Law/Regulations · Mortgage · News · Real Estate

FHA Financing Changes…

Most of the changes have to do with tightening the regulations on the lenders.  The key changes that directly effect the FHA buyer are:

  • FHA upfront mortgage premium will increase to 2.25% from 1.75%.
  • If a borrower has a credit score below 580 they will be required to have a 10% down payment, while the minimum down payment for all other qualified buyers will be 3.5%.
  • Sellers concessions will be reduced from from 6% to 3%.
  • Feb. 1, 2010 the 90 holding rule on properties is being lifted for 1 year (some restrictions still apply, refer to HUD for more information).

In my opinion, the best loan out there is the VA Home Loan.  If you’re VA eligible, it’s the way to go right now. An eligible vet can purchase a home with ZERO down provided they qualify for the loan (income to debt, credit score, work history, etc.).

There’s still time to take advantage of the tax credit. Let’s talk!

For more info about FHA loans, check out

Real Estate

Tax Credit Nearing an End…

There’s still time to take advantage of the tax credit.  First time buyers ($8000) and move up buyers ($6500) must have a mutually agreed upon signed contract dated on or before April 30, 2010 and must close on or before June 30, 2010.  Want to search for property?  Try my MLS Property Search on my website!

Buyers · Real Estate · Selling Real Estate

New Search Feature Added!

I’m pleased to announce my new Property Search feature has been activated on my website. I’m very excited about adding this powerful feature to my site. It allows you to search for properties, save property searches, have new listings sent directly to your email, request additional information or showings and much, much more.

My website is your doorway to the SW Washington real estate market. Google: JoElla Realty to find me. How easy is that? Please check it out soon and let me know what you think.


FREE Property Search Coming Soon!!!

I’m working hard to get a new property search set up on my website ( for my customers. I had hoped to have it up by the new year, but the holidays delayed my launch. I “should” have it up the first week of January.

I’m very excited about this feature. It will enable my customers to search for properties for FREE. It will also allow customers to save properties and set up a search that automatically sends them search results. The best part is, I’m local! By using my site, customers have my local expertise at their service.

Also, this feature will enable me to feature my own listings on the search results. This can be very advantageous for a seller when competing with all the other listings out there.

The internet is my office; adding this feature gives customers the convenience of shopping from home. If you have questions, you simply click the link in the page and it sends me a message.

Buyers · Real Estate · Selling Real Estate Updates…

I modified my Realty by JoElla website to feature a home search on the first page. I’m hoping this change is beneficial to my customers. Let me know what you think.

Real Estate

SW Washington October Stats…

Housing inventory is down to 6.4 for the month of October.  That’s down from 7.6 in Sept. Note the high inventory was Jan, 2009 with the housing inventory at 21 months (meaning at the rate homes were selling and the number of homes on the market, it would take 21 months to sell all the inventory of houses).  The current inventory numbers is largely due to pending and closed sales going up while new listings are down.

The time a home is on the market is down to 138 days from 158 a year ago.  The price of homes sold is down 16.3% compared to a year ago in Oct. 2008.  Median home prices dropped 14.5%.

Bottom line, short sales are priced low, take a long time to sell and typically sell for more than the list price, but are still sold for less than back in the real estate boom days.  Home owners that don’t have to sell, are not selling right now.

The feds extended the $8000 first time buyer credit for all contracts to purchase entered by April 30, 2010 (must close by June 30, 2010), hoping to continue to stimulate the market.

The feds also passed a $6500 tax credit for repeat home buyers that previously owned their last primary residence for 5 out of the last 8 years and are buying a new primary residence.  I think the fed is trying to get some of those home owners that don’t have to sell, to consider selling!  For more info on the tax credit, check out:

Meanwhile, buyers must be prepared to jump through hoops with the lenders to get their home loan.  The pendulum has swung from liberal to conservative when making home loans.  Interest rates and home prices are incredible.


These residential statistics are based on monthly figures reported by RMLS™ of which I am a member.