Friday, March 30, 2012

"Stairway To Heaven" Oahu's Forbidden Trail

The Stairway to Heaven  or Haiku Ladder was originally built by the US Coast Guard in 1942 and was a wooden ladder spike into the cliff it was used to monitor the radar communications that could pick up signals some 6600 miles away from the station located at the top. It’s a very steep and dangerous hike to the top with some 3900+ steps on Oahu’s Haiku Valley cliffs. 

It was closed to the public in 1987 because of accidents due to the terribly worn and dangerous condition of the stairs. In 2003 the City of Honolulu spent $875,000 to repair the stairs but the stairs remain closed due to land use rights issues and liability.

However this does not stop of thousands of hiker each year that take on the challenge of this dangerous hike and the constant present of the guards who man the entrance gate and turn hiker away by the hundreds each day including Sunday. It’s said if you can get pasted the guards either before there shift begins in the very early morning hours 4AM – 5AM or during their breaks you can sneak past and make your way to the stairs. Beware you can be sited if caught. If you are coming down from your hike however they are known to just ask about the view or how your hike was today.

If you are lucky to be young enough or in excellent physical condition to make this adventurous journey please don’t forget it is very dangerous and many people have been injured, this hike will take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours both ways so make sure like any hike you pack penalty of food and water, ware comfortable shoes and take a jacket, it’s cold at the top or even a blanket if you can.  Beware while descending the stairs they are likely to be wet and slippery, go slow!

Remember to leave the top and trail better then you found it, please take all your garbage with you as no one is going to clean up after you and there are no park rangers or guides. I hate to be a killjoy but this hike is still illegal so do it at your own risk.  Make sure you have a cell phone to call emergency services should you need them.  Good Luck and enjoy the hike if you dare go!

Thank you for stopping by my blog, I do my best to try and make it interesting, I encourage and welcome your ideas, comments and questions. You can also follow my blog by clicking on the "follow this blog" on the right side of my blog home page. Have a great weekend and aloha!

Roxy ... 

HUD Awards low-income HIV/AIDS Housing Programs 33 Million!

Yesterday HUD announced more than 1200 low-income persons living with HIV/AIDS will continue to receive permanent housing with a 33 Million dollar grant. This funding is offered through Housing Opportunities for Persons with AIDS Program (HOPWA) supports Local 18 in 17 states.

I was happy to see Hawaii has two organizations that will be receiving a share of those funds.
 Maui AIDS Foundation of Wailuku and Gregory House programs in Honolulu. Congratulation to both organizations and thank you for your continued hard work in providing much needed services for those individuals living our beautiful state.  

These funds are vital to the organizations and thousands of lives that are affected. Please help support these foundations in your area. See the list below of the other states and programs that will be receiving this grant money.

To read the full HUD press release go to;

HOPWA 2012 Permanent Supportive Housing Renewal Grants
AlaskaState of Alaska- Alaska Housing Finance CorporationAnchorage$781,269.00
CaliforniaCity of Los Angeles Housing DepartmentLos Angeles$1,501,500.00
County of Alameda Housing and Community Development DepartmentHayward$1,483,179.00
Tenderloin AIDS Resource CenterSan Francisco$1,276,170.00
Salvation Army AlegriaLong Beach$1,062,519.00
DelawareMinistry of Caring, Inc.Wilmington$790,298.00
HawaiiMaui AIDS FoundationWailuku$1,440,477.00
Gregory House ProgramsHonolulu$1,390,650.00
IllinoisCity of Chicago, Department of Public HealthChicago$1,487,815.00
AIDS Foundation of ChicagoChicago$1,476,160.00
Chicago House & Social Service Agency, Inc.Chicago$1,285,370.00
MassachusettsCommunity Healthlink, Inc.Worcester$899,274.00
AIDS Action Committee of MassachusettsBoston$1,415,025.00
MarylandCity of Baltimore Office of Human ServicesBaltimore$1,405,950.00
MaineFrannie Peabody Center  (Housing Assistance Program)Portland$1,054,799.00
Frannie Peabody Center (Outreach to Rural Maine)Portland$1,309,169.00
Frannie Peabody Center (Racial and Ethnic Minority Outreach Program)Portland$1,432,653.00
MichiganCass Community Social Services, Inc.Detroit$1,348,970.00
MissouriInterfaith Residence Dba Doorways (Central and Southern Missouri)Saint Louis$1,109,912.00
Interfaith Residence Dba Doorways (Southern Illinois)Saint Louis$965,658.00
MontanaState of Montana Department of Public Health and Human Services (includes projects in North Dakota and South DakotaHelena$1,482,040.00
New HampshireCity of Nashua Division of Public Health and Community ServiceNashua$1,430,000.00
State of New Hampshire Bureau of Homeless and Housing ServicesConcord$734,770.00
New YorkBailey House, Inc.New York$1,081,922.00
PennsylvaniaCalcutta HousePhiladelphia$837,303.00
TexasCity of DallasDallas$746,853.00
VermontBurlington Housing AuthorityBurlington$392,906.00
WisconsinAIDS Resource Center of WisconsinMilwaukee$1,310,577.00

Thank you for stopping by my blog remember your comments and suggestions are always welcome follow my blog for future posts.

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC Loan Consultant
Branch Manager
NMLS #269926

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Quote For The Day

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.

Robert Louis Stevenson

Hope you all have a wonderful day. I am going to sit on the beach with my dog and have a wordless Wednesday literally! After work of course!

As always thank you for stopping by my blog I appreciate your support and your comments. 

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Tuesday’s Saving Money Tip #18 Secrets to Online Shopping

I’ve learned to shop online to save time and money but did you know you could also earn money by shopping online. It’s true, but first I’d like to talk about the advantages of shopping online.  The obvious is you don’t have to leave home. You save money by not getting in your car and using fuel. I live in the country so driving to the mall or Wal-Mart is about 20 plus miles one way @ 4.39 a gal, I know I am saving when I can shop online. Getting my order delivered to my door is like Christmas every time I get something. No hassle with parking! Plus when you shop online most products offer reviews comments before you buy. I also order and ship gifts all over the country from my shopping portals. But what about the things like attorneys, services and other things you wouldn’t normally think you could do online, you can and save BIG. I’ve been using these links for years and they are good solid companies that network with other companies to give you discounts for going through their portals or links. It’s really that simple.
It’s called affiliate networking and you can get your own website portals FREE and shop all your want through your own portal and save money! Best of all you can earn money if you want by telling people about it like I am doing right now. But you don’t have to market your shopping portal you can just shop at the thousands of merchants that are available in your shopping portal.
Some of the merchants are Wal-Mart, Target, Sketchers, Vistaprint, 1800flowers, and thousands of others and many have free shipping.  You can also get free $300 Gas and Grocery vouchers every time you place an order.  I’ve only done that once because I am bad about hanging onto receipts but it’s a huge savings.

You can have many shopping portals or websites as this is offered by many companies. Just make sure it’s FREE. I only do FREE stuff online. Never pay for anything you can get free!

I started doing this by accident a couple years ago because a friend told me about it just like I am telling you about it now. So I signed up for the free website portal and off I went reading it and following the directions until I wanted to pull my hair out. But over the years I’ve come to appreciate the knowledge I’ve gained and the money I’ve saved buying things online. In the beginning the hardest part was remembering to go through my own website portal to do any shopping online, but money soon started coming in monthly and money talks so now I always go through my own website to purchase anything online and lucky for me I have others that do too!
I save money, make money and I now I am giving you an opportunity to do the same.
Here is the link to one of my portals. Sign up it’s FREE you’ve got nothing to lose… and lots of money to save! It’s a busy site but it’s worth your time! Have fun exploring!

I just signed up for another shopping network called BigCrumbs I've been researching it for awhile and it too looks promising check it out  Roxy's BigCrumbsPortal this site also pays every month and has many great benefits and thousands of retailers. Shop til your drop! This site is FREE too, always FREE never do anything unless it's FREE! Words to live by online!

Thanks for stopping by my blog, don’t forget the leave a comment and follow my blog. 


HUD Secretary Announces Today that 72.6 Million to Public Housing Agencies in ALL 50 States

These funds will go to permanent housing and case management for more than 10,000 homeless veterans. One out of every six men and women in shelters served in our military. This is an effort by the Obama Administration, HUD and the VA working together to end homeless among our veteran population by 2015.

Although I think this 10,000 figure barely scratches the surfaces and the true number of homeless vets is much higher it’s a start to recognizing a huge problem in our country. These men and women should not be forgotten and left homeless. We clearly need to do more.

If you would like to see the full HUD press release click on this link

Thank you for stopping by my blog, don't forgot to leave a comment. You can follow my blog for future posts by clicking on the follow this blog box on the right side of my blog page. 

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC, Loan Consultant
Branch Manager

Monday, March 26, 2012

Bank of America Starts a pilot program “Mortgage to Lease” for customer’s facing foreclosure

Bank of America the nation’s largest mortgage lender is making the news again this week with the start of a pilot program with 1000 of its mortgage customer’s in a “Mortgage to Lease” program.
To qualify the homeowner must have a mortgage loan with Bank of America, be at least 60 days late on their mortgage and be “underwater” owing more than their home is worth.

The homeowner agrees to transfer title to the bank and the bank agrees to forgive the mortgage debt.
In exchange the bank will lease the home back for a period of three years at or below rental market rate.
This will be less than the mortgage payment. The bank will be responsible for the taxes and insurance.

The potential benefits are to stabilize housing prizes in the surrounding neighborhood and keep distressed properties off the market in an effort to sell to investors.

This is a big step and long overdue but the wheels turn very slow in the corporate American. I hope this works and other banks follow. It would be nice to see vacant REO homes rented out by the banks as well. Housing in many areas of our country is limited and families are in need of housing while these homes sit vacant. It would be nice to see Lease with Option to purchase programs started by the banks. If no one is buying them why not! It would be a great way for people to work into homeownership over a period of time.

I think maybe even that same homeowner on BofA’s pilot program that had to give up his home should be given the option to buy it back if they are able. Just saying…

Here’s a video of CEO Steve Berkowitz from Move Inc. talking about our “Recovering Across the Board”
I thought it was pretty interesting, I hope you do too!

Thank you for stopping by my blog today, don’t forget to leave a comment.

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC, Loan Consultant
Branch Manager

Friday, March 23, 2012

2 Must See Historic Hotels Located on Famous Waikiki Beach

If you are planning a trip to Oahu, Hawaii’s most popular island and known for its famous Waikiki Beach you must take the time to visit these two historic hotels. If you are fortunate enough to be able to stay in one of these hotels you are in fact a very lucky traveler.  If you want to experience Waikiki and have a true Hawaiian style vacation this is the best of the best! They are both located in the heart of Waikiki and both beachfront. If however you cannot stay at one of the hotels you must go on a walking tour of each of these beautifully preserved historical hotels because you will be awestricken with all your sense enlightened. Be sure to enjoy lunch or a cocktail at one of the oceanside bars or cafĂ©. The shopping is a treat so give yourself ample time to explore.
Manoa Surfrider was built in 1901 by Walter Chamberlain Peacock a wealthy Waikiki home owner. The Manoa Hotel was the original name and opened on March 11, 1901 with 75 rooms.
It was the first hotel and was affectionately christened the “First Lady of Waikiki” the hotel has undergone many transformations but has maintained its elegant ambiance and Hawaiian sense of history. Today it has Waikiki’s first and only beachfront Moana Lani Spa opening in 2008 the new spa has 14 treatment rooms and a 1400 sq ft.workout fitness center.
The center courtyard boost a pool, bar and outdoor area with tables and chairs all beachfront under a huge banyan tree and their signature Veranda Restaurant where you can have a delightful lunch or afternoon English teatime.  You can also past the time or take a break by sitting on one of the many rocking chairs on the front porch and watch all the passersby on Kalakaua Ave. 
This is one of Hawaii’s finest hotels that compliments the legacy and Hawaiian sense of place.

Royal Hawaiian Resort or “The Pink Palace of the Pacific” as it is known by many. Built in 1927 at a cost of $4 million and took 18 months to build. Six stories and 400 rooms and in a Spanish- Moorish style and of course Pink, opened its doors February 1 1927. The hotel underwent a massive restoration in 2008 that closed the hotel for seven month. Meticulous research was done to preserve the elegant past of the hotel and maintain its historical sense. This hotel is another place to relax poolside or have a cocktail at the Mai Tai bar.  Just enjoy and don’t pass up the experience of the “Pink Palace of the Pacific”

Another travel tip I’d like to share and often asked is what is the best Airline? For me this is a no brainer if you are coming from the US mainland's West Coast... Hawaiian Air is an option take it! Hawaiian is always adding new cities so check and see if they are in your area. They are normally the best priced and by far the best airline to travel to Hawaii.  Their customer service is excellent, they still provide a meal FREE and offer upgraded meals you can purchase. Their First Class is wonderful. Enjoy your trip to Hawaii and be sure to look me up for some more great places to shop, eat and visit! Aloha and Mahalo for stopping by my blog!


Monday, March 19, 2012

Closing Costs.. Know your numbers before you go to the closing table! Some Helpful tips on what you can negotiate and what you can't....

It’s important to know the numbers and understand how you can negotiate with your lender and in some cases the seller to help you get these numbers down.

When you fill out a loan application the bank, loan officer or broker has 3 days to provide you with a good faith estimate. This good faith estimate (GFE) will show fees and credits. Because we now have a new (GFE) that is not easy for some to read I provide a fee sheet that breaks down all the fees line by line. If you don’t get this from your lender ask for it. HUD has also provided a book with a step by step of how to read it. Funny it was suppose to be less confusing for the consumer but yet they feel the need to explain how to read it. HUD Booklet

I’d like to go over a list of closing fees that cannot be negotiated because they are third party fees charged for services.

1.       Credit Report fee; This is paid by you upfront or by the lender and is needed to get your credit history so your loan can be priced out and have your credit analyzed for loan approval.
2.       Appraisal fee; This is also paid by you upfront in most cases and the price varies greatly depending on what part of the country your home is located. We are seeing many of the new refinancing programs where value can be determined using automated systems some lenders are waiving the need for physical inspections.
3.       Title and Escrow fees; Title insurance, escrow fee, notary, recording, courier, doc prep, and other misc fees are determined by your Title and Escrow company. You can shop for best pricing and if you are the buyer, you are allowed to pick the title company of your choosing. I’ve seen these vary so do call around and get a fee quote.  Ask for it in writing so they will know about you and honor the quote once you choose them.
4.       Flood Certificate; Lender will require this document to determine if your home is in a flood zone.
This cost is minimal but I’ve never closed a loan without it.
5.       If you are applying for VA, FHA, USDA or any other government type of loan; any fee associated with that loan program cannot be negotiated. They can however in most cases, be paid for by the seller and you or your Realtor can negotiate those terms.  

Now for those fees that are negotiable.

1.       Origination Fee or Broker Fee; This fee is charge to a borrower for the simple reason that it cost to process and complete your loan, i.e. “The Cost to do business”  
2.       Lender Fees; underwriting, processing, administration and application are the most common.
3.       Discount Points; These are based on a percentage of your loan amount, i.e. 1 Point is 1% of your loan amount. Each point you pay reduces the interest rate you will pay on your loan.

Now for your reoccurring or prepaid closing costs; These costs will be associated with your loan no matter where you go for your loan. They will vary only depending on the day of the month your loan closes.

1.       Interest per day on your new loan; Just that it’s the interest calculated on your new loan until your first payment of interest and principal start calculating. Remember your mortgage payment is always paid 30 in arrears. For example if you close your new loan on the 15th of June, your closing HUD statement would reflect 15 days of interest paid to your new loan, and your first payment would be due on August 1, July’s interest and principal is due August 1… another cool stat is in most cases when you refinance you get to skip a month of making a house payment.
2.       Insurance; Your homeowners insurance, I encourage everyone to shop their current company and get the best pricing on the market. If you haven’t you are probably paying too much.
If you are buying get several quotes for your new home early on and choose one. Getting this information to your loan officer early can save time at closing.
3.       Taxes; Property taxes vary from county to county in the US, it’s important to understand when they are due and how to pay them. Ask your escrow officer at your signing to explain due dates to you.
4.       Impounding both Insurance and taxes and paying them in your mortgage with each monthly payment;
This is a very important part of buying and refinancing a home. The lenders have taken it upon themselves to help you make this decision with a huge incentive. Let me explain,
If you have an 80% or above Loan-to-value (LTV) the lender requires an impound or escrow account be created at the onset of your loan, because your loan is considered at higher risk.
If you are at or below 80% LTV and you choose to NOT have an impound account. Because it is up to you, they charge you .250% hit to your pricing. This encourages borrowers to create an impound account with their lenders. The lenders do this so they know the taxes and insurance are getting paid on the property that secures their loan.

·         Buyers and Realtors when possible can negotiate with seller to help with the cost of closing. Most loan programs will allow for seller assistance of 3% to 6% of the purchase price and in most cases this is enough to cover all of the buyers closing costs leaving just the down payment to be covered by the buyer. This alone would help move more houses in this market. We are seeing more banks with foreclosures, REO’s doing this, don’t be afraid to ask!

Thank you for stopping by, I encourage you to leave your comments and questions. Follow my blog by clicking on one of the follow buttons on the right side of my blog or follow by email.

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC, Loan Consultant
Branch Manager
NMLS #269926

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St Patrick's Day * Quote For The Day

You that would judge me, do not judge alone this book or that, come to this hallowed place where my friends' portraits hang and look thereon; Ireland's history in their lineaments trace; think where man's glory most begins and ends and say my glory was I had such friends.

William Butler Yeats

"I spent 90% of my money on women and drink. The rest I wasted"

- Soccer superstar George Best 

Hope you enjoy! Happy St Patty's Day everyone and thanks for stopping by. 


Thursday, March 15, 2012

Quote For The Day

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential... these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.


Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Top 7 Mistakes Made by Home Buyers

The first thing most people do is start the search either online or in their car on the weekend driving around going to open houses and model homes. It’s fun and gives you a feel for what you might be looking for in a home but is really not a great way to begin.
The problem with this is most of us dream more expensive than we can afford. It’s important to look at your budget BEFORE you get started in the search and know your price range based on a sound budget. 

1. House shopping without knowing how much you can afford.
Get Qualified! Go through the steps of getting qualified with a professional you have been referred to by a friend or someone you know already. If you don’t know anyone ask a friend or relative if they know someone they would recommend. But don’t skip this process.
The lenders require you to be within a certain debt –to-income ratio, both for your personal debt and for your housing debt.  Your interest rate and loan program will also be determined based on your down payment and credit scores. You and your Realtor will know at this point just how much you can afford. Your mortgage broker or loan officer will be able to give you and your Realtor a letter of prequalification or better yet a pre-approval at this point to send along with any offer you make on a home. This will strengthen your offer and make it stand out from the others.  

2.   House shopping without your own Agent!
I get this question so often it really needs to be explained in more detail and more often because so many people just don’t understand the client to Realtor relationship.
The best comparison I can give you is to a client/attorney relationship. Think about that for a minute while we talk about this…

So many people call on signs in front of houses or go to open houses on their own without an agent to represent them. They start talking to the agent on the other end. This is most likely the listing agent, i.e. the seller’s agent.  In many cases this same agent unless you tell him/her you have an agent of your own, could be the beginning of a 
duel agency. If you enter into a contract with one of his/her listings this would be a duel agency. This is legal but must be disclosed to all parties.  Many real estate companies and broker don’t allow it for liability reasons and in my own personal opinion I think it’s really difficult to represent both seller and buyer and stay mutual. Duel agency can also be formed when two agents from the same office represent buyer and seller. This scenario doesn't have the risks of liabilities as the other and is more common. I don’t advise getting into the one agent dual situation if it can be avoided. I know I am getting cursed by Realtors who love the double ended deals but experience has taught me that it's a tough road to go down and not one I recommend. 

I do advise having a Realtor working for you and only you. Getting back to the attorney comparison you wouldn't hire an attorney if he also represented the person you were suing, right? OR you wouldn't share an attorney with your spouse during a divorce. Finding a Realtor you like, trust and one who works hard for you is ideal. If you are lucky enough to have this relationship, respect it and don’t solicit another Realtor even by accident. This happens more often then I’d like to see because people just don’t understand once you are working with a Realtor and they spend time with you, you should be loyal to them. Unless you decide you need to move on because they are not working out. Then have the decency to tell them you are moving on and why. They need to know this and why so if it’s something they did they can correct it and improve if not with you with their next client. But if they are doing a good job for you, don’t go jumping from one Realtor to another; be loyal to one good Realtor.

Now another issue about Realtors I’d like to cover for all my Realtor friends. Because I know how hard they work and I’d like you to understand something about their income contrary to what you may have heard.  I often hear from clients that Realtors make so much money. Buyers often think they have to pay the Realtors. That is not true…. the seller’s pays a fee to sell their home and this is how the Realtors get paid. This commission is usually 5% to 6% of the sell price and is split between the agent that sells the property and the agent that listed the property. THEN those two agents have a split with their brokers who employ them. That split is contracted and can be anything, but average is 50% to 100%, the broker will make a set fee per deal if 100% commission is granted.  The average income for a Realtor in the US for female is 15,260 – 40,337 and for male 30,968 – 110,000. Stats taken from  
3.   Lack of Home Fixing Vision
With most of the inventory on the marketing today being Foreclosures and REO’s a lot of these homes are in need of repair. In fact we have special loan programs to address the added cost associated with repair and remodeling of these types of homes. Many people have a hard time getting past loud paint color and wallpaper let alone missing appliances, cabinet, sinks, toilets and flooring. Getting passed all that and having some imagination will be rewarding when you think of taking one of these home and making it your own. Think of it like taking a brand new home where you get to pick out the colors, carpets and flooring. Don’t shy away from these homes. Use your imagination and a licensed contractor and dig in. Most of these house are at BIG discounts so stop being so picky.

4.   Procrastination Waiting for something better!
Are you one of these people who can never make up your mind or put things off until you either miss out on the deal or something comes up and you’re off in another direction, I think it’s probably safe to say most of us from time to time have wore this hat. As a home buyer and going through many homes and trying to find just the right one, most of us know when we walk in the door of our next home. We have a feeling in our gut! You have to listen to your gut! You need to act on your instinct. Timing is everything don’t let someone else get your home by waiting and sitting on your hands or the fence.  Make your offer and don’t hesitate when you find the right home.

5.   Not Getting A Home Inspection!
All I am going to say here is NEVER waive your right to have one. Always get a home inspection and YOU or your Realtor need to be the one choosing who does the inspection. Never except one already done by the seller. 

6.   Make a large purchase while also shopping for a home
Sounds crazy I know but it happens more than you would think. I’ve had clients after I’ve prequalified them to purchase a home go out and shop for a car. OMG does this throw a wrench in the process… messes up the debt-to-income ratios and you have to start over and hopefully they haven’t disqualified themselves by going over the allowed limits. This could also reduce the amount they could afford to spend on a home. So be careful and do not make any large purchases while looking for a home. Also don’t allow anyone to pull your credit. As your credit score could be reduced.

7.   Buying with Emotion
This is a difficult one especially with first time home buyers. It’s hard to keep our emotions out of a transaction. It is however wise for many reasons.  In the negotiating process you never want to show how much you love a home and can’t live without it to a seller. Being able to walk away will always give you the upper hand. Be strong and patient and let your agent do his/her job. 

Thank you for stopping by my blog, please follow my blog for future post. Your comments and questions are encouraged and welcome.

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC, Loan Consultant
Branch Manager
808-637-0011 Office

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Tuesday's Saving Money Tip #17

Movie Rentals:  Boy can this add up! OR are you one of those people that still buy movies when they are released.This is very costly and who has room for all those movies. Here are a couple ways to save on Movie Rentals.

Red Box is a great source for $1 per night, per movie but you still have to leave home to pick it up and return it. However $1 is a great deal.
Netflix is another. Netflix has a monthly fee of only $7.99 for all the movies and TV series you could ever hope to watch. Sign up now and get a month Free.

Enjoy your night at the movies now that you will be savings hundreds annually on this part of your entertainment budget.

Remember I need your help with Saving Money tips we are trying to get up to 101 saving tips. Please send me your comments and ideas. Thanks for your support.

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC, Loan Consultant
Branch Manager
 YYouou can 

Quote For The Day

If you don't design your own life plan, chances are you'll fall into someone else's plan. And guess what they have planned for you? Not much.

Jim Rohn

Monday, March 12, 2012

Want to know the TRUTH about Mortgage Reduction Services and Savings Programs?

Beware of Bi-Weekly Mortgage Reduction Services and Savings Programs
These "Reduction Services" and "Savings Programs" are charging you fees to "make a bi-weekly mortgage payment" for you. The enticement is that they will save you an impressive amount of money on your mortgage and reduce the number of years you pay on your mortgage.

The enticement is that they will make bi-weekly mortgage payments for you.

The real story is that they are not actually making bi-weekly payments on your mortgage. They are making bi-weekly deductions from your bank account. These funds are placed into an account from which your monthly mortgage payment is made (which only takes 24 deductions - but during the course of a year 26 deductions will be made from your account). With the extra 2 deductions, the "Service" makes an additional mortgage payment. In other words rather than making 12 mortgage payments, 13 payments are made.

The enticement is that they are providing a special service to you that would either not be possible for you to get on your own or that you won't have the time or discipline to make it happen.

The real story is that you can easily make an additional mortgage payment each year. An easy way to do this is to have your mortgage payment automatically deducted from your account each month with an additional 1/12 payment to be applied to the principal amount. At the end of 12 months, you will have made an additional payment. And you won't have to pay any fees to a "Service".

Making one extra mortgage payment a year will knock years off your mortgage and save you thousands of dollars.

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC, Loan Consultant
Branch Manager

Friday, March 9, 2012

Laniakea Beach On Oahu's North Shore is a Magnet for Turtle Lovers

Laniakea is a beautiful beach just outside the little historic town of Haleiwa, HI on Oahu’s north shore.  This stretch of beach is fast becoming a tourist destination by many who are seeking an up close encounter with Hawaii’s endangered

No one is quite sure why the turtle started coming on shore to bask in the sun in 1999 we just know they did and they still come in large numbers to this spot to enjoy a peaceful rest on the beach.  Unfortunately this peaceful rest they longed for was being disrupted by beachgoers, tourist from all over the world flocking to Laniakea to see these beautiful creatures. They were being disrespectful, touching them, sitting on them and riding them.  In 2005 a group of volunteers from concerned local citizen was formed called “Show Turtles Aloha” this was run through NOAA(National Oceanic and Atmospheric Admin) now this group is independent and nonprofit called “Malama Na Honu Foundation”  The volunteers do a great job keeping watch over the Honu and offer information and answer questions to people who are interested.

My husband Randy volunteered at Laniakea for a few months. He enjoyed it very much it was right up his ally sitting on the beach watching crazy tourists and turtles, he has often talked about the experience and how rewarding it was, to be a small part in protecting the Hunu, but work takes up too much of his time now so for now Randy is a retired volunteer maybe someday he will be able to do it again. If you want more information click here
If you want to volunteer click here.. Volunteering at Laniakea
If you are visiting Oahu please keep your distance if you happen upon a Hawaiian Green Sea Turtle, remember they are endangered and protected by law.  It is a violation and you could be cited and fined if you touch, feed or get to close to the Honu stay a good 10 feet away and you’ll be fine. Enjoy them at a distance.

Parking at this location is crazy too and has become a huge bottleneck of traffic both on foot and in cars. Be careful when you cross the highway and if driving by please watch for pedestrians. If you are local have patience and remember Aloha…

If you have visited this beach or plan to in the near future please tell us about your experience.Your comments and questions are always encouraged and welcome.

Thanks for stopping by


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Quote For The Day

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

Norman Vincent Peale

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Investing In Real Estate ... Is it Safe?

One thing you could always count on was a long and even in some cases short term Real Estate investment. The safe investment most baby boomers had in there portfolios for retirement was and hopefully for some still is Real Estate. Most long term Real Estate investing is safe. Like any investment tool you need to be in it for the long haul. Real Estate investors are making millions buying and selling and this is still happening in today’s market. In the mortgage meltdown of 2007/2008 many baby boomers and others found themselves in deep trouble with declining values, meaning their net values were declining, many are still losing their properties. For some they were losing their retirement!
I have talked to many people of all ages all over the US losing their properties. This is a very unfortunate and very sad.  We will all bounce back from this and we will all recover from this. Remember we are a nation of leaders and leading us is a generation that got here without seat belts, car seats or helmets. We are a tough bunch and we will all recover and thrive.

 Our country is seeing signs of recovery with more jobs and unemployment numbers going down, yet 1 in 6 homes are still in default and after the big settlement with the big five in February we will be seeing more foreclosures after a 2011 foreclosure freeze due to fraud and “Robo Signing”. Count on more foreclosure in 2012. This does not mean you shouldn’t be investing, just the opposite.

With all that said I still think Real Estate is a safe investment if you understand and do it wisely. In this market you need to be very careful and know your market and values. Before you could throw a rock at a property, fix it up and sell it and make money, not the case anymore. Or you could simple buy your primary residence live in it for 5 years and watch your equity grow, not the case anymore. Well depending on your market area but in most cases no. Real Estate is like any other investment tool it has its risks and rewards. So if you are on the fence about investing OMG get off the fence there are many good reasons to invest now but here are a couple things that will never be better then now.

1)      Interest rates now 3.5% on a 30 yr fixed. We haven’t seen rates this low since 1955. When do you think this will happen again?
2)      Home prices are at an all time low! With REO’s, Foreclosures and Short Sales. It’s a buyer’s market. Get out there and make some offers. It may take several before you actually get a home. But you have to start somewhere. When do you think you will have this kind of inventory of homes to choose from again at these prices?

I am not even going to go into all the loan programs and down payment assistance programs, investor deals up to 90% LTV unheard of in the investor world just a few months ago. The programs are there, the difference is now you have to qualify, really qualify but don’t let that scare you off. Get started with someone who is willing to help you reach your goals, clear up your credit if needed, established your credit if needed. Buy a vacation home or dream home in HAWAII because the inventory is great here too!

American is on Sale everyone and if you don’t think so then ask yourself this, why are more foreign real estate investors coming to this country and buying property now more than ever before.
 The rest of the world isn’t blind to two pretty obvious facts:
1)      The US housing market is way undervalued.
2)       The dollar is trading at rock bottom against almost every other currency.

So don’t sit back on your high fence and miss out? Don’t let the Chinese and the Canadians take your fortune? Get started today so you can take advantage of this amazing opportunity, the likes of which you will probably never see again. 

Please remember when you are negotiating with a bank for the purchase of a home in their inventory, they need to sell it, to get it off their inventory in order for them to be able to make new loans and borrow new money. Some banks in some markets are discounting homes 65%-75% from asking price. Don’t pay too much for these homes. Do your homework, work with an experienced Realtor. Know your market! Start living the good life and start investing in real estate NOW.

I am always available for questions and love your comments.

Fun Sites to check out;

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC, Loan Consultant
Branch Manager

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Quote For The Day

We always overestimate the change that will occur in the next two years and underestimate the change that will occur in the next 10."

--Bill Gates,
American businessman, software engineer and philanthropist

Monday, March 5, 2012

Attention BUYERS looking for 102% True NO DOWN Financing USDA may be right for YOU!

USDA Loans are very popular for the first time home buyer. They are designed to help people into homes that are designated rural. In order for the property to be eligible by USDA the location of the property is key and must be approved by county and zip code to be rural. The qualifying process is very similar to FHA, you must document your income and have decent credit and show financial ability to repay the debt.

These loans are very popular with the high Loan-to-Value (LTV) allowed for closing cost to be rolled into loan for a true “ No Down Loan”. With many properties qualifying for USDA even though they can hardly be considered “rural” is it wise to run the address and check before ruling out any location on your own.

USDA requires only approved lenders administer these loans, I am happy to be one of those lenders. Make sure if you are working with a lender and getting a USDA loan that your lender is approved, experienced and knowledgeable when it comes to the ins and outs of USDA loans.

This loan can be used to Purchase or Refinance and it’s not just for farmers so take a look and see if the property you are looking to purchase or refinance falls under the “rural” USDA guideline because this is a great loan product with great rates and easy terms.
  • 102% Financing
  • No Down Payment
  • No Mortgage Insurance
  • Great Low Interest Rates
  • Loan Amounts up to $417,000
  • No Cash Reserve Requirements
  • 6% Seller Contribution Limitations
  • 100% Gifted Closing Costs allowed
  • 30 year low fixed rate loan
  • No Prepayment Penalty
  • Primary Residents only (no rentals/investments)
  • Possible to roll closing costs into the loan
  • Non-borrowing spouse must now disclose his/her debt even if not on the loan

For more information go to USDA Home Loans

Roxy Redenbaugh
ACMC, Loan Consultant
Branch Manager