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Do sellers have to disclose a death or haunting?

Half of us knock on wood, wish upon a star, and won’t open an umbrella inside. We’re superstitious. And a home with murder, death, and ghosts are definitely bad feng shui. But how do you know if a house you’re considering buying has had any of those spooky occurrences? What does the seller have to disclose?

A peaceful death in the house

It’s usually not necessary for a seller to disclose a peaceful death unless the buyer asks. Keep in mind that a vast majority of us (80%) hope to die at home. So it’s not always a bad thing to have someone have died in the house. A peaceful death in a home is fairly common (20% of people die at home) and not something most states require a homeowner to disclose. California, South Dakota, and Alaska are a little different though. In these states, they do have to disclose it if it happened within the past three years. Everywhere, however, some types of death (such as by AIDS) cannot be disclosed.

If the death was directly related to the house, as example, if someone was killed by falling down the basement stairs because there was no railing, almost every state will require it to be disclosed (even after the safety issue was corrected).

Violent death in the house

Murders and suicides are a different story. Most people don’t want to build a life where tragic things happened. In the case of a violent death, the property is considered stigmatized. Like a physical defect such as water or fire damage, a violent death is something that can affect the home’s value. Sellers in many states are required to disclose the events.

See what must be disclosed in your state: nolo.com/state-seller-disclosure-requirements

Ghost in the house

If a home is known to be haunted – either in the community or nationally, it’s treated differently than if the homeowner only feels like it’s haunted. Famously haunted houses are stigmatized and its value and potential to sell is impaired. These types of hauntings should be disclosed. If an owner has seen a few strange things during their time in the house, but it has never been officially documented, they’ll probably keep this knowledge to themselves.

What can you do?

In general, the rule is “buyer beware” when looking to purchase a property. Do your own research. Ask questions. And talk with your real estate professional if you have any concerns. Companies like diedinhouse.com can even provide you with a report on deaths, drug activity, fires, and other information you may want to know before you buy.

If you have any questions about getting a loan for a spooky property, talk to your local Mann Mortgage loan professional. They live in your community and can help you find the neighborhood with the best Halloween parties. Find your local loan officer: mannmortgage.com/find-a-loan-officer.

Members of latest Champions Club announced

Mann Mortgage announced the winners of its annual loan officer awards program, the Champions Club. Membership in the club is based on how many loans the individual has closed in their communities over the year. This year’s winners come from offices across the United States and represent the best of the best.

“These men and women have done an incredible job. They’re all small hometown lenders and they’re working directly with borrowers. They’re creating personal connections and really getting to know each borrower so they can suggest the right loan product for their needs,” says Cassidy O’Sullivan, chief strategy officer.

Award recipients are broken into two categories. Champions Club and ChairMANNs Elite.

Champions Club members are our top 20% of performer. This year, they are:

  • Tony Reynolds of Kalispell, Montana
  • Bernie Dittenhofer of Hood River, Oregon
  • Betsy Rispens of Helena, Montana
  • Brady Angelos of Allied Mortgage Resources in La Grande, Oregon
  • Brody O’Connor of Homeseed Home Loans in Bellevue, Washington
  • Chad Cole of Missoula-South, Montana
  • Christa Nadeau of corporate loans
  • Colin Myers of Monument Home Loans in Arlington, Virginia
  • Cory Henderson of Reno, Nevada
  • David Dohman of Wet Lynn/Lake Oswego, Oregon
  • Davis Kempton of Silver City, New Mexico
  • Doug Olson of Kailua, Hawaii
  • Jake Van Cleave of Redmond, Oregon
  • Jennifer Bunton of Great Falls, Montana
  • Jodi Krause of Life Mortgage in Longview, Washington
  • Jonathan Hughes of Lewiston, Idaho
  • Juan Baltazar of Homeseed Home Loans in Bellevue, Washington
  • Justin Blodgett of Missoula, Montana
  • Keith Valentine of Kalispell, Montana
  • Lara Hawkinson of Clatskanie, Oregon
  • Matthew Brown of Eugene, Oregon
  • Matthew Fleming of Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Michelle Fiala of Allied Mortgage Resources in Baker City, Oregon
  • Mike Hogan of Chimney Rock Mortgage in Spokane, Washington
  • Mike Yutzy of Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Narda Lopez of Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Salvatore Viti of Las Vegas, Nevada
  • Sarah Bender of Homeseed Home Loans in Bellevue, Washington
  • Shane McChesney of Kalispell, Montana
  • Steve Thurston of Great Falls, Montana
  • Tanya Torres of Eugene, Oregon
  • Toby Gilchrist of Whitefish, Montana
  • Valerie Mills-Smith of Allied Mortgage Resources in La Grande, Oregon
  • Vickie Tuskan of Virginia, Minnesota

And the ChairMANN’S Elite winners, who represent the top 5% of our loan officers:

  • Angelina Rice of Life Mortgage in Longview, Washington
  • Carolyn Cole of Polson, Montana
  • Chris De Leon of Homeseed Home Loans in Bellevue, Washington
  • Corey Hill of Helena, Montana
  • David VanScoyk of Safford, Arizona
  • Deb Criddle of Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Isaac Morris of Stafford, Arizona
  • Julie Lapham of Missoula, Montana
  • Mike Flores of Low Cost Mortgage in Colorado Springs, Colorado
  • Rob Fleming of Missoula, Montana
  • Robert Martinson of Monument Home Loans in Arlington, Virginia
  • Ru Toyama of Monument Home Loans in Arlington, Virginia
  • Ryan Howard of Las Vegas, Nevada

Congratulations to this year’s winners. Each receives travel, lodging, and meals for themselves and a guest at the next award ceremony location in addition to a selection of other perks.

Join Mann Mortgage’s award-winning team. See job opening at mannmortgage.com/careers.

Is your house haunted or needing repairs?

The first step in determining whether your house is haunted is trying to debunk what’s happening. Older homes, failing appliances, and living pests are sometimes to blame for odd occurrences. Start by looking into the most common home issues that are mistaken for hauntings.

Easy to debunk

Doors slamming shut
Check for drafts. Try opening and closing a few doors and windows to see whether they create a breeze or pressure that can open your doors. You should also grab a level to check whether your home is off a few degrees. It’s possible gravity is pulling your doors shut. For windows, check to make sure they’re being held open securely.

Knocking on walls
A lot of older homes have plumbing or heating elements that make noise. Pay attention to when the knocking begins – is it right after a toilet is flushed or the heater kicks on? You can also contact an exterminator to look for mice, raccoons, or other animal infestations. They might be responsible for noises as they walk through your home or get stuck in your walls.

Strange smells
If you smell something odd in your house, stop and take a moment to figure out where it’s coming from. As a human, you’ve got a better sense of smell then you likely realize. You can recognize thousands of smells, even when they’re practically imperceivable. Dead rodents, old food, outdoor smell, even scents left by previous homeowners can make their way into your nose. If you smell something odd, pause, breathe deep, and try to follow the scent to its source.

Objects falling from shelves or walls
Like doors slamming shut, this might be due to a breeze. Check for open windows and try closing and opening doors in the room where the object was location to see if it creates airflow that might knock the object down. Vibrations could also be to blame. Do large trucks regularly pass by your house? Sometimes even heavy footsteps can be enough to jolt an object.

Harder to debunk

Dark shadow forms
This one is a little harder to blame on common household problems. If you see an odd shadow, remain calm and investigate where you saw the shape. Perhaps there’s an old water stain on the wall or shadow being cast by a car’s headlights outside.

A weird feeling
Check for carbon monoxide in your home. It’s a colorless and odorless gas produced through burning wood, propane, and other fuels. Being poisoned by it often has symptoms we’d associate with a classic haunted house: headaches, paranoia, a sense of dread, weakness, confusion, and more. Make sure to check your carbon monoxide detectors are working or ask a professional to check for leaks.

Learn more about carbon monoxide and its impact on you: cpsc.gov//carbon-monoxide/carbon-monoxide-fact-sheet

A house in disarray
If you come home or wake up to a house that’s been ransacked – cabinets opened, contents spilled, chairs upturned, install a camera. Your pet or an animal intruder may be causing the mess, but it’s more likely a human doing it. Sleepwalkers or intruders may be to blame and catching them on camera is your best way to know for sure. Set up a camera to see whether you can catch the disruptor.

Next steps

If your house needs improvements more than it needs a ghost hunter, Mann Mortgage may be able to help. Your local loan officer can go over your options for a cash-out refinance or other way to get funds to make needed repairs.

Find your local Mann Mortgage loan officer: mannmortgage.com/find-a-loan-officer/

If you can’t debunk the weird things happening in your home, share your experiences with your roommates or family members. A Newsweek poll shows 45% of Americans believe in ghosts, so you’ve got a good chance they will take your experiences seriously.

Mann Mortgage again named a Top Mortgage Workplace by MPA

Mann Mortgage has again been recognized for its extraordinary work culture, earning a spot on the Mortgage Professionals America (MPA) 2021 Top Mortgage Workplace list. This is the third year in a row the hometown lender has joined the handful of distinguished mortgage companies from around the country.

“Our employees are what make this an incredible place to work. They’re the heart and soul of the Mann family,” says Mann Mortgage’s CEO, Jason Mann. “They are excelling at both helping people in their community find a great mortgage and making Mann Mortgage a healthy and fun workplace.”

To receive the award, Mann Mortgage had to provide MPA compelling data on their compensation, benefits, initiatives, diversity, and workplace culture. In addition, employees were asked to complete an anonymous survey to see how they felt about their opportunities and experience at Mann Mortgage. Only the mortgage workplaces where the company provides great benefits and initiatives and the employees give the culture high-marks will win the award.

“It all comes down to our workplace culture,” says chief strategy officer, Cassidy O’Sullivan, of the win. “Instead of a top-down approach of management talking down to employees, we have an open dialogue. Loan officers can talk directly to upper management. It’s a win-win. Loan officers feel heard and management gets a pulse on what’s going on in the local markets.”

MPA uncovers the absolute best workplaces in mortgage for the annual Top Mortgage Employer report. All companies, from large national mortgage brokerages to local regional agencies, are encouraged to submit their application for the award. Winners are recognized based on the evaluation of metrics including their culture, benefits, employee development, and more – solidifying their standing as a mortgage employer of choice.

Over the past two years, Mann Mortgage has been ranked a best place to work by multiple national and regional organizations including #12 Best Place to Work by Outside magazine, #1 Top Workplace in Montana, a Top Workplace in the USA, a Top Workplace in Oregon, as well as numerous other awards.

For more information about joining the Mann Mortgage team visit our careers page.

Mann Mortgage’s James Hedvall named a 2021 Housing Industry Icon by MPA

MPA’s Housing Industry Icons report celebrates the professions who have moved the industry forward and improved the home-buying and lending processes on every level. For their inaugural year, 21 mortgage professionals and six mortgage technology professionals were given the award.

James Hedvall, chief capital markets officer at Mann Mortgage was one of the distinguished winners. With more than 18 years in the industry, James is a pro. His expertise is in secondary and capital markets and he’s worked across retail, wholesale, as well as correspondent lending – giving him an incredible amount of experience.

With great experience comes great advice. The mortgage industry can potentially be a lucrative career where hard work pays off, and James has some incredible insights on getting started, the future of the industry, and what makes a great place to work.

Getting into the mortgage industry

“The great thing about mortgage banking, in my opinion, is that the barrier to entry is relatively low; hard work and showing up every day gets noticed almost immediately,” he says.

James oversees the secondary marketing, servicing, and product development departments for Mann Mortgage. In this role, he establishes the analytics, strategies, and internal controls which allow the company to compete in an ever-changing mortgage environment

The key to success in the ever-changing industry? “Strive to become an expert in your area, and your career path is limitless,” he says.

Making a successful career

Looking back, James credits two bosses early in his career who took the time to teach him 90% of what he knows of secondary marketing. “I owe them a huge debt of gratitude,” he says.

And now, as a boss himself, James tries to pay-it-forward in his own department. He takes time to teach the “how” as well as the “why” of things they are doing as a department and as a company.

Looking ahead

Over the past 10 years, leveraging technology has allowed the industry to change for the better. From the way borrowers fill out an application, the way mortgage banks process loans, and how they are sold on the secondary market, innovative technology is a main driver. And all indications point toward this being a continuing trend for the next 10 years.

But James cautions not to forget the industry is still a relationship-based transaction on so many levels.
“Borrowers still desire the guidance of loan officers, loan officers still rely on knowing processors, underwriters, and who is funding their files. I doubt we’ll ever move away from that in any meaningful way,”

What makes for a good place to work?
To James, it all boils down to a few simple philosophies: treat everyone well and work with great people.

James saw something special at Mann Mortgage when he chose to join the team, and, years later, he’s still glad to be part of it. “Our president and CEO treats everyone who works here with compassion, respect, and integrity,” he says. “This isn’t a management style or technique, but it’s rather who they are as people. This permeates through our organization.”

He stresses that it’s the people that make coming to work fun most of the time, “I have a great department. It enjoy being a passenger on the pirate ship I helped create, and I look forward to what the future brings for this great company.”

Careers at Mann Mortgage
Mann Mortgage helps qualified borrowers fulfill the dream of home ownership. The company provides a highly personalized service to their customers – from finding the best financing option to answering questions during the loan approval process. Their goal is to make the loan experience as uncomplicated as possible. The company was voted the #12 Best Place to Work in 2020 by Outside magazine, 2021’s #1 Top Workplace in Montana the category of large employers by Lee Enterprises, a 2020 Top Mortgage Workplace by MPA, and many other awards.

Learn more about career opportunities and how to join the Mann Mortgage team.

What happens to my mortgage when I die

What happens to my mortgage when I die?

If you’re one of the 44% of Americans that has a mortgage, you may have wondered what would happen to your loan if you died. Let’s get into the details so you can rest in peace knowing what will take place.

First, a reminder about mortgage insurance
Mortgage insurance is an insurance policy that benefits your lender in case you, the borrower, default on your loan. If you die, and you had no co-signers on your loan to assume the debt or heirs who wish to take it over, your lender would reach out to the mortgage insurance company to make a claim towards recouping the remaining balance on your loan. Your home would also be put into foreclosure.

Now, let’s go over what might happen with your mortgage.

Option 1: Your heirs take over your mortgage
If you die before fully paying back your mortgage, your heirs can assume your mortgage if they choose to. Under federal law, lenders must allow family members the choice of taking over a mortgage when they inherit residential property. The lender can’t investigate whether they can repay the loan. The heir can either keep the loan in your name and pay on your behalf or refinance the loan to have it in their own name.

Option 2: Your estate pays off your mortgage
You can write in your will that other assets in your estate will be sold to pay off your mortgage. If there are enough funds to pay off your mortgage, the home can either be sold and the funds divided among your heirs, or one of your heirs can take over the title of your home.

Option 3: Yours heirs sell the home
If the mortgage payments are too much for your heirs to assume, they can sell the home. If the lender agrees to it, the home can be sold through a short sale. That means the property is sold and the proceeds fall short of the mortgage debt. But after the sale, the lender is satisfied, and your heirs will not owe any additional money.

If a short sale is not possible, the loan will go into foreclosure and the house will be put for sale. Depending on the state where the home is located, your estate or heirs may be responsible for paying further money if the foreclosure sale does not fully satisfy the outstanding loan debt. However, the following states have an anti-deficiency law where this is prohibited: Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Iowa, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Washington, and Wisconsin. In those states, your lender cannot sue your heirs for the remaining mortgage debt after the sale of the home.

Option 4: Your reverse mortgage is paid off
A reverse mortgage loan comes due upon the death of the borrower. If you have no other co-borrower that is living, your heirs will have to make sure the loan is paid back. This can be done using money from the estate or by selling the home. If the home is sold, your heirs will inherit whatever equity is left after your lender is repaid.

Option 5: Your Home is Seized to Pay Other Debts
Depending on the state where your home is located, your home may need to be sold to pay your debts after your death. Your heirs may keep what is left after your debts are paid.

If you have any questions about your home loan, reach out to your local Mann Mortgage lender. If you’re nervous about paying off your home loan before you die, they can help you go over the pros and cons of refinancing for a shorter term.

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