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  • Writer's pictureCharlsie Pecoraro

Hello September! Around Town this Week! Mortgage Insight with Richard Lindsey! Healthy Options Now!

If the stock in local stores is any indication of the weather, it appears that cool temperatures are on the way. After record breaking, AC challenging, 100+ degree days, everyone is ready for that first fall breeze to engulf the coast.

Weather has been on everyone's mind this week, with a destructive Hurricane Idalia, bashing parts of Florida, Georgia and the Carolinas. Our thoughts are with everyone affected by the storm surge and powerful winds.

I could not help but think about Hurricane Katrina and how it changed the character of Louisiana. 18 years ago, on August 29th, the storm roared onshore and left behind an estimated 97.4 Billion dollars in damage. Sadly, there are still areas on the coast that have never fully recovered. I was in Baton Rouge at the time, setting up for "A Taste of Tiger Tailgating" at LSU. I got word from the governor's office that it was taking over the PMAC and my event would need to be rescheduled. I notified my staff and vendors and encouraged everyone to prepare for the storm. No one could imagine the depth of damage that weather event would deliver to the coast. The PMAC served as a temporary hospital and unfortunately, a morgue.

My heart goes out to all of the residents and business owners in affected areas. Recovery can take years, possibly decades. If you would like to donate you can do so at the Florida Disaster Fund or the American Red Cross.


Around Town this Week

This week I grabbed a bite to eat at RedBar Espresso & Market on Old Shell Road. If you have followed this blog for any length of time, you know how much I enjoy this little gem of a restaurant. It is open 7 days a week and offers breakfast, lunch, dinner and a full service bar! Customers can dine in, take out, drive thru or relax on the outdoor patio.

I opted for something new and tried the stuffed omelette. Wow, this flavor packed breakfast was the perfect choice to start my day. I paired it with a side of steamed cabbage and my meal was complete.

If you are looking for a spot to meet friends or business contacts, this is it! The spacious dining area offers ample table space to spread out your work, so you can get things done! Free WI-FI is available too! Located at 7681 Old Shell Road, one block off Schillinger.

Shih Tzu
Lil' Jack

The "Pecoraro Pack" had their monthly spa day at Apollo's Paws on Grelot Road. I continue to be amazed at the skills owner Rebecca Dixon has with a variety of pets. It is not uncommon to see dogs, cats, birds and exotics in her shop awaiting their turn to be groomed.

Lil' Jack absolutely loves her and the team at Apollo's. Some of you may know that he was a rescue from a local organization and it had no knowledge of his history. As a Shih Tzu, he is wired for stubbornness. It took him a good 18 months before he settled in and became the family dog.

Fast forward to the present and you'll find him running the show, barking at his older brother (Marcello the 70 pound poodle) and strutting into Apollo's Paws like he owns the place. If you are thinking about adding a fur-kid to your family consider your local shelter and rescue organizations. This little one has certainly added spice to my life!

Holidays and gift giving go hand-in-hand. Recently I discovered a precious gift shop located on Grelot Road called BLoved Fitness and Gifts. Owner, Lori Huber, has created a charming shopping environment alongside a fitness area for locals to enjoy. Definitely stop in the next time you need a gift and support a locally owned business.

Speaking of locally owned...did you know that 60% of the population is employed by small business owners?

That is a great reason to shop local. Your dollars have a direct effect on your local community.


Navigating Mortgage Loans with Richard Lindsey

Richard Lindsey's "Real World" Personal Strategy Note Navigating Mortgage Loan Rates Right Now “The best time to buy a home is always five years ago.” – Ray Brown

If you've been keeping a watchful eye on the housing landscape because you’re in the market for a new home, you know that mortgage rates are at the highest they’ve been in 40 years.

And while age “ain’t nothing but a number,” interest rates are different. They have real impact on mortgage loans and could put a wrench in your home-buying efforts right now. So, navigating that means understanding the current landscape and figuring out what to do about it.

Here’s what things look like right now:

Qualifying for a home loan

Interest rates play a significant role in determining if, how, and when you can get a home loan. As rates go up, the monthly repayments on potential home loans follow suit. For you, this might shift the scales of what you can afford, forcing you to rethink the dream home you were eyeing last year if it’s out of your financial reach.

The domino effect on monthly payments

A higher interest rate translates directly into higher monthly mortgage payments. For every 1% increase in interest rates, monthly payments can increase by nearly 10% (depending on the loan's specifics).

Let's do some quick math. If you got a loan today for a 300k home at the current interest rate, you’d be paying around 500 per month more compared to 2020 rates, and all of that extra 500 is going to interest and not principal.

This is why so many are watching what the Fed is going to do next with interest rates. Significant amounts of money are on the line with each increase (or decrease) in Fed rates.

The critical DTI ratio

When lenders assess your eligibility for a loan, one of their primary tools is the DTI ratio. This measures how much of your monthly income is earmarked for debt repayments. A surge in interest rates can mean that a previously healthy DTI is now less appealing, making lenders more hesitant. If your DTI crosses a certain threshold (typically around 43% for a lot of lenders), you could encounter some closed doors in your search for a home loan.

Borrowing becomes costlier

In layman's terms, as interest rates rise, the overall cost of borrowing goes up. This isn't exclusive to mortgage loan rates; it's a fundamental principle of finance. If you're borrowing more due to a pricier property market, higher interest rates can add a hefty tag to the total amount you'll end up repaying.

The strain on your financial profile

While we'd all love to sport a perfect credit score and a hefty savings account, reality is often more complicated. For those navigating financial constraints or a less-than-stellar credit score, rising interest rates compound challenges. It's akin to climbing a hill that's gradually getting steeper — still possible to navigate, but undoubtedly more demanding.

So, what do you do?

When you’re considering buying a home in this kind of environment, you have to be a bit more financially nimble and knowledgeable.

Though current mortgage loan rates are edging close to 7% (compared to around 4% in 2020), the forecast by most banks generally has 30-year loan rates decreasing to around 6% for the new year. If time is on your side, it might be strategic to wait things out a bit.

Waiting will give you an opportunity to pursue some strategies to improve your chances. But some of these you can do to help your chances right now, too.

  • Focus on debt. Working on reducing your existing liabilities can make your DTI more attractive, presenting you as a better prospect to lenders.

  • Knowledge is power. Get pre-approved. This proactive step not only showcases your seriousness but also provides clarity on how much house you can realistically afford.

  • Credit is key. If your credit can be improved, work on doing that. An enhanced credit score can open up opportunities for better rates, so it's worthwhile to continuously improve here.

  • Save up to put more down. A larger down payment can provide more favorable loan conditions.

Before settling, make sure you've explored a variety of loan offers to ensure you're getting the most favorable terms. Maybe even consider Zillow’s 1% down payment. Keep asking questions and be discerning in your home-buying decisions. There may be no place like home, but don’t spend more than you should to get that feeling.

While the current landscape around mortgage interest rates might seem daunting, with informed strategies and the right preparation, it's possible to position yourself favorably. I'm here to support, guide, and provide clarity where I can.

Looking out for you,

Richard Lindsey

(251) 633-4070


New Healthy Breakfast Option on YouTube!

If you are like me and have embarked on a healthy eating journey, then you'll understand the "bread" craving that most experience. Trust me, kicking all of the white stuff like enriched flour, sugar, rice and pasta out of my pantry have given me the gift of better health. In fact, it has been a long time since I have felt so good.

Meanwhile, I have tackled some favorite recipes and uncovered many new ones that are delicious and very satisfying. This Blueberry Muffin can be made in a coffee mug in your microwave in under 5 minutes. It certainly quenches my desire for a breakfast muffin and is a great option if you awaken hungry. Click here to watch.

Here are a few more videos that you may enjoy!

I make this Tuna Salad once a week and eat it sans the bread. If you opt for bread, then peruse your local bakery or bread department for some healthy options. Dave's Killer Bread has a few varieties that are good for you! Also a Sourdough bread would work well with this Tuna Salad. For now, I enjoy it on its one! Click here to watch!

Here is a recipe that I altered to create a healthy version and the traditional taste was not affected in the least. Click here to check out this recipe! Hmmm, I think I'll make this one again very soon!

I'll be converting more of our favorites and will share the successful ones online. Click here to visit my channel and please consider subscribing! It's FREE!

Big dreams make life worth living!

Seeing beyond your present circumstances is important these days. If you turn on the news, you will be submerged in a sea of hopelessness. I urge you to NOT buy into it. There is so much good and love on this planet for you to partake in. Surround yourself with positive people and uplifting messages! Be a censor in your own journey and delete the things that do not bring you joy!


Short Drive from Mobile!

Swan Boat on Big Lake

I will leave you with this image from New Orleans' City Park. I was there last week celebrating my birthday.

Many of you may be unaware of this Gulf Coast treasure. City Park is a sprawling 1300 acres of beauty and welcomes locals and visitors. Plan to spend a full day exploring!

Here are just a few of the things you can do if you decide to play tourist. I'll "hot link" things so you can check things out for yourself.

New Orleans Musuem of Art is the city's oldest fine arts institution that opened in December of 1911. It has 40,000 permanent objects in its collection and hosts a variety of traveling exhibits.

Cafe du Monde has opened a location in the park so you can enjoy New Orleans original beignets and coffee with family and friends. In addition to breakfast, there are several Brennan Family restaurants to explore. In fact, there is even a snow-ball stand!

The Sydney & Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden is a lovely walking experience that you should plan for the cooler fall weather. Be sure to bring your camera to record the marvels you will behold.

Are you ready to explore the Big Lake? You can rent a Swan Boat, a kayak or a gondola for a nominal fee. There are even nighttime excursions for romantic occasions. You can explore the park on rental bikes too!

Other attractions include the Children's Museum, tennis, horseback riding lessons, hiking trails, putt-putt golf, a botanical garden and Christmas in the Oaks. Whew, what a list! As I said, if you plan to look around, carve out a day to appreciate this wonderful recreation area.

Have a great week everyone! ~ Charlsie



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