Wednesday, July 13, 2011

How to get approved for a loan

Being approved for a mortgage is more difficult now than ever.
Even people with sound credit have been rejected for loans.
Lending standards for mortgages have tightened so considerably that "the bottom third of people who might have qualified for a prime mortgage a few years ago, cannot qualify today," Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke said recently.
Roughly one-in-four mortgage applicants was denied in 2010, up from about 18 percent in 2003, according to data from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council.
Those are just the ones that apply. Many potential borrowers are discouraged and don't even bother to apply.
There is money to lend, however.
According to a recent CNN article, Bob Ryan, the acting commissioner for HUD, said that mortgage money "is flowing, it's stable, it's tightened from the boom years, but it's there."
Many potential home buyers sitting on the sidelines are qualified as long as they take a few crucial steps.

Read the full article here:

-Ralph Bartholdt
Agent, Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene
(208) 582-1867

Rathdrum Prairie sunset

                Afternoon on the Rathdrum Prairie looking northwest from Huetter Road, Hayden, Idaho/Bartholdt

Summer on the prairie is crop time. From wheat, to mint and a variety of grasses grown for hay and the seed market, contracted farmers and landowners who have sown, grown and harvested crops here for generations, are at work.

This photo was taken here:,-116.852061&spn=0.013209,0.0421&t=f&z=15&ecpose=47.75347524,-116.85206115,3049.96,0,44.997,0

-Ralph Bartholdt
Agent, Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene
(208) 582-1867

The nuts and bolts of home buying

Are you planning to move to a new community, facing a lifestyle change or is buying an option, not a requirement?
What would you like in terms of real estate that you do not now have?
Do you have a purchasing time frame?
These are all questions you might ask yourself before you opt to buy or sell property. The more you know about the real estate marketplace, the more effectively you can define your goals.
Do you have the money?
Homes and financing are closely intertwined.
Recently, several innovative loan programs have evolved which require a 5 percent down payment or less. In fact, a number of programs now allow purchasers to buy real estate with nothing down.
In addition to a down payment, purchasers also need cash for closing costs (the final costs associated with closing the loan). Several newly emerging loan programs not only allow the purchase of a home with no money down, but also underwrite closing costs.
That’s beautiful, right? Yet, there is always another side to the equation. Less money down means higher monthly mortgage payments, so most home buyers choose to buy with some cash up front.
In a buyer’s market, it may be possible to negotiate an offer for a home that requires the owner to pay some or all of your settlement expenses. Speak with local REALTORS® for details.

For a more in depth look at home buying, go here:

-Ralph Bartholdt
Agent, Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene
(208) 582-1867

What to do this summer?

Only 30 minutes from Spokane International Airport and served by 65 non-stop daily flights, Coeur d'Alene is a destination that is easy to get to. Given the many recreation and entertainment opporunities in the Lake City and throughout Idaho's Panhandle, it is a difficult place to leave.
Coeur d’Alene and the surrounding area offers families a wide range of activities, some designed to stimulate the urban escapist who seeks extreme adventure, other activities bring family members together for a vacation filled with fun and relaxation. A variety of festivals, fairs, ferris wheels and evening fare bridge the spectrum from fun to elegant.

Here's a link:

-Ralph Bartholdt
Agent, Keller Williams Coeur d'Alene
(208) 582-1867

July powwow

An annual event, the Julyamsh Powwow, the largest outdoor powwow in the Pacific Northwest, is set July 22-24  at Post Falls. For three days, the powwow sponsored by the Coeur d'Alene Tribe, honors Indian culture with dances, songs, games, and is open to everyone.
Dancers wear regalia reflecting special events in a person´s life, traditions or symbols rooted in legend. Most of the symbols are handed down from generation to generation as family heirlooms.

For more information, directions and explanations go here

-Ralph Bartholdt
Agent, Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene
(208) 582-1867

So far this summer (2)

                                       Fourth of July parade Sherman and Lakeside in Coeur d'Alene/Bartholdt

Although Fourth of July weekend is made to fish brook trout in North Idaho's many tributaries (There are a lot of rivers and streams feeding the abundance of Panhandle lakes, including the two largest: Pend Oreille and Coeur d'Alene), there is also a lot going on in town.

The city's parade ambles down Sherman Ave. (it was a great day for it!), followed by festivities in the park and the region's best fireworks.

-Ralph Bartholdt
Agent, Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene
(208) 582-1867

So far this summer

The June 24 Ford Ironman Triathlon in CdA./Bartholdt

Throughout most of June we watched the rain, it's true. There were some nice days of course, and some landmark events in North Idaho worth mentioning despite the belated thumbs up.
Here's one:
Around the third weekend of June for the past several years, the Ford Ironman Coeur d’Alene Triathlon starts off with a two-loop, 2.4 mile swim in beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. The 112 mile bike course takes athletes through rural northern Idaho and the marathon run course, known for its spectator support, is the highlight of the race.
A multitude of volunteers support participants, including "pointers," such as this mom and 5-year-old (above) who made sure athletes took the right path to the finish line.


-Ralph Bartholdt
Agent, Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene
(208) 582-1867

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Lindsey and his lakers

North Idaho fishing guide Rich Lindsey and one of Priest Lake's ubiquitous lakers/Ralph Bartholdt

Rich Lindsey keeps a wire cutter in a pole holder in the back of his boat.
It's a pocket size cutter used to dislodge fouled fish hooks and snip tangled leaders.
Mostly, it's used to kill fish.
This is done with swift dexterity and a mantra.
The mackinaw - invariably the fish his clients hook are V-tailed lake trout - is held with one hand by its gill slits as clients admire its lines, size and verticulation. The other hand, the one grasping the implement makes one or two swift movements as the dull steel knot of the wire cutter thumps the fish between the eyes.
Lindsey, one of the Idaho Panhandle's premier fishing guides, a guy who has been at it longer than anyone in this land of woods and mountains that plunge into the gem-like lakes of prehistoric glacial gouges, has his own way of doing things.
"Welcome aboard," he lilts almost quietly to the fish whose fins extend like oriental fans with each thump. They quiver as their brain pan is irreparable jostled.
The fish are dropped into a box at the transom with a cutting board top and although Idaho Fish and Game allow anglers to keep six lake trout, Lindsey's boat limit is three apiece, which allows his clients enough of the meaty mackinaws to feed a family and ensures the lake keeps on giving.
"This lake has been generous to me," Lindsey says.
And his generosity is not only in giving clients a taste of North Idaho's Valhalla, but in making sure it stays fertile, at least from a fishery perspective.
As fishery programs in many northern Idaho lakes preclude any mention of mackinaw or lake trout, Priest Lake, up here in the northern reaches - so far north that it keeps the riff raff out as some residents like to proclaim - the name of the game is simple: Lambaste lakers.
And that's what Lindsey and his clients do.
My own preponderance with lake trout began as a kid on northern Minnesota's Lake Vermilion where I grew up.
I fished for bass mostly, and walleye during the full-moon nights of July and August. Muskie could be found in the spring and northern pike were caught in the evening pulling plugs off the rock ledges where they came to hunt.
Lake trout were an anomoly.
They hung deep, between 70 and 150 feet, out there in Big Bay, paddling their V-tails in the haunting water that was often white-capped and swollen with mystery.
I caught one as a 14-year-old, by accident, while fishing for walleye using a method my Uncle Jim taught as my line dangled into the depths and the waves slapped the side of my 14-foot Crestliner.
I was alone of course, summers in the North Country of Minnesota were made for learning about everything from jointed plugs and cotter keys, portages and pint-size beers to making outboard repairs in swelling seas.
And doing it solo.
These were not seas. Not like the kind I became familiar with much later, in Southeast Alaska, but to a teenage boy the whitecaps on Big Bay were sea enough.
The fish I pulled from the depths of that lake was speckled. Its eyes were not glazed like shop-window glass: The sign of a walleye.
This fish came up slowly like a walleye does. When it got to the net, however, it had the same spike teeth but a different feel altogether.
Lake Trout, I said and pulled it in for a better look.
I kept it longer than I usually did, back then. I looked it over hard and let it go.
This was catch and release before it was cool, an impetus that later earned me a biology degree. Aside from anything feathered or furred punched with bullets or BBs, I tossed it back.
My mother assailed me for this. In hindsight, I think the piscatorial patchwork I brought home was pan worthy enough and kept me in fishing licenses.
In some respects, Mr. Lindsey follows the same philosophy.
He tells of a 50-pound mack he caught while fishing alone and the trial of shooting a picture with his cell phone camera before letting the beast free to spawn again and hopefully, be hooked by one of his clients some time in the future.
"Those 50-pounders are heavy," he says.
The memories of releasing them, though, are light.
And just like a good mackinaw lake, they remain.
Even without a photo.

-Ralph Bartholdt
Agent, Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene
(208) 582-1867

Another version of this story can be found in the August issue of Northwest Sportsman Magazine or at