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………. to where you want to be”

Live Well Financial, Inc. has ceased loan originations.

Written by Clay on . Posted in Loan Modification

LiveWell Financial ceased operations due to operating difficulty.  Here is the article that was published on May 6,2019. LiveWell Ceases Loan Originations

Clients with an existing Live Well loan – the servicing will be transferred to another servicer or taken over by FHA directly and all terms of your loan remain in place.  Clients who have a LiveWell loan in process – you will have to start over unfortunately. If an appraisal has been completed it is possible that it can be transferred.

If you are in the position of “starting over” please reach out – we can help!  We have access to all the leading reverse mortgage lenders and will work hard to make this happen for you.  To learn a bit more about Clay & Signet Mortgage give us a call / email and check out www.signetmortgage.com/reverse.  Signet is licensed in CA, WA, OR, UT and ID.  

Where will your family meet after an emergency? Get a plan in place today!

Written by Clay on . Posted in Emergency Preparedness Guide

In the event of an emergency, you will want to know that your local family and friends are okay.  Avoid chaos and confusion! Take these simple steps to plan where to meet and how to contact each other.

Establish family plan what to do in an emergency – Your family needs to know what happens if you have to get out of your home or evacuate your neighborhood and will not be home. The Red Cross has a detailed family disaster plan HERE.

Invest in walkie-talkies that are only used in an emergency – These can be used when phones do not work or if you get separated at the fair or at a ball game [Cobra 2 way radio / 16 mile / rechargeable / < $25 on Amazon.com] Bury it in your kids backpack and have the other in your car – write on it with a sharpie indicating the channel you will be on in an emergency.  Discuss how it is operated and when it is appropriate to use.

Consider becoming a HAM Radio Operator – HAM radios can be used when other modes of communication are down. The contribution of HAM radio operators during Katrina was invaluable. If you are interested in getting your license contact me for more details.  clay@signetmortgage.com

Great News for Seniors Considering a Reverse Mortgage

Written by Clay on . Posted in reverse mortgage


Reverse Mortgage Loan Limits to Increase in 2018 The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced Reverse Mortgage Loan Limits will increase in 2018. This is significant news since lending limits have remained stagnant for several years. The maximum claim amount will now rise to $726,525, up from $636,150 for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages and jumbo options are now available.

The Maximum Claim Amount is either the appraised value or the loan limit and the amount a borrower can receive is reduced by the reserve set aside for future interest and mortgage insurance amounts accrued to arrive at the Principal Limit.

The reserve needed is based on the age of the youngest borrower, interest rates and loan amount. This change was made as a result of rising home prices, with almost 3,000 counties across the nation benefiting from these changes.

Lots of good news for Reverse Mortgages recently. This increase is a positive for a program that provides seniors more choices and flexibility as they consider a reverse mortgage that can help senior homeowners in many ways.  The most important would be to be able to live in their homes as long as they want or provide strategic options for taking social security and withdrawing investment funds.

To learn more about tips and strategies when applying for a reverse mortgage, I’m available to answer all of your questions.  Let’s talk about your goals and perhaps ways that you can take advantage of these loan limit increases, please give me a call or send me an email: clay@signetmortgage.com. I’d be happy to help!

What SHOULD you have done? Post-disaster notes!

Written by Clay on . Posted in Emergency Preparedness Guide

This week I have some tips about what to do to best recover AFTER a disaster – what you would wish you had done before an individual or major disaster impacts your family or community.

In your “go bag”  

  • Identification of all family members (passport, social security cards, birth certificates)
  • Checks with deposit slips (provides checking account number and institution)
  • Copy of ATM and credit cards, medical ID cards
  • Contact card you prepared in October for your out of state contact

Additional items on “jump drive” – originals in a safe deposit box

  • Items from your “go bag” plus
  • Homeowners insurance policy
  • Two years federal tax returns
  • All investment account statements
  • Checking account statement
  • Household inventory (see below)
  • Password list

Insurance – Fire, Flood, Earthquake, Homeowners & Renters

Fire insurance protects the structure, structures and contents of your home.  It is important to know that earthquake insurance must be offered to you but is optional coverage.

If you rent – you must insure the contents of your home yourself.  If you have a condo or townhome you must insure the fixtures and  improvements inside the walls.  The policy the landlord or HOA has does NOT cover more than the structure.  Check with your insurance agent annually to be sure you are current.

Be sure your policy has a replacement cost coverage for your home that includes a building code upgrade.  If you have an older home and suffer a loss you will be required to comply with current codes when rebuilding and that could add thousands to the cost.  Same with contents insurance – it should replace your stuff – not just a pro-rated value of its original cost

Household Inventory

Take a video inventory of your entire house.  This could be a fun project for a summer afternoon and worthy of bribing a kid to do it.

A “flip video” camera is effective as it creates a digital file that can be copied onto a CD for storage and to create more than one copy.  Narrate the video describing the room, fixtures and contents and be sure to open every drawer.  This is not for public display so don’t worry if it is not perfect or your home is no immaculate.  It will be the basis for creating a very detailed list of contents were your home to be destroyed.

Prepare a separate video and/or list of electronic equipment including serial numbers.  Closely document all valuables – art, jewelry, heirlooms including an appraisal if available.  That will be invaluable in the event of a loss.

Heirloom Inventory

Pictures, ancestry files, etc – maintain copies of important family pictures, documents on your computer (and then archive the drive). Save on a jump drive or secure online service.

Would you be able to shut off your utilities in an Emergency?

Written by Clay on . Posted in Emergency Preparedness Guide

Locating and being able to shut off utilities that are damaged in the event of an earthquake is important for the safety of your family.  Find where to shut off your gas, water and electricity.

Gas Meter – only shut off if you smell leaking natural gas

gas meter

Natural gas leaks and explosions are responsible for a significant number of fires following disasters. It is vital that all household members know how to shut off natural gas.

If it is not clear to you how to shut off your gas at the meter, it is important to contact PG&E for guidance.

Share the information with everyone in your household. Be sure not to actually turn off the gas when practicing the proper gas shut-off procedure.

If you smell gas or hear a blowing or hissing noise, open a window and get everyone out quickly. Turn off the gas, using the outside main valve if you can, and call PG&E from a neighbor’s home.

CAUTION – If you turn off the gas for any reason, a qualified professional must turn it back on. NEVER attempt to turn the gas back on yourself.

Water – preserve water and pressure …

water shut offWater quickly becomes a precious resource following many disasters. It is vital that all household members learn how to shut off the water at the main house valve.

Cracked lines may pollute the water supply to your house. It is wise to shut off your water until you hear from authorities that it is safe for drinking.

The effects of gravity may drain the water in your hot water heater and toilet tanks unless you trap it in your house by shutting off the main house valve.

It may be a round handle (illustrated) or a lever. Usually, this can be found at the base of a hose spigot generally in line with your water meter.  Find it and put a big bright colored tag to identify it.  It may be behind a bush so a challenge to find.

You can also get a tool to turn off the water at the meter – but often that valve is very difficult to operate.

Electrical panel …

electrical panelElectrical sparks have the potential of igniting natural gas if it is leaking. It is wise to teach all responsible household members where and how to shut off the electricity.

There are two (or more) electrical panels in your home – one directly attached below your meter and more inside your home.  It is good to locate all of them …

Inside panels will reset circuit breakers in the event there is an overload from an appliance or other issue in your home.

If you smell gas … it will be important to shut the main panel down.  The main breakers are labeled on/off and are in the main panel (outside).   Don’t practice, resetting all the clocks is a pain .. but you should know where the panel is in the event of an emergency.

I pay a lot of attention to emergency preparedness and will pass along tips on a regular basis. If you live in the San Ramon Valley check out FireDepartment.org and the CERT community emergency response team program (or similar CERT program in your neighborhood)… Be a resource in an emergency rather than a victim.

clay signature black

Can I finance more than 4 Properties?

Written by Clay S. on . Posted in Investment Properties


With Signet Mortgage YES!  Fannie Mae allows up to 10 financed properties but apparently, the big banks feel that such transactions are too complex so limit the number of finance properties to four.

As a mortgage broker we have relationships with over 15 lenders and have options the big banks don’t.  While not every one of our lenders allow 10 financed properties many do and results in very competitive options for an investor wanting to expand a portfolio.

Signet even has two investors that will allow up to 20 financed properties!  Expand your thinking and do not be limited by “big bank” rules. As I am a CPA and licensed as a real estate broker I am uniquely suited to assist with even the most complex situations and would be happy to help.

Please give me a call today at 925-807-1500 x303.

clay signature black

Clay Selland, President, Signet Mortgage Corporation 925-807-1500 x303

Emergency Preparedness Christmas List

Written by Clay on . Posted in Emergency Preparedness Guide

Put these Emergency Preparedness Essentials at the top of your Christmas List this year.

Stocking Stuffers


For your shoes under everyone’s bed …

  • Very bright shoelaces
  • Whistle
  • LED headlamp / Flashlight
Emergency foil blanket (for go bag) $4.50 at REI Fire Starters Can Opener Light Sticks (emergency light) Survival candles Rain poncho Flashlight / Lantern

For you, for your Family


Emergency Backpack

  • 72 hour kit + first aid in a back pack $99 – $239
  • Go bag for every person

Backpack for GO Bag … each family member

Other Essentials (one per family)

  • Battery or hand crank radio
  • USB Drive to store significant documents
  • Earthquake Survival Tool (for gas/water shut off) $6.50
  • FRS Radios – WalkieTalkies for every member of family and make sure they take AA batteries – $20-$30 on Amazon

For your home

  • Carbon Monoxide Detector(s) $20-$30
  • Smoke Alarm
  • 9V batteries
  • Fire Extinguisher

Water Storage – Barrels 55 gallon

  • Costco / 8 unit pallet $729 (split with families)
  • Your Safety Place, Dublin $130
  • Case of water for each car
  • Water filter as an option

Food / Fuel

  • Costco and Shelf Reliance have great selections of emergency food that can cover 14 days to 6 months – Adjust to the size of your family
  • Extra propane tank for the BBQ


  • WoundSeal (stops bleeding) for your first aid kit
  • Auto first aid kit / emergency kit
  • Auto emergency tool
  • HAM radio / become certified
  • Solar charger / hand crank charger for cell phone

And for your New Year’s Resolution

  • Sign up for CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) at www.firedepartment.org/communityoutreach
  • Become certified as a HAM Radio Operator
 Easy to search on Amazon.com or Costco.com for many of these items. Your Safety Place in Dublin, CA is a local source… I found nifty LED headlamps that were two for $4.88 at Home Depot as a Black Friday Special. There will be one in my families stocking this Christmas!

It is not a matter of IF you will need to be prepared  – it is a matter of WHEN … Do it this Christmas!

Conforming Loan Limits Increase – now $726,525 in high cost areas

Written by Clay on . Posted in reverse mortgage

Major Increase in Monterey; Sonoma;  Ventura and Yolo Counties in CA; Summit County in UT as well as King; Pierce and Snohomish Counties in Washington Single family conforming loan limits increased to $484,300 across the nation and to $726,525 in certain high-cost areas. Several counties that previously were in between the base and high-cost limits saw significant increases based on rising property values in Signet Mortgage service areas. Napa, Contra Costa, Alameda, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and Sonoma counties in California, Summit County in Utah and King, Pierce and Snohomish County in Washington will now have access to conforming loan limits reflecting the current market values. The new conforming limits will be effective for loans closed after January 1, 2019. The new limits are helpful as conforming rates can be lower than jumbo rates and underwriting more consistent and flexible so a few more transactions will get done! A purchase in the Bay Area up to $908,150 at 80% loan to value can be done with a conforming loan … Particularly relevant with this announcement is the average U.S. home prices have improved as this is the third increase in as many years after being unchanged since 2008. Here is a link to the loan limits by county for Signet Mortgage service area (CA, WA, OR, ID, UT) and for the entire country.  Included on the right of the chart are the changes from 2018. FHA forward and reverse mortgages and VA loans followed suit a few weeks later with increased limits. As a mortgage professional in business for over thirty years, I am here to consult with you and answer any questions you have about the strategic use of your mortgage. Let’s talk about your goals and perhaps ways that you can take advantage of these changes.  Call or email me – I am happy to help!

Now is the time to have “the talk” with your parents! No, not THAT talk…

Written by Clay on . Posted in reverse mortgage

“It’s the age-old question: When and how do we have “the talk?” No, not that one, but the dialogue on the other side of the lifetime spectrum, often just as difficult and delicate — the one about an aging family member’s driving abilities, housing transitions, costs of long-term care and even end-of-life instructions.

Most of us, on either side of the discussion, would rather chew on nails than delve into these subjects. Yet as more and more baby boomers step into senior citizen territory and life expectancies continue to increase, such issues loom large. Even so, these talks don’t always have to be harrowing. While each individual, each family, each situation is different, most in the field of geriatric care agree the process is easier the earlier you start — when all parties are fully engaged — and say you should “approach loved ones with respect and compassion, appreciating an individual’s need to retain independence.”

There are specialists that can help with the “Talk”.  I can put you in touch with a professional in your area.  This is a short list of topics to consider.

  • Legal Rights and Obligations
  • Financial Rights and Options
  • Care Options
  • The Cost of Long Term Care
  • The Wants and Wishes of the Family and Loved Ones
  • The Need for Family Communication
  • Final Planning and much more

If you’d like to know more about how Signet can help you have “the talk” just give us a call! 925-807-1500

Emergency Food: Pick What Your Family Will EAT!!

Written by Clay on . Posted in Emergency Preparedness Guide

You want your emergency kit to contain food that your family is familiar with and will actually want to eat. There are plenty of items that make great emergency kit additions.

Consider the following items:

  • Beef Jerky
  • Saltine Crackers
  • Soup for one
  • Trail mix
  • Powerbars
  • Cheese & Crackers
  • Fruit Cups
  • Applesauce cups
  • Cookies
  • Snack Pack Cereal
  • Fruit Snacks
  • Raisins
  • Peanuts
  • Granola Bars
  • Juice Boxes
  • Hard Candy
  • Hot Cocoa Mix (foil pouches)

TIP: If you include items that must be heated you would need to include fuel and a method of cooking. I would stick with things that only require water.

Before you say, “I have plenty of these items around the kitchen, I’ll just grab it if I need it,” consider this–If there is an emergency and you can stay home, you may have enough around the home to get by for 72 hours.

What if there is a major fire and you have to leave NOW?  What happens if you are at work or on the way home?

That is the purpose of a 72 hour kit.   Do it today.

Finally, if the thought of purchasing and putting all these items together seems overwhelming there are several resources to check out:

  • www.72hours.org  informative site sponsored by the City and County of San Francisco – easy to navigate for more details.
  • www.redcrossstore.org has a listing of basic 72 hour kits.  Nothing that cannot be done on your own.  Not wild about “food bars”
  • https://www.ready.gov/ includes basic plans and a more descriptive list of contents for a 72-hour kit
  • www.amazon.com has several basic 72-hour kits ranging from a 2 person kit at $45 and up from there.  Could be a wonderful Christmas gift for your family. There is a more extensive kit for less than $100.
  • www.costco.com has a 72 hour kit for $90 that included 10 yards of duct tape – so it was well thought out.  May need to supplement a better radio? Also have Mountain House food as another selection.

With so many options and so much information there is no reason to NOT be prepared! Get started today!