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Where Are Interest Rates Headed in 2019?

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The interest rate you pay on your home mortgage has a direct impact on your monthly payment. The higher the rate, the greater the payment will be. That is why it is important to know where rates are headed when deciding to start your home search.

Below is a chart created using Freddie Mac’s U.S. Economic & Housing Marketing Outlook. As you can see, interest rates are projected to increase steadily throughout 2019.

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How Will This Impact Your Mortgage Payment?

Depending on the amount of the loan that you secure, a half of a percent (.5%) increase in interest rate can increase your monthly mortgage payment significantly. But don’t let the prediction that rates will increase stop you from purchasing your dream home this year!

Let’s take a look at a historical view of interest rates over the last 45 years.

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Bottom Line

Be thankful that you can still get a better interest rate than your older brother or sister did ten years ago, a lower rate than your parents did twenty years ago, and a better rate than your grandparents did forty years ago.

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HOME MAINTENANCE YOU SHOULD BE DOING MONTHLY

According to NerdWallet, nearly half of homeowners cite unexpected home repairs as a source of anxiety. And no wonder — surprise repairs can be costly, and they also seem to pop up at the worst possible time. Fortunately, there’s something you can do to reduce the chances of those kinds of repairs being necessary: Maintenance!

Home maintenance can be daunting for a new homeowner. The list may seem endless, but if you break tasks down into categories that can be easily scheduled, you can take some of the pressure off and make it easy to stay on top of home maintenance.

Some maintenance can happen weekly, while other maintenance is only necessary once a year! To get you started, here’s a checklist of the kinds of maintenance you should be performing monthly if you want your home to stay in good condition.

Clean your drains and disposal. Pouring boiling water down a drain is a quick way to clean out sludge. If the drain is still moving sluggishly, baking soda and vinegar can help break up obstructions. Tossing some ice cubes into your disposal will both sharpen the blades and help flush out debris.

Check vents and filters. Clogged-up filters and vents can increase utility costs, as well as present a safety hazard in some instances. You may not necessarily need to replace HVAC filters monthly but keeping an eye on them will help you spot when they do need to be changed.

Demineralize faucets. Faucets and showerheads can build up mineral deposits slowly or quickly depending on how hard your tap water is. Hard water buildup can reduce water flow and even cause faucets to spray water in all the wrong directions. Soaking the faucet filter in vinegar is a quick and easy way to remove mineral deposits.

Check up on safety devices. Your smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detector, and fire extinguisher can only save your life if they’re functional! Be sure to replace smoke alarm and CO2 detector batteries every year, and double check that your fire extinguisher is up-to-date.

Doesn’t sound so hard, does it? If you can work these into your monthly routine, you’ll save yourself a lot of trouble and expense in the long run. Once you’ve tackled those, you can start working on seasonal maintenance!

Financing a home purchase, or refinancing for a lower rate or improvements? Please text, email or call us... Have a great day!

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Inside Look 004: Barry Habib, Founder & CEO of MBS Highway

 

In the fourth episode of Inside Look, we have special guest, Barry Habib, Founder and CEO of MBS Highway. Barry has had many successful businesses that he has founded, grown and sold throughout his career. This includes Mortgage Market Guide, Healthcare Imaging Solutions, and Certified Mortgage Associates. During his mortgage sales career, he was recognized for having the highest annual origination production in the US on two occasions. He also personally originated over $2 Billion dollars in mortgage loan production over his career. He was just named the top Real Estate forecaster by Zillow and Pulsenomics and has been presented with the Crystal Ball Award for the most accurate Real Estate forecasts out of 150 of the top economists in the US

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Inside Look 002: CCAR Scholarship Now Accepting Applications

Episode 2 of Inside Look. In the second episode of Inside Look, we take a look at the Contra Costa Association of REALTORs Scholarship Foundation. The Contra Costa Association of Realtors® (CCAR) Scholarship Foundation provides college scholarship grants to qualifying students in the fields of economics, marketing, communication, finance, business and real estate. Our commitment to support higher education is the heart of the Contra Costa Association of Realtors®’ desire to make a difference! In the last five years alone, the Foundation has awarded nearly $250,000 in college grants to deserving students whose families reside in Contra Costa County. We are accepting applications. The deadline for applications is April 30th. Thanks for watching episode 2. My goal is to bring you value with the videos that I do and I hope that you come back and watch future episodes. Please comment below, subscribe to the channel and please share with your friends and groups.

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The Cost of Waiting: Interest Rates Edition

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Some Highlights:

  • Interest rates are projected to increase steadily heading into 2019.
  • The higher your interest rate, the more money you end up paying for your home and the higher your monthly payment will be.
  • Rates are still low right now. Don’t wait until rates hit 5% to start searching for your dream home!

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Inside Look 001: Trusts

Episode 1 of Inside Look. We talk with attorney Daniel Quane of Doyle Quane & Freeman about why you need to set up a trust, how it works, how it protects you and your family. Special Guest: Daniel Doyle | Attorney | Doyle, Quane & Freeman | http://www.familylawgroup.com/ Thanks for watching episode 1. My goal is to bring you value with the videos that I do and I hope that you come back and watch future episodes. Please comment below, subscribe to the channel and please share with your friends and groups.

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The Impact Staging Your Home Has on Sales Price

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Some Highlights:

  • The National Association of Realtors surveyed their members & released the findings of their Annual Profile of Home Staging.
  • 50% of staged homes saw a 1-10% increase in dollar value offers from buyers.
  • 77% of buyer’s agents said staging made it easier for buyers to visualize the home as their own.
  • The top rooms to stage in order to attract more buyers are the living room, master bedroom, kitchen, and dining room.

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A Housing Bubble? Industry Experts Say NO!

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With residential home prices continuing to appreciate at levels above historic norms, some are questioning if we are heading toward another housing bubble (and subsequent burst) like the one we experienced in 2006-2008.

Recently, five housing experts weighed in on the question.

Rick Sharga, Executive VP at Ten-X:

“We’re definitely not in a bubble.”

“We have a handful of markets that are frothy and probably have hit an affordability wall of sorts but…while prices nominally have surpassed the 2006 peak, we’re not talking about 2006 dollars.”

 

Christopher Thornberg, Partner at Beacon Economics:

“There is no direct or indirect sign of any kind of bubble.”

“Steady as she goes. Prices continue to rise. Sales roughly flat.…Overall this market is in an almost boring place.”

 

Bill McBride, Calculated Risk:

“I wouldn't call house prices a bubble.”

“So prices may be a little overvalued, but there is little speculation and I don't expect house prices to decline nationally like during the bust.”

 

David M. Blitzer, Managing Director and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices:

“Housing is not repeating the bubble period of 2000-2006.”

“…price increases vary unlike the earlier period when rising prices were almost universal; the number of homes sold annually is 20% less today than in the earlier period and the months’ supply is declining, not surging.”

 

Bing Bai & Edward Golding, Urban Institute:

“We are not in a bubble and nowhere near the situation preceding the 2008 housing crisis.”

“Despite recent increases, house prices remain affordable by historical standards, suggesting that home prices are tracking a broader economic expansion.”

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Home Buying Myths Slayed

  Some Highlights:   1) Interest rates are still below historic numbers.  2) 88% of property managers raised their rent in the last 12 months!  3) The credit score requirements for mortgage approval continue to fall.

Some Highlights:

1) Interest rates are still below historic numbers.

2) 88% of property managers raised their rent in the last 12 months!

3) The credit score requirements for mortgage approval continue to fall.

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3 Questions to Ask Before You Buy Your Dream Home

 If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.  Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.   Get Pre-Qualified    1. Why am I buying a home in the first place?    This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.  For example, a  survey  by  Braun  showed that over 75% of parents say,  “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”   This survey supports a study by the  Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University  which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:  A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education  A place where you and your family feel safe  More space for you and your family  Control of that space  What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.   Get Pre-Qualified    2. Where are home values headed?   According to the latest   Existing Home Sales Report   from the  National Association of Realtors   (NAR),  the median price of homes sold in May (the latest data available) was $252,800, which is up 5.8% from last year. This increase also marks the 63rd consecutive month with year-over-year gains.  If we look at home prices year over year,  CoreLogic  is    forecasting  an increase of 5.3% over the next twelve months. In other words, a home that costs you $250,000 today will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait until next year to buy it.   What does that mean to you?   Simply put, with prices increasing each month, it might cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy.      Get Pre-Qualified    3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?   A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.  The  Mortgage Bankers Association   (MBA),   NAR , and  Fannie Mae  have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months, as you can see in the chart below:

If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interests at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market.

Ask yourself the following 3 questions to help determine if now is a good time for you to buy in today’s market.

Get Pre-Qualified

1. Why am I buying a home in the first place? 

This is truly the most important question to answer. Forget the finances for a minute. Why did you even begin to consider purchasing a home? For most, the reason has nothing to do with money.

For example, a survey by Braun showed that over 75% of parents say, “their child’s education is an important part of the search for a new home.”

This survey supports a study by the Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University which revealed that the top four reasons Americans buy a home have nothing to do with money. They are:

A good place to raise children and for them to get a good education

A place where you and your family feel safe

More space for you and your family

Control of that space

What does owning a home mean to you? What non-financial benefits will you and your family gain from owning a home? The answer to that question should be the biggest reason you decide to purchase or not.

Get Pre-Qualified

2. Where are home values headed?

According to the latest Existing Home Sales Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the median price of homes sold in May (the latest data available) was $252,800, which is up 5.8% from last year. This increase also marks the 63rd consecutive month with year-over-year gains.

If we look at home prices year over year, CoreLogic is forecasting an increase of 5.3% over the next twelve months. In other words, a home that costs you $250,000 today will cost you an additional $13,250 if you wait until next year to buy it.

What does that mean to you?

Simply put, with prices increasing each month, it might cost you more if you wait until next year to buy. Your down payment will also need to be higher in order to account for the higher price of the home you wish to buy. 

Get Pre-Qualified

3. Where are mortgage interest rates headed?

A buyer must be concerned about more than just prices. The ‘long-term cost’ of a home can be dramatically impacted by even a small increase in mortgage rates.

The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), NAR, and Fannie Mae have all projected that mortgage interest rates will increase over the next twelve months, as you can see in the chart below:

  Bottom Line   Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

Bottom Line

Only you and your family will know for certain if now is the right time to purchase a home. Answering these questions will help you make that decision.

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5 Reasons You Should Sell This Summer

 Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.   1. Demand Is Strong   The latest   Buyer Traffic Report   from the  National Association of Realtors (NAR)  shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.  Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.   Get Pre-Qualified    2. There Is Less Competition Now   Housing  inventory  is currently at a  4.2-month supply , well under the 6-months needed for a normal housing market. This means, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.  There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this summer.  Also,  builder's confidence  in the market has hit its highest mark in over 11 years. Experts are predicting that new construction of single-family homes will ramp up this summer.  The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.   Get Pre-Qualified    3. The Process Will Be Quicker    Fannie Mae  anticipates an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007's pace. As the market continues to strengthen, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler. According to  Ellie Mae’s  latest  Origination Insights    Report  , the time to close a loan has dropped to a new low of 42 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.   Get Pre-Qualified    4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up   If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it  now . Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.9% over the next year, according to  CoreLogic . If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars  (both in down payment and mortgage payment)  if you wait.  You can also lock in your 30-year housing expense with an  interest rate   around 4%  right now. Rates are projected to increase in the next 12 months.   Get Pre-Qualified    5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life   Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?  Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.   That is what is truly important.       Get Pre-Qualified

Here are five reasons listing your home for sale this summer makes sense.

1. Demand Is Strong

The latest Buyer Traffic Report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) shows that buyer demand remains very strong throughout the vast majority of the country. These buyers are ready, willing and able to purchase… and are in the market right now! More often than not, multiple buyers are competing with each other to buy a home.

Take advantage of the buyer activity currently in the market.

Get Pre-Qualified

2. There Is Less Competition Now

Housing inventory is currently at a 4.2-month supply, well under the 6-months needed for a normal housing market. This means, in the majority of the country, there are not enough homes for sale to satisfy the number of buyers in that market. This is good news for home prices. However, additional inventory could be coming to the market soon.

There is a pent-up desire for many homeowners to move, as they were unable to sell over the last few years because of a negative equity situation. Homeowners are now seeing a return to positive equity as real estate values have increased over the last two years. Many of these homes will be coming to the market this summer.

Also, builder's confidence in the market has hit its highest mark in over 11 years. Experts are predicting that new construction of single-family homes will ramp up this summer.

The choices buyers have will continue to increase. Don’t wait until all this other inventory of homes comes to market before you sell.

Get Pre-Qualified

3. The Process Will Be Quicker

Fannie Mae anticipates an acceleration in home sales that will surpass 2007's pace. As the market continues to strengthen, banks will be inundated with loan inquiries causing closing-time lines to lengthen. Selling now will make the process quicker & simpler. According to Ellie Mae’s latest Origination Insights Report, the time to close a loan has dropped to a new low of 42 days, after seeing a 12-month high of 48 days in January.

Get Pre-Qualified

4. There Will Never Be a Better Time to Move Up

If you are moving up to a larger, more expensive home, consider doing it now. Prices are projected to appreciate by 4.9% over the next year, according to CoreLogic. If you are moving to a higher-priced home, it will wind up costing you more in raw dollars (both in down payment and mortgage payment) if you wait.

You can also lock in your 30-year housing expense with an interest rate around 4% right now. Rates are projected to increase in the next 12 months.

Get Pre-Qualified

5. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

Look at the reason you decided to sell in the first place and determine whether it is worth waiting. Is money more important than being with family? Is money more important than your health? Is money more important than having the freedom to go on with your life the way you think you should?

Only you know the answers to the questions above. You have the power to take control of the situation by putting your home on the market. Perhaps the time has come for you and your family to move on and start living the life you desire.

That is what is truly important.

 

Get Pre-Qualified

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3 Reasons the Housing Market is NOT in a Bubble

 With housing prices appreciating at levels that far exceed historical norms, some are fearful that the market is heading for another bubble. To alleviate that fear, we just need to look back at the reasons that caused the bubble ten years ago.  Last decade, demand for housing was artificially propped up because mortgage lending standards were way too lenient. People that were not qualified to purchase were able to attain a mortgage anyway. Prices began to skyrocket. This increase in demand caused homebuilders in many markets to overbuild.  Eventually, the excess in new construction and the flooding of the market with distressed properties (foreclosures & short sales), caused by the lack of appropriate lending standards, led to the housing crash.   Where we are today…   1. If we look at lending standards based on the  Mortgage Credit Availability Index  released monthly by the  Mortgage Bankers Association , we can see that, though standards have become more reasonable over the last few years, they are nowhere near where they were in the early 2000s.

With housing prices appreciating at levels that far exceed historical norms, some are fearful that the market is heading for another bubble. To alleviate that fear, we just need to look back at the reasons that caused the bubble ten years ago.

Last decade, demand for housing was artificially propped up because mortgage lending standards were way too lenient. People that were not qualified to purchase were able to attain a mortgage anyway. Prices began to skyrocket. This increase in demand caused homebuilders in many markets to overbuild.

Eventually, the excess in new construction and the flooding of the market with distressed properties (foreclosures & short sales), caused by the lack of appropriate lending standards, led to the housing crash.

Where we are today…

1. If we look at lending standards based on the Mortgage Credit Availability Index released monthly by the Mortgage Bankers Association, we can see that, though standards have become more reasonable over the last few years, they are nowhere near where they were in the early 2000s.

 2. If we look at new construction, we can see that builders are not  “over building.”  Average annual housing starts in the first quarter of this year were not just below numbers recorded in 2002-2006, they are below starts going all the way back to 1980.

2. If we look at new construction, we can see that builders are not “over building.” Average annual housing starts in the first quarter of this year were not just below numbers recorded in 2002-2006, they are below starts going all the way back to 1980.

 3. If we look at home prices, most homes haven’t even returned to prices seen a decade ago.  Trulia  just released a  report  that explained:    “When it comes to the value of individual homes, the U.S. housing market has yet to recover. In fact, just 34.2% of homes nationally have seen their value surpass their pre-recession peak.”     Bottom Line   Mortgage lending standards are appropriate, new construction is below what is necessary and home prices haven’t even recovered. It appears fears of a housing bubble are over-exaggerated.

3. If we look at home prices, most homes haven’t even returned to prices seen a decade ago. Trulia just released a report that explained:

“When it comes to the value of individual homes, the U.S. housing market has yet to recover. In fact, just 34.2% of homes nationally have seen their value surpass their pre-recession peak.”

Bottom Line

Mortgage lending standards are appropriate, new construction is below what is necessary and home prices haven’t even recovered. It appears fears of a housing bubble are over-exaggerated.

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The 'REAL' News about Housing Affordability

Some industry experts are claiming that the housing market may be headed for a slowdown as we proceed through 2017, based on rising home prices and a potential jump in mortgage interest rates. One of the data points they use is the Housing Affordability Index, as reported by the National Association of Realtors (NAR).

Here is how NAR defines the index:

“The Housing Affordability Index measures whether or not a typical family earns enough income to qualify for a mortgage loan on a typical home at the national level based on the most recent price and income data.”

Basically, a value of 100 means a family earning the median income earns enough to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced home, based on the price and mortgage interest rates at the time. Anything above 100 means the family has more than enough to qualify.

The higher the index, the easier it is to afford a home.

Why the concern?

The index has been declining over the last several years as home values increased. Some are concerned that too many buyers could be priced out of the market.

But, wait a minute…

Though the index skyrocketed from 2009 through 2013, we must realize that during that time, the housing crisis left the market with an overabundance of distressed properties (foreclosures and short sales). All prices dropped dramatically and distressed properties sold at major discounts. Then, mortgage rates fell like a rock.

The market is recovering, and values are coming back nicely. That has caused the index to fall.

However, let’s remove the crisis years (shaded in gray) and look at the current index as compared to the index from 1990 – 2008:

 

Though prices and rates appear to be increasing, we must realize that affordability is composed of three ingredients: home prices, interest rates, and income. And, incomes are finally rising.

ATTOM Data Solutions recently released their Q1 2017 U.S. Home Affordability Index. The report explained:

“Stronger wage growth is the silver lining in this report, outpacing home price growth in more than half of the markets for the first time since Q1 2012, when median home prices were still falling nationwide. If that pattern continues, it will help turn the tide in the eroding home affordability trend.”

Bottom Line

Compared to historic norms, it is still a great time to buy from an affordability standpoint.

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Buying this Spring? Be Prepared for Bidding Wars

Traditionally, spring is the busiest season for real estate. Buyers come out in force and homeowners list their houses for sale hoping to capitalize on buyer activity. This year will be no different!

Buyers have already been out in force looking for their dream homes and more are on their way, but the challenge is that the inventory of homes for sale has not kept up with demand, which has lead to A LOT of competition for the homes that are available.

A recent Bloomberg article touched on the current market conditions:

“It’s the 2017 U.S. spring home-selling season, and listings are scarcer than they’ve ever been. Bidding wars common in perennially hot markets like the San Francisco Bay area, Denver and Boston are now also prevalent in the once slow-and-steady heartland, sending prices higher and sparking desperation among buyers across the country.”

Sam Khater, Deputy Chief Economist at CoreLogic went on to explain why buyers are flocking to the market in big numbers:

“In today’s market, many buyers think the trough in [interest] rates is over. If you don’t get in now, it’s just going to be worse later. Rates will be higher, prices will be higher, and maybe inventory selection will be lower.”

In some markets, “thirty-five percent of properties are selling within the first week or two of hitting the market.” Homes are selling at a rapid clip in places like:

  • Denver, CO
  • Seattle, WA
  • Oakland, CA
  • Grand Rapids, MI
  • Boise, ID
  • Madison, WI
  • Omaha, NE

Bottom Line

Let’s get together to discuss your exact market conditions and help you create a strategy to secure your new home in this competitive atmosphere!

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4 Great Reasons to Buy This Spring!

Here are four great reasons to consider buying a home today instead of waiting.

1. Prices Will Continue to Rise

CoreLogic’s latest Home Price Index reports that home prices have appreciated by 6.9% over the last 12 months. The same report predicts that prices will continue to increase at a rate of 4.8% over the next year.

The bottom in home prices has come and gone. Home values will continue to appreciate for years. Waiting no longer makes sense.

2. Mortgage Interest Rates Are Projected to Increase

Freddie Mac’s Primary Mortgage Market Survey shows that interest rates for a 30-year mortgage have remained around 4% over the last couple months. The Mortgage Bankers Association, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac & the National Association of Realtors are in unison, projecting that rates will increase by at least a half a percentage point this time next year.

An increase in rates will impact YOUR monthly mortgage payment. A year from now, your housing expense will increase if a mortgage is necessary to buy your next home.

3. Either Way, You are Paying a Mortgage 

There are some renters who have not yet purchased a home because they are uncomfortable taking on the obligation of a mortgage. Everyone should realize that, unless you are living with your parents rent-free, you are paying a mortgage - either yours or your landlord’s.

As an owner, your mortgage payment is a form of ‘forced savings’ that allows you to build equity in your home that you can tap into later in life. As a renter, you guarantee your landlord is the person with that equity.

Are you ready to put your housing cost to work for you?

4. It’s Time to Move on with Your Life

The ‘cost’ of a home is determined by two major components: the price of the home and the current mortgage rate. It appears that both are on the rise.

But what if they weren’t? Would you wait?

Look at the actual reason you are buying and decide if it is worth waiting. Whether you want to have a great place for your children to grow up, you want your family to be safer or you just want to have control over renovations, maybe now is the time to buy.

If the right thing for you and your family is to purchase a home this year, buying sooner rather than later could lead to substantial savings.

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