Home Buying September 14, 2022

Three Tips for Buyers Adjusting to Today’s Rates

It’s clear the 2022 housing market has been defined by rising mortgage rates. With rates on the rise, it’s also become more costly to purchase a home. According to the National Association of Realtors (NAR):

“Compared to one year ago, the monthly mortgage payment rose to $1,944 from $1,265, an increase of 53.7%.”

If you’re thinking of buying a home or have been trying to recently, that’s a big increase in a monthly mortgage payment – and it may be causing you to press pause on your plans. This jump is making homes less affordable, especially compared to the last two years when mortgage rates were at historic lows.

The good news is you can navigate today’s housing market and this rising rate environment with a few simple tips. Here are three things you may want to consider to help make your homeownership goals a reality.

1. Expand Your Search Area and Criteria
If you’ve been looking for a home in the city center or a specific area that’s starting to feel out of your price range, you may want to try looking a little further out in a location that could be more affordable. Expanding your search location or re-prioritizing the items on your wish list can open up opportunities you haven’t considered, and that could help you afford more of what you need (and want) in a home. As CNET notes:

“Area growth is likely to keep pace with the market, which means that the outskirts of town might be hopping within five years. Consider stepping out of your ideal location by searching in the nearby cities. You may find better prices and more square footage.”

2. Explore Alternative Financing Options
Working with a trusted lender to learn about the different loan types and options is essential too. According to Nerd Wallet:

“A variety of mortgages are available with varying down payment and eligibility requirements.”

Experts know how to point you in the right direction when it comes to exploring ways to find the best home loan for your situation. With rising mortgage rates making it more costly to finance a home today, there may be an ideal option out there your loan officer can introduce you to. This could make a home purchase more affordable and within your financial reach over the life of your loan.

3. Look for Grants, Gift Funds, and Down Payment Assistance
There are also many options available when it comes to securing the funding you need to purchase a home. One valuable resource to explore is downpaymentresource.com. Searching for specific down payment assistance options available in your local community could be a game changer when it comes to taking your first step toward homeownership. As NAR indicates:

“Many local governments and non-profit organizations offer down-payment assistance grants and loans, targeted to area borrowers and often with specific borrower requirements.”

Plus, there are programs and special benefits for individuals working in certain professions or with unique statuses, including teachers, doctors and nurses, and veterans.

Ultimately, that means there are many federal, state, and local programs available for you to explore. The best way to do that is to connect with us, your local real estate professional and lender to learn more about what’s available in your area.

Bottom Line
If you’ve been searching for a home and have found yourself stepping out of the process because you’re worried about rising costs, connect with us. Having a team of local advisors on your side may be just what you need to guide your search in a new and more affordable direction.

Newsletter September 13, 2022

Living Well Newsletter – Sept 2022

 

Healthy Halloween Candy Alternatives

Are you dreading that Halloween sugar rush and crash your children will have this year (and maybe you too)? You’re not alone! That’s why we’ve rounded up healthy Halloween candy alternatives conveniently available at your local health food store.

Candy Corn

What is Halloween without candy corn? Luckily, some grocery stores offer this fall classic with a healthy twist. You can find candies that are vegan, gluten-free, nut-free, non-GMO, organic, and/or kosher.

Graham Crackers or Cheese Crackers

Kids love crackers, and healthy versions of their favorites are easy to find. Look for honey and chocolate grahams or cheese crackers made with organic wheat flour and no artificial flavors or synthetic preservatives.

Mini Nut-Butter Cups

Check out the organic version of this seasonal favorite. These gluten-free nut-butter cups with certified cocoa and 4 grams of protein are sure to please most trick-or-treaters!

Also in this issue…
Pumpkin: It’s Not Just for Carving
Understanding Pre-Workout Supplements
Flying Doesn’t Have To Be a Bumpy Ride
Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin: It’s Not Just for Carving

Plump, orange pumpkins are a beloved part of American autumn culture. They’re a hands-down favorite decoration for doorways and tabletops. Carving the jolly jack-o-lantern is one of the season’s most treasured traditions.

The downside is that many of us waste most, if not all, of the pumpkin. And what a waste it is, because pumpkins are delicious, low in fat and calories, and chock full of nutrients. They can be roasted like any other squash. You can also use them to make soups, sauces, pies, and breads.

Plan to carve a pumpkin? You can still make the most of its seeds and “guts.” Roasted pumpkin seeds are not only yummy; they also provide healthy protein. You can even use the seeds to make a pesto. While it’s tempting to toss the slimy pumpkin guts, consider using them in stocks or pumpkin bread instead.

If you’re fortunate enough to harvest a pumpkin, remember the leaves and flowers are edible. Toss the flowers in a salad, prepare the leaves like spinach or other greens, and relish the sustainability of the pumpkin!

Understanding Pre-Workout Supplements

Pre-workout supplements are meant to give you a boost of energy before you hit the gym while also lessening post-workout fatigue. Here are some ingredients commonly used in these supplements.

Caffeine can keep you focused, give you energy and improve your overall performance.

Beta-alanine is meant to help you complete high-intensity excercises. It may also reduce muscle fatigue both during and after the workout.

Creatine works to replenish your adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stores, which give your muscles the energy to contract. It can also help increase your levels of lean body mass.

Branched-chain amino acids have been shown to promote muscle growth and reduce damage to your muscles after an intense workout.

Contact your health care provider for more information.

Flying Doesn’t Have To Be a Bumpy Ride

While a clinical diagnosis of aviophobia – fear of flying – is rare, about 40% of people admit they have some anxiety associated with air travel. Worst-case scenarios aside, people worry about lost luggage and delayed or canceled flights. On the more intense end, some dread claustrophobia, engine malfunction or exposure to germs.

Some people choose not to fly, opting for destinations accessible by road or rail. But that’s not always practical or possible.

Nervous air travelers can try some of these tactics to alleviate travel-related distress.

Learn about the aircraft and its normal but seemingly mysterious knocks and noises. For example, turbulence is common, and planes are designed to accommodate such episodes. Technology can help pilots predict turbulence. If it can’t be avoided, the pilot can often alert passengers that some bumps are coming.

Research airplane safety features and emergency protocols. Statistics show that flying is safer than driving, so you can breathe easy since cabin air is constantly refreshed.

Chat up flight attendants. They’re your best source for support and safety information. The fact that they fly so often is a testament to air travel safety.

Choose an aisle seat to feel less closed in and more in control of your situation.

Bring entertaining inflight distractions. These can include a good book, soothing music, crossword puzzles, or a movie downloaded on your phone or tablet.

If you’ve tried all the usual advice and the thought of flying still makes you anxious, consider talking with a mental health professional who may suggest a fear-of-flying class or provide additional ways to help you stay calm during your flight.

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

Ingredients
Seeds from 2 large pumpkins
½ tsp. salt
½ tsp. grapeseed oil
½ tsp. Lawry’s Seasoned Salt

Instructions
Scrape out seeds from pumpkins. Using a colander, wash and clean seeds, removing pumpkin pulp and deformed seeds.

Soak clean seeds in a large bowl of water for 30 minutes or overnight in refrigerator. Drain.

Bring a stock pot of water to boiling, then add seeds and salt. Boil for 10 minutes.

Drain seeds and place in a bowl. Toss seeds with oil, then spread in thin layer on greased cookie sheet. Sprinkle with seasoned salt.

Place in 350° F oven and stir every 10 minutes to keep from burning. Bake for about 40 minutes, or until the seeds become firm and dark yellow. Remove from oven and allow to cool.

 

©2022 The Personal Marketing Company. All rights reserved.
Reproductions in any form, in part or in whole, are prohibited without written permission.
If your property is currently listed for sale or lease, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.
The material in this publication is for your information only and not intended to be used in lieu of seeking additional
consumer or professional advice. All trademarked names or quotations are registered trademarks of their respective owners.The Personal Marketing Company
11511 W. 83rd Terrace
Lenexa, KS 66214

 

Reverse Mortgage September 13, 2022

Dispelling Reverse Mortgage Myths


Consumers are often confused about the concept of reverse mortgages and how they can benefit their financial well-being. Many misconceptions persist. Reverse mortgages are, in fact, an important financial tool that many retirees may find helpful as they map out their future. To help dispel the myths surrounding reverse mortgages, here are five common misconceptions:

Myth #1: The Bank Will Own My Home
Don’t worry. Even with a reverse mortgage, your home is still yours. This is still just a mortgage, much like any other mortgage you might be used to – except you aren’t required to make a monthly payment!

As long as you meet the loan requirements, you will retain ownership and keep the title to your home. And, contrary to popular belief, the requirements of the loan are very simple:

The home must be your primary residence (if you’re married, at least one person on the loan must live there).
You must maintain the home
You have to pay your property charges (homeowners insurance, taxes, HOA fees)
You must honor the terms of your loan documents
The only way you could lose your home (have the lender take action to call the loan due) is if you don’t follow these requirements.

Myth #2: The homeowner could get forced out of the home
The HECM reverse mortgage was created specifically to allow seniors to live in their home for the rest of their lives. The homeowner will not be evicted or foreclosed on as long as the borrower meets the obligations of the loan (as mentioned above). For example, the borrower must live in the home as their primary residence, continue to pay required property taxes, homeowners insurance and maintain the home according to Federal Housing Administration requirements. Failure to meet these requirements can trigger a loan default that may result in foreclosure.

Myth #3: I Have a Mortgage so I Can’t Get a Reverse Mortgage
As long as you have equity in your home, you may still qualify for a reverse mortgage.

Even if you don’t think you have enough equity in your home, a reverse mortgage could be a great financial tool moving forward. We can help you determine what’s right for your situation. Statistics show that many homeowners over the age of 62 still have a mortgage and owe money on their primary residence. So, if you don’t own your home outright, you are not alone, and you may have options.

Myth #4: Reverse Mortgages Have Large Out-of-Pocket Expenses
Similar to any traditional mortgage, reverse mortgages do have costs and fees. The majority of these fees are the same fees you would pay for any mortgage. The good news is that you can roll most of them into the loan, which greatly reduces any out-of-pocket expenses. Many borrowers pay little to no fees out of pocket.

We can provide you with a detailed cost breakdown that explains the different interest and pricing options, closing costs, and fees, which can vary based on the loan type and size.

Myth #5: There won’t be anything to leave to My Children
With a reverse mortgage, you can still leave your home to your children. The title will pass to your estate. Heirs can choose to either keep the house by refinancing the existing mortgage balance or, if there is remaining equity, sell the home and keep what remains from the balance of the loan and the proceeds of the sale. Also, as home values continue to increase, it’s possible the value of your property will appreciate as much or more than the accrued interest over your lifetime. Interest will accrue on the outstanding loan amount and be added to the balance. But the difference between the two (known as “retained equity”) is what may be available to leave for your kids.

You always have the option to make elective payments to pay down or minimize the impact of the accrual of interest on your loan. These are non-recourse loans, and your heirs are protected from inheriting debt from the reverse mortgage.

Myth #6: Reverse Mortgages Are Only for Desperate People
A reverse mortgage is much more than a last resort—more and more financial advisors are finding that it can be a flexible financial tool for retirement planning. You can choose to take the proceeds of a reverse mortgage as a lump sum, in monthly payments, a line of credit, or any combination of the three. A reverse mortgage can be a true path forward in retirement and an empowering experience. People use reverse mortgages for a wide variety of reasons. The most common use is to pay off an existing mortgage. Some might use this tool to defer collecting Social Security or as a safety net for emergencies. Others use their home’s equity to enhance their life with greater flexibility and options in retirement.

MYTH #7: Once I have a reverse mortgage, I won’t be able to sell my home.
A reverse mortgage is like any other loan. If you sell your home, that reverse mortgage will be paid off at closing. There are no prepayment penalties for paying off or selling the home in advance.

MYTH #8: Someone can outlive a reverse mortgage
The reverse mortgage becomes due when all homeowners have moved out of the property for 12 consecutive months or passed away.

MYTH #9: Social Security and Medicare will be affected
Government entitlement programs such as Social Security and Medicare are usually not affected by a reverse mortgage. However, need-based programs such as Medicaid can be affected. It’s best to consult with a qualified financial advisor to learn how a reverse mortgage could impact eligibility of some government benefits.

MYTH #10: The homeowner pays taxes on a reverse mortgage
Generally, money received is not considered income and should be tax free, though you must continue to pay required property taxes. Consult your financial advisor and appropriate government agencies for any effect on taxes or government benefits.

Retirement is a time to realize a business idea, travel, help family members with education expenses, make charitable donations, or even use the funds for buying additional real estate. A reverse mortgage can be an effective tool to help add choices to your retirement years.

The more you know the real truths about reverse mortgages, the better you’ll be able to determine if one is right for your situation.

Newsletter June 10, 2022

Living Well Newsletter – June 2021

 

Meditation 101

Studies have shown that meditation helps alleviate anxiety, improve sleep, and strengthen your self-awareness and emotional well-being. If you’re curious about meditation but aren’t quite sure how to begin, consider these tips.

Do what’s comfortable. While meditation is usually thought of as a sedentary activity, don’t limit yourself to sitting cross-legged on the ground. You can try meditating while walking, stretching or doing gentle yoga poses. The goal is to practice mindfulness by quieting your thoughts, focusing on your breathing and staying present in the moment.

Set a timer. Meditating is a skill you develop, so don’t be discouraged if your mind tends to wander when you first begin. Start small by setting a timer for 5-10 minutes. As your meditation skills begin to develop, you can either increase the timer or simply take as much time as you want. You can also try a guided meditation to help you focus.

Also in this issue…
Everything You Need To Know About Dust
Everyday Eco-Friendly Swaps
Chia Seeds: A Tiny Superfood
Chocolate Chia Pudding

Everything You Need To Know About Dust

We’re all familiar with that aggravating layer of dust that builds up on surfaces in your home. However, here are a few interesting facts about dust you may not know.

  • Dust isn’t just dirt. Dust is made up of many things, including skin cells, dust mites, human and animal hair, soil, cosmic dust, pet dander, textile and paper fibers, pollen, and more.
  • Dust particles can hang in the air for up to five days. This is one reason why dust inevitably accumulates again so quickly after you’ve cleaned.
  • The average person sheds two pounds of skin cells each year. The more people living in your home, the more skin cells are shed and the more dust accumulates.
  • Every drop of rain contains dust. Airborne dust helps create cloud condensation nuclei, which allow water droplets to form. When the droplets become heavy, they fall to the ground, carrying the dust along with them.
  • Dust isn’t all bad. Dust in the atmosphere results in stunning sunrises and sunsets, because it absorbs blue and green colors while allowing yellows, oranges and reds to shine through.
  • Five billion tons of dust travels through the atmosphere each year. Dust levels are closely monitored by NASA, as they impact everything from air temperatures to ground cooling and rainfall levels.

Tips for Reducing Dust
Use these tips and tricks to minimize dust and improve your household’s well-being.

  1. Use a damp microfiber cloth to remove dust on hard surfaces.
  2. Minimize fur and dander by brushing your pets outside.
  3. Change your HVAC filters regularly.
  4. Use a lint roller to remove dust from curtains and lampshades.
  5. Dust electronic screens with a fabric softener sheet.
  6. Place doormats on the inside and outside of the entrances to your home.
  7. Be sure doors and windows are well sealed to reduce the levels of pollen and airborne dust.

Everyday Eco-Friendly Swaps

Going green doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. Start reducing waste today with these simple alternatives to everyday items.

Reusable lighter: If you have a collection of candles in your home, consider purchasing a reusable lighter from The USB Lighter Company. These lighters are made to last with lithium batteries that you can charge again and again through a USB port.

Sustainable coffee filters: Whether you love your Keurig or a traditional coffee maker, you can save plastic (and money) with reusable K-cups and reusable or compostable coffee filters.

Refillable pens: The next time you need to pick up pens, consider Pilot B2P pens. They’re refillable and are made from recycled water bottles.

Lotion bar: You may be familiar with shampoo bars, but what about lotion bars? Simple and mess-free lotion bars are a sustainable, travel-friendly alternative to plastic bottles with hard-to-recycle pumps.

Smart thermostat: Consider purchasing a Nest thermostat to help reduce your energy usage. The accompanying app teaches you about your energy needs and displays a leaf icon when you choose an energy-saving temperature.

Chia Seeds: A Tiny Superfood

Derived from the Salvia hispanica plant, chia seeds are a tiny, versatile superfood that packs a nutrient punch. Not only are they full of vitamins and minerals, but chia seeds also contain antioxidants that benefit your skin, omega-3 fatty acids for brain health, fiber that aids digestion and promotes weight loss, calcium for bone health, and a significant amount of protein.

Chia seeds don’t have a strong flavor and can easily be added to your diet. You can bake the seeds into bread or cookies, combine them with water to use as an egg substitute, or sprinkle some on top of oatmeal, yogurt or salads. If you’re not a fan of the texture, try blending chia seeds into a smoothie or homemade ice cream.

Chocolate Chia Pudding

Ingredients
6 Tbsp. cocoa powder
6 Tbsp. maple syrup
3 tsp. vanilla
3 cups almond milk
¾ cup chia seeds

Toppings:
Fresh berries
Mint leaves

Directions
In a large bowl, add all ingredients and stir until thoroughly combined. Allow mixture to stand (without stirring) for 15 minutes.

Whisk mixture, then cover and refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove from fridge and stir. Spoon into six small jars or glasses. Serve topped with fresh berries and mint leaves.

Serves 6

 

 

©2021 The Personal Marketing Company. All rights reserved.
Reproductions in any form, in part or in whole, are prohibited without written permission.
If your property is currently listed for sale or lease, this is not intended as a solicitation of that listing.
The material in this publication is for your information only and not intended to be used in lieu of seeking additional
consumer or professional advice. All trademarked names or quotations are registered trademarks of their respective owners.The Personal Marketing Company
11511 W. 83rd Terrace
Lenexa, KS 66214