The 2017 NW Mortgage Expo & Real Estate Summit will be held Friday, September 22 at the MOTIF Seattle Hotel, 1415 5th Avenue in Seattle.
For more information, call (206) 484-6442 or click here for complete details
Tony Blodgett is the regional vice president for the Northwest at New American Funding and president of the Washington Mortgage Bankers Association (WMBA). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Tony about his work with his state’s mortgage trade group.
When did you first get involved with Washington Mortgage Bankers Association? What was the path that led you to a leadership role within WMBA?
WMBA is a fairly new organization. I was a member of the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association for the past 20 years. Through networking and attending events and talking to people in leadership positions, I let them know that I was interested in being more involved in the organization. This led me to being on the board. This was about five years ago. Soon after, our treasurer resigned and we needed someone to fill that position. I was nominated, which got me into an executive leadership role.
There was a unique situation that same year–the merger of the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association and the Washington Mortgage Lenders Association. When the organizations merged, I was asked to remain as treasurer for a second year. From there, I became vice president and then president. My term as president began in September of 2016 and runs for a year.
Why should members of your state’s mortgage profession join WMBA?
There are a number of benefits that someone gets from being a member of WMBA. There are networking aspects–where you can gain knowledge from other lenders. We are a statewide organization that has a full-time lobbyist and good communication with the legislative community. Companies that join us have a voice and can be part of influencing change.
How is WMBA involved in shaping legislative issues, at both the state and federal levels?
We have our chairman of the board focusing exclusively on legislative initiatives related to our industry. We work very closely with our local legislators. Each year, we participate in a Legislative Day, where we go to Olympia and meet with important legislators who work with the mortgage and banking industries. We also have good relations with the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions.
At the federal level, a number of us represent the association at the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) National Advocacy Conference where we meet with federal legislators in Washington, D.C.
What has been your most significant accomplishment within the association?
Supervising the merger between the Seattle Mortgage Bankers Association and the Washington Mortgage Lenders Association required a lot of support from both organizations. It took a lot of effort to get those groups aligned, and we grew even stronger from the mortgage professionals in Washington State.
What is the synergy between WMBA and the national MBA?
Part of what we did in the merger was to become a member of the national Mortgage Bankers Association. That offered an additional benefit to our members and it gives us very close communications with the national MBA. We work pretty closely with them on anything happening with our local legislators. We may not always agree 100 percent, but we try to work with the MBA in representing the same positions on a national level, as well as a local level.
In your professional opinion, what can be done to bring more young people into mortgage careers?
There are not a lot of young people coming into the industry. What could help would be if more companies had programs in place to bring in entry-level people. It is difficult to get a job in mortgage banking, because the typical company wants people with experience, especially on the sales side. It is also difficult for people to earn a living while learning the business. That could be helped by a program where we bring on junior mortgage originators and maybe salaried positions to come in and learn the business.
What is the housing market like currently in the state of Washington?
We have a very strong housing market, led by good strong employment and growth. The challenge is a lack of inventory. It is harder to find a home and that drives home values up due to the lack of supply in the market.
Also, we are something of a seasonal market. The listings of homes are typically lower through the winter months, and then increases in the spring and summer months.
Phil Hall is managing editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@NMPMediaCorp.com.
Dart Appraisal has grown its panel of appraisers in Washington state by 15 percent since October 2016
Dart Appraisal has grown its panel of appraisers in Washington state by 15 percent since October 2016. Washington, and more specifically, greater Seattle, has been one of the most competitive real estate markets in the country for the past year.
“It’s no secret that Seattle has been, and remains today, an incredibly hot market,” said Michael Dresden, president of Dart Appraisal. “AMCs across the industry have been experiencing extended turn times for appraisal reports. To best serve our clients that are based or lend in the Pacific Northwest, we wanted to ensure we had the most robust appraiser panel available. That’s why we personally went into the market, to meet and get to know the appraisal professionals working in and around Seattle.”
The Michigan-based AMC hosted four networking events in Seattle, two in October 2016 and two more in January 2017. In-person appraiser recruiting is fairly uncommon in the AMC space, as most companies rely on electronic methods to build their appraiser panel. Dart Appraisal requires their panel appraisers to be state-licensed or certified and have completed at least 1,000 appraisals.
“We’ve spent 24 years developing our appraiser panel, and we place a strong emphasis on getting to know the appraisers we work with,” Dresden said. “By meeting local appraisers face to face, we were able to substantially grow our panel as well as have productive conversations about how we can best work together for the benefit of our lender clients.”

2017 WAMP Legislative Day is set for Wednesday, March 15th. 

Each year, WAMP members and constituents make our way to Olympia, Wash. to meet with lawmakers. YOUR PARTICIPATION is crucial toward reminding lawmakers that ANY and ALL legislation that affects housing, real estate, mortgage banking and loan originating in Washington State should be vetted by professionals in the industry ... if for no other reason than to avoid unintended consequences from otherwise well intended legislation.

Please GET ON THE BUS with WAMP on March 15, 2017!  

WAMP's chartered bus will pick you up at any one of the following Park & Rides the morning of March 15, providing you to and from transportation to the State Capitol:

►Seattle’s Ravenna Park & Ride at 7:00am
►Bellevue’s Wilburton Park & Ride at 7:45am
►Tacoma’s Lakewood Park & Ride at 9:00am

The WAMP Bus will begin its return from the Capitol at approximately 5:00pm. Continental Breakfast and Coffee will be served in Olympia upon your arrival on the WAMP Bus. A selection of Box Lunches will be available for all registered guests. This is an important annual event for our Washington State Trade Association.  Effective grass-roots mobilization gives us a powerful voice with lawmakers and allows us to positively influence our work environments, our careers, our entire industry.

For more information, click here or call WAMP at (206) 484-6442.

2017 WAMP Legislative Day


The 2017 WAMP Annual Meeting is set for Thursday, February 9 at 6:00 p.m. at The Foundry, 4130 1st Avenue South in Seattle, Wash. 

►Join WAMP for passed hors d’oeuvres & no-host cocktail reception with industry exhibitors

►Sumptuous dinner prepared by the award-winning Herban Feast Catering

►Legislative updates and meet your 2017 WAMP Board of Directors.

►A very special presentation: Thach Nguyen & Isaac Stegman professionally Coach Mortgage, Real Estate & industry related Professionals closing MILLIONS of Dollars a MONTH!  They have designed an exclusive FREE Coaching Session for all of our attendee’s, designed to INSPIRE YOUR BEST SELF and DISCOVER YOUR POTENTIAL in 2017!

Click here for more information or call (206) 484-6442.

Four of the nation’s 10 most competitive residential markets for 2016 are based in the Seattle metro area, according to a new data report from Redfin

Four of the nation’s 10 most competitive residential markets for 2016 are based in the Seattle metro area, according to a new data report from Redfin.

In reaching its year-end conclusion, Redfin analyzed neighborhoods in 27 metro areas, with a particular focus given to median days on market, the average sale-to-list price ratio and home price growth. Redfin also noted the percentages of homes that sold for all cash and that sold for more than their asking price in determining competitiveness.

The most competitive neighborhood this year, as determined by Redfin’s standards, was the Factoria section of Bellevue, in the Seattle metro area, while the city’s University District placed second. A pair of Boston-area neighborhoods (Washington Square in Brookline and Prospect Hill in Sommerville) ranked third and fourth, while two San Francisco-area neighborhoods (Inner Richmond and Dolores Height) followed in fifth and sixth place. Rounding out the top 10 were another Bellevue community (Woodridge), Lakeside in the Wheat Ridge section of the Denver metro area, the West Adams area in Los Angeles and the Brickyard Road-Queensgate section of Bothell in Seattle’s metro area.

“What’s driving the competition?” said Keena Bean, a press spokesperson for Redfin. “Continuously low inventory is one key factor. A six-month supply of homes for sale signals a balanced market between buyers and sellers, but home supply in most metros featured in the top 30 hovered near one or two months throughout the year.”

Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) continues to grow its footprint in the state of Nevada with the opening of its third branch located in Las Vegas

Primary Residential Mortgage Inc. (PRMI) has announced the opening of a new branch in Vancouver, Wash. This new branch brings industry veteran Deanna McClelland (pictured right) and her team, including Andrea Estrada and Jordan Lipinski.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our presence in Washington,” said Mike Liane, PRMI’s division manager. “Our goal at PRMI is to help our neighbors finance their dream of homeownership through a positive and personal experience.”

McClelland comes to PRMI with 29 years in the industry and before joining PRMI, she was a loan consultant at Guild Mortgage Company. Deanna will lead the new branch along with Mike Liane, division manager and EJ Liane, business development manager.

“Being in the industry since 1988 has given me an appreciation of our basic mission as lenders ... help people first. My team and I are excited to be a part of a company that values each individual and their unique situation. Our focus is on the needs of our partners and consumers, not monthly sales goals. If you do the right thing first, the rest will fall in place.”

The WAMP 2016 Holiday Luncheon will be held Thursday, Dec. 1 at Emory's on Silver Lake, located at 11830 19th Ave SE in Everett, Wash. The event will feature NAMB Presdient Fred Kreger delivering his presentation, "How the National Association of Mortgage Professionals is working for YOU in 2017!" 

For more information, call (206) 484-6442 or visit MyWAMP.org.

The Agency Group for WFG National Title Insurance Company (WFG) has named Ned Livornese as assistant vice president, underwriter/account manager for the company’s Chesapeake Region

WFG National Title Company of Clark County WA LLC, d/b/a WFG National Title, a Williston Financial Group company, has acquired the business of Vancouver, Wash.-based Columbia Title Agency through an acquisition of all Columbia Title’s assets. WFG has also announced that it has proudly hired all employees from Columbia Title at the time of the acquisition.

Columbia Title’s team and business come into the WFG family with two existing office locations in Vancouver, Wash. According to WFG Chairman and CEO Patrick Stone, the move “is a natural progression of WFG’s growth in the Northwestern states. We have seen tremendous success in this market, especially with our local direct operations. Columbia Title, which has a long history of client focus and service, is a powerful match with WFG’s operations.”

Dennis Gish, county manager, formerly of Columbia Title, will manage the two Vancouver offices.

“We look forward to operating under the WFG culture,” said Gish. “We’ve also operated under the philosophy that absolutely nothing comes before the client. So, we expect our existing customers will continue to enjoy superior service as well as benefiting from an influx of client-focused resources that comes from working with one of the nation’s leading underwriters.”

The Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP) has named the finalists of its 2016 WAMP Business & Humanitarian Leadership Awards. The Recipients of the 2016 WAMP Awards will be announced live Thursday, Oct. 13 at the ORCA Ballroom-Tulalip Resort & Casino, 10200 Quil Ceda Boulevard in Tulalip, Wash.

Outstanding Title/Escrow Professional
Bonnie Buffington
Christy Bunich
Marta Drobyn
Deidre Hays
Kelly Keller
Mike McCarthy
Terry Sarver

Outstanding “Rookie” of the Year
Garret Foss
Amanda Hovde
Rio Ingram

Outstanding Account Executive
Judy Debellis (2015 nominee)
Mary Irwin
Sharon Knowles
Kelcey Myers (2015 nominee)
Laura Pozzi
Julie Tangermann

Outstanding Licensed Loan Originator
Wendy Charles (2015 nominee)
Keli Carr
Kathy Nagie
Rick Robertson

Outstanding Real Estate Professional
Sam DeBord (2015 nominee)
Steve & Mike Hurter (2014 Award Recipient)
John Kritsonis & Karl Lindor
Lynn Robertson (2013 Nominee)
Eric Robison (2012 Award Recipient)

Outstanding Media Professional
Sarah Beehler
Ryan Hills (2014 Award Recipient)

“Jane Jones Award” for Outstanding Female Mortgage Pro
Sarah Monzo
Kristine Moreland (2015 Award Recipient)
Carol Pope

“Jim Fitzgerald Award” for Outstanding Male Mortgage Pro
Mike Burns
Jordan Flowers
Michael Fornerette
Mark Hanna
Jeff Jensen
Robert Lipston (2014 Award Recipient)
Autumn Van Rooy (two 2016 Nominations)
Craig Walker

Outstanding Title/Escrow Company
Fidelity National Title (2015 Nominee/2014 Award Recipient)
First American Title Corp. (2015 & 2012 Award Recipient)
NexTitle (2015 & 2014 Nominee/2013 Award Recipient)
WFG National Title Company (2015, 2014 & 2013 Nominee)

Outstanding Affiliate Company
Alliance 2020 (2014 Award Recipient/2015 Nominee)
American Reporting Company (2015 Award Recipient)
Kidworth & Associates
Secure Show (2014 & 2015 Nominee)

Outstanding Media Company
Card Tapp (2014 Award Recipient/2015 Nominee)
RE Source (2013, 2014 & 2015 Nominee)
Scotsman Guide (2015 Award Recipient)

Outstanding Real Estate Branch or Team
John L Scott, Bothell
Keller-Williams, Seattle (2014 Award Recipient)

Outstanding Wholesale Mortgage Company
NYCB Mortgage Banking (2013 Award Recipient/2014 & 2015 Nominee))
Plaza Home Mortgage
USA Direct Funding (2014 Award Recipient/2015 Nominee)

Outstanding Retail Mortgage Company
Absolute Mortgage (2015 Award Recipient)
American Pacific Mortgage (2013, 2014 & 2015 Nominee)
Eagle Home Mortgage
Directors Mortgage
Gateway Mortgage Group
Guild Mortgage Company (2015 Nominee)
Opes Advisors (2015 Nominee)
Washington First Mortgage Loan Corporation (2013, 2014 & 2015 Nominees)