What To Do When Your Home Is Being Repossessed?

Notice Periods – Time To Run Through Your Options

First Published: ADawnJournal.com January 24, 2010

When you are having trouble paying your mortgage, the inevitable spectre of repossession emerges. Financial hardship is awful for anyone. The knowledge that you could be unemployed and not knowing where the next month’s groceries are coming from is bad enough, but when you have to deal with the idea that the roof over your head could be taken away from you things become worse still. Nobody who has experienced the situation of being repossessed, or even under threat of repossession, can ever take the payment of their mortgage lightly. The mere thought of having to move out of a home that you have made your own is too much.

However, there is a process that needs to run its course before a house can be repossessed, and if you work together with the bank who supply your mortgage then there are still options which could mean that you can escape the danger of repossession. The important thing of which you must take account is that banks generally do not want to foreclose on a house. As valuable as a house may be, and as keen as they are to protect their investment, banks set a lot of store by customer co-operation. With other forms of debt, specifically unsecured debts, one of the banks’ main fears is that customers will duck and run, leaving no trace of their whereabouts. With a mortgage, the loan is tied to the house, so the chance of a customer sneaking off with the proceeds of their non-payment is removed.

A policy of co-operation with the bank will serve you well in this respect. Rather than take the house off you, renovate any part that they consider not to be up to scratch and put it back on the market at a lower price to force a sale – all of which leaves them out of pocket – they would rather agree with a customer to refinance the mortgage to a more manageable level, creating in effect a new mortgage with a full term. You may stay indebted to the bank for longer, but you also stay in the house. If you cannot agree a remortgage or fail to make the payments, then the bank will be more likely to repossess. If they do this, they must however give a notice period.

During the course of your notice period, you have two options of any real substance. You can start looking for rental properties in preparation for the house being repossessed by the bank at the end of the stipulated period (either 35 or 45 days) or you can look for one last way to make the situation good. This may include looking elsewhere for a mortgage – which you will then use to pay off the old mortgage in full and begin to pay off anew. If you are able to demonstrate either the completion of this process or its reaching an advanced stage, the notice period can be extended or quashed, allowing you to make a new start and remain in the home you have made.

The Tallest Building In The World – Burj Khalifa

The Ninth Wonder of the World: World’s Tallest Skyscraper – The Dubai Tower

First Published: ADawnJournal.com February 7, 2010

For those who are scared of heights, the Dubai Tower, also known as Burj Khalifa, is something they do not want to be anywhere near. Built in Dubai, UAE, the tower is the tallest structure ever built by humans, coming in at 2,717 feet, or 1,000 feet above the previous record holder in Taipei. Construction began in 2004, with it officially opening to the public and businesses in 2010 .  Through those six years of work, it took $1.5 billion to build the structure, which has now taken over several records. One interesting piece of information relating to the Dubai Tower is that it has returned the title of the world’s tallest structure to the Middle East after 700 years. Previously, the world’s tallest structure was the Great Pyramid at Giza, which stood as the tallest for 4,000 years until 1311 when it was pushed down the ranking by the Lincoln Cathedral in England.

Some other records this amazing building now holds include:

– Tallest extant structure.

– Tallest freestanding structure.

– Building with the most floors.

– World’s highest elevator installation.

– World’s fastest elevators (40 miles per hour).

– Highest vertical concrete pumping.

– First world’s tallest structure to include residential space.

– Highest outdoor observation deck.

– World’s highest mosque.

– World’s highest installation of an aluminum and glass façade.

– World’s highest swimming pool.

The design of the Dubai Tower was centered on Islamic architecture, with the design of the building incorporating the historical and cultural elements of the region. As well, the Y-shape of the building allows for the building to have a hotel and residential space in it. This is because the shape allows for both outward views that are unobstructed, as well as the maximum available inward natural light. The Y-shape of the building is actually inspired by the Hymenocallis flower. The tower features 27 terraces, with a spire at the top of the building pushing far into the air. The tower was built in order to provide excellent views of the Persian Gulf, and onion domes that are very popular in architecture of the Middle East have also been incorporated.

In order to provide maximum stability for the building, something that many who hate heights will worry about, the building actually twists 120 degrees from its base, giving it almost a cork-screw type of design to maximize strength. Of course, that does not stop swaying. At the top of the tower, there is a sway of about five feet.

In total, the Dubai Tower will hold 35,000 people at any time. There are a total of 57 elevators in the building, as well as eight escalators. Each elevator can carry as many as 14 people, and there were plans to install the first triple-deck elevators on Earth. Instead, double-deck elevators were chosen. If you were to walk from the bottom of the building to the top on the stairs, you would have to walk up 2,909 stairs from the ground floor to the top floor, 160 stories above.

Things are just beginning for the tower and area around it though. There are plans for a large-scale development that will include nine hotels, 30,000 homes, over seven acres of park, 19 residential towers, a mall and a man-made lake that stretches for 30-acres. Dubai is trying to push away from an oil economy and more into a tourist economy, hence the incredible focus on providing luxury to those who visit this wealthy nation.

How To Get The Best Mortgage Deals

Killer Mortgage Deals and How to Get Them

First Published: ADawnJournal.com March 13, 2010

The best mortgage deals available on the market are often ones that go unnoticed by a majority of potential customers. With a mortgage market as wide as it is – even in the financial difficulties that have become a global issue at this point – there is not only an increased level of competition for the few customers who feel brave enough to go out and borrow to buy a house, but also a real sense of being spoiled for choice. Invariably, even those potential borrowers who see fit to shop around for the best deal will find themselves getting a kind of “variety fatigue” which leaves them wondering whether they shouldn’t just take the best of the several potential deals they have already seen – even if it means missing out on an unseen gem.

Reaching for the best available deal on the market means really looking for one that satisfies all your needs, one for which you will not find it problematic to meet payments on a monthly basis, and ideally one that moves to take account of changing realities so that you do not become tied to a deal which looked good three or four weeks ago, but will leave you out of pocket in three of four years. There are various ways of going about this. Some people would say that you shouldn’t spend too long looking – just find a deal that you are happy with, which looks strong today and will maintain that strength, and not worry too much about whether you’ve missed a better deal. Others disagree.

The message from the latter group is that you owe it to yourself to get the best deal possible. Sure, a good mortgage deal will be beneficial for you, but a great one will continue to benefit you, will benefit your family and will continue to serve you well for the life of the account. You may well find at the end of it that you are able to pay it off in full earlier than you had expected. How do you find such a deal, though, if you do not know what it is or where to find it? How do you look for something which you don’t even know exists?

The first port of call is to check mortgage calculators and comparison sites. The Internet has seen a rapid rise in both of these over the course of recent years. The Internet is truly a consumer paradise in many ways because of the vast range that it covers. If you look closely enough in enough places, there is virtually no financial deal that is not covered on the World Wide Web. Trawling a number of comparison sites – ideally two or three, or even more – will give you an appreciation of what kind of deals are being offered. If all of the deals you see are from banks you are fully aware of, however, it may also be worth hitting the streets to see what is on offer from the smaller, more independent banks. With greater freedom to set their own rates, they may just throw up the great deal you were looking for.

Should You Choose Variable or Fixed Rate Mortgage ?

Understanding Fixed Versus Variable Interest Rates

First Published: ADawnJournal.com March 18, 2010

When you are buying a home, one of the biggest choices you need to make, financially-speaking, is whether you want a fixed or variable rate mortgage. This is very important because depending on which you choose, you can either save money, or waste money, and it depends greatly on what the housing market is like at the time.

For example, in 2009, the housing market was suffering through one of its worst times in Canada. To help promote buying of homes, the Bank of Canada lowered the prime interest rate to its lowest level ever, .25 percent. For individuals with variable interest rate mortgages, their monthly mortgage payment went down. For individuals with fixed interest rate mortgages, they continued paying the same, higher price. Of course, it works the other way as well. When the interest rate is high because housing sales are doing well, then the individual with a variable interest rate is often paying more than the person with a fixed interest rate, who may have signed his mortgage when rates were still low.

Fixed Interest Rate

The fixed interest rate mortgage is the traditional type of mortgage, and it helps to mitigate certain risks like inflation. Inflation has not been a problem in Canada since the early-1990s, but there is always a risk that inflation can increase during tough economic times. Individuals with a fixed interest rate mortgage will be immune from inflation because their interest rate does not change. If the average interest rate goes up from five percent to eight percent, those with fixed interest rates keep paying five percent. In many ways, a fixed interest rate is perfect for people who do not like to gamble. It provides a safety net against difficult economic times, but can be a hindrance during good times as well.

Variable Interest Rates

Variable interest rates have the advantage of saving you money when the interest rates are low. The flip side is that this type of interest rate will cost you more when interest rates are high. When the Canadian dollar is doing well, there is a pressure on home prices that pushes them down, which then reduces the need of the Bank of Canada to raise interest rates. During these times, a variable interest rate is the best option. It needs to be noted that to have a variable interest rate, a homeowner needs to have a high enough level of income to ensure they can afford the interest rate going up. A few percentage points can be a big difference. Here is an example of why:

Mortgage:     $500,000

Term:      20 Years

Mortgage payment (5% Interest):  $3,285 approx

Mortgage payment (10% interest): $4,750 approx

Mortgage payment (15% interest): $6,400 approx

As we can see here, the mortgage payment is $3,285 when the interest rate is at five percent, but if it goes up by 10 and 15 percent, it increases the mortgage payments by roughly $1465 and $1650 each month. This may not seem like much, but if a person is already pushing the boundaries with a $3,285  payment, an increase of over thousand dollars can easily cause a foreclosure down the road.

Which to Choose?

The type of interest rate you choose depends on the type of person you are. If you think you will benefit from a variable interest rate and you can handle a changing mortgage payment, then you may choose the variable interest rate. However, if you are more conservative and you just want a steady mortgage payment, then a fixed mortgage rate may be the one for you.

How To Get The Best Mortgage Quotes?

Best Mortgage Rates

First Published: ADawnJournal.com November 23, 2009

Before you get a mortgage it is imperative to have a look around for the best deals. There are so many variables which come into the question when you are looking for the right deal, and it is possible to lose sight of something important when you see what appears to be an excellent deal. Taking that initial deal may work in your favour, but there is a possibility that you will be looking back in a few years’ time regretting your haste. In order to avoid this situation, it is advisable to get as many quotes as you can before proceeding with the one that looks best to you. It used to be the case that to get a mortgage sorted out would require trips to a number of banks to find out what their best offers were. Now, the whole process can be a lot quicker.

The Internet has been the most important innovation in this world in the last fifty years. It has enabled the speedy movement of information from place to place, meaning that wherever you are in the world, if you are near to a PC with an internet connection, or can get reception on a cell phone, you can lay your hands on information that once upon a time would have cost you a great deal of money and time. For financial services, the Internet has been an indispensable tool both for spenders and savers, as well as borrowers and lenders. Instead of hitting the high street to go into as many banks as you can bear, now shopping around can legitimately be done on a single website, if you know where to look.

It is genuinely the case that for anyone looking to find out information on the best mortgage for them, a visit to Google.com or Google.ca will give them just about all they need. Entering a search term such as “best mortgage” and then adding your home town will possibly give you a little bit of information about the best mortgages, but will also feed you a lot of sales talk. A better search term would be “quick mortgage calculator”. By entering the correct details in the available sections on screen, it is possible to find out not only how much you can reasonably borrow, but how long you may have to pay it back, as well as the level of interest you should expect to pay.

Many of these calculators are connected to independent comparison sites which will track down the deals which are closest to what you have searched for on the mortgage calculator. The more of these deals you check out, the better, because you may well find that some of them are not all that they seem. Comparison shopping – and then some negotiation if you feel up to it – could well be your guide to the mortgage you need and the house of your dreams. The more quotes you get, and the quicker you get them, the sooner you will be living in that house.