Investors Workshops Dale Carnegie Training Program This Week

I am so excited for the program we have planned this upcoming Wednesday, June 26, 2013 at our monthly Investors Workshops seminar.  Steve VerBurg of Dale Carnegie Training of Orange County will be leading an interactive meeting that will provide attendees with the knowledge and know-how of what skills are necessary in order to succeed as an entrepreneur.

At the completion of this exciting workshop participants will be able to:

  • Understand the Triangle of Success
  • Apply the Cycle of Performance Improvement
  • Utilize the Communication Stack
  • Recognize the Five Drivers of Success
  • Identify Action for Professional Growth in 2013

Dale Carnegie Training® partners with middle market and large corporations as well as organizations to produce measurable business results by improving the performance of employees with emphasis on leadership skills, sales, team building and interpersonal relations, customer service, public speaking and presentations and other essential management skills. This is a great program for any business owner or entrepreneur.

Investors Workshops is also offering a special bonus for Investors Workshops Goldcard members.  At 6:00pm, Goldcard members are invited to attend a special session with Lynn Heubach and Holly McKhann, both of whom are master networkers who will share their secrets and explain the power of their unique and highly successful networking strategies.

What You Need to Know About an Adjustable Rate Mortgage

Adjustable Rate Mortgage - Shawn WatkinsAn Adjustable Rate Mortgage or ARM is an interest rate that will change after a certain period of time –unlike a fixed mortgage (e.g.: a 30-year fixed) where the interest rate stays the same during the course of the mortgage.

Many people choose ARMs because the initial cost is usually less than a fixed loan, according to US Governement of Housing and Urban Development or HUD.  HUD says that an ARM may be a good option for those not planning on staying in their home very long – a few years at most since many can choose ARMs where the interest can stay fixed for a few years before rising or falling depending on circumstances.

There are four components to an ARM, according to HUD:

  • Index,
  • Margin
  • An Interest Rate Cap Structure
  • An Initial Interest Rate Period.

When the initial interest rate expires, the new interest rate comes into effect and the monthly mortgate payment can either go up or down depending on a few calculations: “…the new interest rate is calculated by adding a margin to the index….As the index figure moves up or down, your interest rate will be adjusted accordingly,” according to HUD.

That said, many potential home owners might be worried that the ARMs interest rates could rise too high allowing mortgage payments to rise considerably.  HUD assures the following:   “The interest rate cap structure provides some protection from large interest rate swings.”  HUD says that there are two types of caps: (1) annual, and (2) life-of-the-loan.  “This means that the annual cap restricts the amount your interest rate can change, up or down, in any given year, “…while the life-of-the-loan cap limits the maximum (and minimum) interest rate you can pay for as long as you have the mortgage,” says the HUD website.

There are also ARMS called “Hybrid ARMs” that offer an initial interest rate that is “…constant for the first 3-, 5-, 7-, or 10 years,” and after that, the interest rate will adjust annually along with federal interest rates. Below are the different interest rate cap structures for the various ARM products:

  • According to HUD, 1-year ARM and 3-year hybrid ARM have annual caps of one percentage point, and life-of-the-loan caps of five percentage points. (Example – if your initial interest rate were 5.00%, the highest possible interest rate would be 10.00%)
  • 5-, 7-, and 10-year hybrid ARM have annual caps of two percentage points, and life-of-the-loan caps of six percentage points.

For more information on ARMs please read HUD Mortgagee Letters 1998-012004-102005-14 and 2007-13 or contact the FHA Resource Center.

How to Save Money on Homeowners Insurance

Home Insurance - Shawn WatkinsBeing a homeowner comes with a lot of benefits but it also can also involve many high  costs – and one of those is homeowner’s insurance.

“Having homeowner’s insurance is a necessity – a fire, flood, any disaster  – can cause you to lose your house and without insurance, it could be even more devastating,” explains Angel Bronsgeest, founder of Investors Workshops in Orange County, California.

So how can you  save money while at the same time get the coverage you need in the event of an emergency?  Here are some tips from the US Government website:

  1. Don’t just accept the first proposal you get.  Shop around – compare rates and do checks on insurance agents.  The US Government website recommends that you could, in addition to getting referrals and looking in the Yellow Pages, visit the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (www.naic.org) to help you find a company in your state.  Once you find a few insurance companies, the government website advises the following: “The insurer you select should offer a fair price and deliver the quality service you would expect if you needed assistance in filing a claim.” In addition, the government recommends that you do some background checks on your insurance agent or company.  These websites can help A.M. Best (www.ambest.com) and Standard & Poors (www.standardandpoors.com).
  2. Raise Your Deductible – This must sound counter-intuitive but the fact is, the more you pay into a deductible (let’s say $500 versus $1,000) the less your monthly or annual charges will be.  That said, the government says that insurance deductibles vary depending on the area you live in:  if you live in a disaster-prone area, your insurance policy may have a separate deductible for certain kinds of damage.  If you live near the coast in the East, you may have a separate windstorm deductible; if you live in a state vulnerable to hail storms, you may have a separate deductible for hail; and if you live in an earthquake-prone area, your earthquake policy has a deductible.
  3. Bundle Your Insurance Programs – If you use the same insurance company for both car and home insurance, many times the insurance company will offer you a deal.
  4. Prepare your home – While earthquakes and fierce storms are not something anyone can prevent – you might be able to minimize some the damage by making your house “disaster proof” to a point.  In addition, install security alarms to show insurance companies how far you will go to protect your home.  According to the government website:  “Find out from your insurance agent or company representative what steps you can take to make your home more resistant to windstorms and other natural disasters. You may be able to save on your premiums by adding storm shutters, reinforcing your roof …” and more.
  5. Maintain Good Credit – “The government recommends that a good credit score can help you  generate more reasonable insurance rates and offers,” explains Angel Bronsgeest.  So, pay your bills on time, get a copy of your credit score to make sure it is right –all that will help your premiums.

How to Buy U.S. Government Owned Real Estate

HUD Logo - Shawn WatkinsEstablished in September 1965, the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) has a unique mission and a secret that may surprise you.

The mission of HUD is to create strong, sustainable, inclusive communities and quality affordable homes for all. HUD works to strengthen the housing market to bolster the economy and protect consumers; meet the need for quality affordable rental homes: utilize housing as a platform for improving quality of life; build inclusive and sustainable communities free from discrimination.

What you might not know about HUD is that the Department offers both single family homes and multifamily properties for sale.  In fact, five federal agencies offer real estate for sale to the public.  I know what you’re thinking, if only I had a list of U.S. government owned homes for sale in my state?

Well, now that you mention it…

Here is a complete list of real estate listings for federal agencies organized alphabetically by State:

Alabama

Alaska

Arizona

Arkansas

California

Colorado

Connecticut

Delaware

District of Columbia

Florida

Georgia

Guam

Hawaii

Idaho

Illinois

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

Nevada

New Hampshire

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

North Dakota

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

Pennsylvania

Puerto Rico

Rhode Island

South Carolina

South Dakota

Tenessee

Texas

Utah

Vermont

Virgin Islands

Virginia

Washington

West Virginia

Wisconsin

Wyoming