Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Roll-out of new 90-gallon recycling bins in St. James expected next week

As many as 2,500 90-gallon recycling carts will begin showing up in St. James before the end of the month, town council members learned during their monthly work session on Thursday.
Member Wayne Deutscher reported that provider Waste Industries plans to deliver the carts on flat-bed trucks to The Members Club lower parking lot beginning Monday, January 27. The rest of the week, smaller trucks will distribute the carts throughout the community. Each cart will have a computer chip installed identifying it with a specific household.
About 100 persons responded via an e-mail survey that they wished to continue using the 18-gallon bins they already have; Waste Industries will not deliver carts to those addresses, but if later the homeowner changes his mind and wants a cart instead, he may call and the company will change-out the containers at no cost.
Those receiving new carts may choose to keep their 18-gallon bins for another use, or they may “recycle” the plastic containers by leaving them at curbside when the carts are placed there to be emptied.
With the seasonal absence of some homeowners, “There are going to be some bins out for a while,” town administrator Josann Campanello acknowledged. Considering this, Waste Industries has said it will place the carts near the garage entrance to be as out-of-sight as possible.
“It may be tumultuous for a month or two,” Deutscher said.
Article From State Port Pilot

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
(910) 523-0903 mobileEmail Mewww.KenKeegan.com Click here for more information on Brunswick, County Real Estate St. James Plantation

Hearing set Friday on coastal insurance rate hike of 35-percent; 25-percent overall

As local government units line up in opposition, the state is gearing up for its first-ever public hearing on an industry proposal to raise standard homeowners insurance rates by 35-percent in coastal southeastern North Carolina and 25.3-percent overall.
The hearing on the proposal is set for the Dobbs Building in Raleigh from 9:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday, January 24. E-mail comments will be accepted through January 31 at 2014homeowners@ncdoi.gov.
Brunswick County and the municipalities of Caswell Beach, Oak Island, Bald Head Island, Boiling Spring Lakes and St. James have all passed resolutions opposing any increase. The resolution points out there have been five rate increases since 2002.
“Homeowners in coastal communities already pay … premiums two to three times the rate charged for the same type of homeowners policies (fire, theft) of inland properties, in addition to having separate flood, as well as wind and hail policies,” the resolution states.
Article from State Port Pilot

Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
(910) 523-0903 mobileEmail Mewww.KenKeegan.com Click here for more information on Brunswick, County Real Estate St. James Plantation

Saturday, January 11, 2014

What the new mortgage rules mean for you

New mortgage lending rules are going into effect Friday that aim to put an end to the worst mortgage lending abuses of the past.

The new rules are designed to take a "back to basics" approach to mortgage lending and lower the risk of defaults and foreclosures among borrowers, according to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which issued the new rules.
"No debt traps. No surprises. No runarounds. These are bedrock concepts backed by our new common-sense rules, which take effect today," said CFPB director Richard Cordray in remarks prepared for a hearing Friday.
Mortgage lenders are being asked to comply with two new requirements: The Ability to Repay rule and Qualified Mortgages. Here's how they will impact borrowers:
Ability to Repay

  • Lenders must determine that a borrower has the income and assets to afford to make payments throughout the life of the loan. To do so, the lender may look at your debt-to-income ratio, which is how much you owe divided by how much you earn per month, including the highest mortgage payments you would be required to make under the terms of the loan. To calculate your debt-to-income ratio, add up all your monthly obligations -- including student loan, credit card and car payments, housing costs, utilities and other recurring expenses -- and divide it by your monthly gross income.

  • In an effort to put an end to no- or low-doc loans, where lenders issue risky mortgages without the necessary financial information, lenders will be required to document and verify an applicant's income, assets, credit history and debt. For borrowers, that means more paperwork and longer processing times.
  • Underwriters must also approve mortgages based on the maximum monthly charges you face, not just low "teaser rates" that last only a matter of months, or a year or two, before resetting higher.

Qualified Mortgages

  • To make sure you aren't taking on more house than you can afford, your debt-to-income ratio generally must be below 43%. This rule is not absolute. Banks can still make loans to people with debt-to-income ratios that are greater than that if other factors, such as a high level of assets, justify the risk.
  • Qualified mortgages cannot include risky features, such as terms longer than 30 years, interest-only payments or minimum payments that don't keep up with interest so your mortgage balance grows.
  • Upfront fees and charges cannot add up to more than 3% of the mortgage balance. That includes title insurance, origination fees and points paid to lower mortgage interest rates.

The rules also restrict "steering," or practices that give financial incentives to loan officers or mortgage brokers for pushing people into higher-interest loans that they can't afford -- a practice that was all too common leading up to the housing bust, Cordray said.
"We think the new rules are balanced and well-drawn. They will offer consumers protection without limiting credit to qualified borrowers," said Gary Kalman, the policy director for the Center for Responsible Lending.
Lenders don't seem to be too worried about the new rules, according to Keith Gumbinger of HSH.com, a mortgage information provider. "It's no surprise; everybody has been preparing for the change for months," he said. "Because there will be additional underwriting scrutiny, it could gum up the works initially and slow loan processing, but it's really just the codification of things that are already in place."
A significant factor is what's not in the rules. There's no minimum down payment or credit score requirement.
"[The qualifed mortgage] is not taking a one-size-fits-all approach. It ensures that first time homebuyers can still come to the table," said Kalman.
If the rules required a minimum down payment of, say 10% or 20%, it would eliminate many first time buyers who would have a difficult time raising that much cash.
The lack of a credit score requirement will enable lenders to loosen currently tight underwriting standards in the future should conditions warrant, according to Gumbinger. For the moment, most loans will still have to be backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and, with a few exceptions, they won't approve applicants with scores below 620.
Ken Keegan Real Estate Broker
(910) 523-0903 mobileEmail Mewww.KenKeegan.com Click here for more information on Brunswick, County Real Estate St. James Plantation