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Posts Tagged ‘home financing’


Home Safety Tips

Wednesday, August 16th, 2017

GSFA Affordable Subsidy

While we all hope for the best, we sometimes need to plan for the worst. A little forethought and planning can go a long way to help ensure your home and family are protected. These home safety tips can help you get started on building a plan to ensure your home has the proper safety measures in place.

  1. Fire Extinguisher – At the minimum, make sure you have a fire extinguisher in the garage and kitchen. If you have a two-story home, it is also advisable to have one upstairs as well.
  2. Escape Ladder – If you have a two-story home, make sure you have an escape ladder and teach your family how to use it. Depending on the size of your house, it would be advisable to have one at each end of your home.
  3. Emergency Plan – Put an emergency plan into place and practice it regularly with your family. Walk them through what to do in case of a fire, a break in, or someone needing medical attention.
  4. Peephole – If your home does not have a clear view of who is at the front door, consider installing a peephole. It is an easy DIY project to help keep you safe when you don’t know who is at the door.
  5. Medicines and Cleaning Supplies – Keep all medicines, cleaning supplies, and chemicals locked up and out of reach of children. Even if children do not live in your home, a visiting curious child can find their way into a cabinet with dangerous chemicals. Make sure to keep the phone number for Poison Control on hand and easily accessible.
  6. Deadbolts and Locks – Make sure all exterior doors have high-quality deadbolts installed, including back doors, front door, and garage doors. If you just moved into the home, it is recommended that you change out all exterior door locks. The former homeowners may have given out keys to neighbors, friends, and family.
  7. Home Security System – Consider installing a monitored home security system and/or security cameras. Security systems, today, are for more than protection against burglaries. Some systems allow you to easily call police, fire or medical services in an emergency, with just the push of a button. Some security cameras also give you the ability to check in on your home throughout the day.
  8. Smoke Detector Batteries – Make a habit of changing your smoke detector batteries before the detector starts to beep. A good recommendation is to change them twice a year, when the time changes for daylight savings.
  9. Carbon Monoxide Detector – Install a carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home. Some detectors do not need to be physically installed, only requiring you to plug them into an electrical outlet.
  10. Leave The Lights On – When you won’t be home until late, consider leaving a light on in your home so it appears to would-be burglars that someone is home. Since the light may be on for a while, it can also be a good idea to swap out that light bulb for an energy efficient bulb like an LED.

GSFA Affordable Subsidy – Platinum down payment assistance program just got better!

Monday, July 31st, 2017

GSFA Affordable Subsidy

If you’ve been thinking of purchasing a home, or know someone else who is, we’ve got great news! Golden State Finance Authority (GSFA) has announced a new promotional offer for borrowers purchasing a home with conventional loan financing through the GSFA Platinum Program.

In addition to the Platinum down payment assistance (DAP) grant, low-income borrowers may be eligible for a GSFA Affordable Subsidy, an additional incentive to help them with down payment and/or closing costs. Like the GSFA DAP grant, the GSFA Affordable Subsidy has no repayment requirement!

Below are a few helpful questions and answers regarding the Affordable Subsidy.

How much money does the Affordable Subsidy provide? (Click here for program income limits.)
  • 2.0% of the loan amount for income ≤ 50% AMI
  • 0.5% of the loan amount for income ≤ 80% AMI
Do you need to be a first-time home buyer to take advantage of the Affordable Subsidy?
  • No, but you must meet the qualifying income requirements.
Does the Affordable Subsidy need to be repaid?
  • No, unlike many other down payment assistance programs the GSFA Platinum and Affordable Subsidy to not require repayment.
How can the money be used?
  • The Affordable Subsidy and Platinum grant money can be used for down payment and closing costs. (There can be no cash back to the borrower.)
Where can I learn more about the GSFA Platinum Program?
  • Visit our Platinum Program page to learn more about this great down payment assistance program.

If you have any questions about the GSFA Platinum Program or the Affordable Subsidy, contact us at (800) 570-5300 or fill out our contact form.


Is it time to sell?

Thursday, September 15th, 2016

Many homeowners believe the housing market is prime for selling. Here are the top reasons many are thinking of selling and the top concerns for listing their current home for sale.

Is it time to sell? Infographic


6 Myths About Credit Scores

Monday, June 8th, 2015

There typically can be a lot of confusion around FICO scores and credit reports and what truly impacts them. The below infographic by the California Association of Realtors®, and sourced by TransUnion, answers 6 common myths about credit scores and reports.

Infograhic 6 Myths About Credit Scores


History of Daylight Savings Time

Thursday, November 3rd, 2011

In 1784 Benjamin Franklin, anonymously published a letter suggesting that Parisians economize on candles by rising earlier to use morning sunlight. His satire letter proposed taxing shutters, rationing candles, and waking the public by ringing church bells and firing cannons at sunrise. Franklin did not actually propose daylight saving time (DST) though as 18th-century Europe did not keep precise schedules at that time. However, this soon changed as rail and communication networks came to require a standardization of time unknown in Franklin’s day.

Modern DST was first proposed by the New Zealand entomologist George Vernon Hudson, whose shift-work job gave him leisure time to collect insects, and made him aware of the value of after-hours daylight. In 1895 he presented a paper to the Wellington Philosophical Society proposing a two-hour daylight-saving shift.

In 1883 the United States and Canadian railroads instituted standard time in time zones. Use of standard time gradually increased because of its obvious practical advantages for communication and travel. Standard time in time zones was not established in U.S. law though until the Act of March 19, 1918, sometimes called the Standard Time Act. At the same time the Act also instituted DST for the United States.

On August 8, 2005 former President George Bush signed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 into law. Part of the act extended daylight saving time, from the second Sunday in March to the first Sunday in November.

This Sunday, November 6th, at 2:00a.m. don’t forget to “fall back” once again, and set your clocks back 1 hour. DST can also be a great time to remember to replace the batteries in your smoke detectors to keep you and your family safe!

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Philip Duncan

Executive Vice President