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In This Time of Economic Uncertainty
A WORD ON MORTGAGE INTEREST RATES AND APPRECIATING KINDNESS AND INGENUITY
I n the wake of all the uncertainty brought on by the spread of COVID-19, I’ve spent a lot of my workdays this past month talking about interest rates and refinancing options with clients. Throughout the course of many of these conversations, I’ve found out that not a lot of people know why mortgage interest rates change. Apparently a story popped up on news feeds not too long ago that indicated that the federal government was going to drop interest rates to zero, which they did. I came into the office the next day to find tons of calls waiting for me, wanting to know if this was true. The short answer is that it isn’t true when it comes to your mortgage rates. The economy controls mortgage rates, not the feds. Why exactly this is the case, however, might take a little more explaining.
become a little more tight fisted with their money. That means, in order to keep investors buying mortgage-backed securities, or investing at all, the market has raised interest rates. That way, investors can be more assured of their returns. Even then, investors aren’t buying as many mortgage-backed securities, which leaves an overabundance of product on the market. Admittedly, that’s a lot of information to process, but the main takeaway is this: The government can’t lower mortgage rates to zero. Also, I’ve heard a lot of people draw parallels between what’s going on now and what happened during the Great Recession in 2008. I don’t really see the comparison, personally. When the housing market crashed 12 years ago, a lot of people were investing unwisely, and they knew it. The
impact of this crisis, this season of uncertainty should be short lived.
None of us are in a place where we’re particularly comfortable right now, but I hope this won’t just be a time where we’re all concerned about our mortgages. I hope it can also be an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and about how we can help others. Restaurants are creating delivery options, highway patrols are helping beleaguered truck drivers find rest and food, and workplaces are helping their employees adjust to a life working from home. There are good people everywhere innovating and working to make sure we all come out of this okay. The economic outlook from where we are right now looks scary, but I’m happy that even
“Our economy was strong when this whole thing started, and because there are several parties in both the public and private sector working hard to minimize the impact of this crisis, this season of uncertainty should be short lived.”
When you pay the interest on your mortgage, it goes to an investor who purchased your mortgage as a part of a package of mortgage backed securities. A “security” is just a term used to describe a financial asset. Because the U.S. housing market has, by and large, been booming the past few years, it means investors have been able to see returns, even with relatively low interest rates. However, in light of how volatile the market has become this past month as a result of the economic impact of the coronavirus, those investors have
coronavirus completely blindsided us while our economy was strong.
Therein lies a silver lining: Can you imagine if this virus had hit us when our economy was weak? So many more people would have been out of work and conceivably many more people would have died. I honestly believe that because our economy was strong when this whole thing started, and because there are several parties in both the public and private sector working hard to minimize the
in the midst of uncertainty, we are still practicing kindness and ingenuity.
Mortgage Made Easy!
The Age of Stress Helping Your Child Overcome Anxiety
Can I help reduce their stress?
It’s hard to imagine kids as anything but carefree, happy, and eager to explore the world around them. However, children experience stress just like adults do, which can severely impact their typically cheerful dispositions. Since April is National Stress Awareness Month, now is an opportune time to familiarize yourself with tools and information that can help you alleviate your child’s stress.
feel mounting social and academic pressure. Even something as simple as overhearing loved ones arguing or seeing a sad news report can add to a child’s stress levels.
According to KidsHealth.org, good nutrition, proper rest, and healthy attention are great ways to help kids manage their stress. Set time aside each day to talk and spend time with your children; talking about worries will reduce or relieve anxieties. If you know about an upcoming stressful situation, like a school exam or a health checkup, prepare your child by studying with them or talking to them about what to expect. Don’t stop here. For more tools and information regarding stress reduction in children, visit KidsHealth.org or contact your doctor.
How do I know if my child is stressed?
When a kid is stressed, they will exhibit odd behavior and even undergo physical changes. Depending on your child’s age, watch for mood swings, changes in sleep patterns, headaches, trouble focusing, or withdrawal from the people around them. According to KidsHealth.org, younger children may also pick up habits like twirling their hair or sucking their thumb, while older kids may start to bully others, lie, or rebel.
What are their stressors?
Any number of everyday factors can lead to stress, and stress can plague anyone who feels overwhelmed. Toddlers and young children going to day care or school for the first time may experience separation anxiety due to being apart from their parents. Older kids and teenagers may
Genuinely Caring About Teachers So They Can Genuinely Care About Kids
Even though Barkley and Krystle Bess grew up on opposite sides of Lincoln County, they didn’t meet each other until they both attended Appalachian State University, where they would earn their degrees to become educators. Barkley had known since high school that he’d wanted to be a teacher, having been influenced by a lot of great teachers he had had himself. Krystle started out studying music, but after discovering it just wasn’t the right fit, she began studying to be a teacher. Barkley and Krystle met during their freshman year, and the rest is history. Today, Barkley teaches fifth grade at Love Memorial Elementary, and Krystle teaches ESL (English as a Second Language) students at several different schools in the area. For both of them, the best part of their jobs is simply helping kids learn, not just in the classroom, but in life as well. One of the most rewarding aspects of teaching ESL for Krystle is that she gets to see her students go from not knowing very much English, to getting A’s and B’s in their classes. For both of them, working with kids is almost
like a ministry of sorts — one that extends into their home, as they are foster parents as well as teachers.
Even though the Besses loved their previous house, because they had two kids of their own along with the kids they foster, they knew they were going to need a more ideal home. They found Madison Builders to help them construct the perfect house, and Madison turned them to Homeside Financial and Jamie Harrington for help with the mortgage lending process. The Besses went into the mortgage process with some apprehension and uncertainty but ultimately found that they didn’t need to worry. Homeside and Homes 4 Heroes made the process simple. “They were friendly and welcoming, and they walked us through something we don’t know a lot about,” Krystle said about working with Jamie and Homeside. “Jamie was just so friendly. She was genuinely happy for us. It wasn’t fake.”
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When Should You Teach Your Child to Read? AND HOW SHOULD YOU DO IT?
If your child is between 3–5 years old, you’ve probably noticed that they’re becoming a lot more talkative. By the time children are 4, they can usually speak in 5–8-word sentences. That makes this age range the perfect time to get your child interested in reading. However, this can raise a lot of questions. For starters, the question of how to get your child interested in reading is almost more important than when you do it. You may wonder how much time you should spend reading with them, how intensive reading time should be, and if you should make everything involving words and letters into a reading lesson. While the answers to these questions will vary from child to child, there’s one goal that every parent should strive for when teaching their child to read: Above all, help them enjoy it. When your child starts kindergarten, learning to read will be a part of the curriculum. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try to teach them to read earlier, though. If your child loves to read, it can make their learning experience much more enjoyable. There are plenty of ways to help your child enjoy reading from an early age. One is to simply read to them and make storytime fun. If the pig goes oink or the mailman has a funny, nasally voice, bring those features to life. You can also have your kids help you with daily tasks that require reading, like making a to- do list or shopping at the grocery store. When they’re helping you and having fun, it won’t feel like learning at all!
I’d like to highlight all of themedical professionals and first responders for their work during these times. We’re all doing our part to stay safe, but these folks are really putting in the extra time to ensure our safety. Please be sure to express your thanks, too! For the safety of our staff and customers, we are currently working remotely. Our service will not be affected by this temporary policy.We send our sincere wishes for your health and safety during this challenging time. Special Shoutout, Thank-You, and Update!
Finally, the best way to make reading enjoyable for your children is to enjoy it yourself. Your kids watch what you do, and if they see you enjoying a good
book, they’ll want to read even more. Reading opens up the world to them, and with your help, nothing will dull their love of learning.
Mortgage Made Easy!
1051 13th St . SE Hickory, NC 28602
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Mortgage Interest Rates and Finding Hope in the Midst of Uncertainty
Helping Your Child Manage Stress
The Bess’ New Home
Special Shoutout, Thank-You, and Update!
Fostering a Love of Reading in Your Child
Keep America Beautiful
Do Your Part to Keep America Beautiful
AND MAINTAIN GREEN LIVING SPACES FOR EVERYONE
Have you ever walked through a park and seen a plastic bottle or wrapper lying on the ground? If so, did you pick it up and properly dispose of it? You might not have realized it, but in that moment, you took a small step toward keeping your community — and, by extension, America — beautiful! April is Keep America Beautiful Month, and folks who celebrate aim to help each community in every state stay clean and green. Created by the nonprofit organization Keep America Beautiful, this holiday offers a perfect opportunity to roll up your sleeves and work to better the place you live in. Here are three ways to show your appreciation for a green America this month. Take action online. With the current COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the world, it might be difficult to get outside and participate in a few community cleanup programs. But that doesn’t mean the public still can’t participate in Keep America
Beautiful Month. April 22 marks the 50th anniversary of Earth Day, and to celebrate, Earth Day Network is providing digital events for everyone around the world to take part in. Follow Earth Day Network’s social media accounts and stay updated on efforts to keep the Earth green or participate in an event yourself! For more information, visit EarthDay.org. Start plogging. If you’re passionate about staying active and cleaning up your neighborhood, then this is the perfect
activity for you! Plogging combines jogging and picking up litter, which takes care of your health and keeps your community clean. Anybody can do it: Just throw on your running shoes, grab a bag, head out the door, and pick up any stray bits of trash you see on your morning jog or evening walk.
Improve recycling through education.
An important goal during Keep America Beautiful Month is to spread awareness about recycling. There are various ways to educate those around you about recycling and encourage them to do their part. At work, for example, you can volunteer to lead a recycling initiative by printing off guides and fostering discussions on why recycling is so essential. At home, you can make a commitment with your family to fulfill the three R’s of recycling: reduce, reuse, recycle.
To discover more ways to participate in Keep America Beautiful Month, visit their website at KAB.org today!
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