resources

Your Guide to Accessory Dwelling Units (aka ADUs or DADUs)

Have you been considering an "in-law" apartment or backyard cottage? This type of dwelling is technically referred to an accessory dwelling unit aka "attached dwelling unit" (ADU) or detached dwelling unit (DADU).An ADU is a smaller living space on the same lot as a single-family home. It must be a habitable living unit including space for sleeping, cooking and a bathroom with it's own entrance (independent of the primary residence). An ADU could be an apartment over the garage; in the basement of the primary residence; a detached home in the back yard; or even a manufactured home.Recent changes to zoning laws in Washington state allows more homes to have an ADU. In many areas, regulations for ADUs have been eased to help promote the addition of accessory dwelling units in the spirt of creating more affordable housing.Adding an ADU to your home can provide a lot of options, including increase value by adding more living space. An ADU also provides additional space for when family or friends come to visit; or if you need housing for a parent or adult children. They can also provide additional income as an investment property or short-term-rental. Rental income may be factored for qualifying purposes.There are several options available for financing an ADU/DADU, including:Conventional Home RenovationFHAFHA 203(K)VAOne-Time Close Construction LoanHome equity lines of credit or fixed rate second mortgages.Reverse MortgageFinancing is available for purchases or refinances.Different down payment (home equity) requirements are based on the occupancy (primary, second home or investment property). Some programs, like FHA, have minimum down payment options.The property must meet zoning requirements. Some cities actually have pre-approved DADU plans to help make the permit process more efficient, including:SeattleRentonKirklandLaceyHere are guides from other cities information regarding ADUs:BellevueBremertonEverettKentLynnwoodPoulsboSpokaneTacomaVancouverIf you are considering adding an ADU/DADU to your home or finding a new home with the potential to add an apartment, please reach out to me! I am happy to review possible options with you.

2024 Mortgage and Housing Forecast

Spoiler Alert! Many experts, including economist from Fannie Mae and Mortgage Bankers Association are predicting that mortgage rates will be below 6% by the end of 2024 thanks to inflation cooling off.We will also still be dealing with a serious lack of inventory. The markets should be improved from 2023, however the competition will remain strong and most likely increase. As mortgage rates move under 6%, we will see more people re-enter the market. In addition, it is in my opinion highly unlikely we'll see a "price correction" with homes in our area simply due to the continued lack of inventory and increased population (more on that in my video above).For the scenarios I have prepared here, I'm using a home priced at $800,000 with 20% down payment. Rates are subject to change and are for example only. Results may vary depending on where you are considering buying and what your financial scenario looks like. Forecasted interest rates are based on projections from Fannie Mae's January 2024 forecast and are NOT guaranteed - they are only a projection. If you would like me to prepare scenarios based on your personal data or for your client, please reach out to me! I'm happy to help.Here are some strategies to help you in 2024!Don't wait for lower rates to buy! If you find a home that you can afford and would like to make an offer on, do it now before rates go down. Check out the Cost of Waiting - Total Cost Analysis and PDF with examples overtime. ⏩You will have less competition.You will start paying down the mortgage now and enjoying appreciation now.The home will cost more with appreciation (and potential bidding war) when rates are lower.Be prepared to Offer Above the List Price. Bid above the list price and negotiate the seller to buy down your interest rate. With forecasted appreciation, you may be surprised how quickly one may break-even on the "cost" of bidding over the list price vs. chasing a higher sales price while waiting for interest rates to come down. ⏩Make your best presentation with a Digital Offer. I personally contact the listing agent to review your offer (with your permission, of course). The listing agent will receive a text with your digital preapproval for their review as well as an email. ⏩Consider making a cash offer with NAF Cash Program. We have a cash buyer program that allows you to have a cash offer presented on your behalf. Sellers prefer cash offers as there are no financing contingencies, and you can close much faster! Once the cash offer has closed, you buy the home back from NAF Cash with the same terms. This also works great if you have a home that you need to sell before buying your next home. ⏩If you do have a home to sell, you probably have enjoyed appreciation with your home values. These funds (or other funds that you may have considered to use for down payment) may be used to restructure debt or buy down the interest rate to make your payments more affordable. Check out Selling and Buying Made Easy. ⏩Rent vs. Buy. Your mortgage payment may be initially higher than your rent payment, however the long-term benefits of building wealth through homeownership is very clear with this report. ⏩5 Year Rate Pledge. After you close your mortgage serviced by New American Funding, should mortgage rates drop to where you want to refinance, New American Funding will waive their lender fees. ⏩If you would like to prepare a plan for buying your next home or create a strategy to help your home buyers, please reach out to me.I hope you have a wonderful 2024!Best regards,Rhonda

Mortgage Market Update for the week of May 20, 2024

Here is an overview of what economic indicators may impact mortgage rates this week.If you would like to see current mortgage rates based on your personal financial scenario, please contact me!Best regards,Rhonda Porter, Mortgage Advisor

Bridge Loans vs Cash Buyer Programs

Bridge loans have been around a long time to help homeowners access equity for their existing home so they can use those funds for their next home purchase. Bridge loans are mortgages that are secured to the departing residence which means in most cases, the home buyer has to qualify for not only the new home mortgage payment but also the mortgage on the "old home" along with the bridge loan. Available funds for a bridge loan are also often limited based on a certain loan to value, less any existing mortgage balances (there needs to be enough equity for the home to sell, including the costs to sell). Bridge loans are a great tool, however they do have limitations.Cash buyer programs, like NAF Cash, allow home buyers to make an offer without having a departing residence on their next home. As it's effectively a "cash offer", the transaction can typically close in about 14 days, allowing the buyer to move into the home and "rent back" until they purchase the home from NAF Cash. Of course, if a person does have a home to sell they can still use NAF Cash to buy their next home with a "Cash Offer". It's a "win win" for sellers and home buyers dealing with a competitive market with limited inventory. NAF Cash is available for buyers with credit scores of 620 or higher with a down payment as low as 5% for conventional or 0% down for a VA loan with the second transaction (buyer purchasing from NAF Cash).If you're a real estate agent, I highly recommend that you take the 45-minute class to become certified to make cash offers for your clients. As a listing agent, if you receive an offer with a financing contingency, share this information with the buyer's agent. They can contact me to sign up for the next class or use the QR code on the flyer in the sidebar.Questions? Please contact me!Rhonda Porter

Zillow’s Math – Does Buying a Home Now Make Sense?

Zillow recently published an article titled "If you buy now, it could take 13.5 years to make a profit on your home sale". This article is catching a lot of attention with various media outlets, and I thought I should use my resources to analyze this article.To do my comparison, I tried to use as much of Zillow's information as possible, including the average price of a home in Seattle and average rents, using credit scores between 720-739. If you would like me to provide scenarios for you based on your neighborhood and financial situation, please let me know!On this page, you'll find:My video (above) using Zillow's data with the resources I have available.Total Cost Analysis | Rent vs. Own which includes a short video reviewing the report. Compares renting to buying with 5%, 10% or 20% down payment.Rent vs. Buy Report for Zillow's Seattle home scenario based on a 10% down payment. *Rent vs. Buy Report for Zillow's Seattle home scenario based on a 10% down paymentNOTE: Mortgage rates have DRAMATICALLY IMPROVED since I created this resource guide. Please contact me for current rates!SPOILER ALERT!!! My research shows that it SHOULD NOT take 13 years (or even 10 years) to have a profit on selling a home - even with a 10% down payment! In fact, the Rent vs Buy Report shows that a person could have around a $500K selling their home just after 10 years even factoring in the monthly cashflow difference between renting and owning!Ultimately, buying a home is not for everyone. However, if you qualify for a mortgage and are interested in the appreciation and investment opportunities available with home ownership, I encourage you to check it out. It's also important to keep in mind that when rates trend lower, people who have been sitting on the fence waiting for lower rates will re-enter the market which will increase demand on the limited supply of homes for sale. This pushes rates higher. Higher mortgage rates can actually provide an opportunity to those who are willing to have the mortgage payment until they can refi (which may take a couple of years).I wrapped up my video (above) with a teaser about the All In One Loan, which pays off mortgages far more rapidly than a traditional 30 year (making owning a home even more affordable). You can learn more about this program here:Mortgage rates are subject to change and WILL change. Mortgage rates are based on mortgage-backed securities (bonds) and are similar to bonds. Please contact me for current mortgage rates as the rates you're viewing here (and probably anywhere) are expired.Questions? Considering buying a home? Please contact me - I am happy to help you!

A Solution for Veterans wanting to use a VA Loan

Many Veterans who have served our country have earned the right to have a VA mortgage loan. It’s unfortunate that some sellers as well as real estate agents have a bad image of VA loans and often discourage them. Many years ago, VA loans were sometimes more challenging than conventional financing – this is rarely the case anymore. Some people may falsely assume that if a Veteran is using a VA loan, they must have poor credit or not enough funds for a down payment. A majority of the Veteran’s I have provided mortgages for have excellent credit and plenty of funds for down payment, they opt for the VA loan because they either don’t want to use all of their funds for down payment, or the VA mortgage loan could be providing a lower interest rate than what they would receive with conventional financing. Bottom line, it’s their entitlement that they sacrificed and worked hard to earn. Regardless of how much I rant about why people should be more accepting of VA loans, we still have many who just can’t shake the unfortunate reputation of VA financing from years past. I have a possible solution! If a seller is not accepting offers with VA financing, make a cash offer instead! The Veteran can use a program like our cash-buyer program, and then buy the home back after closing using their earned VA financing! It’s really that simple!When the Veteran uses their VA financing to buy-back the home, they can use the same terms as if they were buying it directly from the seller. Our cash-buyer program closes purchases FAST and the Veteran’s financing to buy-back the home from the program takes place simultaneously. I would love to help more Veteran’s buy homes utilizing their VA entitlement. So if a seller balks at a VA offer or are not accepting VA offers, counter back with a cash offer!Your Real Estate Agent will need to take a 45 minute class to become certified to present an offer using our program. Please feel free to share this page with them. Please check out the additional information that I have on this page, including examples of how the scenario could work for a Veteran.Thank you to our Veterans for their service to our country!

Unlocking the Path to Your Dream Home: Selling and Buying Made Easy

Selling & Buying Made Easy!Ready to sell your home and seamlessly move into your dream home? Look no further! We've got you covered with a simple and affordable process. As an experienced mortgage professional, I understand sellers' challenges when becoming buyers. But fret not! I've designed a unique solution to make your transition smooth and financially stress-free.Here's how it works: First, together with your real estate agent, we will market and sell your home, ensuring you get top dollar. Once your sale is complete, we'll move on to the exciting part: helping you purchase your dream home! (If you need a referral to a real estate agent, please let me know).NOTE: Mortgage rates have changed since creating the Total Cost Scenarios on the right sidebar. Please contact me for current rates based on your financial details.Our secret weapon? The rate buy-down option! We'll negotiate with lenders on your behalf, securing a lower interest rate for your mortgage. This means you'll enjoy reduced monthly payments, making it much more affordable to become a buyer after selling your home. Imagine knowing you can comfortably afford your new home without breaking the bank! With our rate buy-down approach, you can achieve just that.Or, if you're concerned about a bidding war, you can up your game by using NAF Cash to essentially make a cash offer on your next home. NAF Cash buys the home with cash and the after the quick closing, you buy the home NAF Cash.. You can also use NAF Cash to buy your next home BEFORE closing on your current home (similar to a bridge loan). Here is more info: How to Buy Your Home as a Cash Buyer (and Win Bidding Wars)Speaking of refinances, after closing I will continue to monitor interest rates for you to inform you when rates are low enough for a refinance. After closing with New American Funding, we will waive our lender fee should you refinance with us in the next 5 years after closing your purchase.Our goal is to empower you as both a seller and a buyer, providing comprehensive support throughout your real estate journey. We'll handle the complexities, negotiate on your behalf, and customize a solution just for you. Don't let financial worries hold you back from your dream home! Let us make it a reality.Contact us today to learn more about our seamless selling and buying process. Remember, it's not just about selling or buying; it's about navigating the entire journey quickly and affordably. Let us guide you every step of the way! Get ready to embrace your dream home!Best regards,Rhonda Porter

Should You Wait to Buy a Home

The old saying goes, "the best time to buy a house was yesterday" and that's probably true. It's also true that with mortgage rates being higher than they have been compared to the recent past, it's probably a BETTER opportunity for someone to buy a home assuming they can find one they want. Mortgage rates are expected to start trending lower in the next few months to a year, depending on which data you rely on. Fannie Mae's June 2023 forecast predicts interest rates may be in the mid 5's towards the second half of 2024. As mortgage rates start to trend lower, we will see more people re-enter the housing market. As we have more people wanting to buy a home, this will pressure are already limited housing supply and will probably cause home prices to push higher. In addition, the longer someone waits to buy a home, the more they miss out on potential appreciation and amortization (payment towards their mortgage balance) gains. Instead of paying a landlord, they can be working on building their personal nest-egg for the future.Please be sure to check out the Cost of Waiting report which takes data provided by MBS Highway for King County and provides a detailed analysis over a short period of time. I've also prepared to other reports that you'll find on this page. Past, Present and Future is also a "cost of waiting" report which shows different "what if" scenarios. Rent vs. Buy compares just like it sounds... renting and buying a home.I am happy to review your personal scenario and create reports to help you decide if now or later is the right time for you. PS: If you do want to wait to buy a home, it's still a great time to start reviewing your credit, savings and income so we can create a game plan to help you be in the best position when you are ready to buy. Here's more information.NOTE: Mortgage rates change throughout the day (similar as stocks do) and are subject to credit approval. In other words, the rates posted here are expired and may currently be lower or higher.

How to Win a Bidding War on Your Next Home

If you tried buying a home over the last few years, you probably lost out to buyers who made cash offers. Sellers tend to prefer cash offers because they can close faster and there are less uncertainties when they are not relying on a mortgage approval from a lender they don’t know. Even in a buyers’ market, a seller will most likely prefer a cash offer over one that is dependent on financing or the sale of another property. I have a solution! You can also enjoy the convenience of an all-cash buyer with a cash buyer program. This works for first time home buyers and for clients who want to buy before they sell their existing property.The process is simple!Get preapproved.Your Real Estate Agent will need to become certified with the cash buyer program (if they’re not already).Find your home!The cash buyer program will place a cash offer on the home which will probably close very quickly.You buy your home back from the cash buyer program using the mortgage you’re preapproved for.This works for first time home buyers and for clients who want to buy a primary residence before they sell their existing property. This is similar to a bridge loan except you don't have a "bridge loan payment" to factor into qualifying for purchasing your home - which makes this easier to qualify for.This is for home buyers with credit scores of 620 or higher and minimum down payments are allowed for conventional and VA financing. (This is currently not allowed with FHA financing). Home buyers will need a minimum 3% earnest money deposit. There is a service fee which can be added to the sales price of the new home when you buy it from the cash buyer program and often times, the fee can be offset by offering less on the home (often cash buyers can pay less than those having to use a mortgage).Cash offer purchases often close in just two weeks, so you’re able to move into your new home before you purchase the home back from cash buyer program. There will be some rent due, just as if you were moving into your home before closing with any other seller. Here is more information about cash buyer programs.NOTE: Mortgage rates change throughout the day (similar as stocks do) and are subject to credit approval. In other words, the rates posted here are expired and may currently be lower or higher. If you would like to see a scenario with current mortgage rates based on your personal financials, please contact me.Let's help you buy your next home!Best regards,Rhonda

Buying Your First Home

Hello! Whether you are buying your first home or you're a real estate professional helping someone buy their first home, I hope you will find this information useful. I'm including some financial strategies and information you may find helpful on your journey to buying your first home. NOTE: Mortgage rates quoted in scenarios are for education purposes only and are expired. Please contact me for current mortgage rates based on your personal scenario or click here.Please review the examples I have prepared for you. I would love to answer your questions and help you create a plan to finance your home -- even if you believe that buying a home is a few years away!There are many programs available, including mortgages featuring low down payments. Here are just a few strategies (note rates are expired):Understanding the Numbers. This report shows some minimum down payment scenarios that are available for home buyers. You don't need to have a 20% down payment to buy a home!Rent vs. Owning Your Home. This report compares renting to buying a home with real numbers. Click here for a Rent vs Own Report.How to Create Affordable Housing. This report shows different strategies to help reduce mortgage payments.Should You Wait or Buy Now? Last but not least, this report addresses if you should wait for possibly lower home prices or interest rates; or if you should buy now.By the way, I am happy to prepare scenarios for you using YOUR information. My goal is to help people make informed decisions about their mortgages and finances.What's next? I would love to answer your questions and help you create a plan for the financing of your next home. There are many programs available, including some offering down payment assistance. If you are considering buying a home (or refinancing), I'm happy to help you! Click here to start the preapproval process.I look forward to helping you with the purchase of your home.Take care,Rhonda Porter Mortgage Consultant MLO121324UPDATE: We have new programs that offer down payment assistance up to 100% financing. Click here for more info!

How Much Money Do You Need to Buy a Home?

You may be surprised to learn that you don't need 20% down payment to buy a home! There are also grants and down payment assistance programs available to help with closing costs. Check out my video to learn more about how much money it takes to buy a home in today's market. Please contact me if you have any questions. Warm regards, Rhonda Porter Mortgage Consultant MLO121324

Credit Tips for Homebuyers

Sometimes "common sense" actions, like paying off debts and closing your accounts are probably the WRONG things to do if you're considering getting a mortgage. This video includes some suggestions on what you may want to do to improve your credit if you are considering buying a home or getting a refi. Please contact me with any questions - I'm here to help you! Best regards, Rhonda Porter Mortgage Advisor MLO121324

Reviews

"Communication was exemplary! She went above and beyond to help make sure this was a successful transaction for all parties involved. Looking forward to many more transactions with Rhonda!"

deanna f

"Process was very smooth and very informative throughout, which I appreciate greatly as I had a ton of questions!"

vincent r

"To begin, we were moving across country with short notice and the seller required a 30-day closing. I haven’t experienced getting a mortgage in over 30-years…OMG it’s changed a lot! I am not even exaggerating when I say that we would not have accomplished this without the exceptional experience that Rhonda brought! After we signed and locked the 2023 high interest rate, days later there was a significant dip in the rates and Rhonda relocked us at the lower rate! What an unexpected gift. I don’t know anyone else who would go out of their way to do that for a client. Not only is she a Pro, but she’s a joy to work with and also guided us through with lots of patience. 5-STARS all the way!"

mark fernandez