By Tony Evans
Since THE Buzzzz is always looking out for your welfare especially in troubling economic times like these I want to pass on an inside tip to help you survive the future. I’m not talking about the kind of tips our parents told us when we were kids like, “You’ll be sorry when your dad gets home.” Or, “I knew we should have bought that house when we had the chance.”
I’m talking about a safety net, if you will, during this “weakening economy” that will protect you and your family during the ‘rough seas’ ahead. (little Navy talk, there.) Now is the time for you to give serious thought to a home-equity line of credit. Keep in mind there are several loans of this type that lenders offer, so make sure the one you apply for is NOT a home-equity loan where you pay monthly interest that can go up and down like a yo-yo especially in times when the financial market place is full of turmoil.
Here’s what you need to know. You want a home-equity LINE OF CREDIT, where you can borrow up to a specified limit much like your credit cards. In this case, the maximum is based on the equity you still have in your home. Why bother signing up now? Well, for one thing, you’ll have financial resources you can tap into just in case of an emergency like job loss, major illness or other financial pinch that suddenly knocks on your door. Our current faltering economy means more people being laid off, so common sense dictates that obtaining credit in the future may prove to be very difficult or impossible.
Now is the time to act, so think about it. You may be one of the lucky ones who still has equity in your residence that far exceeds any mortgage debt. The best part about a home-equity line of credit that gets a huge “thumbs up” with the Buzzzz, is once you get the credit line you won’t be penalized if you NEVER USE IT! Plus, if you are in good standing with your bank or credit union chances are there will be no fees for opening the line.
Let me give you an example. Suppose you get a credit line for $30,000. When the bank/credit union sends you your checks or whatever they use, you can stash them away in your desk or safe deposit box for months and never use them, and it won’t cost you a dime. However, if you write a check for .say $10,000, you’ll only pay interest on that amount NOT the entire $30,000. We’re talking security here, folks. It’s a great parachute to have around because you never know what’s around the corner.
Oh, one more thing about bank paperwork. Specify “home equity credit line” not “home equity loan.” And make sure you read the small “mouse-print” before you sign. Understand the terms and conditions, and remember what the Buzzzz always says. If it’s not in writing, it doesn’t exist. I love looking out for your best interest.
Finally, I know the airways and newspapers are full of problems, and most of us have had it “up to here” with it, so let’s get positive. I have some really good news and solutions for you readers that will be forth coming soon in the INSIDE Buzzzz.
BuzzzzZ BITS AND BYTES: Some were a bit “miffed” that I didn’t include California, (especially Stockton) as one of the worst contributors to the subprime fiasco in the last issue of Buzzzz, when I gave the “thumbs down” on Detroit, Florida, Phoenix & Las Vegas. Oops, my fault.
So, I shook my crystal ball (the kind with the snow inside) broke out my Tarot Cards, and came up with this goodie so you can see what developers are giving away in the Golden State just to keep their heads above water: Porter Ranch near Santa Clarita will let you pick-pocket their wallets to the tune of $50,000 of free upgrades; Seaside Lofts in San Pedro with an ocean view will save you $80,000; Artesian Homes Rancho San Jacinto development near Hemet will give you $200,000 off; Hollywood Regis Condo’s will give you $50,000 to use anyway you want, and Lee Homes in downtown L.A. will do the same thing. Sounds wonderful and generous until you realize it’s California, you’ll still have to get a loan, and during commute times, it takes you longer to drive from L. A. International Airport on the #405 – nine miles up to the #118 freeway than it does to fly to Seattle.
The food situation is growing worse since our government is using corn for Ethanol we’ll never use or can’t find any where, so here’s some humor to make you feel better.
My Top 5 ways to cut down on food expenses:
# 5 Cruise Costco for free food samples (yum).
# 4 Convince your family that Ramen Noodles taste good.
# 3 Look for “road kill” on the highways. Put a shovel in your truck.
# 2 Beat the rats for food at the dumpsters behind markets / restaurants.
# 1 Get arrested and enjoy the fine jail cuisine for a couple days.