Did you know?
You can purchase a home using a reverse mortgage.
The Home Equity Conversion Program (HECM) for purchase is an innovation that helps seniors use the equity from the sale of their previous house to fund the purchase of their next home.
The HECM for Purchase is a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insured home loan that allows seniors to use the equity from the sale of a previous residence to buy their next primary home in one transaction. Regardless of how long they live in the home or what happens to their home’s value, they only make one, initial investment (down payment) towards the purchase.
On new Applications submitted on or after August 16, 2014, FNMA’s new wait period for a Short Sale or Pre-Foreclosure sale is being updated to a four-year waiting period; though a two-year waiting period will be permitted if the event was due to extenuating circumstance (must be a major extenuating circumstance like death or a wage earner) and the loan complies with all other requirements.
- Water only in the late evening or early morning hours to reduce evaporation and interference from wind
- Adjust sprinklers to prevent overspray and runoff
- Repair leaks and broken sprinkler heads
- Add 2”-3” of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation
- Upgrade to a “smart irrigation controller” that automatically adjusts watering times for hotter weather, and shuts down the system when it rains
- Install water-efficient drip irrigation systems for tress, shrubs, and flowers to get water to the plant’s roots more efficiently
- Replace a portion of lawn with beautiful native and California friendly plants
- Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways and sidewalks
- Get a self-closing nozzle for your hose
- Install covers on pools and spas to reduce evaporation
- Run the dishwasher only when full
- Don’t leave water running when rinsing dishes
- Turn off water when brushing teeth
- Shorten showers
- Don’t use the toilet as a wastebasket
- Fix leaky toilets
- Fix leaky faucets
- Replace older inefficient clothes washers
- Replace older, high-volume flushing toilets
- Wash only full loads of clothes
- Install aerators with flow restrictions on kitchen/bathroom faucets
- Set a timer to turn exterior and interior lights on and off when you normally would, or use a mobile app to control lights remotely.
- Stop your mail and newspaper deliveries.
- Ask a neighbor to keep an eye on your home and, if necessary, bring your recycling and garbage cans to and from the curb on pickup day.
- Hide and/or lock up valuables, like jewelry.
- Inform your security system provider and local police of your travel dates, so they can take extra steps to protect your home, if necessary.
- Don’t share your travel plans on social media sites.
- Turn off the water supply to your washing machine, sinks and toilets, or consider installing a system that will shut off water where it detects a leak.
- Unplug electronics and appliances, or use a mobile app to control appliances remotely.
The right air conditioner can keep costs down as the mercury rises. Now’s a good time, before the thermometer hits triple digits, to assess your cooling needs for the summer. At the very least you should check and clean your equipment. If you’re replacing an old room or central air conditioner, the choices on the market today are likely to be more energy efficient then what you have. But don’t buy too little or too much. Getting a cooling system that is the wrong size is the most common mistake people make, regardless of the type, and you could be hot and sticky and still increase your electric bills. Buy more capacity than you need and you may wind up with a cool, damp space.
See Consumer Reports’ discussion of air conditioning and air conditioners.
Like, you your house needs to breathe. All of the fans, vents, and ventilation equipment inside your home work together as a “ventilation system” to exchange indoor and outdoor air and to control moisture and odors. Inspect the system annually and clean or change filters once a month in your central air conditioner, furnace, and/or heat pump.
Don’t neglect to inspect and clear the exterior venting system. The foundation vents, weeps holes, soffit vents, gable vents, and/ or roof turbines work as a system to move air through the spaces between the exterior siding or brick and the wood frame to prevent moisture damage and mildew. Make sure the vents are unblocked and any mechanical parts move freely.
By Kate Warne, PH.D., CFA
Reposition your portfolio. Make sure you have the appropriate mix of stocks and bonds. After last year’s market gains, you may need to add fixed income to help return to the investment mix that fits your long-term financial goals and tolerance for risk. Consider adding short- and intermediate-term fixed income to help reduce your portfolio’s sensitivity to rising interest rates.
- Prepare your emotions and expectations for greater volatility. If you know that it’s normal for stocks to drop by 10% annually, you’re likely to be less surprised and less likely to overreact when a pullback occurs.
- Take a systematic approach. If you’re concerned that stocks are high, consider investing the same amount every month to build a well-diversified portfolio. While this doesn’t prevent a loss or guarantee a profit, it can help remove concerns about the market’s moves from your decision making.
- Pullback offer opportunities. Consider adding stocks when their prices decline, if appropriate for your situation. Buying during dips and corrections has resulted in higher returns in the past, since stocks rose on average over the following six months and year.
By Kate Warne, PH.D., CFA
Keep in mind that stocks rarely rise smoothly over time, and pullbacks certainly occur along the way. Make sure you’re prepared to stay invested and consider the opportunities pullbacks offer by remembering:
- Market declines are normal, frequent and not a reason to sell quality investments.
- Market declines can provide an opportunity to buy quality investments at a lower price.
- Market declines are out of your-control- so focus on what you can control. This can help you manage your emotional reaction when fears overshadow long-term fundamentals.