Category Archives: NEWS

15 cosas que no sabias acerca del Día de Acción de Gracias

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  1. La primer cena de Acción de Gracias fue en Octubre y no en Noviembre, en 1621.

 

  1. La cena fue en Plymouth, Massachusetts, entre los colonos de Plymouth y los Indios Wampanoag.

 

  1. A la cena atendieron 50 Ingleses y 90 Indios. Muy pocas mujeres asistieron, bueno, eso si es que hubo mujeres.

 

  1. La primer cena duró 3 días.

 

  1. La cena de Acción de Gracias no fue una celebración, si no que hasta que más tarde los europeos, nativos Americanos y otras culturas se juntaron para celebrar y dar gracias por lacomida y la vida.

 

  1. El Día de Acción de Gracias fue primera vez clamado en Octubre 3 de 1789 por el Presidente George Washington.

 

  1. En 1863 Abraham Lincoln escogió que la fecha oficial para festejar la cena fuera el último jueves del mes de Noviembre y lo proclamo como día festivo nacional.

 

  1. En la primera cena, no hubo leche, queso, pan, mantequilla, puré de papa, maíz o el tradicional pie de calabaza.

 

  1. La cena original tenia platillos con langosta, conejo, pollo, pescado, calabazas, frijoles, cebollas, frutos secos, miel de maple, miel de abeja, rábanos, repollo, zanahoria, huevos y queso de cabra.

 

  1. Los peregrinos no usaron tenedores, solo cucharas y manos.

 

  1. El famoso desfile que organiza la tienda departamental Macy’s empezó en los años 1920’s.

 

  1. Desde 1947, el presidente de los Estados Unidos, durante una celebración le perdona la vida a un pavo, para que viva lo que le resta de vida en una granja.

 

  1. “Thanksgiving” también es celebrado en Canadá, el segundo lunes de octubre.

 

  1. 90% de las personas que celebran la cena de Acción de Gracias comen pavo ese día.

 

  1. En promedio la cena tradicional tiene 4,575 calorías.

Your Loan in the Valley

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Do You Have What it Takes?

WhatittakesYLV-650In order to obtain a VA home loan, you must first fill out VA Form 26-1880, the request for your Certificate of Eligibility. This certificate is issued only through the Veterans Administration, and is the first step towards applying for your loan. Veterans, active duty, guard or reserve, and military spouses potentially qualify for this certificate. Keep in mind that the Certificate of Eligibility, while necessary, only allows an eligible individual to apply for a home loan; it does not guarantee a loan approval.

Eligibility for the Certificate is based on an individual’s (or a spouse’s) military service. Congress establishes eligibility with strict guidelines. Here are five common categories of those who normally qualify for a Certificate of Eligibility:

Wartime – Service During:

  • WWII: 9/16/1940 to 7/25/1947
  • Korean: 6/27/1950 to 1/31/1955
  • Vietnam: 8/5/1964 to 5/7/1975

You must have at least 90 days on active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than 90 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.

Peacetime – Service during periods:

  • 7/26/1947 to 6/26/1950
  • 2/1/1955 to 8/4/1964
  • 5/8/1975 to 9/7/1980 (Enlisted)
  • 5/8/1975 to 10/16/1981 (Officer)

You must have served at least 181 days of continuous active duty and been discharged under other than dishonorable conditions. If you served less than 181 days, you may be eligible if discharged for a service connected disability.

Service after 9/7/1980 (enlisted) or 10/16/1981 (officer)

If you were separated from service which began after these dates, you must have:

  • Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 181 days) for which you were ordered or called to active duty and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  • Completed at least 181 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1171 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability;
  • Been discharged with less than 181 days of service for a service-connected disability. Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances for the convenience of the Government.

Gulf War – Service during period 8/2/1990 to date yet to be determined

If you served on active duty during the Gulf War, you must have:

  • Completed 24 months of continuous active duty or the full period (at least 90 days) for which you were called or ordered to active duty, and been discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, or
  • Completed at least 90 days of active duty and been discharged under the specific authority of 10 USC 1173 (Hardship), or 10 USC 1173 (Early Out), or have been determined to have a compensable service-connected disability, or
  • Been discharged with less than 90 days of service for a service-connected disability. Individuals may also be eligible if they were released from active duty due to an involuntary reduction in force, certain medical conditions, or, in some instances, for the convenience of the Government.

Active Duty Service Personnel

If you are now on regular duty (not active duty for training), you are eligible after having served 181 days (90 days during the Gulf War) unless discharged or separated from a previous qualifying period of active duty service.

Selected Reserves or National Guard

If you are not otherwise eligible and you have completed a total of 6 years in the Selected Reserves or National Guard (member of an active unit, attended required weekend drills and 2-week active duty for training) and

  • Were discharged with an honorable discharge, or
  • Were placed on the retired list, or
  • Were transferred to the Standby Reserve or an element of the Ready Reserve other than the Selected Reserve after service characterized as honorable service, or
  • Continue to serve in the Selected Reserves

Individuals who completed less than 6 years may be eligible if discharged for a service-connected disability.

You may also be determined eligible if you:

  • Are an unremarried spouse of a veteran who died while in service or from a service connected disability, or
  • Are a spouse of a serviceperson missing in action or a prisoner of war

Note: Also, a surviving spouse who remarries on or after attaining age 57, and on or after December 16, 2003, may be eligible for the home loan benefit. However, a surviving spouse who remarried before December 16, 2003, and on or after attaining age 57, must apply no later than December 15, 2004, to establish home loan eligibility. VA must deny applications from surviving spouses who remarried before December 6, 2003 that are received after December 15, 2004.

Eligibility may also be established for:

  • Certain United States citizens who served in the armed forces of a government allied with the United States in WW II.
  • Individuals with service as members in certain organizations, such as Public Health Service officers, cadets at the United States Military, Air Force, or Coast Guard Academy, midshipmen at the United States Naval Academy, officers of National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, merchant seaman with WW II service, and others. Source: military.com

Understanding prequalification vs. pre-approval

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Usually, some type of pre-qualification is done in the first interview with a lender. Here you will provide basic information needed to help you obtain a loan.

The lender makes preliminary calculations based on information you give about your income, debts, and assets. These calculations help determine whether you can afford the loan you would like or how much you can afford to borrow. The lender may also explain the application process and steps to getting a mortgage at that company.

Prequalification occurs before the formal application is signed and submitted. At this time, lenders do not verify the information you give them, and they may not check your credit. Lenders are not committed to make a loan for you at this time. Prequalification is just an estimate of the amount you may qualify to borrow. You can use this preliminary information to assess the impact a particular monthly payment may have on your total budget.

In a pre-approval, lenders do check the accuracy of the information provided. They may contact the employer to verify employment dates and income and check your credit. If the information checks out and your credit is good, the lender will give you a pre-approval letter for a specific loan amount. You can be pre-approved by more than one lender. At this point, you are on the way to buying a home.

The pre-approval letter shows the real estate professional and home sellers that you are serious about buying a home, that your credit is good, and that you are working with a lender or lenders who will provide you with a loan. The pre-approval is specific to each lender but can be helpful in shopping with other lenders. Source: homeloanlearningcenter.com

Your Loan in the Valley

Top 10 reasons not to Co-Sign on a Loan

SignHereMany say the one viable exception would be co-signing for your child or spouse, but even then you need to think of all these risks and repercussions that could arise. Even co-signing for your spouse is dangerous (50 percent of marriages end in divorce).

 

  1. All the risk, very little reward.

 

  1. The lender will sue you first if payments are not made.

 

  1. The person you help will be happy, but you will have a lot to lose.

 

  1. You can destroy a friendship or family relationship.

 

  1. You are 100 percent liable on the loan that could be a significant amount.

 

  1. You could face tax consequences if the debt is settled.

 

  1. Co-signing could make approval of a loan you might need impossible.

 

  1. You’ll be making that payment if your co-signer defaults.

 

  1. You may need to sue the other responsible party if payments are not made and you get sued.

 

  1. You have to be organized enough to keep track of the payments. Source: bankrate.com

 

At the end of the day only you decide….

 

Your Loan in the Valley

To Some Borrowers, Short Sales Can Be Just As Bad As Foreclosures

ShortSaleHELPParticipating in either a short sale or a foreclosure is never a fun ordeal, but when it comes down to it to have a short sale on your record as opposed to a foreclosure you look much better on paper—consider it a ‘resume booster’ for your credit report.  Also, those with short sales are welcomed back into the housing market much faster than those with foreclosures.  Some borrowers with a short sale can be welcomed back into the market in as quick as no time at all, if it is an FHA loan and “given that the borrower did not default on the prior mortgage at the time of the short sale, and all of the other payments on the previous loan (as well as other debt payments) were on time for 12 months before the date of the short sale, as long as it does not appear that the borrower was taking advantage of the mortgage market and attempting to purchase the same kind/size of home in the same proximity of the home that was short sold.

However, short sales are frequently mistakenly recorded on the borrowers’ credit report as a foreclosure.

A foreclosure on the credit report instead of a short sale can set credit scores back farther and also may exile that borrower out of the housing marketing for much longer than they would with a short sale – seven years. A short sale merely damages credit scores, while foreclosures butcher them. The reason for this misrepresentation on the credit report is that the mortgage industry does not have a separate reporting code for short sales, which leads us all to the question, why not? Senator Bill Nelson recently brought attention to the subject and made it the center of a federal investigation as to why the separate code ceases to exist.

ABC Action News reported that Fannie Mae recognized that they “cannot identify short sales on the credit report data”. With this being the case, the next step was to hit up the credit reporting agencies. Experian credit reporting agency stated, “the shorts sales and foreclosures are being coded correctly on Experian’s credit reports. Where we have found the discrepancies occurring is in the underwriting process”. As 2.2 million people opted for short sales since the crash of the housing market, and with all of the agencies placing the blame on the next guy, homeowner’s need to take matters into their own hands if they ever want to buy in the near future. This should not only be said for home buying, either. The amount of damage that the foreclosure has on the credit score can severely hinder the borrower from obtaining a fair car loan or making other large purchases without being subject to astronomical interest rates and unfair terms. Borrowers need to demand a letter from their lender stating that it was a short sale, and any markings of foreclosure should be deleted immediately. We can’t make any promises that it will be smooth sailing from there forth, but the key is to follow up with your new lender with regards to the matter as much as humanly possible to the point that they know they must tend to your file. Homeownership is our right as Americans, but as much of a nuisance as it is, there are times when we have to be very proactive to attain our goals. Source: bankrate.com

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Grant Programs for First Time Homebuyers

ID-10033148CalHFA has launched three new programs, and each may be combined with CalHFA’s various down payment assistance programs for first time homebuyers in the housing market.

Two of the CalHFA’s new programs are first mortgage loans, the CalPLUS Conventional and the CalHFA Conventional, offering a maximum LTV of 97%. The third new program is CalHFA’s Energy Efficient Mortgage combined with an additional Energy Efficient Mortgage Grant to allow for energy efficient improvements.  All three of the programs are available to first time homebuyers, with exceptions if the borrower is purchasing a home located in a Federally Designated Targeted Area*.

Each of the programs can be combined with CalHFA down payment assistance programs and other assistance programs including the California Homebuyer’s Down Payment Assistance Program (CHDAP), the Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP), and the Mortgage Certificate Credit (MCC) program.

The CalPLUS Conventional Loan Program is already combined with the Zero Intererst Program (ZIP), which is a deferred second loan with zero interest.  The maximum amount of the ZIP loan is 3% of the CalPLUS first mortgage.

The CalHFA EEM Grant may be a maximum of 4% the first mortgage total loan amount and includes the Up Front Mortgage Premium (UFMIP).

All three of the programs require a minimum credit score of 640, and debt-to-income (DTI) not to exceed 45%.  With the assistance of other down payment assistance programs or grants, all programs may have a maximum combined loan-to-value (CLTV) of 103%. Source: prweb.com   photo by photostock

Speak wiht a Loan Officer today! 818 810 4646

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10 cities where ordinary people can no longer afford homes

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It now seems pretty clear that late 2012 or early 2013 was the ideal time to purchase a home: Real-estate prices and interest rates were both near record lows, creating an unprecedented buying opportunity for those who could muster a down payment and qualify for a mortgage.

 Home affordability is still pretty good by historical standards, but typical buyers are once again being priced out in at least two dozen markets ranging from coastal hotspots to lower-cost inland cities. Three factors are pushing the cost of owning a home beyond the financial reach of ordinary families: Mortgage rates are ticking upwward as the Federal Reserve backs away from the super-easy monetary policy of the past five years. Home prices are rising as the economy recovers. And incomes are barely budging, which means typical families are once again falling behind as they try to bank enough to buy a home.

We used data from research firm RealtyTrac to determine where housing affordability is deteriorating the most. At the top of the list is Salinas, Calif., where a median-priced home rose 40% from the end of 2012 to the end of 2013, to $388,000. When rising interest rates are factored in, the income required to purchase a typical home rose by a whopping 58%.

The 10 areas in the list below are ranked by the increase in income required to buy a typical home from December 2012 to December 2013. We also included RealtyTrac’s affordability-index rating for the county each city is located in, to exclude cities in which required incomes have risen but homes are still relatively cheap. (The affordability index represents the median income per county as a percentage of the required income for a typical home purchase, so cities with a rating below 100 are less affordable while those above 100 are more affordable). We also grouped cities in northern and southern California into two entries, since there are so many of them. Here are the 10 areas where home affordability is deteriorating the most:

Source: RealtyTrack

With home prices rising nationwide by an average of about 11% in 2013, the income required to buy a typical home rose in all but a handful of cities. Still, affordability remains strong in the majority of markets, says Daren Blomquist of RealtyTrac. Here are the 10 cities where affordability has either improved during the past year, or barely changed (affordability-index data isn’t available for every city):

Source: RealtyTrack

The problem with the most affordable cities is they tend to be less vibrant than those where demand for housing is strong and prices are rising. So while affordability may still be good in many cities, economic opportunity may be lacking.

Meanwhile, the other big factor that determines whether families can buy a home — even if they may have the money for a down payment — is whether their credit rating is strong enough to qualify for a mortgage. Banks have been loosening up, and some have recently begun to lend to subprime borrowers for the first time since the housing bubble began to burst back in 2006. But for some borrowers, it’s a Catch-22: Lending standards are easing just as affordability is worsening. Some families that might have been able to afford a home a year ago can’t now, even if they’re more likely to qualify for a mortgage.

All of these factors will determine whether the housing recovery continues or peters out, which some economists are starting to worry about. While 2013 seemed to be a nice comeback year for housing after six years of price declines, some analysts think it was illusory. “The housing price gains in 2013 may have been a mirage,” writes Jeffrey Rosen, chief economist at research firm Briefing.com. “First-time home buyers have been effectively priced out of the market.”

Rosen believes a surge of all-cash buyers — who are usually investors buying properties to flip or rent — pushed up prices in 2013, a trend that could reverse itself in 2014 as demand from investors wanes. If so, homes that have drifted beyond the reach of first-time buyers could become more affordable, not less. “Affordability conditions need to revert to where they were in January 2013,” Rosen says.

If that happens, potential homeowners should make sure they don’t miss a historic buying opportunity twice.

Source: yahoo.com By Rick Newman

Your Loan in the Valley

California Housing Finance Loan Programs

CaliforniaFinance

CalHFA offers a variety of loan programs to help you purchase your first home.

FIRST MORTGAGE PROGRAMS

CalPLUS Loan Program
The CalPLUS program is an FHA-insured loan featuring a CalHFA fixed interest rate first mortgage.  This loan is fully amortized for a 30-year term and is combined with the CalHFA Zero Interest Program (ZIP) for down payment assistance only.

CalHFA FHA Loan Program
The CalHFA FHA program is an FHA-insured loan featuring a CalHFA fixed interest rate first mortgage.  This loan is fully amortized for a 30-year term and can be combined with either the California Homebuyer Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP) or the Extra Credit Teacher Program (ECTP).

DOWN PAYMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS

The money you put “down” or the down payment on your home loan can be one of the largest hurdles for many first-time homebuyers. That’s why CalHFA offers several options for down payment and closing cost assistance. This type of assistance is often called a second or subordinate loan. CalHFA’s subordinate loans are “silent seconds”, meaning payments on this loan are deferred so you do not have to make a payment on this assistance until your home is sold, refinanced or paid in full. This helps to keep your monthly mortgage payment affordable.

California Homebuyer’s Downpayment Assistance Program (CHDAP)
Offers a deferred-payment subordinate loan in the amount of (3%) of the purchase price or appraised value, which ever is less to be used for down payment and/or closing costs.

Extra Credit Teacher Home Purchase Program (ECTP)
Program intended for eligible teachers, administrators, classified employees and staff members working in high priority schools in California. Offers a deferred-payment junior loan of an amount not to exceed the greater of $7,500 or 3% of the sales price or in CalHFA-defined high cost areas an amount not to exceed the greater of $15,000 or 3% of the sales price. Assistance can be used for down payment.

OTHER PARTNERSHIP & PROGRAM OPTIONS

Mortgage Credit Certificate Tax Credit Program (MCC)
A federal credit which can reduce potential federal income tax liability, creating additional net spendable income which borrowers may use toward their monthly mortgage payment.  This MCC Tax Credit program may enable first-time homebuyers to convert a portion of their annual mortgage interest into a direct dollar for dollar tax credit on their U.S. individual income tax returns.

Individual Development Accounts
IDA’s are special savings accounts designed to assist low income borrowers on their path toward ownership of a long-term asset, such as a home, through matched contributions by nonprofit organizations and eligible banks. These organizations may offer up to a 3:1 savings match (i.e., if you save $1,000, you will receive an additional $3,000). To find an organization that offers an IDA program please follow the link above.

HUD – Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program

The Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program may enable qualified first-time
homebuyers to receive monthly assistance for homeownership expenses in lieu of monthly rent aid. Pursuant to Congressional authority, HUD has authorized states and Public Housing Authorities (PHA’s) to provide this assistance using funds available through the Section 8 rental voucher program.

The PHA’s may choose to participate in offering the Section 8 for homeownership but are not required to do so. Under the Program at least 30% of the eligible homebuyers’ income will go to pay the homeownership expenses with Section 8 covering the remainder.

For additional information:

  • HUD – Housing Choice Voucher Fact Sheet
  • HUD-approved Public Housing Agencies in California

Utility Energy Efficiency & Solar Programs
California’s various Investor-Owned Utilities (IOUs) and Publicly-Owned Utilities (POUs) offer a variety of Energy-Efficiency and Solar programs designed to assist single-family and multifamily owners in covering or deferring the cost of making their properties go green.

Weatherization Assistance Program
The Weatherization Assistance Program reduces the heating and cooling costs for low-income families by improving the energy efficiency of their homes and ensuring their health and safety. Among low-income households, the program focuses on those with elderly residents, individuals with disabilities, and families with children.

Looking for more information? Talk with a Your Loan in the Valley Loan Specialist today.

818 810 4646

Source: calhfa.ca.gov

Your Loan in the Valley

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5 TIPS FOR SENDING BUSINESS HOLIDAY GREETING CARDS.

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We’re getting close to the holiday season, and not only does that mean it’s time to start gift shopping for all of your friends and family on your list, but it’s also time to start thinking about sending holiday cards to your clients and colleagues.

Order Early

You are already ahead of the game by thinking about your holiday cards now. In fact, right now is the perfect time to order your cards, especially if you plan to include customization, branding or special designs. Use the next week or two to select and design your cards, and get your order in by the end of the month to ensure you have them in-hand on time.

Be Unique

You can, of course, just select a standard design from the card catalog, but why not try a different approach? You can create a very unique and memorable card that doesn’t have to break your budget. Some ideas include using the typically family-oriented photo card format to show a picture of your team, designing a flat greeting card that incorporates your actual business card, or selecting a humorous card to go for the laugh.

Brand Your Cards

Aside from using your actual business card incorporated into your greeting card, you can consider including some other forms of branding on your card. You will probably want to include your business name and URL, but also consider using your logo and even company colors to tie it all together.

Make It Personal

Many business holiday cards are pre-printed, giving them a professional look and feel. But make sure you take time to address your cards individually and write a personal message in each card. A handwritten note from you can be the difference between a throw-away business greeting card and one that is kept and remembered.

Skip Christmas

Who says a holiday card has to be sent for the big holidays? Consider sending a Thanksgiving card or a New Year’s card to separate yours from the masses that hit the mailbox every December.

Source: sitepoint.com

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LOAN BASICS TRAINING V

Loans are not a State of Mind

LOAN BASICS TRAINING V
November 08, 2013 8.30am
15650 Devonshire St. Granada Hills, CA 91344

StateofMind

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