Real Estate Information Archive


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The Role Of The Title Company

by Mark Rieger, Duke Warner Realty

A title company, sometimes known as an escrow company, has several essential responsibilities in the real estate transaction process. The title company is a neutral third party that performs the following duties:

  • Provides documents pertaining to the real estate transaction including the purchase contract and addendums;
  • Puts together an abstract of the property that explains in detail the location of the property, past owners, any existing property taxes owed, liens, and any other known issues on the property;
  • Maintains relationship with the mortgage lender, real estate agent, and attorney(s), to obtain the documentation necessary for closing the transaction;
  • Provides title insurance;
  • Handles financial transactions from all parties;
  • Ensures that all documents are signed by both parties at closing; and
  • Files the appropriate paperwork with the court.

In a standard sale, the use of a specific title company or escrow officer is negotiable between the homebuyer and seller and must be stated in the purchase contract. You want to look for a reputable title company that you can trust. Your real estate agent is a great resource for finding an experienced and trustworthy title company or escrow agent that will work with your best interest in mind.

Please give me call if you or someone you know is looking to either Buy or Sell real estate in Central Oregon. I am happy to help! Mark Rieger (541) 480-7441.

FHA Loan Application Process

by Mark Rieger, Duke Warner Realty


According to the Federal Housing Administration, the FHA provides mortgage insurance on loans made by FHA-approved lenders. FHA insures these loans on single family and multi-family homes in the United States.

Completing the application is the beginning of the loan process. With the assistance of a mortgage lender, you will complete the application and provide all necessary documentation.

Before applying for an FHA loan, you will need to gather the following information to provide to your lender:

  • Address to any place of residence you've occupied in the past two years;
  • Social Security numbers / copy of your social security card;
  • Copy of your driver's license;
  • Names and locations of your employers for the past two years;
  • Gross monthly salary at your current job(s);
  • Most recent three months complete bank statement for all checking and savings accounts;
  • Pertinent information for all retirement, 401K, mutual funds, money market, stocks, etc.;
  • Pertinent information for all open loans;
  • Complete information for other real estate you own;
  • Approximate value of all personal property;
  • Certificate of Eligibility and DD-214 (for veterans only);
  • Most recent pay stubs covering a one-month period;
  • Most recent two years W-2s, 1099s, etc.;
  • Personal tax returns from the past two years; and
  • Current income statement and business balance sheet for self-employed individuals.

Additional documents may be needed upon review of your file and on a case-by-case scenario, but having all the above-referenced documents available prior to filling out your application will make the loan application process go more smoothly and quickly.

Is That Free Credit Report Really Free?

by Mark Rieger, Duke Warner Realty

If you're anything like me, you'll occasionally catch yourself singing those jingles and chuckling to yourself about how catchy and clever they are. But is the credit report you get from, or similar sites, really free? 

Many of these sites offer some free credit information, like a report or score, then bait you into eventually paying for a monthly credit-monitoring package.

The majority of the "free" credit report sites require you to enter your credit/debit card information prior to them sending your report. If you want the monitoring service, you might think the automatic monthly charge is worth it. If you don't want the service, and you're disciplined enough to cancel it before you get charged, then go for it. Otherwise, you might want to reconsider ordering your credit report from one of these sites.

There is, however, one site that allows you to pull your credit report for absolutely free - no catch and no credit card necessary. is the only official site you can obtain your credit report for free every 12 months. The FTC states that this site is the "ONLY authorized source to get your free annual credit report under federal law." Your report includes data from Experian, Equifax, and TransUnion. They don't provide you with your FICO score without a small fee, however.

If you want your credit score for free, does actually provide a 100% free credit score. They claim the score they provide is the "TransRisk New Account Score provided by TransUnion. This risk score represents your likelihood of delinquency or non-payment of credit obligations. This score is based on information in your TransUnion credit report and ranges from 300 to 850." It's also just a soft inquiry on your credit report that will not affect your score.

There is another way to obtain a free credit report. According to the FTC, under federal law, you're entitled to a free report if a company takes adverse action against you such as denying your application for credit, insurance, or employment, and you ask for your report within 60 days of receiving notice of the action. You're also entitled to one free report a year if you're unemployed and plan to look for a job within 60 days, if you're on welfare, or if your report is inaccurate because of fraud, including identity theft.

To Buy a copy of your report, contact:

If you have any questions, or if you or someone you know is looking to either Buy or Sell real estate in Central Oregon, please let me know. I'll be happy to help!

Displaying blog entries 1-3 of 3