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Archive for June, 2007

As you might guess by my lack of posting, I’ve been rather busy for the past couple weeks.  The main thing I’ve been doing is organizing my files and filing system.  I just about have it set up and I think it’s going to work really well.  No more papers lying around the house because I don’t have a place for them.  Each important paper has a home in one of my numerous files.  More on that later (hopefully).

Some writing news.  Between Erik and me, we had four stories out with various publishers, having submitted one each month beginning in January.  Three out of the four came back in May, so May was our month of rejections.  The one that didn’t come back I’m probably going to have to consider rejected as well as I’d sent it to a publisher whose policy is “if you haven’t heard from us in so many months, consider your work rejected.”  I got my two stories sent off to two more publishers, and Erik will get his story sent off sometime in the hopefully not too distant future.

But while my children’s picture book writing may not be Olympic material yet I am actually a published author.  OK, so it’s not the Big Time, but it counts.  I have an article on the Penpointers website, so check it out.

And, I’m currently in communication with an editor at the Fort Collins Coloradoan about writing one or two feature stories about the Parade of Homes for a special insert.  That’s a paid credit, so I’m really excited.  I got that contact through Brian Kaufman, one of the authors in the Penpointers group.  He’s done work for the Coloradoan in the past and is now having to turn that paper down in favor of more lucrative assignments, so he recommended me.  I’m grateful for networking.  It would have been much more difficult to break in on my own.  Still, I need to prove myself once I get my first story assignment.  I also have plans to work up my Welcoming a New Baby article for publication in the Fort Collins Mother’s Center newsletter, and a tentative commitment from the publisher.  There are other possibilities as well.  My limiting factor really is time (isn’t it everyone’s?).

Speaking of which, it appears a little person needs me…

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Refi Revisited

After reading a comment to my previous post from a mortgage broker, I asked Ken Ryan from Ark Funding Group to clarify what I thought I heard him say about Freddie Mac no longer buying mortgages for manufactured housing. It turns out it’s not quite as cut and dry as I implied in the post.

First of all, I’m a customer, not an expert. Any readers who are looking at getting a mortgage of any kind need to consult with knowledgeable people and do their own research to make a decision that’s best for them. I am not one of those knowledgeable people. But with each refinance I’ve been involved in, I’ve picked up a bit more information. Here’s the deal with manufactured housing loans, as I understand it. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac don’t have a policy to not buy those loans. However, Fannie Mae has been known to refuse to pick up manufactured housing loans at the auction. Perhaps Freddie Mac too, but Ryan said specifically Fannie Mae. So, this means that if you are a bank with a manufactured housing loan, you might bring it to the auction expecting Fannie Mae to buy it. Fannie Mae may have even told you it would buy that loan. But in the back of your mind you know that Fannie Mae might bail out on you and leave you holding that loan. If you needed the cash right then, not being able to sell your loan could spell trouble. For many lenders, that is more risk than they are willing to take, so they won’t touch a manufactured home. Other lenders will take the risk, but they hedge it some by passing on a higher interest rate to the customer or they limit the loan to value ratio for that loan.

My best option at this point is an FHA loan, and despite interest rates having taken yet another jump upward, I have a fixed rate loan locked in at 7%. If all goes well, my husband and I will close at the end of the month. I asked Ryan who buys the FHA loans, and he said FHA does. It’s a completely different program than Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.

So anyway, that’s the situation with manufactured housing as I understand it so far. Again, I’m not an expert and don’t really want to be. I’m simply hoping to become a satisfied customer.

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