Dear Valued Members,
It’s hard to believe it has been one year since the COVID-19 pandemic changed our lives. I hope that you and your loved ones have remained safe and healthy during this challenging time. As the pandemic extends into its second year, we continue to make the safety of our members and employees our highest priority.
As Los Angeles and Ventura Counties continue to open, we remain guided by the requirements of public health authorities, as well as state and federal mandates regarding reopening businesses. Currently, we’re required to limit the number of members allowed inside a branch at any given time to ensure safe distancing. For everyone’s safety, we require members and employees to wear face masks while inside of our branches.
The steep decline in COVID-19 cases and availability of vaccines to every adult in California beginning April 15, gives us hope that the communities we serve will begin to emerge from the pandemic this year.
Low interest rates, an upswing in home sales and an energetic real estate market are driving members to Logix in droves to refinance existing mortgages or to obtain new home loans. We expect the housing market to remain competitive this year driven by low real estate inventory coupled with high demand, which will continue to drive prices higher.
According to many of the nation’s economists, the economic growth for 2021 is expected to be stellar. This means that today’s loan rates are likely to rise, so it’s a really good time to lock in a low rate on your mortgage soon. It’s also a good time to tap into your home’s increased equity to pay off bills, make home renovations or to pay for that long craved-for post-pandemic vacation to create new family memories. The Logix team is ready to guide members through every step of the home-loan process and our new state-of-the-art mortgage system makes the experience faster and easier than before.
We have many other loan programs that will put you in a better financial position, including vehicle and personal loan rates as low as 1.49% APR and 6.24% APR, respectively, on approved credit.
We’re very proud to share that we’re scheduled to open doors to the new Logix headquarters in Valencia, CA in May 2021. The campus is located on Franklin Parkway, near the junction of Interstate 5 and State Highway 126.
As a fast-growing hub of business and new housing development, we determined the Santa Clarita Valley (SCV) to be the best site for the company’s long-term growth while also offering our employees a great quality of life. With 5 branches and over 30 years of history in the SCV, our staff is looking forward to being even more involved in the community.
The Logix campus includes a 180,000 square foot headquarters building with a bright open floor plan, a commissary, state-of-the-art data center, generously sized work stations and indoor and outdoor collaboration spaces and amenities to complement our culture of belonging, purpose, meaning and overall employee wellness. In the coming years, we’re hoping to attract talent from the Santa Clarita Valley as one of the largest employers in the community. For many, it’s a dream come true to live and work in the same community.
Logix Federal Credit Union remains committed to serving you and the communities we serve. We know that it will be several months before the pandemic is behind us and that many small businesses and households in our communities will need time to rebuild. Please reach out to us for assistance with any financial hardships you may be experiencing.
Thank you for your continued trust in Logix!
Ana E. Fonseca
President and CEO
4 Reasons to Buy a Home This Year...
and 3 Reasons You Should Continue to Rent
Every 12 months, you need to decide whether to breathe new life into your rental agreement or let it expire. You could resuscitate your relationship with your landlord (again) or allow it to rest in peace and join the growing ranks of first-time homebuyers ready for a long-term commitment.
According to the National Association of Realtors®, first-time buyers are grabbing a greater share of the real estate market, despite the pandemic. It might be due to the changing workplace, a renewed appreciation for home life, or one of the four reasons we list below. While buying a home isn't the right decision for everyone, there's a strong case for seriously considering a home purchase this year.
Last year, interest rates fell to record lows to help stimulate the economy. This was good news for borrowers, as lower rates decrease the cost of borrowing money for a home. Mortgage rates remain below 3% for now, but they won't stay that way forever. According to Freddie Mac, mortgage rates are already starting to rise as the economy shows signs of improvement. Buying a home now means you can take advantage of today's low interest rates. Find out more about Logix mortgage rates here.
Despite the tax deduction limitations placed on mortgage interest and points in 2018, homeowners can still use their mortgage to help lower their tax bill. The effect each deduction will have on your taxes is based on the property and your financial situation. As a homeowner, you'll have access to tax breaks that aren't available to renters. But consider hiring a tax professional to help you understand your unique tax situation.
According to the National Association of Realtors®, home prices are rising and inventory is shrinking. The median price for existing homes is up 14.1% from this time last year, while the number of units is down by 25.7%. You can get more home for your money now, before prices increase even more.
The pandemic proved that employees can be just as effective working from home as they are in the office. And many employers have adopted policies that support their employees' choice to continue to work at home even after it's safe to return to the office environment. Since many workers no longer need to live near work, moving into the suburbs or another city has become an attractive option. If your employer allows you to work from home or telecommute a few days a week, you may be able to remove "close to work" from your home-buying wish list. Read more on this topic on the Logix SmartLab blog.
Three Reasons to Keep Renting
Buying a home is a huge financial commitment. While the competitive housing market might allow you to sell your home quickly, you may not recoup the amount you pay toward your down payment, closing costs, and upgrades to the new home.
You're not ready to give up the perks of renting.
Homeownership is a big responsibility, and the costs extend far beyond the mortgage, insurance, and property taxes. Leaky faucets, broken appliances, and low water pressure showers will no longer be fixed with a call to the property manager. When you own your home, you not only pay out-of-pocket for all maintenance and repairs, but you have to find qualified people to do those things if you don't have the know-how and skills to do them yourself.
Also, homeowners must travel miles or even pay money to access certain pet, recreational, and parking amenities available onsite at many popular apartment units. Examples include a dog park, electric car charging stations, and a fitness center. And paying rent on time can even help you build a positive credit history.
You’re Elon Musk.
I am selling almost all physical possessions. Will own no house.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 1, 2020
Saying goodbye to renting is a huge financial step, but it has the potential for even greater rewards. Homeowners can access significant tax savings, build equity in an appreciating asset, and put an end to rent increases once and for all. Logix has a variety of home loan programs to fit your budget. Call us or visit our website today and ask about the special mortgages we have to help new homebuyers.
Consider Your Other Goals
Some people start their careers making six figures or more; this is rare. By about 25 years old, making $35,000 or so is a reasonable expectation. If your salary increases follow the historical rate and you have no major employment gaps, from 25 years to the time you’re ready for retirement you could earn almost $2 million.
Without a doubt, $2 million is a lot of money. If you take a second look at the list of potential financial goals, however, it begins to lose its comparative value. For instance, the current cost of a starter home is anywhere from $150,000 to $250,000. Similarly, student loans are one of the biggest obstacles to a debt-free life. The average student loan debt is $29,800.
Create a Plan
If you’re starting to feel discouraged, the good news is that money isn’t a static asset. It has the potential to grow and do some of the work for you by creating passive income. In fact, people who begin to invest in their future early can better position themselves in the pursuit of their retirement goals. You can employ several different strategies to help your money go further:
The best time to start minimizing debt is before you take any on. This does not mean you should never buy anything on credit. It does imply wisdom in how you use debt. Also, be wise about payment terms, interest rates and the types of debt.
Whenever possible, pay down that debt as quickly as you can. However, never become so focused on paying off debt that you neglect your savings. Take another look at the list of potential financial goals and see how you can get closer to those goals.
Need help figuring out where to get started? Our Financial Consultants at Logix Financial Services can help. Call us at (800) 553-3707 for more information today.
The opinions voiced in this material are for general information only and are not intended to provide specific advice or recommendations for any individual.
The Financial Consultants of Logix Financial Services are registered representatives with, and securities and advisory services are offered through LPL Financial (LPL), a registered investment advisor and broker/dealer (member FINRA/SIPC). Insurance products are offered through LPL or its licensed affiliates. Logix Federal Credit Union (LFCU) and Logix Financial Services are not registered as a broker/dealer or investment advisor. Registered representatives of LPL offer products and services using the name Logix Financial Services, and may also be employees of LFCU. These products and services are being offered through LPL or its affiliates, which are separate entities from and not affiliates of LFCU or Logix Financial Services. Securities and insurance offered through LPL or its affiliates are:
CA Insurance License #0D64827
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) reported at the beginning of 2021 it will allow all taxpayers to apply for an Identity Protection Personal Identification Number (IP PIN), a single-use code designed to block identity thieves from falsely claiming a tax refund in your name. Currently, IP PINs are issued only to those who fill out an ID theft affidavit, or to taxpayers who’ve experienced tax refund fraud in previous years.
Tax refund fraud is a perennial problem involving the use of identity information and often stolen or misdirected W-2 forms to electronically file an unauthorized tax return for the purposes of claiming a refund in the name of a taxpayer.
Victims usually first learn of the crime after having their returns rejected because scammers beat them to it. Even those who are not required to file a return can be victims of refund fraud, as can those who are not actually due a refund from the IRS.
Many of the reasons why refund fraud remains a problem have to do with timing, and some of them are described in more detail here. But the short answer is the IRS is under tremendous pressure to issue refunds quickly and to minimize “false positives” (flagging legitimate claims as fraud) — even when it may not yet have all of the information needed to accurately distinguish phony filings from legitimate ones.
One way the IRS has sought to stem the flow of bogus tax refund applications is to issue the IP PIN, which is a six-digit number assigned to eligible taxpayers to help prevent the use of their Social Security number on a fraudulent income tax return. Each IP PIN is good only for the tax year for which it was issued.
But up until now, the IRS has restricted who can apply for an IP PIN, although it has over the past few years issued them proactively to some taxpayers as part of a multi-state experiment to determine if doing so more widely might reduce the overall incidence of refund fraud.
The IRS says it will make its Get IP PIN tool available to all taxpayers in mid-January. Until then, if you haven’t already done so you should plant your flag at the IRS by stepping through the agency’s “secure access authentication” process.
Creating an account requires supplying a great deal of personal data; the information that will be requested is listed here.
The signup process requires one to validate ownership of a mobile phone number in one’s name, and it will reject any voice-over-IP-based numbers services such as those tied to Skype or Google Voice. If the process fails at this point, the site should offer to send an activation code via postal mail to your address on file.
Refer friends and family
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