Secure Your Home This Holiday Season

Written by Rasheedat Oduola on . Posted in Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers

home security
As the holiday season is upon us, so is the rate of petty crimes increase in our neighborhoods. It can sometime dampen our holiday spirit to come home to a burgled house, where our most treasured items are either destroyed or stolen. Here are some of the tips to prevent our property from unwelcomed guests except our dear Santa Clause

Make sure your home is secured and locked, it sounds pretty obvious, right? Yes it is, but forgetting to lock windows and doors as you eagerly leave for a party or event or forgetting to replace your locks or set up an home security system is a very red carpet invite for a thief to stroll into you home.

Become unpredictable by setting your holiday lights on automatic timer, even if you are travelling for the holidays, this prevents thieves from predicting your habits when you turn your lights off or on. Avoid making items in your home visible to the outside. You can either remove or replace them from visible areas or hang curtains to do the work.

Be careful of posting your holiday travel plans online, this is the same as tying a red bow on your property for thieves. Have your neighbor, trusted friend or family member empty out your mails, an unemptied mailbox give thieves the impression that you are not home. Have a trusted friend check on your house and empty out your mails.

Be careful of door-to-door solicitors, thieves sometimes use this method as a form of disguise to look into your home and survey if you have a dog or home security system. Do not post the gifts you received for holidays or birthdays online, also avoid leaving empty boxes in front of your door. This gives thieves a perfect picture of what you have in your home.

Also, ensure that the extension cords to your outdoor lighting are not preventing your windows from closing or latching completely. Most importantly, always remember not to compromise the security of your home. Have a wonderful holiday season!

How High is Your Mortgage Payment

Written by Rasheedat Oduola on . Posted in Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market

mortgage pay
Are you paying through your nose for your mortgage on a monthly basis? For most individuals mortgage is usually the highest expense on their list every month but how do you know if you are paying appropriately on your mortgage.

As a homeowner your interest rate should not exceed 4%. If it exceeds that percentage you might want to refinance that mortgage as interest rates have been lowered to 4%. This will ensure you save some money monthly on your mortgage. Do a research on the different lenders and compare their mortgage offers to determine which would be an appropriate fit for you.

For homeowners with an adjustable rate mortgage that has just been set to a higher rate, this new rate might be eating deep into your finances and budget. It might be advisable to switch to a fixed mortgage payment over a long term. This long term could be from 30yrs. This could help reduce your mortgage rates and thus having a lower monthly rate. You might want to involve the expertise of loan officers to advise the best option.

The amount of time you have to pay off your mortgage is also a very important factor as mortgage costs are not just about your monthly payments. If your income has recently increased you might want to talk to your lender about refinancing your loan to a shorter period as this will ensure you pay off your mortgage earlier than what your initial due date .Your lender refinances your loan from the long term fixed rate to a shorter term fixed rate. This could also help reduce the rate on your loan over the remaining period of payment.

You might want to talk to you lender or appropriate loan officer to know which one best applies to you .These tips at the end of the day irrespective of whichever applies to you should help you save perhaps thousands of dollars on your mortgage payments.

Roles in A Real Estate Transaction

Written by Rasheedat Oduola on . Posted in Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers

Who plays what role in the purchase or sale of a property. What role does the real estate agent, the real estate broker or even the real estate attorney play. Each individual role is different and they do not overlap in any form or shape.

The real estate agent for example is a more like a sales person as they are usually working for a commission. They are a very good resource for both sellers and buyers in or outside the country as they help buyers to find the exact match for their homes in terms of location and price. They have direct communication with the buyers with regards to the exact property they are looking for and are always on the lookout until they find the appropriate property. The real estate agent is usually supervised by a broker.

The broker on the other hand is more like the real estate agent only that they have acquired more educational and license and as such they can work alone and have agents working under them. Brokers usually do not work directly with clients, the agent does but the commission got by the agent is paid to the broker who in turn gives it to the agent that was responsible for the sale of the property.

Another party that plays an important role is the attorney. Buyers often refuse to use their services because of their fees but it is advisable to involve a real estate attorney. An attorney is responsible for pointing out the details of a contract before it is signed. The attorney will also investigate the property’s owner background, survey, legal description etc. They ensure the buyer fully understands the terms of the contract and that proper title insurance is available. An attorney will ask the buyer not to close on the property if there is an issue affecting the ownership of such property.

Should you require full disclosure on a property, you might also want to consider the real estate attorney as they give unbiased judgment on a property because they get paid whether or not the deal closes unlike the real estate broker who only gets paid if the deal closes.

So, you might just want to consider that real estate attorney as it is always worth it.

What did you say?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Mortgage Economy and Market

The National Security Agency is currently collecting the telephone records of millions of US customers of Verizon, one of America’s largest telecoms providers, under a top secret court order issued in April.

The order, a copy of which has been obtained by the Guardian, requires Verizon on an “ongoing, daily basis” to give the NSA information on all telephone calls in its systems, both within the US and between the US and other countries.

Ok, ok I didn’t hear you anyways. Apparently, only the contents of the conversation are still private, but for how long? Everything else though is to be handed over. Under the terms of the blanket order, the numbers of both parties on a call are handed over, as is location data, call duration, unique identifiers, and the time and duration of all calls. So pretty much if you’re an agent of a terrorist group or foreign state, or even a finite set of individually named targets get off your cell!! As if you didn’t already suspect this possibility and already speaking in code and finding other means of communication that cannot be interrupted or interloped.

Banking gone Green

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers

green-worldThe survey, of U.S. Consumers which explored mobile trends and banking behaviors among adults across the country, found the need for constant connectivity also extends to banking.

The survey, which explored mobile trends and banking behaviors among adults across the country, found the need for constant connectivity also extends to banking. Of those respondents who said they use their phones for mobile banking, almost one-third (31 percent) say they log on at least once a day, and more than four out of five (82 percent) access their accounts at least once a week or more. Talk about staying abreast of your expenditures.

The report revealed further interesting insights into consumer mobile banking behaviors and preferences, including: • Mobile banking is on the rise. More than half (62 percent) of respondents have at least tried mobile banking, while an overwhelming majority (90 percent) are using online banking. When using their bank’s mobile app, U.S. consumers most commonly check their balance, transfer funds between accounts and pay bills.

• Consumers are using their mobile devices for more advanced transactions including check deposits. Nearly six in 10 (58 percent) respondents have used mobile check deposit, and 38 percent use it frequently.

• Consumers prefer a mix of banking options. The survey found that 84 percent of respondents have visited a bank branch within the past six months. Most commonly, Americans make a trip to the bank to make a deposit, withdraw funds and speak with a banking associate.

• Consumers are comfortable with added security measures.
Courtesy of

This says a lot of how the economy is moving and how much it affected us, People are paying closer attention to their finances and incorporating the monitoring into their routines. This will help keep spending in control and staying within budget, because you know we all have one not to mention the faster you will notice any fraud activity.

Guide to Becoming a Successful Field Inspector

Written by Rasheedat Oduola on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers

Field inspections also referred to as drive by inspections are completed in millions every year. Being a field inspector requires little or no training. It requires the inspector to have a car for easy movement, a computer with internet capabilities, digital camera which will be used for taking pictures and a smartphone.

Once you have all of these set, register and upload your information on websites that mainly cater to the real estate industry or field inspection companies .Always remember to include your area of coverage when putting out your information as this will ensure that you are always considered for jobs within your primary area of coverage.

Now that your information out, you may start to get emails or phone calls, so have your phone with you always as you are the one in need of jobs. Your cell phone should also have internet capabilities as you can respond instantly to emails when received. Your timely response and timely completion of jobs given to you will determine the number of jobs you get.

So If you are looking to make good and additional income, be that field inspector that completes jobs timely and also without error. Field inspection companies are always particular about having an error free report. It is also advisable to adhere to the inspection requirements and photo policy. Train yourself so you can get better at what you do as it is with all profession. You would also be doing yourself a good service to attend some of the webinars offered by field inspection companies.

Should you be in doubt or encounter any challenge while you are in the field, contact the inspection company . Make yourself what I call a “priority inspector” ;that inspector that will be considered first before any other inspector and before you know it, you are on your way to making this additional income regular.

Always remember Field Inspection Companies are in need of agents that can be relied on to complete their jobs timely and effectively.Now is the time to relax or perhaps work hard and enjoy your new money maker.

Got books?

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Field Services, Mortgage Closing Services, Mortgage Economy and Market

Are your accounting records up to date? Are they balanced? Are they understandable by anyone other than yourself? All of these are good questions to consider, especially when your record keeping is in question. Otherwise how will you know where you stand financially, economically? Accounting, which has been called the “language of business”, measures the results of an organization’s economic activities and conveys this information to a variety of users including investors, creditors, management, and regulators. Did you know, both the words accounting and accountancy were in use in Great Britain by the mid-1800s, and are derived from the words accompting and accountantship used in the 18th century. Yes even back thenuntitled they had accounts to balance. If this all seems like a foreign language to you, you could outsource this area of your business and then use it as a business write-off instead. Accountants and auditors prepare and examine financial records. They ensure that financial records are accurate and that taxes are paid properly and on time. Here is more to ponder and maybe need translation on. For the past two decades, fair value accounting—the practice of measuring assets and liabilities at estimates of their current value—has been on the ascent. This marks a major departure from the centuries-old tradition of keeping books at historical cost. It also has implications across the world of business, because the accounting basis—whether fair value or historical cost—affects investment choices and management decisions, with consequences for aggregate economic activity. SOMETIMES it seems as if our lives are dominated by financial crises and failed reforms. But how much do Americans even understand about finance? Few of us can do basic accounting and fewer still know what a balance sheet is. If we are going to get to the point where we can have a serious debate about financial accountability, we first need to learn some essentials.

Mortgages to reduce closing costs

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market

As reported by the mortgage professor, he proposed that mortgage lenders simply remove all of the third party settlement costs and instead bundle all of those fees required by the lender. When acquiring a mortgage have you noticed all of those fees and services not disclosed but required to be paid by you listed on your settlement sheet? These fees are required by the lender as a condition for granting you the home mortgage, why not they pay for it?

You’re wondering what difference bundling the fees will make. They will only charge you the total fee anyways.

Yes, you’re right but as these services, such as the title insurance that protects the lender, the mortgage insurance that again protects the lender, appraisal that assesses the value of the home, and all the other services needed and which you are referred to or have no control over where it gets done. In turn the lender is not only making you pay for it but profiting from it as well by receiving free or underpriced services.

They can purchase these services in bulk and get a much lower rate that can then be passed on to us in one flat rate. By having the lender charge the mortgagee a flat fee it will substantially lower the inflated prices they now pay the third party providers. Lenders will be competing for our business by offering a good flat rate on closing costs and quality, rather than itemizing the fees, some that are not even used or needed. In 2002, HUD tried to implement the package approach with a single price, but as it was voluntary the mortgage bankers were not on board. Notary Public tools

Now with the debut of a 15-year mortgage gear towards low to moderate income households with no down payment the flat fee closing costs sounds more appealing.

Home Buying. Good or Bad Investment?

Written by Shardae Griffin on . Posted in General, Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market

homes1Most people seem to think that owning a house is a great investment. Thornburg investments says houses return a barely positive return on a real, return basis, but as they note, all of the fees are not actually included in this calculation.  If you consider a house as two distinctly different pieces, you have the land that you own and the actual house itself.  The land is what some would call an ” investment” since it’s highly probable the land itself will appreciate in value over time. The house itself, however, is a depreciating asset that is guaranteed to fall apart just like your car will. Like all financial asset purchases you are guaranteed to stat your purchase in the red by the amount of fees involved in purchasing the asset. Homes are an unusual financial asset in that they are extraordinarily expensive from an up-front cost perspective. You have Realtor commissions, closing costs, inspections, appraisal, insurance and a whole slew of other potential costs such as moving or maintenance. This is before you have even stepped foot into your “investment” and of course before you have started paying the real fees such as mortgage. Over the life of a home you will have to pay taxes, mortgage payments, property insurance, utilities, water, disposal and routine maintenance. These are all fixed costs and whether you rent or buy you will have to pay some of these fees no matter what. Throwing out utilities, water and disposal with the assumption that your rental option has these costs embedded you will still have to pay mortgage, taxes, property insurance and you will have to maintain the property yourself if you own your home. None of this means that buying a house is a bad idea. It is simply intended to put the total costs and real, real returns in the right perspective for those who buy a home with a mortgage and live in that home.

How to choose an Appraiser

Written by Lynn Nunez on . Posted in Home Buyers and Mortgagors, Mortgage Economy and Market, Mortgage Services and Providers

houses_and_dollar_signThis all-important step in getting the financing you need is the home appraisal — an oftentimes-confusing part of the mortgage process in which both buyer and seller must depend on the expert opinion of a stranger. A common misunderstanding is that the appraisal amount is only for the house itself. In fact, the figure appraises the total value of the home and any other permanent structures, along with the land that the house is built on. This appraisal figure also determines the loan amount you can get to buy the property.

A qualified appraiser has formal education in appraisal theory, principles, procedures, ethics and law. The appraiser should be up to date on the latest appraisal standards. Continuing education and testing are the only ways to ensure this competence. The appraiser you hire should be familiar with the type of property you want appraised and know how to value it correctly. There are many self-acclaimed personal property appraisers who have not completed any professional education. It is important to ask the prospective appraiser what type of formal appraisal education training he or she has received.

Do not hire an appraiser who charges a percentage of the appraised value, or charges a “contingency” fee. These practices are clearly conflicts of interests, and may result in biased values. Hourly fees, flat rates or per item charges are acceptable. It is a good business practice to have a contract stating in writing the expectations of both parties.

A home appraisal is not the same thing as an inspection. If you’re buying a home, you’ll want to hire an experienced home inspector to point out any potential problems that could turn into costly nightmares in the future. Property appraisers will likely make note of any obvious issues, but they won’t test your heat and air, check the chimney, or determine if your plumbing is up to code. That’s the job of the inspector.