Personal Finance

Many of us have learned tremendous lessons from this recession. It is often through our most painful experiences that we grow the most. This is the time for all of us to take action and commit to make things right in our finances so that we are better prepared if this happens again. I know that for me personally, I have discovered areas of financial risk that I will never allow myself to be as vulnerable to again.

The past couple years have been extremely difficult for many of my clients. Between job losses, investment losses, home value losses, and loss of overall financial stability, I think it is about time we see some improvement. Just so happens that lately we have seen signs of recovery.

Economic indicators have been increasingly suggesting that we finally found the bottom, and we have started the long process of recovery. Although the extreme loss of wealth, combined with increased government regulations and taxes will make the recovery process more difficult, we may officially be out of this recession as early as the first quarter of next year. This is great news for homeowners! As we see stronger demand for housing, we should also see our home values stablize, and hopefully increase.

As for the mortgage industry (and my business), it has been quite a rollercoaster the past few months, with mortgageinterest rates swinging widly from week to week. As economic conditions continue to improve, we are forecastingmortgage rates to increase in the near future, and feel that we may be in for a much higher rate environment soon. (If you have already locked in a historically low rate, you made a wise decision. If you are still waiting, now is the time to act.)

Moving forward, my team and I are going to focus on helping our clients be financially empowered, and have more stability. This will include education on mortgage and housing, as well as financial planning, estate planning, insurance planning, and tax planning. As part of this, we will be inviting some of our financial partners to write articles that are relevant to their areas of expertise. We work with some of the best financial professionals in the valley, and are excited to have them share their wealth of knowledge with us.

I personally understand the challenges this economy creates, and I honor each of you who have faced significant hardship. One key thing to remember is that we all have the power within to sustain and recover. The human will and spirit are two of the most powerful forces. Just when we think we don’t have any fight left in us, somewhere we find a new gear, and the strength to keep going. With that, PICK UP YOUR WEAPON and continue the fight!

Why is it that many feel they will forever struggle financially? Why is it that most feel they need an extra 10% or more income each month just to meet their monthly obligations? How did they survive when they made 10% less? The answer is often found in their perceptions about money and how that plays out in their financial habits

I have told my clients for years that it is not about how much income we earn. Rather, it is the habits that we develop. I know many people who would fit most people’s definition of having achieved financial success who are so incredibly in debt that they struggle to meet their obligation with their seven figure income. On the other side, I have clients with one income and several children who live very comfortably on what most would consider a low income. How can both extremes exist? Shouldn’t their situations be reversed? Not necessarily. It is not about the income earned, it is about the habits.

For many, the topic of money and spending is far too difficult a subject to discuss with their spouse. All it leads to is a fight. The reality is that change is hard. There will be decisions that must be made. You will have to give up something in order to improve your finances. Either you add income, or you take away expenses. This is a simple balance sheet equation.

How can people change their habits? Prepare for the storm. You can either change by choice or you can change by force. Overspending will eventually catch up to you. If you are in trouble, face the reality of your situation, and commit to change. Then, seek help. There are many resources to help. If you need budgeting help, we can help you with simple tools. Most of us must also deal with our perceptions of money, and change the way we feel about money and how that plays out in our lives. If you are looking for resources to deal with your psychology of money, call me and I can make suggestions to you.

As I look at my own life, I realize that there are areas in which I need to change my own psychology. I am continually “eating my own cooking,” so to speak. I frequently go through books and financial programs so that I can increase my knowledge and financial understanding. It is not an easy road, but together we can make the journey as we strive for financial freedom.

For most people, a mortgage is the largest debt they will carry. However, few homeowners have a mortgageprofessional continually monitoring their mortgage against the market, and making suggestions as to when it is wise to make a change. As a result, too many people pay more than they should for the debts they carry.

Why Work with a Certified mortgage Advisor?

As a Certified mortgage Advisor, my role is to ensure that my clients are in proper and responsible mortgages. With the massive amount of mortgage misrepresentation lately, it is more important than ever to ensure you are in the right loan. For many, their misunderstandings of the terms of their loans have led to a loss of equity in their homes. Sadly, others found themselves in situations where they were no longer able to keep their homes.

Another fundamental role I play is managing the debt and equity portion of my clients’ balance sheets. Many families have a financial planner to manage their cash and investment assets. However, few families have a mortgage planner watching over the equity they have in real estate, as well as mortgage and consumer debts they carry. A comprehensive balance sheet management plan helps keep people on track to accomplish their long term financial goals and objectives.

The Process of a mortgage Review

My team and I make the process of a mortgage review quick and simple. We start with a 15 minute phone conversation where we gather the information we need to analyze your mortgage. This will include residence history, employment history, income, assets, etc. Once we have the information, we will do a credit check. We then analyze the information and put our recommendations together to review with you.

When to have a mortgage Review

There has never been a better time than now to have a mortgage review. mortgage rates have been at historic lows. However, the party will soon be over. The primary driving force of low rates has been the Federal Reserve’s mortgageBacked Securities Purchase Program. The Fed allocated $1.25 trillion to buy up mortgage bonds. The Fed has purchase to date in excess of $950 billion, and have set March 31, 2010 as the date this program will expire. This means that the Fed will be averaging about $14 billion a week in purchases, which is a lot less than the $25 billion they have been buying each week until recently. Anytime the demand for an item slows down, the price will go down. In this case, it means that mortgage rates will move higher. I anticipate a progressive increase from now until the end of the program next March.

How to Arrange Your mortgage Review

You can contact me by calling 801-501-7950 or by email mike@dev.citycreekmortgage.com. We would love the opportunity to review your situation and determine if you are currently on the right course with your mortgage, or if a change should be made. We are able to serve clients needing to refinance, purchase, or with reverse mortgage loans. Please call us for an initial 15 minute phone conversation and your no-cost mortgage Review.