How Homeownership Builds Wealth The 4th of July is more than just a day for celebrating the freedom we gained as a nation nearly 250 years ago. It's a day for celebrating the individual freedom and opportunity afforded to each American — freedom that lets you reach for the stars and create the life you've always dreamed of. A part of that freedom means having the financial stability you need to pursue your life goals, and the earlier you secure financial freedom in life, the more opportunity you'll have to make your dreams a reality. If there's anything history has taught us, it's that homeownership is one of the best ways to build wealth and secure your financial future. Here are five primary ways being a homeowner can help you accomplish this: Homeownership can help create a forced savings . Most people aren't very good at putting money aside each month, but every financial expert would agree that having a savings cushion is essential for financial freedom. For homeowners, a monthly mortgage payment can act as a forced savings. As you pay down your principal, you build equity, which helps to increase your net worth. Homes usually appreciate in value. While there's no guarantee that the home you buy will appreciate, there's a pretty good chance. According to the Federal Housing Finance Agency's House Price Index , home values have appreciated an average of 3.33% each year since 1991. Based on this information, if you ...
Did you know May is National Moving Month? Between college students coming home for the summer and families packing up and heading to a new home, May is the busiest season for saying hello to new digs. While moving makes for an exciting time in people's lives, it can also be physically demanding and stressful. But not to worry. If you or someone you know is looking to move this year, we've got you covered with the below tips for a smooth move. If you're planning to hire a moving company, make sure you do your homework. The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) offers these tips for finding a legitimate mover: 1. Check that the mover is registered with FMCSA. All interstate household movers must be registered with the Federal government and have a U.S. DOT number and a proper level of insurance. Watch out for scam artists who don't have these credentials so you don't put your precious belongings in the hands of the wrong people. 2. Ensure the mover does an onsite inspection of your home before providing you with an estimate. Avoid receiving estimates over the phone, and be sure to get the estimate in writing before signing on the dotted line. 3. Review the insurance policies closely. The mover should offer you an option for Full Value Protection, which will provide you with the replacement value of lost or damaged goods. Be wary of Released Value Protection, which is typically offered at no additional cost and only covers you for no more than 60 cents per pound per article. For example, if your mover lost a 10 pound TV valued ...
ATLANTA, Ga. - BankSouth is proud to announce that Atlanta Market President and CEO of BankSouth Mortgage, Kim Nelson, was nominated for the Georgia Chapter of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s Executive Committee and humbly accepted the nomination. Nelson led the charge for BankSouth Mortgage’s 2016 sponsorship of the LLS Light the Night event and helped to raise over $13,000 for the cause. Having had loved ones affected by lymphoma, LLS’ fight is close to her heart. According to LLS, the role of an executive committee member is defined as, “An Executive Committee Member will drive revenue growth and help accelerate corporate development for the Light The Night Walk to support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society’s ultimate goal of creating a world without blood cancers.” “I am humbled and honored to serve on the Executive Committee for LLS,” said Nelson. Many advancements have been made in the treatment of blood cancers, but there’s still a long way to go, and I am proud to officially partner with LLS to help do my part. BankSouth Mortgage was a sponsor in the 2016 Light The Night event and it was heartwarming to see our employees’ excitement and engagement with this cause. A few members of our team have been directly affected with blood cancers, so this makes the collective effort even more special. We are excited to begin our fundraising for the 2017 Light The Night Walk and helping to create a world without blood cancers!”
BankSouth Mortgage: Interest Rate Updates Many of you are likely aware of the recent rise in interest rates and may be wondering what’s next and what this means for the 2017 housing market. While only predictions can be made, here is a recap of what we do know: The Federal Reserve (the Fed) raised benchmark interest rates by 25 bases points after the Federal Open Market Committee meeting in mid-December. This was the only Fed Funds Rate increase in 2016. Indications were made to suggest 3 potential rate hikes in 2017, with a 70% chance of one hike by June 2017. While these changes may concern those looking to buy and those in the housing industry, it’s important to look at the whole picture. Over the past 7-8 years, we’ve seen interest rates not only reach historic lows, but stay there rather consistently. As part of the effort to get America out of the most recent recession, the Fed purposely kept interest rates low to help drive economic growth and encourage homeownership. As our economy has strengthened and unemployment rates have significantly improved, the need to keep interest rates down has, in effect, subsided and this rise in rates reflects an effort to get back to equilibrium. There’s no doubt that these increases will greatly reduce refinance demand, but the jury is still out on how it will affect home purchases. While it’s likely home purchase demand will remain steady, one of the most important effects of rising interest rates is how they will impact affordability, especially in rapidly appreciating markets. Ideally with a ...
Appraisals – a thing of the past? With the introduction of Fannie Mae’s Enhanced Property Inspection Waiver (PIW) program, whisperings have broken out over the potential for the appraisal requirement to go away. In short, the answer to this question is no, appraisals are still a requirement for the majority of loans, and there is no evidence that this requirement will go away any time in the near future. The longer answer to this question is that there is some validity to these rumors. As of December 10th , Fannie Mae will enhance their PIW program that waives the appraisal requirement on certain refinance loans with lenders that utilize Desktop Underwriter (DU). In addition, after the 1st of January, they will also waive the $75 PIW fee that borrowers were incurring. One unit properties, including condos are eligible for the PIW program, and LTVs will go up to 90% for limited cash out refinances. So now you may ask yourself how are they doing this and what does it mean? Through Fannie Mae’s program Collateral Underwriter (CU), they are able to look up past appraisals and see if it is associated with the current borrowers on the loan. If the appraisal information is found, they will use that to determine if the file is eligible for a PIW. This process will not only save borrowers’ money on appraisal fees, but will also help to streamline refinancing as a whole. With interest rates on the rise, programs like this will hopefully continue to encourage homeowners to refinance when conditions are in their favor and when a cash out refinance may benefit their situation. ...