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101 Things we are grateful for

 

 

  1. Neal is eating his dinner so nicely
  2. The weather was so good we could play golf  today
  3. grateful that Neal has his own golf clubs
  4. Jesus Christ – Because Daisy loves him
  5. Edita is grateful that Anthony puts up with her ideas and imperfections
  6. Anthony is grateful he was able to go to the Core Summit this week.
  7. Neal is grateful for star wars water bottles
  8. Daisy is grateful for balloons 
  9. Edita is grateful for our beautiful house and good neighbors
  10. Anthony is also grateful for our warm and comfortable and safe house
  11. Neal is grateful for his whole family because they are so sweet and love Neal
  12. Daisy is grateful for food
  13. Edita is grateful that today at church neal said, “Mom, I love to be at church”
  14. I am grateful for the amount of savings we have
  15. Neal is grateful for our couch, tv, and blanket so he can be warm and have movie nights
  16. Anthony is grateful for his office
  17. Daisy is grateful for her ears because ears help her listen
  18. Edita is grateful for her children who love her and forgive her.
  19. Anthony is also grateful for forgiveness
  20. Neal is grateful for couch cushions, because he can jump on them and they are squishy and he can make forts
  21. Daisy is grateful for cats and yarn
  22. Edita is grateful for Anthony’s job and that he can provide for us
  23. Daisy is grateful for the whole world
  24. Edita is grateful for our good health
  25. We are grateful that heavenly father answers our prayers
  26. Daisy is grateful for the holy ghost
  27. Neal is grateful for Jesus because he can heal us when we are not feeling good and have owies
  28. Anthony is grateful for his parents who taught him and allowed him to work at the shop
  29. Daisy is grateful for her toy ring
  30. Daisy is grateful for apples and bananas
  31. neal is grateful because he gives us so many gifts in the whole world
  32. Edita is grateful that heavenly father answers our prayers
  33. Anthony is grateful for his car and that he can drive anywhere
  34. Edita is grateful for a safe car
  35. Edita is grateful that when dad goes on trips he always comes back home to us
  36. I am grateful that we have bikes and can go on family bike rides
  37. I am grateful for our fridge that we can store food
  38. Neal is grateful for his teacher and friends at school
  39. Edita is grateful for today’s medicine that it can help people
  40. Anthony is grateful to those who fought in wars to help secure our freedom
  41. We are grateful nanna is coming for christmas
  42. We are grateful for Sally and LeGrand
  43. Daisy is grateful for her body
  44. We are grateful for indoor plumbing, Edita’s father grew up in a house with a outhouse
  45. I am grateful for my laptop and that I can research things and do work from anywhere
  46. Edita is grateful for our ward and that the people in our church are so kind and nice
  47. Anthony is grateful for my clients and that they choose to work with me.
  48. Anthony is grateful for my employees
  49. We are grateful for Neal because he is:
    1. A ray of hope
    2. he is our child
    3. he is so kind (most of time)
    4. he is a wonderful example of kindness
    5. he is smart
  50. We are grateful foe Edita because she:
    1. is wonderful
    2. is beautiful
    3. cooks grateful
    4. precious like a rose
    5. always makes sure the house is clean and beautiful
    6. always takes care of us
    7. drives us to all our activities
    8. for neals lunch he takes to school
  51. Edita is grateful for our recent trip to disneyland. She had the best time
  52. Edita is grateful when her children share
  53. I am grateful for warm shoes
  54. Edita is grateful for the internet
  55. I am grateful for growing up in Richfield and the friends I had
  56. I am grateful for kamran and helping be built internet applications
  57. Edita is grateful that she doesn’t have a headache
  58. Edita is grateful that we are still married
  59. Daisy is grateful for nursery and primary songs
  60. I am grateful for my guitar and paino
  61. Edita is grateful for our sunday family lessons
  62. Edita is grateful for a dishwasher and washer machine and she doesnt have to do these things by hand
  63. edita is grateful to be alive
  64. I am grateful for Rick Ruby for founding the core and helping me be a better person
  65. Edita is grateful her mom is coming and the tickets for shows/plays she has coming up
  66. I am grateful for my record player and listening to records
  67. i am grateful for each of my employees and how hard they work
  68. I am grateful for Ted and how he cares for the HOA
  69. i am grateful for clean water, indoor plumbing, and sewer systems
  70. I am grateful that I was born in America
  71. Daisy is grateful for mashed potatoes
  72. Edita is grateful for christmas
  73. Anthony is grateful for snow and how it fills our resorvoirs
  74. I am grateful for my grandparents and the love they show for me
  75. I am grateful for a garage and that we do not have to scrap the windows in the morning
  76. I am grateful for the temples being so close
  77. I am grateful for energy
  78. Edita is grateful for Anthony and his idea to write grateful thoughts
  79. I am grateful for my kindle and being able to read any book late at night
  80. Daisy is grateful for her bunny who is so wonderful
  81. I am grateful for being able to shower everyday in hot water
  82. i am grateful for how nicely decorated edita has made our house
  83. Edita is grateful for weekly sacrament at church for forgiveness
  84. Edita is grateful for Daisy’s preschool and Neal’s school
  85. Grateful that I have the money to travel to different conferences and training events
  86. Grateful for authors who write books that I love to read
  87. Edita is grateful for family gatherings
  88. Anthony is grateful for our yearly vacation to Mexico
  89. Edita is grateful we dont have anymore ants in our house
  90. Anthony is grateful when the kids play quietly
  91. Edita is grateful for a comfortable beds
  92. Anthony is grateful that David Hoffer fixed an issue with one of our applications today
  93. Edita is grateful when her children clean up after theirselves
  94. We are grateful for great movies we watch together
  95. Edita is grateful we have a piano in our house and that Neal is learning how to play
  96. Daisy is grateful for everyone in the whole world
  97. Anthony is grateful for our sauna downstairs
  98. Neal is grateful for lollipops because they are sweet and they are yummy
  99. Neal is grateful for Dad because today dad promised Neal to go on Saturday golfing. Yeah!
  100. Edita is grateful for every moment she gets to spend her family
  101. Daisy is grateful for playing with play dough
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7 Home Buying Tips Every Veteran Needs to Know – By Redfin

7 Home Buying Tips Every Veteran Needs to Know

blue two story home with garage

For most people, buying a home is an exciting and emotional milestone. This can be especially true for veterans, who have likely spent years traveling between bases, and are looking for a place to finally call their own.

While the home buying process can be overwhelming, there are many resources available to make it easier and more affordable for those who have served their country. If you’re a veteran or active military personnel and you’re starting the quest for your new home, be sure to first consider these seven important home buying tips.

1. Understand the VA home loan

Most veterans are eligible for a VA home loan, which is provided by private lenders but backed by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “Like any homebuyer, veterans eligible for the VA home loan program should shop around to different lenders to find the best mortgage for their needs,” said Redfin chief economist Daryl Fairweather.

A mortgage that requires $0 down, VA loans are a competitive and affordable way for veterans laying down roots to save. Credit requirements are looser than traditional mortgages as well – a bonus for those who don’t have a long credit history. Further, VA loans don’t require private mortgage insurance (PMI) – a typical form of insurance for those who can’t put down 20 percent.

In the past, there have been caps on the size of VA loans offered. However, starting January 1, 2020, a new law will eliminate VA loan limits, allowing veterans to buy higher-value homes. Additionally, funding fees are required with VA loans, which are not generally included in standard mortgages. However, the fees serve a good purpose as they go directly to the Department of Veterans Affairs to pay the costs of the program. In 2020, the funding fee will be 2.3 percent of the total loan amount for the first use and 3.6 percent for additional uses. You can pay for this fee upfront or roll it into the loan. Before moving forward, be sure to review the loan requirements and ensure you’re eligible.

Learning the basics of a VA home loan and how to properly use your military benefits are just small pieces of the mortgage process. To better understand how to maximize the use of your benefits, speak with a qualified mortgage lender to discuss what works best for you.

american soldier boots and backpack

2. Explore all of your lending options

VA loans are great for those who are looking for a loan with no down payment and limited closing costs. However, there may be instances where other loan options are a better fit. Additional lending options include:

  • FHA loans: Like VA loans, an FHA loan allows veterans to buy a home without the need for great credit and large down payment. While FHA loans have some cost-saving advantages, they usually can’t match those of a VA loan. However, if your credit score is in the 500s, you likely won’t qualify for a VA loan. In this case, an FHA loan is a great option.
  • USDA loans: If you’re looking to buy a home in a non-urban area of the U.S., you may qualify for a zero-down loan backed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. USDA home loans allow buyers to secure these mortgages as long as the property is within a qualified area. If you qualify as low- to moderate-income and can’t qualify for VA loan, consider a USDA loan instead.
  • Conventional loans: These are the most common type of home mortgages for the general public. Unlike an FHA or a VA loan, conventional loans aren’t backed by the government. Credit requirements and financial standards for conventional loans tend to be more limited. However, those with excellent credit and stable assets can often get great rates and terms.
  • Native American Direct Loans: This program is specifically for qualifying Native service members to use VA loan benefits for housing on federal trust lands. Veterans who are not Native American, but who have a Native American non-military spouse, may also be eligible for a loan under this program. Unlike the traditional VA loan, NADLs come straight from the government and don’t involve a third-party lender.

3. Focus on credit

VA loans have looser credit requirements than traditional mortgages, but this doesn’t mean that credit is ignored entirely. Homebuyers do need a credit history of some sort with more positive than negative indicators. Check your score regularly to ensure your current actions are building and not hurting your credit. You can get one free copy of your credit report every 12 months at AnnualCreditReport.com.

white house with american flag outside

4. Look into other financial resources

There are a number of other home buying grants and programs offering financial resources to veterans, including:

  • Dream Makers Program: This program provides qualified veterans and active duty service members grants for down payments and closing costs. The Dream Makers grant is based on a 2-to-1 match of what the homebuyer contributes towards the purchase.
  • Adapted Housing Grants: These grants can help veterans with permanent and total service-connected disabilities purchase or build an adapted home. They can also be used to modify an existing home to accommodate a disability.
  • There are also numerous state and local programs that provide housing grants for veterans in their area. For example, the Utah Veteran First-time Homebuyer Grant gifts $2,500 to veterans and those currently serving who purchase their first home in Utah. Once you know the location of your new home, you can also check the VA’s National Resource Directory for more location-specific housing assistance.

5. Keep your job

Stability, employment, and income are important parts of qualifying for any mortgage, including a VA loan. So, if possible, keep your employment consistent throughout the home buying process. Quitting your stable job, even if you have another one lined up, raises red flags for lenders of all kinds. This implies that your income may not be on par with the terms upon which your loan offer was made.

Even if you signed the paperwork, your loan isn’t guaranteed until the closing process is complete. So if you change jobs during any part of the process, your loan eligibility could be withdrawn. This also goes for big purchases. You should, of course, still make necessary purchases, but anything extraneous and large that can wait, should.

veteran with spouse

6. Don’t forget about closing costs

Limited closing costs is one of the great benefits of a VA loan. While the loan has closing costs, the government doesn’t allow veterans to pay many of them. These non-allowable costs can include escrow or settlement fees, processing, underwriting, and document fees. The lender may charge a one percent origination fee instead, meaning one percent of the loan amount. Veterans will also not pay for termite inspections or non-title legal fees.

So what fees will need to be paid? Veterans will pay for a credit report, appraisal, title insurance, recording fees and a survey. Over the life of the loan, there may be other recurring charges that the veteran will be responsible for, such as hazard insurance. Keep in mind that the types of fees and their amounts vary greatly by state. Your lender should provide you with a loan estimate, which outlines the exact fees you’ll need to pay at closing. You can also negotiate these costs, and the seller may pay for some of them.

7. Use the right real estate agent

If you plan to take advantage of veteran home buying programs, choose a realtor who is experienced with veterans. The differences between VA loans and other mortgage options can be vast, so working with a professional who fully understands the buying process for veterans is highly recommended.

Consider searching through online directories to find veteran-friendly agents or speaking with other veterans who have made successful purchases in your housing market. If you feel that your agent can’t properly guide you through the process, don’t be afraid to make a switch at any time.

Buying a house as a veteran can be a major decision, especially for those newly out of the service. However, the right information and preparation can make the process significantly easier. From reviewing all of your lending options to understanding closing costs, these seven veteran home buying tips can help make the process of homeownership as exciting and seamless as possible.

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A Worthwhile Struggle: Buying versus Renting in Utah

Utah continues to be one of the states attracting the largest number of new residents, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. Recent reports indicate that housing growth led the U.S. from 2016 to 2017, boasting a 2.1 percent increase with 22,177 new homes. While this growth creates new opportunities for Utah residents, it also creates challenges for those seeking to purchase a residence.

Tracking the Trend

The simple facts are that all indications point to an ongoing rise in the price of homes in Utah. Over the past 26 years home prices have risen an average of 3.3 percent per year, outpacing all but three other states. This compounding effect is the reason first-time buyers are now facing prices of more than $350,000 for starter homes. This compares to just $160,000 in 2004.

While it is difficult to accurately project the overall real estate market, one study by the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute at the University of Utah projects a stunning possible future. The study, explains institute employee Dejan Eskic, predicts that those trends could result in an average price of $1.3 million for a Wasatch Front entry-level home by 2044.

Understanding the Economics

Unfortunately, many potential home buyers are intimidated by these economic realities, and they reconcile themselves to renting rather than buying their first home.

While renting is a viable options for some situations, it only adds to the challenge for those who desire to own. Even a 3 percent increase in price over a year can add as much as $10,000 to the purchase price of a home, and greatly increase the down payment needed.

Multiplying those numbers out over just three or four years provides ready evidence of the real cost of waiting to buy a home.

While rising prices create challenges for new buyers, they also create greater incentives for purchasing a home as early as possible.

If you are currently renting there are many options for low down and $0 down payment loan programs. Don’t let home prices rise to $1.3 million and regret not buying your first home now. Call me to get qualified today.

 

https://www.ksl.com/article/46417168/unaffordable-utah-home-prices-jump-again-first-time-buyers-struggle

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FICO or Vantage: Two Methods of Looking at Your Credit

In 1956 one of the earliest applications of IBM computers was conceived by engineer Bill Fair and mathematician Earl Isaac in San Jose, California. The two conceived their idea while working together at the Stanford Research Institute in Menlo Park. Two years later the two pitched their FICO system to fifty American lenders. This was the birth of the FICO® credit score, a financial measure that has shaped American financial lives for more than six decades.

What Credit Scores tell Lenders about You

It is easy to take for granted the fact that today you can go online 24/7 and get a credit decision from many companies in just seconds. Such decisions previously took days or weeks and filling out long forms of personal information. The primary reason for this change is based on the ability of FICO scores to predict your ability and willingness to pay.

Traditional FICO scores provide you with a number between 300 and 850 based on five primary financial factors. These include information about how you (and usually your spouse) handle your finances by showing:
· How you pay your bills
· How much you owe
· Who you owe and what types of credit you have
· Recent applications for credit
· How long your credit history has been established

The lower your score, the harder and more expensive it is to get credit for everything from credit cards to mortgages. Likewise, a high score will usually provide access to the very best financing options. When I meet with potential home buyers seeking to finance their purchase, one of the first things we focus on is that FICO score.

This is because most of the mortgage companies we work with build their lending programs around the FICO program. This has been the case since the late nineties, when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac started the trend. They feel this allows them to assess risks and determine the segment of borrowers that fit their business model.

A New Player in the Credit Score Market

While the FICO score is still the dominant credit factor with mortgage companies, I am finding that an increasing number of our clients now track their VantageScore® . This credit resource was created in 2006 by the three major credit reporting agencies, and it is increasingly popular with both consumers and some lenders.

While VantageScores use much of the same basic information (with added emphasis on credit available), it does not rely on a rigorous a formula as FICO reports. However, both scores are ultimately most impacted by how you handle your credit and how reliably you pay on your existing debts.

One of the primary advantages of the Vantage Score process used by sites such as Credit Karma is your ability to access your current score for free and with no impact on your FICO as a “hard enquiry.” Since the two scores track closely (if your FICO goes up, so will your VantageScore), this free update from VantageScore lets you know you are on track improving your credit or you have an issue that needs addressing.

Which Credit Score Matters Most

I am asked this question more frequently these days, and my answer has three parts. First, there is always a difference between the scores, and there are a variety of reasons for those differences. Secondly, I will tell each of our clients that the score is only an indicator – both scores reflect your credit standing at a given point in time.

The third element of my answer is that for today’s lenders the FICO remains the most important for your mortgage search. Call us – we can help you understand how to help ensure you have the best chance for best mortgage, and to keep both your credit scores in a respectable range.

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Experience Matters

One of the classic conundrums in buying a house is that buyers need to sell their homes before they can buy their new property. Even if they have the funds to close the transaction, for most people, having two mortgage payments at the same time (on the old and new house) means that their debt-to-income ratios fail to meet the lender’s standards.

However, the rules for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac both have a loophole that might let you buy a new home before your old house closes without having to rent out your old home. It all hinges on whether or not you have found a buyer.

Fannie Mae’s rules say that you can exclude the mortgage payment on your existing home if you have a buyer with an executed purchase agreement without a financing contingency. This means that once the buyer for your existing home passes their financing contingency, you can close on the purchase of your new house.

If your mortgage is underwritten by Freddie Mac, the rules are even more flexible. Like with Fannie Mae, you can exclude your existing monthly mortgage payment from the debt-to-income ratio relative when your buyer’s financing contingency goes away.

However, where things get really interesting is that if you are relocating and have an employer relocation benefit, a relocation company will take responsibility for your old loan. You can exclude that existing mortgage payment from the debt-to-income ratio and close on your new mortgage prior to selling your existing house.

These rules can be complicated. They also require you to have the funds to close on your new home without the proceeds from the sale of your existing home. Nevertheless, a loan officer who understands these intricate guidelines can give you some additional flexibility and help you get into your new home more quickly.

If you are interested in taking advantage of these rules, work with both a real estate agent and mortgage broker that understands them and can help you structure your transaction appropriately.

To schedule an appointment to review your specific
situation please give me a call at 801-206-4343.

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Buy First, Sell Later

Buying a new home after your current home has gone under contract and you only have 4 days to find a new home is stressful. One way to make buying the new home process easier is to buy first and sell later. Meaning buy your new home, move into it at your leisure, then once your old home is empty list and sell.

To make this type of financing happen there are 2 major considerations to work out:

– Down Payment
– Qualifying for both mortgage payments

Most people feel they are forced to sell their current property prior to buying, because they need the down payment from the sale of their house or they don’t feel that they will qualify for both payments. But here are a few tricks that may make a Buy First Sell Later home buying strategy work for you.

If we will be buying first we will not have the sales proceeds from the house we are selling to use for the down payment. We will need to use funds from savings, if you are lucky enough to have the funds.

If someone has a large savings account they can put down a large down payment then replenish their savings once their existing home has sold. Once the existing house sells we will have more funds available and can do a Re-Amortization.

A Re-Amortization is available on conventional loans, and costs a few hundred dollars. This process is done when you make a large principle payment and lets you lower your monthly payment based on the remaining principal and time left on the loan. For Example, if you bought a house with a small down payment then sold your existing house and netted $100,000 in sales proceeds. We could pay down the principal balance of your new house $100,000. Re-Amortize the loan and lower your payment based on the new loan amount.

More frequently, we turn our clients on to a HELOC (Home Equity Line of Credit) for the down payment. A HELOC is a line of credit tied to the equity in your existing property and provides a flexible way to finance a new primary residence, vacation home or investment property.

Utilize your equity and make a large down payment and avoid Mortgage Insurance. What I don’t like about the HELOC is that while you have drawn against it until you sell your home and payoff the HELOC you will have to pay interest against it. You will be paying interest on the HELOC for such a short period of time it really isn’t that big of a deal.

Qualifying for both payments can be tough.  If you qualify for both payments right away, it’s smooth sailing. If not, you can convert your existing home to a rental property and use 75 percent of the rental income to offset the existing payment. This works great when you want to acquire rental properties.

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The Ultimate DIY: Construction Loans

Building your own home is the ultimate DIY if you have the skills, experience and connections to be able to pull it off. Buying your dream home requires getting a mortgage, but building your dream home from the ground up? Well, that requires a mortgage — with a twist.
 
Construction loans are shorter term loans that cover the cost of construction or remodeling a home. They are typically short term with a max of one year and have rates that adjust with the prime rate.
 
A mortgage is typically between a borrower and lender, but construction loans add a third party to the mix with a builder. The lender needs to see a detailed plan and timetable as well as a realistic budget for the project at hand. This is sometimes called the “story” of the loan and is necessary to provide the outline for a lender to consider the risks involved with this specific type of loan. If a borrower is building the home themselves, this helps them prove that they have the experience and skill set to complete the project.

There are three types of construction loans:

One-Time Close
This is one single loan that converts to permanent financing once the construction is complete. These loans are great because the interest rate is locked in for the duration and cannot change if rates go up during the construction period. This type of loan will save you thousands in closing costs as you only pay closing costs once.

Two Time Close
The first loan pays for construction of the home as it takes place and once construction is complete, the second long term financing loan pays off the initial construction loan. The benefits of this type of loan are a lower overall down payment as well as a lower initial rate, however, the interest rate does not get locked in and can increase.

Renovation Construction Loan
This is a construction loan for remodeling or renovating existing homes. This is a one-time close loan that can be done as an FHA or Conventional loan but may also be used on purchases or refinances. You could use this loan if you buy a home with an unfinished basement or want to create an addition off the master bedroom.
 
We recently helped a client with five children who were anxiously seeking the perfect home in 9th & 9th district of Salt Lake. They could not find a home in this neighborhood with enough bedrooms to fit their needs. We were able to find them a very large 2 bedroom outdated home in 9th & 9th. It did not have the number of bedrooms they needed but it had good bones. The client bought the home for $310,000 and included about $100,000 in Renovation financing. The final appraisal after the remodel came back at $450,000, which means he gained $40,000 in equity!
Whether you are a first-time homebuilder, or just want to make the current home you live in feel like new, we have a solution that is sure to fit your needs. There is no such thing as a “one size fits all” approach when it comes to mortgages, and you don’t have to DIY. We have the foundation of knowledge to help you build your dream home one brick at a time!

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Anthony’s Office: Where There’s a Will, There’s a Way

Recently I had a client in my office brainstorming ways she could acquire more rental properties. She was 64 years old and was dressed somewhere between homeless and casual.

She already owned 12 properties, seven of which were owned free and clear, but she wanted more.

I was amazed and wanted to learn more about how she acquired and paid off so many investment properties, so I asked how she did it. She told me her story as she was double dunking a week old donut into her coffee (don’t ask me why we had week old donuts in the office, we just did). I warned her the donuts were a week old and she still ate two.

It was 1976, she was 22 years old, and living in an apartment building across the street from the University. She had the bright idea that she would like to own the apartment building. She strolled into her bank, sat down with the bank officer and told her she would like to buy the apartment building she was living in. The bank officer started rolling in his chair with laughter; he couldn’t believe his ears. He brought the bank manager into his office to have her tell him what she came in for and they both started laughing and cracking jokes at her.

She had never been so humiliated, crushed in her life. She walked out of there feeling devasted, but also with a profound sense of vengeance and “Screw you!” attitude towards the bank officers. She promised herself she would purchase those apartments and nobody would ever treat her like that again.

In the following year, she bought her very first condo. A couple years later, she bought another condo, then another, as well as a single-family home. In the 42 years since her first rejection, she has acquired a total of 12 properties – Did I say seven of which are now owned free and clear? She has not sold a single property. Her average monthly income as a result is over $15,000, a gross income over $180,000 per year.

Roadblocks have not been an option for her! Her resulting success is middle finger enough to the nay-sayers that threatened to thwart her from her path. If she would have accepted her initial “no” answer, she surely would not be where she is today. Refusing to take “no” for an answer clearly afforded my client the life she has always dreamed about, perhaps more.

At some point in every one of our lives, we face rejection as a natural reaction to be being in alignment with our goals. Life puts many roadblocks in front of us and it is our job as individuals to either let those blocks separate us from what we want or accept them and find ways to overcome them. Challenging the odds and refusing to give up hones our character to be able to defeat obstacles standing in our way.

My client’s success did not come overnight. It came brick upon brick or condo upon condo over 42 years. It’s amazing to me what we can accomplish slowly and over time with diligence and staying close to our goals.

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10 Ways to Avoid Boredom This Summer!

Summer is in and kids are out – of school, that is. After the summer camps, the family trips and the holidays, a lot of parents are left wondering what activities they can use to keep the kids busy and get them out of the house. With triple digit weather just around the corner, we know you are looking for simple, cool and entertaining ideas for the kiddos this year. Beside perhaps letting the kids frolic in the yard, what’s a parent to do?

Fear not! We’ve compiled a list of 10 fun summer activities for you, all within the Salt Lake Area. Get your planning in gear today!

  1. Red Butte Garden Outdoor Concert Series – Located on the upper east side of campus, the Red Butte Garden will be hosting some amazing musical talent this summer such as Sugar Ray, Steve Miller Band, and a host of well-known artists.
  2. Hit the biking/hiking trails – Some of the best biking trails are also some of the best trails for a great hike. There are trails just east of the U of U campus; you might also consider nearby canyons such as City Creek Canyon and Millcreek Canyon.
  3. The Utah Arts Festival – The Arts Festival will be held at the downtown Library Square from June 25 – June 28. See more info on their Facebook page by clicking here.
  4. Fireworks at the park (twice in the same month) – One of the benefits of living in Utah is that we have two July holidays with fireworks—the 4th of July and the 24th of July (Pioneer Day). Why not take advantage of both days?
  5. Go to the pool or water park – You can go to a local pool or you can try out Seven Peaks Waterpark (formerly called Raging Waters) at 1200 West and 1700 South.
  6. Twilight Concert Series at Pioneer Park – Join gatherings of outdoor concertgoers for some of the hottest shows in town, such as Death Cab for Cutie. Tickets are only $5 in advance and $10 at the door.
  7. Drive-In Movie Theater – Pack up a cooler with your favorite beverages and snacks, along with some blankets and beach chairs, and you’re good for a relaxing time with two great flicks for a low price. Click here for more information.
  8. Hogle Zoo – Not only are there dozens and dozens of exhibits for kids to bounce back and forth between, there are also great clubs, camps, Harry Potter themed zoology classes and sunrise/sunset safaris where no kids from 1 – 92 will be able to find anything to be bored about.
  9. Boondocks Fun Center – Tuesdays will never be boring again when you can get unlimited Laser Tag, XD Theater, Kiddie Cove and video games all for $12 at Boondocks. For an extra $8 per person, you can buy an Outdoor Upgrade with Go-Karts, Batting Cages and more. Military discounts apply.
  10. Wheeler Historic Farm – This is a working farm with a museum and a great amount of open space for kids to run around. Picnic facilities and a playground make for a good afternoon escape, and wagon and train rides give a very nostalgic feeling to the whole experience. Did we mention it’s a public park, so it’s free?
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Mortgage Insurance : A Breakdown

What is Mortgage Insurance?

Mortgage insurance is a specialized protection for the lender -not the buyer- if you are unable to make your mortgage payments, for any reason. If you fall behind, your credit score may suffer, and you could stand to foreclose on your home.

How does it work?

Mortgage insurance lowers the risk to the lender making the loan to you, that way you are eligible for a loan you might not otherwise get. This does increase the cost of the overall loan but if you are required to get it, it will either be included in your monthly payment, your costs at closing, or both.

Who needs Mortgage Insurance?

Typically, borrowers making a down payment of less than 20 % of the purchase price of the home also will need to pay for mortgage insurance. This insurance is also usually required on FHA and USDA loans.

Are there different ways to pay for Mortgage Insurance?

There are several different kinds of loans available to borrowers who have low down payments, and the resulting mortgage insurance can be paid for in a number of ways:

  • Conventional Loans – your lender may arrange for a private company to insure you. Private mortgage insurance (PMI) rates vary by the amount of the down payment amount and credit score, but are tend to be cheaper than FHA rates for good credit. Under certain circumstances, you may be able to cancel your PMI. (see last question)
  • FHA Loans – premiums from your insurance are paid to the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). This insurance is required on all FHA loans. FHA insurance is paid by both monthly payments and upfront costs included in closing. Loan amounts can increase if there is not enough cash on hand to pay upfront and the fee is rolled over to the mortgage.
  •  USDA Loans –  Similar to the FHA but typically cheaper. You will pay for insurance both upfront and monthly. You may choose to roll the upfront portion to the mortgage but again, this will increase overall loan cost.
  • VA Backed Loans – replaces mortgage insurance and functions similarly to it. There is no monthly premium with this loan but there is an upfront “funding fee”, which varies depending on the type of military service, the down payment amount, disability status, type of loan (buying or refinancing), and whether or not it is a first VA loan. You have the choice to roll the upfront fee with this as well.

Can you get rid of mortgage insurance?

In order to remove private mortgage insurance (PMI), you must have at least 20% equity in your home. You may ask the lender to cancel PMI when you have paid down the mortgage balance to 80% of the home’s original appraised value. When the balance drops below 78%, the mortgage servicer is required to eliminate the PMI.

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