Homes & Money 3rd Quarter 2011




Robert Jones
Loan Officer
Sun American Mortgage
Phone: 480-467-1107
Fax: 623-321-1861
License: NMLS 229737


Mortgage News
Don't "Fall" Behind on These Deadlines

This year, colder temperatures aren't the only thing fall is going to bring. There are several important deadlines you need to be aware of, especially if you're thinking of buying or refinancing a home. Here's a summary of what you need to know.

Expiring September 30, 2011: Super Conforming Mortgage Loan Limits
When the economic crisis began a few years ago, the government temporarily increased loan limits in high cost areas across the country because many lenders would have refused to make those loans without the government covering the risk of default. But now these loan limits are due to expire, and this is a big deal because mortgage rates are typically much lower when they are supplied through Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

If you are looking to finance a large loan through the government, it's important to act quickly. Get in now or you could be paying higher rates.

That's because when these loans are no longer allowed under Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, they will be considered non conforming (Jumbo) loans, and these usually have a much higher rate because they will be backed by private investors and not Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

In similar fashion, the FHA loan limits that were increased in 2008 due to the economic downturn are also scheduled to revert back to lower loan limits (those determined under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008) for loans insured by FHA on or after October 1, 2011. According to a brief released by the Department of Housing and Urban Development in May, this means that "FHA loan limits would likely decline in 669 of the 3,334 counties or county equivalents that are eligible for FHA insurance." If you are planning to finance a large loan through FHA, contact me to see if this upcoming drop in loan limits could impact you.

Expiring October 31, 2011: Home Path Buyer Incentive Offer
Fannie Mae recently extended its HomePath Buyer Incentive Offer, in which buyers may be eligible to receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance, through October 31, 2011. To qualify, your initial offer must have been submitted on or after June 14, 2011 and you must close by October 31, 2011. In addition, buyers and/or selling agents must request the incentive upon submission of the initial offer in order to be eligible, and only buyers purchasing a HomePath property as their primary residence qualify.

It's important to note that offers submitted after September 15, 2011 may be difficult to close by the October 31, 2011 deadline.

If you think any of these deadlines could impact you, give me a call or send me an email. I'm happy to answer any questions you have.

If you know anyone who is looking to buy, sell or refinance a home, please forward their name and telephone number to us. We will happily provide the same high level of service that we have provided to you. The greatest compliment you could possibly give us is the referral of your friends and family.



Finance News
Take Care When Paying Medical Bills
Make sure your insurer will pick up its part of the tab.
By Cameron Huddleston,

I was about to write a check to pay for a medical bill when I realized that I probably didn't owe the amount shown on the invoice.

The bill was for a health screening that was performed in late May. I provided my health insurance card at the time of test. But I had a feeling that the lab that actually analyzed the screening samples hadn't bothered to submit its claim to my insurance company before sending me a bill. That's because the bill arrived shortly after the test was done, and I hadn't received a statement from my insurance company that a claim had been submitted.

All of this sunk in as I was about to put pen to paper. So I picked up the phone, called the lab and asked whether it had attempted to get my insurance company to pay for the procedure. "No," the customer service representative said. Just as I thought.

So before you pay a medical bill, make sure the claim has been submitted to your insurance company. Don't ignore the bill – you don't want credit collectors knocking on your door. Just make a quick call to the medical facility that sent the bill or to your insurer to find out whether you're really on the hook for the full amount.

Reprinted with permission. All Contents ©2011 The Kiplinger Washington Editors.



Creative Cuisine
Grilled Peaches with Balsamic Glaze (serves 4)

Your grill is an excellent tool for making dessert. Here's a recipe that's a surefire (pun intended) crowd pleaser.

- 4 slightly under-ripe peaches split in half and the seed removed
- 3/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 3 tbsp sugar
- Freshly ground black pepper (very coarse)
- Vegetable oil

In a saucepot, combine the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Place the pot on the hottest part of the grill and allow the mixture to simmer until it reduces by half and slightly thickens. Remove the pot from the heat and set aside. Lightly brush cut sides of peaches with vegetable oil. Place cut side down onto a medium-hot grill and cook for 4 minutes. Remove peaches from grill, brush with balsamic glaze, return to grill (cut side down) and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove peaches from grill, garnish with coarsely ground pepper and serve. Nice additions to this dessert would be a dollop of either crème fraiche or mascarpone cheese, a drizzle of almost any fine liquor, or crumbled Amaretti cookies.

No stranger to professional kitchens, Kirk Leins currently devotes most of his time to cooking instruction, food writing, and producing television. You can visit Kirk's website at


Street Smarts
Safer Driving...There's an App for That!

A recent study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that distracted driving was the leading cause in 448,000 accidents and 5,474 highway deaths in 2009, a 16% increase from 2008.

Drivers today are often distracted by incoming text messages on their cell phones. The good news is that technology can also help solve this problem. New services – like – have sprung up that eliminate the need to read text messages AND the need to respond.

Here's how it works. You download an application to your phone. Then, when you get ready to drive, simply turn the application on. When you receive a text message, the application actually reads it to you…automatically…and out loud.

It then instantly sends a reply stating that you are driving and will respond as soon as you are able to do so safely.

If you receive a lot of text messages while driving or if you have a teenager of driving age, this could be one of the most important safety steps you do this year.

After all, this simple application could save your life or the life of someone you know.



Home News
White Distilled Vinegar: How Sweet It Can Be!

White distilled vinegar may be one of the most versatile products, not to mention environmentally friendly and downright cheap to buy. Not only can you do some healthy cooking with vinegar, but you can also use it for cleaning, laundry, and so much more!

There really are over 1,001 ways to use vinegar, as the web site attests. Here are just 5 of the many great ways they suggest you can make your home cleaner with white distilled vinegar:

Drains: Pour in 1 cup baking soda, then one cup hot white distilled vinegar. After 5 minutes, run hot water down the drain.

Coffee and Teacup Stains: Mix equal parts white distilled vinegar with salt or baking soda. Scrub the cups gently and rinse clean.

Calcium Deposits on Faucets: Soak a cloth or paper towel in white distilled vinegar. Wrap the stained area tightly and let sit for a few hours or even overnight. 

Microwave: Mix 1/2 cup white distilled vinegar and 1/2 cup water in a microwave-safe bowl and then bring it to a rolling boil inside the microwave. This will not only loosen baked-on food, but odors will also disappear. Wipe clean.

Ant Infestation: Spray undiluted white distilled vinegar wherever ants may be coming in.

One important thing to note: Don't use white distilled vinegar on marble because the acid can damage the surface. That being said, white distilled vinegar is an amazing solution for so many household needs. What's more, you will be amazed how many toxic and expensive products you will no longer need to buy.



Facts and Figures
I Scream, You Scream, We All Scream for Ice Cream

Ice cream is a favorite of many people all throughout the year. In fact, according to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA), more than 90 percent of households in the United States consume ice cream and related frozen desserts.

But did you know that until 1800, ice cream was a rare dessert only for the elite? Or that ice cream was a morale booster during World War II, with each branch of the armed forces trying to serve the most ice cream to its troops? Here are some other fun facts and figures about this delicious treat:

  • The origins of ice cream date back to the second century B.C., although there is no date or inventor that is undisputed as the creator of ice cream.
  • May 12, 1777 marks the first advertisement for ice cream in the U.S., in the New York Gazette.
  • During the summer of 1790, President George Washington spent around $200 for ice cream, according to a Chatham Street, New York merchant.
  • Italian immigrant Italo Marchiony produced the first ice cream cone in 1896 in New York City, and he was given a patent in December 1903.
  • The top five individual flavors in the U.S. by share of market segment are: vanilla (27.8%), chocolate (14.3%), strawberry (3.3%), chocolate chip (3.3%) and butter pecan (2.8%).


Table of Contents

· Mortgage News
· Finance News
· Creative Cuisine
· Street Smarts
· Home News
· Facts and Figures
· Five Quick Tips
· Did You Know?
· Quote of the Day
· Special Offer
· Trivia Challenge
· Book Review

Did You Know?

Did you know that the USDA's MyPlate website is a comprehensive, free, educational resource complete with healthy eating tips and dietary guidelines?

Ever feel like the old song "Time's a Wastin'" – or that there just aren't enough hours in the day?

Here are some tips to help you streamline your day and keep you on time every time:

Tip 1: Learn to say "No" and don't over commit.

Tip 2: Keep your keys in the same place.

Tip 3: Don't check your email or voicemail right before you're trying to leave for an appointment or scheduled activity.

Tip 4: Set your clock and your watch ahead at least 5 minutes.

Tip 5: Don't let your gas tank get below 1/4 tank. You don't want an emergency pit stop to keep you from being on time.

Quote of the Day

"Excellence is not a skill. It is an attitude."

– Ralph Marston

Special Offer

Trivia Challenge

According to a U.S. News survey, what is the average debt that a medical student graduates medical school with?

  1. $179,980.00
  2. $136,550.00
  3. $98,462.00
  4. $184,493.00
  5. $141,132.00

For answer, scroll down to the bottom.

Book Review

The 4-Hour Workweek: Escape 9-5, Live Anywhere, and Join the New Rich
By Timothy Ferriss

Most everyone would love to find a way to work less and play more, but is a 4-hour workweek really possible?

According to Timothy Ferriss, author of The New York Times Bestseller, The 4-Hour Workweek, a 4-hour work week is not only possible, he gives you a blueprint for getting there. Now with more than 100 pages of new content, you'll find tips and case studies from readers who have doubled their income, explanations of common sticking points, and notes on how to apply this blueprint to any economic climate. Whether you want to travel the world or just work less, this is a great book for learning how.

For more information, visit

Thank You

As always, we wish to thank our clients who have been kind enough to refer business to us. We appreciate the opportunity to provide excellent service to your family, friends, and co–workers.


Trivia Answer

E. $141,132.00


This is not the opinion of Brad Bergamini, Realty Executives Northern Arizona or any of its affiliates.  This post is for informational purpose only and is not guaranteed and does not render as legal advice.  Buying and selling Real Estate in Arizona or Prescott Arizona is a serious task and should be consulted with personally with Realtor or Real Estate Attorney.  Please visit my website for contact information or


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