Lower Monthly Mortgage Payments by "Recasting"

There is another way to reduce your mortgage payments without having to refinance and face hefty closing cost fees.
 “Recasting” or “re-amortizing” a loan is a little known unpublicized way to reduce your monthly payments. When recasting, the borrower pays off a lump sum of the loan’s principal  thus reseting the monthly payments at the loan’s original interest rate and terms.

Here’s an example: $230,449 is left on a 30-year fixed rate loan for a $300,000 mortgage taken out at 7.93 percent in 1995. The borrower pays $20,000 toward the principal and asks the lender to reamortize their payments over the remaining 15 years of the loan. The monthly payment then drops by $52, from $2,187 to $2,135 per month. ($100,000 toward the lump sum would save $730 a month.)

Christmas in the North Georgia Mountains

This time of year when we have a lot of parties and gatherings is a great time to reflect on the reasons we live in the North Georgia mountain communities of Big Canoe and Bent Tree. Both are beautiful with lakes, waterfalls and killer mountain views but the main selling point of both communities is the people who live here. In Big Canoe and Bent Tree, there is a sense of community that one rarely finds in this fast paced world. It is a small town atmosphere with neighbors helping neighbors. I am always touched this time of year when the spirit of giving extends to the less fortunate in the community. This is a great place to live and I am privledged to be a part of it. Merry Christmas and a Joyeous New Year to all.

Existing Home Sales are Up in November

NAR: Existing-Home Sales Rise 5.6%
Existing-home sales got back on an upward path in November, resuming a growth trend since bottoming in July, according to the National Association of REALTORS®.

Existing-home sales, which are completed transactions that include single-family, townhomes, condominiums, and co-ops, rose 5.6 percent to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 4.68 million in November from 4.43 million in October, but are 27.9 percent below the cyclical peak of 6.49 million in November 2009, which was the initial deadline for the first-time buyer tax credit.

Mortgage Rates Are Going Up

Mortgage rates rose for a fourth-straight week to reach a six-month high as yields on government bonds continue to rise. The average interest on a 30-year fixed loan hit 4.61 percent, up from 4.46 percent a week ago, Freddie Mac reported.

Also, 15-year fixed loans averaged 3.96 percent, up from 3.81 percent last week; and rates for variable adjustable-rate mortgages floated higher as well.

Most experts expect the rates to continue the rise so now is the time to buy before rates go higher. Even with the rate increase, mortgage rates are still at historic lows.

Big Canoe weather conditions

The following is a report from the Big Canoe POA about weather conditions in Big Canoe. The article showcases how the staff and community pitch in when the4 need arises. Kudos to the staff members who braved the icy mountain roads to make their way to Big Canoe.

Roads Update: As of 11:15 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 16, the gates and roads of Big Canoe were still closed according to Roger Klask, general manager. No time has been set to open Big Canoe’s roads.

National Association of Realtors Homes Sales Stats

The National Association of Realtors has posted its latest stats on sales and sales prices of existing homes in the U.S. Home sales in the South are down from last year as are home prices. This may be caused by the fact that Georgia is one of the top states for home foreclosures. Georgia is a non judicial foreclosure state which means the foreclosure process is quick and easy compared to states where the process must go through the courts so lenders were anxious to lend in Georgia during the real estate boom times. We are now paying the price for the easy access to mortgage loans. The following is an excerpt from the NAR home sale report regarding sales in the South.

Jumbo Loans Are More Readily Available

It seems that jumbo mortgages are more readily available than they have been for the last two years. Both small and regional banks are beginning to offer them again to qualified buyers.

In the second quarter of this year, jumbo lending rose 30 percent from the first quarter, according to Inside Mortgage Finance Publication, which provides industry data.

The J.P. Morgan Chase home lending unit has increased jumbo lending by 146 percent in the first six months of this year. Wells Fargo’s jumbo lending is up 47.5 percent in the same time period.

Pickens County Board of Realtors Toy Drive

Once again, the Pickens County board of Realtors is supporting “Prevent Child Abuse Pickens” through a toy drive this holiday season! The Realtors will be collecting toys or money to purchase toys to make this Christmas special for families in Pickens County that are working at becoming good families and parents. This is a great cause with an even greater need during these tough economic times. A toy or a donation will gladly be accepted. Let’s make this toy drive the best ever. Big Canoe residents have always been very generous in their giving and we hope they will continue to support this good cause in a time of great need.
Donations may be made at or at the Donation Centers by Monday, December 6th. Make donation checks payable to: Pickens County Board of REALTORS®.

Shelby Collins Realtor

Many have heard about the picturesque views and top-notch amenities available in Bent Tree. Bent Tree is a gated community which is an attractive feature for those who want to add extra protection for families with small children, or retirees who want to avoid the hustle and bustle of big city life.  No matter if you want to buy a home, sell a home you own in Bent Tree, or purchase land on which to build a home to your exact specifications, Shelby Collins has eight years of experience under her belt to make sure both buying and selling a home is made as easy as possible.  From your first phone call or email to this brilliant realtor, you will immediately feel that you have someone on your side with a family-oriented approach that will make you feel you’re the only client on her roster.  It’s the way Shelby Collins does business every day with hopes to give you an affordable price whether you’re in the business of home owning or selling.

Big Canoe 2011 Operating Budget Approved

The Big Canoe 2011 operating budget has been approved. In spite of the current economic situation that has caused financial hardship in many similar communities, Big Canoe is able to maintain its services with no increase in membership or amenity user fees. If you are considering buying a mountain home and would like to see the Big Canoe budget in detail contact me.