“You’ve got to know when to hold ’em Know when to fold ’em Know when to walk away And know when to run You never count your money When you’re sittin’ at the table There’ll be time enough for countin’ When the dealin’s done.” – Kenny Rogers
Mortgages are a bit like gambling. You never know when the “perfect time” to initiate a new mortgage is, because there is always a risk that interest rates could go down slightly right after you sign the documents; however, there is always a risk that rates could also rise. The good news is that you can always refinance if rates drop, so unlike gambling, you can “fix” a bad hand.
Right now is a great time to buy (or refinance if you haven’t already done so). Mortgage rates are still really low and housing prices have stabilized. Of course, nobody wants to pay more than they have to for their home. Here is how to “win” the mortgage game:
1. Connect with a really good loan officer.* He or she will help you to obtain the best mortgage rate available based on your income, liabilities, assets and credit score; 2. Correct your credit score, if needed; 3. Consider a 15 year mortgage instead of a 30 year. The monthly payments are often only slightly higher, but you can save a ton of money by minimizing how many years you are paying interest; 4. Take your pre-approval and start looking for a new home with a realtor; and 4. Retain an awesome attorney to close your mortgage!
Curious about the current mortgage rates? Check out this website: https://themortgagereports.com/47095/mortgage-rates-today-january-21-2019-plus-lock-recommendations
Wondering about how much a mortgage might cost? For a ball park range only, peek at this one: www.mortgagecalculator.org
If you just want to listen to Kenny Rogers: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UyARoGIzmKk
As always, please let us know if we can help with a real estate or any other legal matter.
Regards, John & Faye * If you are in need, we are happy to recommend a really good loan officer.
“Unravel these. We need to check every bulb. Ooops. Little knot here, you can work on that.”
-Clark Griswold to his son, Russ, as he hands him 25 strands of Christmas lights
You can admit it. You LOVE decorating for the holidays. Tell us the truth: are you a more HGTV or Clark Griswold?
Decorating your home can really get you into a festive mood for any holiday; however is it a good idea to decorate for the holidays when you are getting ready to sell your house? We asked a realtor her thoughts on this important question. Her answer was “it depends” and “maybe.”
It depends whether you have already taken marketing photos of your house: Marketing photos of your house should not include holiday decorations. Any decorations will “date” your photos and might make your home appear as though it has been on the market for a long time.
Decorating can make or break your staging: Decorating a home that is already on the market can help people to visualize themselves celebrating future holidays there too. Decorations should be traditional and serene. For instance, pumpkins and corn stalks are perfect for Halloween and Thanksgiving. Single colored lights will highlight your landscaping and a small Mensch on the Bench may provide a dash of blue color on white shelves. Overall, as a former law professors once said, “keep it simple.”
For specific ideas, HGTV has some thoughts on staging your house during the holidays:
What is YOUR favorite holiday to decorate for every year?
As always, please let us know if we can help you with this or any other matter.
One of the fun things about living and working in North Attleboro is the vibe during football season. We love the game and our football families; they support our community and we support them, often by just protecting their privacy.
The fascination that people have with “celebrity” is not always easy to understand. It’s something that we think about from time to time and can never truly reconcile.
Soon after Aaron Hernandez got arrested, someone asked me where he lived; the address and photos of the home were blasted across every news station, but this person wanted to know how long it would take to drive their from their current location and directions to the house (NO!). Prior to it being sold to an investor last year, we would hope gawkers stayed away out of respect for theneighbors and that only truly interested & qualified buyers toured the home out of respect for the realestate agent.
The Mayo family recently shared their family tragedy with the world with the hopes of finding their dog, Knox, and helping other families; however, some people on social media took it as an opportunity to ask where the family lives; they were not asking for a town, which was obvious from news coverage, but for the street address. WHAT? SERIOUSLY?
We, too, are guilty of some curiosity. During a late night Google search for random Guns and Roses trivia, we came across photos of Axl Rose’s house in Malibu, CA. We had never thought about what his house would look like, but certainly it should be worthy of a rock star, dark and mysterious, with empty whisky bottles all over the floor. Apparently, his house is in a surfing community and is about as bad ass as a rainbow unicorn covered in pink sparkles. We found it interesting and shared it on our Facebook page.*
What is it about celebrities and where they live that is so fascinating to people? We think that it’s about feeling connected to something bigger than us, whether it be a person, story or history, but here is an old article that discusses the phenomenon:
While driving through the Baltimore/ Washington D.C. area, there was a billboard that said, “Don’t get a divorce…get a bigger house.” Four days later, the advertisement is stuck in my head.
Although we are all for buying the house of your dreams, it will not save your marriage. What really happens to your house in a divorce?
1. The marital home is the most sought asset during a divorce. At the beginning of the divorce process, everyone wants to keep the marital home; however, it is rare that that both parties can afford to keep the home on their one income, often determining who could actually keep the house;
2. One spouse keeps the house. If one of the parties can afford to keep the home, they should refinance under their own name and based on their individual income. At the time of refinance, the ownership is often transferred by Quitclaim Deed;
3..Get your name off the mortgage if you don’t own the house. If you have signed a Quitclaim Deed to relinquish ownership rights, make sure that you don’t have any financial responsibility for the mortgage or taxes. We recommend this for both security (in case your ex doesn’t pay the mortgage for any reason) and because any financial obligations will limit your ability to secure your own credit for a future rental or purchase;
4. Sell the house. This can be done either before or after the divorce occurs, but it’s easier if the parties agree how the proceeds will be divided before the house is put on the market;
5. It gets more complicated when the mortgage exceeds the value of the home. Couples that cannot afford to pay the overage due usually have to choose a short sale, renting the home or continuing to live together;
5. Buying a house during the divorce process isn’t always a great idea. The home will be considered a marital asset and subject to division. Also, mortgage underwriters may be a bit concerned about your future income and assets, which could cause delays.
As always, please let us know if we can assist you with any concerns or legal matters.
It’s ironic that we approach a holiday week that celebrates independence from England by reflecting on how independent we are not. This year is a little different for us. We aren’t going to comment on the immigration issues that divide our country at the moment. What we are thinking about is how we are never truly independent.
This week, the announcement was made public by Wicked Local that we won the best local attorneys in the region. As the news broke, we couldn’t help but thinking about how we got here and it’s not from being independent.
We are the faces of WJS Legal, but we are not the reason for our success. We would be lost without Katie and Kyla, who help keep us organized and moving forward flawlessly. We could not succeed without our realtors and lenders. Our survival depends on our family law clients who trust us with the most intimate and sensitive parts of their lives. We need all of you, who believe in us and support our work. We are, truly, only two people who are surrounded by greatness.
Thank you for always supporting us and Happy 4th of July!
John and Faye
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