HECM Updates: What Do They Mean For New Borrowers?
Posted By Brandon Simmons on February 21, 2018
Like any other government regulated programs, the reverse mortgage industry experiences regular updates as mandated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Our reverse mortgage specialists can answer your specific questions, but this broad overview of the recent changes to the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage program (HECM) will ensure you’re an educated borrower.
Reverse Mortgages Mean Staying Ahead of Home Repairs
Posted By Brandon Simmons on February 16, 2018
A reverse mortgage offers homeowners age 62 and older an affordable avenue to access their home equity. For some, this provides an opportunity to pursue a lifelong dream, while others may simply make it a part of their retirement strategy.
In any case, tapping into your home’s value also makes you contractually obligated to be a responsible homeowner.
Taking Out a Reverse Mortgage? Here’s How To Prepare
Posted By Brandon Simmons on February 1, 2018
If you’re in the market for a reverse mortgage (also known as a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or HECM), it’s a guarantee you’ll have a lot of questions, including what you’ll need to provide to make it happen. Even in the digital age, documents and paperwork can take some time and planning,
What’s In A Name? Your Financial Story
Posted By Brandon Simmons on January 25, 2018
Buying a home is a huge decision. There are lots of questions to ask and pros and cons to weigh before you ever commit to making an offer. But, it’s the financial decisions you made before you started shopping—and the story they tell about you—that could prove to be just as critical.
Retiring in 2018? Make Sure You’re Ready
Posted By Brandon Simmons on January 17, 2018
Even in the best case scenarios, change isn’t easy. Retiring is an exciting, but complex process, and if you’re retiring in 2018, it’s important to prepare for what comes next. We’ve put together a game plan to help you stay on track.
Make tangible plans for how you’ll spend your time.
Buying A Home? Prepare Your Paperwork
Posted By Brandon Simmons on January 11, 2018
Shopping for your first home is exciting. But, it can also be overwhelming. What you won’t see on most of those home-buying television shows is the preparation that goes into applying and qualifying for a mortgage, often before the shopping process even begins.
A little proactive effort before falling in love with a home can go a long way toward a smooth process.
Protecting Your Future With An Aging Plan
Posted By Brandon Simmons on January 10, 2018
Have you taken your retirement planning far enough? You’ve probably thought about your financial security, investment options, and how to spend the well-deserved freedom that retirement brings, but your strategy shouldn’t end there.
Creating an aging plan to guide the decisions you, and your loved ones,
Happy Birthday To Us: 15 Years Young
Posted By Brandon Simmons on January 5, 2018
At the start of every year, we look forward to new beginnings and continued growth, and 2018 is no different. However, it is a big year for us. We’re toasting to a significant milestone in the company’s history: on January 5, Open Mortgage celebrates 15 years in business.
Since its inception in 2003,
How Homeownership Can Save You Money On Taxes
Posted By Brandon Simmons on January 3, 2018
“But in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” — Benjamin Franklin
If Ben Franklin were around today, he might also mention that being a homeowner certainly has its tax benefits. As the year comes to a close,
Video: How to Decide if you Need a Reverse Mortgage
Posted By Brandon Simmons on December 18, 2017
Home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), also known as reverse mortgages, let eligible Americans 62 and older borrow money from their home equity. While HECMs can be a powerful tool for certain individuals and families, they’re not meant for everyone. Watch this video to learn if a HECM could be right for you.
Ways To Brighten Your Home In The Dark Days Of Winter
Posted By Brandon Simmons on December 13, 2017
They say it’s the most wonderful time of year.
With holiday parties, out-of-town visitors, and plenty of excuses to try a multitude of tasty treats, there’s definitely lots to look forward to—even as the days get shorter and the weather turns colder.
Avoiding Holiday Stress: Tips From A Psychologist
Posted By Brandon Simmons on December 7, 2017
The holidays aren’t joyful when you’re stressed. It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness of the season with the expectations of gift-giving, party attending, volunteering and decorating. There’s nothing wrong with any of those activities, but squeezing all of it into the normal routine can seem daunting at times.
Financial Freedom to Escape the Cold
Posted By Brandon Simmons on December 5, 2017
Are harsh winters putting a chill on your retirement plans? If snow and ice are keeping you from year-round enjoyment of your golden years, perhaps an annual change of scenery is in order.
While not for everyone, the lifestyle of a winter visitor, aka snowbirds,
Winterize Your Home to Stay Warm and Save Money
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 30, 2017
Winter is coming.
Though the dip in weather comes as a welcome relief to a warm summer, it can be tough on your home. Freezing temperatures, wind and ice may be just an occasional worry or a recurring threat, depending on the climate where you reside.
An Important Conversation for Aging Parents
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 28, 2017
The wellbeing of a child is typically a parent’s highest priority; parents make every effort to keep them healthy, happy and safe. However, as time goes on, these roles can reverse, with adult children feeling responsible for the care of their aging parents.
Starting the Conversation
Navigating this transition is not always easy.
Thanksgiving Leftovers That Won’t Weigh You Down
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 27, 2017
‘Tis the season for eating large meals with heavy sides, and frankly, we’ve been waiting all year. However, if you’re feeling like you might want to switch to something a little less nap-inducing, there are options when it comes to the leftovers.
Just a little creativity (and reading this blog post) can help you battle the bulge this holiday season.
Making Your Black Friday Shopping Worth The Wait
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 21, 2017
The holiday season is just about here! You might not know who’s bringing the green bean casserole to Thanksgiving dinner, but the best Black Friday deals are already starting to emerge.
Even if spending the night camped outside a store is not for you, a bit of research could reveal a deal worth venturing out for,
Last Minute Thanksgiving Side Dishes
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 16, 2017
The Thanksgiving meal—a time for hosting family and friends in your home, and also forgetting that dietary preferences for half your guests don’t fit the menu you planned.
Whether your family serves hors d’oeuvres while comfortably waiting for the main event, or waits in tense silence for the turkey to finally finish,
Snuggle Buddies: Unique Volunteer Ideas For Retirees
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 14, 2017
Retirement is a great time to start a regular volunteering gig. Not only is it a great way to ward off some of the boredom and loneliness that can come with major life changes (like retirement), it’s also a way to help others and get to know your community.
Home Warranties: Do You Need One?
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 13, 2017
A home warranty sounds like a good idea, but do you really know what it covers? Depending on your situation, it may not be necessary (and you can put that hard earned cash back into your newly purchased home).
Many home warranties are over $300 a year,
Home Equity Conversion Mortgages: Options For Everyone
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 9, 2017
There’s no shortage of choices when it comes to a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM). Also commonly referred to as a reverse mortgage, it offers an array of options that can be tailored to specific needs of the borrower.
Using the loan to bulk up a fixed monthly income?
Before You Hire: Essential Questions To Ask A Handyman
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 8, 2017
A great handyman is worth their weight in gold. Finding someone you can trust can be a daunting task, but putting in research and effort on the front-end could prevent a lot of inconvenience and expense over the long term. Consider employing these must-ask questions before you shake hands and sign a contract with anyone working inside your home.
What To Know About Flying The U.S. Flag At Your Home
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 6, 2017
The pride of home ownership often includes keeping up your property’s curb appeal. The stars and stripes might be the perfect finishing touch, but did you know there are special guidelines for displaying and handling a U.S. flag? We’re here to guide you through it so you’re ready to go by Veteran’s Day,
Home Staging Tips For A Great Fall Look
Posted By Brandon Simmons on November 1, 2017
“No personal photos!” Some experts say it’s the first rule of home staging when you’re putting your house on the market. But what else should you do to beef up your curb (and interior) appeal? As you put those precious memories in storage to prepare for your home’s market debut,
4 Common Misconceptions About Reverse Mortgages
Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 30, 2017
The term “reverse mortgage” gets a bad rap.
But before we talk about what reverse mortgages are not, let’s define what they truly are: Loans allowing homeowners 62 and older to access a portion of their home equity via lump sums,
Does it Pay to Refinance Your Home?
Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 26, 2017
If you’re considering refinancing, you’ll need to do the numbers more than once—and different homeowners have different needs and goals.
If you’re a recent retiree with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage, the current rates on a 15-year mortgage might have you wondering: is refinancing worth it?
Aging in Place: A Guide for Retirees and Older Adults
Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 17, 2017
We can’t predict our futures, but we can plan for contingencies, especially as we age. AARP’s research shows that nearly 90% of seniors wish to stay in their own homes as they age. After all, home is where the heart is, it’s where we find comfort and familiarity and often,
Spookify Your Front Porch Just In Time For Trick-Or-Treaters
Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 16, 2017
Want to bring your A-game to Hallow’s Eve this year? Here are a few easy ways to make a hair-raising impression after sundown.
Changing the bulbs around the exterior of your home is perhaps the easiest (and least expensive) method of transitioning your house from welcoming to creepy.
Halloween House Parties Sure To Be The Hit Of The Neighborhood
Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 12, 2017
Part of the joy of home ownership is settling into the neighborhood and forming long-lasting friendships. Starting an annual Halloween party tradition brings the community together for something to look forward to all year long, whether guests are eight or 80 years old. Here are three ideas that are sure to be the hit of any neighborhood.
Empty Nesters: Ideas On How To Put Those Vacant Rooms Back To Work
Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 9, 2017
If you’ve found yourself in a house that has rooms going unused, or you’ve abandoned your sewing, crafting or model ship-building room, there are plenty of ways to get that square footage back to work. While some of these are easy to implement, others may take a little bit of preparation and foresight,
3 Plants Every Homeowner Should Keep Inside The House
Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 4, 2017
Are you green with envy when you walk into someone’s house beautifully adorned with well-maintained plants? Don’t be! Anyone can have a house full of plants if you pick the right ones. House plants don’t only function as beautiful reminders of the outdoors for homeowners, they also help purify the air,
4 YouTube Channels To Help You Become A Master Gardener
Posted By Brandon Simmons on October 3, 2017
Home gardening can be a great relaxing hobby, but it can also be intimidating if you’re inexperienced. Luckily, there’s a YouTube channel for that. In fact, there are quite a few YouTube channels for that. Whether you’re looking for inspiration, knowledge or instruction, these four YouTube channels are some of the best resources around when you’re looking to get your hands dirty.
Changes Coming to Reverse Mortgage: What You Need to Know
Posted By Micah on September 27, 2017
Open Mortgage is committed to keeping all of our customers up to date on today’s reverse mortgage environment. Recently, The Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced changes to both the Reverse Mortgage Initial Principal Limit (“PL” – the amount you are able to borrow) and the Mortgage Insurance Premium (MIP).
Why Now is a Great Time to Upgrade to a Solar Powered Home
Posted By Micah on September 25, 2017
Although solar power has been around for generations, it was not long ago where the technology was both expensive and inefficient. Early solar panels could only convert a small percentage of solar radiation to energy, and the cost per watt of the technology was well outside of the range necessary to bring about a good return on your investment.
Seasonal Jobs for Senior RV Travelers
Posted By Micah on September 20, 2017
There is nothing quite like traveling across the country in an RV. For many seniors, the activity has long been on their “bucket list,” as there is never a better time to explore all that the United States – and possibly even Canada, Mexico, or wherever the road takes you.
Fast Ways to Improve Your Credit Score Before Applying for Your Mortgage
Posted By Micah on September 18, 2017
Your FICO credit score plays a key role in your ability to apply for a low interest mortgage. The higher your credit score, the more lenders are able to offer you a competitive rate on your loan. For those who are looking at buying a new home, it’s important to prioritize fixing your credit score in order to ensure that you receive the best rate possible.
Options for Mortgage Holders Suffering from Flood Damage
Posted By Micah on September 14, 2017
Only a couple weeks after Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, Hurricane Irma has devastated Florida this past weekend. There is no denying that homes all over the region are going to sustain damage, including flood damage from each hurricane’s harsh rain.
If your home has been affected by flood,
What Happens if You’re Under Contract to Buy a Home That Has Been Damaged
Posted By Micah on September 13, 2017
In the wake of Hurricanes Harvey and Irma, many uncommon homeowner and mortgage scenarios have been thrust into the spotlight. As those in Houston and the surrounding areas are faced with unimaginable challenges from this surprise hurricane, the following tips may give guidance and peace of mind.
One such situation involves a house that is damaged during escrow – when the homebuyer is under contract to purchase the home,
Video BLOG: Talking to Your Children about Reverse Mortgages
Posted By Brandon Simmons on September 12, 2017
If you’re considering a reverse mortgage, we advise talking talking to your adult children beforehand about your thoughts and goals.
This video provides some tips to help guide this conversation:
Video: Is HECM Counseling Free?
Posted By Brandon Simmons on September 6, 2017
Before you can receive a home equity conversion mortgage (also known as reverse mortgage), you’re required to take part in a third party counseling session with a government-approved counselor. This counseling session helps you learn more about the loan.
Depending on your financial circumstances, there could be fees for this session.
Video: Reverse Mortgage Items Needed
Posted By Micah on August 30, 2017
When you apply for a reverse mortgage loan, you will need to provide some documentation. It is a good idea to create a checklist of all the documents that you may need for the reverse mortgage process.
This video breaks down the documents you should gather before applying for a reverse mortgage.
How to Save for a Cruise on a Fixed Income
Posted By Micah on August 24, 2017
Retirement is meant to be a time of self-exploration, fun, and relaxation. You spent 40+ years working hard, and retirement is your reward for that hard work. Many seniors take advantage of their free time with vacations, especially cruises, which provide the ultimate escape from day to day life.
Video: Is a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage Right for You?
Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 16, 2017
Home equity conversion mortgages (HECM), also known as reverse mortgages, let eligible Americans 62 and older borrow money from their home equity.
While HECMs can be a powerful tool for certain individuals and families, they’re not meant for everyone. Watch this video to learn if a HECM could be right for you.
Types of Eco-friendly Renovations Available for Your Home
Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 14, 2017
Over the past few years, more and more homeowners are investing in environmentally friendly home renovations. Not only are these upgrades good for the environment – they also have the potential to improve the value of your property and increase your home’s equity, while possibly decreasing energy consumption costs as well.
What Happens When a Reverse Mortgage Becomes Due?
Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 10, 2017
Reverse mortgages provide seniors with an opportunity to take out a home loan on the equity of their current home. Seniors can continue to live on their property without making any additional mortgage payments. Interest is added to the balance of the loan.
With a reverse mortgage,
Five Benefits that Reverse Mortgages can Offer Seniors
Posted By Brandon Simmons on August 3, 2017
Baby boomers: the ideal reverse mortgage candidate?
According to newly-released government data, 32% of Americans aged 65 to 69 are employed—the highest percentage in 55 years.
In addition, 19% of Americans aged 70 to 74 are still working,
Mortgage Industry Highlights – June 2017
Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 18, 2017
June was another busy month in the red-hot mortgage industry. Here are some recent articles, highlights and tips for homeowners:
The Federal Reserve raised short-term interest rates by a quarter point on Wednesday,
Seniors: Buy a Home and Have No Mortgage Payment
Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 17, 2017
Until the last decade, if you were 62 or older and and wanted to buy a new home, your options were limited by the equity accessed from selling your home, your cash savings, and the size of any mortgage you could obtain.
But in 2009,
Six Ways to Lower Your Home’s Fire Risk
Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 6, 2017
For many homeowners and homebuyers, fires are a distant concern.
But recent data gathered by the National Fire Protection Association paints a different picture. In 2015 alone, fire departments across the United States responded to a staggering 365,000 home structure fires,
The Facts About Home Equity Conversion Mortgages [Infographic]
Posted By Justin Tuttle on July 5, 2017
Discover the Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), a remarkable tool that can provide seniors increased financial stability.
The infographic below breaks down:
- How seniors 62-and-up can strategically use the $6.2 trillion of equity stored in their homes
- Reasons why you or a family member might consider using a HECM
- The HECM’s wide range of payout methods
- How to buy a new home using a HECM and never have a mortgage payment
If you’re interested in speaking about the HECM,
Prevent Identity Theft and Help Preserve Your Credit Score
Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 22, 2017
For homebuyers, having a good credit score is an important part of the mortgage process, and it can save you you thousands of dollars over the life of your loan.
While you can build a good credit score with a range of strategies,
Choose Wisely When You Insulate Your Home
Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 20, 2017
For homebuyers, your mortgage payment is one of several monthly costs you’ll have to pay. Other monthly costs include your property taxes, homeowners insurance, and homeowners association (HOA) fees.
On top of these, homeowners can expect a substantial monthly power power bill. In the summer of 2017 alone,
USA Today: Reverse Mortgages a Critical Part of Retirement Planning
Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 19, 2017
Reverse mortgages continue to receive positive publicity in the news media, this time from USA Today.
In a recent article, titled “Want financial security? Home equity and retirement accounts are key,” reverse mortgages are described as being a critical part of retirement planning.
Mortgage Industry Highlights – May 2017
Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 15, 2017
May was another busy month for the mortgage industry. Here are some recent articles, highlights, and homeowner tips:
U.S. pending home sales fall; housing market recovery intact
Contracts to buy previously owned U.S.
Blog Series: Reverse Mortgage Payouts (Term Payment)
Posted By Justin Tuttle on June 5, 2017
If you’re a senior citizen, there are times you you may require extra income for a specific period of time. This income could be for unexpectedly needing several months of physical therapy, or to take up a new hobby such as golf lessons.
Regardless of why you need this extra income,
Blog Series: Reverse Mortgage Payouts (Tenure Payment)
Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 30, 2017
Senior citizens sometimes require extra income to supplement their social security, savings, and investments. Whether it’s for medical expenses, building savings, or to take up a new hobby, this extra income can be obtained through a reverse mortgage.
As discussed in our previous blog post,
How to Lower Your Summer Air Conditioning Costs While Staying Cool
Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 25, 2017
As we head towards June, summer is on our doorstep!
With weather forecasters predicting a hotter-than-average summer for much of the country, and with the average household facing a $410 monthly electricity bill,
Blog Series: Reverse Mortgage Payouts (Line of Credit)
Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 22, 2017
With Americans living longer than ever, it’s harder for seniors to remain financially stable while extending their savings.
This is causing many seniors to delay retirement so they can work more years. Others are downsizing their homes or turning to family for assistance.
Mortgage Industry Highlights – April 2017
Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 8, 2017
April was another busy month in the mortgage industry. Here are some recent articles, highlights and homeowner tips:
Two Blockbuster Months In A Row Signal Steaming Home Market
Pending sales, which are home purchase transactions in which a buyer has signed a contract,
Study: the Five Best States to Retire
Posted By Justin Tuttle on May 2, 2017
If you’re planning your retirement or are already retired, the state you live in matters.
Because individual states have different tax laws, varying affordability levels, and a range of benefits (and drawbacks) for retirees — where you retire will have a dramatic impact on your life.
What the Fed Rate Hike Means for Your Mortgage Rates
Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 19, 2017
Over the past several years the economy has improved. The stock market recently reached an all time high, investments have risen, and the unemployment rate has dropped.
Now that the economy has improved, interest rates are starting a slow climb to pre-2008 levels. Recently, the Federal Reserve increased the interest rates by a quarter of a percent,
Six Home Security Tips for First-time Homebuyers
Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 18, 2017
If you recently bought your first home (or are planning on it), you have much to look forward to.
It’s also important to protect your property. New homeowners are especially vulnerable to security risks as you’re likely new to your neighborhood and just beginning to understand your home.
Learning About Reverse Mortgages? Read these Articles!
Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 13, 2017
If you or a family member are considering a reverse mortgage, it’s important to research them beforehand.
Websites such as the Federal Trade Commission provide excellent and credible information on reverse mortgages, and are a great place to start your research.
How to Prepare Your Home for Stormy Weather
Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 6, 2017
Spring has arrived, and along with it, increased storm chances in much of the US (especially the midwest and southeast).
Whether your home is in an area that gets strong spring storms, tornadoes, or high winds, preparing it for these events can help prevent damage.
Considering a Reverse Mortgage? Here are Fees you can Expect
Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 5, 2017
Are you a retiree who wants to build your financial safety net? If so, you may want to consider a reverse mortgage!
Reverse mortgages let Americans 62-and-up convert part of their home equity (wealth) into cash, a monthly check, or a line of credit.
Mortgage Industry Highlights – March 2017
Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 4, 2017
March was another busy month in the mortgage industry. Here are some recent news articles and highlights:
The Federal Reserve raised its benchmark interest rate for the second time in three months and signaled that any further hikes this year will be gradual.
Five Ways to Soundproof Your Home
Posted By Justin Tuttle on April 3, 2017
If you’re a homeowner (or planning on becoming one), you probably desire a quiet home. And compared to apartment buildings, standalone homes are usually quieter.
However, a quiet home is is not always the case. Whether it’s noise from nearby traffic, railroads, airplanes,
Want to Retire in a New Location? Consider the HECM for Purchase Loan
Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 21, 2017
Are you retired and thinking about moving to a new location? This is common, as 64% of retirees expect to move at least once during retirement.
Whether you want to relocate to a warmer state or move across your city to be near your grandchildren,
Six Reasons to Consider Adding Home Insulation
Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 16, 2017
When it comes to homes, insulation matters! And according to recent research, 90% of US homes are under-insulated.
If you’re one of the many Americans living in an under-insulated home, here are six reasons to consider adding insulation:
It helps keep your home comfortable
If your home feels uncomfortably cold during winter or hot during the summer,
Want to Apply for a Mortgage? Here are Six Important Documents You’ll Need.
Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 15, 2017
If you’re planning on buying a home with a mortgage, you can expect substantial paperwork during the mortgage application process.
This paperwork helps lenders verify important information about you, such as your income history and overall financial stability. If you begin gathering important documents several months before applying for a mortgage,
Spring Pest Control Tips
Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 14, 2017
As we move into March, spring is on our doorstep, and temperatures are warming in much of the country.
For homeowners (and soon-to-be homeowners), this means spring cleaning! While there are many good articles offering spring cleaning tips,
Mortgage Industry Highlights and Articles from February 2017
Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 13, 2017
February was another busy month in the mortgage industry. Here are some recent highlights and helpful articles:
Goldman Sachs’ analysts are predicting the 30-year mortgage rate to rise to 5.5% in 2019,
Seven Signs Your Home Has Foundation Problems
Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 9, 2017
Your home’s foundation is an critical part of its wellbeing. If something goes wrong in your foundation, your home can can develop structural problems that cost significantly more to repair than foundation problems alone.
There are three major reasons home foundation problems occur:
- Stem walls can deteriorate.
New Tools Can Help You Understand Reverse Mortgages
Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 7, 2017
If you’re a retired homeowner, you might have wondered about reverse mortgages.
Reverse mortgages, also known as Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM), let Americans 62-and-older convert part of their home equity (wealth) into cash, a monthly check, or a line of credit.
Why Do Reverse Mortgage Restrictions and Requirements Exist?
Posted By Justin Tuttle on March 1, 2017
Reverse mortgages are a unique type of loan that has quickly become popular with senior homeowners. With a reverse mortgage, a homeowner may receive a sizeable percentage of their home equity (wealth) and continue to live in their home for the rest of their life provided they pay their property taxes,
Five Powerful Home Energy Improvements and their Costs
Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 27, 2017
If you’re a homeowner or planning on becoming one, it’s normal to want to upgrade your home. While there are many exciting home upgrade methods, such as improving your kitchen or adding a swimming pool, one of the best is improving your home’s energy efficiency.
America’s Most Affordable States in 2017
Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 16, 2017
Your state’s cost of living matters, whether you want to build a home, are a first time homebuyer, or plan to raise a family.
If a low cost of living is what you’re after, here are America’s five most affordable states in 2017.
You Can Create a Smart Home for Under $1000. Here’s How.
Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 14, 2017
If you’re a homeowner (or planning on becoming one), you can incorporate fantastic technology into your home at budget prices to create a “smart home.” Whether you want to adjust your lighting using your voice or control your home thermostat using your phone (while not at home),
Six Affordable Ideas to Make Valentine’s Day Special
Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 9, 2017
Valentine’s Day is big. In fact, Americans spent around $20 billion on Valentine’s Day in 2016 alone (or $146 for each person who celebrated).
But you can have a fantastic and romantic Valentine’s without spending lots, which is important if you’re saving to become a homeowner (or saving for other goals such as retirement).
Mortgage Industry Highlights and Key Takeaways from January 2017
Posted By Justin Tuttle on February 1, 2017
As we move into February, it’s been a busy period for mortgage-related news. Here are some recent highlights:
Mortgage rates fell for the third straight week,
How Much Retirement Savings Do You Need?
Posted By Justin Tuttle on January 24, 2017
A recent study estimates that as many as 33% of Americans have $0 saved away for retirement, and over half have “less than $10,000.” Fewer employers offer any form of retirement package, and given the financial demands of the modern household,
How to Talk to Your Kids About a Reverse Mortgage
Posted By Justin Tuttle on January 18, 2017
It is estimated that senior property owners are sitting on more equity than at any time in history – over $6 trillion. This has led to more seniors into considering a reverse mortgage.
If you’re thinking about getting a reverse mortgage,
Homeowners Insurance: Why it’s a Good Thing
Posted By Justin Tuttle on January 16, 2017
If you’re considering buying a home, you’ve probably heard about homeowners insurance—and you might have groaned about being required to pay for it.
Concern over the cost of homeowners insurance is understandable, as it costs the average US homeowner $952 annually (in addition to mortgage payments and property taxes).
When to Recommend a Reverse Mortgage to Your Parents
Posted By Justin Tuttle on January 11, 2017
According to the Government Accountability Office, 1/3rd of seniors age 55 and over do not have even a penny of retirement savings, and well over 50% have less than they need to live comfortably.
For the children of seniors that are limited in their retirement,
Harvard University: Reverse Mortgages Can Help Seniors Comfortably Age in Place
Posted By Justin Tuttle on January 3, 2017
Harvard University, America’s oldest university and one of the world’s best, says reverse mortgages can be an option to help senior homeowners reduce cost burdens and comfortably age in place in a new report.
Mortgage and Housing Industry Updates
Posted By Justin Tuttle on December 12, 2016
With less than a month until 2017, the mortgage and housing industries are as active as ever. Here are some interesting new articles on industry trends and news:
The Five Most Affordable Cities for Retirement
Posted By Justin Tuttle on December 5, 2016
Are you thinking about retirement? Or do you have retired family members? If either answer is yes, then affordable housing and a low cost-of-living are important issues.
GoBankingRates.com recently analyzed cost-of-living indexes and consumer expenditure data to rank America’s cheapest cities to retire.
Documentation You’ll Need to Apply for a Reverse Mortgage
Posted By Justin Tuttle on December 1, 2016
Are you ready to take the next step toward applying for a reverse mortgage? Congratulations!
Reverse mortgages let Americans 62-and-up convert part of their home equity (wealth) into cash, a monthly check, or a line of credit. This can provide a financial nest egg for retirees to help meet unexpected costs,
How to Increase Your Home Value on a Budget
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 30, 2016
Whether you’re selling your home or refinancing your mortgage, your home’s value plays a big part. And in most cases, home values are determined through appraisals from state-licensed appraisers.
While some home characteristics assessed by appraisers are out of your control (such as your view,
Want to lower your winter utility bill? Here’s how!
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 29, 2016
Thanksgiving has come and gone, and December is nearly here. As temperatures drop and snow begins falling in many US regions, home utility bills are about to rise.
In fact, the U.S. Energy Information Administration is predicting a 22% increase in energy bills this winter.
Recent Mortgage News Summaries
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 23, 2016
It’s been a busy few weeks when it comes to mortgage-related news. Here are some highlights:
President-elect Trump vs Mortgage Rates
You might have heard, we just had an election! President-elect Trump’s economic policies will have a powerful impact on the mortgage industry.
Securing Your Home During Holiday Travel
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 22, 2016
Thanksgiving is upon us (and Christmas is a month away), bringing us into America’s busiest travel season.
With AAA predicting 43.5 million Americans will travel over 50 miles to celebrate Thanksgiving (the highest amount since 2007), many Americans will be leaving their homes unoccupied.
How to Have a Happy Thanksgiving On a Budget
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 21, 2016
Thanksgiving is about giving thanks for what we have. And it’s wonderful showing loved ones how much we appreciate them. But if you’re like most Americans, you’re trying to to get through the end of the year with your pocketbook intact!
For Americans wanting to buy a house in 2017,
Retirement Planning Expert: Consider Reverse Mortgages
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 16, 2016
Do reverse mortgages have an undeserved bad rap? One of America’s leading retirement planning experts believes so.
Wade Pfau, professor of retirement income at The American College and Director of Retirement Research at McLean Asset Management and inStream Solutions, says Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (also known as reverse mortgages) can improve retirees’ financial sustainability and build a larger legacy for their heirs.
America’s Five Hottest Housing Markets
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 15, 2016
Thinking about moving? Realtor.com recently ranked America’s hottest housing market ZIP codes for 2016. Their rankings are based on the most viewed ZIP codes on its website, and the time it takes properties to sell.
For the top 20 housing market ZIP codes on Realtor.com,
Tips to Make Selling Your Home Easier
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 14, 2016
Selling your home can be stressful and rewarding. Your home’s location, its condition, and your reasons for moving all factor into your experience.
But regardless of why you’re selling, here are some tips to make the process easier:
Price your home right
Your selling price strongly impacts the amount of offers you receive,
Affordable Ways to Make Your Home Green
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 8, 2016
Until recently, turning your home “green” (environmentally friendly) was considered admirable, but not practical for most households. In many cases, “green” products would cost several times the amount of normal products, making it an easy choice to build and maintain your home using standard (IE non-green) materials.
But technology improvements,
Indoor Home Maintenance Tips to Prepare for Winter
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 7, 2016
As we move through November, winter is almost on our doorstep.
As a companion to our post on winterizing your home’s outdoors, here are tips for preparing your home’s indoors for winter.
Change your smoke alarm batteries
It’s important to change the batteries in your smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors at least once a year, Read More
Avoid These Reverse Mortgage Mistakes
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 3, 2016
For some retirees, a reverse mortgage can be an effective retirement tool.
Reverse mortgages allow Americans aged 62 and older to convert part of their home equity (wealth) into cash without selling their home. This can help retirees supplement their monthly expenses or prepare for unexpected costs.
Low-maintenance Home Upgrades
Posted By Justin Tuttle on November 1, 2016
Home ownership can bring tremendous joy to you and your loved ones.
But it also takes hard work (and money) to protect your home from harsh weather, sun damage, and general wear and tear.
Here are some low-maintenance upgrades that reduce time fixing your home,