Loan limits affected by Kitsap County affiliation | Letters | Aug. 14
August 14, 2009 · 12:56 PM
It amazes me that our local congressman, Rep. Jay Inslee, has been remiss on getting our conventional mortgage loan limits up to par with Seattle and King County.
On Bainbridge – because of our affiliation with Kitsap County – conventional mortgage loans go up to a mere $475,000 compared to $567,500 in Seattle or Vashon Island (King County). This has really hurt real estate sales on our island. Above $475,000 all mortgage loans on Bainbridge are non-conforming loans at a higher interest rate. Sales of moderately priced homes of $600,000 or above have been most affected.
Bainbridge Island is intimately connected with Seattle and King County, unlike the rest of Kitsap County. Over 80 percent of our workers commute into Seattle for work. Our 206 area code is shared with King County, not 360 like the rest of Kitsap. Vashon Island is also a 206 area code but is in King County. Our mail is directly routed into Seattle – we are considered part of the Seattle mail stop.
And yet, because of the lack of action by our congressman, Vashon Island has higher loan limits than Bainbridge Island, which is more populated and where the real estate is higher priced.
If we want to revive real estate sales on this island, this discrepancy needs to be addressed – immediately.