Chelan and Leavenworth Condo Loans - Don't let the financing scare you

Mortgage and Lending with Peoples Bank NMLS 500247

With some great prices out there right now for vacation condos in Leavenworth and Chelan, a lot of people are entering the market.  With prices coming down, some people ask me if they should wait for them to drop further; I tell them, " When you can buy a condo you like for less than it costs to build, there can never be an oversupply at this price, because if this is the price, no one will build any new ones. So if you didn't catch the absolute bottom of the market, you sure got close"

After you see the great prices, before you make an offer, you better check on financing. A lot of lenders have backed away from doing loans on vacation condos, especially those which can be rented out part of the time.  Most condos loans I actually do are for people who started with a lender who said they could finance it as a conventional loan- only to have it get kicked out of underwriting.  We do both Fannie Mae condo loans as well as 'non-warrantable' condo loans, and here is the big difference (I'm not smarter than anyone on this, we just checked with Fannie Mae to see what they would take): It is the presence of BOTH a rental pool, AND a nightly rental desk that kicks most of the loans out of FNMA eleigibility.

The other issue is the percentage of units that are investment properties Vs 1st/2nd homes.  And then the other new FNMA rule that stops most new condos is that FNMA won't buy a loan for a condo unless 90% of the units have been sold.

So what does this all mean?  For Leavenworth and Chelan, only a small number of projects can get Fannie Mae loans (I recently closed one at Kahler Glen). For all other condos, you will need to seek out a community bank that does Portfolio lending (lending their depositors money).  These rates can be higher, however 1) If it is a new project, the bank that financed the project is probably offering special financing. and 2) If you save $100,000 or more off of what they used to go for, but you have to pay a higher interest rate SO WHAT; you are saving a bundle overall.  Here is some quick math - you think you would like to pay 5% , but let's say the portfolio rate you find  is 7%.  If the loan amount with the new pricing is $200,000   you pay $1330 a month P/I. That unit used to sell for a $100K more. Even if you could have gotten the 5% you wanted, 5% on $300,000 is $1610 a month.  

These deals won't last forever, as there is no more supply coming on the market for a great while. Seek out a competent Realtor in the specific market you are looking at to help you.

Comments (2)

Doug Jones
Mortgage Magic - San Jose, CA
Mortgage Broker - NMLS 286668

Good comments...I am in the Bay Area of California and communtiy banks are a thing of the distant past

Oct 09, 2009 08:36 PM
Geordie Romer
Windermere Real Estate / NCW - Leavenworth, WA
Serving Leavenworth, Lake Wenatchee, and Plain

Darel- Great post. It's funny how prophetic your post was and how some things can change quickly in a few months. Look at the Cascade Crest condos in Leavenworth. When this post was written in October only 1 unit was pending and none were sold. By the end of next week 5 of 6 units will be sold and the 6th is pending.  A number of buyers missed out on buying these units for $50,000 less than the builder's cost - and with great interest rates.

There are still a few good deals at Kahler Glen near Lake Wenatchee. In 2 years, people will be kicking themselves because they missed the boat on these prices.

Jan 22, 2010 02:46 AM