Mortgage Rates Continue To Fall

Some people like to say that things are never as good as they appear or as bad as they seem. This kind of talk always reminded me of the kind of wisdom you might hear from a loving grandparent, who by virtue of their age and years of experience can calmly look back at the bumps and travails along their long, well-traveled road secure in the knowledge that none of the potholes matter too much in the end. The problem for those of us that aren’t card-carrying members of AARP is that we are somewhere in the middle of that bumpy, treacherous road and a safe and sound arrival at some point and sometime in the future is anything but certain. Where was I? Oh yes, the wisdom of my Grandma aside, things aren’t always as they appear. No kidding, so what does this have to do with interest rates and mortgage rates? Well, mortgage rates continue to fall to levels not seen since cavemen and cavewomen were out shopping for mortgages for prime real estate on jagged cliffs somewhere in western Nepal circa 10,000 A.D. So what’s wrong with that you ask?

Well for one thing, interest rates don’t fall just because it happens to be a good thing for people who need to or want to borrow money. They generally fall because of lower inflation expectations, which in the case of present economic conditions means that they are falling because the economy is simply that bad and that there is no reason to believe that anything will change for the good anytime soon. Indeed, the rate on 15 year fixed mortgages has dipped under 3% for the first time since, well, as noted above a long time ago if ever at all. Rates for 30 year mortgages are also falling to or below historic levels with recent quotes for a 30 year mortgage coming in at 3.75%. These rates mark the fifth week in a row that interest rates on home mortgages have fallen.  Last year at this time the rate for a 30 year fixed mortgage stood at 4.55% while that for a 15 year mortgage was quoted at 3.74%, both of which at the time seemed to be bargains, especially when compared to historical rates.

There is no doubt that lower interest rates are a good thing, in fact a great thing, for consumers and homeowners. It goes without saying that lower monthly payments for things like variable interest rate credit card debt and mortgage payments is perhaps the biggest boost to the overall economic health of most households as more funds are freed-up to pay down outstanding loan balances or put toward other types of consumer spending, which in turn aids the overall economy. But, (you knew there had to be a “but” in there somewhere right?) despite the historically low mortgage rates being posted by many banks, these same banking institutions are grabbing their purse strings tighter than a dislodged mountain climber clings to a safety rope. The requirements to borrow money are now so tight and individual credit ratings so battered due to the effects on  their finances in the wake of the recession, that few borrowers are able to take advantage of these lower borrowing rates.

On another level, the lower interest rates along the entire yield curve also reflect and are symptomatic of an ailing economy. Market insiders will argue that near zero interest rates at the front of the curve are the doing of the federal government pumping liquidity into the financial system faster than BP pumped crude oil into the Gulf, and they might be right. However, federal bankers have little control over the longer end of the curve, where rates are falling to levels not seen in most everyone’s lifetime. If the economy had any steam at all and businesses were putting pressure on lenders to borrow money for their companies, the overall level of interest rates would be on the rise. The fact that they are at low levels and still falling isn’t the best news for the economy, though at first glance it would seem to be the case.

The example used to illustrate the problem associated with low interest rates is always Japan, which after its financial bubble burst saw interest rates decline to near zero, where they remained for almost ten years due to the horrendous state of their economy. The situation is known in economics as The Liquidity Trap, an economic quagmire in which government injections of liquidity (free flowing capital) do little or nothing to stimulate the economy. The trap is caused, or created when people simply hoard excess liquidity (cash) because they expect even worse conditions to follow the present calamity they are experiencing.

The U.S. economy has not reached the point of being in a liquidity trap just yet, but if the job market does not improve, and should hundreds of thousand of more homeowners be forced to declare bankruptcy and their homes move into foreclosure, the liquidity trap may very well be the next dire consequence of the greed induced financial meltdown that began in 2007.

My take:

Lower interest rates are a good thing when the economy is ailing. And there are signs that businesses are starting to borrow money for expansion and new hiring etc. However, while the banks are able to feast on cheap, if not free capital, and put that capital to work in financial markets games similar to those the precipitated the market collapse, we may never pull out of this problem and the Japanese example could become our reality. No one can force the banks to free up capital and in fact it will take some leadership on the part of one of them to set an example for the rest to follow.


New Puppy Training for Home Owners

One of the important ways that a family can enhance the safety and behavior of their new family pet is to consider official classes that will teach the dog proper behavior soon after the puppy is brought home. A provider like Jersey Shore Dogs would be able to ensure the family would know best how to help the dog improve its behavior over time by making sure that lessons on a regular basis were obtained. Anyone looking at the best way to train a puppy would need to know that repetition and positive encouragement would be important.

Waiting for Rates to Go Down

Insurance rates are particularly variable and it's not unexpected at all that a person's insurance rate might end up increasing during a policy renewal. Sometimes truck insurance will go up based upon factors outside the control of the driver and will be the result of new laws or policies taking effect in their state. Each state has a governmental body that sets insurance rates and sometimes they go up because of changes to the average rates set by the government. Unfortunately, there's usually not a lot a person can do to fight against these policy changes as they are implemented statewide.

NY Law To Slow Foreclosures

The housing market collapse has been one of the most significant and catastrophic casualties of the financial crisis. Many analysts and market experts will look back on this particular recession and point to a financial market bubble that eventually couldn’t hold one more molecule of hot air and as with other market bubbles, it blew up in spectacular and devastating fashion leaving behind shocked and wounded markets and people. These same experts will probably also note that most of the hot air filling this bubble was put there by the housing market and everyone associated with it. From bank lenders, mortgage bankers, Fannie and Freddie Mac, and the legislators and barons of Wall Street that all profited from filling the bubble, anyone that had anything to do with the housing market made money, and then many lost it when the bubble burst. Therefore it only makes sense that when the financial markets collapsed, the sector of the economy to take the hardest hit would be the one that contributed most to the problem, which in this case was the housing market.

Now, some four year later, the economy is only now starting to crawl out of the ditch. However, the housing market remains a problem for the overall economy and the subsequent effects of the market collapse on the labor market, along with the devastation to the housing market, are making it a very slow and painful crawl out of that ditch. And where housing is concerned, the number of homes that were forced into foreclosure as well as those still waiting for the process to get around to placing them in foreclosure remains one of the biggest drags on the economy overall, and the housing market in particular.

Each state has its own laws and process for foreclosing on a home and to some extent the federal government tried to step into the process to help homeowners avoid foreclosure just after the full extent of the recession was being felt across the country. The federal governments efforts aside, each state, along with the bankers operating in those states, have been processing the paperwork on foreclosed homes virtually non-stop since 2008; non-stop that is until several states, whose legislators were pressured from citizens groups and federal watchdogs, were forced to re-evaluate the foreclosure process and in doing so have slowed down the pace at which homes are moving into foreclosure. New York is one of those states where  it is said that banks that were having trouble dealing with bogus foreclosure paperwork now have another issue to deal with when trying to place a home into foreclosure.

The Obama Administration appointed New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman to head a new task force that is charged with investigating mortgage fraud, part of which involves homes being foreclosed on based on faulty or fraudulent information and paperwork. During the course of their work Mr. Schneiderman’s task force found enough evidence to file suit against three major U.S. banks while accusing them of using an electronic data base to come up with phony documents that they subsequently used to move ahead with foreclosures. The banks named in the law suit are Bank of America, Wells Fargo, and JP Morgan Chase, as well as MERSCORP, the corporation behind the Mortgage Electronic Registration System (MERS). Their system was created back in the mid 1990′s as a means to keep tabs on mortgage ownership. Anyone that has a home mortgage knows that the bank that originally lends your the money for your home is rarely the bank that you continue to make payments to along the way as banks will bundle these loans into larger financial products and sell them to other financial institutions. MERS was a system used to track who owned the loans as they moved from one bank owner to the next.

This system is now responsible for over 13,000 foreclosures being filed against New York homeowners but according to Mr. Schneiderman, MERS has no legal authority to carry out such actions. The case being made against the banks and MERS could very well turn out to be a test case for the rest of the U.S. and one that might set a precedent for the way in which banks and mortgage holders go ahead and foreclose on homeowners found to be delinquent in making their mortgage payments. If nothing else, the entire process will be slowed considerably while banks go back and double check to make sure that they are following correct procedures in foreclosing on homeowners and that the paperwork and documentation that they are using as the basis for these foreclosures is valid, completed properly, and verified as to the exact details surrounding each case.

It is obvious that Mr. Schneiderman is not a fan of the MERS system based on his recent comments indicating that MERS was created by the banking and mortgage industry as a means for those institutions to evade county recording fees and to avoid the need to publicly record mortgage transfers while facilitating the quick sale and packaging of mortgages into other financial products on a large scale; a financial market assembly-line of sorts.

The MERS system has been the subject of a number of lawsuits in other states as well as New York with Delaware also filing suit against them while Texas, Michigan, and Kentucky lawmakers are trying to collect millions of dollars of unpaid fees from lenders who leapfrogged over these state’s systems of tracking recording and transfer fees.

My take:

No matter what the federal government does the banks have the means to bog them down in court forever. They pull all the strings and lawsuits like this are mere annoyances to them. On the other hand it is refreshing to see that the government is indeed taking up the fight for the poor bastards that are trying to keep a roof over their families’ heads while dealing with a ravaged economy and more than likely, unemployment.

Notices and Tenancy in Apartments

One of the general methods of timing that is in use at the average apartment complex is going to be related to the sort of notice that tenants are required to offer their landlord or leasing company in advance of their departure from an apartment. By utilizing the best tenant screening services, a leasing company will usually be able to confirm whether a tenant they are deciding upon has ever left an apartment home in the past without offering their prior apartment's management company the right amount of notice that they were departing and likely to vacate at a certain time.

Health Care in the Home

One of the primary reasons why some individuals are unsafe in their own homes when they are older is not necessarily that they can't get around, but that they have to have various medical issues taken care of on a regular basis and getting to the doctor frequently just isn't something that's easy to do. This is why looking at Long Island elder care is a good idea because often there are various types of medical issues that can be taken care of in the home by a trained home care professional which reduce the number of times someone has to go to the doctor.

Accuracy in Choosing a Lawyer

Just as there are many types of doctors who specialize in treating a specific part of the body, there are several types of lawyers who concentrate on just a particular of the law. A firm like Bloch & Chapleau will concentrate in areas such as personal injury and accidents while another law firm might specialize in corporate law or perhaps tax law. Ensuring that a lawyer has been specifically trained in a part of the law which is applicable to the sort of problem a person has is the best way to make sure that representation is handled for the best chance of success.

Good Painting Techniques

Painting the walls of a home, business, or other structure isn't too hard, but there are some simple things to remember when putting a different color or new mold resistant paint on the surface of the walls. One important item of business is to make sure that there's sufficient ventilation in the space while the painting is going on and even after it's been applied to the walls. Although many types of paint do dry quite quickly today, it's still important to make sure that there is enough air flow after application to make sure everything remains safe.

The Walmart Effect

Ask ten different people in the same town how they would feel about Walmart coming to their neighborhood and chances are you will get ten different replies. They might all be variations on the same theme, but where Walmart is concerned the only thing for certain is that they definitely are a polarizing company. Many people believe that when Walmart starts pouring its foundation on your Main Street, the next thing to happen is that local wages fall, smaller companies are put out of business and home values tend to decline. This is what some will say. The reality however, is quite different.  The findings in a new study by NBER, the National Bureau of Economic Research, show that on the contrary, when Walmart opens a new store housing prices actually increase by approximately 2% and 3% for homes located within a half mile of the new Walmart, and by 1% to 2% for homes located between 0.5 and 1 mile of the store.

The research done by NBER analyzed data collected between 2001 and 2006, which as anyone with a pulse can tell you was during the housing market boom and just a little before that boom became a bubble and that bubble eventually burst like an aerial blast from a SAC bomber. However the researchers note that based on the timing between the actual building of the particular Walmart stores involved in the study and the change in prices in those homes in close proximity to the new store would seem to  indicate a strong correlation between the two events rather than a mere coincidence based on rising housing prices in general.

The study notes that prices of the homes closest to the new Walmart store did not increase at all until the announcement that there would be a Walmart coming to town so they concluded that it was Walmart and not the natural progression of home values that was the key factor. The study conducted by NBER also focused mainly on urban areas and not in less populated regions where Walmart has also set up new stores. It may very well be the case that homes in urban, more densely populated areas fair better value-wise when Walmart comes to town than those homes out in the suburbs or more rural locations.

Walmart always seems to be a lighting rod for any issue even remotely related to their business; housing prices for example. At the same time they have also come under considerable scrutiny regarding the level of wages, income and quality of life of their employees and the residents of the neighborhoods where Walmart sets up their stores. These are issues much more specifically related to Walmart and their corporate philosophy, business practices, and relations with their employees.  There is also no real consensus of opinion from the general public or legislators on these issue either. Detailed research examining the effect of Walmart’s pricing policies indicates that because Walmart is a discount store and the prices asked from most of their products is considerably less than many other retailers involved in the same product lines the effect of their presence in one neighborhood versus the next can often rest on the overall socioeconomic demographics of the area more than anything else.

For instance, research would seem to indicate that Walmart’s product pricing policies tend to raise the overall wealth of the poor and minority families to a great extent. On the other hand, counter research by other groups claims that new Walmart stores tend to lower average wages in a neighborhood overall and reduce the number of retail jobs in the areas where they set up new stores. So, as noted earlier, the jury is still out on this one while they ponder conflicting evidence supporting both sides of the story.

Unfortunately for Walmart the story is always a little more complicated than two divergent sides of one story. The world’s largest retailer is constantly fighting off allegations of underhanded business practices that seem to come at them from all directions and at the worst possible times. A recent story in the New York Times alleges that Walmart bribed Mexican officials when they began to open stores in Mexico. At the same time the box store giant also finds itself in the news  over a controversial building permit for one of its stores in Los Angeles, a possible shady deal with a land developer in Brooklyn, and a possible government audit of one of its stores in San Diego. The New York Times article notes that during the process of opening its more than 400 stores in Mexico (its largest operation on foreign turf) Walmart officials may have bribed local officials in order to have these stores opened without having to be bogged down by local laws. Officials in Mexico are said to be investigating these allegations and many seem to be saying all the right things in public to feign concern over what others say is simply the normal process for doing business in certain foreign countries.

The controversies that come up along with every new Walmart probably won’t go away anytime soon nor will the divergent opinions regarding the benefits and problems associated with having the retail giant set up shop in your neighborhood or country. One thing is for sure is that a large portion of the profits made by Walmart will continue to be funneled to their legal team and their public relations departments.

My take;

Walmart simply seems to be the whipping boy for a larger process that has been going on in the global economy for quite some time. The ability of any and every business to compete for and hire the cheapest labor is not particular to Walmart but because they are a retail business and they seem to be everywhere, they are an easy target. Not that I think the criticism is unwarranted but there are hundreds of other companies if not more, that exploit cheap labor all around the world. Many companies claim that they have issues finding mid-upper level talent even at the most reasonable salaries and even in this current competitive economy of graduates looking for a job. Apple for one and the almost everyone in the apparel industry exploit the people making their products. The difference is that these business practices happen at the manufacturing stage of the process in other countries. With Walmart, we see it in our backyards and the effect on our friends and neighbors.

Enhancing Value of Dog Training

The ability for a dog to learn various tricks and behaviors is something that many dog parents want and this is why it's a good idea to look into a New Jersey certified dog trainer early so that lessons can begin as soon as a dog is old enough to understand such lessons. It's important to consider that the value of dog training is only something that will be a good investment if an individual keeps up with that dog training over time. For example, after a dog is taught a lesson, special reinforcement should occur to ensure the dog keeps that knowledge.

Preparing for Legal Fees

One of the issues that guides the legal problems that a person might have should they decide to get involved in a civil case and hire  Vail injury attorneys is the fact that fees might come into play which need to be paid. Anyone who might be interested in figuring out whether those legal fees will need to be paid ahead of time will usually get this answer easily enough through a standard initial meeting with the lawyer. Many lawyers won't charge for that initial meeting and may even work on a contingency basis, especially in civil cases.

Finding the Right Style for Custom Clothing

There are always new styles of suits and custom-made attire that are being released by various companies that handle the design and creation of custom made suits, but if someone who needs such a suit isn't really certain as to the best style that would be appropriate for a suit that would be modern and interesting, it's possible to just cut out a picture out of a recent magazine of a style that looks appealing and bring it to the clothing maker to see if something similar could be created. The tailor could also offer suggestions as far as style is concerned as well.

Reducing Used Vehicle Issues

A potential vehicle owner who was considering a used car in years past would probably have had to deal with some potential breakdowns and mechanical issues over time, but in recent years the ability for people to drive off the lot with McAllen Texas used cars hasn't been nearly so difficult an experience. Used cars are simply good these days and it's not surprising that someone might get a vehicle that was a decade old and would be able to use it for several more years without any significant issues coming about that would require major work.

Including Training in the Budget

Job descriptions today often provide an extensive list of required experience and knowledge; however, finding the perfect candidate requires more than finding someone with the right set of skills. A potential employee with the right temperament could need training in one of the common programs or methods used at the company. Instead of passing on that candidate because his or her resume didn't match the company's job description exactly, a training program like those designed at could prove beneficial. Training programs may help a business widen the applicant pool when hiring for a new job at the company.

Difference in Criminal and Civil Trials

For anyone who isn't otherwise working in the legal profession, the difference between a murder trial and a personal injury lawsuit is such that the personal injury case will be tried in civil court while the murder trial will occur in a county, district, or federal courthouse where the state's lawyers will prosecute the case. For arrests where the government will use a lawyer to prosecute you, you'll need to work with a criminal attorney from Alternatively, you may work with an attorney who specializes in civil trials where there's a "plaintiff" instead of a "prosecutor."

America’s Longest Period of Economic Growth

During his term in office in the early 1960’s, President Kennedy presented an economic plan to Congress to lift the country out of the grips of recession and so began America’s longest period of economic growth.  The plan he presented raised minimum wage, expanded unemployment benefits, increased social security benefits, funded area development, home building, and more.  As a result, inflation stabilized, the stock market grew, and unemployment was at an all time low.  Economists who study such trends in economic growth by analyzing data do so with the aid of econometric statistical software such as LIMDEP and NLOGIT, two software applications developed by Econometric Software, Inc, found at  

Professional Pet Sitters

According to Pet Sitters International, many of their members left corporate America for a career in pet sitting.  With a love of animals, a desire to be their own boss and a need to opt out of the corporate world in search of a new career path, these people have found professional pet sitting a rewarding alternative.  There are presently over 7,000 members in Pet Sitters International and membership keeps growing.  Members have access to various tools and resources to help them grow their pet sitting business and earn a Certificate in Professional Pet Sitting.  The Canine Cure,, a renowned New Jersey dog training and pet sitting company, offers in home pet sitting with various hourly options and fees.

Foreclosures Down Across U.S.

The rate of foreclosures across the U.S. is falling but that is a little like saying that the category 5 hurricane that has just blown the roof off your house has been downgraded to a category 3 hurricane. It’s still a problem for many others and you need a new roof, to say nothing of the damage left behind after the roof was ripped off. That’s exactly what a lot of U.S. cities are feeling like these days in the wake of what was perhaps the biggest housing bubbles to burst in American history. While the number of foreclosures is down across the country, the far-reaching effects of so many foreclosed homes still on the market is still being felt and still weighing down the market like a millstone around the necks of many American cities and suburbs.

According to the latest report from RealtyTrac, the number of foreclosures in the U.S. in April is down 13% to 188,780 from 219,258 just over a year ago. Some of the largest cities in America are still lagging behind the rest of the country when it comes to the number of foreclosed homes on the market and the number of new foreclosures coming onto the market. The housing crash is still crashing in many of these cities and it won’t be over until the market is able to absorb these homes. The study done by RealtyTrac surveyed housing in America’s 50 largest urban areas. What they found is that of these 50 areas, 10 had more than twice the rate of foreclosures as the national average, meaning that one in every 698 new homes. One one particular area of California, the Inland Empire, the rate was more than triple the national average.

Many analysts and real estate execs agree that while the worst may be over for the housing market and foreclosures, the effects on the housing sector of the economy and the overall health of the U.S. economy will still be felt for sometime to come because of the drag that these foreclosed homes place on so many directly related, and indirectly related industries. And while the number of foreclosed homes on the market may appear to be ebbing, these same industry insiders note that there is another wave of foreclosures on the way so the calm in the storm may very well be the eye of the hurricane passing overhead and the back end of the storm could be on its way. Foreclosures also tend to weigh heavily on the real estate market and housing prices, especially in depressed urban areas like Detroit, Michigan, as sales of these properties represent a large portion of overall sales and will continue to do so for the remainder of the year. The price of these homes is obviously discounted to a great extent thereby exerting downward pressure on housing prices overall.

In 6 of the worst 10 areas identified by RealtyTrac, houses have lost more than half of their original value in less than six years. In Las Vegas alone home prices have declined by nearly 62% between the start of 2006 and the end of 2011. In some of these areas, the 10 hardest hit by the housing crash, foreclosure rates have started to decline while in others it continues to rise. Two regions with the highest foreclosure rates during the depths of the market crash have now seen these rates decline with Phoenix foreclosures falling by 44% while those in Las Vegas fell by 66% over the course of the last year. However in Miami and Tampa the foreclosure rate continues to rise with Miami showing an increase of 38% since last year while foreclosures in Tampa rose by 59% during that same time.

Part of the explanation for the higher foreclosure rates in Miami and Tampa versus that of Las Vegas has to do with the legal system in Florida versus that in Nevada. In Florida the foreclosure process takes much longer and is much more drawn out and therefore Florida is simply lagging behind in getting around to liquidating its foreclosure inventory, while Nevada is simply further along in the process.

Topping the list of the top 10 cities with the most homes in foreclosure is Orlando-Kissimmee, Florida where median home prices fell by 54.2% from their peak in late 2006. Following Orlando on the list is Chicago’s Naperville-Joliet area, Tampa, Florida, Phoenix, Arizona, Salt Lake City, Utah, Atlanta, Georgia, Sacramento, California, Miami/Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Las Vegas, Nevada, and Riverside, California. The survey by RealtyTrac goes on to note that after reviewing the markets with the highest foreclosure rates it is apparent that the regions with the most foreclosures to date are the ones that got hit hardest by the housing crash. Seven out of these ten areas have seen the largest decline in home prices from those seen prior to the market crash.

My take:

It will take a long time before the housing market recovers but the one key element in housing making a comeback will be the job market. The faster we can get more people back to work in jobs that pay a living wage, the faster that the glut of houses in foreclosure will be removed from the market, which in turn will allow the natural forces of the economy to begin to take hold on the overall housing market.


Proper Care of Stone

When upgrading a home, it's not uncommon for home owners to want to utilize the best and most beautiful stone options and often this is going to mean using something like travertine pavers or even marble as a surface because these types of stone are so stylish and evoke a certain level of luxury for anyone who uses them. Most individuals who might otherwise feel that they can take care of stone properly but aren't exactly prepared to do so with a lot of time will be pleased to find out that stone care is actually pretty simple and doesn't require a ton of effort.

Saving for a Home

When saving for a home it's important to consider how much might be needed for a down payment and what the monthly payments might look like from USDA home loans. Different types of loans and different levels of creditworthiness usually require that someone saves up a certain amount of money. Sometimes the down payment might only be a few percent, but often the amount needed for a down payment would be as high as 20 percent or 30 percent. In such cases saving up for a home may take years, but the investment of time is well worth it.

Rooms Tall Enough for Fans

After measuring the overall size of a ceiling fan that might be appropriate for a particular room, it’s important to make sure that the room is tall enough for a fan from Most rooms can accommodate a fan, but for shorter ceiling heights, it’s important to make sure that the fan doesn’t come down too far toward the floor or it might provide a disruptive type of cooling whenever it’s turned on. Experts usually suggest that the minimum height that a fan should be from the floor is 9 feet and that any lower creates a hazard.

Finding The Best Mortgage

Finding the best mortgage and mortgage banker can be as difficult as finding the right house. Don’t be fooled by the non-stop noise from the thousands of advertisements you hear from prospective lenders on the radio and television because more often than not they don’t have products that suit your needs or if they do, they certainly aren’t based on the terms you heard on their ads. You should try to select the best bank or mortgage company to secure a home loan based on more than just the lender with the lowest rates. It’s good to get a few rate quotes and then do some more homework before following up with any of them or scheduling interviews so that you are completely prepared when you sit down to talk about the nuts and bolts of your loan.

Try to sit down and talk to at least two or three lenders before you decide on the right fit for you. In part, this process will also help to educate you on the differences between the various banks and their policies and products without the banker actually knowing that you are picking his or her brain as much as you are lobbying to have them make you a loan for a new house, apartment, or condo. You want more than someone that is pushing their financial products when shopping for a mortgage because just as a new home is likely to be one of the biggest investments you ever make, the loan on that home is likely to be one of the biggest financial transactions you ever conduct so being sure that you are dealing with the right party on the other side of the table before signing any loan documents will go a long way to making your life much more financially stable going forward.

A good banker should be able to let you know right on the spot whether you qualify for a loan or not. If you happen to be a couple that is shopping for a loan, make sure that the bankers is using financial information from both of you when he or she does their pre-qualification interview. They should also be able to give you some advice on ways that you can improve your credit rating should it need to be spruced-up before a bank will make you a loan. Your banker should also talk to you about the mortgage payments that you will have to carry and pay every month and he or she should do so in the context of your overall financial situation. In some cases this might mean that a particular loan, or loan strategy isn’t perfect for you and if you find yourself in a meeting with a banker that is pushing a product that you feel is beyond your means or your desires, you should probably wish them well, and leave.

Family and friends are often a good source of information about good and bad experiences they might have had in trying to find a home loan but remember not everything that was good or bad for them necessarily applies to you so ask pointed questions that speak to the issues and needs that you will have in dealing with that bank. Local real estate agents can also be helpful, but only if you have a relationship with them in the first place just to ensure that you can trust what they are telling you and that they are not simply acting as a compensated traffic cop for a particular bank, mortgage broker, or mortgage company.

If you’re happy with the bank where you currently conduct other business, chances are that they are a good place to start your search. They may or may not offer special incentives to existing clients, but even if they don’t the fact that you are already pleased with their service is a big first hurdle to get over in looking for a home loan. You will also want to inquire of them, and  any other lenders, about their experience and reputation for completing loans, not just their mortgage rates. Credit unions where you bank are also a good place to start looking for a new home loan, especially those credit unions that offer special discounts, fee reductions, and no fee transactions for their unions.

Be sure to ask the right questions when you sit down with a banker and make sure that they explain what each option means for you today and over the long term as you are paying this debt. You’ll want to know how long the loan process will take, how often you’ll speak to the bank once the paperwork is completed, and when you will be contacted by them with the final approval for your loan. The turnaround time on your loan is very important so try to pin your banker down as to how long it will take from the signing of the papers to closing, and if he or she is evasive in their reply, you might want to look elsewhere for your loan.

My take:

These days banks seem to be fighting for your business, or at least their agents are because most of them are getting paid a commission for every loan they close. The problem can be that these agents will promise the stars and the moon, literally, but the final word on you being approved by their bank is not in their hands. The more loan applications they process, the better the shot they have at bigger bonus checks. It becomes a numbers game so it is indeed good advice to check around and do some homework before you decide on the right bank for your mortgage. Most folks utilize websites and loan locators to find a mortgage that is most suitable for themselves or their families. Interestingly, online marketing agencies push these types of online mortgage websites to the top are   manipulating what you find on the web. Be very careful when using Google or online directories to find services to help you get a mortgage.


Improving Backyard Appeal

The number of ways that a backyard can be changed and enhanced will vary according to the geographic location in which a home stands, the size of the back yard and which type of furniture or buildings might be added. Choices for furniture may include options from an Ohio pergola builder, a potential deck installation or even a gazebo. Much of what can make a backyard welcoming is going to depend on the proper balance of manmade furniture like decks and chairs and the flowers or plantings that will cover the grounds along and around the home's borders.

Credit Problems and New Tenants

With the economy in a long state or recovery, it has become rather common for individuals to have to deal with potential tenants that have credit problems and the reports that are obtained from Lease Runner might showcase more problems with the average applicant than in years past. And the only way to fill certain vacancies in a timely manner might be for that company to consider looking at how those tenants could be assets to the apartment community despite the fact that they had some issues with their credit worthiness and had past credit issues.

Radiant Floor Heating

Proper radiant heating can be such a boost to the level of comfort that a home provides its residents when it's cold outside and with options from RPM Mats, it's possible to investigate any number of different floor heating options. For example, if a home has been operating with expensive stand-alone heaters, it might be possible to find a much less expensive option from radiant floor heating or even some additional ductwork in the house that would allow for a much less expensive overall approach to heating the home when it was cold outside during the winter.

Allocating Budget to Payment Processing

One of the budgeting mistakes some companies make when they make a list of the outgoing funds is that they don't consider the processing fees associated with various business needs. For example, when setting up payment options with, the agreement for services may come with the processing fees generally expected with such financial transactions. These expected fees and even the interest paid on certain accounts should be part of the overall budgeting process. When the fees and other variable costs aren't budgeted into a company's bottom line, accounts can become delinquent by the end of the year.

Investing in Historic Properties

Most people just visit historic properties and never consider that investment in such properties through might be a good way to diversify a portfolio.  Real estate investment is a volatile market; however, investment in historical preservation offers an exciting mode of investment. Historic preservation and restoration is often a process that takes time and is much more involved than a renovation that might seek to gut a property completely and replace it with an entirely different edifice. There are several interesting tax incentives for working with a property deemed to be historical or valuable to the community.

Moving from the Beach to the Mountains

Job changes, school, and other reasons compel families to move from an area near the coast to a place that features mountains, and the changes can be dramatic. In addition to finding a real estate agent with experience in properties in the mountains, like Keller Williams Foothills Dan Skelly, it's also a good idea to think about how decorative changes and clothing changes might be required. A lifestyle that includes tank tops and shorts might not be appropriate all year long in a mountain locale. Residents who move to the mountains even need to get used to a different level of elevation.

Traditional Floor Plans Versus Non-Traditional

A custom home is one of the best ways to get absolutely every amenity and feature you're looking for in a new home, but one of the interesting dilemmas that some new homeowners face is whether to go with a traditional or non-traditional floor plan when working with AAA Construction Company. A traditional floor plan might make you think of something that's boring, but often the tried-and-true floor plans that place rooms in convenient places will never feel out-of-place even in the most creative of homes. Don't underestimate the simple placement of a kitchen near the garage.

Mounting a Ceiling Fan

An outdoor fan must be mounted, and the place you wish to install the fan might not already have an outlet or electrical system ready to accommodate the fan. Fans can be rather heavy, so one of the important facets of proper fan placement is that the weight of the fan isn't going to damage the ceiling or cause a failing hazard. One of the best ways to improve fan placement safety is through installation of extra brackets that help keep the fan attached to the ceiling. Some fans can weigh over 50 pounds, so appropriate support is essential.

The Traveling Notary

Most notaries public work in business offices, banks, or realty firms.  A newer trend that has been evolving is the mobile notary service, an option in which the notary public travels to your location, at a pre-determined, mutually convenient time.  This can even be after business hours or on weekends.   The notary public will provide all the services of a traditional non-mobile notary public but will tack on an additional fee for the convenience it affords the customer.  Offering the mobile option nationally, is a full service professional mobile notary company.

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