Leap Day Deals- Leap now!


Today is a gift! A bonus 24 hours. So, how will you spend your extra day? To commemorate Leap Day 2012, here is a bit of history, some fun facts, suggestions on how to spend your extra day, and some last minute freebies.

Why Do We Need Leap Day?
It takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 16 seconds to cycle around the sun and through the seasons. Therefore, our year is not exactly 365 days. Over time, the extra quarter of a day adds up, and without Leap Day, the calendar would be one day out of sync with the seasons. After 30 years, it would be about a week off, and after 100 years, it would be nearly a month off. Without leap year, if you lived to be 90 years old, your birthday would have drifted by three weeks.

The History of Leap Year:
According to Yahoo.com, Leap Year has been around for 2,000 years, since Julius Caesar created the 365-day calendar. However, Caesar’s astronomer, Sosigenes, gets credit for adding an extra day in February every four years. The Egyptians were the first people to add a leap day every four years, but the Romans were the first to choose February 29th as the official date.

Ten Fun Facts about Leap Day:
The following fun facts about leap year were collected from Leapyearday.com and Womens-Place.com:

  1. Your chances of being born on a leap day are approximately 1 in 1500.
  2. There are about 187,000 people in the US and 4 million people in the world who were born on Leap Day.
  3. People born on Leap Day are called leaplings.
  4. In most states, leaplings must wait until March 1st to be eligible for any age-specific privileges (ages 16, 18, 21).
  5. Every now and then we have to skip a regularly scheduled leap year. This happens during specific century years.
  6. Century years are not leap years unless they can be evenly divided by 400. The years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but 1600 and 2000 were.
  7. When 2/29 is entered into a majority of websites it comes up as an invalid birth date.
  8. US Presidential elections and Summer Olympic Games are both held every four years and occur during leap years.
  9. In Greece, people believe it is bad luck to get married in a leap year. On the other hand, in Ireland, women can propose to a man.
  10. The next February 29th will come around again in 1,460 day
Now for some Leap Year Deals for today only!
Pagliacci Pizza flash back to 1984. Remember your hair well how about the prices for pizza? Today only slices of the pie start at .90 cents.

Denny’s 29% offyour entire check.

Ace Hardware: Use this coupon to take 29% off any item priced at $30 or less.
Android Market Music: On February 29, 29 albums can be purchased for $2.99 each, featuring artists like Taylor Swift, Mary J. Blige, Lady Antebellum, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd.
(MORE: Leap Day Birthdays: Famous (and Infamous) Feb. 29 Births)
Banana Republic: 29% off full-priced items with the use of the promo code BRLEAPYEAR; sister retailers Old Navy (code: ONSPRING) and Gap (code: GAPGIFT) also have discounts available on February 29—but they’re only knocking off 15%.
The Body Shop: 29% off all merchandise purchased online; used the code LEAPYEAR.
McDonald’s: Promotions vary based on location, but franchises in many parts of the country are offering special Leap Day discounts; for instance, Sausage Egg McMuffins and Big Macs are being sold on a buy one, get one free basis. Some offering 29¢ 10-piece chicken nuggets with the purchase of one full-price 10-piece nuggets. Other McDonald’s are selling 49¢ hamburgers and 69¢ cheeseburgers.
Subway: Get a free cookie with any purchase on February 29.

The Five Year Rule of Home ownership

This article, by David Ning is a great description of why you should plan to stay in your home for at lease 5 years after purchase. The first thing you need to ask yourself when thinking of purchasing a home is “how long do you expect to stay in the house? Most people don’t know these sorts of things for sure, but you want to make sure you will own the house for at least five years.

Here’s why…

The Upgrade Cycle

It definitely varies by geographic area — if not by specific neighborhood — but a lot of folks in my area will buy a townhouse or condo as their starter home. After about three years, they’ll start looking for a bigger place to upgrade to, either a bigger townhouse or a single family home. Depending on the family, that upgrade cycle can go through a couple of times as people work their way up to a house that they are happy with and is big enough for their family.

The thought seems to be that if you’re making a little more money every year, by three years out you’ll be in a position to afford a bigger house. And everyone assumes that buying is more cost-effective than renting — as long as you’re paying down the principal on your mortgage, you’re going to come out ahead.
But with an upgrade cycle of about three years, there’s a good chance that you will lose money.

The Five Year Rule

When you purchase a house, the general rule is that you want to be sure to be in the same location for at least five years. Otherwise, financially, you’re probably going to take a hit.

The first hit is your closing costs. Every time you go through closing — buying and selling — money hits the table. Depending on where your house happens to be, the buyers and sellers pay different amounts, but everyone pays something. We can easily be talking about thousands of dollars and limiting how often you have to pay out that kind of money is always a good idea.

But you take a second hit when you look at your mortgage statement to see exactly where those monthly checks you send in are going. The way mortgages are structured, you pay much more interest in the first few years that you own a house. Usually, it isn’t until you’re about five years into paying down that mortgage that you’ve made enough progress on the principal that the math actually works out that you’ve gotten a better deal than paying that monthly check to a landlord.

David’s Note: When you take out a mortgage, you are paying an interest rate on what you owe. So, in the first year, when the principal is highest, the interests you need to pay is the highest as well. However, since the monthly payment is the same through the loan (at least with a fixed rate mortgage anyway), more of the payment will be used to cover the interests payments, and therefore less goes towards the principal. As your principle goes down, your interests payments will go down, leaving more of your check to go towards the principal.

If you can wait at least five years to move, you’re in a better position to be ahead of the game.

Defeating the Five Year Rule

Five years is a generality. If you add in a couple of other factors, you can make buying a house that you don’t plan to stay in long-term a better choice.
The biggest factor is how much you’re going to pay on your mortgage. A lot of people buy as much house as they can afford, according to what lenders offer them. That’s usually the upper end of what you can financially manage. If, however, you buy at the lower end of what you can afford and make extra payments, you can pay off a bigger chunk of the principal. You need to run the numbers for the specific house you’ve got your eye on, but you can often come out ahead.

You may also consider buying a house that you won’t stay in for five years — but that you also won’t turn around and sell. It’s not out of question to purchase a home, start paying it down and fixing it up so that you can turn around and rent it out. You do need to be careful that you’re choosing a house that you can afford even if you don’t have a renter, on top of a mortgage for your next home. There are plenty of other arrangements that can work out similarly, but you need to study up on real estate before making such a choice.

But if you’re buying just on the basis of what the bank says that you can afford and you don’t want to think about it, stay in the rentals until you’re ready to spend at least five years in the same home.

David’s Note: Here is a quick and dirty formula that you can use to help you figure out whether it’s better to buy or sell that works with any duration of ownership. Try to determine the answer to: Seller and Buyer Agent Fees When You Sell + Purchase Price + Maintenance Cost for the Time of Occupancy + Interest Paid on Mortgage + Investment Gains from Your Down Payment + Taxes Paid Such as Property Tax + Closing Costs – Selling Price. This number could come out negative or positive, but if it’s lower than the rents you would have paid during the same time frame, then you would be better off buying. If the number is higher, meaning that the selling price wasn’t high enough to cover all those costs, then renting would be the more cost effective choice.

Leap Day Deals- Leap now!


Today is a gift! A bonus 24 hours. So, how will you spend your extra day? To commemorate Leap Day 2012, here is a bit of history, some fun facts, suggestions on how to spend your extra day, and some last minute freebies.

Why Do We Need Leap Day?
It takes the Earth 365 days, 5 hours, 49 minutes and 16 seconds to cycle around the sun and through the seasons. Therefore, our year is not exactly 365 days. Over time, the extra quarter of a day adds up, and without Leap Day, the calendar would be one day out of sync with the seasons. After 30 years, it would be about a week off, and after 100 years, it would be nearly a month off. Without leap year, if you lived to be 90 years old, your birthday would have drifted by three weeks.

The History of Leap Year:
According to Yahoo.com, Leap Year has been around for 2,000 years, since Julius Caesar created the 365-day calendar. However, Caesar’s astronomer, Sosigenes, gets credit for adding an extra day in February every four years. The Egyptians were the first people to add a leap day every four years, but the Romans were the first to choose February 29th as the official date.

Ten Fun Facts about Leap Day:
The following fun facts about leap year were collected from Leapyearday.com and Womens-Place.com:

  1. Your chances of being born on a leap day are approximately 1 in 1500.
  2. There are about 187,000 people in the US and 4 million people in the world who were born on Leap Day.
  3. People born on Leap Day are called leaplings.
  4. In most states, leaplings must wait until March 1st to be eligible for any age-specific privileges (ages 16, 18, 21).
  5. Every now and then we have to skip a regularly scheduled leap year. This happens during specific century years.
  6. Century years are not leap years unless they can be evenly divided by 400. The years 1700, 1800 and 1900 were not leap years, but 1600 and 2000 were.
  7. When 2/29 is entered into a majority of websites it comes up as an invalid birth date.
  8. US Presidential elections and Summer Olympic Games are both held every four years and occur during leap years.
  9. In Greece, people believe it is bad luck to get married in a leap year. On the other hand, in Ireland, women can propose to a man.
  10. The next February 29th will come around again in 1,460 day
Now for some Leap Year Deals for today only!
Pagliacci Pizza flash back to 1984. Remember your hair well how about the prices for pizza? Today only slices of the pie start at .90 cents.

Denny’s 29% offyour entire check.

Ace Hardware: Use this coupon to take 29% off any item priced at $30 or less.
Android Market Music: On February 29, 29 albums can be purchased for $2.99 each, featuring artists like Taylor Swift, Mary J. Blige, Lady Antebellum, Bob Marley, The Rolling Stones, and Pink Floyd.
(MORE: Leap Day Birthdays: Famous (and Infamous) Feb. 29 Births)
Banana Republic: 29% off full-priced items with the use of the promo code BRLEAPYEAR; sister retailers Old Navy (code: ONSPRING) and Gap (code: GAPGIFT) also have discounts available on February 29—but they’re only knocking off 15%.
The Body Shop: 29% off all merchandise purchased online; used the code LEAPYEAR.
McDonald’s: Promotions vary based on location, but franchises in many parts of the country are offering special Leap Day discounts; for instance, Sausage Egg McMuffins and Big Macs are being sold on a buy one, get one free basis. Some offering 29¢ 10-piece chicken nuggets with the purchase of one full-price 10-piece nuggets. Other McDonald’s are selling 49¢ hamburgers and 69¢ cheeseburgers.
Subway: Get a free cookie with any purchase on February 29.

The Five Year Rule of Home ownership

This article, by David Ning is a great description of why you should plan to stay in your home for at lease 5 years after purchase. The first thing you need to ask yourself when thinking of purchasing a home is “how long do you expect to stay in the house? Most people don’t know these sorts of things for sure, but you want to make sure you will own the house for at least five years.

Here’s why…

The Upgrade Cycle

It definitely varies by geographic area — if not by specific neighborhood — but a lot of folks in my area will buy a townhouse or condo as their starter home. After about three years, they’ll start looking for a bigger place to upgrade to, either a bigger townhouse or a single family home. Depending on the family, that upgrade cycle can go through a couple of times as people work their way up to a house that they are happy with and is big enough for their family.

The thought seems to be that if you’re making a little more money every year, by three years out you’ll be in a position to afford a bigger house. And everyone assumes that buying is more cost-effective than renting — as long as you’re paying down the principal on your mortgage, you’re going to come out ahead.
But with an upgrade cycle of about three years, there’s a good chance that you will lose money.

The Five Year Rule

When you purchase a house, the general rule is that you want to be sure to be in the same location for at least five years. Otherwise, financially, you’re probably going to take a hit.

The first hit is your closing costs. Every time you go through closing — buying and selling — money hits the table. Depending on where your house happens to be, the buyers and sellers pay different amounts, but everyone pays something. We can easily be talking about thousands of dollars and limiting how often you have to pay out that kind of money is always a good idea.

But you take a second hit when you look at your mortgage statement to see exactly where those monthly checks you send in are going. The way mortgages are structured, you pay much more interest in the first few years that you own a house. Usually, it isn’t until you’re about five years into paying down that mortgage that you’ve made enough progress on the principal that the math actually works out that you’ve gotten a better deal than paying that monthly check to a landlord.

David’s Note: When you take out a mortgage, you are paying an interest rate on what you owe. So, in the first year, when the principal is highest, the interests you need to pay is the highest as well. However, since the monthly payment is the same through the loan (at least with a fixed rate mortgage anyway), more of the payment will be used to cover the interests payments, and therefore less goes towards the principal. As your principle goes down, your interests payments will go down, leaving more of your check to go towards the principal.

If you can wait at least five years to move, you’re in a better position to be ahead of the game.

Defeating the Five Year Rule

Five years is a generality. If you add in a couple of other factors, you can make buying a house that you don’t plan to stay in long-term a better choice.
The biggest factor is how much you’re going to pay on your mortgage. A lot of people buy as much house as they can afford, according to what lenders offer them. That’s usually the upper end of what you can financially manage. If, however, you buy at the lower end of what you can afford and make extra payments, you can pay off a bigger chunk of the principal. You need to run the numbers for the specific house you’ve got your eye on, but you can often come out ahead.

You may also consider buying a house that you won’t stay in for five years — but that you also won’t turn around and sell. It’s not out of question to purchase a home, start paying it down and fixing it up so that you can turn around and rent it out. You do need to be careful that you’re choosing a house that you can afford even if you don’t have a renter, on top of a mortgage for your next home. There are plenty of other arrangements that can work out similarly, but you need to study up on real estate before making such a choice.

But if you’re buying just on the basis of what the bank says that you can afford and you don’t want to think about it, stay in the rentals until you’re ready to spend at least five years in the same home.

David’s Note: Here is a quick and dirty formula that you can use to help you figure out whether it’s better to buy or sell that works with any duration of ownership. Try to determine the answer to: Seller and Buyer Agent Fees When You Sell + Purchase Price + Maintenance Cost for the Time of Occupancy + Interest Paid on Mortgage + Investment Gains from Your Down Payment + Taxes Paid Such as Property Tax + Closing Costs – Selling Price. This number could come out negative or positive, but if it’s lower than the rents you would have paid during the same time frame, then you would be better off buying. If the number is higher, meaning that the selling price wasn’t high enough to cover all those costs, then renting would be the more cost effective choice.

The Ten Commandments When Applying for a Mortgage

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WHEN APPLYING FOR A MORTGAGE

THOU SHALT NOT:

1.    Change jobs, become self –employed or quit your job.

2.    Buy a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it!)

3.    Use credit cards excessively or let current accounts fall behind.

4.    Spend money you have set aside for closing.

5.    Omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.

6.    Buy Furniture- Or you will be paying for storage because you have no where to put it.

7.    Originate any inquires into your credit

8.    Make large or cash deposits without checking with your loan officer.

9.    Change bank accounts.

10. Co-sign a loan for anyone
I give this information to all my home-buyers 1st or other. Its a great reminder and will save a lot of frustration in the end.

Mortgage Rate Comparisons over 30 and 200 Years–

They always say proof is in the pudding. Not sure where that exactly came from but in the case of those wondering if they should buy right now or wait a bit longer here is the proof. This along with home prices being at a more affordable rate than many years in the past makes it the perfect time to buy. So give me a call and let’s go get your pudding!

30 Year Mortgage Rate Comparisons

200 Year Mortgage Chart Rate

Thanks to Dave Skow at Cobalt Mortgage for this great info.

The Ten Commandments When Applying for a Mortgage

THE TEN COMMANDMENTS WHEN APPLYING FOR A MORTGAGE

THOU SHALT NOT:

1.    Change jobs, become self –employed or quit your job.

2.    Buy a car, truck or van (or you may be living in it!)

3.    Use credit cards excessively or let current accounts fall behind.

4.    Spend money you have set aside for closing.

5.    Omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.

6.    Buy Furniture- Or you will be paying for storage because you have no where to put it.

7.    Originate any inquires into your credit

8.    Make large or cash deposits without checking with your loan officer.

9.    Change bank accounts.

10. Co-sign a loan for anyone
I give this information to all my home-buyers 1st or other. Its a great reminder and will save a lot of frustration in the end.

Mortgage Rate Comparisons over 30 and 200 Years–

They always say proof is in the pudding. Not sure where that exactly came from but in the case of those wondering if they should buy right now or wait a bit longer here is the proof. This along with home prices being at a more affordable rate than many years in the past makes it the perfect time to buy. So give me a call and let’s go get your pudding!

30 Year Mortgage Rate Comparisons

200 Year Mortgage Chart Rate

Thanks to Dave Skow at Cobalt Mortgage for this great info.