Tax Season 2021

Although it’s hard to believe, it's tax season once again. With the filing deadline approaching in April, many lucky filers will be looking forward to a nice tax refund.  There are a lot of different ways that you could put that money to good use, one of which is Real Estate. Owning a home has many key benefits when compared to renting.  While 100% of your rent payment goes to your landlord, part of your Mortgage Payment goes towards principal…Which is like a forced savings plan for you to build up equity. Which makes buying a home is an amazing investment! In fact the forecasted rate of appreciation in the United States over the next 12 months is 6%.  That means you could expect a significant gain over the next 12 months! You could use your tax refund as a down payment on a new home or investment property. Many benefits come from putting down a large down payment such as qualifying for a lower rate, a lower monthly payment, or even eliminating mortgage insurance. I would love to talk to you about the benefits of owning a home in your local market! Give me a call today and let's talk. 801.206.4343

Pandemic Changed Homeowner Needs

As we look back over the past year, we have certainly lived through one of the most stressful periods in modern history. After spending so much more time at home throughout the pandemic it’s no surprise that the needs of homeowners are changing. The pandemic has become the biggest motivating factor causing real estate to transact that we have ever seen in our careers. It has caused all of your clients to re-evaluate where they want to live, what features they need in a house and helped them determine their “why” for what they need in their house. What used to be a place to return to after a long day now serves multiple purposes to people all day, every day. The home now serves as an office, school, restaurant, gym, playroom and for some as an escape from the stress of the outside world. We are seeing more people leaving the cities. As telecommuting and remote work are increasing among industries many realized they no longer need to live near their work. The increase in remote work has caused a fluctuation of people not only leaving the city but moving to another state. A recent client we helped purchase a home moved from California to Utah to be closer to their family now that their employer allows them to work remotely. We have also seen an increase in home improvement and remodeling projects. Research has found that 70% of American homeowners completed a home improvement project since the start of the pandemic. The most popular upgrades are a backyard makeover, addition of a home office, home gym, or entertainment space such as a deck or patio, swimming pool, or theater room. People are needing to make their house functional for daily life, but also a means of escape since traveling and other avenues of relaxation have been put on hold. We predict these changes in homeowner needs will last long after the pandemic is over with many people realizing the importance of having a space that is not only comfortable but also functional. As we look beyond the trials of the pandemic, many are hoping for a new beginning, and for some that could mean moving. If the pandemic has changed your needs or if you are looking to tap into your equity to finish a home improvement project of your own, reach out. We can help evaluate your current situation and create a plan to get you into the home that is perfect for your needs.

A Refinance Success Story

A recent borrow we worked with decided to complete a cash out refinance so he could finish his basement remodel and other home renovations that his wife had been bugging him about for years.

He started out in a VA loan with a great rate of 3.625%. We were able to drop his rate to 2.375% and pull $75,000 cash out.

He was able to use the money to complete all of their home renovations before the new year. But the best part about the refinance was that even though his loan amount increased by $75,000, his monthly payment only went up by $19 per month because we were able to drop the interest rate so much.


Another great bonus of a cash out refinance is that if interest rates have dropped since you took out your original loan, a cash-out refinance could also lower your mortgage rate at the same time. 

If you are not sure if a cash out refinance is right for you, give us a call! We can help you explore your options and see what refinance option would be best for your situation.

  801.206.4343  | NMLS # 888979

The Case for a Starter Home

4.5 years ago, the Martinez family wanted to buy a house. At the time, the number one thing for this family of four was sticking to their set budget. They qualified for $150,000 however, to stick to their budget they had to be under $120,000. They were determined to stick to their budget. They finalized their first purchase in June of 2015 for 1,080 sq. ft. three-bedroom, one bath for $115,000. Things they did not like about this house was that it only had one bathroom, it did not have a garage, and the city wasn’t an ideal location for them. But they loved yard and the budget worked, so they decided to make this their starter home. Four years later they took out a HELOC and completely remodeled the house. It was now nicely updated, but still only 1,080 sq. ft. with one bathroom. Despite their home not growing, their family sure did. Today they have three kids and one on the way which means it is time for a change. Through appreciation over the last 4.5 years and with the remodel, their home is now worth $250,000. They gained over $100,000 in equity. We are now searching to buy their forever home with a $350,000 to $400,000 price range which fits nicely inside their new budget as they have progressed in their careers and are now making more money. Had they rented the last 4.5 years they would not have a large down payment and they would be looking to buy a $250,000 to $300,000 house which would not get them exactly what they want in terms of space. They did not get what they wanted when they originally bought 4.5 years ago. But by buying then, they set themselves up to get what they really want today. Too often I have clients who tell me they can’t afford what they want so they are just going to rent. This is a huge mistake! Home prices keep going up and often times it is the appreciation from the first house you don’t love that allows you to get into a house you do love further down the road. If you are interested let me run a rent vs buy scenario for you to help show you how much you could be losing by not buying now.

Don’t Let a Down Payment Hold You Back

A recent borrower I worked with was a past client that I helped purchase a condo 5 years ago and at the time it was the perfect pad for him and his girlfriend. A few years down the road they got married, each graduated from the University of Utah, and have progressed in their careers. As the years went on, they found their Condo was getting a little cramped. They have plans to start a family soon and really wanted a house where they could invite friends over to entertain (you know, as soon as the pandemic is behind us). They needed the equity from their condo to use as the down payment on the new house, (which by the way had appreciated $100,000 from when they bought it 5 years ago). However, the market is really tough right now and they did not want the stress of listing their condo, going under contract, and then having less than a week to find and go under contract on a new house. We were able to save the clients a lot of stress by buying their new house first and selling the condo later on. We were able to accomplish this timeline by opening a HELOC (home equity line of credit) on their condo. We accessed the equity from the HELOC and used that as the down payment for their new home. They were able to be patient and wait for the perfect house to pop up on the market. Once it did, they were able to get the house under contract quickly thanks to their pre-qualification. With the purchase complete they were able to list and sell their condo and pay off the HELOC. They are now extremely happy with their big beautiful new house and can’t wait for what the future will bring for them and their family. If you are feeling like you are stuck in your property due to lack of means for a down payment, there may be a direction like this one that we can take to help you get into a better housing situation.  

6 Things Not to do When Applying for a Mortgage

When lenders review your application, they like to see consistency in your finances. Here are 6 things NOT to do when you are looking to apply for a mortgage. 1. Do not make major purchases like furniture, appliances, jewelry, vehicles or vacations 2. Don’t change or quit your job 3. Consult with your mortgage professional before withdrawing, depositing or moving large amounts of money in or out of your bank account 4. Do not pay off debts or collections (unless instructed to do so by a mortgage professional) 5. Avoid using cash for a good-faith deposit – cash is difficult to verify and could result in a closing delay 6. Don’t have your credit report pulled too many times – this can hurt your credit score   If you’re in the market for a house, reach out. Looking to get started? Take advantage of our easy online loan application here.  

New Construction Home in Utah

Struggling to find your dream home? Don’t settle, Build your own! When it comes to a new construction home loan you do not have to work with your builder's preferred lender. You can choose to work with the lender that will help you secure the best deal for your long term financing. Working with ALV Mortgage will help you finalize your construction loan with ease!

Our fast and simple loan process offers you a low wholesale rate, long term financing with fewer closing costs paid out of pocket.

Let us help you take the guess-work out of construction loans, and help you close on your home loan fast.

If a new construction home is on the horizon for you in 2021, let us help you get pre-approved to narrow your search so you can spend more time finding the perfect home you can afford.

Call today!


Pandemic Prompts Home Upgrades

Working from home have you feeling like the walls are closing in?

The pandemic has made many people realize their home no longer fits their lifestyle or family.

Now could be the time to upgrade your space – especially if you are in need of that home office you have always dreamed of!

Reach out today so we can explore your options for a home upgrade.

801.206.4343      NMLS # 888979


Merry Christmas from ALV Mortgage

From everyone at ALV Mortgage, we’d like to say thank you for your continued loyalty and faith in us. Put your feet up and have a well-deserved rest this Christmas and let every day of the holiday season be filled with joy. Stay safe, stay warm, and enjoy this time with the people closest to you. Happy Holidays! -Anthony VanDyke & the ALV Mortgage Team

What to Expect from 2021 Housing Market

It’s safe to say there will not be a lot of people sad to say goodbye to 2020. With new vaccines being developed it seems the days of the pandemic will soon be behind us, while it seems the increasing home prices may be here to stay. The demand for housing and the housing market are expected to remain strong in 2021. Prices are expected to decrease through the spring and summer, and then gradually increase toward the end of the year. Sales of existing homes are projected to increase 7% in 2021. This increase is expected to come from younger millennials who are competing with older members of Generation Z for starter homes, baby boomers who are looking to downsize and many renters are seeking to buy their first home. The demand is being fueled by mortgage rates at record lows, and from the pandemic making many households realize they need more or different housing than what they have needed in years past. We just finished helping a family buy a new 4,400 sq. foot home who was in this same boat. Their previous home was 1,800 sq. feet which was perfect when they bought it 5 years ago. At the time they bought it, it was just them with a baby on the way. Now they have 2 kids and thinking that there could be one more. Prior to the pandemic they felt their house was cramped, but they were rarely in it and it did not bother them that bad. The husband worked days at an office and the wife is a nurse who works nights. The pandemic shifted their life. The husband is now working from home in a cramped corner of his bedroom and kids running around everywhere. Their weekends are spent at home stepping over each other all day instead of being out and about. They decided it was time to sell and buy a new house. They found a bigger house for sale in their neighborhood because they didn’t want to leave their neighbors. They went under contract and then listed their 1,800 sq. ft. house which sold in a couple of days. Their 1,800 sq. ft. house was the perfect starter home for them. They quickly outgrew it but continued living there due to convenience. The pandemic changed everything, and it was no longer convenient to stay in the cramped space. They love their new 4,400 sq. ft. home. They love that they were able to stay in the same neighborhood. They love that the kids have their own play area, and they are no longer stepping on toys throughout the entire house. They also feel with the extra space they can get more serious about having baby #3. If 2020 taught us anything it is that everything can change in an instant. There is only so much we can make predictions about for the new year. If you are in the same situation where your house used to fit your family and lifestyle but due to the pandemic you have quickly realized it does not due to not having a dedicated home office or enough space to stay sane with everyone being in the home, give us a call.