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Cheat Sheet Q & A:
Topic: HARP eligibility & evaluating the current market value of your home:
I want to take advantage of the low interest rate (environment). I have a conventional mortgage around 30k underwater. Since HARP will not apply, can you give me some guidance?
Bottom Line: I want to address this question in two pieces. First the HARP aspect. I don’t have enough information to know if you’re eligible for HARP 2.0 but I have a suspicion you might be. You are eligible for HARP 2.0 if:
HARP 2.0 lifts the cap on the amount and percentage that you’re underwater by. If you meet the base requirements (listed above) you can shop your refi to any lender. Not all lenders want to participate with all loans but you’ll likely find multiple opportunities to refi. I’ll be responding with a couple of Mortgage pros I’ve worked with privately.
My 2nd question is a universal one that applies to everyone. How are you evaluating (the value) of your home?
Most people I hear from will use sites like Zillow as the guide as to their property value. If that’s the case and your home value hasn’t been provided or estimated by a professional you may be pleasantly surprised.
Sites like Zillow are guesstimates at best during a stable housing market. A computer pulls in what it believes to be comps that may or may not be sensible comparisons. However these sites really are poor indicators during times of big market swings up or down. With local real-estate often showing 20-30% year over year increases you may be looking at a value that’s way lower than current market conditions would reflect. At best, sites like Zillow are about 6 months behind current market conditions.
It’s possible that you may be far better off (maybe even in a positive equity position). If you haven’t received a professional estimate on your home value that could be a good place to start.
If you have a topic or question you’d like me to address email me: email@example.com
Gold rout continues - it's time to leave emotion out of this:
Bottom Line: Gold continued to fall yesterday continuing an ugly trend that’s turned a gradual decline into a bit of a flood. Even as I type this entry gold is down another $11 per ounce to $1200 (about a three year low). Yesterday the Cheat Sheet Q & A topic was with regard to the gold decline. I received a fair amount of displeasure from some people who don’t want to believe the current reality of the gold market, or what gold represents.
I understand why many who poured investment and other important money into gold and silver are upset. I understand that it’s much easier to double down on a belief that the economy will collapse and gold will be worth substantially more than it currently is. That’s really not the point. I think I’ve figured out a better way to illustrate a constructive way to evaluate commodities for the average individual.
Would you buy barrels of oil and store them at your house as a primary investment? For almost all people the answer would be no. Yet that’s the type of market people enter into when they begin buying physical gold as an investment. To be clear there are many people who make a living trading commodities but that’s not what the typical investor should necessarily subject themselves to. The belief that as long as the Federal Reserve waters down the money supply gold will go higher has always been false. Gold hasn’t been tied to the US dollar since we left the gold standard in the 70’s. Now it is true that QE does inflate the US dollar and thus does it does impact the commodities market but that’s just one piece of the equation. Demand is the other and most important piece of the puzzle. Demand for gold has dried up and that’s what is causing the huge declines in gold.
Most individuals should consult an investment advisor prior to buying gold as a key investment. Gold could be worth $10,000 and ounce in a year or even $100. Because it’s a non-producing assets it’s only value is what someone is willing to pay you for it at any moment in time.
It’s important to remember this little saying of mine: Never let your money and emotions cross paths.
Android follow-up - 1 million devices with Adware - are you infected?
Bottom Line: Yesterday I shared the story from Juniper Networks in which they discovered that more than 272,000 Android apps available in app stores are infected with malware. As a follow-up today comes the story that more than 1 million Android devices in the
If you have adware on your Droid the most common issue is pop-up advertising that randomly shows up on your device. So how do you deal with it? A program called Lookout can identify if you have an issue and help you deal with it.
Miss the big Tweets of the Day? Coming soon - Twitter DVR:
Bottom Line: Coming soon to a Twitter feed near you. DVR. Did you miss that big Tweet of the day? If you did you’ll now be able to easily revisit a Tweet of interest.
Soon Twitter will allow you to identify Tweets that resulted in a spike in traffic and revisit that feed after the fact. This makes sense given how quickly Tweets are here and gone within your feed. No longer will you have to miss out because you weren’t glued to your Twitter account.