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My owner on vacation and he didn't want to board me - it was easier to have him euthanized

With Such a Low Base Rate Why Are Fixed Rate Mortgages So Popular?

As we move into yet another year with the Bank of England Base rate still at its record low of 0.5 per cent the millions of borrowers with variable and tracker rate mortgages continue to benefit from low repayments at a level unprecedented in living memory. Many financial experts are expecting that the Base Rate will remain at this historic low maybe for as long as 3 more years. Even though unemployment in the UK is reaching close to the point where Mark Carney, the Governor of the Bank of England, suggested the base rate could be reviewed, other factors in the economy look likely to prevent any imminent rise.

So given the current economic situation in the UK one might expect that more home owners would take advantage of the low rates by taking out a variable or, at the very least, a tracker mortgage deal. It is rather surprising then that the Council of Mortgage Lenders have published data that indicates that more than 80 per cent of new mortgages were agreed on a fixed rate basis in 2013. Not only is this an unexpectedly high proportion of fixed rate deals being agreed but it is the highest proportion since these data began to be recorded over twenty years ago so includes plenty of data from the pre credit crunch era. Even in 2010 only 50 per cent of home buyers chose a fixed rate deal when the average interest rate was 4.44 per cent.

So why might so many people be choosing fixed rate mortgages in preference to variable or tracker loans?

The simple answer could be that the best fixed rate deals are now at the same interest rate levels as the most attractive tracker loans. With fixed rates now as cheap as the equivalent tracker deal, it makes sense to opt for a fixed rate with the added security of knowing that repayments will not go up for the period of the fixed rate. The same cannot be said for tracker deals as repayments on this basis have the potential to rise and it may be this uncertainty governing the majority decision to fix and gain some protection. This could be seen as particularly important in the light of recent controversial decisions by certain banks - most notably the Bank of Ireland - to increase the margin above the Base Rate that they charge on tracker deals; something borrowers thought could not happen on a tracker loan.

The level at which fixed rates are set is partly determined by expectations of how the Bank of England Base rate will change in the coming months and years. With low rates anticipated for some years to come and with banks and building societies having access to less expensive funding through government schemes designed to boost the property market the effect has been to drive down the price of fixed rates.
For those about to agree a large mortgage, whether for a new home purchase or just to re-mortgage an existing home it appears that a fixed rate deal offers the least risk with equivalent monthly payments. But it is always worth talking to a mortgage broker and checking the small print of any agreement.

Tips for Choosing a Mortgage Lender

It is natural for home buyers to focus on the search for the perfect mortgage. However, if the perfect loan comes from a less than perfect lender, you can easily get in trouble. That is why it pays off to research and compare the different loan providers in order to pick the right one for you. Use some practical advice that will help you with this task.


The mortgage lender that you choose to work with must be licensed to provide home loan products and services in your area. This is the first and foremost requirement that must be met. You can now check whether a loan provider is licensed online. It will take no more than a few minutes. You simply need to visit the Consumer Access web page of the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS) and use the tools and information available there.

Service Criteria

Once you confirm that the home loan provider is licensed, you can move on to evaluating their service. There are five main criteria that this service must meet. These include honesty and reliability, communication and assistance and expertise. It is easy to evaluate a provider based on these criteria. You simply need to evaluate them based on the initial dealings that you have with them and on the reviews of other customers.

The perfect mortgage lender is honest and keeps their word. If you find that there is considerable difference between the quote that you have got and the loan ad you first saw, then it is best to stay away from this company as it may attempt to mislead you again. It is essential for the provider to establish good communication with you as a lender. They should respond to your calls and queries timely and give you all the attention that you require.

You should get all the assistance which you require when you compare the different types of loans available and when you are making your application. The more information and advice you can get the better. It is easy to recognize if the loan provider or more precisely their representative has expertise. The professional will explain everything from the application to the closing in detail and give you an overview of the main financing options available to you. They will be able to answer each and every question sufficiently quickly and confidently.

Product Criteria

You should evaluate the diversity, quality and affordability of the mortgage programs offered by the lender that you consider working with. Check what types of programs the provider offers. The more they are the better. You should be able to select from fixed-rate programs, variable-rate and other high-risk programs and government-backed programs as well.

You must check what interest rates the lender offers. Your best bet is to ask about the rate on the 30-year fixed-interest loan. If it is competitive then the rates on the other programs should be competitive as well. It is equally important that you request a breakdown of the closing cost and get a precise estimate of its size. This will help you greatly in evaluating the affordability of the programs.


Nine years. Yes, nine years his owner had him- he was brought to the States from Ecuador as a puppy, however when his owner scheduled a 2 month trip to China, he didn't feel Hercules was worth boarding- it was easier to have him euthanized.

And now Hercules longs for the security of a home with someone who will cherish him forever. He has spent the last month in obedience training, graduated with flying colors, and knows all his commands. He is a stress free happy dog that loves to play with other dogs, and a home without cats is preferred.

Hercules loves to please, he is housebroken, neutered, up to date on shots and he is in fine health. Please share his story widely- because this dog...deserves an angel.

Hercules, 9 year young male greyhound mix, weighing in at 50lbs

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Tips For Finding The Best Mortgage Rates

The first thing to consider when it comes to getting a mortgage loan is to find a reliable lender. It is the responsibility of the debtor to verify the feedback from their clients to ensure the quality of the money lending service. In certain cases, booking an appointment with the bank officials to discuss the terms and conditions of their mortgage loan will also give results. This will eventually help the debtor to find the best mortgage rates. Before finalizing the deal, verify if there are any complaints or lawsuits pending against them. The debtor can also run a basic background check with the help of a lawyer.

Next step is to verify their money lending history to see the reliability of the service. Applying for a loan does not oblige a person to make commitments to the bank. Consult with other banks to see which one will provide the best mortgage rates. There are several external factors that decide the rate of interest, terms and condition of a loan. In some cases, the interest rate varies from one day to another. It is also possible to find a loan at a fixed rate.

For a debtor, it is very important to understand the difference between rate quote and rate lock. A bank calculates rate quotes depending upon the following factors: credit rating, loan to value ratio and income. In the case of lock rate, it is fixed for a certain period or days. The debtor can lock a rate 30, 45, 60 or 90 days. The extension of the lock will decide the rate of interest. This system is beneficial in certain cases and unprofitable in some other cases. All this will depend upon the financial status of the borrower. In the case of big amounts, it is always better to lock the rate.

Getting the best mortgage rates requires preparation. For instance, people who are working in the real estate industry very well know that a lock price is better for a long term agreement. At the same time, it is not very easy to get a fixed interest rate. The bank will consider several financial parameters to decide the mortgage rate. The credit rating of the borrower plays an important role in deciding mortgage rates. People with credit problems can negotiate with the bank to get a better down payment option.

Borrowers with low credit score may find it hard to get the best mortgage rates. In such circumstances, it is very much important to discuss with the bank officials to find an amicable solution. In short, there are several factors that influence the best mortgage rates. The debtor can do his own homework or consult with a mortgage broker to finalize the deal.

Prepare to Get a Housing Mortgage Pre-Approval

Home buying or home shopping, as others refer to the process of finding a house to purchase is a very serious task. Aside from hunting the house which matches your preferences and lifestyle, there are plenty of things you should know such as getting a housing mortgage pre-approval. This is necessary because it is very impossible for an average wage earner to cash in for his dream house. Even those who are referred to as rich and famous sometimes avail of housing mortgages too. But there are also plenty of things you need to prepare to get approved. Discussed briefly are 5 of them.

Proof of Income: Gone were the days when home mortgage companies issue pre-approvals without submitting documentations or without the buyer going through a rigorous verification check. Today, a buyer needs to prove that he is capable of repaying whatever amount the lender is to give. Some of the documents considered as proof of income include W-2 statements, recent pay slips, tax returns, bonuses, and payments from clients if you have business.

Evidence of Assets: In support of your income-earning capacity, you also have to present evidences of asset ownership. The assets will serve as additional proof of loan-paying capability. Usually, the bank or the institution from where you will seek the pre-approval will require you to submit copies of your bank statements and investments. These documents will prove that you have adequate funds for the down payment, closing costs, and monthly dues. They are also your evidences of cash reserve.

Good Credit Rating: Most lenders require borrowers to have a score of 740 and above to avail of the lowest interest rates on home mortgage plans. But, those who have at least a FICO of 620 will get pre-approved. Those who have lower credit scores will have to negotiate. Lucky enough that there are mortgage companies that gives pre-approval to individuals with low credit scores. But usually, they are of higher interest rates. In case you have a low credit rating, it is better to fix it first by repaying outstanding credits to other companies such as from your utilities, internet, and credit card.

Verified Employment Documents: The proof of income usually does not satisfy credit and mortgage companies. Thus, you also need to prepare verified or certified employment documents. The employment document or certificate needs to contain your complete name, present address, name of the company, your position, and salary grade. The letterhead of the company where you are presently employed is also an important element of the employment certificate you have to obtain. Of course, it has to be duly signed by the company's representative.

Other Documents: Any other documents which will be requested by the lender should be available upon request. Usually, these documents include copies of proof billing and identification cards. Be prepared to fill up any mortgage-related forms. You also have to prepare your Social Security Number as this will be used to pull out your credit report.

If you have prepared the above documents, you are at least eased out of additional burdens as may be brought by the housing mortgage pre-approval. Having these documents at hand will pave way towards a smooth-flowing house hunting and home buying processes.