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Just because summer is nearly over, doesn’t mean your home improvement projects need to come to a halt along with those lazy pool days and barbecues.


One effective method to choosing a home improvement project is to conduct a perimeter walk of their homes and take note of any exterior problems, including landscaping fixes, driveway repairs, new paint, etc. Some projects you can DIY and other larger renovations and repairs will require that you hire a professional.


Landscaping fixes generally can be done by the homeowner; trim back your trees, fix any broken fences and clean up those flower beds for fall. If it’s a larger project, be sure to do your research before calling in a professional. A certified contractor can make driveway repairs and a quality housepainter can freshen up your home’s outdoor appearance.


Another end of summer project to tackle is checking and testing window seals, as the days of ceiling-fan and air-conditioning use eventually will lead to turning up the heat.


Out back, pool decks, boat docks and pathways should be inspected for damage, such as mildew, rotting wood and cracks. All are relatively easy to fix and will improve the look of the back-yard vista, making it more appealing for potential buyers if you decide to sell your home in the future.



Preparation is vital for property owners that stand to be impacted by an impending storm—so much so that it can be life-saving even after storm conditions have subsided.  Post-storm cleanup, especially, can be made less challenging with precautionary measures.
Preparing for bad weather is always wise, especially who you are a homeowner because you will want to remedy any damage made to your property quickly. While everyone thinks about buying milk, bread, and toilet paper before a storm, many people forget about making sure their outdoor power equipment is in order for after the storm and that generators are ready for use.

Property owners can plan ahead for a safe cleanup by using some of these tips.

Taking Stock – Take a look at the property and consider what-if scenarios:
• Will the tree in my yard fall?
• Will the shed withstand high winds?
• Can I reinforce the windows?

Inspect the equipment you do have and purchase other items, such as a chain saw, reflective clothing or safety goggles, if needed.

Fueling Up – It is common for fuel stations to close in the days following a severe storm. Stock up on the fuel needed to power any outdoor equipment you may be using, including a generator. Bear in mind that for outdoor power equipment, it is illegal to use fuel containing more than 10 percent ethanol.

Reviewing – Before the storm hits (and the power potentially goes out), take time to review operator’s manuals of any outdoor power ...


The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) recently announced that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the Enterprises), at FHFA's direction, will implement a new refinance offering aimed at borrowers with high loan-to-value (LTV) ratios. The new refinance offering will provide much-needed liquidity for borrowers who are current on their mortgage but are unable to refinance through traditional programs because their LTV ratio exceeds the Enterprises' maximum limits.

"Providing a sustainable refinance opportunity for high LTV borrowers who have demonstrated responsibility by remaining current on their mortgage makes financial sense both for borrowers and for the Enterprises," says FHFA Director Melvin L. Watt. "This new offering will give borrowers the opportunity to refinance when rates are low, making their mortgages more affordable and thus reducing credit risk exposure for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac."

Eligibility

In order to qualify for the new offering, borrowers: (1) must not have missed any mortgage payments in the previous six months; (2) must not have missed more than one payment in the previous 12 months; (3) must have a source of income; and (4) must receive a benefit from the refinance such as a reduction in their monthly mortgage payment. Full details will be available in the coming months through the Enterprises, but the offering will make use of the lessons learned from the Home Affordable Refinance Program ...


5 Credit Myths Debunked

Aug 23
2:21
PM
Category | Blog

Credit scores and mortgage rates go hand-in-hand. Borrowers with high credit scores tend to get lower interest rates on mortgages than borrowers with low credit scores. There is a wealth of misinformation about credit—in fact, credit users, even those who check their scores often, incorrectly believe age, employment history and salary factor into a credit score, according to a recently released TransUnion survey.

“Checking your credit score is an important component of financial responsibility, but consumers should do more,” said TransUnion Consumer Interactive President John Danaher in a statement on the survey. The TransUnion Consumer Survey shows that even those who monitor their credit are only skimming the surface of their credit report and often don’t understand the factors that comprise their credit score.”
 

The most common misconceptions both credit-checkers and non-credit-checkers should know, according to TransUnion, are:

 

Myth: Checking my credit report will lower my score.
Checking your credit report will not impact your score—a lender checking your report, however, may.

Myth: Using my debit card will boost my score.
Use of a debit card does not reflect your credit habits, and, thus, will not impact your credit score.

Myth: My salary factors into my score.
Your salary will not impact your credit score, but a ...


Refinance are up 55% compared to this time last year! As mortgage rates this August remain at historic lows. In fact, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, the average interest rate on a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage was 3.49 percent near the end of July, down from 4.2 percent at the same time last year.
 
Not only can refinancing a mortgage save you money, it can also help you pay off your home quicker, and will even unlock more equity in your home. Rates available to consumers are low right now and probably aren’t going to go any lower in the foreseeable future. The Fed has indicated that they implement rate hikes after the elections in November. So by December 2016, rate could be much higher.
 
If you’re looking to take advantage of today’s low mortgage rates, keep the following items in mind so your process is as effective and smooth as possible.

  1. Waiting too long. While rates have been low for some time now, with some experts predicting they’ll go even lower, the upcoming election may lead to unpredictability. With low rates like the ones we’re seeing today, time is of the essence, so be sure to refinance sooner rather than later.
  2. Not being prepared. When your lender calls or emails asking for information, don’t put it off. Have your documentation and financial information ready so that you can sign it in a timely manner. The last thing you want to do is ...

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