We all know things happen that are out of our control. An unexpected medical bill or a car emergency. These types of situations can throw off your whole budget and cause you to worry about missing a mortgage payment or several payments. Do you know what to do?
Contact Your Mortgage Servicer
Always be prepared to tell the why you can't make your monthly payments and whether or not this is temporary or permanent and also provide them with other details about your income expenses. In some cases, your mortgage servicer may have programs in place to help you avoid that dreadful word, foreclosure.
Calling a HUD- approved housing counselor
It's free and can help you find a counselor near you. They can assist to help you figure out if you qualify for help and help you further understand any assistance your mortgage company may have offered you.
Failure to Communicate/Pay
In general, not paying your mortgage will be reported by your lender to the three major credit bureaus and they will lower your credit score. In addition, after a grace period (generally a week to 15 days after the payment due date), a late fee will be added on to the payment you failed to make.**
When you're going through a situation like this, it is imperative to watch out for scams. Never pay anyone to help you to avoid foreclosure. They might tell you they'll save your home foreclosure when they're really just taking your money.
If and when this ever happens make sure you're in contact with your mortgage servicer. They're more likely to work with you if you let them know before you miss a payment.some lenders being willing to offer informal forgiveness or being willing to hold off on late fees or reporting to credit agencies, in some cases people can qualify for forbearance programs. These are formal programs where people facing financial problems can miss a payment or make a lower payment for a period of time while they sort out financial problems.**
* Servicer- The company you make your payments to.
**Depends on the mortgage servicers discretion.
Visit Valley West Mortgage for our Online Application and our Secure Document Uploading.
Saving Money Never Goes Out Of Style
California regulators approve plan to mandate solar panels on new home construction!
- California regulators Wednesday approved a historic plan to mandate rooftop solar panels on most new single-family homes built in the state.
- The California Energy Commission's action is expected to add on average about $9,500 to the cost of building new houses.
- The solar mandate, which goes into effect in 2020, received the support of home builder and solar trade associations as well as several large utilities.
California regulators on Wednesday unanimously approved a historic plan that will require most new homes in the state have rooftop solar panels that turn sunlight into electricity starting in 2020.
With the move, California now becomes the first state in the nation to mandate solar-energy installations on most single-family homes as well as multi-family residential buildings up to three stories, including condos and apartment complexes.
The solar mandate is expected to add on average about $9,500 to the cost of new houses but is projected to be offset by the solar system's long-term energy savings.
The mandate, approved 5-to-0 by the California Energy Commission, is part of the state's 2019 update of energy efficiency standards and ongoing efforts to help reduce greenhouse gases. The state's building sector is the second-largest source of greenhouse gas emissions when fossil fuels power plants are factored in.
"This is an undeniably historic decision for the state and the U.S.," said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, a trade association with about 1,000 member companies. "California has long been our nation's biggest solar champion, and its mass adoption of solar has generated huge economic and environmental benefits, including bringing tens of billions of dollars of investment into the state."
The commission's action on new 2019 building energy efficiency standards also apply to everything from current ventilation systems to indoor air quality. California updates its building energy efficiency standards every three years, and the state's ultimate goal is net-zero energy homes that reduces the carbon footprint of buildings and makes them effectively energy self-sufficient.
California — now the world's fifth-largest economy — already has a reputation for pushing the boundaries when it comes to going green. The state's renewable portfolio standard requires power companies to have 50 percent of total energy sources from renewable energy such as solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectricity by 2030.
The commission estimates the solar mandate will add an average of about $9,500 to the upfront cost of single-family houses but result in about $19,000 in energy savings over a 30-year period.
"California has been a leader in solar in the U.S. for a long time and it's paid dividends both economically and to our environment here," said Sean Gallagher, vice president of state affairs for the Solar Energy Industries Association, a national trade association of manufacturers, developers and installers in the U.S. solar-energy industry. "California is taking a step further basically recognizing that solar should be as commonplace as a front door welcoming you home."
The approved standards still allow new home construction to continue with some natural gas but it looks to reduce gas need over time and facilitate a shift to high-efficiency electric appliances, such as heat pump water heaters. All-electric homes using solar are seen as having lower greenhouse gas emissions and less energy consumption than those that use natural gas.
Under the change, new homes are expected to cut energy use by more than 50 percent by having solar photovoltaic systems on rooftops. For residential homeowners, the commission estimates that the standards will add about $40 to an average monthly payment over a 30-year period but essentially save consumers $80 on monthly heating, cooling and lighting bills.
There are still significant upfront costs of requiring the solar panels on rooftops of new homes. The mandate comes at a time when California also is dealing with a housing shortage and the challenge of affordable homes statewide.
Experts suggest the cost of adding solar on new homes in areas such as the San Francisco Bay region where real estate prices are already high may not affect homebuyers as much. But it could prove to be more challenging for new homeowners in communities with lower housing costs such as Fresno in the Central Valley.
Regardless, the state estimates the proposed solar standards applying to most homes and many commercial structures could save California residents and businesses hundreds of millions of dollars in energy costs over the next decade.
Moving Across America
If you’ve ever wondered what areas people are moving out of and moving into, we have the list right here. Idaho held on to the top spot for people moving in following Washington and none other than yours truly, Nevada coming in at #3.
Here’s the full list:
Affecting Your Home’s Feng Shui
Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is an idea adopted from ancient Chinese culture that describes how the placement of objects in a particular space affect the energy flow in that space. If you believe in energies, vibrations, and auras then you’ll probably want to arrange the furniture in your home in a way that will give you the most positive feelings.
The idea behind feng shui is that the inside of your home is a reflection of the inside of your soul. A clutter free home is a clutter free spirit and a clutter free mind. The feng shui of your home is affected by what you have inside of it. So if you let the trash cans pile up and allow the sink to run over with dirty dishes, you’re killing the feng shui or, the good energy in the room. Since those of us who work demanding jobs don’t always have time or the energy to just sit at home, it’s nice to have positive vibes flowing when you do get to be home. No one likes to come home to a disorganized house.
Having a good amount of light in your home also adds to the positive energy flow. The sun itself is a big ball of energy, and we’re lucky enough to have the sun shine down on us every day. It’s easy to take advantage of the sun’s positive energy by opening the blinds or drawing back the drapes. Allowing fresh sun rays in your home from day to day is sure to stimulate the feng shui in your house.
There are five basic elements of Feng Shui. They include Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These elements can also be expressed in colors or shapes. The Wood represents growth and creativity. Fire represents expansion and transformation. Earth is for stability. The Water represents clarity and relaxation. Metal (my favorite element) represents mental power and sharpness, it has a lot to do with intelligence. Having some form of these 5 elements in your home is thought to bring your home balance and solidity.
Though you do not need to have a deep understanding of Feng Shui to apply it to your home, it’s a great practice to put in place. There are tons of articles about Feng Shui and Chi and Chakras and how they all can affect you and your home. The point of it all is to give balance to your mind and your wellbeing. Whether you spend a lot of time or a little time at home, Feng Shui can help you to feel incredibly relaxed and peacefully organized.
When doing your research always be sure to consult great sources. Check out the sources for this article below!
WHITNEY RUSH, VALLEY WEST MORTGAGE
What is Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO)?
FICO is an acronym that stands for the Fair Isaac Corporation. The Fair Isaac Corporation (FICO) specializes in predictive analytics. They have developed a system that is designed to predict the risk associated with lending money to you in the form of a loan. According to Investopedia your FICO credit score makes up a substantial portion of the credit report that lenders use to assess an applicant’s credit risk and whether or not to extend a loan. FICO scores range from 300-850, with 300 being the lowest number and highest risk. The higher the number, the less risk there is associated with lending to you. So what’s a good FICO score? Ideally, you would want have a FICO credit score of about 650 or higher, but it truly depends on the lender and the nature of the loan you wish to receive.
FICO & MORTGAGE PAYMENTS
Your FICO score can have a huge impact on your monthly mortgage payments. Your score will help to determine how much money your lender will loan you, how high or low your interest rates will be, and essentially how long you could be repaying your mortgage.
You can see how a difference in your FICO score can lead to a significantly large monetary difference in your monthly payments. So remember to check your FICO score a few times a year, just to know the status of your financial standing. And always remember to check you FICO Score when you’re preparing to make a big financial move.
What Goes Up...Must Come Down
If you watch the news or are current in the mortgage world (as we all should be), you know that the mortgage rates are dropping significantly. Mortgage rates are important because they regulate the amount of interest that home buyers pay on their mortgages every month. Houses, especially nice ones, aren’t exactly cheap. So borrowers need to obtain a loan from a bank in order to pay for their house. Well upon paying back that loan, borrowers must also pay interest, so if the interest rates are low, then of course the payments (in most circumstances) are low as well. What does that mean for you? It means that NOW is the time to look into buying a new home, or refinancing your current home for a lower interest rate.
According to Freddie Mac, the average mortgage rate as of October 16, 2014 is at 3.97% for a 30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage. That’s a major change from the 4.28 percentage rate that was reported last year by Freddie Mac. One of the safest bonds to invest in are US Treasury Bonds. Because of this, US Banks model their interest rates on mortgages based on the US Treasury’s rates. As a result, if the Treasury’s rates drop, then the mortgage rates are likely to follow.
Is There an Explanation for Low Mortgage Rates?
Wise investors want to make safe investments that will provide a steady income of money. One investment that is considered “safe” is an investment in Mortgage-Backed Securities (or MBS). Those who invest in mortgage-backed securities are essentially lending their money to a homebuyer or a business. These MBSs are backed by government supported entities like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, and since they are supported by the full faith and credit of the government, investors feel comfortable with investing. Investors are investing while the mortgage rates are low. If they go up too high, there is no guarantee that they will continue to put money towards MBSs. Banks need people to continue to invest in MBSs so that they can continue to gather their loans and sell them to the GSEs, or Government-Sponsored Enterprise . If no one is investing then the banks can’t sell their loans, and if smaller banks can’t sell their loans and their borrowers default then the bank loses thousands of dollars. According to Jed Kolko, a Trulia Chief Economist, “[When] investors think US mortgage-backed securities are relatively safe, mortgage rates [will] stay low.”
Granted, what I have provided is only one explanation. Other bloggers, mortgage experts, and financial institutions I’m sure have their opinions on why the rates have fallen. Will the rates stay low? Doubt it. The economy is constantly changing as well as the demand to borrow money. So be sure to take advantage of this rare financial opportunity while it’s beneficial to you. Just a bit of food for your mortgage thoughts.