Loan Programs

Now Offering Utah Housing!

We are excited to announce we are now offering Utah Housing for first-time home buyers!

Due to the highly competitive market, it’s a harsh reality that first-time buyers might need an extra boost to gain entry into the market. This Utah Housing program can give them the support they need!

The program is dedicated to increasing accessible and affordable housing throughout the state of Utah, which is why they offer several mortgage loan programs to help first time buyers be able to purchase a home. These 30-year fixed-rate loans range from FHA and VA loans to conventional loans.

If cash at closing is a problem for you, the Down Payment Assistance Second Mortgage program could help you purchase with little to no cash investment. Basically, it’s like taking out a first and second mortgage, and the second mortgage covers your down payment.

A client of ours that used the Utah Housing program for their down payment had this to say, “Working with ALV made the initially terrifying process of buying my first home feel so much more doable. They connected me with a great program that assisted me with my down payment, which made all the difference when I submitted an offer on the home we loved. I’m grateful for the team’s patience in explaining everything to me and always being available for phone calls when I needed clarification. ALV did a great job working with us through the process and helping us make our first home purchase a possibility.”

We can provide the same experience for you! We’ll take the time to explain the ins and outs of the program and be readily available to answer any questions you may have throughout the process.

If you are worried that your lack of down payment may affect your chances of competing in the market, although it can be a challenge there are programs like this out there that are dedicated to helping more first-time buyers get homes.

If you think you or someone you know could benefit from this program, reach out and let’s review your situation, and get you qualified so you can begin your home search!


Home Loan Benefits for Veterans

Your service deserves our special treatment! We’re honored to help veterans and their families get into the home of their dreams with exclusive mortgage benefits, like zero money down, lower rates, and an easy process. Let us help you secure a VA loan to purchase your new home – or to refinance your existing home for the cash you need to fulfill other dreams! Call today for more details - 801.206.4343

Lock & Shop Options – Helping Offset Rising Rates

It’s no secret we are living in a rising interest rate environment. And with it comes uncertainty and a tricky market that makes purchasing a new home or investment property a bit more of a challenge. We are now offering a brand new, innovative program called Lock-and-Shop. This awesome program is a helpful tool that allows you to lock in an interest rate before you find a home, giving you a huge advantage in the current market - TIME. With a limited supply of homes for sale, it may take you longer to find a home you’d like to purchase. It could be a few months between your pre-approval and you going under contract. During this time interest rates have the potential to rise to the point where you no longer qualify for a mortgage, or you can’t afford a home in your price range. Any increase in your debt load or mortgage payment could prevent you from qualifying. That’s why this program is amazing because it allows you stay qualified while you shop for a home. So how does it work exactly? We lock in your interest rate for 120 days even though you have not found a house. The best part is this program comes at no extra cost to you! However, there is a change depending on how long you’d like to lock for. Let’s say a 30-day lock has an interest rate of 5.25%, then a 120-day lock may have an interest rate of 5.5%. When you do find a house if rates are higher good for you, you’re already locked in at a lower interest rate. However, if rates go lower, we do offer an option where we may be able to negotiate a float down to the current market rate. We’ve been seeing a lot of success with this program. Back in February we locked rates for five buyers who were actively looking but hadn’t found the home they wanted to purchase yet. Three of them just went under contract last week and we were able to use a previously locked-in interest rate, that was a full percentage point lower than today’s market rate. Saving them about $400 a month on their mortgage payment! Plus, if you have been considering building a house this program is perfect for you too. Due to rate increases thousands of people who began building a house last fall no longer qualify. They have not only lost their construction deposit, but time they could have been in another house. So, in addition to free 120 day locks we also offer 180, 270, and 360 day locks. (However, these longer locks do require a 1% deposit which will be refunded when you close on your house). If you know anyone who started building a house but then couldn’t qualify or if you have been thinking about building your dream home but don't want to risk interest rates going up, then let’s look at using this program for you. We can lock in your interest rate today for up to 360 days giving you the peace of mind to build, know what your interest rate and payment will be once complete, and know that you will qualify for the loan once the house is built. The Lock-and-Shop program can give you an exceptional opportunity in this market. So if you are serious about purchasing this year and think this program could benefit your situation, give me a call and let’s talk about getting you locked in a rate today.

Down Payment Assistance

For many homebuyers, the thought of saving for a down payment is very daunting, especially in today’s market.

A recent report from the National Association of Realtors (NAR) found that when asked what they find most difficult in the homebuying process, many buyers said saving for a down payment is one of the hardest steps on the path to homeownership. If you’re finding that down payment is your biggest hurdle, the good news is there are many down payment assistance programs available that can help you achieve your goals. There are thousands of federal, state, and local financial assistance programs available for homebuyers. Of the many programs that are available, down payment assistance options make up the large majority. No matter where you are in your homeownership journey, there could be an option available that you could qualify for if you know where to look. The best way to find out what you qualify for is to connect with us so we can outline all of your options for you and help you understand the benefits of the different programs. We have access to loan programs that require as little as 3% down! If you’re thinking the minimum down payment requirement puts home ownership out of reach for you – think again! I'd love to tell you more about down payment assistance and your other great options for purchasing this year despite the crazy market. Reach out today and let's talk!


Increased Loan Limits for 2022


Conventional loan limits are increasing in 2022 This will be effective for loans delivered on or after Jan. 1, 2022. This is huge news for Utah Counties! Give me a call today to discuss how this change could benefit your purchase in the new year, 801.206.4343 ALV Mortgage | NMLS # 888979

Understanding Reverse Mortgages

The term “reverse mortgage” is one that most Americans have heard, yet many may know little about. Unlike refinancing a regular mortgage loan, this type of loan product usually allows homeowners who have considerable equity in their homes to convert part or all of the equity to cash without moving out of the home or pay additional monthly bills. Unlike a regular mortgage, you aren’t required to make monthly loan payments; you’ll repay the loan when you or your heirs sell the house. However, because there is more than one type of reverse mortgage loan, it can be a confusing product. How Reverse Mortgages Work: Did you know it’s possible to get a mortgage with no payments?  Normally, when you take out a mortgage loan, the bank gives you a lump sum that you pay back with interest over time. At the end of the term, the loan is paid down to $0. A reverse mortgage works in, well, reverse. The lender actually makes payments to you. You can choose to receive a lump sum, monthly payments, a line of credit, or a combination of these options. The interest and fees associated with the loan get rolled into the balance each month. That means the amount you owe grows over time. You get to keep the title to your home the whole time, and the balance isn’t due until you move out or die. When the time comes, proceeds from the home’s sale are used to pay off the debt. If there’s any equity left over, it goes to the estate. If not, or if the loan is actually worth more than the house, the heirs aren’t required to pay the difference. Heirs also can choose to pay off the reverse mortgage or refinance the home if they want to keep the property. Understanding the Types of Reverse Mortgage: Single Purpose Reverse Mortgages are typically offered by a government agency or nonprofit organization and limited in scope. This option is typically for the purpose of assisting with property taxes, home improvements or some other type of home repair. The second type, Home Equity Conversion Mortgage, or (HECM), is a type of reverse mortgage that is federally insured through the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development and has no usage or income requirements. This is the most common type of reverse mortgage. The third type is called a Proprietary Reverse Mortgage. This one is a type of private loan, specifically backed and developed by individual companies. Cash Out Payment Options: Since the single purpose reverse mortgage is taken out for a specific purpose, it does not usually include a payment plan to the homeowner. The HECM and proprietary reverse mortgage, however, both include payment options that the homeowner needs to understand. HECM Payment Options:
  • a monthly cash payment that is fixed for a certain amount and period of time
  • a monthly cash advance on a tenured plan for the length of time the homeowner remains in the home
  • a line of credit option that can be accessed as needed, until the full amount is drawn
  • a combined option that includes a monthly payment plan, plus an accompanying line of credit
In most cases, these payment options can be changed at any time after the loan is in place for a small fee. Considerations to Understand Before Taking Out a Reverse Mortgage: Borrowers should be familiar with possible risks and issues that can be part of the reverse mortgage process. These include, but are not limited to, origination fees, closing costs, service fees and interest accrual. In addition, homeowners should understand that they will continue to be responsible for upkeep, taxes, utilities, and other expenses normally incurred by homeowners even after the reverse mortgage has been taken out. You’ll want to be sure you plan to live in your home long enough to make these costs worth it. For this reason, borrowers are expected to take a counseling course prior to signing initial loan disclosures. Is a Reverse Mortgage Right for You? Ultimately, the decision to take out a reverse mortgage is one you should weigh very carefully. Because each homeowner’s situation is different, it is important to seek the guidance of a trusted loan professional when exploring the possibility of a reverse mortgage. As a professional mortgage loan specialist serving the Salt Lake City area, I take my client’s needs seriously and can use my knowledge and experience to help you determine if a reverse mortgage, or any other type of home loan product is the right for you. Give if me a call today and let’s discuss your situation to see if a reverse mortgage is right for you!

Buy First, Sell Later

Buying a new home after your current home has gone under contract and only having less than a week to find a new home can be an extremely stressful situation. One way to make the process of buying a new home 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 it. There are many benefits to this strategy. Firstly, this makes it so you only have to move one time and won't have to deal with expensive storage fees or doubled moving expenses. You’ll also have a cushion in case something goes wrong during the process of purchasing the new home. Like in the unfortunate case of a deal falling through, you’ll still have your old home to stay in. It also gives you time to make improvements or repairs on your old home before listing, which can help ensure you receive top dollar offers from interested buyers. To make this type of financing happen there are two major considerations to work out: your down payment AND qualifying for both mortgage payments. Qualifying for both payments can be tough. If you qualify for both payments right away, it’s smooth sailing. If by chance you don’t qualify for both, there is still an option for you. You can convert your existing home to a rental property and use 75 percent of the home to a rental property and use 75 percent of the rental income to offset the existing payment. This strategy works great if you are wanting to acquire rental properties and grow your real estate portfolio. Figuring out the best strategy to purchase and sell your home can be a bit complex and difficult at times. So, you never want to go at the process alone! It is always better to have a trusted mortgage professional on your side. There is never any harm in discussing your situation with a mortgage lender, like me, who will be able to tell you after running a few numbers whether you can make the buy first, sell later strategy work. If you think this is something you would like to look into, give me a call and let's discuss it further.

Get the Loan, Skip the Appraisal

We are always looking for ways to save you money when it comes to your home purchase or refinance. One of the ways we do this is to check whether your property is eligible for an appraisal waiver – which could save you hundreds in appraisal fees! Also known as a property inspection waiver, an appraisal waiver allows a homeowner to forgo hiring (and paying for) an appraiser to perform an appraisal on their current or prospective home. Instead of someone coming out to walk through the property, we will use automated information based on data such as recent home sales in your neighborhood, to get the appraised value. Appraisals can cost anywhere from $500 to $1000, so having it waived can save you a lot of out-of-pocket money. It also helps to alleviate the stress of an appraisal potentially coming in low. When an appraisal does come in low, buyers typically have to bring additional funds to the closing table to cover the difference. An appraisal waiver immediately removes this stress from this part of the transaction for both the buyer and seller. No more having to wait weeks to find out if you are going to be able to close. In fact, with an appraisal waiver it’s possible to close in 15 days or less! An appraisal waiver does require a 20% down payment to qualify, and I have to run the address through a system called DU prior to submitting any offers. Not all homes are qualified for an appraisal waiver but checking to see if a property is qualified is easy, just reach out to me with an address! Appraisal waivers can save you money and time, which is crucial in today’s market. Reach out to me today see if you qualify for and let me show you how great working with ALV Mortgage can be.

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

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.

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.