Know the Pitfalls of Reverse Mortgages

Your parents took out a reverse mortgage so that they could stay in their home.  Maybe they need help with medical bills.  It may sound like a good idea because there is a lot of the equity is in the house since they have owned it for so many years.  But maybe not. The cost of these reverse mortgages sometimes makes it very expensive for both the homeowner and for the heirs.  The cost of the reverse mortgage can be thousands of dollars paid up front in order to get the loan.  Then when the homeowner dies, the heirs try to take over and it appears their rights are being denied and lenders are foreclosing. Make sure you or your parents know EXACTLY what they are getting themselves into before agreeing to these mortgages. For more information, check out this article with the NY Times:  

Don’t be Scammed by Fake Emails

I received an email just today from what appeared to be Craigslist telling me that I had exceeded my posting limit.  The message wanted me to "click here" to log into my account before the account was canceled. Here is the email: Dear CraigsIist Customer, We are upgrading the CraigsIist posting services. As the primary contact, you must renew your CraigsIist account as soon as possible or it will be canceled and your CraigsIist account will be limited. FOLLOW THE WEB ADDRESS BELOW TO: PUBLISH THIS TEST AD EDIT (OR CONFIRM AN EDIT TO) YOUR AD If not clickable, please copy and paste the address to your browser: Click Here Your posting will expire off the site 45 days after it was created. Sincerely, CraigsIist Inc. CraigsIist Email ID CL - 328736287   As a Realtor, I do a lot of posting on Craigslist but I was still suspicious of this email.. Now this is one of the most poorly designed emails that I have seen, but one of the first things I do is to check the email address. This is what I found - exceeded the posting limit(subject line) CraigsIist-automated message, do not reply - Please do not reply to this email [] To: Do you see what is wrong with all of this?  Not only did it not have a Craigslist return email address, it showed a address, and it was sent to the same address. The subject line was all lower case. I know better than to click on a link when I feel something is not right.  If, for some reason I thought it was legit and clicked on the link and it asked for password or personal info, I would not give it.  The way to handle it is to go directly to the site or call the company to see if they sent out this email warning. I received another one just last week from Bank of America and it looked so legitimate but I have not had a BofA account for many many years.  If I had, I would still not have clicked on any link but would have either called the company or gone directly to their website. It is too bad that we have to be so cautious to save ourselves from #identitytheft , but that is the world we live in now.

Having Trouble Making Your Mortgage Payment & Want to Lower It Permanently? Free Event March 20 thru March 24

Many people don't know about this and I was one of them, but the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development(HUD) has a mortgage relief event happening in the Bay Area going on right now at the Oakland Marriott City Center through Monday, March 24, 2014 from 8 am to 6 pm. If you are a homeowners struggling with your mortgage payments, you can sit down with a counselor to determine an affordable mortgage payment and meet with lenders.  In some cases, interest rates can get as low as 2 percent due to these counseling events and 80 percent of people walk away with a solution per the San Francisco Examiner's article. The banks, Wells Fargo, Bank of America, Chase as well as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac come along to help cut through the red tape. Also per the article, homeowners need only bring their last mortgage statement, bank statements for the past six months, proof of income for the past 30 days and tax information from last year. For more information, here is the website: You just might end up with a better, lower mortgage payment? If you go to the event, please check back and let me know if it is all that it appears to be. This event is also for homebuyers.  I don't know what the qualifications are, but here is  the flyer on the event:  NACA - Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of American - Mortgage Relief What do you think? Original story:

Be a Hero – Blood Drive in South San Francisco on March 13

The South San Francisco Police Department is having a blood drive tomorrow.  If you are a healthy individual along with other requirements seen below, please come by and leave a bit of yourself.  There are some people, who have rare blood who are very much in need today. So whether you have rare or common blood types, they'd love to see you there tomorrow.
SSF Police Dept. Blood Drive
Blood Centers of The Pacific
The South San Francisco Police Department and The Blood Centers of the Pacific are inviting donors to its annual Blood Drive. Location: Municipal Services Building, Police Training Room Address: 33 Arroyo Drive, South San Francisco Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014 Donor Requirements: Be in good health Weigh at least 110 lbs Eat before donating and drink extra water or juice Bring your ID Raffle prizes are being given out by the SSF Police Association and Blood Centers of the Pacific. To schedule an appointment online, please follow the instructions below:
  1. Visit Blood Centers of the Pacific website:
  2. Click on Donate Blood.
  3. The site will direct you on the steps to follow.
  4. Enter “south san francisco police department” when the system asks for a sponsor code
For more information, contact Maida Ng at (650) 877-8906.  Walk-ins are welcome. This is a great cause. Be a HERO and donate blood. Thank you! This information is from the City of South San Francisco website:

SSF Police Association’s 12th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Dinner

The South San Francisco Police Association is having their annual St. Patrick's Day Dinner to raise funds for the Survivor Benefit Fund on  Sunday, March 16.

My husband was a South San Francisco Police Reserve for about 18 years.  I remember the years when the kids were small that he was out there, especially on Halloween because that was an "Active" night.   The police are working 24/7, putting their lives on the line to keep us safe.  So, come on out and enjoy an evening with them. This wonderful meal which consists of Patrick Sullivan's Famous Corned Beef and Cabbage and all the fixings is only $30 and there will be entertainment and a raffle.  Here's the info: Sunday, Mach 16, 2014 It will be from 5:00 pm to 10 pm. SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO CONFERENCE CENTER 255 SOUTH AIRPORT BLVD,SOUTH SAN FRANCISCO Be sure to wear your green so you don't get pinched - or maybe ...   So, if you want to have a wonderful dinner and have some fun, here's what you do: Tickets May Be Purchased In Person: South San Francisco Police Department 33 Arroyo Drive, Suite C South San Francisco, CA 94080 By Mail: Richard & Elaine Garbarino 400 Avalon Drive South San Francisco, CA 94080 (650) 872-1143 For more information:

Lots of Events in South San Francisco This Week

South City is having a very eventful week.  Here are a couple of events happening. March 13 - South San Francisco Police Association Blood Drive The South San Francisco Police Department and The Blood Centers of the Pacific are inviting donors to its annual Blood Drive. Location: Municipal Services Building, Police Training Room Address: 33 Arroyo Drive, South San Francisco Time: 9:00 am - 1:00 pm Date: Thursday, March 13, 2014 Donor Requirements: Be in good health Weigh at least 110 lbs Eat before donating and drink extra water or juice Bring your ID Appointment can be made.  For more information, contact Maida Ng at (650) 877-8906. There will also be a raffle.  Don't know what the prize will be as you've already won by helping your fellow human being. Here's the original information:   ______________________________________________________________________________ Saturday, March 15, 2014

Paradise Valley Clean-up & Tree Planting Event

Want to volunteer with cleaning up and planting trees?  Staff from the South San Francisco Fire Department, the Community and  volunteers will be making Paradise Valley look better this coming Saturday.  Come and help and get to know your neighbors. High school volunteers may accumulate community service awards. They will meet at Paradise Valley Park, Hillside Blvd & School Street, at 9:00 am on Saturday, March 15, 2014. For more information: __________________________________________________________________________________ Sunday, March 16, 2016

SSF Police Association’s 12th Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration Dinner

See my other Post for the  South San Francisco Police Association St. Patrick's Celebration Dinner for the Survivor Benefit Funds. For more information:  

Shop and Help Raise Money for Orange Memorial Park

Do you love to Shop at Macy's?

Heart_Your_Park_Logo_webready_thumb.jpg Well, here is your chance to do just that and help raise funds for Orange Memorial Park at the same time.  While shopping at Macy's in the Serramonte Shopping Center this month, you can donate $1 or more at the register every time your make a purchase. Macy's will match the donations up to $250,000.  It is part of a "Heart Your Park" program. It is called

Macy's Heart Your Park Fundraiser for Orange Park

So Happy Shopping!  

First Time Homebuyer Workshop on March 5th in South San Francisco

Wednesday evening there will be a presentation from HEART and Meriwest Mortgage for First Time Homebuyers in San Mateo County. There are restrictions, such as income, but the benefits are wonderful.  There are a couple of programs.  Depending upon the program, you need either 5 or 10% down payment. In some cases,  this program may be better than an FHA loan. I met these folks just last week and they are wonderful.  They tell me that it is a very quick process and escrow can close in less than 30 days.  Wow, that is faster than some of the regular loans out there The workshop is FREE to First Time Homebuyers who want to purchase a home anywhere in the County, but unfortunately, not in Daly City.   Every city in San Mateo County must think it is important enough to help with this program, but Daly City does not or does not have the funds or ???? But there are lots of other cities who are helping first time home buyers, so if you want to know more, be sure to come. The workshop is on Wednesday evening, March 5, 2014 from 5:30-7:30 pm at South San Francisco Municipal Building 33 Arroyo Drive South San Francisco, CA 94080 If you can't make it or want more information, contact   Paula Stinson HEART of San Mateo County 650-872-4444 x 4#  

Be On the Lookout for Local Scams in Your Neighborhood

There seems to be a couple of scams happening in the area. One is a phone call scam where someone posing as an employee of South San Francisco.  A male is calling to say there will be work done by the City of South San Francisco in your neighborhood and wants to know if you would like additional work to be done.  This has been reported by two separate residents from two different neighborhoods. Here's the link to the Police Report: Another phone call scam has to do with Walmart Mystery Shoppers.  A cashier's check is delivered stating they are from the Walmart Mystery Shoppers.  There are instructions to cash the check, spend some of the money at your local Walmart and send the rest of the funds via Western Union to another Mystery Shopper. Well, apparently this victim did not cash the check so they received another phone call demanding they cash the check and send the money as instructed.  If these instructions were not followed, the FBI would be alerted and sent to their home. Guess we have some pretty smart residents in South San Francisco, as this person did some research and discovered the cashier's check was fraudulent. Here's the link to the police report: So, be on the look out for possible scams.  You know the old cliche, "If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is". Anyone who has had similar phone calls or has any further information is encouraged to call the South San Francisco Police Department at (650) 877-8900 or the anonymous tip line at (650) 952-2244.

Need Help With Making Your Mortgage Payments?

Can't afford your home, but don't want to sell it?  Read on to find out one solution that may work for you. Did you know there is a program where you can home share?  If someone has an extra room or separate unit available, HIP Housing can help put you together. What is HIP Housing? It is a nonprofit organization that has, since 1972, provided free home sharing services in San Mateo County.  They personally and professionally dedicate their time, tools, expertise and billingual services to helping find alternative housing solutions. They could help you in reducing your living expenses, whether you own your own home or need a home to live. This could be a great benefit to a family or older person who has a home but needs help either financially or even physically with caring for the home or in need of a companion.   In exchange,  The home seeker can exchange services in lieu of or possibly get a reduced rent.   HIP Housing helps with the contract between the two parties and it can be a win-win solution for both.  They even check in to be sure both parties are happy and fulfilling their obligation to the other. Another service of HIP Housing is called Self-Sufficiency which provides housing help and supportive services to low- income families transitioning to self-reliance. If you would like to find out more about HIP Housing in San Mateo County, call (650) 348-6660 or go to their website at Know anyone out there who could benefit from these services?