Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween is just around the corner! While this haunting holiday is often a magical time of year for kids filled with candy, costumes, trick-or-treating, pumpkin carving, and more, parents know that Halloween festivities can turn from fun to scary quickly.

That’s why we’ve put together some top tips to help keep you and your family safe this Halloween.

Trick or Treat Tips:

  • Make sure kids under 12 are always accompanied by an adult during trick-or-treat
  • For older kids who plan to go alone with friends, discuss specific routes and a timeline
  • Remind your kids about stranger danger, and to never get into a car with someone they don’t know
  • Have kids use the buddy system to ensure no one gets lost or separated
  • Instruct children to walk slowly, look both ways before crossing the street, use crosswalks and follow traffic signals
  • Adults need to stay off electronics and keep their heads up and vision clear at all times. Older kids should do the same
  • Keep your kid’s costumes safe by adding reflective tape and stickers, and avoid masks that can obstruct vision. Consider using face-paint instead
  • Offer your kids flashlights or glow sticks to carry with them to help light the way and make them more visible to cars
  • If you’re out and about, drive more slowly and stay extra alert through residential areas, and enter/exit driveways and alleyways with caution
  • If you’re attending a party, drink responsibly and arrange for a designated driver to get home safely

For more on Halloween safety, please visit the National Safety Council website today. We hope these tips help prepare you to have a safe and spooky fun holiday. Happy Halloween from all of us at Inlanta Mortgage!

Fraud Awareness and Prevention

Fraud Awareness and Prevention

Fraud, or the broad term describing wrongful or criminal deception intended to result in financial or personal gain is, unfortunately, something that happens everywhere, every day, negatively affecting the lives of many.

Fortunately, there are ways one can prevent falling victim to fraudulent acts, starting with educating oneself on the types of dangerous fraud schemes out there as well as what to watch out for.

Mortgage Fraud:

Mortgage fraud happens which is why it is crucial to work with a lender you can trust. According to stopfraud.gov, traditional mortgage fraud involves homebuyers and/or lenders falsifying information in order to obtain a home loan. Struggling homeowners are also often affected by “foreclosure rescue firms” claiming they can help these struggling individuals obtain home loans ultimately leaving them in more debt and distress. The first thing to watch out for in these situations is requests for all cash payments and to work only with credible lenders, real estate agents, and appraisers.

Other Types of Fraud:

According to FindLaw, there are many types of fraud offenses individuals can be duped by (often unknowingly) that include:

Click here to learn more and educate yourself on popular scams occurring today.

Preventing Fraud – What to Watch out for:

Some warning signs of fraud are more obvious, such as the telemarketing or internet schemes that ask you to “send money immediately” to receive an offer, or, those asking directly for your social security number.

Others can be more tricky and deceptive, even imitating people you know personally or professionally asking for help or money via email, false charity organizations asking for donations, or, pyramid schemes that offer big rewards for a “work from home” position.

Here are some things you can do to protect yourself and your family from falling victim to fraud:

  • New forms of fraud pop up every day. Educate yourself on the common scams happening presently
  • Keep your personal information confidential. Never give out personal information, such as your social security number or credit card details, over the phone, through email, or over the internet unless the contact is verified.
  • Update your passwords and PIN numbers monthly to ensure your information is secure. Make sure to use a password that is strong in security and includes letter, numbers, and symbols.
  • Check your statements and online banking records regularly to ensure there are no unusual transactions.

If you think you or someone you know has been affected by fraud, begin by reporting the issue immediately to your local police department. Otherwise, take these steps from USA.gov:

 

Home Prices Jump 10.2%

Home Prices Jump

Home Prices Jump

Home prices experienced their biggest year-over-year increase in February in nearly seven years. According to the CoreLogic February Home Price Index report, home prices nationwide, including distressed sales, increased by 10.2 percent on a year-over-year basis from a year ago. This jump in home prices is the biggest year-over-year increase since March 2006. This is the 12th consecutive monthly increase in home prices nationally. On a month-over-month basis, including distressed sales, home prices increased by 0.5 percent from January.

Time To Buy

With home prices on the rise, buyers on the fence regarding homeownership may want to consider jumping in the ring. Home affordability continues to be high with average 30-fixed mortgage rates hovering around 4%.

In the news, we hear about the difficulties first time home buyers experience when trying to obtain credit – but many buyers really don’t know if they can qualify for a mortgage. There are loan programs available that allow for no down payments and others that require as little as 3% down. If a down payment is your hurdle to homeownership, consult a licensed originator to discuss your options. Loan officers can counsel home buyers on the steps they would need to take to qualify for a mortgage. Pre-approvals for mortgage loans are a free service loan officers provide and buyers are under no obligation.

First Time Home Buyer Resources

Here are a few of our most popular blog posts for first time home buyers:

Contact a licensed Inlanta Mortgage loan originator to discuss your home financing needs. Use our branch locator to find an office near you.

Inlanta Mortgage is proudly celebrating twenty years in business. Learn more about Inlanta’s twenty year history here.

Inlanta Mortgage offers Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac agency products, as well as a full suite of jumbo and portfolio programs. The company is fully delegated HUD-FHA including FHA 203K, VA, and USDA approved. Inlanta Mortgage also offers numerous state bond agency programs. Review Inlanta’s mortgage loan programs here.

Inlanta Mortgage is a multi-state mortgage banker based out of Brookfield, Wisconsin. NMLS# 1016. Inlanta Mortgage is proud to be a recent recipient of a 2012 Top Workplace Award.