The new year brings new hope for a better 2021 than 2020 and the normal things that go along with a new start. Resolutions of a healthier lifestyle and more exercise are always among the top of the lists, financial progress from paying down debt to making more money, spending more time with friends and family, all these resolutions we plan to accomplish with the best intentions and then somehow, every year, they fade into the past come end of January or middle of February. 2020 should have taught all of us that you need to plan for the unexpected. As individuals and families we can’t have an emergency fund that is too large, we can’t have too sound of a financial plan in place, and we need to all recognize that is not if something will happen that will cause an out of pocket expense- be it small or large- but when. How does all this have anything to do with mortgages? With what I do, I look at credit, income, and assets of individuals of all walks of life all day long. Most people’s largest asset is their house, while simultaneously being their largest debt. One thing that I find common among the most financially sound clients I help is they are always evaluating their overall financial snapshot. They work with a planner or do it themselves yearly, if not quarterly, to see if they can lower their burden of debt or better their circumstance. It might be something as simple as switching their credit card balance from one holder to a new one that will offer a lower rate on the money they have outstanding. It could be revising their budget and getting a few more dollars going towards investments or savings each month. Whatever the strategy or opportunity, the sound financial individual and household never settles for what they have, they are always working towards improvement.
2020 brought the lowest mortgage rates in the history of lending. 2021 the rates are predicted to stay low for the year though no one knows for sure what they will do. If you are looking to evaluate your financial snapshot for 2021, review your mortgage with a trusted professional. If you do not own a home and are renting, consult a mortgage professional to see what it would take to own and not rent. I would be more than happy to review and do that for you. I have seen clients save as much as $575 dollars per month on their monthly housing costs. Other clients have been able to shave a significant amount of time off their loan and have kept their monthly payment about the same. Other clients have pulled small or large amounts of cash out of their homes to build up emergency funds, pay down debt, pay for kids college tuition, complete home improvement projects, and to be able to have additional cash on hand to help out friends or family that are struggling so badly right now. Do not let the potential for bettering the financial snapshot be outweighed by the work or hassle to review it. It could be the best gift 2021 brings all year!
– Matt Ferree, VP of Mortgage Lending