Saturday, November 10, 2007


From Mortgage News Daily:

Earlier this week, the House Financial Services Committee passed HR3915 out of committee to the full House of Representatives with a favorable vote of 45 to 19.

The vote, which came early Tuesday evening will need approval of the full House and then would need to be passed by the Senate and signed by the president before becoming law.

HR3915, which is strongly opposed by some segments of the lending community, sets minimum standards for loans including a reasonable assumption that the borrower will be able to repay the loan. It also mandates a mechanism for licensing mortgage brokers who are not appropriately regulated by the states or by agencies such as the Comptroller of the Currency. The bill also proposes liabilities for those who securitize potentially risky loans.

While the bill seeks to correct some of the longstanding practices that its sponsors feel have contributed to the current subprime situation, there is nothing in HR 3915 to address either fiscally or legislatively the current fallout from those practices.

The bill, if it does pass both houses of Congress, will undoubtedly see many changes before it is sent to the president for his signature.


Contest Winner

Kimberly Ouellette of Milford, NH has been named the
winner of Compass Mortgage, Inc.’s “Win a FREE Mortgage Payment” Sweepstakes. We received hundreds of entries from area homeowners and prospective buyers, all of whom were eager to win up to $2,000 toward their monthly mortgage payment or closing costs on a new property.

The ‘Win a FREE Mortgage Payment’ Sweepstakes serves as a thank you to our loyal customers who have allowed us to serve them for many years. It’s also a great way to introduce other New Hampshire homeowners and first-time home
buyers to our products and services.

You could be out next winner! Sign up today at

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Win a FREE Mortgage Payment

I'm pleased to announce our next "Win a FREE Mortgage Payment" sweepstakes. The winner will have one free monthly mortgage payment (up to $2,000 value).
For details, visit

Stay tuned for the winner of the sweepstakes ending today.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

Sub-Prime Borrower? Have Some Plastic....

Yesterday's Boston Globe featured an article revealing that credit card companies have begun targeting subprime mortgage holders with new credit card offers! The "rationale" is that if homeowners can't refinance to get quick cash, then they'll use their credit cards instead.

As counter-intuitive as it sounds, credit card companies are quite fond of subprime mortgage holders who can't meet their monthly obligations, says the Globe. (This is because they're likely to make only the minimum payments on their bills, allowing the credit issuers to (hopefully)collect big interest fees.)

Read more here.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Landscaping: What to Look For

Buying a house? MSN shares some tips on what to look for when evaluating the landscaping:

  • Plant health. Even if you're not a professional gardener, there are some tell-tale signs that a plant is sick. Wilting plants -- or brown and crispy leaves -- are warning signs. So are mushrooms and fungus at the bottom of a tree, as well as evidence of insect problems.

  • Placement of tree limbs. Look to see if any limbs are touching a roof or could interfere with a power line -- both possible areas of concern. But be especially aware of a tree limb hanging over the chimney. Not only could animals climb down into the chimney, but a branch could block the draft and create higher carbon monoxide levels in the home.

  • Problems underground. It's tougher to look for evidence of heavy root growth than it is to take a survey of the limbs above. But sometimes, roots will make their presence known by lifting or cracking a sidewalk or driveway, creating a trip hazard. Also, a depression in the yard could indicate a leaking sewer line caused by root interference.

  • The lay of the land. Drive around the block and look at the ground on which the home is situated. Is it at the bottom of a hillside, at the top of one, or on flat land? It's important that rain isn't able to follow a downward slope toward the foundation (a condition that could lead to flooding).

  • Foliage proximity. Watch out for foliage that is close to the house's exterior, because it can provide shelter for insects and rodents and gives them an excellent vantage point from which to enter the house. Also, if shrubs are too close to the building and the wind causes them to rub up against the house, the siding could wear out.

  • Deck construction. Although a deck isn't a living part of the landscape, it's still an important one to inspect. The building of a deck is a common do-it-yourself project, and sometimes mistakes can be found in the final product. Make sure that the deck is fastened to the house correctly and is supported properly. It should have places for people to grab onto,and balusters should be close enough that a 4-inch ball couldn't fit through them (ensuring that a child's head couldn't get stuck).

Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Can You Get a Rebate on Your Next Home Purchase?

This past Sunday's Boston Globe included an article on how online agents are using rebates compete against traditional commission-based real estate brokers.

Savings to the consumer can be substantial, but there are tradeoffs. What's more, some states bar the practice of rebates, says the Globe, on the grounds they could be misused as kickbacks.

As you might expect, establishment brokers question whether a rebate really is in a customer's best interest. For instance, an agent may not be able to negotiate a lower commission or may reduce the level of service they provide because they owe the rebate company 35% of their commission. Then there are those who feel that the whole practice of hawking rebates is "undignified".

Online agents, on the other hand, counter that customers can have it both ways -- good purchase prices and money back in the form of a rebate.

Don't expect this debate to be resolved any time soon....

Monday, August 6, 2007

Sellers: Create a Child-Friendly Home

Quicken Loans shares these suggestions for making your home more attractive to buyers with small children:

  • Cabinet locks. Install in areas where potentially dangerous items are stored (such as under the kitchen sink cabinet).

  • Appliance locking straps. These easy-to-install items prevent kids from opening ovens, dishwashers and toilets.

  • Fireplace gate. Fire = hot = ouch! Need we say more?

  • Smoke detectors. Install one near every bedroom and in common areas throughout the house. (Consider adding a carbon monoxide detector, as well.)

  • Electrical outlet covers. This inexpensive and easy fix can help potential buyers visualize their child playing or living in your home.

  • Curtain/blinds cord cleats. Eliminate a potential choking hazard by installing next to windows and using them to wrap the cords.