Monday, October 26, 2009

Change your batteries when you change your clock


Change your batteries when you change your clock
tv23Cobb Fire and Emergency Services is encouraging residents to change their smoke alarm and carbon monoxide detector batteries when they change their clocks back for daylight savings time on Sunday, Nov. 1. The Change Your Clock, Change Your Battery campaign aims to remind people of the importance of changing batteries in these life-saving devices. Prevention is key and working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in a home fire nearly in half. Two-thirds of deaths result from fires in homes without working smoke alarms. Residents are also reminded that smoke alarms should be replaced at least every 10 years and tested once a month to ensure they are working. For more information, including simple home safety tips, visit cobbfire.org.

The Home Buyer Market... A difference a 1 year makes

ONE YEAR AGO…
It started with a trickle of failed sub prime loans and without warning, the dam broke unleashing a torrent of failed mortgages and foreclosures. Last year at this time, the mortgage markets were frozen, housing values were plummeting, the stock market was in free fall, Lehman Brothers crashed and burned, and the financial infrastructure of the United States was teetering on the brink of collapse. Foreclosures, bank failures, 401-K’s turned to 201-K’s, and the impending Great Depression was the story of the day.
What a Difference a Year Makes! “The Cavalry Arrived.”
TARP (Trouble Asset Relief Program) is a $700 Billion relief initiative that was supposed to purchase bad loans in order to keep the banks liquid. It was soon determined that this was a bad use of the funds because the banks didn’t like being told what to do. So eventually we got around to using the money to make a market of cheap money so that everybody could refinance or purchase with a very affordable house payment; we went to Main Street with Main Street’s money (the taxes we pay). Imagine that! And… it’s working. 201-K’s are back to 301-K’s, the stock market has regained some strength, the housing market is stabilizing, and Bernie Madoff and a bunch of others are in jail.
What’s Next?
The Good News- The Home Buyer Credit of $8000 will most likely be extended until June. Thus far the Credit has caused a demand for houses priced up to $250,000. Make no mistake, The Home Buyer Credit is providing the impetus for the sudden surge in sales.
The Challenge- Many people are waiting to sell, and then buy, when values go back to the peak. Tell them, “If you can wait until 2023, go ahead.”
The Reality- The window of opportunity is narrowing. The Home Buyer credit will end, mortgage rates will rise, and home selection will dwindle. People are scared to act so it is our job to provide them knowledge that will help them. Perhaps getting one of our job loss insurance policies will do the trick…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams - Help Is Free!

Beware of Foreclosure Rescue Scams - Help Is Free!
  • Beware of anyone who asks you to pay a fee in exchange for a counseling service or modification of a delinquent loan.
  • Scam artists often target homeowners who are struggling to meet their mortgage commitment or anxious to sell their homes. Recognize and avoid common scams.     
  • Assistance from a HUD-approved housing counselor is FREE.
  • Beware of people who pressure you to sign papers immediately, or who try to convince you that they can “save” your home if you sign or transfer over the deed to your house.
  • Do not sign over the deed to your property to any organization or individual unless you are working directly with your mortgage company to forgive your debt.
  • Never make a mortgage payment to anyone other than your mortgage company without their approval.