RE/MAX 440
John F. O'Hara

John F. O'Hara
731 W Skippack Pike  Blue Bell  PA 19422
Phone:  610-277-4060
Office:  215-643-3200
Cell:  267-481-1786
Fax:  267-354-6973

My Blog

Holiday Home Concerns Differ between Men and Women

December 9, 2014 2:09 am

Men and women have slight differences in what concerns them most when protecting their home or apartment during the holidays, according to a recently released survey by Protect Your Bubble. Theft and burglary top the list of concerns overall, but men and women have different views when it comes to home appliances.

“Millions of people look forward to the holidays all year because it’s a joyous time to be with friends and family,” said David Anderson, Director of Product at Protect Your Bubble. “Conversely, the holiday season also amplifies anxiety for many since there is a multitude of ways harm can find us, from increased travel headaches and damaged devices in the snow to malicious identity threats during times of increased online shopping.”

Among the highlights of the survey:

Home Security Concerns

Overall, the majority of respondents (68 percent) said they are most worried about a theft or burglary during the holidays. Fire damage while home or away represented 17 percent of concerns, while water damage while home or away represented 13 percent of concerns. In addition:
  • More men are concerned with theft from their apartment or home, while most women are concerned with damage from pests or water.
Identity Theft Concerns

In response to all the recent attention on data breaches, most women say they do not plan on changing their shopping habits when it comes to identity theft (51 percent), while most men (38 percent) say the recent data breaches concern them and they will step up their efforts to protect their identity this holiday season. In addition:
  • Most men say they would use mobile payments about 50 percent of the time if it was as widely accepted as credit cards, while most women say they are still unsure of mobile technology.
Home Appliance Concerns
  • Most women are concerned with mechanical problems, while most men are concerned with getting prompt, in-home repairs.
  • Women are more concerned with protecting the refrigerator and washing machine, while men are concerned about protecting the microwave. Women are also slightly more concerned with food spoilage in their refrigerator should mechanical problems or power surge occur.
Source: Protect Your Bubble

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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Housing Program Enhancements to Help Struggling Homeowners

December 8, 2014 2:09 am

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of the Treasury recently announced enhancements to programs under Making Home Affordable (MHA) to better assist struggling homeowners and communities still recovering from the effects of the financial crisis. The enhancements are designed to motivate homeowners in MHA to continue making their mortgage payments on time, strengthen the safety net for those facing continuing financial hardships, and help homeowners in MHA programs build equity in their homes.

"[This] announcement signals our commitment to helping more hardworking families continue the American dream of homeownership," said Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julián Castro. "These enhancements will expand the opportunity for more folks to stay in their home, stabilizing local communities and continuing our nation's positive economic momentum."

The Treasury and HUD established HAMP (Home Affordable Modification Program®) in 2009 to provide relief to homeowners facing financial hardship. Through a combination of lowered interest rates and modified loan terms, monthly payments are reduced to affordable levels. In addition, many homeowners who remain current following their modification are eligible to earn up to $5,000 over the first five years of their modification, which is applied in repayment of their outstanding principal balance.

Under the revised guidelines, all homeowners in HAMP will now be eligible to earn $5,000 in the sixth year of their modification, which will reduce their outstanding principal balance by as much as $10,000. Homeowners will also be offered an opportunity to re-amortize the reduced mortgage balance, which will have the effect of lowering their monthly payment. Currently, approximately one million homeowners with HAMP modifications are eligible to earn the increased HAMP incentive.

In addition, in an effort to bolster the safety net for homeowners who face difficulty making their payments in HAMP Tier 1 or similar non-HAMP modifications, Treasury and HUD have introduced enhancements to HAMP Tier 2 and the Home Affordable Foreclosure Alternatives® (HAFA) Program.

HAMP Tier 2 is an alternative modification that provides a low fixed rate for the life of the loan to homeowners who do not qualify for or cannot sustain a HAMP Tier 1 modification. The enhancements include reducing the interest rate for HAMP Tier 2 by 50 basis points, which will enable more homeowners to qualify for a modification, and extending the $5,000 pay-for-performance incentive to HAMP Tier 2 borrowers in good standing at the end of the sixth year of their modification.

HAFA assists homeowners who need to transition to a more affordable living situation through a short sale or deed-in-lieu. Treasury and HUD also announced that they have increased the amount of relocation assistance provided to homeowners to $10,000 to better reflect increased rents and the cost of moving in many parts of the country.

If you are a homeowner in need of mortgage assistance, please visit MakingHomeAffordable.gov to explore all options available to help you avoid foreclosure.

Source: HUD.gov

Published with permission from RISMedia.


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