Greater Seattle Area Real Estate News & Market Trends

Here's where I like to write my monthly real estate market updates, give tips and tricks for selling real estate and advice for purchasing a home in King County. It's always best to reach out to me early in your thought process, so I can formulate the best plan for you.  I'm ready when you are. -Elise Russo

Elise Russo in Seattle

Aug. 14, 2020

Market Update: July 2020

Not much changed in the real estate market this month.  Buyer demand mixed with limited housing supply is still the story.  Across the nation, us Realtors continue to show homes in high volume and this activity remains a lot higher than the year before.  There are multiple offer situations in many areas.  The deal is, there's just not very many homes on the market.  This is because of the COVID-19 cooties, there just aren't any signs of this changing either. 

Good news is, unemployment insurance weekly initial claims have been far lower than the new normal.  Their peak was in March and April.  Bad news is, there's currently more than a million claims being filed each week.  Plus, there are more than 31 million people claiming benefits in all of the programs as of early July.  For prospective, there were about 2 million in July 2019.  It's amazing to me, how home buyers just keep moving along!  Mortgage rates are still near record low levels and applications to purchase are up from even a year ago.  Experts say we should expect high buyer activity to continue into the late Summer and into the Fall.

Here are the numbers:

Seattle's Housing Market at a Glance

Year-Over-Year Change in Seattle's Real Estate Market July 2020

For the Central Puget Sound:
King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties

  • Closed Sales, decreased 0.1% for Residential homes and 6.0% for Condominium homes.
  • Homes with Offers, increased 27.2% for Residential homes and 22.3% for Condominium homes.
  • Current Homes for Sale, decreased 44.7% for Residential homes and 11.2% for Condominium homes.
  • The Median Sales Price, increased 13.5% to $575,000 for Residential homes and 9.5% to $405,000 for Condominium homes.
  • Days on Market, decreased 12.5% for Residential homes and 14.8% for Condominium homes.
  • Months Supply of Inventory, decreased 45.0% for Residential homes and 9.1% for Condominium homes.

If you have a little time on your hands, you might like to check out one of my previous posts?  You can find them here: www.vivaseattle.com/blog

Now for my personal share time with you.  

It's been tough to exercise.  I've been fighting the COVID 10 lbs that keep trying to pack on.  Recently, I decided to take Scull Row Crew lessons.  Sheesh, I'm still not sure what to call it...  Well, other than fun and tiring, I think it's been really good for me.  Here's me with my new coach, Gil.  He took a video of me on my second lesson, so you could see.  It's ok if you know how to row, see my mistakes and then laugh.  Since this video, I've completed my flip test and am now ready to go out with the group to explore the house boats from a whole new angle.  Good times!

 

 

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I'm Elise Russo, call me when you're ready, because I'm working hard to be your only Realtor.

Posted in Market Updates
July 24, 2020

According to Windermere's Chief Economist on 7/13...

Every now and again, especially more now, I like to share the weekly wisdom of our chief economist, Matthew Gardner.  In this video he analyzes several aspects of the National housing market to see how it has fared over the past weeks amid COVID-19. Over all, we have great news! Though there are a few economists that might not agree, most say our homes prices will end even higher in 2020 vs 2019.

Mortgage rates are doing just great and because of this, we have good vibes.  By the way, if you're having a hard time making your mortgage payments, make contact with me?  There are all sorts of programs to help you stay in your home and keep your credit intact.  Let me know if you have any questions?  I'm around when you're ready. -Elise Russo, your favorite Seattle Realtor :-)

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
July 10, 2020

Market Update: June 2020

While a lot of the country was working on reopening our economy by phases in June, the real estate market just keeps getting better and better.  Us Realtors track every time we show a home with ShowingTime, and Nationally we've been out showing homes even more than June of 2019!  COVID-19 sure hasn't got in the way of prospective home buyers.

Even with all of these buyers out and about, looking for that perfect home, we just don't have enough homes for them to purchase.  We have even fewer homes currently on the market than a year ago.  Most everyone in our industry believe sellers haven't wanted to list their home, due to the continued concerns over COVID-19.  Even more now that we're in June and seeing a spike in cases.  I predict this Summer will continue to be a very active sellers market.  When you're ready, give me a call, ok?

Here are the numbers:

Seattle's Housing Market at a Glance

Year-Over-Year Change in Seattle's Real Estate Market June 2020

For the Central Puget Sound:
King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties

  • Closed Sales, decreased 14.8% for Residential homes and 19.4% for Condominium homes.
  • Homes with Offers, increased 13.2% for Residential homes and 11.7% for Condominium homes.
  • Current Homes for Sale, decreased 49.4% for Residential homes and 22.2% for Condominium homes.
  • The Median Sales Price, increased 6.7% to $555,000 for Residential homes and 3.9% to $395,000% for Condominium homes.
  • Days on Market, decreased 8.7% for Residential homes and 12.5% for Condominium homes.
  • Months Supply of Inventory, decreased 47.6% for Residential homes and 22.7% for Condominium homes.

If you have a little time on your hands, you might like to check out one of my previous posts?  You can find them here: www.vivaseattle.com/blog

Now for my personal share time with you.  Feel free to call me up or video chat with me, tell me your future real estate plans and update me on your life.  I do enjoy the conversations!  Even if I have to run and put a hat on, so you won't see my big fro, ha!

I only have one photo for you this month folks. In all honesty, I have been a little caught up with life.  Like, learning how to communicate in a whole new language (Bridge) with my husband, cooking the most awesomely complicated meals I can find and working my real estate game.

Wait, I lied about not taking any photos...  I have been taking a screen shot anytime the Bridge robot on BBO does anything confusing.  I then use these screenshots to overly research every convention and talk about it non-stop, with any one I know that plays Bridge. Remarkably, no one seems to mind, and they even call me on their own to obsess too.  How fantastic! Seriously.

Photo #1: When I show homes, many of my buyers already know, I generally walk, taxi or mass transit to our first location, and ride with you for the rest of the showing.  This gives you the opportunity to voice your thoughts and concerns about the homes we're seeing, and it gives me the chance to tell you about each of the Seattle neighborhoods you're exploring. 

I hadn't really needed a car for the past 5-years, but with all of the cootie concerns amid Corona, I decided, after not driving for over 2 years (other than to rent a car here and there), to purchase a car!  When I tell people my story about not driving for none other reason than, I really enjoy the walk, it seems to bring such great personal stories.  So, when you call me, maybe bring this one up?  I mean, unless you'd rather talk about Bridge? :-) Here's the photo of me at the dealership:

Elise Russo purchased a car in 2020

 

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I'm Elise Russo, and I'm working hard to be your only Realtor.

Posted in Market Updates
July 3, 2020

10 Steps To Buy A Home In Washington

When you decide you're ready to take the leap and become a homeowner, there are about 10-steps to purchasing a home:

 

  1. Make Contact with Me (Elise Russo) Early - Well, you don't have to reach out to me early or even reach out to me ever.  I mean, I've known a few people that've just winged it.  What I saw was, them getting ripped off or into a neighborhood that's wasn't a good fit for them.
  2. Neighborhoods - In all seriousness, I've got resources to help you find the right neighborhood for you.  I read once, 74% of buyers loved their Realtor (even recommend them to friends and family) but most didn't use them again.  Oh my goodness!  I started to panic, I've been in the business since 1997, how come more people weren't calling me back to sell their homes?  My mind wheeled, did I drop the ball?  Ha!  I even called all of my past clients and asked if they're still loving their homes?  The ones that didn't call me back; I looked into public records to see if they still owned their home.  You know, I found nearly everyone used me as their Realtor again or were still in their homes, even today.  They love their neighborhoods, some even remodeled their homes to fit their needs.  I learned in those phone calls, you find the right neighborhood for you and then you create your forever home.  Finding neighbors you can see eye-to-eye with is priceless. I can't tell you how good it felt when I heard them thank me for helping them find those neighbors.  SOo people, let your freak fly high when you talk to me?  I want to be sure I place you with your kind of people!
  3. Pre Approval Letter and/or Proof of Funds - Note, unless you're paying cash, you can't qualify yourself.  You'll need to contact a qualified lender (parents can be qualified lenders; they'll need to show proof of funds).  Think about it this way, when you put your home onto the market to sell, you're not going to want to do a whorl wind deep cleaning for a lookie-loo.  You want to know, the people coming through your home are qualified to actually purchase it.  So, lets do an informational interview with a qualified lender:  You only want to pay X amount per month for your home?  She can tell you what your purchase price will be (with monthly taxes, HOA dues, insurance...).  You think your credit might not be good enough?  He can do an immediate credit check.  Credit Karma isn't what you'll need to rate your credit.  You're going to need a tri-merge FICO score.  The list goes on and on, let me give you a recommendation, so you can ask your questions - with no obligation to use that loan agent in the future.
  4. See Houses to Find "Home" - Once we have found your neighborhood and have your "Pre Approval Letter" or proof of funds, *eee* we can start seriously looking at homes!
  5. Pre Inspection - In a hot market, many sellers would like you to take a closer look, to make sure this is the home you really want, so they'll have a successful closing.  There's a good chance you'll need to budget for an inspector to help you do this.  This person is going to point out potential big ticket fixes, and you might decide to keep looking for the right home for you.  If you don't have an inspector, no worries, I'll recommend a good one.
  6. Win The Bid!! - Once you're comfortable with your choice for home, I'll write an offer and submit it into the running.  Before it's submitted and written, I'm going to do a bunch of research for you.  I'll pull public records, find out what's been selling in this neighborhood, look at census information and give you the tools you need to make an educated decision on value.  The asking price is only just this, an asking price.  Sometimes, it's just too low and sometimes it's way over priced.  After I'm done researching, you'll know the value and what you'd like to offer.
  7. Discovery - After we win the bid, you'll put a deposit of about 3% of the purchase price into an escrow account.  This money will later be used for your downpayment and closing costs.  The reason you need to deposit the 3%, is to show the seller you are serious about this purchase, and you need time to pull your money together and run maybe a few more inspections, before you close escrow.  
  8. Get through Escrow - If during this escrow/discovery period, you have questions, you have every right to get answers, and we will make requests.  Keep in mind, the seller also has every right to say no to your requests.  If you don't like what they have to say or you find something that doesn't sit well with you, we're going back you out of escrow, and we'll find the right home for you.  Oh!  Keep in mind, there are timelines for discovery, if you don't speak up during this process, you are at risk of loosing your deposit.  I have a really awesome transaction coordinator that will keep us on schedule.  Together, we will keep you informed of deadlines, so you are always aware, when you're at risk of loosing your deposit.
  9. Fund and Record - *Whew* Once you've made it through escrow, your loan will fund and/or you'll deposit the remainder of your purchase and closing cost money into escrow.  If this is a home you'll live in, and you're going to get a loan, the lender generally requires that you wait 3-days (in case you want to back out) before you close escrow.  If this is an investment or you're paying cash, you can close escrow right away.
  10. Move In! - When we get the (this home is on record in your name) thumbs up from the escrow agent, you're going to meet me at your new home, get the keys and write me a glowing review, because you know, I want more clients just like you :-)

~Elise Russo, your favorite Realtor (because I work hard to make your transaction a smooth one)

Posted in Tips and Tricks
June 19, 2020

Market Update: May 2020

I'm so tired of COVID-19 and how it's affecting our communities in general.  Oddly enough, it hasn't seemed to hurt our property values.  We haven't had enough inventory for our buyers and this has caused the values to go up.  For my sellers, it's been great, because they haven't needed to spend a lot of time on the market. 

Freddie Mac has reported that mortgage rates have been below 3.3% for more than 4-weeks and are hovering near all-time lows.  I personally refinanced my home to 2.99%, and I didn't even pay any points!  Low interest rates have really brought the serious buyers to the market.  We're up 4% vs a year ago in the final week of May.  Even with all of these legit and serious buyers, sellers aren't listing, because buyer's might bring cooties into their home, while it's on the market.

In April, property values went up and in May, they have started to level out.  I wonder if this boost in value is only artificial?  I mean, when sellers feel more comfortable about having buyers come through their homes, maybe the market will be flooded with too many homes for sale? 

I know, I know...  You want to see the numbers:

Seattle's Housing Market at a Glance

Year-Over-Year Change in Seattle's Real Estate Market May 2020

 

For the Central Puget Sound:
King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties

  • Closed Sales, decreased 37.8% for Residential homes and 51.8% for Condominium homes.
  • Homes with Offers, decreased 4.0% for Residential homes and 9.7% for Condominium homes.
  • Current Homes for Sale, decreased 44.1% for Residential homes and 23.7% for Condominium homes.
  • The Median Sales Price stayed even this month for Residential homes but decreased 2.6% for Condominium homes.
  • Days on Market decreased 30.8% for Residential homes and 24.0 for Condominium homes.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 45.0% for Residential homes and 23.8% for Condominium homes.

If you have a little time on your hands, you might like to check out one of my previous posts?  You can find them here: www.vivaseattle.com/blog

Now for my personal share time with you.  Please share with me too?  Call me up, tell me your future real estate plans and update me on your life.  I'm ready when you are!

 

1ST PHOTO: I'm so excited to say, our town is finally reopening, and I'm getting to go out with friends again!  I'm sporting our Swedish colors on my mask, because my mom is half Swedish and Norwegian.  My friend has the same heritage, so she's sporting the Norwegian flag on her mask.  My husband is a Sicilian/Austrian dude, and I think he looks great in his mask, with that big beard puffing out everywhere, ha!

Elise Russo Shows Swedish and Norwegian Pride 2020

 

2ND PHOTO: You know how some people say we should stop and smell the roses?  I generally do this but more recently I've noticed a tun of rabbits around my Belltown neighborhood.  Everyone tells me they've always been there...  I guess I just had to stop and look at the bunnies.  I'm telling you, we have a LOT of them too.

Elise Russo saw lots of bunnies in Seattle 2020

 

3RD & 4TH PHOTOS: My dad and I loved looking at clouds when I was a little kid.  To this day, I send him my finds.  Important business, you know?  The first photo is a rainbow cloud and the 2nd is a bear laying back in the sky.  :-)

Elise Russo found a rainbow cloud 2020Elise Russo found a bear in the sky 2020

 

I'm Elise Russo, and I'm working hard to be your only Realtor.

Posted in Market Updates
May 22, 2020

According to Windermere's Chief Economist...

Our Chief Economist, Matthew Gardner gave his vision for the future of the real estate market in the midst of COVID-19.  I found his video interesting this week.  He talked about the long term effects and painted a future of how we might live from here on out.  Let me know if you have any questions?  I'm around when you're ready. -Elise Russo, your favorite Realtor :-)

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Posted in Tips and Tricks
May 15, 2020

Market Update: April 2020

Thank God the stock market bounced back a lot in March.  Bummer part is, COVID-19 continues to disrupt the economy.  According the the US Department of Labor, in just four weeks, over 20-million people filed unemployment claims.  With that said, over the past month real estate has slowed down significantly.

It's been exciting on my end, because I like numbers and the analytics are showing me good things.  Oddly enough, my 3d tours for listings, even the ones that sold years ago, are getting a large amount of views.  My favorite clients and new ones too, call to talk about the real estate market and to plan for the future.  I'd dare to say, the whole world had to hit the pause button and when we press play again, things are going to get very busy.  I'm ready to work, live and play already.  I know there are a lot of people that feel the same as me.

For my active clients looking to sell their home, I love the numbers this month. Your values went up slightly, and if you're thinking about selling, you won't have to spend a long time on the market.

I know, I know...  The numbers, right?  Here you go:  

Seattle's Housing Market at a Glance

Year-Over-Year Change in Seattle's Real Estate Market April 2020

 

For the Central Puget Sound:
King, Kitsap, Pierce and Snohomish Counties

  • Closed Sales decreased 31.0% for Residential homes and 38.9% for Condominium homes.
  • Pending Sales decreased 28.4% for Residential homes and 42.6% for Condominium homes.
  • Inventory decreased 29.0% for Residential homes and 18% for Condominium homes.
  • The Median Sales Price increased 6.9% to $540,000 for Residential homes and 4.7% to $392,750 for Condominium homes.
  • Days on Market decreased 41.2% for Residential homes and 45.2 for Condominium homes.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 31.3% for Residential homes and 17.6% for Condominium homes.

If you have a little time on your hands, you might like to check out one of my previous posts?  You can find them here: www.vivaseattle.com/blog

 

OK!  Here's my personal share time with you.  Please share with me too?  Call me up and tell me your future real estate plans and update me on your life.  I'm ready when you are!

 

1ST PHOTO: Over the past few months, Zoom calls have been the one of my only ways to socialize with friends and family.  I sent this costume happy hour photo to my dad and father-in-law via text.  So you know, my (father-in-law) Papa Russo, is an old school Sicilian guy.  About an hour after sending the text, I got a phone call from my dad laughing hysterically.  He said, "Your Papa Russo just called and wanted to know why my daughter was dressing his son up in demon costumes and taking photos?"  Turns out they had a great time talking about what a Zoom call is.  You know, my father-in-law doesn't own a computer, and he still has a flip phone!

Zoom Costume Party with Elise Russo 2020

 

2ND PHOTO: My cousin lives in Ballard and doesn't get to hear all of the cheering @ 8p every night in Belltown, so I keep her apprised.  She sent me this photo of herself at work.  She's a general surgery nurse and was cross-trained for COVID.  She's the reason we do our woo-hoo yell every night.

Elise Russo's cousin the nurse

 

3RD PHOTO: Inspired by the thought of not having to straighten my hair every day. I embraced the idea of letting my natural curl take over, and I cut my own hair!!  I sat down and did a massive amount of Pinterest and YouTube research before I made the first cut.  I must say, I think it came out really well.  Stay tuned.  I'm going to take new profile photos too.  *eee*

Elise Russo cut her own hair 2020

 

I'm Elise Russo, and I'm working hard to be your only Realtor.

Posted in Market Updates
April 24, 2020

May Important Dates 2020

Also, check out my most current Seattle real estate monthly market updates here: https://www.vivaseattle.com/blog/category/market-updates/

Your favorite Realtor,

Elise Russo

May Important Dates 2020 for a Home Owner in Seattle

Posted in Tips and Tricks
April 17, 2020

Market Update: March 2020

As we know, COVID-19 really is having an impact and has spread across the country in March.  The stock market continues to decline and has accelerated in this downward spiral since February.  It did however recover just a little in the last week of March.  It's been pretty terrible across all of the financial markets, lenders even began tightening underwriting standards.  My sister was in the middle of building a home and found she was no longer able to complete her transaction with the current lender because the bank's underwriting standards changed.  So many have had to lay off, SO MANY, well qualified and hard working people.  In fact, this has been the highest amount of people getting laid off from their jobs in the history of, well, forever!  

Some states have been feeling the wrath of COVID-19 stronger than others.  They might be feeling it stronger in the coming months?  Nearly everyone has started working from home.  Even with everyone working from home, less and less people answer the phone when I call.  LOL, so, I changed my cell phone carrier and asked the new carrier's telemarketer if they were having trouble getting people answering the phone.  She suggested I start calling everyone in the morning, when they're not drunk, hahaha!!!

I'm sure you want to know about the numbers, so here we go...  

Seattle's Housing Market at a Glance

Obviously, we were headed into a straight recession before this monster of a pandemic hit us.  I honestly thought we'd see a huge change in the market.  You now, with so many people getting laid off etc...

Year-Over-Year Change in Seattle's Real Estate Market March 2020

 

For the Central Puget Sound:
King, Kitsap, Pierce 
and Snohomish Counties

  • Closed Sales decreased 5.1% for Residential homes but increased 10.4% for Condominium homes.
  • Pending Sales decreased 7.2% for Residential homes and 14.2% for Condominium homes.
  • Inventory decreased 32.6% for Residential homes and 24.9% for Condominium homes.
  • The Median Sales Price increased 10.8% to $549,925 for Residential homes and 5.8% to $410,000 for Condominium homes.
  • Days on Market decreased 32.5% for Residential homes and 31.6 for Condominium homes.
  • Months Supply of Inventory decreased 33.3% for Residential homes and 25.0% for Condominium homes.

If you have a little time on your hands, you might like to check out one of my previous posts?  You can find them here: www.vivaseattle.com/blog

As you know, I love to share a couple of photos every month, so we can get to know each other (and so when I call you we have something other than real estate to talk about) and here they are...

This month I decided, with everything closed, and it seems most of everyone is too drunk to talk to me :-) I made one of my favorites, the Whiskey Old Fashioned:

Elise Russo learned to make her favorite Old Fashioned drink during COVID-19

 

The second is a video: I have a lot of healthcare workers in my family and a few friends.  I'm worried about all of them and miss them so much.  They are our warriors on the front line.  Though they are in my own city, I know they're keeping their distance to keep me safe and Zoom will have to do for now :'( The video below is from my balcony.  Everyone in my neighborhood cheers, bangs pots and pans, blows whistles, etc, every day at 8p to let them know we love and are proud of them.  I thought you might enjoy the watch?

I'm Elise Russo, and I'm working hard to be your only Realtor.

Posted in Market Updates
April 3, 2020

Can't Pay Your Mortgage Payment This Month?

I did a little research based on a tough phone call I got the other day.  I thought I'd share the helpful findings.  If you're having trouble making your mortgage payments, here's what you can do.  If you have questions along the way, I'm around, and you should feel free to reach out to me. -Elise Russo, real estate broker with Windermere in Seattle

Help making mortgage payments for Seattle home

April 1, 2020

If You Need Assistance in Making Your Mortgage Payments, Help is Available

If you are a homeowner with an FHA-insured single family home mortgage and you’re having difficulty making your monthly mortgage payments due to the COVID-19 National Emergency, help is available. The three most important things you should do to protect your home investment if you have, or expect to have, a loss of income due to COVID-19:

 

  1. Continue to make your monthly mortgage payments if you are able to do so.
  2. If you are unable to make your mortgage payment, contact your mortgage servicer — the entity to which you make your monthly mortgage payments —as soon as possible and discuss your situation with a loss mitigation specialist. Please understand that your servicers ability to respond quickly may be impacted during this National Emergency.
  3. Contact a HUD-Approved Housing Counseling Agency @ https://apps.hud.gov/offices/hsg/sfh/hcc/hcs.cfm.


Trying to Understand Your Options? These Frequently Asked Questions Can Help


Q. I lost my job or have been furloughed due to the COVID-19 National Emergency and am worried that I cannot make my next mortgage payment. What should I do?

A. FHA has communicated to mortgage servicers that they must offer you special COVID-19 mortgage payment relief options if you are eligible. If you are able to keep making your mortgage payments during the national emergency, it is in your best interest to do so.

If you find you are no longer able to make your monthly mortgage payments, the first thing you should do is contact your servicer — the company to whom you make your monthly mortgage payments. Your servicer will be able to provide you with what is known as forbearance, a mortgage repayment option that allows you to defer or lower your monthly payments for up to six months, and an additional six month period, if needed. Your mortgage servicer can further explain the details of the FHA COVID-19 National Emergency Forbearance option — what it means now and the options for bringing your mortgage payments current in the future.

Q. I am having trouble making my mortgage payment due to the impacts of the COVID-19 National Emergency. Do I need to provide my servicer with documentation to prove I need forbearance?

A. FHA servicers will ask you to confirm that you are having a financial hardship, either directly or indirectly, due to the COVID-19 National Emergency in order to qualify for a COVID-19 Forbearance, but will not require that you supply any documents. Your mortgage servicer can further explain the COVID-19 Forbearance and can help you figure out other options for repaying any suspended mortgage payments or the balance of reduced mortgage payments.

Q. Will the monthly mortgage payments that are reduced or suspended under a COVID-19 Forbearance need to be repaid?

A. Yes. A homeowner with an FHA-insured mortgage who receives a COVID-19 National Emergency Forbearance is responsible for repaying the suspended mortgage payments or the balance of reduced mortgage payments. Your mortgage servicer can help you determine your options for eventually repaying any suspended mortgage payments or the balance due as a result of reduced mortgage payments. Your servicer will not charge you late fees and penalties while you are on a COVID-19 National Emergency Forbearance plan.

Q. I’m worried about making my mortgage payment in the future with all the economic uncertainty around the COVID-19 pandemic. How can I proactively address this issue?

A. Millions of U.S. homeowners are being impacted by the COVID-19 National Emergency. FHA has mortgage relief options, including the COVID-19 Forbearance, that homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages can use to defer or reduce your monthly mortgage payment, if needed. FHA continues to encourage those who can make their mortgage payments during this time to do so.

You should contact your mortgage servicer as soon as possible if you are unable to make your mortgage payments because of financial hardships from the COVID-19 National Emergency. If requested, your servicer will provide you with what is known as a forbearance, which will allow you to defer or lower your monthly payments for up to 12 months. Your mortgage servicer can further explain the details as well as options for repaying those amounts due in the future.

Q. If I go back to work after starting an FHA COVID-19 Forbearance and can make my regular mortgage payments again in less than six months, should I resume paying them?

A. Yes. Even if you received an FHA COVID-19 Forbearance, you are not required to use the full six months. It is more beneficial for you to begin making your regular mortgage payments as soon as you can reasonably do so. If you are able to begin making your payments prior to the expiration of your forbearance, contact your mortgage servicer and let them know you are ready to resume making your regular monthly mortgage payment. Your servicer will assist you in doing so.

Q. How do I contact my servicer to let them know I want a Forbearance?

A. Maximum mortgage repayment flexibilities are being offered to homeowners with FHA-insured mortgages due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, you must contact your servicer as soon as you think you might not be able to make your regularly scheduled mortgage payment to request an FHA COVID-19 National Emergency Forbearance. This repayment option will allow you to defer or lower your monthly mortgage payments for up to 12 months. You can use any available means of communication to contact your servicer to request a forbearance. This includes, but is not limited to, phone calls, emails, texts, fax, mail, teleconferencing, etc.

Q. I have a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) but have to go to a nursing home/rehabilitation facility due to COVID-19. Can I delay making the HECM due and payable so my spouse/partner/family can remain in the home?

A. Yes. To ensure that your spouse/partner/family can remain in your home, you must contact your HECM servicer, the company who manages your HECM, as soon as possible. Upon your request, they must delay submitting a request to call your HECM due and payable.

Q: I have a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) but can’t pay my property taxes right now. Will I lose my home?

A. No. You must contact your HECM servicer, the company who manages your HECM, as soon as possible. Upon your request, they must delay submitting a request to call your HECM due and payable.

Q: I am having difficulty reaching my mortgage servicer. What should I do?

A. Mortgage lenders and servicers are currently working with reduced staff and capacity due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, FHA suggests homeowners check with their servicer for the best way to contact them should you need to. Homeowners are encouraged to check their mortgage servicers website for contact options and updated information. Keep in mind your mortgage servicers ability to respond quickly may be impacted by COVID-19 National Emergency. It is important to remember that only your mortgage servicer can help you with forbearance if you are affected financially by COVID-19 and cannot make your monthly mortgage payments.

Source: https://www.hud.gov/sites/dfiles/SFH/documents/COVID-19HomeownerHelp.pdf?_cldee=bXlyZWFsdG9yQGVsaXphYmV0aHJ1c3NvLmNvbQ%3d%3d&recipientid=contact-1205b0488225441a8678434e61da7362-bfdacfceb00c46a39c8ef905b1670922&utm_source=ClickDimensions&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Coronavirus&esid=93143594-3b75-ea11-9c3d-00155d080808

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