Tuesday, November 13, 2018

8 Fab Ways to Give Your Home a Fall Refresh )Part 1 of 9)

There are, among us, a select group of individuals who revise and remake their home four times a year to reflect the season. To them, we say, “Yay, you!” Though we may have great admiration for those who can manage a seasonal do-over every couple of months, we'd put ourselves more in a “twice a year” category. And, even then, it’d be a stretch to call it anything more than a refresh.
We have to say we’re inspired this year, though. Fall/winter/holiday trends are looking intriguingly inviting, and the new crisp weather and changing leaves has us craving texture and warmth. It’s a natural connection, says MyDomaine. “When fall rolls around, the urge to redecorate always hits us hard. After the carefree days of summer, and inspired by all the beauty we've absorbed along the way, we are finally ready to get back to the grind and nest while the temperatures slowly drop. It's only natural to want to get our spaces up to snuff before we prepare to hibernate.”
So, we're making a greater investment in d├ęcor updates for the coming cold seasons, and taking some cues from current and predicted design trends. In parts 2 thru 9 I'll show you what we’ll be buying.

Monday, November 12, 2018

To PMI or Not to PMI (Part 5 of 5)

Can I ever get rid of PMI?

You can, but it’s not easy. “To remove PMI, or private mortgage insurance, you must have at least 20 percent equity in the home. You may ask the lender to cancel PMI when you have paid down the mortgage balance to 80 percent of the home’s original appraised value,” said Bankrate. “When the balance drops to 78 percent, the mortgage servicer is required to eliminate PMI. Although you can cancel private mortgage insurance, you cannot cancel Federal Housing Administration insurance. You can get rid of FHA insurance by refinancing into a non-FHA-insured loan.”

Sunday, November 11, 2018

To PMI or Not to PMI (Part 4 of 5)

Do I have to pay PMI no matter what?

Not necessarily. “There are a couple alternatives that may work for some buyers,” said Yates. “If you're a veteran, you're in luck because VA loans are the only type of home loan that doesn't require PMI. A piggy-back mortgage or 80/10/10 is another option some buyers use if they do not have the full 20% down payment. The borrower puts 10% down and gets a second loan for the other half of the down payment. In this scenario, you would have two loans to repay, but you avoid paying PMI. If you're in a rural area, you could qualify for a USDA loan. USDA loans are a type of government-backed mortgage that does not require a down payment and has a very low PMI rate of just 0.35% of the loan amount.”

Saturday, November 10, 2018

To PMI or Not to PMI (Part 3 of 5)

How much will PMI cost me?

You can expect to pay between $30–70 for every $100,000 that you borrowed to purchase your home every month. Unison’s estimated monthly payments based on the example of a “30-year loan for $250,000 with an interest rate of 4 percent” breaks down as:
• Principal and interest: $1,194
• Property taxes: $100
• Homeowners insurance: $80
• PMI: $125

Friday, November 9, 2018

To PMI or Not to PMI (Part 2 of 5)

Why do I need PMI?

Coming up with 20% for a down payment obviously isn’t easy. “Many first-time homebuyers don't have that kind of money sitting around,” Randall Yates, founder and president of The Lenders Network, told us. So, PMI can spell the difference between being able to buy a home, and not—even if it costs you a couple hundred dollars a month.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

To PMI or Not to PMI (Part 1 of 5)

Is Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) necessary? Will it help me buy a house? Is there a way around it? Those are the questions.
Actually, they probably constitute only the tip of the mortgage iceberg if you’re buying your first home. But squaring away the PMI query is an important effort that will help you zero in on the right loan for you and better understand your monthly commitment as a homeowner. Let’s tackle those questions.

So, what is PMI anyway?

Call it an insurance policy that protects your lender against the possibility that you could default on your loan. “One of the risk measures that lenders use in underwriting a mortgage is the mortgage's loan-to-value (LTV) ratio,” said Investopedia. “This is a simple calculation made by dividing the amount of the loan by the value of the home. The higher the LTV ratio, the higher the risk profile of the mortgage. Most mortgages with an LTV ratio greater than 80% require that private mortgage insurance (PMI) be paid by the borrower. That's because a borrower who owns less than 20% of the property's value is considered to be more likely to default on a loan.”

Friday, November 2, 2018

Ask the HOA Expert: Can a New Board Overrule a Previous Board's Decision? (Part 3 of 3)

Question: Do you have any information or data on what formats Aprogressive@ HOAs are using at their board meetings? For example, do they permit some discussion from the audience rather than require any discussion to be among board members only?
In our HOA, only board members can engage in discussion at these meetings. The rest of us are limited to one timed statement each at the beginning of the meeting. This means we can not respond to anything board members may say in response to our comments even if their remarks indicate they have misunderstood our comments.
And this also means we can not comment on anything that a board member or another commentator may say during that meeting.
Answer: The format you describe is the recommended way of holding board meetings. If non directors are allowed to interject, the meetings would invariably be overly long or degrade into shouting matches. You do have the right to speak or ask questions during the board meeting if the Chair allows it.
Directors are elected to serve without interruption to accomplish business in an orderly way. If you disagree with how the board handles business, you should run for the board, get elected and start making a change. You also have the right to speak your mind at the annual homeowner meeting or call a special meeting if supported by an appropriate percentage of owners (as defined in the governing documents) requests one.