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Bryce Burch & Associates PBR
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Eleventh Hour Gifts Without Shopping - If you’re beginning to feel the pressure of running out of time to find the perfect gift, here are a few suggestions that may not be on their “list” but will certainly be appreciated. The gift of really listening without interrupting, daydreaming or planning your response can be exactly what people want when they have something important to say. The gift of affection with appropriate hugs, kisses and pats on the back can demonstrate your love for famil...

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Don’t Pat Yourself on the Back Just Yet - You’ve got $500,000 in liquid assets for your retirement and you’re still 15 years away. All your bills are paid; you have a small mortgage on your home; cars are paid for and great credit. Don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back yet. People think more about what they’re going to do when they retire than whether they’ll have the funds to do them. Ask anyone who has retired, it takes more money than you thought it did. Let’s look at a hypot...

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FHA is a Good Option - FHA insured mortgages serve a sector of the market that is not necessarily being met by other loan programs. Securing an 80% conventional mortgage that doesn’t require mortgage insurance may be the lowest cost of financing but if the buyer doesn’t have 20% down payment, it isn’t really an option. Securing a 100% VA loan doesn’t require a down payment or mortgage insurance but if the buyer isn’t a veteran with his/her eligibility intact, it isn’t an option either. Ther...

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Lighting Conversion Plan - In 2007, Congress passed an energy act that required new energy-efficient standards for basic light bulbs. Standard incandescent bulbs are being phased out and eventually will be unavailable. The alternative bulbs differ considerably in price. LED bulbs are the most efficient but they also cost the most. CFLs are a less expensive alternative. Interestingly, the more expensive replacements offer lower operating costs and longer economic life. One approach will be t...

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Holiday Travels - The last thing you want if you’re traveling these holidays is to worry about someone burglarizing your home. Use this check list to add some peace of mind while you’re out of town. Ask a trusted friend – to pick up mail, newspaper and keep yard picked up to avoid an appearance of being empty. Consider discontinuing your mail (USPS Hold Mail Service) Don’t post about your trip on Facebook and other social media until you return – some burglars actually look for this type of...

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Cash-In Refinance - Would someone really refinance their home and not take money out of it? Certainly, if they could get a lower rate, build equity faster and pay off the home sooner. For people with extra cash available, this can be very attractive compared to the low savings rates being paid by banks. In the example below, the current mortgage is 5% for 30 years after 48 payments of $1,342.05. The owner can refinance for 15 years at 3.37%. If they put $36,000 into the refinance, their pay...

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Up-front Points to Lower the Rate - When loans are quoted by lenders, most buyers pay attention to the interest rate but not so much to the points that may be charged along with the rate. A point is one-percent of the mortgage amount and considered pre-paid interest that affects the yield on the loan. Buyers or sellers can pay points but there can be limits based on underwriting guidelines for different types of loans. A lower note-rate would obviously make the payments less. However, with ...

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Debt Relief May Trigger Tax - The Mortgage Debt Forgiveness Act, originally passed in 2007, was extended three times to protect homeowners from paying income tax on debt that was relieved due to foreclosure, short sales or deed in lieu of foreclosure. The law expired on December 31, 2016 and unless it is extended again, homeowners with debt relief in 2017 may be subject to tax. A homeowner might feel a sense of relief without the obligation of a delinquent mortgage but just because the paym...

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Indecision is Not a Decision - There could be some legitimate reasons for not buying a home but indecision is not one of them. Indecision is rooted in not having enough information to move forward to own a home or continue renting. If you keep renting, at the end of the year, you have had a place to live and a pile of receipts that helped the landlord pay for his house. Deciding to buy a home will give you a place to live that is yours and all the things that come with that. When you consid...

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Risk Rate Relationship - Regardless of what a lender quotes on mortgage rates, the actual rate a borrower pays is based on a number of variables. Lenders determine whether to loan money and at what rate based on the risk involved with the transaction. Factors that increase the risk that the loan will be repaid will proportionately increase the interest rate charged to the borrower. If the risk becomes too high, the loan will not be approved. Loan amounts – conventional mortgages above confo...
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