Get Your House in Order – Before you Lose it!

January 30, 2009

By Brian Short, CMC, CRMS, GMA

The job losses reported last week were the topic of an article entitled, “A Litany Of Job Losses: When Will It End?” written by Linton Weeks  for NPR Online, “Read aloud the litany of lost jobs and it sounds like a funeral knell.

On Monday, Caterpillar construction equipment. 20,000 jobs. Gong … Pfizer pharmaceutical. 8,000. Gong … Sprint Nextel telecommunications. 8,000. Gong … Home Depot home improvement. 7,000. Gong … Texas Instruments computers. 3,400. Gong … General Motors automakers. 2,000 Gong …homedepot

On Tuesday: Corning glass. 3,500 jobs. Gong …

On Wednesday: Starbucks coffee. 6,700 jobs. Gong … AOL online. 700 jobs. Gong …

On Thursday: Ford Motor Co. 1,200 jobs. Gong … Eastman Kodak cameras. 3,500 plus. Gong … Also on Thursday the Labor Department reported that nearly 4.8 million people are on the unemployment benefit rolls, a historic high. Anyone who has glanced at the news in the past few days is not surprised.

You know the causes: mortgage shenanigans, housing values falling, construction paralyzed, credit market frozen. ”

This negative economic news causes even the most positive person to swallow hard and take a careful inventory of what might happen if the bottom would fall out their own life.  Some nay-sayers have even pulled out their notes from “dusty old” Y2K Prep Courses urging us to stock-pile dehydrated foods, water, gold and ammo – again. 

All of those ideas might be worthwhile to consider if things fall apart and the government can’t keep control of our typically orderly society.  However, what about your house and your finances in case “life as we know it” does not fall into complete shambles but continues to struggle month-by-month for next year or so as some have suggested.

Even our new President and his advisers have admitted that this economic recovery may take an additional 12-24months.  One good way to prepare for additional lay-offs and a continued down-turn in our economy is to get YOUR house in order. 

pink-slip1What if you lost YOUR job? 

What if YOUR needed cash for medical bills without your employer-paid insurance?

What if YOUR fuel went back up to the all-time high July 2008 prices and stayed because of an international crises in the Middle-East or if another “super-power wanna-be” decided to test this new President like that last guy was tested only 8 months into his first term?

Mortgage interest rates are at a nearly 30 year low and many of your neighbors, friends, co-workers and family members are still holding on to mortgage interest rates at 6%, 7%, 8% and higher because they’ve been convinced by the press (their brother-in-law!) that those of us in the mortgage industry have folded up our shops and have gone away.  This can not be further from the truth!

We are in the midst of a very strong refinance market because many who had adjustable mortgage interest rates are now refinancing to “fix” their rates. Others bought homes in the past couple of years and have been paying a higher interest rate but are now able to lower their monthly payments, consolidate their high interest credit card debt and lock in the peace of mind that a long term fixed rate mortgage in the low 5%’s would bring to their monthly budgets. 

Who do you know who needs to get their house in order before THEY get a “pink slip” and then have lost THEIR opportunity to qualify for an historically low interest rate on their most prized and stable asset – their house?

I can help nearly any homeowner with their refinance needs by putting a new low interest loan in place or giving them a plan for systematically preparing for the day for when they would qualify for that new loan or for their next home purchase. 

NOW is the time to prepare for what could be another of year of lay-offs and down-sizing.  And one way to prepare might be to re-work the mortgage in order to lower the term, the monthly payment or the total out-flow of cash from the monthly budget.  Help is now available even before any new “stimulus packages” are snookered through Congress!

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