Showing posts from August, 2020

Forbearance is Not Forgiveness

Forbearance is a temporary postponement of mortgage payments.   The lender can grant this option to a borrower instead of forcing the property into foreclosure.   The CARES Act provides protections for homeowners with mortgages that are federally or Government Sponsored Enterprise backed or funded such as FHA, VA, USDA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. A mortgage holder should contact the lender to explain the temporary difficulty they are having making payments and ask for relief under forbearance or other options.   Once the lender grants approval, it is important for the borrower to get the terms of the forbearance agreement in writing to be clear about when the payments will resume and how the missed payments will be recovered. Generally speaking, homeowners in a forbearance plan will not incur late fees and it should not adversely affect their credit.   Unfortunately, borrowers must be vigilant to see that the lender is protecting them from delinquent credit marks according to thei

Building a Pool Is Just the Beginning

During the first major stay-at-home event that most of us have experienced in this country, a pool can give you and your family enjoyable recreation without leaving the home.   For those without a pool, the NPD group reports that the Covid-19 pandemic has increased pool building by 161% this year. When your children are small, pools become a magnet for not only your children but their friends as well.   It can also be a great place for the summer holidays, Memorial Day, 4 th of July and Labor Day.   Any day during the summer, especially on the weekends, can be an opportunity to enjoy the pool, cook outside and bask in the sun. Some of you may have even made the transition from your children enjoying the pool to your grandchildren.   Usually, there is an interim where you may have wished that your home didn't have a pool so you would not have the maintenance and required upkeep.   Then, the new generation of family starts using it regularly and again, you are glad you have a p

Three Reasons to Refinance

Three reasons to refinance a home include lowering the cost of housing, shortening the term of the mortgage to pay it off sooner or to using the equity to accomplish another purpose. Replacing the mortgage at a lower interest rate, which is entirely possible in today's market, would reduce the payment.   On the other hand, shortening the term of the mortgage could make the payments increase but would allow the home to be paid for sooner.   In either case, the equity would not be reduced unless the refinancing costs were rolled into the new mortgage. Refinancing the home to take money out would increase the mortgage on the property and lower an owner's equity; careful consideration should be made before doing so. Mortgage rates are considerably lower than credit card rates and usually lower than short term borrowing like student loans or car loans.   For that reason, homeowners will sometimes refinance to payoff higher cost debt. Some people refinance for more than their

Things Have Changed

The soothsayer in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar issued his famous warning "Beware the Ides of March."   Who knew that in 2020, around the middle of March, the world, as we knew it, would force such dramatic changes on us from the Coronavirus. In America, it has brought our economy to its knees as we sheltered in place for over four months.   During this time, changes have affected our lives and many of those changes could be permanent. Previously, smaller homes were becoming the trend for not only efficiency but upkeep so owners would have more time to do things including travel.   Now, travel is minimal and our world, in some respects, is reduced to our home. For families with children, their home has become a school.   With so many people working from home, it has become our office or store or studio.   If there is more than one working adult in a home, it needs to have space for each party to work.   The home fitness industry is experiencing record sales in exercis