HotelDel DownTown Sunset

Greetings from Jennifer Ross -  Realtor
 
Tigers"Celebration for the Critters" is a fun event I attended with friends last Saturday at the San Diego Zoo.  Celebration was started as Kicks for Critters in 1980 by Rolf Benirschke, San Diego Chargers place-kicker, to raise money to support the San Diego Zoo's conservation research efforts.  Guests pay one price for admission and enjoy free samples from more than 150 restaurants, beer, wine and spirits vendors.  The band was fantastic, a great auction and desserts to die for! A very nice event for a good cause. 
 
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Should I Pay Off My Mortgage?
 
Q: We have a mortgage worth $177,000 on a house that we've owned for 21 years. We've refinanced our loan twice, and now have a 30-year mortgage at 6.48% that we took out in 2002.
 
My husband and I are now six years from retirement, and we are trying to figure out the best use of our money. We have enough to pay off the mortgage without dipping into our IRAs, and we'd sleep better if we didn't have a mortgage hanging over our heads. Is this a good idea?
 
A: Given the economy's continuing weakness, the fact that you have cash that's not tied up in IRAs and how close you both are to retirement, I think it's a fine idea to pay off your mortgage.
 
Here's why: You should always try to get the best return possible on your money. So you shouldn't keep the loan unless you can find another investment that, before taxes, can reliably earn more than the 6.48% that you're currently paying on it. With the stock market still volatile and certificates of deposit and other relatively safe investments paying less than the rate of inflation, I wouldn't count on that.
 
What's more, paying off a mortgage loan is risk-free-no matter what happens to the general economy, you'll be left with an asset that you can live in or rent out.
 
A downside is that you'll lose the mortgage interest tax deduction if you pay off your loan. But as a new report from the National Association of Home Builders points out, those benefits largely go to those buyers who are younger than 45, who typically have the largest mortgages and the most itemized expenses.
 
Meanwhile, if you pay off the loan, you'll have plenty of company. According to the latest American Community Survey released by the U.S. Census, there are approximately 50.7 million owner-occupied homes with a mortgage in 2009, compared to about 51.6 million in 2008. Folks are paying off second mortgages and home equity lines of credit, too. Those have dropped to about 12.1 million in 2009 from roughly 13.3 million the year before.
 
Of course, you do have other options. You can refinance your relatively expensive current loan to today's lower interest rates-but doing so will incur thousands of dollars in closing costs. Or, while you are both still working, you could simply add extra principal payments to your current mortgage and pay it off more quickly.
 
But if you pay off your mortgage completely, you'll not only sleep soundly, you'll be in a position to get a reverse mortgage should you need to tap into your home's equity at a later date. The way reverse mortgages are structured, the older you are when you take out a reverse mortgage, the more you'll be able to withdraw while still remaining in your home, since your life expectancy declines with each passing year. That's a good fallback should you outlive the funds you manage to put away before retirement.
 
Courtesy of WSJ
News and Views - It's Not All Doom and Gloom  
 
According to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts, the average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage is 4.5 percent, an all-time low in the survey.  The average 15-year fixed-rate - a popular option for refinancing - fell to a record-low 3.94 percent.
*****
Pending home sales have increased for the second consecutive month, according to the National Association of Realtors.  The Pending Home Sales Index, a forward-looking indicator, rose 4.3 percent to 82.3 based on contracts signed in August.  The data reflects contracts and not closings, which normally occur with a lag time of one or two months.
 
Lawrence Yun, NAR chief economist, said the latest data is consistent with a gradual improvement in home sales in upcoming months. "Attractive affordability conditions from very low mortgage interest rates appear to be bringing buyers back to the market," he said.
 
Although Yun expects a continuing steady rise in home sales from favorable affordability conditions and some job creation, he cautioned any sudden rise in mortgage rates could slow the recovery. "Current low consumer price inflation has helped keep mortgage interest rates very attractive this year. However, recent rising trends in producer prices at the intermediate and early stages of production, along with very high commodity prices, are raising concerns about future inflation and future mortgage interest rates," he said. "Higher inflation would mean higher mortgage interest rates. In the meantime, housing affordability is hovering near record highs.
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Video of the Week
 
This Thai Pantene television commercial is simply brilliant. The story of a deaf and mute girl who learns to play the violin against all odds. One of the most touching advertisements Ive seen in a long time.
Famous Quotes
 
Don't ask what the world needs. Ask what makes you come alive, and go do it. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Howard Thurman
 
As always, feel free to give me a call 800-913-7677 with your real estate needs.  I appreciate your referrals.
 
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Acedemic Earth 

Jennifer Ross

 
Experience Counts!
Over 21 years in
Real Estate sales
Serving all of San Diego
 
Office: 800.913.7677
Direct: 619.985.7340
JennRossRealtor@gmail.com
 
 

Current Mortage Rates

 (BankRate.com weekly avg)
 30 yr fixed: 4.50%
15 yr fixed: 3.94%
 

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