I made a super awesome tomato bisque
last night. It's kind of a lot of work for a simple tomato soup, but that's just because I think a tomato soup should be really fast and easy. Making your own though is so, so, so much better than anything you can get premade at the store. Plus! I got to try out my new immersion blender.
I have some very good news. It's about my mortgage. I know, you're riveted now.
My mortgage is through Chase. I'm sure, like any company, people have had good and bad experiences with them. For my own part, I've never had any problems. I hesitate to say that means it's been positive
; it's not like I've gone around ecstatic that they're my mortgage company or anything.
However, I am now cautiously optimistic that sometime in the next two weeks, I will be able to say that I've had a really positive experience with the company.
Last week, I got what's known in some circles as "the magic Fedex letter" from them about their "mortgage rate reduction program." From what I can tell of what I've read by others who have gotten the letter/offer as well, it's a targeted program, sent to a select group of mortgagees who've always paid their bill on time, still have equity in their home, the home's their primary residence, etc. etc.
Essentially, the letter is FedEx'ed next business day, and you have like 4 days to respond to it. The offer is for Chase to lower your existing mortgage rate (mine was 5.875% for 30-year fixed) to a more current rate (for me, it was 4.625% for 30-year fixed) with zero closing costs
. Basically, they're just going to lower your interest rate for nothing.
It sounds too good to be true, right? I was certain it was a scam. So I did my online research and nope, it's totally legit. Nothing official from Chase on why
they would do such a thing, though there are forums speculating (generally accepted thinking is that Chase wants to prevent their best customers from possibly refinancing with someone else, so they can keep those customers and look good to investors).
There's no appraisal or anything. Once you talk to someone on the phone to accept the offer, they send you a good-faith estimate. If you want to proceed (and there are very few reasons not to, if any), you send them two documents: a signed authorization for disclosure and a copy of your homeowner's insurance policy to prove you have it. That's it. They then contact you to set up a closing date when you sign all the papers (that's where I am now, I sent my two docs yesterday and am now waiting for someone to call me to set up the closing date). On average they are closing people within 2 weeks.
This might be the first time I have ever gotten anything good come of being a good citizen (or schmuck, depending on how you look at it) and paying my bills on time. Usually you get exactly nothing for that. You get breaks if you're a problem child who can't pay your bills (usually due to living outside your means, but also other, better reasons), so they'll work with you to lower the amount of what you actually owe, which is a really fucked up system, but whatever. Or, you know, you'll get more by switching to a new phone company or whatever, instead of being a loyal customer. Which, again, fucked up. But finally, Chase is giving a reward for good
behavior. What a concept! (And yes, of course they get something out of it, too. But that's true of everything.)
Now in not-so-great news: I locked my keys in my car yesterday. Specifically, they were left in the ignition of the Pontiac. I didn't even realize until hours later, when I was going to take Talis to the park and was hunting high and low for my keys.
My only excuse is that it's nearly impossible for me to get locked out of my Lexus, which I've been driving some form of for the last 3 years, so there are certain habits I've developed. Like, I never, ever have to take my keys out of my purse to drive/lock/unlock my car. So I've lost the habit of pulling keys out of ignitions and putting them in my purse or realizing when they're not with me. Now that I have the Pontiac, I've had to relearn that automatic reflex, but obviously it's still not second nature to me.
The good news is that because
of the Pontiac, I do have roadside assistance (I might've mentioned this -- trialing Allstate Motor Club for 2 months for $1.99/month). Of course, I was imagining that I would use this for towing, not locking my keys in the car, but whatevs, still possibly the best $2 I've ever spent.
It took 40 minutes or less from the time I called Allstate to when I had my keys back. They sent someone who came to my house (luckily the car was just parked outside and I hadn't locked myself out at, say, the Mukilteo Lighthouse) within like 15 minutes. That was pretty awesome. It wasn't awesome for poor Talis, however, who didn't get to go to the park after all because it was starting to get dark when I was hunting for my keys, and by the time it was all over it was actually dark.