Washington

Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP)
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP). National Mortgage Professional Magazine recently spoke with Scott regarding his work with this trade group.
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP) 
How did you first become involved with WAMP?
Philanthropic services, paying it forward, and volunteering are a part of my core characteristics since I was a kid. I’m always seeking an opportunity to serve. Our corporate office in northern California was building out the Seattle market.
 
Why would a mortgage professional in your state want to join WAMP?
We are their voice in Olympia and in Washington, D.C. We also offer continuing education annually to all originators. If their companies are corporate annual partners, that continuing education comes to their originators for free.
 
We also offer real-time value throughout the year in blowing up their business: Time management, business planning, true sales skills and leadership training. I don’t believe we get true leadership education in schools. We need leadership and knowing how to lead with care and candor. We recently launched the WAMP Leadership Institute, which has tracks to help mortgage professionals gain real life skills in how to grow themselves. That is a value-added to our membership.
 
What role has WAMP played in the legislative process?
Right now, the state legislature is in recess. But we had a very successful year in killing some potential legislation that would have increased the property tax from the current set schedule of one percent to a proposed five percent. That would have taken the young out of the market and potentially decimated the elderly by forcing them to sell their houses because they could not continue to pay property tax.
 
On a national level, we have a bit of an appraisal crisis on our hands. By placing a four-year college degree requirement on appraisers, we could have quite a deficit in that profession. We were able to extract that from the requirement.
 
Scott St. John is Vice President of Production and Branch Development at American Pacific Mortgage and President of the Washington Association of Mortgage Professionals (WAMP)What is WAMP’s relationship with NAMB?
It’s healthy and has a regained focus. That was part of my mission for 2017. We had a much stronger bond several years ago, but some leadership on our board made a departure from that. I worked to bring back a more united front.
 
You’ve been in the mortgage industry for 37 years. What do you see as your most significant career accomplishments?
In the first half of my career, I had “Empire-it is” … it was all about me. The back half of my career was all about giving back—I coach and mentor young Loan Originators. I’m passionate about homeownership in America, but I also feel all we really own is our time. I see two choices: Squander or invest, and I choose to invest.
 
You mentioned mentoring young originators. Do you see more young people coming into the mortgage profession?
Yes, I do. They are looking at all different careers out there, and they are finding the barrier to entry in real estate and origination is really quite low: An NMLS license. This career also offers income that rivals some of the most prestigious in the country.
 
I tell young people that they should focus on “career” and not on a “job,” because that’s only an acronym for “Just Over Broke.”
 
What is the state of your local housing market?
Seattle is one of the fastest-growing markets in the country. We’re growing up, not out, because we have urban growth boundaries. The building crane is our new state bird!
Phil Hall is Managing Editor of National Mortgage Professional Magazine. He may be reached by e-mail at PhilH@MortgageNewsNetwork.com.

 
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced that the city will allocate a record level of $100 million in affordable-housing projects in the coming year
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced that the city will allocate a record level of $100 million in affordable-housing projects in the coming year, including 26 homes for first-time homebuyers plus nine new apartment buildings.
 
According to a Seattle Times report, the nine new multifamily developments will total 896 apartments, while two “affordable-homeownership sites” will be used for the construction of the new 26 homes. The funding also will help to maintain four existing apartment buildings with a total of 535 unites.
 
The money is being annually by the city’s Office of Housing to non-profit organizations, and rents and home prices will be aimed at households earning less than the area’s median incomes.  The allocation is more than twice the $51.1 million invested by the city last year and it surpasses the previous record of $67 million set in 2015.

 
One of the nation’s most expensive housing markets is the focus of a new plan that would encourage new construction focused on affordability
One of the nation’s most expensive housing markets is the focus of a new plan that would encourage new construction focused on affordability.
 
According to a Seattle Times report, Mayor Tim Burgess has previewed a plan that was first begun by his predecessor Ed Murray. Under this endeavor, the city would give the greenlight for denser construction and taller buildings in 27 so-called urban villages, which are neighborhood nodes designated since the 1990s to accommodate the majority of Seattle’s expansion. The mayor’s plan would also rewrite zoning mandates in the urban villages to allow a wider variety of housing options, such as cottages, row homes and small apartment buildings. The proposal also includes zoning changes with requirements for developers to build low-income housing as part of their projects or pay fees to finance municipal efforts to create affordable housing elsewhere.
 
“There is a housing crisis in our city,” Burgess said in a press conference. “I don’t know anyone who disagrees with the desire to create more affordable housing.”
 
The introduction of the plan is one of Burgess’ last major policy announcements. Jenny Durkan, who was elected mayor on Tuesday, will be sworn in Nov. 28. Burgess said Durkan supported the plan.

 
Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan has announced that the city will allocate a record level of $100 million in affordable-housing projects in the coming year
The latest “Emerging Trends in Real Estate” study put out annually by PwC and the Urban Land Institute is predicting that Seattle will be the hottest real estate market in 2018.
 
The new study is based on a survey of 1,600 property owners, developers, investors, lenders and real estate industry professionals. Seattle, which placed fourth in last year’s report, was cited for its fast-growing population and a youthful, educated workforce, coupled with a high quality of life environment. However, the report noted that the housing market could be less challenging, as the city ranked 10th in homebuilding prospects for the coming year.
 
The other top markets ranked in the survey as among the hottest for 2018 are Austin, Salt Lake City, Raleigh-Durham, Dallas-Fort Worth, Fort Lauderdale, Fla., Los Angeles, San Jose, Nashville and Boston. However, the report warned that income inequality could pose significant challenges to all real estate sectors and the wider economy.
 
“If a so-called black swan is out there, it could be less in overheating than in unraveling,” the report said. “The long-term strength of the U.S. economy has been in the stability and growth in middle incomes. Upward mobility in both the blue-collar and white-collar sectors has fueled housing demand, consumer spending, and even office sector growth … The three-decade-long exacerbation of income inequality, wage stagnation, and regional economic disparities threatens the breadth of the demand drivers across the economy, and for real estate as well.” 

 
WAMP CAMP 2017, The Un-Conference for Real Estate & Mortgage Professionals, will be held Wednesday, Aug. 9 at the Seattle Center Armory Loft Meeting Rooms (formerly the Seattle Center House), 305 Harrison Street, 2nd Floor in Seattle.
 
At WAMP CAMP, each meeting room will include a professional Coach/Facilitator.  YOU and all other attendees will choose the topics you want to discuss. Those topics with the most votes will be designated a room and a time ... with the exception of the ALL-STAR room, which will feature four back to back nationally renowned speakers with specific topics (we’ll be announcing these later). We’ll post the “YOU Choose” Topics & Meeting times LIVE at the event (so folks can register and choose right up until the event starts). You can sample many topics in any given hour, or stay in one discussion that’s of particular interest.
 
Click here for more information and to register or call WAMP at (206) 484-6442.

 
Evergreen Home Loans has announced that it was named the “Best Large Company to Work For,” and one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” in Washington State by Seattle Business Magazine
Evergreen Home Loans has announced that it was named the “Best Large Company to Work For,” and one of the “100 Best Companies to Work For,” in Washington State by Seattle Business Magazine.
 
The designation was announced at an awards dinner hosted by Seattle Business at the Washington State Convention Center in Seattle. The companies on the list were selected based on employee feedback through extensive confidential surveys. This year marks four straight designations to the Best Companies to Work For list for Evergreen Home Loans.
 
“We recently celebrated our 30-year anniversary at Evergreen Home Loans, so it’s very special for us to add the designation as the best large company to work for in Washington state to this historic year for the company,” said Don Burton, President of Evergreen Home Loans. “At Evergreen, we empower our associates to know they have the runway to succeed and grow. Helping people find home and helping our associates feel highly valued are equally important to us. We believe that collective acts of kindness make this a great place to work and an even greater place for our customers to find home financing.”
 
Evergreen Home Loans began with five employees in West Seattle in 1987 and has grown to more than 758 associates at 56 locations, serving seven states.

 
WMBA Presents the 2017 Mortgage Bankers Golf Classic, Wednesday, July 12 at the Washington National Golf Club, 14330 SE Husky Way in Auburn, Wash.
 
Click here for more information, call (206) 622-8425 or e-mail wmba@qwestoffice.net.

 
WMBA's Auction & Dinner Meeting will be held Friday, May 19 at the Woodmark Hotel & Still Spa, 1200 Carillon Point in Kirkland, Wash. This will be a “Brazilian Carnaval” themed evening to raise money for the WMBA and Attain Housing. It’ll be a fun-filled evening with dinner, cocktails, carnival games, live auction and a paddle raise for Attain House.
 
Click here for more information, call (206) 622 8425 or e-mail wmba@qwestoffice.net.

 
The Washington Mortgage Bankers Association Past Presidents Night will be held Tuesday, April 18 at the Woodmark Hotel, 1200 Carillon Point in Kirkland, Wash. Past Presidents Night is when WMBA takes the time to honor the association’s past presidents and their many contributions to their long-standing success.
 
WMBA is excited to welcome Mike Flood of the Seattle Seahawks. Mike is the VP of Community Relations and will be sharing some of the awesome work the Seahawks do for our community. He’ll also be sharing various business and marketing opportunities the organization is affiliated with and how we can potentially partner with individually or with our respective companies.
 
In addition, WMBA just received confirmation that Seahawk’s legend, Jordan Babineaux will be joining them! WMBA will be donating $500 to Jordan’s charity of choice for his attendance.
 
Click here for more information or call (206) 622-8425 or e-mail wmba@qwestoffice.net.