Current State of Mortgage Financing – What’s going on?



Anyone watching or reading the financial news over the last few weeks has seen a lot of alarm, anxiety and confusion over the state of the mortgage industry.  Hopefully the information in this email will help you navigate through it a bit easier. 


In the last month or so, American Home Mortgage and its wholesale counterpart, American Brokers Conduit, became the latest casualties of the credit crisis. Last year, this company closed over $58 billion in home loans. Despite being, by all accounts, a well-run business, market conditions forced them to file for bankruptcy, leaving nearly $800 million in loans unable to close. Tens of thousands of borrowers have now been left without financing as a result of companies like this going under.


Clearly, with over 100 national lenders having now closed shop in the last eight months, this is no longer simply a subprime lending issue. The credit market is experiencing unprecedented turmoil that, according to Mike Perry, CEO of Indymac Bancorp, is “broader and more serious than past disruptions.”

 What does this mean to the real estate market?  

·    Sellers can no longer be reluctant to accept offers or reduce prices. Tightening credit and diminishing mortgage products will continue to reduce the pool of qualified buyers. This, along with the increase in national inventories, means now is not the time to hold out for the “best” price possible.


·    Buyers with credit issues or who have difficulty providing required documentation can no longer sit on the fence. If market conditions change, buyers who qualify for a loan today may not qualify a few weeks from now for the same exact loan. Many lenders have stopped offering no-Doc loans, and some lenders have even pulled back on all forms of stated loans. As market conditions continue to change, a buyer’s pre-approval status can disappear even more quickly, delaying or spoiling the deal.


·    Subprime and Alt-A refi candidates, especially those with ARMs scheduled to reset over the next 12 months, need to act now – even those with a pre-payment penalty. ARMs borrowers struggling with monthly payments now might be shocked to know that monthly payments can double in some cases once an ARM resets.



This info was provided by

Troy Westendorf

Residential Lending

w/Liberty Financial Group

Please email Trow with any of your Financing/mortgage needs




0/8, 09-07. Bellevue Restaurant “0/8” personal review.

 0/8 for our #9

Last week my wife and I celebrated our 9 year anniversary. We decided to dine at 0/8 for our special occasion. We had never heard of 0/8 and it was not recommended to us by anybody. We had found them on the list of restaurants on the Passport Unlimited website (  They describe themselves as Northwest, Seafood Grill style of cuisine. I am not a huge fan of paying for seafood, I like it but I would much rather spend the money on a great steak. My wife, on the other hand, loves seafood so after seeing that they had a few steaks to choose from we thought this would be fine.  We made our reservations online and put in the special notes that we are celebrating our anniversary. When we arrived  we gave our name to the hostess and she congratulated us on our special day and immediately guided us to a very nice quiet location strategically located next to a  huge wall of wine. A few seconds later our server, “Chris”, came over introduced himself and also congratulated us. He was very friendly and broke the ice with some small talk and joked with us about a few things before asking us for our drink order. My wife and I each ordered a Pear Margarita (Made with Sauza and Oregon Pear Brandy.)Mmmmm..  Tasty!! Deciding to skip an appetizer so we can enjoy a desert later, we placed our dinner order. My wife chose the Grilled Prosciutto Wrapped Halibut and I went with the 14 oz. CAB Cowboy Ribeye with the Maytag Blue Cheese Mashed Potatoes and Vegetables. We both really enjoyed our meals. The steak was cooked perfectly. My knife sliced through it like butter and the mashed potatoes were mouth wateringly perfect. The wrapped halibut was a very pleasant unique combo and cooked wonderfully.  Throughout the meal Chris kept returning to refill our water and when our plates were empty he offered to pay for a desert. We loved the sound of that and decided to order one for each of us. I chose the Apple Tart and my wife decided on a Lemon something or other, both recommended by Chris. The pastry on the apple tart was buttery and mixed well with the tart caramelized sliced apples. We both really enjoyed our deserts too. Overall we are very happy we chose 0/8 for our #9. Great service, great personal touch and great food. Check them out! They get 2 empty plates from us (Our rating system. Empty plate = highest possible score)Click here for Address, Phone Number & Map

Annexation of Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kings Gate, are you for it or against it?

At this point I do not have an oppinion on the annexation of Finn Hill, North Juanita and Kings Gate into the city of Kirkland. I am a resident of the PAA and I would like to hear from those of you living in the Kirkland city limits or in the PAA who are for or against the annexation and why. Maybe a better way to state your oppinions would be to give me the “Pro’s” and “Con’s”. Please state if you live in the city of Kirkland or in the PAA. Please also provide and links that will help me make my desision or back up yours.

Annexation of North Juanita into the city of Kirkland

The Kirkland City Council is carefully considering the annexation of the Finn Hill, Upper Juanita and Kingsgate neighborhoods. While the City has been discussing annexation for years, due to a new state sales tax credit, it is revisiting annexation of these three neighborhoods known as our “potential annexation area” or PAA.

Annexation Q & A

Kirkland Community and Potential Annexation Area (PAA) map (PDF-1.8 MB)

PAA Fire District map (PDF-3.1 MB)

PAA School District map (PDF-3.2 MB)

PAA Utility District map (PDF-3.2 MB)

Selling your house in Seattle, Bellevue & Redmond.

 Selling your house in Seattle, Bellevue & Redmond.

In Seattle, Bellevue, Redmond and other King County cities some sellers are still getting multiple offers.

  Who are getting multiple offers and what are they doing to get them?  Sellers who….

  1. update their homes with popular features.
  2. have had a pre-inspection on their home and repaired any items that could cause a seller to be turned off.
  3. completely clean their home, eliminated clutter & personal items.
  4. paint their homes with warm neutral colors.
  5. clean their yards, mow their lawns, pull their weeds, Trim trees and bushes, lay sod, add plants, and spread bark or mulch.
  6. replaced carpet if needed.
  7. have their home staged.
  8. have professional pictures taken for the listing.
  9. price their homes correctly

If you don’t have a sense of design then have your agent refer you to a staging professional. The consultation fee of the staging professional is minimal compared to what you can get as a return for making all of the necessary changes.  The goal is to make your house stand out from your competition.


Click here for a staging video clip

Greg R Benson – Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland Real Estate

Get Your Home’s Market Value          Click Here to Search for Homes.         Click here to have listing sent to you.

Contact us.

Pricing, Pricing, Pricing. Why pricing your home correctly is so important.

Pricing you home correctly.

The house inventory is rising due to the tightening of the mortgage strings, creating less qualified buyers. What is the #1 deciding factor on getting your home sold? Pricing! It is important for sellers to understand how vital it is to price your house correctly. Sellers need to think as a buyer would when they sit down with their agent and come up with an asking price for their home. Get rid of your emotional attachment you have for this house. It is a business transaction and if your home is not competitively priced then you WILL NOT get an offer.


Real Estate Market in Seattle

Seattle, Bellevue and Western King County is still one of the better real estate markets in the country.  (spring 2007)