Tag - mortgage

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?
Read more...

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.

Read more...

Five Signs You Are Ready to Buy a New Home

Have you been asking yourself if it might be time to fulfill the American dream of home ownership? There are many factors to consider before making this decision — beyond low interest rates and competitive pricing. Here are five signs which might indicate that the time is finally right for you:

1. Debt Elimination

Being able to conquer outstanding car payments and credit card debt means you won’t have as many extra bills, which could diminish your available funds to be able to support a mortgage. The increased cash flow (which is now not going toward debt) gives the opportunity to make sure other homeowner related expenses can be covered, such as property tax, homeowners’ insurance, repairs, maintenance, furnishings, etc.

2. Job Security

While any job always comes with the possibility of uncertainty, the longer you are in a position or have obtained enough years as a business owner, the more likely that your job will be viewed as sustainable enough to back up home ownership.

3. Income Increase

No more than 30 percent of your total monthly income should be going toward a mortgage payment. However, you are able to put as much as 50 percent toward the mortgage payment, if you know you are able to live within your means until a raise comes your way. Earning more means you won’t have to put as high of a percentage of your earnings toward your house payment. Otherwise, lack of extra income could put you at risk for financial vulnerability.

4. A Solid Savings/Emergency Fund

Acquiring a new home can mean many potential surprises. In general, something unexpected will always come up in life as well. It is logical and vital to minimize stress and prepare in advance with extra accounts, including a savings account and emergency fund. After all, having to rely solely on a monthly income to cover unexpected costs (since monthly income has already been calculated and is needed for the mortgage and other bills) can create avoidable issues.
By having funds set aside in the amount of an equivalent of at least a year of monthly bills — is a good position to be in before considering a big move. Setting and sticking to a firm goal is the only way to attain this level of security for your household.

5. Higher Credit Score

After paying off debt and monitoring your credit report, you are able to increase your credit score to obtain a more ideal interest rate. Qualifying for a better interest rate means you get to enjoy a lower monthly mortgage payment, making the option to become a homeowner an obtainable goal.

 

These are just some of the signs that you can use to determine whether or not you are ready for the home-buying process. Our friendly and knowledgeable staff is happy to answer any questions or concerns you might have. Please contact us if you feel you are ready to pave the road to your new home!

Read more...

“Shining Star in Our Home Purchase Process”

Anthony with ALV Mortgage was a fantastic broker to work with! He was the shining star in our home purchase process. We are first time home buyers. Anthony not only worked with me to make sure I know what the process was supposed to look like, but he also worked to ensure that the process happened quickly and smoothly. Interest rates went up during the process, but Anthony worked his magic and was able to get us the rate we were after!

Our loan processer (Rhoda) was incredibly professional and quick on the phone. We had a couple calls and sent several emails along the way with updates.

I would recommend Anthony and ALV Mortgage to everyone! He was able to beat Rocket Mortgage’s rates and fees, and was much quicker!

Jeffrey Green – Salt Lake City

 

Read more...

“She Works Hard for the Money”

As the Donna Summer’s song goes, “She works hard for the money.” We want to help you put that money to work for you by exploring the advantages of a cash out refinance on your home.

A cash-out refinance may be the key for opening financial doors for you and your family. We have assisted hundreds of clients in putting their equity to work in many ways, including:

 

  • Eliminating high interest rate credit cards
  • Finishing a basement, remodeling their home, etc
  • Starting a business without seeking outside lenders and investors
  • Diversifying their investments into such things as stocks, rental properties, etc.
  • Helping with unexpected or major expenses such as medical and education needs
  • Pulling cash out for the purchase of a new primary residence

 

I recently closed a loan for a family who had gotten in trouble with their credit cards. The husband had gone on a little shopping spree and neglected to tell his wife that he had opened a few credit cards without her knowledge. Upon the loan application, imagine her shock learning that there was more debt than what she was aware of! This family was in a FHA loan and paying high FHA Mortgage Insurance. Their home had appreciated an astounding $100,000 in the 5 years they had lived here.

We decided to complete a cash out refinance and ended up helping them pay off $32,000 in credit cards. We refinanced into a Conventional Loan and removed the FHA Mortgage Insurance. Because we did raise the loan amount, their monthly payment increased, but only by an additional $172 per month. By paying off the $32,000 in credit cards, they saved $1,238 per month in credit card payments. This cash out refinance gave them the freedom they sought by alleviating the heavy debt burden they had been carrying.

A family who owned a three-bedroom home with an unfinished basement initially bought the home with two kids, which fit them perfectly. After having their family grow by an additional two kids, they had become completely crammed. We completed a $24,000 cash out refinance, which afforded them the ability to finish their basement, as well as add two additional bedrooms, a bathroom, and a TV room for the kids to do exactly as they pleased with plenty of space to run around.

One of our clients, who is a mechanic, had worked for years at large dealerships fixing cars. He decided he was ready to work for himself, so he came to us to complete a cash out refinance for $40,000, which gave him enough to open his dream garage, as well as purchase the lifts and other equipment he needed to be independent. He now works longer hours for himself than before at the dealership, but he followed through with his vision of owning his own business successfully because of his decision to refinance!

A client of ours, for whom we did a cash out refinance four months ago, took $120,000 in cash out of his house. He felt that the equity in his home was not working hard enough for him and decided to turn it around by investing. He immediately bought a condo for an investment property and as a result, is now cash flowing $350 per month. He kept half of his cash and is actively looking for another investment property to buy. He is seeking to turn his equity into about $700 in monthly cashflow with additional property, made possible by the services we were able to provide.

In 2012, a couple came to us seeking to cash out $50,000 to fund in vitro fertilization treatments and other expenses incurred while trying to expand their family. Having no kids of my own then, I thought they were nuts! I have been blessed not to be in a similar position, but now that I have two children myself, I understand why this was such an important step for them. They have expanded to a happy, healthy family with three children (including a set of twins.) I have been able to stay in touch with them through social media and their decision to refinance is one they would not go back on. They put their equity to work for something that not only helped their future, but assisted with their goals of having a loving family of their very own.

In the last 12 months, we have noticed what has become an exponentially growing trend. Many of my clients have sought to purchase a new home by using their equity, keeping their home, while converting it into a rental property as a means of providing future retirement income. This works by pulling the cash out of their current house, then using that as a down payment toward their next purchase. There is only one move here, which eliminates stress about selling their house and trying to buy a new one simultaneously. They utitlize the existing equity to work for the purpose of providing for themselves looking toward the future..

Owning your own home is not just a fundamental aspect of the American Dream. For many American households, the equity in their homes represents as much as 67 percent of their total net worth. For generations, the power of home ownership has created a solid financial base for millions of families, and a little knowledge offers the potential for even more financial independence. We can assist you with the knowledge and expertise to help you not only envision a possible dream, but live it by ensuring money doesn’t stand between you and your lofty goals. You work hard for your money, and we are here to treat you right!

 

 

Read more...