ashland: Requesting Loan Modification or Forbearance for Financial Hardship | Tips from a Housing Counselor - 09/24/10 07:14 AM
So, you have lost your job or have seen your income reduced. You’ve taken a look at your budget, and you know that as hard as you have worked to cut “non-essentials” from your expenses, there just isn’t enough money to cover your basic living expenses AND your mortgage. Maybe you have sat down with your local non-profit certified housing counselor and they’ve given you more tips and ideas, but you just aren’t going to be able to make your mortgage payments with the money you have available to you. You REALLY want to keep your home, but just won’t … (7 comments)

ashland: Can You Afford to Keep Your Home? | Tips from a Housing Counselor - 09/22/10 11:26 AM
Next to the ultimate F word in real estate, Foreclosure, the B word probably sounds almost as bad to many people. The Budget…that first step required in determining what options are available if your find yourself experiencing financial distress. As housing counselors, it is something we focus on in detail to help determine if the goal a homeowner has set may be attainable.
The Budget – it’s really amazing how many homeowners | families don’t have one.
Every lender will require that a financial worksheet – i.e. Household Budget – be turned in so they may see if … (6 comments)

ashland: When Best Laid Plans Go Awry | Tips from a Housing Counselor - 09/22/10 05:24 AM
For some, the American Dream of Homeownership has gone drastically awry. The days of anticipation of closing on that dream home seem long ago to them. Today, focus may be on getting food on the table and keeping the lights on. Maybe this is because of bad decisions made along the way, but more often it is because of job loss, reduced income, medical bills – situations beyond their control – and/or revolving debt accrued to keep payments up and cover budget gaps.
Along come the Making Home Affordable Programs and Hardest Hit Funds to help struggling homeowners hang on … (3 comments)

ashland: Where Are Home Prices Going? - 08/22/10 10:15 AM
I believe John Mulkey hit the nails on the head making his points in this article. What we are facing today in our local markets and economies did not happen overnight. Nor will the recovery...
We’ve all heard the news reports about the potential for a double-dip in housing, and perhaps, the overall economy. Unemployment seems out of control; debt levels are becoming unmanageable; and many are wondering what the future holds for the housing market. Where home prices going and what is the potential for prices to recover to the levels of 2005/2006?
There are lots of … (1 comments)

ashland: The Reality of the Hunt - 07/31/10 08:39 AM
We look at this trophy we now have. It wasn’t long ago we were filled with trepidation, determined to make a go of reaching our goal. We spent time preparing, educating ourselves, readying for this new, big adventure. Then the hunt was on. It was a tough hunt, an endless search for just the right prize to bring home. We were so nervous…so determined. Hours and hours we looked for you. Once, we had our prize in our sights only to lose you to fellow hunters, hunters who entered the hunt earlier, who were quicker and more prepared than us. Patience … (0 comments)

ashland: Who Needs To Win The Lottery To Get A Down Payment? - 07/24/10 12:11 PM
With today’s first time home buyers needing to come up with more cash at closing, you may be thinking the only way you are going to have the American Dream and own your own home is if you win the Lottery. If you are like roughly 50% of the folks in your area making your area median income or less, chances are pretty good you find yourselves living check to check. Putting away thousands of dollars to make a down payment on a home and paying closing costs may seem like a pipe dream to you.
Ain’t gonna happen, huh … (5 comments)

ashland: Hidden "Costs" - Refinancing from a 30 Year to a 15 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage - 07/22/10 07:07 PM
Are you thinking about refinancing from your 30 year mortgage in to a 15 year fixed at today's REALLY  AMAZINGLY LOW INTEREST RATES? You aren't alone if you are. Most people pick up the phone when they are headed down this path and ask "what's your rate?". In today's world, you very well may find many inexperienced loan officers who will spout off an answer to that question without going in the myriad of other variables that might need to be explored.
What's your rate? Isn't going to cut it! Even adding "how much are the closing costs?" to the equation … (6 comments)

ashland: 15 yr vs 30 yr mortgage - 07/22/10 06:55 PM
With all the focus on declining equity we are seeing in many housing markets, it brings up the focus on considering a shorter term mortgage than homeowners typically choose. In my 27 years, a LOT of my clients have chosen the 15 year mortgage, often times through refinancing. They may have needed the lower payments in order to be able to afford/qualify for the pricing they were finding in the real estate markets they bought in, so they got in to the home and qualified on a 30 year mortgage, waiting for great interest rate opportunities like we are seeing … (9 comments)

ashland: So Much For Transparency, FHA! - 07/20/10 05:34 PM
There have been several proposals on the agenda for the FHA loans. Some may call it a Hidden Agenda vs. the transparency most of us have so desperately been seeking in the mortgage industry. When FHA proposed an increased down payment to meet the wishes for those wishing buyers "have more skin in the game" to create a more stable housing market, I was happy to hear this idea had been shot down. It seemed it had been recognized that increasing down payment requirements for the target population, homeowners seeking affordable housing, would not be best served by this change. A … (4 comments)

ashland: Interest Rates: Make Hay While The Sun Shines! - 07/20/10 05:27 PM
Here is Mike Jones in Tucson highlighting some critical points our interest rate/bond markets are facing. I'm out there making hay right with you, Mike!

Pretty, isn't it?  It won't last. 
The same is true with the extraordinarily low interest rates available right now. 
They won't last.
Don't be a spectator.  Jump in and get that low-interest-rate nectar while the getting's good.
Real world conditions
The US has more than $8 trillion in Treasuries outstanding.  That's nearly double the amount just three years ago. China, who holds much of our debt, is experiencing a real … (0 comments)

ashland: Speechless Sunday - A Lovely Bride's Veil - 06/05/10 05:17 PM

With "the family homestead" not far from here, I have been able to see Yosemite National Park many different times over the years. Seeing the falls with the Spring snow melts was pretty awesome. I just need to cover the Winter season on the next visit and I'll have seen this glorious park at all four seasons.
See you out there!

ashland: Speechless Sunday - Mass Transit at Its Best - 06/05/10 04:50 PM

Well worth the wait on a busy holiday weekend, we could think of no better way to travel back to the car we left parked in Chinatown. After hoofing it across town to see the sights up close and personal, we were all ready to take a fun ride back. What better way to travel than this?
See you out there!

ashland: Ten Commandments When Applying For A Real Estate Home Loan Are More Important Than Ever - 06/05/10 06:58 AM
As of June 1, 2010, we are required to pull a refresher credit report prior to funding a loan. Funding will not take place until any inquiries, late payments, or new accounts are explained and the file will need to be re-underwritten to include the new debt and take in to consideration late payments and/or decreased credit scores. It’s a tough world out there in the mortgage | home loan process, making the following Ten Commandments to follow when applying for a home loan more important then ever:
When applying for a Real Estate Home Loan
1. … (2 comments)

ashland: Preview Credit BEFORE Starting The Homebuying Process! - 05/27/10 03:34 AM
In the ABC’s of Homebuying class, a HUD approved homebuyer education course taught at our local community college, we instructors press the point that buyers need to be educated and prepared before they buy a home. We go through the basics of what they should expect during the process, make suggestions on the inspections they should anticipate getting under various circumstances, show them how to establish their household budget, and so on.
One of the things we very strongly emphasize is pulling their credit report to see if there is anything on their credit report they may need to work … (2 comments)

ashland: Have You Heard of Rogue Valley Local Foods? - 05/18/10 05:11 PM
Facing time constraints and not getting your food garden in this season? I know I am! Thank God for a local resource about to go online June 12, 2010, the Rogue Valley Local Foods organization. June 11th, we’ll be able to go online at and place our order for fresh, in-season produce, meats, dairy and eggs online. I was so happy to hear about when the first of May rolled around and the only thing growing in our vegetable plots was three foot tall weeds and last year’s strawberries! Of course, if the deer mosey along and help themselves … (5 comments)

ashland: Have You Heard of Buy Local Buy Rogue? - 05/18/10 05:04 PM
There is a fast growing movement here in the Rogue Valley in beautiful Southern Oregon. Buy Local – Buy Rogue is a non-profit organization that is all about supporting local independent businesses here in the Rogue Valley. I first hear about them when my husband had a meeting with them about becoming a sponsor of this worthy cause. It seems like I just blinked, and all of a sudden, their membership is pushing 200 local Rogue Valley businesses wanting to help get the word out about supporting each other.
This initiative goes … (3 comments)

ashland: Headed to Phoenix AZ| Looking Forward to Exploring This Corner of Our World - 04/30/10 11:41 AM
One of the many hats I wear is as a housing counselor for a HUD certified housing counseling agency. These days, most of us housing counselors find ourselves focused not only on first time home buyers seeking homebuyer education from a HUD approved non-profit entity, but even more so on existing homeowners seeking assistance with foreclosure intervention. Now that the April 30th $8,000 Tax Credit Deadline is slipping by, I’m switching hats and headed to Phoenix AZ to complete certification training as a Foreclosure Intervention Specialist and get another leg of certification as a Reverse Mortgage Counselor under my belt. At … (3 comments)

ashland: Today’s D-Day| Did You Make The $8,000 Tax Credit Deadline? - 04/30/10 11:26 AM
Seems to have snuck right up on us, didn’t it? Here it is D-Day – the day first time home buyers wishing to take advantage of the $8,000 first time home buyer tax credit have to have accepted offers communicated to them. At least interest rates are still really good for the buyers who didn’t make the April 30th deadline, and there are some other amazing resources still available such as first time home buyer down payment assistance programs and the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help them even if they missed the $8,000 tax credit. Well, it isn’t midnight yet…maybe a … (1 comments)

ashland: FHA vs USDA For Oregon First Time Home Buyers - 04/21/10 04:54 PM
Since the 2010 USDA funding well began to run dry, I'm finding buyers in need of FHA financing as an acceptable home loan alternative, especially first time home buyers who find making a down payment a challenge. So far, the FHA minimum down payment requirement has remained at 3.5%, but the upfront mortgage insurance premiums have increased. Most buyers can still make it work if they've been able to save some money or have a family member, significant other or employer wanting to help them with coming up with their minimum contribution. Although most municipality down payment assistance programs have seen … (2 comments)

ashland: Waiting on Congress to Reallocate Additional Funding for USDA Home Loan Programs - 04/18/10 05:41 PM
I posted this article last summer, and use it frequently when providing home buyers with information on one of the few no down payment programs left. USDA is just about out of money for the USDA Guaranteed Rural Housing loan program for 2010, and our local Oregon office has been hopping with the flood of applications. We all have our fingers crossed Congress will reallocate enough money to make this great tool available again, with enough funding to meet the rapidly increasing demand since conventional financing programs and their more restrictive private mortage insurance criteria don't work for many home buyers. … (5 comments)

Karen Cooper, Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States (Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 |    360 Mortgage Group LLC  Austin Texas)

Karen Cooper

Helping Homeowners w/Home Loans in 27 US States

Leander, TX

More about me…

Karen Cooper | Sr Retail Loan Originator ! NMLS # 223305 | 360 Mortgage Group LLC Austin Texas

Address: 11305 Four Points Drive #1-200, Austin, TX, 78726

Mobile: (512) 375-2422

Email Me

Loving the challenge of a career in mortgage|real estate since 1983, keeping up with the progression of changes in this industry keeps one on their toes. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, right? Here's to a few more decades of strength building!




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