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       *** TRAVEL NEWS ***
               

If you are in the United States you should be aware of certain Travel Advisories which are given to citizens who choose to travel abroad. These advisories can affect you and may even change your travel plans. So before you go to the airport you should always check to see if your destination country is on the List of the United States Government Travel Advisories.

For more information: Check out the link below which will send you to the US Governments official website for the
latest information which includes the COVID-19 Virus travel restrictions.


https://travel.state.gov


HOW TO PAY LESS FOR FLIGHTS


1. Buy your tickets online
Buying your tickets online will actually help you save more money than buying at the airport or at an agent. Services like Google Flights or others which can be found by a simple online search.

2. Join Frequent flyers
Frequent flyer programs have a lot of benefits and some can offer discounts on future tickets after building up miles, and others may even offer free flights!

3. Not All Sales are Lowest prices
Sometimes a flight ticket may be on sale, but that doesn't necessarily mean that it is a bargain for you. Always keep this in mind because that sale could end up costing you more than other deals!

4. Check For Hidden Fees
Always check other fees for tickets that may not be listed at first sight of the price. Make sure to be aware of the price of the ticket at all times and this can be avoided. Many hidden fees are luggage or even meals.

5. Compare Ticket Prices
If you are shopping online, there are various sites you can use to compare prices for different venders of tickets.

6. Choose The Right airline
Make sure when traveling on a budget to go with the airline that is the most comfortable to your budget. Even though it may not be as popular as others, they all get you to your destination!

7. Select an  Off-Hours flight
When shopping for tickets, try to buy tickets that have flights early in the morning or late at night if you can. Sometimes these tickets can save you a bundle!

8. Buy tickets months In Advance
Try to plan your trips, if possible, months in advance to save a lot more in the long run. Sometimes, depending on where you travel, this little tip can end up saving you hundreds on your tickets.

9. Find Vacation Packages
When planning your vacations, try to purchase trip packages as they can end up saving you a ton of money in the long run. If you have the time, compare a package with the costs of buying everything separate.

10. Different Types Of Flights Help You Save
Sometimes it would be wiser if possible to purchase a flight that maybe has one stop before it reaches its final destination, instead of doing a non-stop flight. This can end up helping you save and you can even enjoy the different merchandise at the airport you stop at before your flight continues.





              WHISTLER SKI RESORT 
     AMERICA'S BEST SKI DESTINATIONS


Located in the town of Whistler in British Columbia, Canada - Whistler's Ski resort  has almost 10,000 acres of ski terrain and is one of North America's most popular ski destinations....read more


          WHAT TO KNOW
  BEFORE YOU BUY A HOUSE



Most buyers conduct a lot of research online before ever stepping foot in a home. Buyers spend an average of 6 to 8 weeks, according to the National Association of REALTORS, trying to figure out where they want to live. But once the neighborhood is selected, most buyers end up buying a home after 2 or 3 home tours.

Figure out what you can afford before you look. Get pre-approved for a home loan before your home search so that you don’t waste time on those that you can’t afford. Scour your credit history and resolve any black marks before applying for a home loan.

Homes typically should cost about two and a half times your salary as a rule of thumb, although you also must consider your monthly expenses and what you want to save. Because you will be responsible for unforeseen repairs and property taxes, a healthy amount of savings can come in handy.

Beware of mortgage brokers who are a little too fast and loose with approving you. If you qualify, you may be able to make a down payment as low as 3 percent interest. Paying down “points” is good for those living in a home for three to five years, as it takes a dent out of the interest rate as you pay a portion of the interest at closing.


              
READ MORE





                 AIRPORT TIPS

To make your way to a flight on time and to get through security as quickly as possible you can try the following tips:

1) Sign up. The TSA's PreCheck, a trusted traveler program, has spread to more cities across the U.S. and is now available at some 40 airports. Members of the program are pre-screened and can then whiz through security, sometimes without having to take off their shoes or remove laptops from cases. The U.S. Customs Department's Global Entry program is another shortcut for frequent international travelers, especially as the federal government contracts and customs lines potentially get longer.

Critical Security Checkpoints:
To make clearing security as easy as possible...
-Review the guidelines for liquids and gels on your Flight carriers Carry-On Baggage page before your flight.
-Have your government-issued photo identification and boarding pass ready for inspection.
-Wear shoes that are easy to slip on and off, since all footwear must be x-rayed.
-Remember to place all coats and jackets in a bin for x-ray screening.
-Make your laptop easily accessible for inspection.
-Avoid wearing anything metal or place these items in your carry-on baggage for screening

2) Check flight status. Although this is obvious, many people often fail to do this one simple but critical thing.

I recommend doing the same before abandoning your ride or your car just before you head to the terminal; flight status updates change by the minute, so a last-second check is always a good idea.

Most airlines will text you flight status updates if you sign up on their Web sites, and sites like Flightaware.com do the same by text, on the Web and through smartphone apps.

4) Check in online. Especially if you are not checking bags, this can save you a heap of time. I have found that when checking bags, having the pre-printed boarding pass in your hand doesn't help all that much, and check-in agents often reissue another boarding pass when you check in your bags -- but it sure doesn't hurt.

5) Before you leave for the airport, put your ID, credit card and boarding pass (if applicable) in an easily accessible part of your wallet or bag. There are two reasons for this: one, by going through this exercise, you make sure that you don't leave home without these crucial items. Two, you don't waste your (and other people's) time fumbling around for them at the moment you need them.

Check the airport parking situation online. Knowing ahead of time where to park, which lots are open and how far they are from the terminal can save you a lot of anxiety on your drive in, as well as keep you safer as you navigate tortuous and almost always poorly marked airport ring roads. Additionally, during peak travel periods, lots fill up quickly, so you will want an alternate parking plan.

When you are ready to board always take inventory of what you will need to do when you get to the front of the security line. Do a quick mental review of everything you are wearing that you will need to remove (such as shoes, jewelry, watch, jacket), and what you have inside your carry-on bag that might need to be taken out (liquids, electronics). When you get to the front of the line, blast through your mental inventory and make it happen. Done well, you can go from fully clad for winter weather, with laptops and iPads in your bag, to a T-shirt, pants and socks, and all your sensitive electronics in their own bins, in seconds.

Using these tips will get you through the airport, on your flight and towards your destination as quickly as possible.

more traveler informaiton tips available at the TSA website:  https://www.tsa.gov/precheck/faq
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WHY THE MORTGAGE RATE PROCESS IS COMPLICATED


When you first begin looking for a mortgage, the process seems relatively simple, just compare rates and pick the lowest one. But, after several calls to lenders that may not ask all the qualifying questions, you begin to realize that comparing lenders may become a difficult task. In addition, you may be speaking to loan officers that are not thoroughly trained, and therefore provide wrong information. So where can you go to shop for the right mortgage? You have to do your research and keep a log  to help yourself remember all the available options.

Until your loan is "locked" the interest rates on the Good Faith Estimate (GFE) is simply a reflection of what the rate is at the moment the Loan Originator prepared the GFE.   In fact it's possible that the rate may have changed just moments after the GFE was provided to the client.   Mortgage interest rates can change throughout the day.   The GFE is not a guarantee of the mortgage interest rate, costs or that one is qualified or approved for a loan program.

Comparing what different mortgage brokers and lenders are charging you to get an interest rate is often the most difficult part of mortgage shopping. First make sure that you are comparing the interest rates on the same day. Rates change when the bond market changes, which occurs daily, if not a couple of times a day.

One of the challenges in shopping for a mortgage is that lenders seem to have their own way of expressing costs. Compare total costs to get the loan. Get to the bottom line, and look at the GRAND TOTAL SUM of ALL costs before you compare the interest rates. We believe that you will find USA-Mortgage.com has the lowest cost mortgages anywhere.

(rate locks)
FEES THAT LENDERS CHARGE:
1. Appraisal/ Credit Report Fees or Application Fee - These are fees paid to companies other than your lender for services necessary to obtain your loan. In addition, some lenders may have "application fees". If this is the case make sure this fee is either credited to you at closing or is used for your credit and appraisal report. Our Application Fee is $350, which pays for your appraisal and credit report.

2. Loan Origination and Points - An origination fee or point is 1% of your loan amount. By converting these fees to actual dollars, you can get a truer cost comparison. Some lenders quote zero point loans but charge and origination or broker point.

3. Lender Charges - (i.e. underwriting, processing, document preparation, tax service, flood, etc.) These fees can vary significantly depending on your lender.

4. Title Fees - These fees are paid directly to a title company. These fees include; title insurance, recording fees, closing fee, survey, termite, and attorney fees if applicable.

An interest rate lock guarantees your interest rate for 30 days from the date your application is received (unless you have specifically asked your loan officer for a 15 day lock). A lock does not obligate you to a loan, as technically you are not obligated to any loan until it closes. It just eliminates the risk of interest rates increasing. If interest rates fall, lenders can not re-lock with the lender at the lower rate, so if you are comfortable with an interest rate you can be assured that the interest rate will be available when you close.

The purpose of a lock is to provide an opportunity for you to arrange to complete your mortgage and real estate transaction before the lock expires. This allows you to budget, plan your affordability, and purchase a home without having to worry about it changing before you actually close on your loan. Otherwise, interest rates may increase and by the time you close on your home, you may not be able to afford or qualify for the loan on your home. Interest rate locks provide needed security. Since lenders are absorbing interest rate risk they charge for taking on this risk. For instance, typically a 60 day lock interest rate is slightly higher than a 30 day lock interest rate. Therefore, when you shop for mortgages, a 7% interest rate with a 60 day lock is a better deal than a 7% interest rate with a 30 day lock.

Typically, the buyer has a signed around (agreed to) purchase and sale agreement.   Most locks require a property address along with the borrowers full legal name, social security number, program type, purchase price/loan amount and credit scores along with the length of time required to close the transaction.  

Rate locks are priced based on the number of days that the borrower wants the rate lock to be in effect. Since the rate lock needs to be in effect through the closing date of your loan, bottlenecks in the loan approval process or purchase contract can derail a rate lock. Most rate locks are in the 30-60 day range.






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