The Custom Furniture Business: Creating Beautiful and Timeless Designs
Small businesses are the soul of America

More people are interested in buying locally made products than ever before. You can capitalize on many consumers’ return to local shopping by emphasizing that all components of your furniture are made in the United States, or in your town or area. The same applies to handmade goods. Individuals who are tired of mass-produced goods are often the same people who are interested in buying locally. Given this climate, it is a good time to start a handmade furniture business.

Federal government to allow mortgage payment deferral for up to a year

HUD headquarters, a gray brutalist building.Getty Images

While the terms won’t apply to everyone, it’s a good start

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday a sweeping moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or Federal Housing Administration mortgages on single-family homes. On Friday, federal regulators went a step further by allowing payment deduction or deferral on mortgages backed by Freddie or Fannie for as long as year for those who have lost income or employment because of the novel coronavirus fallout.

What specific relief a homeowner will get depends on their situation, but terms have not been made public. According to NPR, federal regulators believe the entire mortgage industry will follow suit with providing relief, so if you’re in trouble, contact your mortgage servicer immediately. (You can find your servicer’s contact information on your mortgage statement.)

FHA loans and public housing residents account for more than 9 million households, while Freddie- or Fannie-backed mortgages account for the majority of single-family homes. The Freddie and Fannie moratorium will last at least 60 days.

The moves come in response to the economic fallout caused by...


HUD headquarters, a gray brutalist building.Getty Images

While the terms won’t apply to everyone, it’s a good start

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday a sweeping moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or Federal Housing Administration mortgages on single-family homes. On Friday, federal regulators went a step further by allowing payment deduction or deferral on mortgages backed by Freddie or Fannie for as long as year for those who have lost income or employment because of the novel coronavirus fallout.

What specific relief a homeowner will get depends on their situation, but terms have not been made public. According to NPR, federal regulators believe the entire mortgage industry will follow suit with providing relief, so if you’re in trouble, contact your mortgage servicer immediately. (You can find your servicer’s contact information on your mortgage statement.)

FHA loans and public housing residents account for more than 9 million households, while Freddie- or Fannie-backed mortgages account for the majority of single-family homes. The Freddie and Fannie moratorium will last at least 60 days.

The moves come in response to the economic fallout caused by the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as novel coronavirus, which could lead to unemployment rising as high as 20 percent, according to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are guarantors on the majority of mortgages, which they buy and bundle into bonds called mortgage-backed securities. Most mortgages fall into this category, as 97.7 percent of mortgage securities were issued by the agencies so far in 2020, according to the Urban Institute.

This means if you have a mortgage, it was mostly likely sold to Freddie or Fannie and thus the foreclosure moratorium and payment relief likely applies to you. Homeowners who don’t have mortgages backed by Freddie or Fannie are likely to be subprime borrowers, condo owners, or owners of particularly expensive housing (the loan limit amount varies from county to county).

These measures may end up temporarily staving off disaster for the housing market. Otherwise, if unemployment spikes and homeowners default en masse, it would lead to a massive increase in available housing, reminiscent of the financial crisis of 2008.

In addition to mortgage relief, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Wednesday it will encourage local public housing authorities (PHAs) to suspend evictions on public housing residents.

The moratorium on evictions of public housing residents, the majority of whom are elderly and/or disabled, would apply to more than a million households if every PHA suspended evictions. HUD does not have the legal authority to force PHAs to suspend evictions, but many of the largest PHAs have already done so, including New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. It is likely many others will follow.

The moratorium does not apply to housing voucher holders. HUD Secretary Ben Carson told the Los Angeles Times that a moratorium on FHA-backed multifamily housing could be coming, but housing voucher recipients may need Congressional action.

While these two measures protect millions of Americans, renters in private-market housing remain vulnerable to eviction should they suffer financial hardship because of the novel coronavirus.

But cities across the country—particularly those with expensive housing—have independently announced moratoriums on evictions that range from two weeks to indefinitely. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami are among the cities that have issued eviction moratoriums.

The private sector is responding to the crisis as well. Bank of America announced Thursday that it is offering relief to consumers and small business owners experiencing hardship because of the coronavirus, which will include mortgage payment deferrals. It will be done on a case-by-case basis and will run month-to-month.

JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo say they are also working with borrowers who have been impacted by the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus to provide relief, according to NPR. The situation is incredibly fluid, so if you are struggling, it’s important to contact your mortgage servicer as soon as possible.

HUD headquarters, a gray brutalist building.Getty Images

While the terms won’t apply to everyone, it’s a good start

President Donald Trump announced Wednesday a sweeping moratorium on foreclosures for homeowners with mortgages backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or Federal Housing Administration mortgages on single-family homes. On Friday, federal regulators went a step further by allowing payment deduction or deferral on mortgages backed by Freddie or Fannie for as long as year for those who have lost income or employment because of the novel coronavirus fallout.

What specific relief a homeowner will get depends on their situation, but terms have not been made public. According to NPR, federal regulators believe the entire mortgage industry will follow suit with providing relief, so if you’re in trouble, contact your mortgage servicer immediately. (You can find your servicer’s contact information on your mortgage statement.)

FHA loans and public housing residents account for more than 9 million households, while Freddie- or Fannie-backed mortgages account for the majority of single-family homes. The Freddie and Fannie moratorium will last at least 60 days.

The moves come in response to the economic fallout caused by the spread of COVID-19, commonly referred to as novel coronavirus, which could lead to unemployment rising as high as 20 percent, according to Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are guarantors on the majority of mortgages, which they buy and bundle into bonds called mortgage-backed securities. Most mortgages fall into this category, as 97.7 percent of mortgage securities were issued by the agencies so far in 2020, according to the Urban Institute.

This means if you have a mortgage, it was mostly likely sold to Freddie or Fannie and thus the foreclosure moratorium and payment relief likely applies to you. Homeowners who don’t have mortgages backed by Freddie or Fannie are likely to be subprime borrowers, condo owners, or owners of particularly expensive housing (the loan limit amount varies from county to county).

These measures may end up temporarily staving off disaster for the housing market. Otherwise, if unemployment spikes and homeowners default en masse, it would lead to a massive increase in available housing, reminiscent of the financial crisis of 2008.

In addition to mortgage relief, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced Wednesday it will encourage local public housing authorities (PHAs) to suspend evictions on public housing residents.

The moratorium on evictions of public housing residents, the majority of whom are elderly and/or disabled, would apply to more than a million households if every PHA suspended evictions. HUD does not have the legal authority to force PHAs to suspend evictions, but many of the largest PHAs have already done so, including New York, Boston, and Los Angeles. It is likely many others will follow.

The moratorium does not apply to housing voucher holders. HUD Secretary Ben Carson told the Los Angeles Times that a moratorium on FHA-backed multifamily housing could be coming, but housing voucher recipients may need Congressional action.

While these two measures protect millions of Americans, renters in private-market housing remain vulnerable to eviction should they suffer financial hardship because of the novel coronavirus.

But cities across the country—particularly those with expensive housing—have independently announced moratoriums on evictions that range from two weeks to indefinitely. New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Miami are among the cities that have issued eviction moratoriums.

The private sector is responding to the crisis as well. Bank of America announced Thursday that it is offering relief to consumers and small business owners experiencing hardship because of the coronavirus, which will include mortgage payment deferrals. It will be done on a case-by-case basis and will run month-to-month.

JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo say they are also working with borrowers who have been impacted by the economic fallout of the novel coronavirus to provide relief, according to NPR. The situation is incredibly fluid, so if you are struggling, it’s important to contact your mortgage servicer as soon as possible.


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Give your business a name. Name your business something that indicates what you sell. This will come in handy later on, when you are marketing your business and want people to associate your business name with handmade furniture.
File a DBA, which stands for “doing business as,” at your local county clerk’s office. You may want to do a search to ensure that no other business in your town is operating under the same name. If you live in a large metropolitan area, a search is a necessity.
Create a line of furniture. You’ll need to have models of each piece of furniture that you intend to sell, so that customers can easily visualize what you have to offer. Add to your furniture line each year so that your stock stays fresh and on-trend.