Posts Tagged ‘Michigan’

Are you Ready?

March 28, 2011

Okay, I realize we’re still wearing winter coats and scraping the windows of our cars each morning.   But this is Michigan, and that means it can change from a frosty 27° to a balmy 75° in about 12 hours.  By starting now where you can, you will soon be able to enjoy a cold iced tea while relaxing in your favorite lawn chair while your neighbor is still trying to find the back of his garage.  Here are some suggestions to get your home prepared.

□     Check home-safety devises.

Replace batteries in smoke & carbon monoxide detectors

Recharge fire extinguishers

□     Deep clean.

Clean ceiling fans and light fixtures, replacing light bulbs as needed

Clean out the refrigerator and freezer of outdated food items and condiments

Clean, pack and store humidifiers

Deep-clean the carpeting

Clean and air out heavy winter bedding and clothing before storing

□     Maintain HVAC units.

Once the weather does break, turn off your heating system

Change air filters

Remove and clean the filters for your air conditioner and have your unit professionally serviced as needed

□     Think Summer.

Clean and install window screens

Bring out your patio furniture, cleaning and checking for wear or damage as you go

Clean your grill, filling the propane tanks or stocking up on charcoal and lighter fluid

□     Prepare your tools.

Cleaning out and organizing the garage or shed, moving winter equipment to the back, lawn mower and gardening tools to the front

Clean and sharpen trimmers, rakes and shovels

Service the lawn mower and fill gas tank

Hook up garden hoses and replace as needed

If applicable have your underground sprinkler system serviced

□     Walk around the house.

Check the roof for loose shingles that need repair

Clean out the gutters

Check for cracks in the foundation, driveway and sidewalks and repair as needed

Remove insulated covers from outdoor faucets

Clean winter debris from landscaping and foundation

Check lawn for any dead/damaged areas and reseed

□     Enjoy the changing season and warmer weather!

First-time Home Buyers Still have Options

May 13, 2010

The home buyer’s tax credit program has ended.  While many were able to take advantage of the savings; we also know that many more did not.  Perhaps the timing of the program didn’t fit with your current financial picture.  Do you feel left out and like the opportunity to buy your dream home is gone for good?  While this particular program may be over, what if something else existed to help?  Wouldn’t you want to know?  Fortunately one does!

The Mortgage Credit Certificate (MCC) program is a Federal tax credit on the mortgage interest you pay on your home loan over a calendar year.  It effectively reduces the annual interest rate on your loan. 

This is not a limited life program or something offered for just a set period of time.  The MCC credit remains in effect for as long as your home continues to be your primary residence and the original mortgage loan remains in place.  Only if you refinance your home loan, sell your home or purchase a second home that becomes your primary residence, will the credit end.  Plus in select targeted areas you do not need to be a first-time home buyer to qualify.

Unfortunately this program is not offered in all states.  In the 5 states we currently do business only Michigan and Indiana offer the MCC program.  (This would be a great question to ask your state senators and representatives about if your state does not offer this program.)  Even more amazing though is that not all lenders participate in this program.  Awareness Home Funding does and will continue to do so for every state we conduct business in when available.   

If you are looking to purchase a home, now or in the future, ask us about the MCC program.  We are very familiar with how the program works and more importantly, how it can work for you.

What’s Your Code of Conduct?

February 23, 2010

When any organization starts out, one area to develop and maintain is how you intend to run your business – your corporate philosophy or code of conduct.  As a growing company licensed to conduct business in 5 states (Michigan, Indiana, Kansas, Tennessee and Florida) with more to come, we needed our priorities to be established early on. 

The National Association of Mortgage Brokers (NAMB) provides a standard list of suggested business practice guidelines.  With a desire to focus on our clients, I think we took most of their suggestions a step further.  Here is a summary of our code of conduct, a Borrower’s Bill of Rights so to speak. (You can find the detailed list on our website.) 

  • You have the right to compare the fees of different mortgage companies.
  • You have the right to be informed about the total cost of your loan.
  • You have the right to know all fees associated with your loan up front.
  • You have the right to have us help you compare competitor’s fees – and we will.
  • You have the right to know what fees are nonrefundable if you decide to change your mind.
  • You have the right to ask us what we will do for you and how the process works.
  • You have the right to ask us to explain any charge or term you may not understand.
  • You have the right to a credit decision based on facts and to not be discriminated against.
  • You have the right to a full explanation if your loan is declined.
  • You have the right to home loan information, like HUD’s “Shopping for Your Home Loan” booklet.
  • You have the right to refer us to others. (We love this part!)
  • You have the right to be appreciated by your favorite charity for your continued support.

Bottom line – treat others with respect and honesty. 

What governs your business decisions?  What bottom line do you hold to?  Leave a comment and let us know what the non-negotiable details are for you.