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Welcome to Solid Rock Mortgage Corporation

From the Truth about Mortgages Series
Is Home Equity Safe? That's Not What the Hurricanes Said!
By Robert D. Ashby, CMPS
Solid Rock Mortgage

PEMBROKE PINES, FL – Would it be better to have $400,000 in Home Equity or $400,000 in a safe, conservative investment account?  Many Florida and Gulf Coast homeowners no longer need to pause and think about it, they can easily answer that question now.

One of the least publicized lessons from hurricanes Katrina, Rita, and Wilma taught us concerns personal finance and the best way to own your home. Most Americans strive to pay down or pay off their mortgages.  However, those that followed this advice were worst hit when the hurricanes arrived, including Senator Trent Lott.

Senator Lott was living the “American Dream” by owning his home outright.  Like many Americans do, he considered it his retirement nest egg, which accounted for half his net worth.  When hurricane Katrina completed its destruction, the Senator’s home, and his nest egg, were wiped out.  He estimates he lost the $400,000 he built up in home equity, and he’s still fighting with the insurance company to pay claims so his loss doesn’t grow any higher.  The reason is many insurers are balking at paying claims citing that the damages were the result of floods, not hurricane winds.

Senator Lott was not the only politician that was affected.  The Mayor from Port Arthur, TX had his house burned down in the aftermath of hurricane Rita.  His comment was “the sad thing is we just paid off our house.”  Even when those affected by the storms do settle with the insurance companies, it will take a long time to rebuild or repair there homes and be in position to take out their equity.

As the victims of these hurricanes found out, home equity is not as safe as they originally thought.  It can be wiped out completely in a short period of time.  The Senator and Mayor would have been better off if they had separated their homes’ equity and placed it in a safe, conservative bank account prior to the storms.  In fact, all homeowners are better suited to keep as little cash in their homes as possible, and instead allow their home’s equity to build up in a safe side investment account.

Those homeowners that had separated their home’s equity prior to the hurricanes were able to get back on their feet much quicker.  The reason is they had cash available to them and were not dependent upon the insurance companies to decide whether their damage is covered.  This is a good example of how cash is king and the ones with cash hold all the cards.  In Senator Lott’s case, if he had the $400,000 in an investment account, he would have many more options and more leverage while dealing with the loss of his home.  Instead, the insurance company is in control and he is dependent upon them to replace his cash.

With another busy hurricane season forecasted, will there be more disasters?  How many people affected will have their homes paid off and lose their nest egg?  How many will reposition their equity into a safe investment account and be prepared?

With mortgage rates being around 6.5% today (about 4.7% after tax savings), it’s relatively easy to realize a higher rate of return in a conservative investment account.  In addition to increasing safety and liquidity, a higher rate of return can be achieved and allow your money to grow and compound also!  For more information on strategic mortgage planning concepts, contact Robert D. Ashby, CMPS at (954) 432-3450 or visit www.solidrockmortgage.com.  As Florida’s first Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist, he can verify if it makes sense which mortgage solution is best for a particular family to better protect their home equity, increase their liquidity, and build their wealth.

 

About the author:  Robert D. Ashby is President of Solid Rock Mortgage, a licensed Mortgage Brokerage Business in the state of Florida.  He has been in the financial services business since 1998 and obtained his Series 6 and 63 Securities Licenses as well as Life and Health Insurance Licenses in the state of Virginia.  He moved to Florida in 2002 and decided to focus solely on mortgages, obtaining his Mortgage Broker License for Florida in 2003 and then opening Solid Rock Mortgage in 2004.  He has become Florida’s first Certified Mortgage Planning Specialist and Florida’s Debt and Equity Management Expert.

 

 

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