There used to be a time not very long ago when we crossed the street to greet a neighbor. Now we greet a neighbor from a safe distance, from the opposite side of the street. The New Normal dictates new rules, and social distancing is one of them. We must beware of every person; everyone is a potential carrier of the deadly coronavirus.
Our world today seems to have shrunk. We used to be global in our capacity to socialize and travel – and now we have zoomed in past the nationalistic to the local, limiting our travelling to buy food, toilet paper and other supplies to keep our homes clean and ourselves safe. Socializing is increasingly done through social media the likes of Zoom; technology enables us to enjoy “happy hour” via group video chats. Some of us chug our tequila shots with the group from home; others of us do so privately in our own homes. Either way, we are at home.
We are afraid, and rightfully so. This is uncharted territory, a place where we have come to realize as a nation that, apparently, the most important people are not investment bankers, stockbrokers and lawyers, but doctors, nurses and other first responders, biomedical scientists, food-delivery drivers and ventilator manufacturers. We have come to realize that in the name of the “almighty dollar,” our politicians and business leaders, those brilliant Harvard MBAs, have made us, as a nation, dependent on not-so-friendly powers for strategically important items such as face masks and pharmaceuticals. The profit potential of globalization, championed to the masses through the media by voices including that of Thomas Friedman, may have seemed like a wonderful dream come true. But it has turned into a nightmare as the coronavirus has swept the world in a matter of weeks, hitting our own country especially hard.
But I digress.
We at An Opportune, Inc. (www.opportunefunds.com) continue on. We are a mortgage broker that has helped thousands of people obtain mortgage loans. We remain fully operational in these challenging times, serving our clients with professional expertise that is second to none.
An Opportune, Inc. is truly your neighbor. When you call us, you don’t get a distant voice in Michigan or Florida. We are right here, based in and serving the Chicago area, and we are watching your back. In these challenging times, you want to work with a neighbor who understands you and your situation. Someone you can call at any time who will listen and understand. We are not a big bank; our office will never have a big lobby and our staff won’t greet you in suits and ties. But we will help you find the best options for your mortgage loan at the best available rate – and we’ll even share a shot of tequila with you if you visit our office in Northbrook after the viral threat is gone.
As your neighbor, we’d like to share a few pieces of advice that are especially relevant in these trying times.
Don’t wait to refinance
On April 2, 2020, Americans filed a record number of jobless claims for any single week. Most likely, unemployment will get worse before it gets better. Don’t wait for that 1/8% (that’s one-eighth of a percentage point!) better rate. If you can refinance right now to save money while you are employed (and we hope this won’t change), by all means do it. It is better to start saving money right away than to wait and miss the opportunity to refinance should your employment and financial situations worsen.
Build reserves with cash-out refinance
If you anticipate a negative event in the future and think that you will need money, do not wait. Apply for a cash-out refinance if you have equity in your home. Use that equity as needed to manage your expenses should you lose your job, or even if you see opportunities to invest that will maximize your returns. Interest rates are still relatively low, and drawing on your home equity is much less expensive than using your credit cards to tide you over.
If you are planning to buy a home, this may be the best time
It may be a sad fact, but in times of fear and uncertainty, bargain hunters make their best purchases. Those who remember the Great Recession of a decade ago understand that the best deals can often be made during the darkest time. That recession seemed as if it were the end of the world, but for those not afraid of the challenge and fortunate enough to have deeper pockets, it was a time to make a killing in the housing market. The current COVID 19-driven economic downturn could be yet another such opportunity for the fearless.
At An Opportune, Inc. we are here to help you with all of your real-estate financing needs. Whether you are looking to refinance or to buy, we are here for you. We have the know-how to guide you in times of adversity, and we use it well.
Why? Because we are your neighbor.