HotelDel DownTown Sunset

Greetings from Jennifer Ross -  Realtor
 
Haunted TrailHalloween Fun!
Located in Balboa Park, The Haunted Trail is San Diego's only all-outdoor haunted attraction. It is a stroll through the park, that you will never forget. The horror of fairy tales comes to life at the Haunted Trail, something not even the Brothers Grimm could make up. Experience outdoor terror that is simply too big to house indoors!  Located just east of 6th & Juniper in Balboa Park, one block south of Laurel Street bridge.

And click here to carve your own e-pumpkin!
 
The Winner of This Month's Drawing Is...
Advocate
Maureen Rotunno!
Maureen has won a $50 restaurant gift card and a signed copy of the thriller "The Advocate" from San Diego author Teresa Burrell. 
 
The next drawing will be in a few weeks...
A New Way To Slash Your Mortgage Payments
'Recasting' Your Home Loan Can Lower Monthly Payments With Fewer Hassles.

Some homeowners who already have refinanced into low-interest-rate mortgages are using a little-known strategy to make their monthly payments even smaller.  Called "recasting" or "re-amortizing," the strategy allows a borrower to lower the monthly payment on an existing fixed-rate home loan for a small fee without having to apply for a new loan and without having to pay reappraisal and other fees.  Recasting also may enable homeowners to save on interest paid over the life of the loan, merely by putting a large sum of cash against the principal, whether or not they have refinanced already.

The bad news? Banks don't advertise the strategy, perhaps because it is less lucrative than refinancing a mortgage. And not all loans are eligible. To find out more, you will have to ask your lender directly. At J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.'s Chase Home Finance unit, less than 200 mortgages a month are recast out of 10 million home loans outstanding, a spokesman says. At Bank of America Corp., about 200 to 300 a month recasting requests are received out of about 14 million home loans serviced by the company, a spokesman says. Neither bank has seen increased demand.

Here is how it works: A homeowner asks his loan servicer if he can put a large sum of money against the outstanding principal on the mortgage. Ordinarily, doing so would enable him to pay off the loan early, but he would still have to pay the same monthly note. But if the lender agrees to recast the mortgage, he may be able to reduce the monthly payment over the remaining term of the loan.  For example, a person with a 30-year $300,000 fixed-rate mortgage and an interest rate of 4.75% who recasted one year into the loan by putting in $60,000 toward the principal would trim his balance to $235,371. Assuming there were 29 years left on the loan, that would result in a monthly payment of $1,247 instead of the original $1,565.

Recasting can be a good choice for borrowers who have cash and want to reduce monthly payments but who can't refinance, such as those with no-documentation loans, most of whom can't get the same types of mortgages today due to tighter regulations, even if they have high income and good credit. (Self-employed professionals often find themselves in this boat.) And at a time of low interest rates on certificates of deposit and U.S. Treasury bills, paying off a mortgage early is a relatively safe investment that brings a return at least equivalent to the interest rate on the mortgage itself.

There are downsides to the strategy. Many financial experts advise against putting additional cash into one's residence, arguing that higher returns historically have been available in the financial markets and interest rates on bonds are likely to rise eventually. They also warn of the possible tax consequences of retiring a mortgage early, because mortgage interest on a primary residence can be tax-deductible.

Mortgage recasting resembles a "cash in" refinancing-a newly popular strategy in which a borrower pays down principal on an existing loan in order to qualify for a new loan with a lower interest rate. In a recasting, though, the interest rate and the number of payments remain the same, and there are no transfer and title costs.  Getting permission to recast a loan can be tricky. The loan must be in good standing, and you need to secure permission from the loan servicer, who may or may not be the original lender. If the loan has been sold to an investor, the servicer also must secure its approval.

Since nearly two-thirds of all outstanding mortgages have been sold to investors via mortgage-backed securities, some homeowners could find this step difficult, especially those with subprime and "jumbo" mortgages. (Jumbos are loans that are too big to receive government backing through Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Federal Housing Administration.) If approved, the borrower will need to sign a modification agreement, a legal document recording the change of contractual terms.

Each lender sets its own fees and requirements. Chase requires a minimum $5,000 principal payment to recast a loan and charges a $150 fee, for example. Bank of America generally charges $250. It suggests at least $1,000 be paid toward the principal, but has no minimum. John Henry Low, a fee-only financial planner in Pine Plains, N.Y., says homeowners should have one to three years in savings as an emergency fund before tying up additional cash in their homes, even if the account is "paying nothing." 

A financial adviser in Pennsylvania says he refinanced a $270,000, 15-year mortgage in November 2009 on a second home at a 4.25% interest rate. This year, he inherited some money and instead of having money "sitting around in a money-market fund earning a fraction of 1% interest," he decided to put $75,000 to pay down principal on his mortgage.  So he requested a recast in a letter to Chase, which had acquired the loan. To get it, he paid a $150 fee.  With 14 years remaining on the mortgage, his balance was reduced to $170,020, factoring in additional payments he had been making toward the principal. This reduced his monthly payment of principal and interest from $2,032 to $1,322, excluding escrow payments-a savings of $710 a month. If he puts the $710 monthly savings back into the principal, he will pay off the mortgage in a little less than eight years, saving $24,300 in interest. He also has the flexibility of a reduced monthly payment "in case I lose my job or something in the future," he says.

You don't need to recast your loan in order to save thousands of dollars in interest over its life. You can simply make additional payments toward principal on an existing mortgage without paying a dime in additional fees, or make a 13th mortgage payment each year-assuming, of course, the loan has no prepayment penalty. One thing in homeowners' favor: The recent overhaul of banking regulations has severely restricted prepayment penalties on new mortgages.
 
Courtesy of WSJ
News and Views  

San Diego's Gaslamp
San Diego made the list of America's 10 Greatest Streets, according to the American Planning Association. In particular, the nine blocks on Fifth Avenue between Broadway and Harbor Drive -- often referred to as the Gaslamp Quarter -- "provides a unique pocket of Victorian, Italian Renaissance, and Spanish Revival architecture surrounded by an eclectic mix of contemporary buildings.  Instead of a cacophony of traffic horns, screeching tires, and accelerating vehicles typically heard downtown, here voices of conversing pedestrians, the music of Latin jazz and live blues, and sidewalk tables being set for restaurant guests fills the air."

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Mortgage rates headed in different directions this week, according to Bankrate.com's weekly national survey of large banks and thrifts.  The average 30-year fixed-rate mortgage rose 2 basis points, to 4.47 percent. This week's average 15-year fixed-rate -- a popular option for refinancing -- fell 2 basis points, to 3.85 percent, yet another record low.
Video of the Week

Watch tigers, leopards and lynx turn into little kittens as they play with pumpkins!
Each year Big Cat Rescue receives left over pumpkins from stores after Halloween.  All the cats love to play, eat and generally demolish the pumpkins, providing them with hours of entertainment.
Famous Quotes
 

Those who dream by day are cognizant of many things which escape those who dream only by night.
Edgar Allan Poe


As always, feel free to give me a call 800-913-7677 with your real estate needs.  I appreciate your referrals.
 
Signature

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: 4.47%
15 yr fixed: 3.85%

 

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