your favor. High inventories in most areas, lower prices than others have paid in the past and low mortgage interest rates combine to lower your risk.

In addition, you have all kinds of incentives, like the ability to buy with a federally subsidized or guaranteed loan, as well as income tax and capital gains benefits. And there are unexpected dividends - homeowners are automatically assumed to be more responsible than renters, which is why you get a discount on auto insurance if you own a home.

If you're really ready to buy a home, you take action to make a good deal happen. You get preapproved by a lender so you're ready to make an offer on a home within your means. You give your wish list to your real estate agent, attend open houses, search on the Internet, and tell friends and family what kind of home you're looking for. Everyone and everything is working in your favor to get you to your goal.

You find the home you want, and you put your money down and you close.

That's ready.

Have An Awesome Week!


Image Unavailable
Price: $217,500 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1424
Super Good Sense & quality built! Energy efficient heat pump heating & cooling, with dual heating system-can run gas or electric. Hardi plank siding, plaster finished walls, finished garage, automatic sprinkler system plus security system. Vaulted c...


Good News On the Mortgage Front

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

There is some really good news on the mortgage front.  100% home financing is back.  A new home loan program is now available for those buyers qualifying for FHA financing in the Eugene and Springfield market areas.  This new home financing option is called the OMT 100 loan.  It consists of a 96.5% first loan and a 3.5% second loan. The interest rate is at whatever the going FHA rate is at the time of the loan application.  All homes that would qualify for FHA finacing will qualify for this loan program.

Another twist to this loan is the fact that in many cases, the home seller can contribute towards the buyers closing costs and create a situation where the buyers bring little or no money to the table for the home purchase.  This loan program will make homes affordable to many who were stuck because they could not come up with the money needed for a down payment.

Reemember, mortgage loan interest rates are still bouncing around at historic low levels. This is not going to last forever, so if you have been left out of the ability to purchase a home because of not having enough money for the down payment, this is your opportunity to jump in and take advantage of the current attractive home purchase environment.

Call me or e-mail me for information on the OMT 100 mortgage loan program.

Have An Awesome Week!


Image Unavailable
Price: $265,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 3 Sq Ft: 1789
Serene and Stylish! Enjoy the beautiful, gated subdivision of Lake Shore Estates. Contemporary styling, slate tile, Shaw flooring, Hunter Douglas blinds, cherry cabinets, high ceilings, recessed lights, Great Room layout. Two level home functions as...


Nationally, Home Sales for June Are Up !

by Galand Haas

Good Monday Morning!

Nationally, home sales were up in June of 2014.  The average home sales price increased as well.  This is good news that the nations housing market trend continues to rise.  Over the past several months, this same trend seems to be headed downwards in the Eugene and Springfield home market areas.  It will be interesting when June statistics come out in a week as to whether our local market is also starting to rebound again.

Mortgage interest rates remain very stable and are still hovering at just slightly over 4%.  For home buyers there is still time to take action on a home purchase while home prices remain a bargain and interest rates continue to hold at historic low levels.  Right now there is plenty of good home inventory to choose from in the Eugene and Springfield market as well.

Have An Awesome Week!



Video Link: http://eugeneoregonhomesforsale.com/video/This-Month-in-Real-Estate-July-2014

Image Unavailable
Price: $203,000 Beds: 3 Baths: 2 Sq Ft: 1182
Darling home in culdesac. Enjoy privacy in this efficient & updated ranch style home. Living room with gas fireplace opens to dining area with slider. Kitchen with under-mount sink, eating bar and pantry. Master bedroom with vanity, bath & large clo...


Displaying blog entries 1-10 of 65




Living in Eugene is more than your address,

its a way of life...

Click to explore Eugene and surrounding communities.

You'll discover exactly which neighborhood suites your lifestyle.