Spruce Up Your Home and Save Money

Winter spruce up home and save money tips:

You need a few things from the hardware or home improvement store.
If you are a veteran or veteran spouse Lowes offers discounts of ten percent.
While you are at Lowe’s buy: canned air, new air filter for the HVAC (take the old one out to measure), LED bulbs, microfiber rags. W-D40, battery for the carbon monoxide detector, and baking soda. Do you need a new front door mat?

Or if you prefer Home Depot here is five dollars

Canned air to clean air vents in your home. With this tool no more scrubbing the grill with a tooth brush. The house fan blows the dust outside. This works on the return air grilles of your central heating/cooling system too. Run the system so that the return airflow pushes the dust to the filter. Then change the filter (bet you never did this easy thing that keeps your heater, air conditioner and lungs running longer life).
So you bought a few LED light bulbs, start replacing burned out ones and those you use the most. If the traditional incandescent bulb is still good, you can donate it for a tax deduction. Lighting technology allows for much lower power use and the same illumination. The cost may be a bit more than traditional bulbs, CFL and LED bulbs can last for years without having to replace them. You don’t need to replace all the bulbs in the house. Change your four or five most-used light bulbs can save you $45 or more a year!

I love microfiber cloths. Rather than rags these attract and hold dust with an electrostatic charge which make them one of the best tools for how to clean dust.
Why did I tell you to buy W-D 40? Don’t re-purchase if you have a little spray can in the garage. With a paper towel in hand spray the locks and hinges in the house. We live in a moist coastal climate. Metal tends to rust faster than you might notice. This little lube will protect and keep them from squeaking.
African violets

A simple cleaning past of baking soda and cream of tartar and lemon juice works wonders on sink stains and tub soap scum. Apply to stains and rub in, then wait about an hour and rinse.
Check the flow on the kitchen sink faucet. Over time faucets start to slow to a reduced flow and may release water in an uneven spray. This is caused by buildup of tiny grains of sand or other minerals that gum up the aerator—or mesh screen—at the tip of the faucet. Wrap some tape around the aerator to protect it and twist left off.  Wash out debris and soak in a small mug vinegar for about an hour. Scrub it clean and then reassemble.
Energy efficient improvements still have a tax deduction in 2020. From January 1, 2020 to December 31, 2020 remains an IRS twenty six percent deduction on energy efficient improvements. The least expensive upgrades are to add a programmable thermostat, add insulation to the attic, changing lighting to LED as I mentioned, and sealing doors and windows. Of course, you can change out your water heater to tankless or replace the HVAC; but these may not be the best short-term investment. You can still claim tax deductions on solar energy–both for electric and water heating equipment, through 2021.  Look in to solar that is off-grid.

Is your air conditioner outside? Check it for rust, leaves, and guests. The unit needs space where it's getting air easily. Many AC units are surrounded by shrubs that can restrict the airflow it needs to run efficiently. Trim away any bushes that touch the unit so there is at least a foot of clearance. Clean up the ground for any loose debris or leaves. Check the wiring.
Is your water heater crowded in the garage? With long handled scrub brush clean underneath the unit. There is a tiny grill under the pilot that sucks up air and tends to have dust, pet hair, debris clog the area. Make sure there is ventilation. Throw away those paper bags you have stacked there or better yet bring them back to the grocery store. Storing fabric, paper or flammable items near the water heater is a problem.

Replace the battery in the carbon monoxide detector. If you don’t have one add this life saving item to your list.
This year cut out those monthly bills for stuff you don’t use. It's easier than ever to rack up monthly subscription bills since many products and services nowadays offer monthly plans. But the problem with those is that you sign up and forget or don’t want to take the time to go online and figure out how to cancel. Sometimes they make it difficult to cancel.

Did you get the whole list completed this weekend? Shall we have a contest?

And now since you worked so hard some pretty potted plants just to add joy to my DIY work list for your home

Caroline Gerardo Barbeau
(949) 784- 9699
NMLS 324982


Coronavirus in Orange County

I was going to give you ten tips on house maintenance to keep things running longer; but I think this issue is important to share January 25, 2020
The Coronavirus has traveled from Wuhan, China, is here in Orange County. The virus is related to the deadly SARS and MERS viruses. The Orange County patient is in isolation at Kaiser Permanent in Irvine.
He visited the following places:
Diamond Plaza on Jamboree
99 Ranch Market
South Coast Plaza
Ate at Haidilao Hotpot Restaurant

Symptoms of the virus are like the flu:

runny nose, headache, cough, sore throat, fever and a general feeling of being unwell. The virus can also cause wheezing and pneumonia.
·         Wash your hands often with soap and hot water for at least 20 seconds OFTEN. Shake off the water and air dry for 15 seconds.
·         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands, tell small children to sit on their hands if unwashed
·         Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
·         Stay home when you are sick.
·         Cover your cough or sneeze with a corner of your elbow and avoid airborne spray. Say something when a person fails to cover their cough or sneeze. God bless you may not be the right thing to say as a superstition to avoid death.
·         Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces. Alcohol wipes or disinfectant wipes come in travel size, Lysol spray for office
·         Surgical masks reduce chance of infection by 50%
Keep yourself healthy. Eat plenty of variety of vegetables. Air out your home and reduce dust. Sunshine and bleach kill virus. Be kind

(949) 784-9699


Newport Beach November 2019

Newport Beach, California  92660 Real  Estate Values

 November 2019 end of month Residential Real Estate Sales Report.

 Of note: Median Price for all price ranges and types declined 15.8% to $2,270,000,

 with sales increasing 8.2% year-over-year. 

42% of all homes listed for sale had their asking price reduced,

 and the Sales to List Price is at 95.8%. 

(Example: sellers reduced their sales price an average of 4.2% off

 the listing price: $2,000,000 listing price = $1,916,000 sales price.)

Number of listings on market slowed, but this is typical for Holiday Season

Markets inland did not fair as well


Reverse Mortgage Right For YOU?


You must qualify to make the payment on taxes, insurance and HOA and any other revolving bills you have.
The property must appraise for enough to fit the HECM formula of age (number of years of life expected to extend) verses the equity. This is the secret sauce.
lavender wreath 

Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) are a good idea if you want to stay in your house until the day you die. Sounds rough; but that's what my Mom says. She wants to remain in her home. 

With a HECM You eliminate your monthly mortgage payment. The loan balance grows over time and the value of your estate may decrease over time. Closing costs add to your financial burden.
You must live in the home as your primary residence, continue to pay required property taxes, homeowners insurance and maintain the home according to Federal Housing Administration (FHA) requirements. Failure to meet these requirements can trigger a loan default that may result in foreclosure.
Eligibility To be eligible for a HECM loan, some key requirements are:
• The youngest borrower must be at least 62 years of age
• You must live in your home as your primary residence and have sufficient equity
• You cannot be delinquent on any federal debt
• Property must be a single family residence, an owner occupied 2-4 unit home, a condominium approved by the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), or a manufactured home that meets FHA guidelines
• Must meet financial assessment requirements as established by HUD Obligations Once you obtain your HECM loan, you must continue to meet the following conditions to maintain your loan in good standing.
• Complete a HUD approved counseling session
• Maintain your home
• Continue to pay property taxes and homeowners insurance and HOA
• Continue to own and live in your home as your primary residence A HECM Loan Defined A Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), commonly known as a reverse mortgage, is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured loan which enables you to access a portion of your home’s equity without having to make monthly mortgage payments. 
• Eliminates your existing monthly mortgage payments
• You can stay in your home and maintain the title - you still own the house 
• Heirs inherit any remaining equity after paying off the HECM loan. They can sell or refinance after you pass away

• The HECM loan is FHA insured 

 Federal Housing Administration (FHA), you will be charged an up-front mortgage insurance premium (MIP) at closing of 1.75% and, over the life of the loan, you will be charged an annual MIP based on the loan balance.  Your current mortgage, if any, must be paid off using the proceeds from your HECM loan. You must still live in the home as your primary residence, continue to pay required property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintain the home according to FHA requirements. Failure to meet these requirements can trigger a loan default that may result in foreclosure.
The loan becomes due and payable if you fail to meet any of the above obligations or the last borrower or non-borrowing spouse passes away. The heirs must repay the loan in order to inherit the property. Failure repay the loan may result in foreclosure.

Loan Options There are two types of Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM) loans. It is important to select the one that best meets your needs. Liberty offers fixed and adjustable rate HECM options. Either option can be used to access equity on a home you already own or to purchase a new home. If you have an existing lien on the property, it must be paid off as part of the HECM transaction. Both options eliminate monthly mortgage payments and do not require repayment as long as the loan obligations are met. Determining Your Proceeds The amount of funds available, also known as the Principal Limit, from a HECM loan is determined by: • Age of the youngest borrower or eligible non-borrowing spouse • The lesser of the appraised value of your home, sale price or the FHA national lending limit • Current interest rates • Balance of your existing mortgage (if applicable) and all mandatory obligations The funds available to you may be restricted for the first 12 months after loan closing, due to HECM requirements. You may need to set aside additional funds from the loan proceeds to pay for taxes and insurance. 

You must live in the home as your primary residence, continue to pay required property taxes, homeowners insurance, and maintain the home according to FHA requirements. Failure to meet these requirements can trigger a loan default that may result in foreclosure. 

We order an appraisal from an independent appraisal company. I am not allowed to speak with or consult with the appraiser. You MUST have carbon monoxide detectors and smoke detectors installed in the home BEFORE the appraiser arrives. They go inside all the rooms of the home. They take photographs. They measure the size. You may want to provide them some comparable sales in the form of a list on paper.

All borrowers need to provide current Identification and be notarized. In addition, any outstanding liens on your property will need to be satisfied at this time.

Income documentation needed:
Identification with current dates
Legible date of birth (DOB) verification
Legible Social Security Number (SSN) verification 

Social Security Award letters
Pension 1099
Bank statements all pages past two months

California has a seven day cooling off period from the start estimates, completing the class, then seven week days. This makes sure the borrower has had time to think about the choices.

Generally a reverse fits borrowers who don't have much monthly income to sustain the lifestyle they have led - BUT they have house equity and they want to stay independent

Caroline Gerardo Barbeau  - please call me C G
Cell phone  (949) 784- 9699
NMLS 324982

Location is Irvine
 P O Box 1902 San Juan Capistrano CA 92693  if you need to mail

Equal Credit Opportunity Lender 
A reverse can be closed a quickly as twenty days; but typically there is some discussions with
family which I encourage and the process takes forty days


Refinance After Modification

There is no easy answer as every borrower is unique.
Generally you need twelve payments as agreed to the modification
to refinance your home loan to a lower interest rate or to get cash out.

Here is what you need to gather:

a. All the documentation from the modification, not what you submitted,
everything you signed as agreements.

We will review the agreements with you as to:
Do they have a clause to call back forgiven principle?
Do they have a time limit where they can ask for the forgiveness back?
Did the 1099 you for the forgiveness of debt?
What is the existing rate and length of time this rate holds.
Some modifications are only good for a few years then accelerate rapidly.

b. Your income documentation-
w-2 2018 2017 and December pay stub, current paycheck
IRS taxes if self employed 2017 2018
bank statements past 2 months
mortgage bills
fire insurance bill
HOA bill if any

c. We will review your credit report with you.
Some lenders do not show the modification on the credit, some show the loss

Have you healed from the loss that got you into the modification?

The past is not important here. We want to look toward the future.

Time heals everything on your credit report.

Even if you aren't in a position to lower your interest rate today,
we can set forth a plan for the future.

Call me. Straight talk and answers always.
The talk is free. Planning always kind.

 (949) 784- 9699


NMLS 324982

If self employed we can review bank statement loans


10 Year Treasury is at 5 month lows, approaching 3 year lows which was the historic low. Mortgage Rates are DOWN!

Today has been quiet so far. MBS are about .125 better in price.

10 Year Treasury is back down to 1.55%.

          On 9/3/2019 and 9/30/2019 the 10 year closed at 1.51%

                                  On 7/5/2016 the 10 year closed at 1.37% and by 7/11/2016 was up at 1.59%.

                                              Take advantage of today’s low rates. 

Advance your files, get them ready to lock, help them understand what it means and simply do it. 
W-2 forms for 2019 are in the mailbox, easy to send a copy and download pdf copies of bank statements. Take advantage of the moment!

In this cycle, rates appear to go up much faster than they go down. (3rd chart below going back to 2013)                               Bank Holiday on: Monday 2/17/2020.
Some schools are closed all week for President's week

                                           Fed Wire is closed on bank holidays and loans typically cannot fund.

 You may be able to save on your monthly payment  with same remaining number of years

Market Snapshot

Past 90+ days Bollinger Band which are still in about the same 1.96% to 1.74% sideways range as it has been for the past 60 days.
(Bollinger band chart above today’s MBS & Treasury snapshot):


Bollinger Band chart since early September 2019

10 year rates going back to 2013. They seem to go up much faster than they go down.

And now for some photographs of almond orchards in the Central Valley. 
I drove up and there are all new water signs- now not so quirky the
are pointing out there is no food without water, and we need dams
not half built trains...