HELP for Struggling Home Owners?

The HARP(Home Affordable Refinance Program) simply has not worked in helping many homeowners and President Obama is expected on Monday to announce “new policies” to help struggling homeowners, including a move that would allow borrowers to refinance their mortgage at current lower rates no matter how much their home values have dropped.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are also expected to end a cap that excluded home owners from HARP who had mortgages that were higher than 125% of the homes value. This cap left many homeowners with little option because they simply do not have enough equity in their properties. The plan is expected to eliminate ” appraisals and extensive underwriting for most borrowers” whpo are up to date on their mortgages and want to refinance at lower rates.

Obama is also expected to announce a reduction in Fannie and Freddie loan fees. Lenders could start refinancing as soon as December 1st, however some may have to wait until early next year due to their loan-to-value limit.

Housing experts believe that allowing underwater home owners to refinance at current lower rates could be a savings of hundreds of dollars from their monthly mortgage bills and possibly help avoid foreclosure and free up household cash, helping spur economic growth.

Source: article October 25,2011

“Go Green, Live Rich”

” Go Green, Live Rich”

by David Bach describes his “50 Simple Ways to Save the Earth & Get Rich Trying.” The book provides many ideas that make you say, “hmmm, that makes sense!” But the idea we  have come to a “tipping or turning point”, I believe is “false!” The sky is not falling and we can all, through education, learn how to live smarter and for less money out of pocket. One of my favorite lines in the book is “GOING GREEN IS ABOUT OUR KIDS, OUR FAMILIES, OUR LIVES.” Whether you believe in the “GREEN” movement, or not. How bad could it be if we could all learn use less, like water! Do you know how many gallons per minute your current shower head uses? You can look on the threaded part of faucet for GPM. Federal regulations recently mandated all faucets by 2.5 GPM or less. A 5 minute shower at 2.5 GPM would use approx. 7-8 gallons of water depending on the water pressure. If you use older shower head(say 4 GPM) you could be using between 20-25 gallons of water per 5 minute shower. Imagine filling up 20 one gallon jugs and placing them in our bathroom, thats a lot of water. We waste 2-3 gallons leaving the water running while brushing our teeth. Aerators can also be installed on all faucets to reduce water usage as well. Can you guess how many gallons of water your toilet uses every time you flush? I’m not going to answer that one(for now), and hope to hear your guesstimates. The worst abuse(my own personal opinion) of water usage is all to “Grow a Greener Lawn or Prettier Plant” and Mr. Bach’s book states up to 7 BILLION, yes 7,000,000,000, gallons of water a year is used on landscape irrigation and accounts for a third of all residential water usage.

In conclusion, water is cheap(many times less than a penny a gallon) and Americans take it for granted, and waste a lot of it. Note: 70 percent of the Earth is covered in water and only 1% is available for human use. We all worry about saving gas because we see the direct result every time we fill up. If you pay for city or community water, by the gallon, it could be possible to use up to 35% less water by making some fairly simple changes in your home. If we all are using less water or any resources, it just makes sense because we can see potential savings. Until next time.