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When was the last time you had your roof inspected?
Now that our two-week stretch of rain and storms have passed in the Central Texas area, have you thought recently about your roof? When is the last time you either went up there yourself to look at its condition or had a licensed professional roofing inspector give you an assessment?
Texas storms can be fierce, often times with hail, torrential rain and damaging wind. If your roof suffers damage from any of these forces of nature, it could lead to water leaks, higher utility bills and costly repairs. It’s important to have your roof checked out periodically to make sure it’s maintained and functioning properly.
I’d like to introduce you to my friend Paul Jones, owner of Universal Construction and Roofing. He is a great guy, and really knows what he is doing. He and his company are reputable, capable and honest. He has graciously offered to clients and friends of Everist Mortgage a complimentary roof inspection.
Simply contact him (contact details below) and let him know you received this offer and are a client or friend of mine at Everist Mortgage. He will help you set up a convenient day and time when they can come out, get up on your roof and check it out thoroughly. When he is done, he will go over its condition with you and offer any recommendations. He will give you a certificate of inspection for your records.
If by chance there is damage from hail or other issues, you may be eligible to file an insurance claim and get your roof replaced, with only the cost of your deductible. Paul is also a licensed insurance adjuster, so he knows how this process works. If your roof needs repairs or replacement, he can work to get your claim covered with minimal cost to you. He has helped many homeowners in the Austin and Central Texas area, and I can highly recommend him.
PS: If you would like a free copy of the inspection checklist, email or call me and I’ll send you one.
What’s a “Reverse” Mortgage?
I met with a sweet elderly woman recently, whom I’d helped with a mortgage some years ago. She was struggling to make ends meet on her fixed social security and retirement income. Because of life circumstances, she didn’t have much money in her retirement account, and she was unsure how to manage emergencies, deferred maintenance on her home and rising medical bills. She wanted to find out if she could access the large amount of equity in her home.
I analyzed her situation to see how I could help. Because of her low income, she couldn’t qualify for much of a home equity loan, despite having great credit and lots of equity. She is independent, self-sufficient and loves her home and doesn’t want to sell it. Additionally, she loves her neighborhood and location, as she has been there for years.
As we talked and I listened to her goals and needs, it became clear that a “traditional” mortgage refinance or home equity loan wasn’t the best fit for her. We began to discuss a different kind of mortgage: A “Reverse Mortgage”.
This is an unusual mortgage loan product, but one that can be a good fit for situations such as this. Unlike a traditional “Forward Mortgage” where you borrow money and then make monthly payments to the lender, this loan doesn’t require any monthly mortgage payments, which can really help someone to improve their monthly cash flow. In addition, there are no credit or income qualifications necessary.
You have to be at least 62 years old to be eligible for a reverse mortgage, and the product works best if you either own your home free and clear or have a very small mortgage balance. The loan allows you to access equity in your home in a variety of ways: in a lump sum, in a monthly payment to you, via a line of credit, or in some combination of these options. There is no payment required from the borrower – the interest on the loan is accrued, causing the outstanding loan balance to rise over time.
As long as the home remains the primary residence of the borrower, there is no repayment required for their entire life. A common misconception is that the bank “owns the house” and takes all the equity. This is not the case. If the borrower dies or moves out of the home, the loan will need to be repaid, and the heirs/family can either sell the home or refinance the loan, allowing them to pay off the balance and keep any remaining equity.
There are many moving parts to this unique loan product, but it can be a helpful option for seniors in certain situations. If you have an aging family member or friend who is in this situation and may have questions about how a reverse mortgage works and whether this might be a good option for them, please let me know. I’d be happy to talk with them and give more details and specifics.
Thanks in advance for your referrals and recommendations!
I talk to people all the time who want to buy a home in the Austin area. It’s one of the strongest real estate markets in the country, and most people realize the many benefits of owning your own home. However, with mortgage rates and prices rising rapidly, some people think owning a home in Central Texas is becoming out of reach.
Many of the people I speak with think they need a lot of money to buy a house..20% or more! Depending on where you want to live, it may not take as much money as you think.
If you are willing to live just outside the city limits, there is a great 100% financing program you may not know about. It’s called the “U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development Loan” (USDA for short). It’s designed to help prospective homeowners get into a home of their own with very little cash. It offers 100% financing, and you can even roll the closing costs into the loan if the appraisal value allows it. This can be a great way to break in to the real estate market while prices are still relatively affordable.
Eligible areas around Austin for this great program include Florence, Liberty Hill, Jonestown/Lago Vista, Bee Cave, Dripping Springs, Driftwood, Hays Country, Cedar Creek, Bastrop, Manor/Elgin and the Hutto/Taylor area. Here is a link to the USDA eligibility map. Simply plug in a proposed address and it will show you if the property is eligible for 100% USDA financing.
This program does have certain parameters, requirements and limitations. For example, for a family of four or less in this area, you can’t make more than approximately $99,000 per year in total household income. There is also home buyer education required as part of the approval process. However, it’s a great option for people wanting to own a home without a big up front investment.
If you or someone you know would like to own a home without investing a lot of cash and you’re willing to drive a little further to do so, please let me know. I’d love the opportunity to talk and find out how this (or some of our other low-down payment loan options) might help. There’s no cost or obligation to talk and have me custom-design a path to home ownership for you. I love helping Texans find creative solutions to owning real estate!