Home, Garden tour planned
Oklahoma City's Gatewood Historic District will have its 16th annual Home & Garden Tour from noon to 5 p.m. Oct. 28. Three historic homes, a contemporary studio apartment building and a commercial property will be open for touring: Wade Toalson's Prairie-style home at 1219 NW 20; Grace and Jaron Hill's Colonial Revival at 2000 NW 19; Crystal and Erica Clements' Craftsman bungalow at 1815 NW 19; Morgan and David Birdwell's 18th Street Studios (show above) at 1214 NW 18; and Lynn and Maggie Gooch's business, Chasin' Tail, a pet-related store.
Tickets are $10 in advance at 23rd Street Antique Mall, 3023 NW 23; Antique Avenue, 5219 N Western Ave.; Garden Gate Antiques, 1307 N May Ave.; Broadway Antique Mall, 114 S Broadway in Edmond; or by PayPal online at www.gatewoodokc.com. Tickets will be $12 at each home on tour day.
Arvest mortgages set record
Arvest Mortgage Co. has originated more than $2 billion in new mortgage loans so far in 2012, a level it has never before reached in a year's time, Arvest Bank said. The lender reached the $1 billion mark in June, the earliest in 10 years. Arvest Bank, based in Bentonville, Ark., operates 230 bank branches in Oklahoma, Arkansas, Missouri and Kansas. Record low mortgage rates have continued to spur refinancing, and a new, improved version of the federal government's Home Affordable Refinance Program — HARP — has helped many people refinance who could not afford to in years past, said Steven Plaisance, president and chief operating officer of Arvest Mortgage Co. In addition, he said, the purchase-money market is also showing improvement.
OHFA honors top 10 lenders
Oklahoma Housing Finance Agency presented its 2012 Diamond Awards to the top 10 producing lenders in its OHFA Advantage Homebuyer Program during a recent trustees meeting. Through OHFA Advantage, the agency works with mortgage lenders to provide assistance to qualified homebuyers. Borrowers receive a 30-year, fixed rate, low-interest loan with 3.5 percent down payment assistance. The loan rate recently was lowered to 3.5 percent. Under the program, those with a minimum credit score of 640 can purchase a home priced at $215,000 or less. In the past 12 months, the Diamond Award recipients together totaled 560 home closings and more than $55 million in mortgage loans in the OHFA Advantage program. The 2012 Diamond Award recipients were Arvest Bank, BancFirst, Bank of Oklahoma, Citywide Mortgage, Cornerstone Mortgage, First American Mortgage, First Mortgage Corp., First United Bank and Trust, Spirit Bank and WR Starkey Mortgage.