Interview with Jake Planton of Rose City Mortgage


 

 

 

 

Jake Planton
Senior Loan Officer
Rose City Mortgage, NMLS 272695
503-475-3788

www.JakePlanton.com

NMLS #209327


http://www.rosecitymtg.com

 

 

 

Tips To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly,


Tips To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly

 

 

Trying to make your home more eco-friendly is easier than you might think. There are several small things you can do, in each room in your house, to make your carbon footprint a much smaller one. The more we do to go green in our homes the better off our environment will be.

With changes in the climate a serious threat to our way of living, it is the responsibility of every person to make changes to their everyday lives that will have a greener impact and help to slow down the effects of global warming. One of the easiest places to start is by making your home more eco-friendly.

Going green at home does not require you to spend lots of money; in fact, it can actually save you money! Whether you take on small projects or large overhauls, every step we take towards being more energy conservative is one step closer to making the world a better place for the next generation. Here are some tips to help you get started and make your home more eco-friendly.

 

 

 

 

Living Room Energy Savings

The living room is typically one of the most used rooms in the home, and often responsible for a large portion of the energy that your home uses. Make a more energy efficient living space and go greener by following these simple to install tips:

  • Replace the light bulbs: Swapping your incandescent bulbs for energy-saving Light-Emitting Diodes (LED) or Compact Fluorescent Lights (CFL) bulbs will save you money on your electricity bill as well as being better for the environment. It is estimated that CFL bulbs use roughly 70% less energy than traditional incandescent ones.
  • Unplug your appliances: Even when your TV or games console is switched off or on standby it uses electricity. Get into the habit of unplugging things at the end of the day to save energy and money. Take a quick walk through your home and it will become abundantly clear how many devices you can unplug to conserve energy.
  • Use draft excluders: When all the family is in the living room it is a good idea to heat that room and use a draft excluder to prevent heat escaping under the door. They come in a variety of colors and styles too.
  • Have carpets fitted: Carpet will make your living room feel warmer and cozier, but if full carpet is not an option, laying a rug on your wooden floor can have the same effect. The extra insulation can help reduce heating costs.
  • Install dimmer switches: Turning the lights down low creates a nice cozy atmosphere and uses less energy, which will also save you money. The savings are dependent on how dimly you light the room and the type of light bulbs you use.
  • Open the drapes: During the day when the sun is shining, open the drapes and let the sun warm your home naturally; this even works in winter. Using natural lighting is an easy approach to conserving energy.
  • Close the drapes: When the sun goes down and your heating comes on, close the drapes to prevent heat from being lost through the windows. This simple step can reduce heat loss by as much as 15% in an average home.

 

 

Kitchen Energy Tips

The kitchen is the hub of many American homes, and it is often packed full of energy-guzzling gadgets and appliances. Here are some ways you can cut down your kitchen energy usage:

  • Cook in batches: Cooking meals in batches and freezing portions will save energy, time, and money. Defrost and reheat the meals in the microwave throughout the week because microwaves use less energy than conventional stoves. How much less? The energy savings typically start at 30 percent and go up based on usage.
  • Choose low energy appliances: Many older models of dishwashers, fridges, and freezers  are not very energy-efficient. When they need replacing, opt for low energy ones instead. Look for the Energy Star logo to improve energy efficiency, maximize your eco-friendly efforts, and have the kitchen you always wanted.
  • Clean your refrigerator coils: Dust and grime can build up on the coils, preventing your fridge from working as efficiently as it should. Clean the grime away and it will use less energy.
  • Place your refrigerator in the shade: If your fridge is in direct sunlight it will be a couple of degrees warmer, have to work harder, and use more energy to stay cool inside. Every little bit of energy conservation helps.
  • Fill your dishwasher: Running your dishwasher uses around half the water it takes to wash the dishes by hand. Ensuring it is full before running will be more time and energy efficient. Using it in energy-savings mode, if available, will help cut consumption even more.
  • Compost your food waste: Rather than throwing your leftovers and food scraps down the garbage disposal, collect them in a small bin in the kitchen, and invest in a compost bin for your garden. It will help keep you on track with your outside eco-friendly options.
  • Keep your freezer full: A full freezer will run more efficiently than a half-empty one. Try filling it with those batch-cooked meals to save time throughout the week.

 

 

 

Bedroom Eco-Friendly Advice

The bedroom is another room that you spend a lot of your time in, both sleeping and relaxing, so make sure you follow these tips to keep things eco-friendly in there:

  • Use eco paints: When it comes to redecorating your bedroom choose eco-friendly paints with low levels of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Eco-friendly paints are better for the environment and better for your health. Water based paints contain less VOCs than oil based paints.
  • Choose a non-toxic mattress: When it is time to replace your old mattress (every 7 to 10 years), choose a new one that has not been treated with synthetic chemicals or toxic materials. Choosing one made with organic cotton,  wool, or latex made from rubber tree sap, is a good way to be more eco-friendly and still get a good nights sleep.
  • Choose organic linens: Non-organic cotton accounts for around 25% of the world’s insecticide use, so switching to organically grown cotton sheets, or those made from sustainable bamboo fibers, is much better for the environment. They are also softer to the touch.
  • Ditch the air purifier: An air purifier makes the air in your bedroom cleaner to breath, but it also uses a lot of energy. Unless you have allergies or asthma, a houseplant or two in your bedroom will clean the air just as well without the constant hum.
  • Unplug your phone charger: Most of us charge our phones overnight next to our beds, and leave them plugged in constantly. Try to get into the habit of unplugging your charger each morning as it will still draw electricity from the grid whether it is charging your phone or not.

 

 

 

 

Bathroom Energy Efficiency

A great deal of energy is used in the purification of water before it reaches your bathroom faucets and shower. By cutting down on water usage you can help the environment. Here are tips to help you conserve energy in the bathroom:

  • Turn the faucet off: When you are brushing your teeth, do not leave the water running. Instead, fill a glass with water, turn off the faucet, and use the glass of water to rinse your mouth and wash your toothbrush. According to the EPA, this simple step can save up to 8 gallons of water each time you brush your teeth.
  • Fix that leaky faucet: Did you know that up to 48 gallons of water can be lost each week from a leaky faucet? All the more reason to get it fixed as soon as you notice it is leaking in order to prevent that water from unnecessarily being wasted.
  • Install a low flow shower head: You will not notice the difference in water flow, and you will still be as clean as a whistle, but you will be using a lot less water with each shower you take.
  • Install a water saving toilet: Or use a cistern displacement device to reduce the amount of water that gets flushed away each time. Depending on the model you replace, your savings could be up to 4 gallons per flush.
  • Do not flush every time: It is not always necessary to flush the toilet after every single use. If there is just you and your family in the house, flush it after every two or three trips instead and you will use a lot less water. Use common sense if you use this option.
  • Open the window: After showering, crack the window open to let the excess humidity escape. If it stays in the room it can lead to mold, which then creates a situation that may involve using harsh chemicals to clean away the mold or mildew.
  • Shower instead of bathing: Taking showers instead of baths typically uses up to 14% less water. It also takes less energy to heat the water for a shower than it does to run a hot bath.

 

 

 

 

Going Green Around the House

There are so many other ways that you and your family can make your home life much more eco-friendly. Some of these go green in the home tips include:

  • Recycle: There are so many everyday items that can be recycled, including all types of paper and cardboard, plastic bottles, glass bottles and jars, and aluminum cans. If you live in one of the eleven states with bottle bills, you can even redeem plastic bottles and aluminum cans for cash!
  • Have double glazing installed: Up to 25% of heat can be lost through the windows, but having double glazed windowsinstalled throughout your home will keep a lot more of the heat in, making your home feel much more cozy without the need to crank up the thermostat.
  • Wash clothes on a cold cycle: Using the cold cycle on your washing machine will still wash your clothes effectively, but it will save you energy and money too. The results might surprise you so give it a try.
  • Hang the laundry out to dry: Using a dryer is obviously a quicker way to dry your clothes, but they use a lot of energy. Make the most of warm or windy weather and hang your laundry outside to dry naturally.
  • Layer up before turning the heating up: If you are feeling cold, throw on a sweater or get under a blanket before you reach to turn the heating on or turn it up. Keep throws or blankets handy so you are not tempted to reach to the thermostat.
  • Switch to paperless billing: Choose to receive credit card statements and utilities bills via email rather than in the mail. Many companies even offer a discount on their services if you choose to view and pay your bills online. You can even get much of your snail mail delivered online if you ask.
  • Cut down on chemical use: Opt for chemical-free cleaning products, or better still, make your own! Ingredients that you already have in the cupboards, like baking soda, vinegar, olive oil, and lemon juice can be used to make a variety of cleaning solutions.
  • Install solar panels: They are not cheap, and it can take years to recoup the upfront costs, but if you live in a sunny climate and plan on living in the home long-term, they could be a great option. A decent reduction of power consumption is what you can expect if you install solar panels.

There are lots of other ways that you can live a greener lifestyle, both in and out of the home, but adopting a few of the tips shared above is a great way to start. If you have children, try to get them into eco-friendly habits from an early age, as they are the ones that will benefit the most from taking care of the planet in the long run.

 

 

 

 

FHA EASES CONDOMINIUM PROJECT APPROVAL REQUIREMENTS: Temporary guidelines will increase number of condominium projects eligible for FHA approval


WASHINGTON – The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) today published new guidelines under its condominium approval process intended to increase affordable housing options for first-time and low- to moderate-income homebuyers.  Effective immediately, FHA’s temporary guidance will streamline the agency’s condominium recertification process and expand the eligibility of acceptable ‘owner-occupied’ units to include second homes that are not investor-owned.    Read FHA’s mortgagee letter.

These provisions will expire in one year and serve to revise FHA’s condominium approval process until the agency can implement a more comprehensive condominium rule change.  Today’s guidance:

  1. Modifies the requirements for condominium project recertification;
  2. Revises the calculation of FHA’s required owner-occupancy percentage; and
  3. Expands eligible condominium project insurance coverages.

Streamline Condominium Recertification

FHA-approved condominium projects require recertification after two years to ensure that the project is still in compliance with FHA’s eligibility requirements and that no conditions currently exist which would present an unacceptable risk to FHA.  For existing condominium projects seeking recertification, FHA will now only require applicants to submit documents reflecting any substantive changes since the project’s prior approval.

Calculation of Owner-Occupancy

The procedure for calculating the required owner-occupancy percentage (50 percent) is modified to allow units that are not investor-owned to be considered owner-occupied for the purpose of Condominium Project approval.  A condominium is considered to be owner-occupied provided they are not:

  • Tenant Occupied;
  • Vacant and listed for rent;
  • Existing (previously occupied), vacant and listed for sale; or
  • Under contract to a purchaser who does not intend to occupy the unit as a Principal Residence or Secondary Residence.  The term Principal Residence and Secondary Residence have the same meaning.

Expansion of Eligible Condominium Project Insurance Coverage

Homeowners’ Associations (HOAs) are required to maintain adequate “master” or “blanket” property insurance in an amount equal to 100% of current replacement cost of the condominium (exclusive of land, foundation, excavation and other items normally excluded from coverage). Insurance coverage for condominium project approval that consists of pooled policies for affiliated projects, state-run plans, or contains coinsurance obligations on the part of the policy holder is now permitted to satisfy this requirement.

 

 

###

HUD’s mission is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all.
More information about HUD and its programs is available on the Internet
at www.hud.gov and http://espanol.hud.gov.

You can also connect with HUD on social media and follow Secretary Castro on
Twitter and Facebook or sign up for news alerts on HUD’s Email List.

 

Looking to Pay Back Your Mortgage Faster? Three Reasons to Consider Switching to Bi-weekly Payments, by Steph Nobel, Stephnoblemortgageblog.com


While there are differing schools of thought when it comes to whether or not a person should pay off a mortgage before the loan term ends, there may be some benefits to making payments on a bi-weekly basis as opposed to monthly basis. What are some of the reasons why it may be beneficial to make two payments a month instead of one? Here are three reasons why you should ditch the monthly fees and make payments once every two weeks.

You’ll Make An Extra Payment Per Year

If you’re looking to pay off your mortgage ahead of schedule, making bi-weekly payments means you’ll make an extra payment every year. Instead of making 12 large payments every year, you’ll make 26 small payments. These 26 small payments would be equal to about 13 large payments.

This is the equivalent of an extra payment per year and 10 extra payments over 10 years. If you have a 30-year mortgage, you could pay it off between two and three years early because you will make your last payment 30 months ahead of schedule.

You’ll Provide Yourself With Financial Flexibility

Making extra payments can provide you with financial flexibility that makes it easier to deal with unexpected expenses or a job loss. As you are making a half-payment every two week, you can make your payments in smaller, more manageable chunks.

It may be a good thing if you are self-employed and may not be sure when a client will pay for services rendered. Additionally, you may have your next payment reduced or advanced if you pay more than you owe in a given month.

You’ll Reduce the Amount of Interest Paid on the Loan

Paying off your mortgage faster reduces the amount of interest that you pay on the loan. Even if you only make one extra payment per year, you could still save thousands of dollars in interest by paying your loan several months or years early.

To determine exactly how much you will save, you can use an amortization table or calculator to see how much interest you pay over the full 30 years as opposed to taking only 27 or 28 years to pay for your home. It is also important to note that making extra payments adds to the equity that you have in the home.

Making two payments instead of one each month may help you achieve financial flexibility while building equity in your home. By paying off your mortgage as soon as possible, it may enable you to put more money into a savings or retirement account. Contact a mortgage professional for more information about whether bi-weekly payments are right for you.

 

 

 

 

Steph Noble
http://stephnoblemortgageblog.com

Utility Issues with Rental Properties, by Troy Rappold, Rappold Property Management


When a rental property that is occupied by a tenant is sold to a new owner there are many details that require diligent attention. One of these areas is the utility billing and interim billing. Interim billing is one of the first things that you would want to cancel because an Owner doesn’t want to accidently pay for bill that isn’t their responsibility. This ensures proper and accurate billing. As a general rule, the tenant is responsible for all utilities for a single family home. In this case nothing changes if ownership changes and the tenant stays in place.  If the house is located in a city where the population is over 100K, the owner is responsible for the garbage service. In this case, the garbage bill is changed to the name of the new Owner.

 

As a local property management company, we have the garbage bills mailed to our office and we pay it out of the rental income on behalf of the owner. That way the charge will be reflected on the monthly statement. This is important because this expense is a tax write-off for the home owner. If the new Owner is going to move into the property, and the tenant is going to move out, then all utilities will be a prorated amount based upon the move out date of the tenant. If the tenant moves out on the 18th of the month, then they are responsible for 18 days’ worth of electricity, water, sewer, garbage and natural gas. As the property management company for the house, we track this and make sure all these charges are distributed correctly.

 

We also manage condominiums and often times the owner/investor will pay the Condo Association fees that include water, sewer and garbage. These charges are also a tax write off and can be tracked for the year. Although none of this is difficult to manage, it does need to be watched carefully so all parties involved pay only their share. This careful attention to detail is what we do here at Rappold Property Management.

 

Rappold Property Management, LLC

1125 SE Madison Street, suite #201

Portland, OR 97214

Phone: 503-232-5990

Fax: 503-232-1462

The Advantage of Property Management, By Troy Rappold


In business, the slogan “Just Do It!” rings true and will serve you well. In the world of Property Management this is applicable as well. After all, we are trying to grow our business and be successful when we manage your asset wisely and efficiently. However, more often than not our slogan is “Just Do the Right Thing!”

As property managers we work with many vendors who complete work on our properties. We want quick, quality repairs, and at a good price for our clients. Sometimes this requires tough conversations. Navigating this world is our expertise and it is part of why you rely on us.  Our fiduciary responsibility is always you, the client.

The other piece of the puzzle we have to navigate is relations with tenants. Our job is to provide clean, safe, well-maintained housing. However, and this might come as a shock, sometimes tenants can have expectations that are out of line. Just because a kitchen counter has a scratch on it doesn’t mean we need to replace the entire counter top with new, beautiful granite from Brazil. Often times a property manager has to say “no” in the most professional and courteous way possible.

Real Estate management is an active, engaging industry. One cannot just buy an investment property and watch it appreciate or mature, like treasury bonds. Having the right management in place is just as important as buying the right property at the right price. We have the expertise and experience to navigate the difficulties and pitfalls for you. Here at Rappold Property Management we take our job very seriously and we manage your property as if it were our own.

 

 

Troy Rappold
Rappold Property Management, LLC
1125 SE Madison Street, suite #201
Portland, OR 97214
Phone: 503-232-5990
Fax: 503-232-1462
http://rappoldpropertymanagement.com

 

Asking Prices and Inventory for Homes in Portland Oregon, by Deptofnumbers.com


As of March 17 2014 there were about 7,821 single family and condo homes listed for sale in Portland Oregon. The median asking price of these homes was approximately $299,000. Since this time last year, the inventory of homes for sale has decreased by 2.2% and the median price has increased by 10.8%.

March 17, 2014 Month/Month Year/Year
Median Asking Price $299,000 +3.3% +10.8%
Home Listings/Inventory 7,821 -0.7% -2.2%

Recent Asking Price and Inventory History for Portland

Date Single Family & Condo
Inventory
25th Percentile
Asking Price
Median
Asking Price
75th Percentile
Asking Price
03/17/2014 7,821 $215,000 $299,000 $465,000
03/10/2014 7,819 $214,900 $297,565 $460,000
03/03/2014 7,870 $214,900 $294,900 $450,000
02/24/2014 7,818 $214,500 $289,900 $450,000
02/17/2014 7,874 $213,000 $289,500 $449,900

Portland Asking Price History

The median asking price for homes in Portland peaked in April 2007 at $354,740 and is now $57,585 (16.2%) lower. From a low of $239,125 in February 2011, the median asking price in Portland has increased by $58,030 (24.3%).

25thMedian (50th) and 75th Percentile Asking Prices for Portland Oregon

Portland Housing Inventory History

Housing inventory in Portland, which is typically highest in the spring/summer and lowest in the fall/winter, peaked at 23,354 in July 2008. The lowest housing inventory level seen was 7,810 in February 2014.

Housing Inventory for Portland Oregon

Portland Asking Price and Inventory History

Date Single Family & Condo
Inventory
25th Percentile
Asking Price
Median
Asking Price
75th Percentile
Asking Price
March 2014 7,837 $214,933 $297,155 $458,333
February 2014 7,810 $211,875 $288,950 $449,450
January 2014 7,857 $209,225 $286,975 $444,025
December 2013 8,570 $209,920 $289,144 $449,520
November 2013 9,392 $210,177 $289,350 $449,900
October 2013 9,929 $212,815 $294,463 $450,000
September 2013 10,167 $211,790 $296,780 $451,980
August 2013 10,119 $210,875 $297,000 $450,000
July 2013 9,490 $206,640 $296,560 $450,000
June 2013 8,858 $199,688 $288,694 $449,975
May 2013 8,527 $194,888 $281,850 $446,900
April 2013 8,075 $186,800 $274,540 $439,060
March 2013 7,969 $182,923 $267,425 $427,213
February 2013 7,981 $179,900 $262,450 $419,731
January 2013 8,250 $179,075 $259,217 $404,725
December 2012 8,627 $178,900 $259,720 $405,750
November 2012 9,408 $179,675 $260,950 $408,963
October 2012 10,259 $179,900 $267,160 $418,600
September 2012 10,828 $179,900 $268,975 $418,450
August 2012 11,102 $179,675 $268,725 $418,500
July 2012 11,140 $177,600 $266,598 $411,651
June 2012 11,362 $174,825 $259,675 $399,950
May 2012 11,227 $169,713 $252,463 $399,450
April 2012 10,820 $169,160 $249,910 $397,940
March 2012 9,683 $174,450 $259,450 $406,225
February 2012 10,549 $169,225 $248,250 $388,025
January 2012 10,833 $169,080 $246,960 $381,960
December 2011 11,461 $169,925 $248,375 $385,675
November 2011 12,018 $174,750 $250,972 $397,425
October 2011 12,846 $179,530 $258,720 $399,900
September 2011 13,509 $179,939 $259,900 $399,900
August 2011 14,672 $179,360 $256,590 $395,540
July 2011 14,772 $178,150 $253,188 $389,225
June 2011 14,762 $176,475 $250,970 $386,970
May 2011 14,582 $173,184 $249,160 $375,780
April 2011 14,748 $169,950 $242,400 $364,975
March 2011 15,458 $169,800 $239,675 $359,575
February 2011 15,531 $169,675 $239,125 $354,725
January 2011 15,001 $170,760 $239,158 $356,380
December 2010 16,118 $176,200 $242,700 $363,363
November 2010 17,018 $180,160 $249,330 $373,780
October 2010 17,614 $184,975 $253,375 $381,975
September 2010 18,282 $189,100 $258,925 $390,950
August 2010 18,579 $190,940 $261,150 $397,160
July 2010 18,160 $195,163 $267,475 $399,000
June 2010 17,488 $196,853 $268,875 $399,800
May 2010 17,035 $198,880 $269,620 $399,818
April 2010 17,279 $198,000 $266,750 $392,500
March 2010 16,495 $195,600 $264,460 $393,960
February 2010 15,382 $194,938 $264,450 $395,198
January 2010 14,895 $197,819 $267,425 $399,225
December 2009 15,329 $199,897 $272,038 $402,212
November 2009 15,902 $202,750 $277,760 $417,780
October 2009 16,573 $209,675 $283,646 $428,225
September 2009 17,165 $210,000 $289,475 $436,100
August 2009 17,595 $211,760 $292,880 $444,320
July 2009 17,819 $212,950 $294,950 $449,000
June 2009 17,870 $213,460 $294,920 $449,100
May 2009 17,713 $211,475 $293,291 $445,250
April 2009 17,978 $212,525 $289,925 $444,725
March 2009 18,506 $214,153 $289,930 $443,360
February 2009 18,449 $216,014 $293,968 $448,125
January 2009 18,872 $219,952 $297,855 $452,809
December 2008 19,842 $223,220 $302,773 $458,508
November 2008 20,983 $226,382 $307,532 $464,024
October 2008 22,086 $229,650 $312,450 $469,724
September 2008 22,973 $233,730 $319,580 $474,990
August 2008 23,314 $235,200 $322,000 $475,725
July 2008 23,354 $236,074 $324,550 $475,000
June 2008 22,657 $239,150 $324,920 $479,459
May 2008 21,505 $239,900 $325,000 $480,947
April 2008 20,669 $239,900 $324,937 $479,912
March 2008 19,381 $241,300 $324,860 $485,960
February 2008 18,409 $240,485 $324,925 $479,912
January 2008 17,659 $243,500 $324,962 $481,765
December 2007 18,584 $245,120 $327,975 $489,355
November 2007 19,926 $248,665 $330,475 $486,425
October 2007 20,762 $249,950 $337,260 $493,980
September 2007 20,656 $253,425 $339,900 $497,749
August 2007 19,837 $257,712 $342,975 $499,124
July 2007 18,710 $261,120 $349,120 $499,930
June 2007 17,670 $264,282 $349,950 $507,949
May 2007 16,386 $264,900 $350,975 $512,662
April 2007 15,059 $264,900 $354,740 $517,740
March 2007 13,897 $264,450 $353,850 $523,425
February 2007 13,814 $258,517 $349,800 $516,750
January 2007 13,726 $255,810 $349,637 $507,441
December 2006 14,746 $257,149 $348,246 $499,949
November 2006 15,671 $258,837 $348,750 $499,900
October 2006 16,027 $259,640 $348,834 $499,900
September 2006 15,239 $261,098 $349,675 $499,937
August 2006 14,029 $264,925 $350,737 $518,587
July 2006 12,864 $264,920 $350,470 $525,980
June 2006 11,261 $264,925 $349,975 $530,937
May 2006 9,804 $262,340 $350,940 $532,360
April 2006 8,701 $256,433 $346,433 $526,224

 

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