Thursday, 31 July 2014
New Options for Refinancing in 2014

In 2009 the Departments of the Treasury and Housing and Urban Development introduced HARP, or Home Affordable Refinance Program, as a way for Americans to refinance their homes under the Making Homes Affordable Program. Many people who wanted to refinance were told they did not qualify under the first program, so changes were made that have opened up this opportunity to more people.

If you have tried to refinance and you've been turned down, it might be worth your time to see if your mortgage and current situation would benefit from the new guidelines.

According to MakingHomeAffordable.Gov, you may be eligible for HARP if you meet all of the following criteria:

  • The mortgage must be owned or guaranteed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae.
  • The mortgage must have been sold to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac on or before May 31, 2009.
  • The mortgage cannot have been refinanced under HARP previously unless it is a Fannie Mae loan that was refinanced under HARP from March-May, 2009.
  • The current loan-to-value (LTV) ratio must be greater than 80%.
  • The borrower must be current on the mortgage at the time of the refinance, with a good payment history in the past 12 months.

If you're not sure who owns your mortgage, call your lender or use the following contact information to find out.

Even if you start the process with your current lender, you are free to shop around and see what other mortgage companies are offering when it comes to rates and fees. Some may be willing to pay your fees for you, but that will probably come at the cost of a slightly higher interest rate.

Before you commit to anything, DO THE MATH. Once you find out how much you'll be saving each month with your new rate, factor that into how much you'll be expected to pay in closing costs and fees. If you discover that it will take months or years to pay off the difference in fees, then it might not be worth the trouble. But, if you're able to pay off those fees in a few short months, you could save a ton of money on your home!

Call me and I'll be happy to recommend some brokers that I trust to walk you through this process. The deadline for applications for HARP is December 31, 2015.

Posted on 07/31/2014 3:32 PM by Jarod
Friday, 25 July 2014
2014 Williamson County Fair

Find Out All That the 2014 Williamson County Fair Has to Offer

For the 10th consecutive year, the Williamson County Fair is back and better than ever! This year's theme is "Constructing Good Times: 10 Years of Fun!" Last year, more than 240,000 people attended the fair. After winning the "Most Improved Fair" in the AAA division in 2012, this year the Tennessee Association of Fairs awarded the Williamson County Fair with the "State Champion Fair" for 2013! They also won first place for their "Rock Around the Fair" theme and first place for their posters.

As usual, the schedule will be packed with something for everyone including musical shows of difference genres, midway rides, competitions, educational events, and a local favorite, the Little 1's Farming Exhibit.

More specifically, this year will include: BMX Pros Trick Team, Flying Houndz Frizbee Trick Dog Show, Kidz Science Safari, Learning with Lego Bricks, Touch-A-Truck, Loveless Café Biscuit Contest, and fireworks, just to name a few!

The Seattle Wheel will be making an appearance again. From the fair Website: "The Seattle Wheel was created by the Valarie Brothers for the Worlds Fair in Seattle, Washington. The Seattle Wheel stands at over 90' tall and is capable of accommodating two adults or three children in one of its 16 spacious tubs. To this day, we currently operate the only Seattle Wheel on the road." 

The Williamson County Fair began in 1857, and that year it was held near the Carnton Plantation in Franklin. The next year it moved to what is now Fair Street and then to Fairground Street. The fair took a 21-year hiatus, started up again, and then took a 55-year hiatus until it made its much-needed comeback in 2005. 

Although county fairs in the United States were initially held to display or trade produce or to display or parade animals in our then mostly rural country, fairs today hold those traditional components plus much more. The Williamson County Fair's Web page states, "Fairs offer a link between urban and rural Tennessee. They serve as tools for educating Tennesseans about the importance of agriculture and introducing young people to both traditional and innovative aspects of life on the farm. Fairs reach far beyond their agrarian roots and encourage industries and individuals to strive for excellence through competitions. Winning the blue ribbon at a fair competition is a great incentive to showcase the best of Tennessee. Through their social and cultural impacts, fairs embody the community spirit and highlight the diversity of Williamson County and Tennessee."

Come to see and be seen at Williamson county's largest social event of the year!

Ag Expo Park, 4215 Long Lane, Franklin, TNʉ۬(Take exit #61 off I-65 at Peytonsville Rd.)

Parking is free and there are several ways to get discount tickets on each night. For a complete list of discounts click here.

The Schedule is as follows:

August 1-9, 2014

Monday  Thursday â€¨6:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 
(Midway open until 11)

Fridayʉ۬6:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m. 
(Midway open until 12)

 10:00 a.m. 10:00 p.m.
 (Midway open until 12)

 12:00 a.m. 10 p.m.
 (Midway open until 11)


Visit the fair's award-winning Web page for a complete list of scheduled events, competitions, and other general information.


Photo courtesy of




Posted on 07/25/2014 6:01 PM by Jarod
Sunday, 6 July 2014
When Is a Good Time to Downsize


There are many things to consider when faced with the decision of when you should downsize your home, but if I had to pick one thing to say to people it would be that you want this to be your decision on your terms and not something that you are forced into.

I've seen many situations with older couples where one spouse dies or one gets sick and needs assisted living, which leaves the other spouse scrambling to make difficult decisions and to make physically difficult moves without the kind of help they need. The truth is, a move is a physically daunting experience, so the older you get, the harder it's going to be. And being forced to sell quickly can cause several headaches as well. You won't have the time to get your home in tip-top shape to get the best asking price, and you are left with less time to research the best options of where you need to settle long term.

There is no perfect age to make the decision, so you will just need to sit down and write out what is most important to you for your future lifestyle needs and what makes sense financially. Do you need to move closer to family or friends? Will you need more amenities such as yard care or more social opportunities? Do you need to free up more of your budget so you can travel more freely or use less of your nest egg? Only you can answer those questions.

A move like this can be very emotional since so many memories are tied to your home, but in the end, taking that burden off yourself at an older age and off your children after you're gone can be a huge blessing in the end. Try to focus on the positives such as less maintenance, bills, and cleaning responsibilities that come with a larger home. Even if the mortgage is paid, those elements can still eat up a large part of your budget.

With home prices on a steady rise, the equity in your home can give you several options for a comfortable retirement if you make the right moves in a downsize. Use this time to start researching exactly what you want and need, so that when the time is right, you are ready to make a move.

I would love to walk with you through this process, so please give me a call when you're ready to start making these important decisions.

If you're interested in calculating the financial benefit of downsizing, follow this link and click on "Housing" at the bottom of the page.




Posted on 07/06/2014 11:10 PM by Jarod