History of the Mortgage Rates

We’ve been saying a lot that mortgage rates. You might think it’s a gimmick and we are pulling your arm. However, if you look at the past 100 years, you can see it’s actually true!

Around 1930’s, mortgages were starting to take off in America. When they first started, most mortgages required buyers to make a down payment of 50% or more! That’s a bit more than what we are used to now! Not only that, but instead of a 15 or 30 year loan, your loan term could be from 5 to 7 years!

Once the Great Depression hit us, the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) created a new program to significantly decrease the down payments and lengthen the loan terms. They also provided a guarantee to banks just in case of default. With the help of the Federal Housing Administration, more people were able to purchase homes and it gave lenders and incentive to offer more loans.

Your interest rate during the Great Depression was close to 6%, however they decrease when we entered the 1940’s. World War II decreased the production of consumer’s goods and housing. With most able-bodied men being away fighting the war, there was a low demand for new homes. Not only that, the supplies to build the homes not available for homes as well. If you were able to buy a home during World War II, your interest rate was less than 5%. Once the war ended, soldiers came home and started purchasing homes to raise their new families in. Thanks to the Veterans Administration, soldiers were able to obtain a mortgage at a low rate with no down payment. Because of that, mortgages were becoming more popular and slowly the interest rate started to steadily increase over the next several decades.

In 1973, the Arab oil embargo began which demised the oil supply and started to strain the economy. Because of political issues, the Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries prohibited the US and other nations from purchasing their oil. As a result, it dragged America into a recession where the price of goods increased and the amount people can afford decreased. In order to help the high inflation, the Federal Reserve raised interest rates. This helped keep prices stable, but it also made purchasing a home more expensive. Since then, the rates have been increasing in the 70’s. By the 1980’s, interest rates were close to 17%! Eventually, the economy bounced back and America started to experience sustained economic growth. Because of that, interest rates started to decrease.

Because of the lower interest rates, there was an increased demand for homes. As a demand, lenders created a program that allowed buyers with riskier credit and lower income to purchase homes.  Because of that, some people could not handle the increases in taxes or insurance payments which would leave their homes into foreclosure, which resulted in the Housing Marketing Crash of 2007. Because of that, interest rates were decreased further.

Nine years later, United Kingdom decided to leave the European Union. Because of Brexit, stock market started to take a major hit. Investors began moving their money from the stock market to safer investments, most notably mortgage-backed securities. They are considered less risky than the stock market, but they do not offer as much interest to the investors. More money were starting to be invested into these securities, which means they have a larger supply of money they can lend to you, which also caused the interest rates to go down.

Looking back, you can see the ups and downs of mortgage interest rates. Now you can see that this is not talk; mortgage rates are at a historic low percentage now! As you can see, interest rates, like the economy, goes up and down. However there is no crystal ball on the rates and we can never see or be certain when it will change and how much it will change. However, if we learned from the past, we have learned that mortgage interest rates will not be this low forever. They’re bound to increase in the future again.

To find out how much rates are today, feel free to call us at (973) 577-7008.

Veterans: How to make an offer that makes the seller say “Yes”

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Veterans, do you know about the benefits of buying a home with a VA loan? For example, you can purchase a home without any money down while mortgage insurance isn’t required. Your interest rate will also be lower as well compare to other loan programs. While this loan gives you the jump start on home financing, when you make an offer on your dream home it will be a bit trickier and more difficult than you expect since they work a bit differently than conventional loans. However, here are some ways to make the process smoother give you the leg up you deserve.

  1. Take a closer, detailed look on older homes – When you are buying with a VA loan, the home has to be approved by an appraiser no matter what. Unfortunately, the VA’s standers are a bit stricter than the standards for other home buyers on the market. The VA standards want to find you a good home that is in good contention. Because of this, many veterans tend to step away from historic homes. However, as long if the older house is in good, safe condition, an older house could pass for a VA loans. Avoid HUD and short sale properties because they may have been damaged or fallen into disrepair. However, if your heart is set on an older home, look for one that’s already been remodeled.
  2. Work our repair requests with the seller – You should look out for potential problems on the home, even if it’s a newer home. If the home needs minor repair, the seller does not have to make the repair. The seller could walk away and find someone else who would buy the house as is. And with a VA loan, the lender will not loan you the money to buy the house unless the repairs are made. For this reason, this is why when you choose a realtor to buy a home, make sure they understand the VA loan process. The buyer’s realtor can then explain to the listing agent what’s going on, and 9 out of 10 times the seller will get the repairs done. If that doesn’t work, then the buyer can also look to pay for the repairs themselves.
  3. Analysis the market before you make an offer – Making an offer at a fair price is the key to getting the home of your dreams. However, what is fair? If you find a home you love, do you lowball your price and hope the seller approves instead of walk away or do you offer more than the VA is willing to approve and you need to come up with the cash to cover the home? So before you get into that scenario, do some homework of the area. Sometimes, older homes asking price are based on new homes that are being built a couple of miles away, which means the home that was built in the 1980’s are at the same price as a home that was built this year, and the appraiser might not agree with that price. The key to finding the “fair” price? Have your Realtor run a market analysis on homes that were recently sold in your area. If the asking price looks good to both the seller and appraiser’s evaluation, you will have an easier time to getting accepted and approved for the VA loan.
  4. Take a step back and think about the demands you are making to the seller – Sellers might believe in the myths about VA loans. They might hear that it takes a long time to closing or that the seller will not make a profit. Although they are not true, VA buyers are still getting a bad image in general for the sellers. You should try to make your offer shine, especially if the market is competitive and the seller is having multiple offers. So for that reason you might want to take a chill pill on your demands. For example, closing costs. It’s not uncommon for the buyer not to have enough cash to cover the closing costs and for the buyer to ask the seller to cover some of the costs. However, being in a competitive market, it will make you look bad especially with those myths floating around out there. If you are in that situation with a VA loan, try to put yourself in their shoes. Ask your realtor on how to word it to make it more appealing to the seller like they are getting something for free. However, if you do roll your closing costs in your loan, keep in mind the home will also need to appraise for the higher amount as well.
  5. Be creative and make you stand out above everyone else – Again, if you are in a competitive market, you should find ways to make yourself stand out above anyone else. For example, you can write a “love letter” to the seller telling them what you like about the house, why you are moving, etc. Sometimes the sellers are sentimental and they want to see their home go to someone else who will love the home as much as they did. Even if that doesn’t work, you know yourself you did everything you could to buy the house that will not only be accepted by the seller but also the VA loan as well too.

Veterans, do you have any other tips of the trade to buy the home of your dream? Let us know!

Mortgage Company and Realtors Team Up to Help Fight Heroin Epidemic

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This week was the Triple Play Realtor’s Convention at the Atlantic City Convention Center and Residential Home Funding Corp. (RHFC) exhibited once again. RHFC chose to do a 1970’s themed booth, with a huge spin wheel that offered up prizes, a Studio 54 themed pop up picture stand, disco era music blasting, and all employees dressed head to toe in 70’s garb. The company mascot – Kody the key – was also in attendance, drawing attention from attendees and attracting them to the fun filled booth. There was no doubt RHFC was the most popular exhibitor, with tens of thousands of realtors stopping by.

But even more impressive than RHFC’s groovy booth at the Triple Play Convention was their annual Nerd’s Party held at Harrah’s Casino. Each year, RHFC throws the largest and most popular party, with this year being their biggest yet. Two thousand people came to see the Nerds perform in the Wildwood Ballroom at Harrah’s, with a DJ spinning intermittent hits that kept guests on the dance floor until the minute the party ended. RHFC even got everyone to participate in the “mannequin challenge,” the viral internet video trend where people remain frozen in action like mannequins while a moving camera films them (see it here on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5OuX7WZBBYs&feature=youtu.be).

The most important part of the evening was the money raised by RHFC for the L.E.A.D. Foundation – Law Enforcement Against Drugs – that was generated by the ongoing silent auction. RHFC works closely with L.E.A.D. as their efforts to keep our children educated and off of drugs are greatly support by our passion to do the same. It is imperative for RHFC to help fund foundations like L.E.A.D. because the heroin epidemic has affected us greatly not only in NJ, but nationwide.

“We are beyond thankful for Tom Marinaro’s continued support,” says Bob Kuegler, Police Chief and one of the founders of L.E.A.D. Tom Marinaro, President of Residential Home Funding, along with co-owners Roberto Lupi and Julio Salazar, were incredibly grateful for the support and money raised at their event.

About Residential Home Funding

In March of 2016, Residential Home Funding Corp. was named on the list of the Top 100 Mortgage Bankers in America for the fifth time. This list is compiled by Mortgage Executive Magazine annually, ranking companies not only by their total volume, but also crediting them as “high performing” in periods of uncertainty. Founded in 2000, RHFC is a large mortgage lender that doesn’t act like one. As one of the largest mortgage bankers in America, they are licensed direct lenders in 12 states including CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, SC, and VA, while still treating each and every customer like family. RHFC funds all types of transactions such as basic residential purchases, refinances, investment properties, construction loans, mixed use, and more. Residential Home Funding Corp. is a direct FNMA lender and also originates FHA and VA loans to NJ and beyond. They are a direct FNMA lender and have LAPP approval. At Residential Home Funding, there is a mortgage loan custom suited for almost every borrower, having built their reputation on service and efficiency. We Do Business in Accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law.

Should I sell my first home or rent it out?

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Millennials especially are buying their first home. However, some buy a house that they need at the moment, not a house they will need in the future if they get married or want to grow their family with children. So you go on a quest for a second home that will fit your new needs for an extra bedroom for your baby girl or looking for that house that will fit your whole family and will have an amazing yard to have fun in and entertain. But the question remains in the back of your mind, “What should I do with my first house?” Normally people think about selling their first home so they can wish it bon voyage for the next person to enjoy it. However, some consider the idea of renting their first home out to others. While there are many perks to renting out a property, there are also some downfalls as well to. Here are some factors that will help you weighing the decision to sell your first home or rent it out.

Financial perks and considerations – So let’s talk about some of the perks of renting out your first house. Not only do you have another property investment, but if you rent it out, you can build a real estate invest portfolio. You can convert your first house into a rental and leave your perfect mortgage payment in tact which is more favorable if you obtained a down payment and a low mortgage interest rate.  However if you are searching for your second primary residence, it will help if you show them you have a lease in place of the current home. When you buy your second home, you need to remember that a second mortgage will increase your debt-to-income ratio and you will have to again qualify for the second mortgage.

Tax advantages – If you are looking to make your first home a rental property, make it a priority to sit and speak with an accountant to talk about the tax rules. The tax rules can be very complicated when you are renting out your property and they will help you understand them. The most substantial tax advantages to converting your first home in a rental property comes in the form of depreciating the property, the deduction of maintenance expenses, and the deduction of your mortgage insurance. Again, speak to an accountant about those situations as they will help you if it’s worth renting your first home out or selling it.

Is your home an ideal rental property? – You love your first home and you think everyone who have ever stepped foot in your home would love it as well! However, just because you love it, doesn’t mean it’s ideal for everyone! Generally speaking, a one to three bedroom house is much easier to rent out than a larger home. What would also help is if you do a general search on who are the renters are in your city and what type of properties they rent. For example, is it close to town or how is the area you are in? The broader appeal you have for renters, the more luck you will have on renting it out. If you are not sure if your property is rentable, seek the advice from a real estate professional. They will tell you as well as help you create a comprehensive strategy that is tailored to your situation and market.

Rental fees – We know that rental rates vary greatly in every way, especially if you are renting out a single family home or a condominium. Because the rate varies, it is hard to say what the perfect price to rent your property is. One of the ways you can find out is by doing research the rental market to homes that are similar like yours. You can see what the average they are being rented for and you can price your property competitively. Make sure you do your homework and faction all of costs in the consideration, including your mortgage payment and property insurance. One of the downsides, however, when you rent your property out is the costs that can come up from repairs, property damage, or late and unpaid payments from the tenant. So when you are pricing your rental property, keep in mind about those occurrences that may happen.  If this is your first time being a landlord, you can also look into a property management company that will handle all of the responsibilities you would have as a landlord. However, that will come at a price, so you might want to include that in your math and rental price.

Many experts recommend for you to rent your first home to other people. To buy a second investment and to have two investments to hold on to is a great idea. However, before you go put your property on the market, think about the current housing market and the situation before you make a leap into it. If you are in a seller’s market, it could make it tough to get into your new home without cashing out the equity of your first home. Another option is to refinance your home to get some of the equity out.

Looking to buy your second home? Think you should sell your first home or rent it out? Why not give us a call at (973) 577-7008 and ask our mortgage experts to make a fool proof plan for your new home.

Is your Social Media status leaving a big welcome sign for home burglars?

Social Media is wonderful! We can say what we want, whenever we want and share it with the world. You can let your followers know what you had for breakfast and ask questions you can normally find the answers in the library. However, there is a point of oversharing. Let’s take a look at the Karadshian’s for an example. When Kim Kardashian flaunted her $4.49 million engagement ring on Instagram in October, thieves were tracking her down in her Paris apartment and stole her ring. Police are also warning the younger sister Kylie to stop posting her GPS coordinates on Snapchat because there is a fear that strangers will be lining up her front door. While this example is mainly for the stars and celebrities of Hollywood, this mistake could happen to anyone really. Posting vacation pictures or images of pricey gifts like rings, cars, jewelry, etc., is sharing information not only to your BFF from another mother, but it is also sharing the information to criminals and leading them straight to your home and valuables. One study found that nearly 80% of burglars use social media to plan their heists. Kind of creepy when you think about it, but there are ways to avoid it. Here are three main social media habits that we all might be guilty of doing, but instead it is leading burglars and criminals to our save haven instead.

  1. Including locations in your posts – When you post an update on social media, they will typically ask if you want to tag the location in the post. Twitter has an option to share your precise location when you make a tweet. This is BAD! Especially when you are posting at home, your GPS location is giving the criminals the address of where you are and where your valuables are stored. All that is next is they are waiting for a post that you are going away on vacation or taking a couple of days out of town. So first thing firsts, to solve it let’s take a look at your permissions. Make them viewable only by “friends” and not to the public. Yet however, sometimes that is not enough. If you’re your friend’s account gets hacked and compromised, anything you share to your “friends” will be viewable to the burglar now. As an added extra layer of security, make sure you don’t include your location. If you REALLY want to share with your friends that your toes are in the sand, post those pictures later. Let your friends know that it’s from a previous vacation and no, you are not pulling a Ferris Bueller and sipping a cocktail with Mickey Mouse and his friends at the current moment.                                                                                                       
  2. Posting photos of expensive items – Even if you have the high security update on your social media account that restricts locations from your posts, your photo posted from your iPhone may automatically contain geotags with your GPS coordinates. Major social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram will stripe the location data from the phone, there are some sites like Tumblr that don’t. So if you upload to your social media account that you got a fancy new painting or that new 4K flat screen system with all the bells and whistles on it, you might as well have a neon light pointing on the item saying “Take me I’m free!” So the best option to keep you safe is to not post pictures of your expensive/valuable items on social media. However, if you have the urge to post it and you NEED to let your friends know, you should disable the option on your iPhone to adding the GPS location on your pictures. To make that edit, in the iPhone 6, go to Settings/Privacy/Location Services/Camera/Choose “Never”.
  3. Adding your hometown, birth date, and other personal details to your profile – Even if your exact home address is not on your profile, did you know some simple details like your hometown and workplace can make robbers use the information on sites like Intelius or Spokeo to locate where you actually are? Kind of creepy isn’t it? So don’t add your personal information like your birth date, hometown, and any other personal information. Even if your profile is private and is only view able by friends, your information can still be at a risk. Not only could your friend’s account could be hacked, but a burglar could create a fake profile and try to add you as a friend on social media.

The bottom line here is try to think twice before you make an update on your social media account. Do you want to make a road map to your home and let strangers know what they can grab from your home?

For more information on how to be safe on the internet and how to keep your house safe, give us a call at 973-577-7008.

How to close quickly on your mortgage

Mortgage rates are at an all-time low and with the availability of low- and no-down payment loans, it’s no wonder why it’s easy to be a homeowner! Due to this, it is a seller’s market. However, a prepared buyer will most likely get the house, especially of the seller requests a “quick closing”. If you are able to close on a home in 45 days or less, you can improve your chances of getting your new home. And if you are able to close in 30 days or less, you will REALLY increase your chances of owning your new home. Closing on a home in 30 days or less is possible, but you MUST be prepared.  If you want to close quickly, follow these simple tips.

  1. Paperwork: When you are buying a home, the longest part of the transaction that can affect your closing date is the documentation requests your mortgage lender asks for and how fast you respond to them. If you want, ask your mortgage loan originator ahead of time what paperwork they will need and have them ready.  Most of the paper work mortgage lenders will ask for can take as little as 30 minutes. However, there are times where it can take up to two weeks or more. It depends on the paperwork that is being requested. Most common paperwork includes W-2 statements and federal tax returns from the last 2 years, your last 2 recent pay stubs, and your last two bank statements. Also have a copy of your driver’s license and know the social security number for yourself and anyone else who will be on the loan with you. Also, if you have a unique credit situation like a foreclosure, child support, alimony payments, or gift funds from a friend or relative, have those relative documentation ready. Gathering the right paperwork will be the most time-consuming step in a mortgage approval process. Also most documentation can be scanned and sent to them. Consider scanning them and having them ready for you to send out in advance.
  2. DON’T keep secrets from your mortgage loan originator: You need to be honest with your mortgage loan originator; even if you are worried it will harm your approval. Why? One, if you are withholding information from your mortgage application, your application could be constitute as loan fraud, which is worse than not getting your home loan approved. Two, your mortgage loan originator will typically uncover what you are trying to “hide” anyways. Part of the mortgage approval process is:
    1. A credit check is performed. This check will list your creditors, debts, and judgements.
    2. An occupancy tests is performed by the underwriter to determine if you live where you really say you do.
    3. An employment check is done to verify your job status and income.

Public records are also scoured too if the above checks fails to include information the lender would need as a part of your approval. With the above information, if the underwriter uncovers inconsistencies between your application and the data gathered, they will ask you to explain the discrepancy in details or else your loan will be denied.

 

Your lender will uncover whatever information you elect to withhold – so make sure you share everything!

 

  1. Use Pre-Approvals to speed closing time: Mortgage pre-approvals are the most under-used tools to speed a purchase closing. If you have a pre-approval already in hand as of the date of the offer, it can reduce your loan closing time by one week or more! Pre-approvals are “dry runs”; approvals based on an expected set of loan criteria which will eventually go to closing. During the pre-approval process, your mortgage loan originator will take a complete loan application that includes income and asset verification, and they will account find the perfect loan for your credit score and if you need a co-signer or not. The only thing missing from a pre-approval is the physical property address of the home that is being purchased. To replace the lack of the address, your originator will use dummy information based on probable loan data that includes purchase prices, sample real estate tax bills common for the area, and a sample of homeowners insurance policies and/or homeowners association assessments, where applicable.

When the loan is pre-approved, you can move immediately from “writing the contract” to “underwriting the loan”.

 

If you are ready to take the first step of owning your home, contact us at 973-577-7008.

Tips for sticking to a holiday budget

It’s coming! The time we light up the tree, light the candles, and celebrate the holidays with love ones. However, the time for gift exchanges are coming as well! Did you know we can spend an average of $800 for holiday items (however, it includes décor and cards) in 2015 season? Holiday budgeting takes time, effort, and discipline. Here are some tips on how you can keep on track with your budget!

  1. Decide how much you can spend – Holiday money MUST come from your disposable income. If you plan on using credit cards, prepare for a bill that could take months, or even years, to repay. Not only would it take months for you to pay it off, but think about the interest rate. That is extra money you shouldn’t have to spend! Ideally, you might have saved extra money throughout the year to prepare for this time of year. If you haven’t (which most of us here admit we didn’t), cut back on some extras like movies, going out for dinner, or coffee on the run until the holidays are over. There are some things in your budget you can trim back.
  2. Budget for everything – Not only should you budget for the gifts, but budget for small things we never think about like the gas to go to the shopping malls or if we pay for parking. Consider other expenses that will occur during the holidays like decorations, food and drink for parties, greeting cards, postage if you are mailing cards or gifts, travel expenses, holiday apparel, and charitable contributions. Those are the small things that we don’t think about when we budget for the holidays.
  3. Make a complete gift list with the entire family present – This list should include everyone you are giving gifts to. Write down which family member will be receiving gifts, which one of your friends will receive a gift, as well as anyone else that should be acknowledge during the holiday season like teachers, bus drivers, the mail carriers, as well as the office gift exchange.
  4. Decide on who is getting what gift – Each person you are deciding on buying a gift for, set a firm “no more than” purchase price for the gift. Also be realistic: $25 might buy you a glove, hat, and scarf made out of cotton, but $25 will not buy you a 100% cashmere glove, hat, and scarf set. However, if disposable income is tight, designate half the list as “card-only people” or who will get “homemade or bake” gifts like cookies, ornaments, or knitting or crochet projects. Sometimes homemade gifts are more welcomed especially if children make them.
  5. Set on expectations with family members, especially children – If gifts are going to be minimal, start by advising the children early so they won’t build their expectations. Also now is the time to discuss reasonable and economically feasible gift-giving tactics, like grab bags, name exchanges, or skipping gifts all together.
  6. Start shopping early – We all know that late November and December will be the time for door busters and sales, but that also means you have to deal with big crowds, pressure to shop for everyone, and wrapping and mailing the gifts. Sign up for e-mail alerts from retailers early! Some of them have good sales before Black Friday. Save your sanity with people pushing you around and making you forget the true meaning of the holidays.
  7. Check your emotions at the store door – Gift giving deals are going to be all around us. With deals like buy 3 get 2 free, you will start overbuying gifts for people you don’t mean to buy for. Before you cash in on those deals, remind yourself what you owe: credit card debt, rent/mortgage, car payments. Is it worth not paying those debts so you can cash in on the deals?
  8. Work sales and don’t let them work you – If a gift on your list is on sale, buy it. If it’s not, is it worth going over your budget for or wait till there is a better sale?
  9. Keep track of spending – When it comes to budget, it is very easy to over spend with credit cards. Cash is king when it comes to being on budget. Put your cash in an envelope. When the money is gone, it’s gone. If you use credit cards, it’s possible to go over board and overspend which you will pay off your holiday debt over time and pay more in interest. Don’t enter the New Year handicap on your financial situation!

Do you have any other tips on how to budget for the holidays?

Interesting Facts about Thanksgiving

Since 1863, Americans have celebrated the last Thursday of November as Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving have always been a tradition of a warm get-together with family and friends over a fresh turkey meal, with homemade sides like mashed potatoes, green bean, casserole, stuffing, cranberry sauce, and you finish the night out with a nice warm slice of pumpkin pie or apple pie. However, there is a lot more to the average thanksgiving story. Here are some fun Thanksgiving facts to keep in the back of your mind when you enjoy your meal or watching the Washington Redskins/Dallas Cowboys game with your friends.

  1. vegetarian-turkey
    46 million – You’ve read that right! That is the average amount of turkeys that sacrifice their lives to be the center piece of our Thanksgiving meal. If the average turkey weighs about 16 pounds and were to be sold at 91 cents per pound, America spent $670 million a year on turkey alone. This includes the turkey that is pardoned at the White House each year since 1989.
  2. There are 4 U.S. towns that have Turkey in their names: Turkey Creek, Arizona; Turkey Town, North Carolina; Turkey Creek Village, Louisiana; and Turkey City, Texas.
  3. hate-cardioThe average cost of a 10 person Thanksgiving meal is $50.11 per person. Also, the average person consumes 4,500 calories that night alone (3,000 from the meal and 1,500 from the cocktails/snacks/drinks), which would take an average of a 6 hour run to burn off those calories alone! Maybe we should pass on the second helping of mashed potatoes…
  4. The average amount a Thanksgiving weekend shopper spent in 2015 between Thanksgiving door busters and Black Friday deals was $299.60. That accounts for 1/3 of the average person’s holiday budget ($953) for the holidays. However, despite the deep discounts and sales, keep in mind that Americans racked up more than $52 billion in debt during the final three months of the last year. Some experts are expecting us to be in bigger financial debt from this year!
  5. Nearly 90% of Americans drove at least 50 miles from home to go to their Thanksgiving destination. Gas was an average of $2.06 a gallon last Thanksgiving. As of November 14 this year, the gas average price is $2.17, 9 cents more than last year. On a sadder note, an average of 505 deaths happens each Thanksgiving from 1995 to 2014 on the road according to the National Safety Council. If you are driving, please be careful of the road condition and also be responsible as well too!
  6. If you are going to cook this year, please also be careful when you are cooking. An average of $28 million in property losses occur each Thanksgiving that are caused by home cooking fires. So enjoy the football game! Laugh with your love ones and friends. However, make sure you keep an eye on the oven as well too!

Which one of these facts is interesting? Any one of them surprised you? We also wish you and your love ones a wonderful and Happy Thanksgiving as well!

Teachers and Leaders and Speakers, Oh My

njea_2016The annual New Jersey Education Association (NJEA) Convention was held in Atlantic City, NJ last week. NJEA was created to help those in New Jersey public education achieve excellence. The convention draws teachers and educational support professionals together to learn more in order to achieve their mission of promoting a quality system of public education for all students.

Residential Home Funding Corp. (RHFC) returned once again to exhibit at the convention and the turnout was incredible. “What a response we got. What great relationships we built and what a fun experience we had,” said RHFC Loan Officer Matthew Ziegert who was in attendance along with President Tom Marinaro, Loan Officer William Koedatich, and John Finkle Director of Mortgages for Champions.

The Mortgages for Champions Program from RHFC was developed as a special thank you to the heroes of our community and offers special discounts to teachers: no application fee, no processing fee, no underwriting fee and no lender closing costs. Their booth at the convention educated teachers on this program.

The event was packed with attendees, and guest speakers included NJ teachers, local authors, and there was even evening entertainment including comedy and musical performances.

About Residential Home Funding

 

*In March of 2016, Residential Home Funding Corp. was named on the list of the Top 100 Mortgage Bankers in America for the fifth time. This list is compiled by Mortgage Executive Magazine annually, ranking companies not only by their total volume, but also crediting them as “high performing” in periods of uncertainty. Founded in 2000, RHFC is a large mortgage lender that doesn’t act like one. As the 66th largest mortgage banker in America, they are licensed direct lenders in 12 states including CT, DC, DE, FL, GA, MD, NC, NJ, NY, PA, SC, and VA, while still treating each and every customer like family. RHFC funds all types of transactions such as basic residential purchases, refinances, investment properties, construction loans, mixed use, and more. Residential Home Funding Corp. is a direct FNMA lender and also originates FHA and VA loans to NJ and beyond. They are a direct FNMA lender and have LAPP approval. Their program is excellent for first time buyers allowing low down payments, gift money, and flexible underwriting standards on credit and debt to income ratios. At Residential Home Funding, there is a mortgage loan custom suited for almost every borrower, having built their reputation on service and efficiency. We Do Business in Accordance with the Federal Fair Housing Law. Visit Residential Home Funding Corp. at www.RHFunding.com. Minimum credit scores and maximum loan limits apply. Not all applicants qualify. RHF is an Equal Housing Lender. Certain products are not available in all states. Credit and collateral are subject to approval. This is not a commitment to lend. Program, rates, terms and conditions apply. Lender application, commitment, processing and underwriting fees waived. Borrower pays 3rd party fees including, but not limited to, title, appraisal and any points.  Licensed Mortgage Banker: NMLS# 34973

Furnish your first home on a budget

Congrats! You are ready to move into your first home! However, you realize that a home is not a home without furniture! When you are furniture shopping, you may be worried about the cost of the items. However there are a few ways where the savings could add up.

New Items

Each month of the year, certain items go on sale due to the changing seasons or introduction of new models. Here is a handy list of what could be on sale each month:

  • January – bedding, children’s toys, winter clothes
  • February – mattresses, humidifiers
  • March – elliptical, treadmills
  • April – desktop computers, carpeting
  • May – interior and exterior paint, wood stains
  • June – indoor furniture, summer sporting goods
  • July – deck, siding
  • August – air conditioners, dehumidifiers, outdoor furniture
  • September – lawnmowers, snow blowers
  • October – laptops, gas grills
  • November – TVs, baby products
  • December – appliances, small electronics (e-readers, blu-ray, etc.)

Previously Owned Treasures

Second-hand furniture is a great way to furnish your new home for cheap. One place you can snag a deal is at your local garage and estate sales. You will find them around the spring and summer months. At those sales you can find great items like dishes, flat wear, tables, lamps, and some furniture! Some of the items may be out dated, but it is always worth to take a look. Maybe vintage is your style!

Another great place you can look for pre-owned items are your local thrift stores. They are filled with hidden treasures and décor for your new home.

If online shopping is more your style, check out sites such as ebay and LetGo app you can download to your smart phone.

DIY Savings

Sometimes when you do a DIY project, it can bring a personal element to your home without the price of a custom-made piece.

For example, a brand new coffee table can range from $100 to $200. However you can build your own (https://www.buzzfeed.com/carolineemiller/heres-how-to-create-the-perfect-table-for-any-wineaholic?utm_term=.oqwrAPgzd#.flRxaD58o) for cheap! This coffee table requires no power tools!

When you are trying to furnish your first place, furnishing your new home can be expensive. However with these ideas, you can have a wonderful place and make it easy on your wallet.