Above image courtesy of Photographer: Matthew Staver/Bloomberg
[Washington, D.C.] Today First-Time homebuyers received more welcomed news at Nancy Pelosi’s (Speaker of the House/D-CA/12th) House of Representatives passed HR2161. Labeled as the “obstruction party” by leaders of the Trump administration the bill was passed and headed to the Senate where members are hoping majority leader Mitch McConnell doesn’t try and high jack the bill. Lately he has proudly accepted the moniker to be known as ‘the grim-reaper.”
The bill essentially can result in borrowers using FHA mortgages saving $5,375 and is based on an average loan of $211,000. Current FHA borrower must pay three percent which is known as the standard rate for mortgage insurance or the program which allows the agency operate. Unlike conventional mortgages where insurance is normally mandated if the mortgage exceeds 80% of the value of the home, FHA mortgage through their mortgage insurance premium (MIP) is mandated regardless of loan to value.
HR2161 would allow borrowers who successfully complete authorized counseling to have their premiums reduced to 2.75%. If passed and Donald Trump signs it into law you could see millions of buyers enter the marketplace.
Many borrowers use FHA insured mortgages as their entry into home ownership. Contrary to popular belief, especially political leaders who have attempted to vilify the program, historically it helped the United States of America define a middle-class standard.
It is not uncommon that even though on vacation most are tethered to their smartphone. It is nothing wrong with this practice as unlike years ago, a smartphone allows you to do so much more than just talk! Aruba is a very tourist-friendly country, however for those who do not pay attention or manage their visit as once you return back home and get your bill, it can result in a big frown or a big smile. Years ago, a big frown was my reality as I forgot to turn off roaming and the result was a bill nearly $2,000. Back then, it was not uncommon to rent/purchase a device from the local carrier (Digicel) or of course you could use your own.
Fast-forward as technology has improved and pricing has become much more competitive and lower. Most carriers offer a specific “international plan” which ranges from $8– $12 per day. I’ve had T-Mobile, Sprint and Verizon and for my weekly stay to Aruba I was paying approximately $70. Not cheap…. but way better than my $2,000 bonehead?
My most recent trip consisted of 8 days. Another reality: Many consumers think Consumer Cellular is designated for seniors due to the reduced cost? That is kind of correct, although not totally 100% correct. A couple of years ago I had Verizon and gladly paid $70. I heard about Consumer Cellular but had doubts, however since I was officially retiring, I was exploring how to reduce my monthly cost. I contacted Verizon and inquired if they offered a “senior” plan or “reduced’ option? I was told no, although they did offer some reductions but no where near the less than $50 per month that Consumer Cellular was offering. So….adios to Verizon!
The bottom-line is I just reviewed my most recent bill which including the roaming charges for my Aruba trip. The cost was $48 which was far less than the $70 I had been paying or even the $60 my wife paid from her AT&T account.
Word to the wise – pay attention to your cost and do not pay more that what you have to. By the way, while I am not endorsing a product or service, Consumer Cellular has exceeded my expectations by offering the same service I had been using, which includes using lots of data at far less than what I had been paying.
Above photo: ‘Ted Williams, Minnie Minoso’ Boston Red So, baseball player Ted Williams and Cleveland Indians player Minnie Minoso, posed in dugout for 1959 All Star Game, Forbes Field, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, July 1959. (Photo by Charles ‘Teenie’ Harris/Carnegie Museum of Art/Getty Images)
[Havana] The 2019 All Star Game (ASG) will feature 15 players that were born outside of the United States. Behind the Dominican Republic, Cuba is number two and will feature three players who will be part of the July 9th festivities.