The Waterproofing and Foundation Repair Industry is filled with franchises with big advertising budgets. With potentially limited knowledge, products, and solutions; Are they the best for the consumer? Stephen Burton from Waterproof Solutions is here to shed some light on the industry.
About 75 percent of the 1.2 million Americans who divorce each year eventually remarry. Most have children, and they find that step-family life is more complex than they ever imagined. Below are a few steps to take to bring a blended family together. Continue reading “Blended Family Steps”
Has Your Mortgage Banker Committed Malpractice? I was fortunate that early in my career one of my mentors gave me some great advice: “prescription without diagnosis is malpractice”. That advice has helped me build a thriving mortgage practice thousands of followers. I realize that what separates the average Loan Originator from the great ones are the questions that they ask. By not asking the probing questions that a consumer doesn’t know to ask, you may end up with a loan that costs you thousands of extra dollars over time. This is no different than a doctor not asking the questions necessary to make a diagnosis before he starts writing a prescription. A home is frequently your largest investment, and your largest debt! Your mortgage is no longer just a mortgage, but more of a financial instrument. It should literally weave into your long and short term financial, investment, and life plan. Together with my clients, we form a debt strategy that leads to wealth creation over time. To truly understand a client’s needs, these five questions are crucial:
We have some strong housing data coming from CoreLogic this week. CoreLogic is the largest aggregator of real-estate data in the country,and they just released their Home Price Index for May, showing that home prices appreciated 1.3% from April and 5.9% year over year. Additionally, CoreLogic forecasts that home prices will appreciate 0.8% in June and 5.3% next year. The forecast by CoreLogic is a bit conservative and we believe appreciation will be even stronger. This month’s report moderated slightly from last month’s 6.1%, but was still another strong housing report showing sustainable appreciation. Below you will find a state by state breakdown from CoreLogic, showing the current and forecasted appreciation rates.
It really can be easy to put off for a rainy day or end times to organize your financial records. Getting your financial house in order is one of the most important things you can do to help your family should a family crisis occur.
Here are some suggestions to get yourself on the right track:
Step 1: Collect all of your financial records such as insurance policies, bank account and safety deposit box information, investment statements and more.
Step 2: Collect your personal data such as wills, powers of attorney, social insurance numbers, passport numbers, health records, computer passwords, etc.
Step 3: Once you have all your records gathered together, set up a filing system to organize the information. You can use an online system like: Dropbox located at: https://www.dropbox.com/
Google Drive located at www.drive.google.com
Canada has one located at www.clhia.ca, is a free online tool that can help you save important personal and financial information in one place so that family members can easily locate them in an emergency.
Step 4: Make sure you store this information in a safe place such as a secured folder on your computer, a safety-deposit box, or in a locked fireproof box.
Step 5: Finally, be sure to tell key family members or friends or your lawyer where this information is stored so they can find it easily and quickly.
Real Estate can be a tricky process. As we get older moving doesn’t sound as fun as when we bought our first house. Now you have accumulated “stuff”, let the purging begin! What makes the move as a senior citizen even more challenging is how to handle the buying of your next home and selling of your current one.
Here are the benefits of Buying or Moving First before Selling:
1. You are in control of when you move into your new home.
2. This is a less stressful situation as you have the opportunity to get settled in your new home before you have to vacate your existing home for the new owner.
3. Moving out first allows you to stage your home to appeal to potential buyers, so it is likely to sell faster and for more money.
4. REALTORS® and buyers will have easy access to view your home without disruption to you.
Of course, not everyone is in the position to take the risk of buying or committing to a retirement community prior to selling.
The drawbacks of Selling First before Buying or Moving:
1. The main benefit to selling first is that you are in a strong negotiating position. You know how much money you have received from your sale, so you won’t have that unknown.
2. Another benefit is that you will avoid the situation where you may be carrying the cost of two homes while you are waiting for your home to sell or for the transaction to close.
3. A drawback is that you will have the uncertainty of what home you will be moving to and how the timing will work. Typical time for possession would be approximately 60 days. In most markets, this would allow you enough time to find another home you will be happy in.
4. You may also have the added expense of temporary accommodation and having to store your belongings until you can move into your new home.
A third option is to buy your new home Subject to the Sale of your existing home:
1. This is a common practice that helps resolve some of the drawbacks above, but it puts you in a weaker position for negotiating purchase price.
2. A Subject to the Sale of contract would include a time clause, which allows the seller to continue marketing their home for sale. If a buyer comes along who is ready, willing and able to purchase the home, you would have about 48 hours to remove your Subject to the Sale of condition or let the home go to a subsequent buyer, which can be very disappointing.
3. Consult with your bank or Mortgage Broker regarding finance options such as a Line of Credit or Bridge Financing, so you can make a decision at that time whether to take on extra financing or let the home go.
As you can see, there is not one right answer; it all depends on your personal situation and comfort level. Talk to your real estate and financial advisors to help determine what strategy would be best for you.
When unexpected events happen to your home, car, or other investments it can be a difficult decision to determine whether a claim should be filed or not. When trying to decide to file a claim, your agent is on your side to help make the best decision for you and your family.
Calling in a claim – call agent first vs 800 #. (order takers document in system)
If you call your agent, does it get recorded in the system? No, unless it gets called in to the 800#.
Agent is your advocate
Protect your loss history
3 year history
Type of claim and when was last claim
Look at claims at the location and the insured
How to determine if you should file a claim:
Determine if it is a maintenance issue or due to a peril (perils covered…)
Maintenance if it could have been prevented by having proper maintenance to home.
Is it a Comprehensive claim or is it Chargeable? (understand water claims)
Comprehensive – Weather/Act of God
Home – Hail, Wind
Auto – Fire, Theft, Wind, Hail, Hitting an animal (Deer)
Is it better to hit the animal on the road or swerve to avoid them and possibly wreck?
How many claims do you already have? ( companies non renewing after 2 claims – high risk pool)
What is your deductible – flat or %? EQ always %
Get a pre inspection esp. on roofs. Stay away from storm chaser, door knockers. (contractor will typically come back when insurance adjuster comes out.)
Not much has changed in the financial status of the Social Security Trust Funds since last year, according to today’s release of the annual report on the status of the funds by the Social Security Board of Trustees.
The combined asset reserves of the Old-Age and Survivors Insurance, and Disability Insurance (OASDI) Trust Funds are projected to become depleted in 2034, the same as projected last year, with 79 percent of benefits payable at that time.
The DI Trust Fund will become depleted in 2023, extended from last year’s estimate of 2016, with 89 percent of benefits still payable.
In the 2016 Annual Report to Congress, the Trustees also announced:
·The asset reserves of the combined OASDI Trust Funds increased by $23 billion in 2015 to a total of $2.81 trillion.
·The combined trust fund reserves are still growing and will continue to do so through 2019.
·Beginning in 2020, the total cost of the program is projected to exceed income.
·The year when the combined trust fund reserves are projected to become depleted, if Congress does not act before then, is 2034 – the same as projected last year. At that time, there will be sufficient income coming in to pay 79 percent of scheduled benefits.