By Rosie Rourke, posted May 08, 2020
Here is a quick message from Rosie about this post and the money saving ideas she's compiled to help you get COVID-19!
Tip #1 Save Money on Your Mortgage!
Contact your loan servicer to find out how they can help if you can’t make the payment. Forbearance is one way, but buyer beware-nothing is free! I recently sat down with one of our preferred lenders and asked everything my clients should know!
If would like to reach to Nichole Stearns directly here is her contact info!
Nichole Stearns - Branch Manager
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation
709.4136 [email protected]
#2 Still Paying PMI?
Still paying Private Mortgage Insurance (“PMI”) for your home mortgage? Your bank does not automatically remove it-you have to request for it to be removed! Save big each month if you have at least 20% equity in your home. Contact me and I can help determine that for you.
#3 Bank Loans
Bank loans – contact your debt companies and you may be pleasantly surprised to find helpful payment plans. Such as Bank of America. In response to COVID-19, Bank of America is offering payment deferrals for home loans, auto loans, and credit cards for up to 90 days. - https://www.businessinsider.com/personal-finance/bank-of-america-covid-19-2020-4
Utilities – contact your utility companies. Some are waiving late fees and creating a payment plan. Puget Sound Energy has a relief program and will not disconnect your power during Covid crisis. For more details - https://www.pse.com/press-release/details/learn-about-our-covid-19-response-plan
If your interest rate is over 4.5%, you may benefit from refinancing your home mortgage. Call your loan servicer to learn more.
#6 Stock Market
Stock Market – Want to learn more about market volatility and five actions to consider today? Watch this video provided by John Schneider, a Financial Advisor at Edward Jones. He is a Kent Chamber of Commerce Member, check out this video to learn more:
Here is John's info if you have any direct questions:
#7 Real Estate Taxes!
Real Estate Taxes – if you are over 61 and fit into a financial category deemed by King County as eligible, you could drastically reduce your real estate taxes. Visit is helpful website to learn more: https://dor.wa.gov/content/property-tax-exemption-program-senior-citizens-and-disabled-persons
#8 Tips From a CPA
Local CPA, Lois Vankat from Shannon & Associates, has a website packed with great tips and information such as…
* Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (watch for your money in the mail if you qualify!)
* attention employers, there is a great read about the Family First Coronavirus Response Act
* Emergency Economic Relief Update – SBA loan programs summary
* What you should know about your retirement plan and how it is affected by the CARES act
* The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act – what does it mean for you?
* Relief for Washington Business and Employees
Learn more at https://www.shannon-cpas.com/resources/blog/
Here is Lois's information if you would like to reach out to her directly:
Lois D. Vankat, CPA
Shannon & Associates 253.852.8500
#9 For Tenants & Landlords
If you are a Tenant or a Landlord, learn about changes due to COVID crisis such as rent freeze, eviction bans, etc. Read this Rental Housing Association of Washington article:
THANK YOU, HOW CAN I HELP?
If you need anything real estate related please reach out to me and my team! People are still selling, and buyers are still buying, and we are ready to assist you anyway we can!
By Rosie Rourke, posted Jun 25, 2018
I am always researching and educating myself and my team about current real estate trends, it’s been my life’s passion for over 20 years! I recently came across a great article in the Seattle Times, it’s a great read and it’s why my clients have chosen a local broker like me to represent them during one of the largest financial transactions of their life! I pulled out the part of the article that is really important for you, but you can read the full article here is you want to: https://projects.seattletimes.com/2018/how-to-buy-a-home/
You can find 500 Yelp reviews about your $4 cup of coffee, but there’s surprisingly little information on how to find someone who will help you with your biggest purchase and earn a commission that averages about $25,000 in Seattle and is paid by the seller. A lot of buyers use referrals. Others simply click on buttons from Redfin and Zillow that appear next to home listings — but beware, those are generally just advertisements from realtors. Just like you would visit several houses to find the best fit, do the same with realtors: Interview at least a few to see how you’ll get along and test out how well they know the market.
You can also test out realtors in the real world by going to open houses. Tobias Nitzsche and his wife were looking to buy a house here last year but found out they didn’t really like the first realtor they picked. Then they ran into Stephanie Spiro at an open house for a home she was listing, and found her to be so helpful and friendly that they hired her for their own home hunt.
Realtors are an extension of the “location, location, location” mantra in real estate: Most realtors have one neighborhood they know really well but things can get dicey if they start venturing into new territory. Look for people who have already done lots of deals in the neighborhood you want. Seattle-based Redfin, in particular, is a source of fascination for buyers because it generally offers lower commissions — as low as 1 to 1.5 percent of
the purchase price, compared to traditional brokerages that usually charge 2.5 to 3 percent.
But traditional brokerages derisively refer to Redfin as a “discount brokerage.” Fichthorn said they first tried touring homes with Redfin, using a feature on the company’s website where you can click a button to “schedule a tour” even if it’s not a Redfin-listed house. The Redfin employee would quickly respond and unlock the home for a tour but had no clue about the house’s details and couldn’t analyze whether the price was fair — she was just there in hopes of signing the buyers up to be assigned to one of their agents. They wound up going with a realtor from a traditional brokerage — though they found him through a similar tool on Zillow, which lets brokers pay to put their face next to listings they’re not associated with.
By Rosie Rourke, posted Apr 30, 2018
I’ve been hearing the same thing at a lot of my listing appointments from my clients, “Are we in another real estate bubble?” My buyers agents are hearing this too from people looking to purchase their first home or sell and buy a house, or second time buyers as we call them. I decided to roll up my sleeves and put my 20+ years of real estate knowledge to the test… I decided to write an article about it!
Here is the post card I just sent out to all my friends and clients:
To read my article check it out right here on my website, go to www.rosierourke.com/bubble
By Rosie Rourke, posted Sep 28, 2017
The Power of One…
Did you know that just a 1% rise in mortgage interest rates can spell disaster for the home buyer looking to make a purchase? It means a loss of 10-12% of buying power. Essentially that could cost a Northwest home buyer their chance of buying a home at the top of their price range and be stuck owning something at the bottom of their range. Scary, right? So when you watch the news and they talk about rising interest rates, it’s something to pay attention too.
Here is a great example, let’s say that you buy a 4 bedroom, 1800 square foot home for $503,000, your mortgage payment with a 4.25% interest rate would be $2475 per month. Now, if the interest rates rise just 1%, you could end up with a smaller, 3 bedroom, 1500 square foot home for $458,000… and your payment would be $2529! Higher payment, smaller house… that is the power of one!
Ok, this is a little gloomy, but there is hope! Interest rates are still historically low… but have been creeping up. But ask yourself, “Can I REALLY afford to wait until next year?” The answer is NO… YOU CAN’T! So here is the deal, my team and I want to help… and now is the time.
Need to sell so you can Upsize/Downsize? The market is hot, your home will sell faster than you think, and we work with many lenders that can help you finance the purchase of your new home while listing your current home… you have options!
Tired of renting? Our team has 2 dedicated, expert buyers’ agents who are ready to help you find your dream home and close the deal in this competitive home buying market!
Yes, the Power of One can be great… but just imagine what you could do with a team behind you ?