All articles about United States

How I Cut My July Duke-Progress Energy Bill 34%

Unlike the summer of 2011 that was one of the hottest on record, this summer seems to be quite mild. However, for those of us who have lived in North Carolina for any period of time, we are all too familiar how August can be unbearably hot.   The soaring temp’s remind me of the summers of my youth in West Texas where temperatures frequently were in the triple digits and the tar on the roads would begin to bubble. However, you don’t have to break the bank keeping cool. These are some of my most practical and practically free methods that I employed in my 38 year old home that helped to cut my energy  bill by 1/3 letting me keep more of my hard earned cash instead of giving it to Duke-Progress  Energy.

Triangle’s 5-day heat wave breaks record

The heat at RDU broke a record for consecutive days to reach the century mark, said National Weather Service meteorologist Kathleen Carroll. 
Updated Jul. 24, 2011 4:36 PM | Full Story  at the News & Observer

Click Here to see my actual July 2011 compared to my July 2010 Progress Energy Bill Continue reading How I Cut My July Duke-Progress Energy Bill 34%

President Obama Urges Congress to expand HARP to ALL Homeowners

President Obama calls on Congress to expand HARP to ALL homeowners.

In his June 1, 2013 weekly address to Americans posted to the White House Youtube channel the president made the following assertions about the US economy.

  • Businesses have created nearly 7 million new jobs over the past 38 months.
  • An auto industry that was flat lining is once again the heartbeat of American manufacturing – with Americans buying more cars than we have in five years.
  • Within the next few months, we’re projected to begin producing more of our own crude oil at home than we buy from other countries – the first time that’s happened in 16 years.
  • Deficits that were growing for years are now shrinking at the fastest rate in decades.  The rise of health care costs is slowing, too.
  • And a housing market that was in tatters is showing new signs of real strength.  Sales are rising.  Foreclosures are declining. 
  • Construction is expanding.  And home prices that are rising at the fastest rate in nearly seven years are helping a lot of families breathe a lot easier. Continue reading President Obama Urges Congress to expand HARP to ALL Homeowners

Why is it so hard to get a loan for a manufactured home?

Colfax, IL; House

This is a question that I receive often so today when a client emailed me asking me this very same question it was no surprise to me. This post is based largely in part to that persons email and my response. The email began; 

I am pleased to inform you that due to your lack investors due to my single family home which just happens to be manufactured and my low [balance]  mortgage, I cannot be considered for the “new low rates”.  Seems as though all you are interested in is condos/townhouses/stick-built homes in a more affluent community. – Unhappy Consumer

Continue reading Why is it so hard to get a loan for a manufactured home?

Raleigh Area Fourth of July Festivities 2012

This Fourth of July Independence Day don’t just wave your American Flag and eat a Hot Dog! (although these are not bad ways to enjoy the holiday!)

Soldier kissing his bride on fourth of July wedding 330am
Image Courtesy IWP Photography

As you enjoy this most patriotic of American holidays please make sure to take a moment to thank a current or former member of the armed services or if they are deployed, thank their spouse!

Also – remember that the North Carolina State Police are stepping up enforcement this week with numerous Driving While Impaired checkpoints so if you are planning on enjoying adult beverages make sure that you designate a driver or captain if you are boating.

Continue reading Raleigh Area Fourth of July Festivities 2012

Flexing Your Discipline Muscle

This was me before losing 50 lbs with my daughter Bella (one of my motivations to get healthy)

Recently I completed the Broker Pre-Licensing Education required by the North Carolina Real Estate Commission before you can take the state license examination in order to obtain a Real Estate Agents license in North Carolina.

There was another licensed agent from Florida who was also in the class who among other professional licenses held a mortgage loan officers license in Florida. When first I asked him why he was  pursuing a license to sell real estate in North Carolina he said “you gotta follow the money“. I’m not sure if this is the kind of person I would want to represent me as a Buyer OR Seller but I don’t have to worry about it because I have my own real estate license. Continue reading Flexing Your Discipline Muscle

What is Predatory Lending?

Predatory Lending Considerations

Subprime lending is not synonymous with predatory lending, and loans with the features described as Subprime are not necessarily predatory in nature. However, institutions should ensure that they do not engage in the types of predatory lending practices discussed in the Expanded Subprime Guidance. Typically, predatory lending involves at least one of the following elements: Continue reading What is Predatory Lending?

Expanded Income limits for $8,000 Down Payment Assistance for Raleigh / Wake County Home Buyers

North Carolina Housing Finance Agency Expands Down Payment Income Limits


North Carolina Housing Finance Agency (NCHFA) has just announced  expanded down payment assistance (“DAP”) to help home buyers!  NCHFA will now offer an $8,000 Down Payment Assistance Program to all eligible borrowers within their maximum FirstHome income limits. Continue reading Expanded Income limits for $8,000 Down Payment Assistance for Raleigh / Wake County Home Buyers

Cary neighborhood opposes potential immigration office

Seal of the United States Department of Homela...
Image via Wikipedia

“The federal government is considering moving its local Immigration and Customs Enforcement office from a Cary office park to a former Kroger supermarket on N.C. Highway 55 and High House Road.” reported Sloane Heffernan from WRAL News.

Read the story here.

The debate rages onward.  If you read the local online forums, neighbors and Cary residents are upset that a detention center is coming to their backyard – in a residential community. Continue reading Cary neighborhood opposes potential immigration office

FEMA Declared Disaster Area – Loan Application in Process

Because of the plethora of natural disasters across the country it occurred to me that there may be a lot of Buyers and Sellers whose purchase or sale or mortgage refinance has been delayed for reasons they simply do not understand.

This post is intended to be an overview of what additional inspections and verification a homeowner or seller can expect in the mortgage application process for a home in a declared disaster area. Continue reading FEMA Declared Disaster Area – Loan Application in Process