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If you're in too deep - a temporary solution

February 16th, 2010

We provide industry news to help keep you up to date on what's happening in the mortgage industry. This information will assist you in making the proper decision regarding your specific situation. Of course, it's always imperative to speak with a mortgage professional to discuss your individual needs. Some of these decisions include when to move up, stay put, downsize, refinance, take out a 2nd mortgage, etc.

However, it's frequent, especially in these economic times, that people face a different issue with the cost of their mortgage - what if you're in too deep? Then what?

If you're among the many homeowners now straining under the weight of a too-big housing payment, the worst thing you can do is ignore the problem. 

The best thing you can do is size up your situation. Is the housing stress you are facing the result of a:

  1. short-term problem (i.e., layoff or healthcare costs)? or...
  2. more fundamental problem such as a miscalculation of what you could afford?

If the stress is temporary, the solution could be as simple as rethinking your spending. Review your past 6 months of bank and credit card statements. What adjustments in spending can you make? Some suggestions are:

  • cancel health club memberships
  • skip a vacation
  • lower the cost or eliminate gift-giving
  • eat at home more often
  • scrutinize your entertainment expenses

Look at the other side of the coin and think how you can increase your income. One option would be to reduce your withholding, which will increase your take home pay. A part-time, temporary job is also another avenue to consider to get you through this temporary financial crunch.

The effort you place could be the answer to saving, rather than losing, your home.

If your situation is more permanent, the solutions are much different. These options will be discussed in our next post.


Extra! Extra! Read all about it!

February 9th, 2010

I'm sure you've noticed many recent headlines about mortgage fraud, mortgage lender "misdeeds" and even arrests. It seems it's in the newspapers, on television, and on line. Even links are presented on Facebook and Twitter informing of the issues this country currently faces. If you haven't been aware of these issues, here are a few examples to bring you up to speed:

Defendants Arraigned in Suffolk County Mortgage Fraud
Two Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Arrests Made in Alleged Orange County Loan Mod Scam

After Audit, HUD Office Files Charges Against Georgia Lender

N.J. Lender Subpoenaed by HUD, Stops Funding

So why would a mortgage lender bring this up? Because we believe it makes sense to do your due diligence when preparing to sign a contract - a contract/loan that will most likely be the largest investment you'll ever make. 

If you're considering purchasing a new or refinancing your current home, we encourage you to do your homework. The same goes for any other type of transaction that includes your residence (home equity, reverse mortgage, etc.). Check out the mortgage company. Ask friends and neighbors for referrals. "Interview" a few before making your decision.  
And when you're ready for that next loan, we'll be happy to assist you. Honestly, ethically and in your best interest.


Saving, spending and giving

February 2nd, 2010

Since I am in the "mortgage business", I often find myself in discussions regarding money. Credit scores, interest rates, payment plans, investments ... the list goes on. There are so many variables, so many issues, so many person-specific "things" that we all need professionals to guide us when making high-dollar decisions. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve as one of those advisors.

But not all money topics are complicated. I'd like to introduce you to a very simple book, titled Three Cups. This book was developed by Tony Townsley, a gentleman from our Parish at Saint Maria Goretti. He presents the importance of having 3 cups and using each of those cups for saving, spending and giving.  

My son, who is in 4th grade, and I are using Three Cups which was given to him at school at the beginning of Lent. The book has provided a great way for us to go through Lent and to talk about the importance of sharing our gifts with others, saving for our future and spending wisely on our needs today. It has also given my son and me a focal point for discussions about the money he receives on birthdays, for chores and so on. I would recommend this book as a great tool that can help all of us live and teach our faith ... with our wallets. 

Visit the website to learn more about Three Cups and to read others' stories how they've used the book as a roadmap for teaching financial responsibility.


Further declines in home prices expected

January 26th, 2010

With housing prices and interest rates down, many people are wondering if now is a good time to be a first-time home buyer or upgrade to a "better" home. The tax advantages are certainly one reason to consider purchasing now. 

Looking at the housing market, First American CoreLogic and its LoanPerformance Home Price Index states that further declines in home prices, driven by distressed sales, are expected in the early months of 2010. This will be followed by a recovery this spring, but that is now projected to be much smaller and to occur later than previous forecasts stated.

If your're thinking of upgrading, be sure to factor in the fact that your house, along with most others, has also declined in value. Though you might get a "great deal" on the one you want to purchase, the person buying yours is probably also getting a "great deal" as well.

Besides the cost of the house, the mortgage interest rate is another factor to consider. According to a recent Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the rates are currently around 5%. These rates are quite inviting. Just to provide a comparison, during the inflationary times in the 70's, mortgage rates were in the low teens. It wasn't unusual for people to pay 13%!

This could be the right time for your to make your move. Consider all the issues - tax incentives, interest rate and the declining values in the housing market. Talk to a trusted mortgage professional; they will help you sort through all the issues and guide you on this major financial decision.


Mortgages and helping others - it all ties together

January 20th, 2010

We've all heard the saying, people buy from people. This is true, whether it's a product, service or a mortgage. We want to know the person we're dealing with. This develops a trust level that a company logo can't begin to create.

Therefore, along with mortgage knowledge, I will also share some of my personal life - topics that will help you get to know me. Yes, partly because (hopefully) you'll know me well enough to trust me with your next mortgage, and then I can get to know you as well. But also because my other life, outside of the business world, might also serve you through areas of interest or of assistance for you or someone you know.

In December I introduced you to Anna's House. A Community Service Center in Indianapolis, Anna's House was created to serve people in need. Lucious Newsom and Anna Molloy worked together for years to inspire people to care for the hungry and the needy. In this 2005 photo, Lucious, right, and Anna, second from right, pose during the groundbreaking ceremony for Anna’s House. Charlie Caito, left, and Leo Stenz, two loyal supporters of Anna’s House, participated in the groundbreaking ceremony. (Photo Source: The Criterion Online Edition) 

One of the reasons I feel called to Anna's House is that our daughter has skeletal dysplasia, as Anna did. A different type of dysplasia that Anna had but in the same family of dwarfism. We have created a CaringBridge website and wanted to share this great organization. CaringBridge is a free, nonprofit web service that connects family and friends to share information, love and support during a serious health event, care and recovery. This site has been very helpful for us, as we keep friends and family up to date; their comments in the journal are a great source of comfort for us.


Cream of the crop

January 12th, 2010

According to a recent article in National Mortgage News, it would seem that "no one in his right mind would choose" to be in the mortgage business. They back this statement up by citing the upheaval that the mortgage industry, as a whole, has experienced.

We have all read and heard about some selling loans to consumers who cannot afford them, charging excessive fees, being scrutinized by the government and many loan companies going out of business.

Many mortgage brokers (or should I say "former" brokers) have moved on to other fields of interest. So, what does this say? We here at Grandview Lending believe this is a good thing. Most still in business today are those who are ethical, commited to serving their clients and have a passion for helping people own their piece of the American Dream. 

The National Mortgage News article also stated that those who are "... left standing today are believed to be the cream of the crop — experienced, motivated and highly professional." I totally agree!


The time for resolutions

January 1st, 2010

As 2009 makes its exit, and 2010 knocks at the door, people throughout the world are creating their New Year's Resolutions. But all too often, these resolutions fall by the wayside all to quickly. 

Rather than make New Year's Resolutions, we at Grandview Lending have every day resolutions. We live by them, conduct business by them and I'd like to share them with you now:

  • We listen to our customers.
  • We promise to communicate about your specific needs.
  • We educate so you can make the best possible decision for you and your family.
  • We deliver the most competitive loan programs available.
  • We make it our strict policy to make sure every customer is completely satisfied.
  • We strive to earn your business for life.

Happy New Year!


Santa isn't the only one who has lists to check

December 21st, 2009

The end of the year is a time when many people review their financial picture and begin to make plans for the future. With the mortgage interest rates at an amazingly low percentage, this is the perfect time to review your current loan. 

At Grandview Lending, we specialize in finding what is best for you and your specific situation. There are a plethora of loan options, and just like Santa, we have a long list from which to choose:

  • Fixed Rate Loans
  • Adjustable Rate Loans
  • Sub-Prime, Non- Prime Credit Challenged Programs
  • FHA Loans
  • VA Loans
  • Rural Housing Loans
  • Zero Down Loans with up to Six Percent closing costs paid!
  • Interest-only LIBOR Loans
  • Balloon Loans
  • First-Time Homebuyer Loans (Zero Down & 3% Down)
  • No Documentation Loans
  • Home Equity Loans and Lines of Credit
  • Cash-Out Refinancing
  • Debt Consolidation Loans
  • New Construction Loans
  • Remodeling Loans
  • Lot Loans
  • Bridge Loans

Not sure what's best - to keep what you have or apply for a new mortgage? We can help you make the right decision. And that will make your season bright!


Grandview lending knows that giving is a year-round opportunity

December 15th, 2009

We focus on serving our customers through the philosophy of family values. I believe that helping those in need is one way that a company can serve the individual. Last year we organized a food drive for The Lord's Pantry at Anna's House and this year Grandview Lending is adopting a family. But the staff doesn’t just give during the holiday season. Many (along with their family members) give their time on Saturdays throughout the year to distribute food.

In addition to weekly distribution of food, Anna’s House was created to serve the community of Stringtown/Haughville near the Indianapolis Zoo by providing a home for weekly community dinners, tutoring neighborhood children, a site for life skills training and job placement, and a house for an after-school healthy snack program. 

What has attracted Grandview to help out in this ministry was the ease at which we can be involved. It is as simple as showing up on Saturday mornings around 8:30 in the morning. We have been able to take all of our kids and have found them each a job they can help with. Those jobs include opening of plastic bags, separating the over-riped produce with the ripe produce, or taking the guests around the different stations and helping them fill up their bags. As the late Lucious Newsome, founder of the Lord’s Pantry always said, you will meet Christ in the people that come through the lines. It is those encounters which keep us coming back. 

Please join us during this holiday season, or any time throughout the year. For more information, please contact me.


An epidemic of financial elder abuse

December 9th, 2009

"There's an epidemic of financial elder abuse, but the chief perpetrators aren't lenders. It's family members," stated consultant at the San Francisco Consortium for Elder Abuse Prevention. 

According to MetLife's Mature Market Institute, the elderly suffer $2.6 billion per year in fraud; but since only 1 in 25 cases are reported, this is a grossly understated figure. The saddest part of these numbers is that, according to MetLife, "Approximately 60% of the substantiated Adult Protective Services' cases of financial abuse involve an adult child, compared to 47% for all other forms of abuse." One would think that a scam artist, housekeeper or unethical service provider would be at the top of the list. Unfortunately, the sons of the elderly are those most likely to victimize their parents. 

The best way to ensure that a reverse mortgage is handled professionally and ethically is to consult with a company you can trust. Grandview Lending is here to serve your needs. We will consider your financial situation and help you determine the loan that is right for you.

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