Happy New Year from ALV Mortgage

As 2020 comes to a close, we at ALV Mortgage want to extend our thanks and gratitude to those of you who have used our services or referred friends, family and colleagues to us this year. We would like to thank you for helping us make 2020 a great year and for the privilege of helping you purchase or refinance your home. We hope that 2021 is a year full of happiness, health and prosperity for you and your loved ones. Thank you for your continued support and partnership. We look forward to working with you in the years to come!   All the best, Anthony VanDyke & the ALV Mortgage team

Virtual Holiday Party

With the pandemic still keeping us all apart we decided to have a virtual holiday party on Zoom this year. We found the company TeamBuilding who hosts zoom parties. We originally signed on for the Gingerbread Wars but COVID struck again and the distribution centers were shut down. The team was great with getting our party switched to their Holiday Party theme. First we joined the Zoom call to meet our party hosts Carly Jean and Peter, they were fantastic and immediately helped us all change our zoom backgrounds to festive images. They split us into three teams: The Krispy Kringles, Thundersisters, and the Stocking Stuffers. We participated in a few games such as holiday trivia, virtual snowball fight, potluck showdown, and MUCH MORE. In the end the Stocking Stuffers came out notorious with 37 points! We ended the event by taking a fun group photo: TeamBuilding was amazing with communication and helping us get set up for our day. Our hosts Carly Jean and Peter were energetic and jolly throughout the entire event and helped us keep the Christmas energy high. Overall we had a great time and it was fun to be able to connect with our remote employees we haven't gotten a chance to see this year due to the pandemic. If you are considering a virtual holiday party, it can be done and it can be fun! For more information on the company we used check out their website here  

Happy Thanksgiving from ALV Mortgage

On behalf of everyone at ALV Mortgage I wanted to wish you a Happy Thanksgiving. Although this year is different from years in the past I hope you get to eat great food, over indulge on pie, and connect with those you love in some way. Have a great day and remember to be thankful for all that you have. -Anthony VanDyke & the ALV Mortgage Team

A Year to be Thankful

At this time of year I like to make a list of everything I am thankful for. With everything going on this year I especially wanted to take some time to think of all the good things I am grateful for despite the events of 2020. This year I am thankful for: -My Home, I am thankful for the beautiful home we own and all the amazing memoires we have made there -Our government and that we can vote, No matter who you voted for the simple freedom of being able to vote for our leaders and live in a Democracy is something to be thankful for. -Parking Garages because there is nothing worse than scrapping the snow off your car, especially in Utah where we can get a lot of snow with little warning -My Team, This year I have been able to grow my team. I am thankful for all their hard work and dedication, we had our best year yet at ALV Mortgage and I couldn't have done it without them. -My Family, Although we won't be able to see them for Thanksgiving this year, I know that I can count on them for anything and I can't wait for the day we can go back to see our extended family without the worry of COVID19. -Lastly, I am thankful each and every day for my wife Edita and our two children Neal and Daisy. Getting to go home to them each day makes everything I do worth it. Edita is an an amazing mother and I am thankful to be sharing life, love, and parenthood with such an incredible women. "Be thankful for all the struggles you go through. They make you stronger, wiser and humble. Don’t let it break you let it make you." – Anonymous

Refinance Today, Save Cash for the Holidays

The holiday season is quickly approaching. Although it is deemed the best time of the year, it can also be the most stressful season when it comes to finances. Whether it be holiday décor, Christmas gifts, or travel plans the end of the year can involve a lot of expenses. Throw in the fact that we are in a pandemic and people’s budgets may be tighter than ever. According to an online survey by the Ascent in 2019 it was reported that the average consumer who bought Christmas gifts spent over $925 and that 21.5% of Americans surveyed went into debt from Christmas. Whether it be through personal loans, maxing out credit card limits, or opening new store cards many Americans do whatever it takes to pay for their holiday. But why put yourself into a debt right at the beginning of a new year, when you could find a better way to get some extra funds this December? A lot of people don’t know that a cash out refinance can be more beneficial than taking out a personal loan or maxing out credit cards. We want to help you by exploring the potential advantages of a cash out refinance on your home. A cash out refinance allows you to pay off your existing mortgage and begin a new loan, just like a traditional refinance. But instead of refinancing for what you currently owe on your mortgage, you refinance for a higher loan amount. You then get the extra amount in the form of a lump-sum payment after your loan closes. Another bonus of a cash out refinance is if interest rates have dropped since you took out your original loan, a cash out refinance could also lower your rate at the same time. Like a recent borrower we worked with who worked for a company that had been hit hard by COVID19. His hours were cut at work, simultaneously lowering the family’s monthly income. They reached out to see if there was a refinance option that could help them lower their mortgage payment to save money monthly. After running the numbers, we decided to move forward with a cash out refinance. We were able to drop their interest rate from 3.75% to 2.75%, saving them $200 a month. However, the best part is that not only did we refinance them to a lower rate and monthly payment ultimately saving them thousands over the life of their mortgage, but they were able to skip 2 months of payments and use that money in other areas of their life, like to check a few more people off their Christmas list. The borrowers were getting by despite their income drop due to COVID, but skipping the two mortgage payments and lowering their monthly payment by $200 is really going to help them out long term and allow them to put together a terrific holiday this year! If you are not sure if a cash out refinance is right for you, reach out! ALV Mortgage can help you explore your options and see what would be best for your individual situation.

Anthony’s Favorite Fall Family Activities

October is one of my favorite times of year! The days become shorter, nights become cooler and the colors of autumn are in full bloom. It is a great time to spend with family and friends doing fun activities before we bunker down in our houses for winter. I feel especially lucky that I get to experience fall in one of the most gorgeous states in the country, Utah. Although this year is different from years in the past my love for the October season remains the same.

Here are my favorite things to do during the fall time:

1. Drive the Alpine Loop and hike to Cascade Springs:

After traveling the Alpine Loop there is a short hike to Cascade Springs. A gorgeous waterfall that is even more beautiful in the fall time.

2. Cornbelly's Corn Maze at Thanksgiving Point:

Sadly we aren't attending this year, but it is a fun Halloween corn maze festival. I highly recommend giving it a try if you have never been before.

3. Watch Hocus Pocus

This is my favorite Halloween movie. I don't think there has been a Halloween seen its' release that I haven't watched the film. A true classic for sure!

4. Trick or Treating in our neighborhood.

Edita and I are not quite sure how this is going to go this year. I've seen a lot of candy chutes by people getting creative due to the current state of the pandemic so that the Halloween tradition may be able to continue. Jury is still out on whether or not we will be partaking in the tradition this year.

5. Eating my kids candy after they go to bed.

This tradition Edita and I will most definitely be partaking in. Whether we eat their candy from school or the candy we buy for them that we eat after bedtime, there will be lots of candy eaten. But isn't this just one of the perks of having kids?

6. Wearing Sweaters

I love that the weather cools down enough to wear sweaters every day. They are a lot cozier than a business suit.

7. I always want to be in the mountains during the fall

Whether we are driving to Park City, hiking Bell Canyon, or just exploring around our home city of Draper I am always looking at the Utah mountains. They are officially covered in the colors of fall and there is nothing quite like seeing them every day. Utah has the best mountains in the country if I do say so myself.   Although I don't get to enjoy all of my normal Halloween traditions this year, I am still taking the time to appreciate the amazing weather, gorgeous Utah mountain views, and the time I get to spend with my family. Like they say, "when we have each other, we have everything" Wishing you all a happy fall!

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?