About Me

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Northridge, CA, United States
We are a full service mortgage brokerage with experience in the areas of mortgage lending, real estate and business. Our company has established relationships with many mortgage investors and banks to provide the best programs for your individual circumstances. We specialize in Conventional, Goverment, Investment, and Reverse Mortgage. We are experts regarding any FHA or VA (veteran) questions you may have. Post any questions or feel free to call our office 818-773-0033. If our clients don't fit into one of the many loan programs offered we promise to help them overcome the roadblocks that can stop them from securing a loan. When purchasing we suggest always getting a pre-approval early on to have ease of mind knowing what amount you will qualify for and make the loan process as smooth as possible.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

FHFA, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Announce HARP Changes to Reach More Borrowers

HARP is unique in that it is the only refinance program that enables borrowers who owe more
than their home is worth to take advantage of low interest rates and other refinancing benefits.
This program will continue to be available to borrowers with loans sold to the Enterprises on or
before May 31, 2009 with current loan-t0-value (LTV) ratios above 80 percent.
The new program enhancements address several other key aspects of HARP including:

  • Eliminating certain risk-based fees for borrowers who refinance into shorter-term mortgages and lowering fees for other borrowers; Removing the current 125 percent LTV ceiling for      fixed-rate mortgages backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  • Waiving certain representations and warranties that lenders commit to in making loans owned or guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac;
  • Eliminating the need for a new property appraisal where there is a reliable AVM (automated valuation model) estimate provided by the Enterprises; and Extending the end date for HARP until Dec. 31, 2013 for loans originally sold to the Enterprises on or before May 31, 2009.

Small Claims Court

Increasing Small Claims to $10,000: Commencing January 1, 2012, the small claims court jurisdiction will generally increase from $7,500 to $10,000 for an action brought by a natural person.  For a claim of bodily injury from a car accident, the increase to $10,000 will not occur until 2015.  The dollar limit in small claims court for an action brought by a corporation or other entity will remain at $5,000.  Senate Bill 221.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

What not to do when you are in the buying process!!!

If you plan on buying a home, are in the process or have been pre-approved to buy remember these simple things.

1. Do not change jobs, become self-employed, or quit your job!

2. Do not buy a car or a van, or a truck or you may be living in it.

3. Do not use charge cards excessively or let accounts fall behind.

4. Do not spend money you have set aside for closing.

5. Do not omit debts or liabilities from your loan application.

6. Do not buy furniture.

7. Do not originate any inquires into your credit.

8. Do not make large deposits without first checking with your loan officer.

9. Do not co-sign for anyone.

10. Do not change bank accounts or move money around.

If you are unsure at anytime or for even a second doubt what you are doing call us first it could save you a lot of heart ache in the end. Contact us anytime with questions or to get pre-approved to buy a home!

Friday, September 16, 2011

5 Steps to protect your rental property

1. Take down the “For Rent” signs. Think about it: you don’t want to advertise that your place is vacant – or worse, that there are new Maytag appliances sitting inside. There are many other ways you can market your home for rent (ads online are a good start).
2. Keep up the yard. Maintaining your rental property’s yard makes it appear as though a tenant is living there – even when there isn’t. (And not only will weeds, broken sprinklers and over-grown grass make your property look abandoned; they might also keep potential renters away.)
3. Put the lights on a timer. Leaving a porch light on for 24 hours a day is just as noticeable as a property that is completely dark (especially to a criminal). Having the lights go on a regular schedule gives the appearance that someone is home.
4. Use the blinds. There is a debate in the law community over whether it is safer to leave blinds opened or closed for better security; I recommend both. Keep the downstairs blinds closed (so that no one can see in) and leave the upstairs blinds open (so that it appears that someone is home).
5. Screen interested callers. However you advertise your property for rent, you can’t control who contacts you. Use caution when speaking to interested renters: revealing too much detail up front may compromise the security of your rental property. Is a caller really interested in renting your property or is the caller trying to find out where your obviously-vacant property is located? You can never be too sure – which is why it may make sense to hire an experienced property management company to do the tenant screening work for you.

As a rental property owner you want to attract potential renters, not criminals. Posting a real estate ad with the description “move-in-ready, fully-furnished, new appliances” is going to pique people’s interest – but, you just want to be aware of who you attract.

Author: Tony Sena on Zillow

Friday, September 2, 2011

September is Realtor Safety Month

Take precautions and be smart about your safety all it takes is doing a few extra measures to increase your safety.

Google: Check out you clients before you meet them. There is so much information out there now.

Meet your clients at your Office: Take a copy of their id, let your co-workers see who you are with.

Any added measurements are good ones

Craport for two - and other horrific MLS waste

Craport for two - and other horrific MLS waste

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

HomePath Buyer Incentive

Fannie Mae is currently offering buyers up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance through June 30, 2011.

The HomePath property buyer must meet the following qualifications to be eligible:

•Buyers and/or selling agents (the agent representing the buyer) must request the incentive upon submission of initial offer in order to be eligible.
•The initial offer must be submitted on or after April 11, 2011 and close by June 30, 2011. If an initial offer was made prior to the effective date, the offer is not eligible for the incentive.
•The sale must close on or before June 30, 2011. No exceptions will be made to this deadline.
•Only buyers purchasing a HomePath property as their primary residence may receive up to 3.5% in closing cost assistance. Second homes and investment properties are excluded from the incentive.
•Buyer must sign the Owner Occupant Certification Rider to the Real Estate Purchase Addendum.
•If a buyer's total closing costs are under 3.5%, the difference will not be available as a credit to the buyer.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Points, Rates, Fees And What It Means

It is not only important to understand the type of motgage loan you are getting but it is also important to understand the costs associated with your mortgage. All cost will be That will be paid at the closing of escrow.

Interest Rates

When you get a mortgage, you are charged an interest rate. This is the rate which the lender charges you for using their money to buy a home. It determines how much your monthly payments will be. Generally speaking, the higher the interest rate, the higher your monthly payment.

Mortgage interest rates change constantly. Daily, even hourly. If you speak to a lender and are quoted a specific interest rate, that's not to say you'll necessarily get that rate when you close on your loan. Not unless you formally lock-in that rate with the lender. Locking in an interest rate will guarantee you get your loan with a particular interest rate. Lenders will allow you to lock in for 15, 45 or 60 days. But the longer you lock in, the more expensive it will be, since it's more of a risk to lenders.

Discount Points

Discount Points also known as a "buy-down" are an up-front fee paid to the lender at closing to buy-down or lower your interest rate over the life of the loan. Each point is equal to one percent of your total loan amount. If you have a $200,000 loan, one point would equal $2,000. The more points you buy, the lower your interest rate, but this will increase the money needed at closing.

The decision to decide whether to buy down a rate should be based on how long you plan on living in your home and what you can afford to pay each month toward your mortgage. If you plan on living in your home for more than five years, it's probably a good idea to purchase points. The longer you live in your home, the more you can save on interest over the life of the loan.


There are always fees associated with getting a mortgage, these fees cover the cost of processing and underwriting the loan. These fees include charges such as lender fees, appraisal, credit report, escrow and title fees and the cost can range anywhere from 2% to 5%. Deciding which mortgage to get may depend on what each lender charges because different lenders may charge different amounts. Some may charge lesser closing fees to lure you in, but may charge you a higher interest rate, which means you may pay more in the long run. But everyone has different needs. You may or may not be able to afford to pay more at closing and are willing to pay more over the long term.

Before it comes time to close, do your homework, make sure there are no hidden fees, and ask your lender lots of questions so that you understand all the costs involved with your mortgage.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

9 Ways You Could Mess Up This Tax Season

Here are some common mistakes you might make and what to do about them:

1. Taking a refund anticipation loan. A RAL is a short-term predatory loan in the amount of your tax refund, minus any tax preparation fees and interest. The rates, depending on the lender and the amount, are sky-high. According to the Consumer Federation of America, one bank this season will charge $61.22 for a RAL of $1,500, which translates to an APR of 149 percent. RALs are harder to find this year, thanks to action by government agencies, and H&R Block will no longer be offering them. Instead it is marketing a variation called "the refund anticipation check." In this case, a bank opens a temporary account into which the IRS deposits your refund. The bank then either pays you with a check or via a prepaid card. The bank charges $30 for the account, and the tax preparer may lard on more fees.

To avoid:
RALs and RACs are not only costly but also totally unnecessary. The IRS these days typically shoots out refunds within two weeks to taxpayers who file electronically and ask for direct deposit. Taxpayers can also save time by having the refund dispatched automatically to a pre-existing payroll card or to a prepaid card they open. (Just watch out for fees!) For advice in choosing a prepaid card, check out the National Consumer Law Center's tip sheet.

2. Getting a big refund. You may think you're hot stuff because the government is going to pay you a big wad of cash. But a fat refund simply says that you are having too much withheld from your paycheck with the result that you are giving the government an interest-free loan. Some people say that they over-withhold because they like the forced savings, but seriously, you're better off contributing any excess tax during the year to a 401(k) — where it will earn interest — or using it to pay off your credit cards — which will save you interest.

To avoid: It may be too late to do anything this year, but to make sure that your withholding is not too big and not too small, use an IRS calculator for 2011.

3. Not paying attention to your 1099s and other proof of income. If you're like me, you toss these things into a file folder and look at them on maybe April 12. Big mistake. I've learned from hard experience that banks, employers and others who provide the forms make errors. The payer has to send you the form no later than January 31 and has until February 28 to file the document with the IRS. That gives you as long as a month to correct any errors.

To avoid: Check right the forms immediately. If you spot errors and the payer hasn't yet sent the form to the IRS, s/he can simply tear up the messed up 1099 and issue a new one.

4. Not itemizing. When calculating your taxes, you can elect to take the standard deduction ($11.400 for married couples filing jointly and $5,700 for single people for 2010) or itemize deductions. An admittedly ancient GAO study found that about 510,000 households overpaid on their taxes by failing to itemize, even though they qualified for the most common deductions, for example, home mortgage interest and property taxes.

To avoid: Using tax prep software programs that query you about deductions should keep you from becoming one of the half million over-payers. Conversely, that generous standard deduction may be large enough so that you won't have to endure the headache of itemizing.

5. Forgetting about the oldster deduction. The federal government gives you a little tax help if you've managed to last beyond your working years and don't itemize. If you're over 65 and single, you can add $1,400 to the standard deduction, or $1,100 each for you and your spouse if you're married filing jointly. A married couple, both over 65, can get a total standard deduction of $13,600: $11,400 plus $1,100 for each spouse.

To avoid: If you're like Nora Ephron, author of "I Remember Nothing," you're in big trouble. Again, tax prep software will prompt you to take the extra deduction.

6. Failing to deduct non-cash donations to charity — even though doing so is a big pain in the neck. This deduction (only available to those who itemize) is close to my heart since I moved this year and wound up donating about 2,500 pounds of clothing and household goods. When you give, you usually get a receipt that says "3 bags full" or somesuch. If you gave more than $500 worth last year, however, that will not be enough documentation to satisfy the IRS. You will have to struggle through Section A of Form 8283 Non Cash Charitable Contributions, which requires you to list every item's fair market value, when you got it and what you paid.

To avoid: You can't really sidestep this form, but does the IRS really want to know that you bought one dress at Nordstrom's, one at Macy's and another at JC Penney? I plan to write in "department stores" and guess the approximate dates. The Salvation Army provides a valuation guide to help determine the market value of most items you're likely to give. BTW, you may not deduct more than 50 percent of your adjusted gross income in any one year — but you can carry over any excess to the following year.

7. Forgetting to deduct old refinancing points. If you refinanced your mortgage this year, you can deduct the points over the lifetime of the loan. If you have a 30-year mortgage and you paid $3,000 in points, you can write off one-thirtieth or $100 this year. Of course, if you refinanced in June, you only get six months' worth or $50. That's nothing to celebrate, but if you refinanced previously, let's say on January 1, 2008 (just to keep things simple), you can deduct the value of the points you hadn't yet taken — about 28 years' worth — in the year of a new refinancing.

To avoid: Put aside the papers documenting your old points in the front of your tax file.

8. Being too chicken to take the home office deduction. For years, you've been hearing warnings that this is a red flag for auditors. Not so. If you qualify, you can subtract a significant chunk from your tax bill. If you don't qualify, you'll get in trouble.

To avoid: Follow the rules. First, the office has to be your principal place of business, and it must be used exclusively for that purpose, not for playing video games, watching reruns of "I Love Lucy" on Hulu or doing homework. And, you cannot deduct more than your business income. Let's say your office is 100 square feet and your house is 2000 square feet. You can then deduct as business expenses 5 percent of your utilities, insurance, homeowner association fees, repairs, cleaning and maintenance. On top of all that, you can take off 5 percent of your mortgage interest and property taxes. (Using those deductions as business expenses rather than as personal itemized deductions reduces self-employment income, which in turn lowers your Social Security taxes.) You also get a depreciation deduction, for the wear and tear on your office over a set time, usually 39 years. It's a complicated calculation so you'll have to consult IRS Publication 534, but here's a rough idea of how it works: You take the fair market value of your home minus the land. Say it's $250,000; then figure out the amount of the property used for business, in this case 5 percent or $12,500. Divide that by 39, and you get a depreciation deduction of $320. Deductions for depreciation do come back to bite you when you sell your house, however. You will have to pay a capital gains tax on the total amount of depreciation deductions you took, assuming you sold at a profit. Right now, you wouldn't pay much — 15 percent — but capital gains tax rates are due to sunset in two years.

9. Throwing yourself into the arms of a "professional." Just over half of all taxpayers have their returns prepared by a supposed professional preparer. But commercial services, whether provided by Uncle Morty, H&R Block or a high-powered CPA, are often less than fabulous. When GAO investigators went undercover to have returns done by commercial preparers, they found that the results were often incorrect. And IRS data show that 56 percent of professionally prepared returns showed significant errors, compared with 47 percent of those done by the taxpayer. You have no guarantee of quality, because only California and Oregon require tax preparers to take a test. What's more, once you are a customer of a big-chain preparer or even a neighborhood accountant, you become a target for sales pitches — for RALs and RACs as well as fee-laden insurance policies and retirement plans.

To avoid: If you are a wage earner who takes the most common deductions (home mortgage interest, property taxes, charitable donations and state taxes) and credits (child care, for example), you probably will do better simply to buy a software program to help you complete your return.

- By Marlys Harris Thursday, February 3, 2011

(Yahoo News-http://custom.yahoo.com/taxes/article-112017-87de756f-5126-4c80-9495-2d9218640c30-9-ways-you-could-mess-up-this-tax-season)

10 Tax Mistakes Parents Make

Top 10 common mistakes that parents make when they do their taxes:

Failing to quickly get a Social Security number for a new child:

Mark Luscombe, principal federal tax analyst for the tax firm CCH, says that even newborns need Social Security numbers right away. Hospitals make it easier by helping new parents with the paperwork, but parents are still responsible for making sure they get the number and use it correctly when filing taxes. Otherwise, Luscombe says, the IRS could disallow some of the tax benefits.

Luscombe adds that parents themselves need to make sure they have their correct Social Security number on their tax forms. This can be especially challenging for people who recently got married, changed their names, and requested a new number. "If the name on the tax return and the Social Security number don't match up, the IRS gets concerned," he says.

Omitting the dependent exemption for babies born at the end of the year:

Even babies born on December 31 provide their parents an entire year's worth of exemption status. "You don't have to apportion it to the time the baby was alive," explains Barbara Weltman, attorney and author of J.K. Lasser's 1001 Deductions and Tax Breaks 2011. She adds that even high-income tax payers get the full value of the exemption this year.

Overlooking the adoption credit:

This credit, which can be worth about $13,000, is designed to alleviate some of the expenses associated with adopting a child. But because adoption often takes more than one year and involves many types of expenses, parents can get overwhelmed with the paperwork. Bob Meighan, vice president of TurboTax, recommends keeping careful track of receipts, then filing for the credit the year of the adoption.

Forgetting to keep careful records of care providers:

Many working parents are eligible for the child and dependent tax credit, which can help ease some of the costs of daycare, babysitters, and after-school programs for children younger than 13. What often trips parents up, says Luscombe, is that they forget to record the tax ID or Social Security numbers of the care providers throughout the year. Without that information, they can't file for the tax credit. "If you've had a succession of babysitters and have no Social Security numbers, then you could lose out on part of the credit for not doing your homework," he says.

Stacey Bradford, author of The Wall Street Journal's Financial Guidebook for New Parents, adds that summer day camp fees also count if both parents are working, looking for work, or studying, as long as the child is under age 13.

Claiming something other than head of household status:

Single parents in particular often forget to claim head of household status, which provides certain tax advantages, including the ability to claim dependents. "There's a lot of confusion about the head of household filing status and a lot of people don't seem to understand what that means," says Luscombe. Single parents could be eligible for this status if they paid more than half the cost of maintaining their household throughout the year and live with their children for more than half the year.

Ignoring the child tax credit:

The child tax credit, which is worth up to $1,000, phases out for higher earners, but most taxpayers qualify for it, says Meighan. It applies to children under age 17 who live with the parent claiming the credit for more than half the year.

Not filing taxes for an older child with a part-time job:

"Parents forget that an older child might have a tax filing requirement," says Meighan, even if that child is still a dependent. And failing to file that older child's taxes could mean losing out on a refund, because teens often don't earn enough to have any tax liability, even though their employers have withheld taxes. "To get that money back, they have to file a return," adds Meighan.

Failing to take advantage of tax-advantaged savings plans:

Most adults have never heard of 529 college savings accounts, which allow parents to invest after-tax money and grow it tax-free as long as they use it to pay for tuition. Coverdell education savings accounts, which come with strict contribution limits ($2,000 a year) as well as income limits, also offer tax advantages. Similarly, many parents forget to put pre-tax money aside (up to $5,000) into flexible spending accounts offered through their employer to pay for childcare expenses.

Skipping education write-offs:

From the American Opportunity Credit to the Lifetime Learning Credit, there are many tax benefits that help alleviate some of the cost of paying for college. Parents often forget that they can claim student loan interest on their own taxes if the college student is still a dependent--even if the college student is the one paying the loan interest, says Meighan.

Bradford adds that many parents don't realize that a number of states allow deductions for contributions to college savings plans. In New York, she says, residents can write off $5,000 for single filers and $10,000 for married joint filers. She suggests checking savingforcollege.com to see if you qualify.

Repeating classic errors that all taxpayers make:

Eric Smith, IRS spokesman, says the most common errors include forgetting to sign returns, just one spouse signing it, forgetting to attach a W-2 form, failing to use enough postage, and writing the name and address on the mailing envelope illegibly. "Take advantage of computer technology, and most of those mistakes go away," he says.

-By Kimberly Palmer Kimberly Palmer – Mon Feb 7, 4:46 pm ET

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Truth Behind the American Dream

Effective Mortgage Company along with Industry experts will be a guest speaker at the workshop "The Truth Behind the American Dream." The information gained is invaluable for homeowners in trouble, sellers, buyers and investors. You will not be hearing the standard, predictable, corporate all leveling whitewash in any area. "The Truth Behind the American Dream" will provide you with the nuts and bolts infrastructure to create Your Own American Dream.

  • Reclaim the American Dream
  • Learn to improve your financial road map
  • Life after The American Nightmare- Foreclosure and Short Sale
  • Learn to move beyond your fears and accomplish your DREAM

Saturday, March 5, 2011
9:00 am -1:00 pm
Calabasas Country Club
4515 Park Entrada Calabasas, CA 91302

Reserve your seat today! Register at http://www.royalrep.com/

Effective Mortgage Co. will be giving out a limited amount of seats for free so please call our office today!!! 818-773-0033 leila@effective-mortgage.com

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

FHA Mortgage Insurance

HUD's Required Lender Protection

Mortgage insurance is a policy that protects lenders against losses that result from defaults on home mortgages. FHA requirements include mortgage insurance primarily for borrowers making a down payment of less than 20 percent.

Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium
President Obama signed a bill in August of 2010 giving HUD the flexibility to increase Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiums. Under the law, effective as of October 4th, 2010, HUD is allowed to increase the amount of the Annual Mortgage Insurance Premium from .5% to 1.5% on loans with a down payment of 5% or more. The Insurance Premium on loans with less than 5% down payment increases from .55% to 1.55%.

HUD is not implementing the maximum amount at this time. As of October 4th, 2010, loans with a down payment equal to or greater than 5% will be charged an Annual Premium of .85% and loans with a down payment of less than 5% will be charged .90%.

Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium
Effective for loans on or after October 4th, 2010, for FHA regular purchases and refinance products, the Upfront Mortgage Insurance Premium is 1.00%, which is decreasing from 1.5%.

FHA's monthly mortgage insurance payments will be automatically terminated when these conditions occur:

•For mortgages with terms more than 15 years, the annual mortgage insurance premiums will be canceled when the Loan to Value ratio reaches 78%, provided the mortgagor has paid the annual premium for at least 5 years.

•For mortgages with terms 15 years and less and with loan to value ratios 90% and greater, then annual premiums will be canceled when the Loan to Value ratio reaches 78%, regardless of the amount of time the mortgagor has paid the premiums.

•Mortgages with terms 15 years and less and with loan to value ratios of 89.99% and less will not be charged annual mortgage insurance premiums.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Mortgage Loan Originator Requirements (New Law)

Anyone acting as a mortgage loan originator (MLO) without and MLO license endorsement will be guilty of a crime punishable by six months imprisonment plus a $20,000 fine. And a broker cannot employ or compansate a real estate licensee for MLO activities unless that licensee has a license endorsement. This law has also given the Department of Realestate (DRE) the authority to deny or revoke a MLO license endorsement or take other action. This amends the MLO requirments for finance lenders and residential mortgage lenders under the Department of Corporation. Senate Bill 1137, effective January 1, 2011.

To verify if a Mortgage Company and Mortgage Loan Originator is licensed you can go to:



Gold $1378.50/ounce [down]

Crude Oil (Brent) $97.53/brl [up!]

U.S. Dollar to:

Euro .7749 [up]

Japanese Yen 81.95 [down]

6-mo Treasury Bill Yield 0.17%

10-yr Treasury Note Yield 3.36%

[6-month unchanged, 10-yr up 6 bps]

11th Dist Cost of Funds 1.571%[-]

30-yr Fixed-rate Mortgage 5.12%

15-yr Fixed-rate Mortgage 4.51%

1-yr ARM 3.78%

[HSH average includes jumbo rates: 30-yr down 7 bps; 15-yr down 5 bps; 1-yr ARM down 6 bps]

Freddie Mac weekly average rate 4.77% [prior week: 4.86%]

Mortgage Bankers Association Mortgage Applications Index week ending 12/31:

Overall Up 2.3%; down 3.9% the week prior

Purchase Money Loans:

Down 0.8%; up 3.1% the week prior

Refinancing Loans:

Up 3.9%; down 7.2% the week prior

Jobless Claims 1/1:

409,000 prior week 391,000 Continuing claims down 3500 to 4.103 million

Employment Report Dec:

Unemployment rate fell from 9.8% to 9.4% - 103,000 new payrolls (disappointingly weak)

Thursday, January 6, 2011

FannieMae WaysHome- Learn Your Options If Your Drowning In Your Home

Today, January 6, Fannie Mae launched WaysHomeTM, a new interactive video to educate homeowners about their options to avoid foreclosure, motivate them to make the right decisions, and encourage them to seek help. WaysHome is part of Fannie Mae's Know Your OptionsTM consumer initiative to help today's struggling homeowners and is available on KnowYourOptions.com.

A unique and innovative learning tool, WaysHome allows homeowners to put themselves into real-life situations and make decisions -- then see the consequences of these decisions play out in front of them. Through WaysHome, homeowners can:

1. Participate in an interactive video simulation.
2. Select a character and go through the simulation "playing" that character.
3. Follow characters as they encounter financial hardships and challenges that affect their ability to pay their mortgage.
4. Choose different paths based on real-life situations.
5. Experience the positive outcomes or negative consequences of their choices
(i.e., if they avoid taking action, foreclosure may be their only option).
6. Learn about options that may be available to help.
7. Discover the right paths to avoid foreclosure, know their options, and find their way home.

Benefits to You
Our research shows that many homeowners still don't know about -- or understand -- their options to avoid foreclosure. In fact, many homeowners who are seriously delinquent or in foreclosure have little to no contact with their mortgage company. WaysHome is designed to bridge that gap and encourage homeowners to take action before it's too late.

WaysHome Video Link