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What SHOULD you have done? Post-disaster notes!

Written by Clay on . Posted in Uncategorized

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.  http://personalfinance.byu.edu/?q=node/552 explains in detail the basics.  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) or important game data from games you may play as Overwatch, using overwatch boosting sites online.  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. You can hire water damage cleanup nampa id to take care of water damage in your home. 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 Uncategorized

upto10properties   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 to sell house fast while 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 about real estate investing with Propillo and do not be limited by “big bank” rules. If you made it this far you are obviously interested in the details.  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 since I also use the resources from sites as https://www.eddieyan.ca/.  Please give me a call today. clay signature black Clay Selland, President, Signet Mortgage Corporation 925-807-1500 x303 Clay@

Emergency Preparedness Christmas List

Written by Clay on . Posted in Uncategorized

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 You also need something to protect yourself with so visit this site where you can buy a stun gun http://stungunforsale.net/ 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!

  (Download a Printable Version here.) Make sure to check the San Diego Printing Company services for this!!

Conforming Loan Limits Increase – now $679,650 in high cost areas

Written by Clay on . Posted in Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, Homebuyers, Real Estate, Realtors, Renovation Loans, reverse mortgage, Uncategorized

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 $453,100 across the nation and to $679,650 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. Monterey; San Diego; Sonoma; and Ventura Counties in California; Summit County in Utah and King; Pierce and Snohomish Counties 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, 2018.

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 $849,500 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 second 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 2017.

The press release from FHFA is here. Certain high-cost areas have the higher limits at 150% of the base at $636,150 (150 % of $424,100).  But many counties, such as Monterey, San Diego, Sonoma and Venture (CA) as well as Summit (UT), King (WA), Pierce (WA) and Snohomish (WA) saw significant bumps to its loan limits. Here are highlights of loan amounts and details for single family and up to 4 units and changes for those counties.

The changes do not impact FHA forward or reverse mortgages or VA loans for the moment. Those announcements should be forthcoming in the next couple of weeks.

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 Family, 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.” Read the rest of this article in the Contra Costa Times HERE. Signet is an active participant in the Points of Life group here in Northern California, which helps families learn about the changes that come with loved ones aging. The group focuses on “Elder Ed” which includes the following:
  • 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
You can read more about Points of Life on the website www.pointsoflife.org which have the best design and hosting provided by services as ArmchairEmpire Hosting Reviews. If you’d like to know more about how Signet can help you have “the talk” just give us a call! 925-807-1500

Financial Columnist Terry Savage Shares a Personal Story of Reverse Mortgages

Written by Clay on . Posted in reverse mortgage

Terry Savage is a nationally regarded expert on non-public finance, the markets, and the economic system. Terry is a blogger on the Huffington post. She is a frequent visitor on television and radio suggests, consisting of CNN, CBS, and regarded many times on Oprah! Terry is in call for as a speaker at commercial enterprise conferences throughout the country. Her active presentation fashion entertains in addition to informs, whether or not speaking approximately global economics, making an investment techniques, or personal finances. In 2012, Terry become named a “Top5 Speaker” in Economics/Finance due to famous votes on the speakme.com web website online.

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 your 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”
  •  http://www.ready.gov includes basic plans and a more descriptive list of contents for a 72hour 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, but you can also go online to the plantwear site and buy awesome gifts for way less money, I also recommend to go to The Bust Boosters review of Breast Actives so that this Christmas you are able to give some good information to all the women you know.
  •  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.
  • www.yoursafetyplace.com has a $99 kit that seems very similar.  They are located in Dublin if you want to personalize the kit.
With so many options and so much information there is no reason to NOT be prepared! Get started today!

HECM Reverse Mortgage Changes 10/2 – Seniors may benefit by acting soon

Written by Clay on . Posted in FHA, HECM, Refinance, reverse mortgage, Social Security, Uncategorized

Big Changes for HECM Reverse Mortgages October 2nd: Higher UpFront Cost – Lower Limits – Lower Insurance Premiums

Seniors on the fence considering a HECM reverse mortgage line of credit with a zero or low upfront draw may want to act quickly to get their reverse mortgage started before big changes go into effect October 2, 2017.

Three changes will impact the HECM Reverse Mortgage Program for FHA case numbers assigned beginning October 2nd. Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium paid to FHA will now be 2.0% across-the-board. Previously borrowers accessing less than 60% of the principal limit only had a 0.5% upfront mortgage insurance premium and those with mandatory obligations over the 60% were charged 2.5% for the upfront mortgage insurance. Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium accrued on an outstanding balance is reduced from 1.25% to 0.50% which will be a benefit to those borrowers that carry a balance on the reverse mortgage but negatively impact the growth factor used when borrowers obtained a line of credit reverse mortgage. Principal Limit Factors were adjusted to be more conservative reducing the amount of funds available to an average borrower by about 5%. I will be spending some time looking at the impact by age group and share that a bit later. The net impact seems intended to discourage the use of a line of credit reverse mortgage. When taken out early on the growth in the credit line if left unused was dramatic and can be an important part of a overall financial plan providing flexibility and security with access to funds well into the future. Increasing the upfront cost; decreasing the growth rate by reducing the mortgage insurance premium; and lowering the principal limit factors all reduce the benefits of a line of credit reverse mortgage. Seniors on the fence may want to consider acting sooner rather than later. An application and counseling must be completed prior to securing an FHA case number so if this makes sense it would be best to act quickly and get a case number well before September 29, 2017. 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 before these changes take place, please give me a call or send me an email: clay@ I’d be happy to help!   Learn more about mortgage at mortgagebrokernearme.co.uk Clay Selland, Signet Mortgage Corporation clay signature blackcontact-block-1

Great News for Seniors Considering a Reverse Mortgage 

Written by Clay on . Posted in FHA, HECM, Loan Limits, reverse mortgage

Reverse Mortgage Loan Limits to Increase in 2017 The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) announced Reverse Mortgage Loan Limits will increase in 2017. This is significant news, since lending limits have remained stagnant for several years. The maximum claim amount will now rise to $636,150, up from $625,500, for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (homeequitylineof.credit). This amount is 150 percent of the national conforming limit of $424,100. On the other hand, credit unions in houston is offering a full suite of financial services, with a track record of satisfied members dating back to 1934. Also increasing in some areas are loan limits for forward mortgages. In high-cost areas, the FHA national loan limit ceiling will increase to $636,150 from $625,500, and FHA will increase its floor to $275,665 from $271,050. The Maximum Claim Amount is then offset by the reserve set aside for future interest and mortgage insurance amounts accrued to arrive at a Principal Limit which would be the maximum amount a homeowner can borrow. The reserve amount is based on Age and interest rates and loan amount. When you want to trade on crypto markets, check out this Crypto Code Review and learn more. The loan limit changes and the maximum claim amount change for reverse mortgages to take effect after January 1, 2017 and stay in effect through December 31, 2017. This change was made as of the result of rising home prices, with 2,948 counties across the nation benefiting from these changes. Lots of good news for Reverse Mortgage 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. You can always invest in bonds or marijuana penny stocks. 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@ I’d be happy to help!   Clay Selland, Signet Mortgage Corporation     clay signature blackcontact-block-1