Archive of ‘News Updates’ category

Basic Info on Refinancing Your Home

Any broker will tell you that interest rates are now at a record-low, and it’s the perfect time to refinance your home. Refinancing your home means paying off your current mortgage with a loan that has a lower interest rate.  But you’re going to have to jump through a few hoops to make it happen; it’s not as easy as the commercials make it sound. So here is some basic information:

  1. The decision factors that a bank will usually use to decide whether to approve or deny the loan are based on your credit score and your debt-to-income ratio. A debt-to-income ratio is the amount of debt that you have, versus your take-home pay. Usually a bank will pass a refinancing loan if your credit score is over 700, and if your debt-to-income ratio is that your debt does not exceed 45% of your take-home pay. If either of those factors are unfavorable, meaning that the bank may feel like your past credit performance leaves trust to be desired, or if they feel like your income can’t cover the loan they are to give you, the bank may ask you to put more assets than your home on the line to secure the loan on their part. This may include cash, a 401k, or other property.
  2. The interest rates are usually not as low as the ones the banks are mass-advertising, unless you’re interested in financing for the minimum amount of the life of the loan (Usually 10 years), or unless you are in need to refinance a loan that is over a certain amount. So if you are looking to refinance for the high end of the loan life, meaning that you’d pay the mortgage off over a 30-year span, your interest rate is probably going to be a few points higher than the advertised lowest rate. The shorter loan term agreements are the ones that will save you the most money, because in the long run you will pay much less in interest, but the shorter loan time spans also mean that you will have higher monthly payments.

  3. If a bank advertises that there are no closing costs in refinancing your home, they are usually actually rolled into the loan or the interest rate. These closing costs cover the title fee, the appraisal fee (Because the bank has to hire an appraiser to make sure your home is worth the amount that you are refinancing), and other miscellaneous processing fees for the bank. These average out to be a total of $3000.00, and it may be possible for you to finance this amount along with your mortgage. If you do choose to roll these into your loan amount, then your interest rate will go up a few variables because the bank will charge you for the extra money borrowed.
  4. Definitely shop around, and know that a lot of factors in taking out a loan from a bank are negotiable, depending on your situation. Ultimately, the bank wants to work with you, you just need to get them the right variables and information.
  5. Be wary of refinancing your home with credit lines that have variable rates. Although those rates may be as low as two percent right now, we all know that balloon rates have gotten a lot of people in financial trouble.

Obviously, there is much more to learn about refinancing your home, and I am no expert or licensed broker. The best way to find out if refinancing your home is for you, is to shop around and talk to bank representatives for yourself.


Safe Places to Donate money for victims of Haiti Earthquake

earthquakeWhen devastation happens in the world, scammers foam at the mouth, so I’ve been doing some research to find safe places to donate money for the victims of the haiti earthquake.

My trusted website came to the rescue. If you go to their website, there’s  a large image you can click on that says ” How to Help Haiti.” If you click on that image, it’ll take you to an article that’ll tell you the current conditions in Haiti. Below that, are multiple links you can click on to safely donate money to the victims of the Haiti earthquakes.

Uproar Over H&M store’s slashed clothes, Yahoo! News Reported

Us savvy and thrifty moms cannot even imagine the mentality behing throwing away clothes, especially from H&M! If anything, Style Swap! But, there is a reason. Read on to get the article posted by Yahoo! News.

“NEW YORK (AFP) – Popular clothing store H&M faced uproar Thursday over a report that one of its New York outlets is slashing and throwing out unsold clothing.

Workers at the store in the heart of Manhattan’s shopping district regularly throw away bags of clothing, most of the items having first been cut up with box cutters or razors, The New York Times reported.

Clothes destroyed included gloves with fingers cut off and men’s jackets opened so that insulating fiber was coming out, the Times reported.

With unemployment at more than 10 percent and the city’s homeless population facing bitter temperatures the report sparked anger on H&M’s Facebook page.

‘What??!! Throwing clothes away?? That does not make any sense… it’s true they should be donating them instead or at least call some people up so we can pick them up and donate them!!’ wrote Carolina De Jesus.

‘What a shame,’ added Maxime.

‘Sorry H&M but until you find a better way to dispose of unsold clothing, I don’t really want anything to do with you,” another customer fumed.

H&M defended itself, saying the company donated half a million pieces of clothes to charity last year, but that not all items qualified.

‘We donate garments that do not meet our quality requirements to organizations such as Gifts In Kind, UNHCR, Caritas, the Red Cross and Helping Hands,’ the company said in a statement.

‘However, we do not donate clothes that do not meet our safety requirements, chemical restrictions or are damaged…. We are currently looking into if we can further improve our routines.'”shirt hanging

Non-Safety Related Recall of Some H1N1 Nasal Spray Vaccines, Pediatric Alliance Says

thermalI received an update about H1N1 virus that was sent to my by my local pediatrician, Pediatric Alliance.

The e-mail stated: “There has been a voluntary recall of specific lots of nasal spray H1N1 vaccine. The recall is due to manufacturer quality assurance measures indicating a decreased potency in some batches of the H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) states that there are no safety concerns. The slight decrease in potency should not affect how the vaccine works, and children who received the doses in question do NOT need to be re-vaccinated.”

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention gave more information on their website by writing: “First, it is important to point out that the recall is not safety-related. As part of its quality assurance program, the manufacturer of the nasal spray monovalent 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine, MedImmune, performs routine, ongoing stability testing of the vaccine. Stability testing means measuring the strength (also called potency) of the vaccine over time to make sure it does not go below a pre-specified limit during the vaccine’s “shelf life.” On December 18 and 21, the manufacturer notified CDC and FDA that the potency in 13 batches (called “lots”) of nasal spray vaccine had decreased below the pre-specified limit or were at risk of falling below that limit within the upcoming week. The vaccine was within the specified range at the time the vaccine was distributed. The slight decrease in potency should not affect how the vaccine works. However, the manufacturer will send providers directions for returning any unused vaccine from these lots.”

Persons who received vaccine for the H1N1 virus from the recalled batches do NOT need to take any action or contact their health care provider.

Holiday Purse Snatching

There has been an alarming increasing rate of pick-pocketing and purse-snatching this holiday season, and as mothers were the biggest preys. We are so attentive to our children, making them our number one priority, that we are the perfect targets for purse snatching and pick pocketing.

So when you’re out with the kids, definately do not leave your purse in the stroller or on a table, etc. Keep it on you at all times at least until the holiday rush slows down, and you can juggle things a bit better. Just a heads up!

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