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Vega family in Arleta wen solar

Vega family in Arleta went solar

Did you ever think that solar could look so good? HomeLink sure does make it look GREAT!
Congratulations to the Vega family in Arleta, for going solar with HomeLink.

Vega family in Arleta wen solar
Herrera family in Lancaster went solar with HomeLink

Harrera family went solar

This home has such clean lines with the solar. Great job Daniel. Congratulations to the Herrera family in Lancaster for going solar with HomeLink. Welcome to the HomeLink solar family.

Herrera family in Lancaster went solar with HomeLink
Lara family in Victorville went solar with HomeLink

Lara family in Victorville went solar

WOW!! Look at this beautiful home in Victorville. This is such a clean install, just beautiful. Congratulations to the Lara family of Victorville, for going solar with HomeLink.

Lara family in Victorville went solar with HomeLink

San Bernardino home in escrow

Another great job by HomeLink Real Estate. This home is now in escrow!

man using a laptop

How much energy is used by your home computer?

How much energy is used by your home computer?

When you think of objects in your home that use a lot of electricity, you probably think of your air conditioner and heater. And you’d be right.

You probably don’t think about your computer though, but you should.

In this article, we’ll explain how much electricity your computer uses. We’ll also share some energy-saving tips as well.

How Much Electricity Does a Computer Use

If you’ve ever wondered, “How much electricity does a computer use,” we’re sorry to say that there is no clear answer. That being said, we’ll try our best here to help answer the question.

Most computers are built to use up to 400 kilowatts of electricity per hour, but they usually use less than that.

The average CPU uses about as many kilowatts per hour as the typical light bulb. Any computer that’s running on a Pentium-type processor uses about 100 kWh. This is with the monitor off. Your computer’s monitor probably uses more electricity than the actual processor itself.

Once you turn on your monitor the electricity use rate goes up. Different computers are going to use different amounts of energy. Speakers, printers, monitors, and other types of hardware are all going to use some electricity to run. It’ll also take power to connect these things to your computer. This is all going to affect your electricity usage.

The same thing happens when you open up a program and start doing work on your computer or laptop. The amount of electricity your computer uses will vary depending on the program you’re using. For example, a word document program will use less electricity than a computer game. Downloading, uploading, and streaming files are all going to take a larger amount of energy than reading a pdf file or doing something else text related.

As you can see, there’s a countless number of reasons why your electricity use will vary. These variables make it impossible to explain how much electricity your computer uses.

That being said, you can make some guesses about your usage and cost.

Look at your equipment’s maximum electric capacity. You can find that information in the user manuals, on the box your hardware came in, or with a quick Google search. Once you have those numbers added together, find how much the average kilowatt-hour costs in your state. These numbers will vary from city to city, but at least the state average will give you a rough usage estimate. Once you have the average cost for your state, multiply the kilowatt usage by that cost. This will tell you how much it costs you to power your computer for an hour. This final figure assumes that your computer is being put through its paces.

Chances are that you do not demand that much from your computer. It likely uses electricity and therefore costs much less to use than your estimate. But, at least you know the maximum it costs.

You can even take it a step further and multiply it by the estimated number of hours you use it every day to get an idea of how much electricity you use daily.

Doing a little bit of legwork will help you figure out your electricity usage better than we can.

Thinking about going solar?

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Lowering your energy usage while you’re working from home

Lowering your energy usage while you’re working from home

Are you spending more time at home during the day than usual? If you answered “yes,” then you might see an increase on your monthly power bill. Not to worry, here are a few suggestions that may help keep your energy bills lower while you and your family are staying indoors all day.

One: Check peak utility hours

Energy costs can be more expensive during peak use hours. Most utility companies have information about when peak hours of use are, so double check with your utility company and adjust when you do certain things around the house, like laundry or running your dishwasher.

Two: Let the sun in

Be strategic about letting the sun into your home, especially during seasons like spring. Open your blinds and curtains during daylight hours to add more warmth. The more sun you let in, the more heat you have, too. It also adds more light into your home, so you can switch your lights off.

Three: If you have solar panels

If you have solar panels, do things that use larger appliances, like laundry and dishes during the day, because that’s when the sun is at its max, making it more efficient and cost effective for your household.

Four: Stop overcharging

Most of us prefer to have phones and other devices charged to a full 100% all of the time, but keeping our device batteries fully charged isn’t necessary. Let your battery run low before you recharge. It might be a small amount, but it adds up over time. Also, consider turning off power strips when you’re not using them to power electronics you aren’t using all the time.

Five: Go cold

Guess how much of your washer’s total energy is used to heat up the water? 90%! Unless it’s totally necessary, try using the cold cycle instead. It will help conserve energy and potentially cut down on costs.

Six: Ditch the heat dry on the dishwasher

Are you doing loads and loads more dishes? Well, if the kids are home with you, you probably are. One way to cut back on energy is to turn off your dishwasher’s heat dry option, so it uses less energy.

Stay sane and safe

This is a challenging time for all of us. Hopefully, these tips can help you stay comfortable in your homes, while using your energy responsibly. Stay sane and stay safe.

Thinking about going solar?

WE ARE:

  • Knowledgeable. We strive to understand our markets and our clients’ needs.
  • Connected. Relationships are everything to us; we connect people to their homes and to their communities.
  • Passionate. We believe that working with “all heart” can change the world.
  • Playful. We love what we do and it shows.
  • Upstanding. Our clients’ needs and best interests are at the heart of everything we do.
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U.S. Mortgage Shopping Worksheet

U.S. Mortgage Shopping Worksheet

We have provided the following mortgage worksheet to help you compare different mortgage products. It is meant to be downloaded and printed as many times as needed.  Right click the the Web Browser Window and then click on the “Print” button. Repeat this File/Print procedure to obtain as many copies of the worksheet as needed. 

Thinking about selling or buying a home?

WE ARE:

  • Knowledgeable. We strive to understand our markets and our clients’ needs.
  • Connected. Relationships are everything to us; we connect people to their homes and to their communities.
  • Passionate. We believe that working with “all heart” can change the world.
  • Playful. We love what we do and it shows.
  • Upstanding. Our clients’ needs and best interests are at the heart of everything we do.
  • Effective. We set a high bar and move mountains to exceed expectations.

Let us know how we can help.

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Types of Mortgages

Types of Mortgages

Fixed-Rate Mortgages

Fixed-rate mortgages are traditionally the most popular type of mortgage in America . They are typically taken out over a 30-year period, but lengths of 15 to 25 years are also available. The interest rate and monthly mortgage payment on a fixed-rate mortgage remain the same throughout the entire life of the loan. The main advantage of a fixed-rate mortgage is that the borrower knows exactly what their monthly costs will be until the entire mortgage has been completely paid out. The main disadvantage is that the borrower pays a premium for this guarantee in the form of slightly higher interest rates.

Adjustable-Rate Mortgages

With adjustable-rate mortgages the interest rate is linked to current market rates and fluctuates with economic changes. When interest rates go down, so do your mortgage payments. When rates go up, your mortgage payments increase accordingly. ARM interest rates are usually set lower than those found in fixed-rate mortgage, at least at the beginning of the term. This means that a homebuyer opting for an ARM will be able to qualify for a larger loan since they are paying less interest. However, because ARM interest rates fluctuate there is a level of uncertainty and risk involved if economic conditions create long-term interest rate increases. ARM interest rates are normally fixed for the first six months to a year, after which they are pegged to some major economic index such as the T-bill rate.

For adjustable-rate mortgages there are two “caps” on interest rate increases. The “period of adjustment” cap determines how much the interest rate is allowed to vary from one period to the next. For example if the agreed upon period is every six months with a period of adjustment cap of 1%, then the maximum interest rate increase over that six-month period could not exceed 1%. The second cap puts a ceiling on how high the interest rate can increase over the life of the loan. For example, the maximum increase might be negotiated to be 6%. This figure should be taken into account as the “worst-case scenario” when considering this type of financing since the interest rate could possibly rise by up to 6% from the initial rate. If you are sure that you could afford these worst-case rates then you might consider this type of mortgage since you would benefit if the rates went down.

Another feature, which can sometimes add a level of comfort to this type of mortgage, is a conversion feature. Having a conversion clause in the mortgage gives the homebuyer the option to lock in the interest rate at certain times during the term of the mortgage. There is usually a conversion charge associated with this option.

2-Step Mortgages

A 2-step mortgage is a combination of both fixed-rate mortgages and adjustable-rate mortgages. Generally speaking, the first 5-7 years of the mortgage are treated like a fixed-rate mortgage. During the remainder of the term, known as the second step, the interest rate is allowed to fluctuate like an adjustable-rate mortgage.

During the initial first step of a 2-Step mortgage the interest rate is generally lower than for a fixed rate mortgage but higher than for an adjustable rate mortgage. The benefit of this type of mortgage is that it initially offers the homebuyer a lower interest rate than those found in fixed rate mortgages while still retaining the stability of a fixed payment and interest rate for the first few years of the loan. The homebuyer still needs to keep in mind that in the second step, or adjustable-rate portion of the mortgage, the interest rate may move either up or down, depending on the economy. As mentioned in the above section on Adjustable Rate Mortgages, a mortgage conversion feature can sometimes add a cushion of security to this type of mortgage.

Conforming & Non-Conforming Mortgages

A conforming mortgage refers to a mortgage that is drawn up within the guidelines specified by the lending institutions referred to as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. The most common reason for a mortgage to be referred to as non-conforming is because the total amount of the mortgage exceeds the lending limits or total loan amount allowed. This type of non-conforming loan is often referred to as a Jumbo mortgage.

Balloon Mortgages

This type of mortgage is usually amortized over the traditional 30-year period, but the actual length of the loan, or the term, is much shorter. At the end of the term, the homeowner must renegotiate a new mortgage at the new current interest rates. The amount still owning at the end of a balloon mortgage term (that is the original loan amount less the payments made against the principle during the term) is then due in full. The homeowner will then have to obtain a new mortgage (either another balloon mortgage, or switch to a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate mortgage) to replace the expired one. The benefit of a balloon mortgage is that the interest rate is noticeably lower than that for traditional 30-year fixed-rate mortgages.

Please note that homebuyers need to understand that…
Federal Housing Administration Mortgages (FHAM)

These are mortgages that are guaranteed against default by the Federal government. Lenders are willing to give mortgages to homebuyers with smaller down payments than under conventional financing because the Federal government guarantees the loan against default. The homebuyer must pay an insurance premium for this privilege and this cost is usually added to the mortgage. In order to qualify for an FHAM the property in question must meet certain requirements. The maximum amount of loan allowed under this system varies from region to region and is based on the average price of housing in each area. You should contact your REALTOR® or mortgage specialist for further information.

Veterans Administration Loans (VA)

VA loans are restricted to qualifying U.S. veterans for the purchase of a home with no down payment and lowered closing costs.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

Both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are independent, privately run companies that operate under special congressional charters. Their mandate is to ensure that mortgage funds are made available to a broad spectrum of the American public. They do this by buying mortgages from approved lenders and then packaging those monies into securities backed by Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac. Those securities are then sold to investors in the secondary mortgage market. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are independently owned companies that compete with each other for mortgage business. This competition ensures that there is an ample supply of low cost mortgage money available to the American homebuyer.

Thinking about selling or buying a home?

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  • Knowledgeable. We strive to understand our markets and our clients’ needs.
  • Connected. Relationships are everything to us; we connect people to their homes and to their communities.
  • Passionate. We believe that working with “all heart” can change the world.
  • Playful. We love what we do and it shows.
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Mortgages Explained

Mortgages Explained

Basically, a mortgage is just a loan that is to be used to finance the purchase of property. The property itself is used as security to ensure repayment and the lender holds the title or deed to the property either directly or indirectly (depending on your jurisdiction and type of lender) until you have repaid the entire amount plus interest.

When shopping for a mortgage you should keep in mind that there are many different types available. They can range from fixed rate mortgages where the interest rates never change, to adjustable rate mortgages (ARM’s) where interest rates are pegged to some type of market index, allowing them to rise or fall over time as the economy changes. Between these two extremes are a variety of other products that attempt to blend the advantages of the guaranteed interest rates of fixed rate mortgages with the flexibility found in adjustable rate mortgages. The length, or “term” of a mortgage, is also an important factor to consider. You can choose between short-term mortgages that need to be renegotiated every few years (called “balloon” mortgages), and long-term mortgages where you lock your loan in for up to 30 years.

One of the most important things you need to do before committing to any type of mortgage is to sit down with a mortgage professional and examine the advantages and disadvantages of all available options and determine which product is best suited to your current situation and future plans.

The Basic Components Of A Mortgage:

1. Mortgage Amount:
The total amount of money to be borrowed by the Purchaser and applied toward the price of the property. In general, the mortgage amount plus down payment equals purchase price.

2. Down Payment:
The amount of money provided by the Purchaser toward the purchase price of the property (not including legal fees or other acquisition costs). In general, down payment plus mortgage amount equals purchase price.

3. Interest Rate:
The actual cost of borrowing money, charged as a percentage of the outstanding amount owed. Usually compounded on a monthly basis.

4. Term of the Mortgage:
The period of time during which the loan contract is active. During this period the borrower makes periodic payments (usually monthly) to the lender and at the end of the term the balance of the loan becomes due and payable.

5. Amortization Period:
The period of time after which, if all monthly payments are made on time and in full, the loan will be paid out. The term and the amortization of a mortgage are often the same, but do not need to be. Instead of having a 30-year mortgage term with a standard 30-year amortization, the borrower could opt for three 10-year terms (called balloon mortgages). At the end of each term the borrower would have to refinance the loan, necessitating renegotiation of the interest rate and payment schedule with the lender.

6. Discount Points:
Discount points refer to the additional money the borrower may pay to the lender on closing to get a lower interest rate on the loan. The cost of one point equals 1% of the amount borrowed. This means that one point on a $150,000 mortgage equals $1,500. Usually, for each point paid for on a 30-year loan, the interest rate is reduced by about 1/8th (or 0.125) of a percentage point.

7. Prepayment Privileges:
The right of the borrower to pay out all or part of the outstanding principal before it comes due. These privileges are usually set out in the initial mortgage negotiations between the borrower and lender and will differ depending on the type of mortgage.

Thinking about selling or buying a home?

WE ARE:

  • Knowledgeable. We strive to understand our markets and our clients’ needs.
  • Connected. Relationships are everything to us; we connect people to their homes and to their communities.
  • Passionate. We believe that working with “all heart” can change the world.
  • Playful. We love what we do and it shows.
  • Upstanding. Our clients’ needs and best interests are at the heart of everything we do.
  • Effective. We set a high bar and move mountains to exceed expectations.

Let us know how we can help.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

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