Clay Selland, President
Signet Mortgage Corporation
“Taking you from where you are
………. to where you want to be”
Clay Selland, President
Signet Mortgage Corporation
As I was starting on my hike well before sunrise Saturday morning, the crunch of my hiking boots on the gravel trail caused me to think about those serving in our military all over the world and the sound their boots make every day on our behalf. I have been able to do this hike virtually every day for the last 248 days … the park is paid for by taxes we pay to East Bay Regional Parks … the road I walk on to get there is paid for by taxes we pay to the County … most of all, the freedoms we all enjoy are because of the taxes we pay to the United States Government. No one likes paying taxes .. and it is too easy to complain or protest paying your taxes based on wasteful government or excess spending on priorities you may or may not agree with.
Stop and think about the blessings that we enjoy and appreciate those freedoms and blessings are not free. If you follow one of your tax dollars – a very large portion of it will be going to put food on the table for a serviceman or woman, who hasn’t seen their spouse, baby or two-year-old daughter for the last 18 months, while serving in Afghanistan or somewhere around the world. Think of those serving us in public service (military, fire and police services, etc) and how they risk their life willingly. The least you can do is write that check or file that tax return with gratitude.
We can argue whether our government should be involved in different causes throughout the world, and certainly challenge the waste in government. Probably one of the most frustrating inefficiencies is the rift between political parties that prevents meaningful progress in Congress – the folks elected to help us! As I write a check this week I am going to do so with gratitude and challenge you to do the same.
While at it, write another check to a charity or faith-based organization that will further help someone in need. I walked out my front door early this morning with my Border Collies and was up on a trail above San Ramon Valley in about a half hour. I’m enjoying a beautiful sunrise and appreciate that is not possible without the freedoms of living in this country. This is a land of opportunity, but certainly not equal opportunity for everyone and there is a responsibility to take care of each other, and yes, pay your fair share of the overhead (government) to make it happen and for our safety and freedom. When you write your tax check and address it to the Internal Revenue Service… put that red, white and blue “forever” stamp on the front with gratitude and pride.
Ahome remodel can arise out of need or desire – either way figuring out how to pay for it is likely the biggest barrier homeowners face when considering a remodel for their home. Your home should be comfortable and safe. If updates are needed to make your home more functional, it will allow you to enjoy your home more too! There are many options to financing home improvements and these may be more affordable and flexible than you think.
A Renovation loan (FHA 203(k)) or the Fannie Mae Homestyle renovation loan is designed to finance home improvements and work best when refinancing or purchasing a home. Estimates to complete the work must be obtained prior to loan approval and the cost of those improvements can be rolled into the loan amount. Generally the work must be completed in the next six months and are paid through proceeds of the loan.
The ideal situation could be the purchase of a home that is not exactly the way you want it. It may need carpet, paint, new windows and perhaps a new bathroom or kitchen to make the home perfect. The FHA 203(k) loan has two levels. A streamlined loan for improvements costing less than $35,000 is relatively straightforward and is ideal for cosmetic upgrades. A standard FHA 203(k) loan can finance major renovations including adding a room or remodeling a kitchen or a new roof.
This is one loan with one payment. It is important to note the FHA loan will have attractive interest rates but will have the added expense of mortgage insurance.
A Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) is best used when you already own a home with a current first mortgage on the home at market interest rates. You may simply need funds for a renovation or repair. With sufficient equity in your home you can set up a line of credit that you can access as needed in your project. HELOC’s will have a variable interest rate generally at prime +1.5% – 2.5%. Currently the prime rate is very low so this option can be very attractive and best used if you are in a position to pay it off in the next five years or so.
A federally insured reverse mortgage or Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) can be a valuable tool in financing home renovations. In this case all borrowers on the loan would need to be 62 years of age or older, and have the ability to pay property taxes, HOA and insurance. The unique benefit of a reverse mortgage is that there are no required monthly payments. Instead, interest and the mortgage insurance costs are added to the outstanding loan balance. Functioning much like a HELOC, funds are accessed only when needed.
Available funds can be used for renovations to make the home safe such as remodeling a downstairs bathroom and converting a bedroom, avoiding the need to use stairs every day. Available funds can remain parked for use in an emergency somewhere down the road.
If you would like to explore what might be the best options for you, feel free to give me a call. Clay Selland, President, Signet Mortgage Corporation 877-877-8420 x303 or Clay@SignetMortgage.com
If you have ever closed a real estate transaction or refinance – then you have likely received solicitations from “title recording services” or “local property transfer services” looking very official because they contain details of your recent transaction. These solicitations are bogus and simply a money grab for companies set up to sell you a copy of your grant deed that the county is going to send you anyhow, or ask you to complete a declaration of Homestead which you can do with the county for free. This is the old-fashioned form of phishing – these companies are selling you “services” that you do not need. While these companies may be technically compliant because the fine print disclaimer indicates they are “not a governmental agency and do indicate you can get a copy of your deed or record from the county recorder’s office” – it still stinks and is very deceptive. The documents are cleverly designed to create urgency and be something that you need to take care of right away simply because they arrived shortly after your transaction and always contain a deadline for response. They even go so far as to put a warning on the envelope indicating “$2000 fine and five years imprisonment or both for a person interfering with the delivery of this letter” … Well that is standard Postal Service regulation!