D. Brandon Feco

NMLS#: 01883349

August Newsletter

KNB Capital, Inc.

30721 Russell Ranch Rd Suite 140
Westlake Village, CA 91362

Four Essential Tasks to Prepare Your Home for the Autumn Season

Your home
With autumn on the way, temperatures will cool down and the leaves will start to fall. It’s also the perfect time to get some vital home maintenance done so that you can protect your investment!  Take Proper Care of Your Gutters Your gutters are an essential part of your home’s drainage systems. Without them, water can pool around your hom...

With autumn on the way, temperatures will cool down and the leaves will start to fall. It’s also the perfect time to get some vital home maintenance done so that you can protect your investment! 

Take Proper Care of Your Gutters

Your gutters are an essential part of your home’s drainage systems. Without them, water can pool around your home, potentially degrading your foundation and presenting a risk of flooding. The late summer season is the best time to make sure that your gutters are in working order.

Heading into the fall, many homes will have leaves accumulating in gutters. When gutters are full of leaves, they aren’t able to redirect significant rainfall away from your home. Instead, they’ll overflow, sending water splashing down around your foundation.

Cleaning out gutters is just the first step. Next, carefully check the troughs and downspouts for any damage that should be repaired. By taking on these tasks early in the season, you can rest easy when the leaves start falling!

Check Your Home for Drafts

Your home relies on weatherstripping to keep out drafts. As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, these drafts will make your home less comfortable and increase your heating bills.

You might be able to identify large drafts on your own, but if you’re not sure how to do it, you may find that a consultation with a home heating professional can help. Professionals can use tools like thermal cameras to identify drafts. They can assess the places where your home is losing heat and can provide the appropriate repairs and maintenance.

Oftentimes, this is as simple as applying weatherstripping to doors or caulking around windows. You can avoid uncomfortable drafts with just a little preventative maintenance.

Repair Any Roof Damage

Autumn winds can do a number on any loose shingles or tiles. Before the fall season hits, consider scheduling a roof inspection. A professional inspection can help to identify any problems that could cause problems during rainy or snowy seasons.

Even small leaks should be promptly repaired because they’ll only get worse over time. By addressing issues while they are small, you can avoid massive repair bills down the line.

Get a Heating System Tune-Up

Your furnace or heating system likely hasn’t been running for a few months. A thorough inspection and tune-up can ensure that your systems are fully operational before the weather starts to cool down.

A tune-up usually includes an inspection of mechanical and electrical components for the heating system. These systems build up dirt over time, leading to higher energy costs. By scheduling a tune-up, you can make sure that your system is ready to keep you warm and cozy all winter.

An Ounce of Prevention

With just a few simple steps, you can make sure that your home is fully ready for the cooler weather at the end of the year. A little bit of work for preventative maintenance can keep your home in great shape for anything.

Fair Housing Laws: What They Mean for Mortgage Brokers

Finances
As a mortgage broker, you are responsible for understanding and complying with a variety of state and federal laws. These regulations cover everything from which documents are required to close on a loan to the way that you treat your clients. Perhaps the most significant regulations that govern your behavior as a mortgage broker are fair housing laws. Bel...
This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

As a mortgage broker, you are responsible for understanding and complying with a variety of state and federal laws. These regulations cover everything from which documents are required to close on a loan to the way that you treat your clients.

Perhaps the most significant regulations that govern your behavior as a mortgage broker are fair housing laws.

Below, we’ll outline the basics provisions of fair housing laws. We also discuss your responsibilities as a mortgage broker.

What is the Federal Fair Housing Act?

Put simply, the Fair Housing Act is federal legislation that protects home buyers from discrimination. The Fair Housing Act was originally part of the Civil Rights Act of 1968, although it has been added to and amended since that time. Virtually every state has passed additional fair housing laws to further protect home buyers from discrimination.

Who is Protected?

The Fair Housing Act was designed to protect groups that had previously been subject to unfair practices. Specifically, the Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination on the basis of:

  • Race
  • Disability
  • Color
  • Religion
  • Gender
  • Familial status
  • Country of origin

Presently, the Fair Housing Act does not prevent discrimination based on:

  • Receipt of public assistance
  • Gender identity
  • Sexual preference
  • Marital status

However, many states have expanded on the provisions of the federal law in order to protect these classes. In many cases, a person that has faced discrimination can still file a grievance with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Your Responsibilities as a Mortgage Broker

Since mortgage brokers play a pivotal role in the home-buying process, they are bound by the provisions of the Fair Housing Act. State and local fair housing laws also apply to loan officers and mortgage brokers. That is why you must familiarize yourself and your employees with state and local requirements to ensure that you are in compliance.

Generally, fair housing laws prohibit mortgage brokers from taking the following actions based on discriminatory practices:

  • Refusing to loan to people in protected classes
  • Declining to provide information regarding a loan product
  • Intentionally under appraising a property

When determining a person’s eligibility for a loan, mortgage brokers can only use pertinent financial information.

Penalties for Violating Fair Housing Laws

Violations of the federal Fair Housing Act go before a civil trial judge. Alternatively, they can be heard by a HUD Administrative Law judge. If a mortgage broker is found to have violated the Fair Housing Act, they can be ordered to:

  • Pay compensation for actual damages and emotional distress
  • Provide permanent injunctive relief
  • Provide equitable relief (i.e., make housing available)
  • Pay attorneys’ fees
  • Pay a penalty to HUD ($16,000 for first violation)

In addition, mortgage brokers and other housing professionals may be subject to state penalties. State courts can levy additional fines or revoke business licenses.

While the penalties for violating fair housing laws are stiff, avoiding these penalties is simple. All mortgage decisions should be made based solely on verifiable financial information. In addition, mortgage brokers should strive to provide every client with an exceptional customer experience.

This article is for information, illustrative and entertainment purposes only and does not purport to show actual results. It is not, and should not be regarded as investment advice or as a recommendation regarding any particular investment action.

Back to School: Five Tips to Prepare Your Kids for Success

Personal Interest
Back to school season can be a hectic time for kids and adults alike. There are so many things to do and supplies to gather that some essential things can get left by the wayside.  Focusing on a few key areas can help to give your kids what they need to succeed. Here are our top five tips for preparing your kids to head back to school! Set a Routine W...

Back to school season can be a hectic time for kids and adults alike. There are so many things to do and supplies to gather that some essential things can get left by the wayside. 

Focusing on a few key areas can help to give your kids what they need to succeed. Here are our top five tips for preparing your kids to head back to school!

Set a Routine Well in Advance

Most kids enjoy the sense of freedom that comes with summer. In some cases, this means that they’ve probably drifted pretty far from established bedtimes and other routines. They might be able to get away with it now, but with school on the way, they’ll have to adjust quickly.

The sudden shock of going straight from a flexible summer schedule to a regulated school schedule is a bit much for most kids. It’s best to gradually phase them back into their regular habits over the course of several weeks.

At least two weeks before school starts, get your kids back onto their school year bedtime. This will ensure that they’re able to get a good night’s sleep for their first day, instead of lying awake and then getting too little sleep.

Start Out Strong

Kids like to think of the first days (or even weeks) of school as a buffer period where they won’t have to do much. This isn’t a great way to look at it if they’re trying to succeed. Establish study and homework habits early on to make them stick.

Choose a specific time of day and place within the home for homework to be done. Even if the homework load is light as school starts up, sticking with the schedule will be more effective than letting them do their homework each day as they please.

Focus on Organization

One of the biggest reasons that children struggle with schoolwork is organization. It’s a skill that kids have to learn. Helping your child to set up a framework to manage their schoolwork will give them the tools they need to succeed.

Establish to-do lists for schoolwork. Set up a place where kids can write down supplies they need for projects. Create a family calendar and invite your kids to add important due dates to it. Even basic organizational skills like these can be a huge benefit when it comes to success at school.

Get Ready the Day Before

Making sure that everything is ready to go in the morning can greatly reduce the stress that both you and your child feel -- after all, stress from rushing to get ready can carry throughout the day.

Get all of the necessary supplies and books ready in your child’s backpack the night before. Invite your kids to help prepare their lunches and snacks, too. By making these tasks fun and part of the routine, you can set your child up for success during the school year.

Choose a Healthy Breakfast

“Breakfast is the most important meal of the day” may be an old adage, but it’s incredibly clear that children really do perform better in school when they’ve had a good breakfast. Options like whole grains and proteins will give your child more energy to face the coming school day. 

Before the school year starts, invite your child to come shopping with you for some breakfast staples to start the school year off on the right foot.

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