Posts in June 2022

Antares Blog by Date

Summer Home Safety

June 15, 2022
Summer has arrived! It’s finally time to play in the pool, get on the grill, and maybe even plan a vacation! But with summer comes a few safety concerns that you’ll want to be mindful of and plan for, just in case. It’s always better to be prepared for the worst-case scenario so you can have a safe and enjoyable summer. In addition to protecting yourself from the sun’s rays – get that SPF ready! – there are other safety tips to know; from pool maintenance and home repairs to fire protection and more, below is a short guide to prepare you for a long, relaxing summer season.Summer Home Maintenance & SecurityBefore you get into the real swing of summer, it’s a good idea to go through your home and check for any necessary repairs or updates that may be needed. All it takes is one strong summer storm to cause structural or electrical damage to your home. This is a great time to: ● Schedule an inspection to catch termites before they cause major damage to your home’s structure. ● Reseal any cracking caulk or weatherstrips on external windows and doors to prevent any leaks. ● Ensure all locks/gates on your property are in working order. ● Trim any overhanging tree limbs and any overgrown shrubbery. Home security is also important. Plenty of people are on vacation making it easier for criminals to get away. However, there are plenty of great home security systems and devices on the market. From outdoor and indoor cameras to motion detection lighting, there are tons of affordable devices to put you and your family at ease. Many of these security systems also have mobile apps so you can control locks, lighting, and more with the click of a button– even from miles and miles away. Fire Safety: Grilling & MoreGrilling is one of the great joys of the summer season! Whether you’re new to the BBQ or a veteran grill master, it’s always good to be aware and informed of how to prevent and stop a fire. Be sure to keep anything highly flammable away from your grill – or fire pit, etc., and always have a fire extinguisher and first aid kit on hand and nearby. Never assume a fire will fizzle out on its own and don’t leave a fire unattended. Be sure to keep little ones and four-legged friends safely away from the flames as well. Swim Safely: Pool Protection Taking a dip in the pool on a hot summer day is one of the best feelings! Of course, pools and hot tubs can pose hazards– especially if you have children or pets. (Even if you don’t have kiddos or pets, you may have guests at some point who do!) It’s crucial that there’s always supervision by the pool… even inflatable kiddie pools. If you have a pool, be sure to keep life jackets and other floatation devices on hand. It’s also recommended to become CPR-certified. Again, going back to home security, it’s a good idea to have cameras and gates installed around the pool area. And when the pool isn’t in use, be sure to keep it covered to prevent any falls. Summer is all about relaxation and fun – don’t spoil it with an easily preventable mishap! Taking the time to ensure your home is properly set up – for adults, children, and pets alike – is key for an enjoyable summer. 
Summer Home Safety

Understanding Mortgage Terms 101

June 9, 2022
From fixed rates and closing costs to rate locks and down payments, there is a lot of jargon regarding mortgages. First-time homebuyers need not fret! We’ve got the 411 for you. Below is a list of terms curated specifically for those looking to understand more about mortgages. Wait… what is a mortgage? Before diving in, let’s ensure we’re in the right spot. As defined by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a mortgage is an agreement between you and a lender that allows you to borrow money to purchase or refinance a home and gives the lender the right to take your property if you fail to repay the money you've borrowed. Adjustable-Rate Mortgage (ARMs)This is a loan with an interest rate that changes. ARMs are typically 30-year loans, meaning you’ll repay the borrowed money over 30 years. To avoid crazy rate hikes, ARM loans come with “rate caps,” which limit the amount your interest rate can rise or drop in a single period and over the loan's lifetime.There are many factors to consider when determining whether to obtain an ARM loan. From how much you want to spend up-front and the current state of the interest rate market to whether you’re getting close to retirement or if this is just a starter home. Amortization This is a fancy way of saying, “paying off a debt over time in equal installments.” Part of each payment goes toward the loan principal (see definition below), and part goes toward interest. With mortgage loan amortization, the amount going toward principal starts out small and gradually grows larger each month.Closing CostsClosing costs include the multitude of fees for the services and expenses required to obtain and finalize a mortgage. Those costs may include loan origination fees, discount points, appraisal fees, title searches, title insurance, surveys, taxes, deed recording fees, and credit report charges. A buyer's average closing costs run between 2% and 5% of the loan amount. Down PaymentA down payment on a house is a large sum of money the buyer pays upfront. The amount paid is usually a percentage of the purchase price and can range from as little as 3% to as much as 20% for a property. The required down payment is usually determined by the type of mortgage you choose, your financial situation, and the type of property you’re buying. In terms of your mortgage, a larger down payment will typically mean smaller monthly mortgage payments. EscrowAn escrow is a legal arrangement in which a third-party temporarily holds money or property until a particular condition has been met (such as fulfilling a purchase agreement). In terms of real estate, escrow can protect both the buyer and the seller throughout the home buying process. Throughout the mortgage term, an escrow account will hold funds for taxes and homeowner’s insurance.Fixed-Rate MortgageA fixed-rate mortgage is an alternative to an adjustable-rate mortgage. As the name implies, a fixed rate is a home loan option with a specific interest rate for the entire term of the loan. Essentially, the interest rate on the mortgage will not change over the loan's lifetime, and the borrower's interest and principal payments will remain the same each month. With this type of mortgage, fluctuations in the market will not impact the rate.InterestMortgage interest is the interest charged on loan used to purchase a piece of property. The amount of interest owed is calculated as a percentage of the total amount of the mortgage issued by the lender. Mortgage interest compounds and may be either fixed or variable.Loan PrincipalThis is the amount you borrow and goes down as you begin to pay it back, while interest is the cost of borrowing the money.th.Rate LockA lock-in or rate lock on a mortgage loan means that your interest rate won’t change between the offer and closing, as long as you close within the specified time frame and there are no changes to your application. The downside to a rate lock may be that it’s expensive to extend if a transaction needs more time.A rate lock may also lock you out of a lower interest rate if rates fall after you get your loan offer. When it comes to buying a home, the terminology can leave you spinning. We hope this guide has served as a solid starting point in your homebuying journey. 
Understanding Mortgage Terms 101
  • Page 1 of 1