Chelan, Douglas rated for mortgage ease

Mortgages made "easy-er"
Doug Morger of Eagle Home Mortgage
Doug Morger of Eagle Home Mortgage

SmartAsset, a financial technology company, recently released its third annual study on the Best Places to Get a Mortgage. The study determines top markets by comparing the likelihood of mortgage approval by county, in addition to mortgage rates, average five-year borrowing costs, and property taxes. According to the study’s Best Mortgage Markets Index, Chelan and Douglas counties rank among the top locations in Washington.
To validate what this "financial technology company" states, the WBJ interviewed local mortgage expert Doug Morger of Eagle Home Mortgage. His comments are listed below the rate table which compares this area to the rest of Washington.

Loan Funding Rate
5 Year Borrowing Costs
Property Tax
Annual Mortgage Payment
Best Mortgage Markets Index
Whatcom, WA
Benton, WA
Island, WA
Chelan, WA
Jefferson, WA
King, WA
Kittitas, WA
Clallam, WA
Douglas, WA
Clark, WA
More information on the study, including the interactive map and methodology can be found here:
Morger states, "Under Washington Mortgage resources, it refers directly to the class I teach. When I teach the class I do not represent Eagle Home Mortgage, but I represent the Washington State Housing and Finance Commission (WSHFC). It offers a program called Home Advantage, borrowers may qualify for up to 4 percent of their loan amount as down payment assistance or closing cost up to $10,000. There is a cap on household income of $97,000 per year."
Morger said, "This is a second mortgage on the new home, but it is zero percent interest and has no monthly payments. You must repay it when you refinance the home, sell the home or in 30 years it must be paid. You must meet the loan qualifications for the lenders loan programs and that could be either conventional loans or government loans."
"There are a couple other programs offered by WSHFC in our area such are Home Choice for down payment assistance for lower income families with disabled family members as defined in the American Disabilities Act. This can be up to $15,000, but the actual amount is income determined," Morger said.
"This is where my class comes in, you must attend a WSHFC sponsored class and receive an attendance certificate that is good for the assistance for two years from the date of the class. The class can be completed online also but there is a fee. I taught the class for the last three and a half years," he said.
"To attend my class it costs the borrower nothing, but time. WSHFC says the class must be 5 hours long. "I am one of the few lenders who offers this class in the Wenatchee Valley consistently," Morger said.
Another program available in Chelan and Douglas counties is USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) either direct or guarantee programs.
"There was a time when certain properties could not be approved for a USDA loan due to urban zoning, those zones have been eliminated in Chelan and Douglas County since about three years ago, so almost every home is USDA lendable. USDA is a 100 percent loan (no down payment). There are two programs. The USDA direct is usually for lower median income borrowers and you work directly with the local USDA office.  Mortgage lenders who do USDA loans are providing the Guarantee program. USDA is a very good loan for some people, but there are qualification’s that must be met.
"For USDA guarantee program there are household income limits, for a family of 1-4 that is $75,650 annually for a family of 5-8 that goes up to $99,850 annually. There are credit score requirements and debt to income requirements," according to Morger.
"Basically some of the reasons they would consider Chelan or Douglas counties as desirable for loans would be, low property taxes and available loan programs with little or no money down for home buyers," concluded Morger.
Morger can be reached at 509-888-4001. His office is at 317 N. Mission St., Ste. 300 in Wenatchee.

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