Don’t Throw your Money Away! Use the Referral From your Realtor


Do you like to throw your money away? If you are like me, I value my money and don't like throwing money away. Don't get me wrong, I do buy things once in a while that might be ridiculous, but at least I am making that choice.  When you pick a mortgage broker, because they are a friend or friend of a friend or they may be a big bank. This may be you are gambling with your money.  

Why do I bring this up, well this happens more than I would like. I have clients that come to me and they have a buddy that is a banker for a large bank and we have a real estate property that we are in contract with. It has a 45 day close.  The banker takes the information and the appraisal doesn't happen for 15 days, (what! 15 days for an appraisal) but the client is told by the banker everything is good and release the financing contingency. Done, Financing contingency is released, no contingencies left.  I tried to interject and emails would not come back to me form the banker, the banker was only responding to his client which is "our client". 5 days before the scheduled close, the client is rejected by underwriting, (What!) The banker said to his client (Suppose to be our client) he can work it out and needs another 5 days. We are now going to 50 days to close. Seller does not accept an extension, guess what, we are so close to the client loosing his earnest money. Why? Because of the buddies relationship with the banker. a large sum of money was on the table as far as the earnest money that was in jeopardy. After an exhausting day with multiple conversations with the listing broker, I was able to work out an extension with working with the listing agent and negotiating a deal. Today, the deal got done, but my gosh, none of us need to have this kind of stress.

What can be learned from this? Please use the referral from your Realtor. 

It is about getting the deal done for our clients, with the least amount of stress to the clients. Our clients need to feel special and that they are being taken care of. It's critical to provide them with updates with the current program and where they sit in the funding process.

This is what we do, getting the job done with the least amount of stress and provide updates and clear and open communication.

More stories to come.

If you need a referral or are looking for a property, contact Tom Fine.


Posted on January 25, 2014 at 6:59 am
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Buying a New Home, What Steps to Take?

Thinking of buying a home?

What are the first steps? What do you do?  

These steps below will get you started in the right direction.  The best thing to do is to engage with a professional Broker (Realtor) that you work wwell togetrher with. They will should have  aprocess that will make the home buying event easier and more fluid. 


The Beginning

First step is to check out mortgage brokers, to get Pre-Approved, research 2 or 3 to see what their rates are, such as Cobalt Mortgage or Cornerstone Home Lending

 To make a commitment wit the mortgage broker and get the pre-approval process in the works.

There is a difference between pre-approval and pre-qualified, here is the difference between the 2 of them.

Pre-qualified is a simple process of the mortgage broker asking simple question, such as income and debt and then you are pre qualified for  X amount.

Pre approval is more in depth financial information to determine what your purchasing power is.  Typically both require a credit check, yet the approval process will require you digging deeper into your financial world, break to the W-2’s, 401K docs, and investment paperwork, pay stubs.

Once your broker (Real Estate Agent) has the paperwork/letter stating what your purchasing power is, all may be in order with your finances if they are not, then you may need to pay a little or a lot of attention to fixing any issues that popped up during this process.

Now is the time to figure out what you are going to look for?

What areas you like, rate 1, 2 and 3rd

What schools area do you want to be in?

Public transportation? Is this important

Work, how close to work?

What style of home do you like? Contemporary, Modern, Tudor, Rambler?

What size of home?

How many floors, this goes with style of home

How many bedrooms? Size of rooms

How many bathrooms?  How extensive of bathroom finishes are you looking for?

Den/ library are they in your future?

Property, how much property are you looking for?

Kitchen, what are you looking for in a kitchen, simple, or extensive

Garage, 1,2 or 3 cars?

Living room, media rom?

There are so many things to think about when purchasing a home.

When looking for a home it’s important to enjoy the search and make it a good experience.

Fireplace/s  Gas or wood burning

Backyard amenities?

Are you looking for a basement, finished?


This is not my complete list, though it is fairly long and encompasses a lot of items.

I hope this helps you get pointed in the right direction.  Be smart and just because it has a nice paint or great paint colors doesn’t mean it’s a great house.  Use a very good home inspector; the home inspector should not be used to get a lower price but to get a very good idea of what the condition of the house is in and what repairs are needed.

If you have a great Broker (Realtor) then utilize them for their expertise and advice, a true Realtor will be worth all their money.

Good luck and enjoy your search.

Tom Fine

Fine Homes NW, Inc.

Windermere Real Estate Capitol Hill, Seattle




Posted on December 11, 2013 at 6:20 am
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Incredible Madrona Home Ready for New Owners


What Great Views and a Wonderful Home!

Come to Madrona, Don't forget to explore the tunnel to the garage. There are s may great features of this home, from the beautiful renovated home, the kitchen, bathrooms, the millwork, the comfortable living spaces and the basement area that has the exposed basement walls that give this home the warm characteristics and shows so well.

Perched high above the street with serene lake and mountain views sits this completely renovated traditional home. This 1926 Craftsman unites formal and informal living spaces to create the perfect home. Leaded glass windows, crown moldings , Batchelder tile mantles and built ins abound. 

Updates include a generous kitchen, 3 baths, a powder room, electrical, roof, sewer, heating and plumbing. 





Enjoy the patios, greenhouse, hot tub and mature landscaping. A well lit stair meanders to the rocking chair porch and the front door. There are three garages, one of which has an underground passage lead-ing to the house. A fantastic find just minutes to Lake Washington, downtown and the eastside . 



As you enter the front door and you look tot he right (Which is East) the great views from the main floor mesmerize you and as you walk up the wonderful stairway, they views don't stop.  Exploret he house, it's fabulous form basement to the top floor and on the nicely  presented grounds.




Contact me today to see this wonderfull piece of Seattle History.  No modern home can compare to this!


Tom Fine

Fine Homes NW, Inc.

Windermere Real Estate


Posted on October 5, 2013 at 10:17 pm
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Houses are Moving and We Just Closed on Another Great One and On-Time!

In this challenging market, finding a house is hard enough and then meeting all the criteria is another challenge and finally the sellers looking to close as soon as possible.

Another challenge was my client wanted to use a good friend of his that worked for one of the larger banks in the country, of course keeping those friendships tight, is big business and we all understand helping friends and families. The issues that came up was my client wanted to use his friend at the big bank ad we had multiple discussions on this and that it was critical to meet the requirements of the contract and close in 30 days or less.

The Big bank wanted 2-3 weeks to do the appraisal and could close in most likely 45 days. The kicker to switch my client over was when he heard me say he would loose the earnest money if we didn't close in 30 days or less, could his friend guarantee 30 days, No, he couldn't guarantee 45 days.

Thanks to Jackie Murphy and the group at Cobalt Mortgage, they put all the paperwork together in less than 30 days.

It's all about having a great team behind me that makes me shine. I am so happy to have them work with me to help families find a great home.

Let me and my team helps you buy a home or sell your current property.


Tom Fine, Broker





Posted on August 23, 2013 at 8:55 am
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