About Marcie Geffner

Part English major, part MBA, Marcie Geffner is an award-winning freelance reporter, editor and writer. Marcie's work has been featured online and in print by The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Urban Land, Business Start-Ups, Bankrate.com, Fox Business Network Online and many other newspapers, magazines and websites. Her corporate website content clients have included Anthem/Blue Cross, American Express, J.P. Morgan Chase, LoanDepot.com, Credit Karma, Union Bank, People's Bank and Dun & Bradstreet.

In the last decade alone, Marcie has written more than one thousand published stories, educating and guiding readers through the real estate dot-com wars, housing boom, foreclosure crisis, Great Recession and economic recovery. She’s also written about celebrity Realtors, credit cards, computer security, health insurance, low-income housing, small business and many other subjects.

Marcie is fluent in Fed-speak, has attended news conferences with former HUD Secretary Shawn Donovan and real estate developer, now President-elect Donald Trump and has interviewed U.S Rep. Sonny Bono, Angelo Mozilo, former CEO of Countrywide Financial, and thousands of Realtors, mortgage lenders, financial planners, economists and bank executives.

Marcie's articles have been cited in seven published nonfiction books and two U.S. Congressional hearings. She is also a current nonfiction book reviewer for Publishers Weekly and member of the National Book Critics Circle.

The National Association of Real Estate Editors (NAREE) honored two of Marcie's stories: "How Builders Make New Homes More Spacious, Inside and Out," published online by NewHomeSource, and "House of the Future? It's a Honda," published with a shared byline by The Washington Post.

The Society of American Business Editors and Writers (SABEW) honored Marcie’s work as part of a team of reporters and editors at Bankrate with a "Best in Business" award for a story package that focused on the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.

Editors describe Marcie as “detail-driven,” “conscientious,” “smart,” “a wonderful writer,” “a delight to work with” and “incredibly versatile.” Her reporting has been lauded as “rock solid,” “spot-on relevant,” “informative,” “engaging,” “interesting,” “nuanced” and “of highest quality.”

Prior to her freelance career, Marcie was senior editor of California Real Estate magazine, a trade publication, and managing editor of Inman News, an independent real estate news website. During her years at the helm, Inman News was known for breaking real estate news and service journalism.

Marcie also has prior employment experience in technical writing, corporate communications and employee communications.

With a bachelor’s degree in English (magna cum laude) from UCLA and master’s degree in business administration (MBA) from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, Marcie has impressive academic credentials in both story-telling and business management. At UCLA, Marcie became a member of the prestigious Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society. 

Marcie has also completed a Certificate in Corporate Communications at Loyola Marymount University, a dozen intermediate and advanced novel-writing courses at the UCLA Extension Writers' Program and the 12-month Master Class in Novel Writing, also at UCLA Extension.

A second-generation native of Los Angeles, Marcie relocated in 2015 to Ventura, California, a surf city northwest of her hometown.

VA loan helps buyers purchase upscale homes

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

Most home mortgages have a so-called loan limit, which caps how much a homebuyer can borrow to purchase a home.
The VA loan is an exception.
Instead of a loan amount limit, the VA loan has a loan guaranty limit, says Michael Frueh, former director of the Loan Guaranty Service and current chief of staff at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, or VA, in Washington, D.C.
The difference has major implications for veteran borrowers who want to purchase a home with a VA loan and no down payment. Understanding these implications can mean big savings for some borrowers.
Read on:

Should you make a downpayment on a VA loan?

By Marcie Geffner - Bankrate

Many VA borrowers know that the VA home loan doesn't require a down payment.
Indeed, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, which guarantees this type of mortgage, is practically famous for its zero-down option, which opens the doors of homeownership to veterans, active-duty service members, surviving spouses and other VA-eligible buyers. Many VA borrowers have little or no cash to purchase their first home.
VA loans also don't require mortgage insurance, which is usually the case when you don't put down 20 percent.
Though a down payment isn't required for a VA loan, borrowers can still make one. Should they? Or is the no-money-down strategy so attractive that a down payment never makes sense?
Read on:

New cutting-edge home-building tech

By Marcie Geffner - NewHomeSource

Slowly but surely, new technologies like drones, virtual reality, 3-D laser scanning and 3-D printing are bound to make their way into the homebuilding process.

Tom Page, vice president of iStar, a community developer in Richmond, Va., and general manager of Magnolia Green, a residential community in Moseley, Va., already has a few bits of modern technology up his sleeve. He says he employed a drone to fly over a golf course he was building and take aerial photographs of it during construction. The images were then posted online so current and prospect community residents could monitor the process of the course.

Read on:

Mortgage rate and APR: What's the difference?

By Marcie Geffner - Credit Karma

Choosing the right mortgage can help you save money and feel more comfortable with your monthly housing expense. One thing you'll need to know when you shop for a mortgage is how to compare a mortgage interest rate and an annual percentage rate (APR).
A mortgage interest rate is a small percentage that's applied to your loan balance to determine how much interest you owe your lender each month. When you begin to repay your loan, your rate will be used to calculate the interest portion of your monthly payment.
Read on:

Glossary of mortgage terms

By Marcie Geffner - Credit Karma

There's a lot of jargon involved in getting a mortgage. But all these vocabulary words don't have to be confusing, intimidating or overwhelming. This glossary explains mortgage terms you may encounter and what they mean.
Appraisal. A professional opinion of a property's fair market value, according to a licensed real estate appraiser. The appraiser's opinion is based on the property's location, characteristics and condition as well as recent sales prices of comparable properties.
Adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM). A mortgage that has an interest rate that can change at predetermined times over the lifetime of the loan. Most ARMs have caps that limit when and how much the rate can rise. See Hybrid loan.
Read on:

Why mortgage points matter

By Marcie Geffner - Credit Karma

Homebuyers tend to be laser-focused on getting the lowest possible interest rate for their mortgage. A low rate is desirable because the lower your interest rate, the lower your monthly payment. But a low rate isn't the only thing you need to consider when you choose a mortgage.
Mortgages typically involve a variety of fees. Some of those fees are known as "points" because they're based on a percentage, or point, of your loan amount. One point is equal to 1 percent of your home's mortgage amount. For example, a fee of one point for a $250,000 mortgage would cost $2,500, while a half-point would cost $1,250
Read on:

A guide to getting your first mortgage

By Marcie Geffner - Credit Karma

Most people need a little help buying a home. A mortgage allows you to get into a home without having to provide the entire purchase price in cash upfront. Instead, you can borrow the money you need and make monthly payments.
"A mortgage gives you the ability to keep savings in your pocket and make payments on the house," explains Michelle Velez, producing branch manager at Supreme Lending in San Mateo, Calif. Even better, "in most cases, the mortgage interest is tax-deductible
Read on:

Buying your dream home later in life

By Marcie Geffner - NewHomeSource

Most homebuyers have a “dream house” that includes everything they want, whether it’s a new kitchen, open floor plan, lots of bedrooms and bathrooms or all that and more.

So, how can you buy your dream house, whether you are in your 40s, 50s or 60s?

The answer might be as simple as deciding to go for it, says Tom Page, vice president of iStar, a community developer in Richmond, Va., and general manager of Magnolia Green, a residential community in Moseley, Va.

“When people are buying in their 20s and 30s, there’s a dream house that they’d like, but they can’t afford it,” Page says. “In their 40s and 50s, they’ve got the money, and they say, ‘Let’s go buy that nice house.’“

Read on:

How U.S. trade affects new-construction homes

By Marcie Geffner - NewHomeSource.com

With U.S. President Donald Trump taking a keen interest in U.S. trade policy, home shoppers might well wonder how international trade policies might affect the price of new-construction homes.

Trade is far from the biggest factor that determines the price or quality of a newly built home, but it’s not negligible.

Read on: