The "greening" of businesses and individuals sure seems to be increasing with more and more people becoming sensitive to how they contribute (or not) to the sustainability of the environment. Although it has become "trendy" and good for businesses to market themselves as green these days, I am proud to say that Coldwell Banker Wright Realty was green BEFORE green became the thing to do. REALTOR Dick Reuper helped begin the recycling effort here at Coldwell Banker Wright Realty over 10 years ago and has been faithfully separating paper, glass, bottles and plastic from the office waste stream during this 10 year period. In addition to a very active recycling program the entire office lighting was switched to compact fluorescents over five years ago. The changes in technology also allowed us to become much less paper dependent and nearly two years ago we made the change to scan all our office documents and put them on our company intranet for everyone to use. The final addition of a dynamic user driven online database to track our showings, advertising and contacts completed our efforts to get as close to a "paperless office" as we could in our renowned "paper heavy" real estate industry. During the fall of 2008 our office formally took the Mt. Washington Valley Climate Challenge , promoted by the MWV Green Team and sponsored by the University of New Hampshire Carbon Challenge. As of Dec. 2008, 80 fellow participants have taken the challenge pledging to reduce 546,683 pounds of CO2. As REALTORS who live and work in this beautiful Mt. Washington Valley, we want to do all we can to preserve this way of life and to offer an authentic approach to our clients that we are welcoming as our neighbors when they seek to buy a home in the greater North Conway NH area. Stop by, chat with us and discover our "green agency" that can save you some GREEN on your next White Mountain home purchase!
Blog :: 02-2009
Low rates are not always what they seem to beIf you are rate-shopping, youll find that many mortgage lenders are quoting low rates to get your attention, and your business. But the initial rate you are quoted one day may not turn out to be the rate you end up with. An advertised rate or a telephone quote is often the lowest possible rate available, assuming the client will pay upfront fees or points to acquire that low rate. If you are comparing rates, you should also compare total finance charges that accompany rates.
Understanding PointsA point is considered pre-paid interest; a fee equal to 1% of the loan amount. For example, if you pay one point for a $150,000 loan, the cost will be $1,500. If you pay two points, your upfront cost will be $3,000. The more points you pay, the lower your rate will be. So you can buy down a mortgage rate if you have some cash to pay at closing time. With this in mind, you need to consider points when comparing interest rates.
Other FeesYou also should investigate other fees that may be involved, such as origination fees, application fees, closing costs, and any other fees associated with the loan. Also, find out what the APR is. The Annual Percentage Rate is higher than the interest rate because it is the total finance charge on the loan amount, spread out over the length of the loan.
Rate ShoppingIf you are shopping around for rates, be sure to call all the lenders on the same day, because rates usually change daily. Ask the rate for the same type of loan, the same term, the same amount of points to be paid, and the same lock-in period. And remember, if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is.
Good Faith EstimateA Good Faith Estimate is a written commitment by the lender to provide a break-down of the rates and fees associated with the loan rate you have been quoted. Be sure the lender is willing to provide you with this, and review it carefully.
Questions to AskHow long is the quoted rate good for? When can you lock in, upon application or approval? After the rate is locked-in, how long is it effective? How many points are involved? Is there an origination fee? What are the closing costs? Are there any other fees or charges involved in this loan? What is the APR (Annual Percentage Rate) on this loan? Could I please have a Good Faith Estimate?
Other Factors InvolvedWhen you have a discussion with a loan officer or mortgage banker, there are other things he or she should talk with you about before a loan program and rate is determined. Here are a few of the factors that should be discussed:
- Your current financial situation
- Your credit history
- Down payment amount
- Term/ length of loan (10, 15, 30 year)
- Number of points to be paid
- Possibility of improving finances
- Type of home you desire
- Mortgage insurance
- Your personal goals, preferences. plans, and concerns.