With First-Time Home Buyers on the Rise, Mortgage Availability Plays a Role

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According to recent reports from the National Association of Realtors®, 2016 has shown some positive and interesting developments when it comes to the sale of residential real estate. The market share of first-time home buyers has risen to a high of 35 percent of all homes purchased. Even more impressive is that 61 percent of those buyers were under the age of 35. Those figures could actually be even higher, as Zillow recently released data indicating first-time home buyers were actually 47 percent of the market. But either way, it’s good news for them and good news for U.S. real estate. (Watch out – here come the Millennials!)

It’s an exciting development that shows young adults are choosing – and more importantly are able – to realize the dream of homeownership. However, it’s also a trend many weren’t expecting. Not long ago, papers were filled with articles suggesting the majority of Millennials were deciding to live at home during their college years and possibly even planning to take up permanent residency there. Accordingly, the housing market began actively promoting the development of multi-generational home designs to accommodate this generational shift.

But this newly reported uptick in Millennial first-time buyers wasn’t surprising news to Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending.

As he explains, “A lot of times, the “trends” that media sources report don’t reflect the big picture. It was only this past May the ‘experts’ (such as Bloomberg and the Washington Post) were predicting this age group was more likely to continue living in their parents’ basements indefinitely – simply out of financial necessity. “In essence, they were saying that an entire generation of young Americans may not be ever want, or be able, to become homeowners.

“But at Premier, we had a much different take,” continues Piette. “We were seeing signs that this market growth was coming some time ago. (Click here to view our article from May 2015 on the subject.). And the three indicators that led us to our conclusion were these:

1. “Naturally, the first was due to the sheer volume of the Millennial Generation. At 75.4 million, their numbers have surpassed even the Baby Boomer presence of 74.9 million. That fact is going to have an impact, any way you slice it.

2. “Next, we were seeing that lending restrictions were slowly loosening up in the years after the economic crash. Because we work so closely every day with many different lenders – and we’re always educating our team about changing mortgage rules and regulations – it was clear to us that mortgage loans would be working more in favor of first-time buyers at almost precisely the same time Millennials were planning to head out on their own. Making the move into buying a home was the next logical step,” adds Piette.

3. “Finally, we know something about what the desire and opportunity to own a home means to people. Times may change, the economy may have its ups and downs (okay, sometimes very low downs) – but the innate need to create a nest or a safe haven for yourself and your family has never wavered. It’s simply human nature, perhaps even more so in our society. The fact is, there are few things that instill such a sense of achievement, pride, and self-worth than the ability to own a home.

“I suppose what I’m saying is that at Premier, we know the mortgage lending industry. Not only because we need to – so that we can provide the most knowledgeable service to our customers. But because we simply love what we do. In fact, sometimes I wonder if all our Loan Officers carry a ‘mortgage lending DNA’ gene,” Piette says with a smile.

That type of intimate industry knowledge is one of the prime benefits of choosing Premier Mortgage as your lender. Another is that – unlike huge multi-state banks or online lenders – Premier’s clients work directly with their Loan Officer in a personal, one-on-one relationship. As a locally owned Mortgage Broker, borrowers get the highest quality service from a tight-knit team of professionals that know their local Las Vegas market. In most cases, Premier’s Loan Officers are personally acquainted with the agents, builders, escrow and other individuals that are involved with every mortgage transaction – and their customers benefit from those relationships.

As Piette states, “Las Vegas is our town, too. This is the community where we live, work, raise our families, play, and participate. It is personal to us, because our clients are our neighbors and often become friends, too. Without staying on top of our game – with a team of experts and great programs like our true “No Fee” mortgage loans – we wouldn’t be able to give them the extraordinary service and outcomes they deserve. The great news for Millennials is that we’re happy to be here to make the dream come true for our next homebuying generation, too!”

Find out more about Premier Mortgage Lending’s true “No Fee” mortgage loans, as well as their many other products and services by calling (702) 485-6600. Their experienced loan officers are there to help with your questions and can assist you in navigating from signed purchase agreement – to getting the keys to your new home.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

How to Find the Right Loan Officer for Your Mortgage

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Let’s say you’re in the market for a new mortgage loan. You’ve just made an offer on a home – it’s been accepted – you’re thrilled – and all you need now to make your dreams come true is loan approval, and you’re home free. (Well, more like, “home mortgaged” – but you catch our drift.)

If you’re working with a Realtor™, they may have sent you directly to their ‘preferred lender’ to get your loan started. Or you might have heard that it’s a smart move for you to shop around with different lenders to find the best deal – since all mortgage lenders are NOT the same. (At least, we certainly hope you’ve heard us saying that during the past few months! Like in this article.)

However, even when armed with the knowledge about how to compare Loan Estimate figures from one lender to the next (so that you are able to save literally thousands of dollars on your loan costs) there is still one other detail you need to consider: The experience and reputation of your Loan Officer. Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending, explains why.

“As consumers, it’s fairly common for us to narrow our wide number of choices down to one company who gives us the best numbers – and then just assume that everything will be handled as it should be. After all, a company should stand behind its product and its people, right? They should know how to get your loan from Point A to Point D, by completing steps B and C in the proper way. Unfortunately, it doesn’t always happen that way. Just think about the last time you received poor service from a store you shopped at, and you’ll see what we mean.

“But obtaining a mortgage loan is much more complex than buying an appliance, or even a car,” continues Piette. “When you think about it, no two people have exactly the same life circumstances, financial situation, or credit details. And on top of that, there is the oversight of the lending industry itself – with ongoing changes to federal regulations that affect guidelines and escrow requirements, legal disclosures, lending ratios, and so much more.

“With a mortgage loan, the details matter. That’s why you don’t want to put your loan into the hands of a person who isn’t well-versed in how to get it done right, in order, and in the timely manner that’s required. Because if it’s not, the end result can be disappointing – or even devastating – for you and your family.”

So how can you know that you’ve chosen not only the right mortgage lender – but the right Loan Officer, too? Rick Piette recommends adding the following questions to your loan shopping process to make sure you’re comfortable with your final choice.

1. “How long have you been in the mortgage business?” To be fair, we all have to begin our careers somewhere. And everyone makes mistakes at some time or another. Still, in the same way that you probably wouldn’t ask an intern to perform a complicated surgery on you – it’s in your best interests to find someone with an experienced background in exactly what you’re seeking: a residential mortgage loan. Given the economic turmoil of recent years, it’s not necessarily important for their experience to be with the same company; but it does matter if they’ve been working in your city for a period of time. Why is location important? Because knowing the local market and creating relationships with reputable industry agents – such as escrow and title companies, appraisers, underwriters, etc. – can play a huge role in your Loan Officer’s ability to anticipate, prepare for, and head off problems that can affect your end result: Loan approval.

2. “Do you have any special expertise in the type of loan I need?” If you’re planning to get an FHA or a VA loan, make sure they’re experienced in dealing with the specific requirements in those areas. Or if you’re self-employed, or need a Jumbo loan or second-chance financing, there may be extra hurdles faced for each of those situations. You don’t want to take chances that an important “i“ wasn’t dotted, or a “t” wasn’t crossed. Think about it this way: Your Loan Officer has learned something from every loan they’ve ever made. Why not stack the deck in your favor to choose one that is more than familiar with the type of loan you need?

“One other important thing to remember about getting a loan is that timing is critical for a borrower’s mortgage transaction. If a loan is delayed due to errors or a Loan Officer’s failure to request and submit proper documentation on time, the buyer may end up paying more money, not have a place to live in the interim, or even lose the deal completely. And there simply aren’t enough “I’m sorry!”s in the world to make that okay again,” explains Piette.

“At Premier, we’ve relied on a simple formula to choose the best Loan Officers to work with our company,” Piette explains. “Simple, but not easy, because they need to possess all of these traits: Experience, extensive industry knowledge, creativity, responsiveness, availability for clients, be problem-solvers, and most of all – completely up-front and honest in all their business dealings. We won’t settle for anything less, and we wouldn’t ask our customers to, either.”

Fortunately for Piette, he’s been very successful at assembling a team that meets all of those qualifications – and each individual also boasts an impressive career history. “I’ve worked with Cheryll Acevedo, Dianne Herra, and Sydnee Johnson for so long that we’re more like family than friends,” confirms Rick. “That’s one of the advantages of being a small, local Mortgage Broker, in my opinion. We’re a tight-knit team that works hard, plays hard, and we all share the same philosophy: To focus on providing our clients with the best service and the best products on the market.”

Find out more about Premier Mortgage Lending’s Loan Officers and about their true “No Fee” mortgage loans by calling (702) 485-6600.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Just Say “No” to Mortgage Loan Fees

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“No.” It’s a simple word, right? But it’s amazing how often we have difficulty saying it. Especially at those times when it affects our finances. If we could just get a bit more practice in using “No” as a response to tough – or even friendly sales tactics – though, we’d probably be surprised at how far those two little letters can take us down the road to getting a better deal. Especially when it comes to a mortgage loan.

How does that work, you ask? Rick Piette, owner of Las Vegas-based Premier Mortgage Lending explains: “For decades, the mortgage industry in general has subtly trained homebuyers to simply accept the idea that getting a mortgage loan costs money . . . a lot of money. Banks and mortgage bankers have added huge fees to the Loan Estimates they provide their customers – and it’s not a coincidence that those in the industry commonly refer to them as “junk fees.

The first fee homebuyers should learn to “Just Say No” to is the Loan Origination,” continues Piette. “Lenders often explain that this figure – which can add 1-2% (or even more) to your loan amount – is “necessary” to “buy down” your interest rate. That’s simply not true. While sometimes it is possible, or even wise, to do that with a Loan Origination Fee – it’s simply not something you should have to pay to get the current market interest rate for a traditional mortgage loan.

The second fee to say “No” to is the Processing Fee. This figure will vary from lender to lender, if they charge this fee at all (which Premier Lending does not),” Piette adds. “And it can reach some pretty high numbers – as much as $495-$695 and up. But think about it: Why would you have to pay a fee for someone to simply do their job and process your loan application? Don’t they already get paid for that? The answer is – yes, they do. The correct phrase to tell your lender if this fee shows up is: “No, I’m not paying this.”

Third is the Underwriting Fee. Again, another way (and a creative term, don’t you think?) for lenders to add additional income to their bottom line just for the act of making your loan to you. Just. Say. No.

And fourth, the infamous Document Prep Fee,” explains Piette. “This one is probably the most blatant junk fee of all – charging you for their time just to draw up the documents that are necessary to make your loan in the first place. Normally in the $250 or so range, I think this particular fee is the one that infuriates borrowers the most. (And imagine the satisfaction you’ll get for saying “No!” to that one!)”

“Altogether, for a $200,000 mortgage loan – these junk fees alone can cost a consumer as much $4,000 or more, and that comes right out of you pocket at escrow closing. Considering all the other legitimate costs that homebuyers are required to pay at closing – such as recurring costs (taxes, insurance, etc.), and legitimate closing costs (title search, title insurance, flood determination fee, transfer tax, etc.) – when lenders choose to add such expensive and arbitrary costs, well . . . we just don’t think that’s right,” explains Piette. “That’s why we chose to operate as a Mortgage Broker, and we can offer our customers a true, no-smoke-and-mirrors, “No Fee” loan.

It’s not that at Premier Mortgage we have anything against a business making a profit, of course. That’s a huge part of bringing jobs to a community, and we’re all for that! But we all know that some companies operate more ethically than others. And where some will take financial advantage of their customers (even illegal advantages – as in the recent Wells Fargo fiasco demonstrates) – others are committed to consistently doing the right thing, making a fair profit, and helping customers save more of their own hard-earned money.

The latter is even more common when it comes to local community-based businesses. Why? Because these are your neighbors, your friends, the people who share your love for your town and truly want to make it a better place for all its residents. Fortunately for Las Vegas homebuyers, that also happens to perfectly describe the team at Premier Mortgage Lending.

“At Premier, we want to help our customers not only get the best deal and the best rate for their mortgage loans, we want them to understand why and how we’re able to offer that to them,” Piette continues. “We’ve even created a website (www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com) of short informational videos to help borrowers understand the basics that will allow them to compare lenders themselves. It’s not about us saying “We’re the best – use us for your loan!” It’s about helping people to make the best financial decisions for their situation.

“Of course, since pretty much any financial decision is going to include the desire to save money, that pretty much explains why so many homebuyers do choose Premier Mortgage Lending for their home purchase or refinance loan needs,” Piette offers.

Find out more about Premier Mortgage Lending’s true “No Fee” mortgage loans, as well as their many other products and services by calling (702) 485-6600. Their experienced loan officers are there to help with your questions and can assist you in navigating from signed purchase agreement – to getting the keys to your new home.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Choosing the Right Mortgage Lender Matters More Than You Know

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Dianna Herra, Loan Officer at Premier Mortgage Lending in Las Vegas

If you’re good at your job, the odds are you’ve set pretty high standards for yourself. But if you’re an expert, you’re going to insist on working with others who share those same standards. At least, professional Loan Officer Dianna Herra knows that to be true. That’s precisely why she made the decision to join Premier Mortgage Lending when she moved to Las Vegas in 2004, and that’s also why she’s never left.

Dianna began her career in banking right out of high school in her hometown of Chicago. “Since then, I’ve worked in virtually every department, and when I became a Vice President of Loans, I knew I had found my passion,” Herra explains. “So when I arrived in Las Vegas, I immediately started researching to find the top producing mortgage company that shared not only my ethics but my desire to always find better ways to serve my clients. I found that at Premier Mortgage, and frankly, now I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else. I love it here!”

By creating an intimate setting focused on teamwork, excellence, and premium service – Premier’s owner, Rick Piette, has hit on a winning formula that excels in serving the needs of his Loan Officers and clients, alike. The Premier staff enjoys working in a smaller, non-corporate environment – where common sense is valued and changes can be made quickly to react to the market without having to deal with a lot of bureaucratic red-tape. And customers benefit from the knowledge of an experienced team, a warm, friendly atmosphere, and more importantly – the reduced expenses of a small, local mortgage broker.

That last point is critical, because it helps Premier’s customers understand the seemingly inexplicable: That Premier offers a true “No Fee” mortgage loan.

Many of Premier’s customers are shocked to discover that “No Fee” means exactly that – there are no loan origination, underwriting, or document fees. And yet, the interest rate still matches what other lenders have quoted them.

“But it’s no trick,” explains Herra. “It’s because of two simple things: Premier has lower operating expenses than large banks and mortgage bankers, and we work on smaller margins. Because we pass those savings directly on to the borrower, we’re consistently going to be the best choice for a borrower. They’ll pay no fees and get a market rate interest rate.

Another benefit for homebuyers by lowering the cost of obtaining a mortgage loan is that it gives them more buying power. This can be especially helpful for first-time buyers, or for FHA loans when the customer only has enough money for the down payment.

That’s why Herra believes it’s important for borrowers to know that getting a mortgage isn’t only about the loan itself – but also about the quality of their loan officer. “Choosing to work with an experienced loan officer – who is well-versed in current regulations and knows the local real estate market – is often what can make the difference between getting keys to their new home, or a loan denial letter.”

When borrowers “get” that they can save thousands of dollars with a loan from Premier Lending, Dianna explains that it’s rare they decide to go elsewhere. She receives many referrals from her clients and is proud of the fact that they return again and again for their subsequent loans. “That’s important to me because I’m here for the long run,” she states. “I love building relationships and helping people find financial solutions for their mortgage needs. The truth is, I don’t want to just do your loan today – I want to do your next home, and your kids’ homes, and your grandkids’ homes, too!”

To speak with Dianna Herra about your upcoming mortgage needs, call her at (702) 580-1415. And to learn more about how to save money on your next mortgage loan, visit our website at www.PremierMortgageLending.com.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

Are All “No Fee” Mortgage Loans the Same?

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If you’re currently shopping around for a home, the odds are good that you’re also in the market for a mortgage loan. If so, you’ve probably started paying attention to all those advertisements and articles you see in magazines and newspapers lately. And you may be wondering what – exactly – is the difference between all these loans and mortgage lenders, anyway?

That’s a really good question. A really smart question, in fact. Advertising, of course, is designed to catch the eye and make one product sound more appealing than all the other options out there. But you can’t get the details and the important information you need about a product simply by looking at a flashy headline and an image of a pretty house.

“What you can do, however, is dig a little deeper into the facts about mortgage loans – and congratulations! Simply by reading this article you’re being pro-active about your finances, and smarter about knowing exactly what you should (and shouldn’t) be spending your money on,” explains Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending in Las Vegas.

“We’re not going to lie – we advertise, too. But at the same time, we use other methods to help educate consumers about how to shop smarter for their mortgage loan. That because it’s important to us that borrowers understand exactly what they’re getting with their mortgage loan, and just as important – that they don’t spend more money on it than they need to.”

In fact, Premier Mortgage is always working on ways to help consumers unravel the “mystery” and confusion about getting a mortgage loan. (Hint: It’s not rocket science . . . but some lenders do their best to make it complicated. That’s generally to their financial advantage – and at your expense.)

“But with articles like this, plus our lengthy backlog of blog posts on our website, we’re trying to help consumers be aware of what they’re really paying for. That’s why we try to answer those questions that home buyers ask most often about getting a home loan,” states Piette.

“We even created a website – www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com – that includes short, easy-to-understand educational videos to explain how to compare loans, how to know the differences between lenders, and how borrowers can arm themselves with the right questions to ask any lender to make sure they get the best deal.”

Getting down to basics, then: What, exactly, does a mortgage loan cost? That’s often the first question borrowers ask. Consumers know that companies have to make money to stay in business, so it’s a bit puzzling when they hear lenders offering their customers “No Fee Loans.” In truth, though, it’s not really that complicated to understand.

Rick Piette explains “There really is a huge difference in “No Fee” loans from one company to the next – but most lenders aren’t too anxious to explain why. We’re not like that at Premier. As a small, locally-owned and based mortgage broker, it’s important to us that we help our neighbors here in Las Vegas get the most value for their dollar. We’re not here just to make ‘a quick buck’ from a one-time mortgage loan; we’re working hard to build long-term relationships with valued members of our community.”

So when home buyers see an ad blaring the words “No Fee Mortgage Loan!” at you – they should be aware that this is how it works:

1. First of all – determine what type of lender you’re dealing with – a Bank, Mortgage Banker, or Mortgage Broker?

2. If it’s a Mortgage Broker (like Premier Mortgage Lending) – they are required by law to operate under two strict guidelines:

a. First, a Mortgage Broker can only earn income from one source;
b. Second, they must disclose all their earnings to the borrower.

As a rule of thumb, a Mortgage Broker will get paid their fee by the lending institution. And since no other fees can be charged to the borrower – consumers actually can get (and Premier has them!) a true “No Fee” loan. That means no origination fees, no processing fees, no junk fees – just simply No Fees at all. Considering that these fees can run from 2-4% of the amount you borrow, that can save you $6-8,000 or even more.

3. But if you’re working with a Bank or Mortgage Banker, you should be aware that:

a. Both can earn their income on your mortgage loan from multiple sources (i.e., not just the lending institution, but also from loan-servicing third-parties and the consumer, as well).
b. Neither are required to disclose to the borrower how much income they make on their loan.

How does this translate to the consumer? It means a Bank or Mortgage Banker may advertise a “No Fee” loan – but they’re often just playing a ‘shell game’ with your money by raising your interest rate, instead.

“As you can see, it’s easy for Banks and Mortgage Bankers to perform a little ‘sleight of hand’ with the numbers,” adds Piette. “That’s why it’s important for consumers to pay close attention to both the Fees and the Interest Rate when they’re searching for a loan.

“All the information is right there on the Loan Estimate sheet – so it really is easy to compare, if you know what you’re looking for. That’s why we encourage everyone to shop around with more than one lender so they can compare costs. And that’s why we created our website and videos, to help to make the whole process a lot easier to understand.”

Find out more about Premier Mortgage Lending’s true “No Fee” mortgage loans, as well as their many other products and services by calling (702) 485-6600. Their experienced loan officers are there to help with your questions and can assist you in navigating from signed purchase agreement – to getting the keys to your new home.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

How to Discover What You Don’t Know About Getting a Mortgage

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Let’s face it: The intricacies of finance and economics are just second nature for some people. You’ve met them before – they’re the ones who can calculate interest rates, debt ratios, and payment structures all in their head within seconds. In the meantime, you’re staring at them in awe and wondering how they get their brains to work that way.

But that’s how it is with most things – we all have our strengths and weaknesses. And while they may be an auto-calculating whiz-kid, you know you could build a home around them while they try to figure out the difference between a hammer and a hacksaw. (Well, you get the point!)

“A lot of mortgage companies rely on that ‘confusion factor,’” reveals Rick Piette, owner of Las Vegas-based Premier Mortgage Lending. “In fact, for years most of the mortgage industry has gone to a lot of trouble to make getting a mortgage loan as confusing as possible for their customers. Why? Because it’s an effective strategy – one that’s allowed lenders to make a lot of money off their borrowers. And in many cases, the customer doesn’t even know that they’ve ended up paying more for their mortgage loan – a lot more – than they should have.

“The fact is,” Piette continues, “that the rules of mortgage lending have changed since The Great Recession. The passage of the Dodd-Frank Act put new regulations in place for how mortgage loans are made, and many consumers aren’t aware of these changes.

“That’s one reason the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) developed a “Know Before You Owe” website where borrowers can learn about those changes. But Premier Mortgage Lending took that idea even further to help demonstrate exactly how to shop for a mortgage loan, what to look for, which questions to ask – and more importantly, to be able to compare “apples-to-apples” when you compare mortgage Loan Estimates. It’s at www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com.”

“As a Mortgage Broker, Premier Mortgage is required by law to be completely transparent in what your loan will cost you. So when we say we offer a “No Fee” loan – that’s exactly what you get. Unfortunately, the same thing isn’t true for Banks and Mortgage Bankers – but that’s just the beginning of the differences between lenders. (You can learn more about those differences in our previous articles here, here, and here).

“We want to let borrowers know this very important information: Mortgage loans are a lot less confusing than you think. Don’t let a lender confuse you with fancy terms and play a virtual “shell game” with your money. Take a look at our quick educational videos to get up-to-speed about mortgage loans in just 15 minutes. And if you have more questions after that, we’re always here to answer them!” concludes Piette.

For more information about how to shop wisely for your next mortgage loan – and potentially to save literally thousands of dollars – visit Premier’s “Know Before You Owe Nevada” website to be informed about how you can be in charge of the cost of your next mortgage loan.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

The Source of Real “No-Fee” Loans? It’s Your Mortgage Broker.

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Shopping around for a new home loan? First of all – congratulations! We’re happy to know our advice to consider a home purchase is catching on.

Second, we’re aware that this could possibly be the very moment when you’re the most confused about all the advertising you’re noticing now from mortgage lenders. It seems everywhere you look, the words “no-cost mortgage” or “no-fee mortgage” catch your attention, and that has a really appealing ring to it. So initially, you might ask yourself, “That’s what all lenders are saying – so they must all offer the same loans, right?”

“But that’s wrong,” reveals Rick Piette, owner of locally-owned Premier Mortgage Lending in Las Vegas.

“Like most things that can sound too good to be true, this would be one of them,” Piette continues. “The truth is that many mortgage lenders make it a point to confuse this very issue – precisely to make people assume it doesn’t matter what type of lender they choose. But the reality is there’s a very big difference, and it all has to do with the regulations that govern each type of lending institution: There’s one set of rules that applies to Banks and Mortgage Bankers . . . and another set that applies to Mortgage Brokers. And the key difference is this: Full disclosure to the customer.”

Here’s how it works:

Banks and Mortgage Bankers may say they offer “no-cost mortgage” loans. And that’s just what you’re looking for, right? A way to save that extra 3%-5% of costs (which can be several thousand dollars) for Loan Origination, Processing, Underwriting, and Document Preparation Fees.

“However,” reveals Piette, “while they may be charging you nothing for those fees on your Loan Estimate, they aren’t required to disclose to you that they very probably are trading out those fees to charge you a higher interest rate, instead. What’s worse, by paying a higher interest rate over the life of your loan, it can end up costing you a lot more money than those fees would have been to begin with.

“In other words, Banks and Mortgage Bankers are allowed to present you with the illusion of paying no fees, but make no mistake – they’re not reducing the profit they’re making on your mortgage loan. They’re simply shuffling the numbers so it sounds good to you – but in the long run it can actually end up costing a borrower more money, rather than less.”

Mortgage Brokers, though, have to operate under a different set of rules:

• First, the amount of money they can make on a mortgage loan is capped by law.

• Second, they can only earn income on a mortgage loan from one source.

• Third, they are required to disclose the source and total amount they earn on the loan to the borrower.

“These might seem like three simple statements,” adds Rick Piette, “but together they make a huge difference when it comes to what the customer will actually end up paying for the mortgage loan they choose.

“How? Because when a Mortgage Broker’s Loan Estimate shows $0 in loan fees – there really are NO FEES. Borrowers actually save that money – because the Broker isn’t making up for that “great deal” by charging you more somewhere else in your loan documents. They can’t. It’s the law. Which is finally (in our opinion) – working on the side of the consumer.

“That’s why we encourage every person who is looking for a home loan to always go to at least two different lenders – and compare those Loan Estimates. (And one of them should be a Mortgage Broker.) All you need to do is compare the cost of the fees and the interest rate – and your choice is usually very simple to make,” Piette confirms. “It’s the one that costs you a lot less money!”

For more information about how to shop wisely for your next mortgage loan – and potentially to save literally thousands of dollars – visit Premier’s “Know Before You Owe Nevada” website to view the quick and informative educational videos that will put you in charge of the cost of your next mortgage loan.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

YES – THE NEW CFPB REGULATIONS LAWS REALLY ARE HELPING CONSUMERS

Logo0_@2Going back to that “which side of the political aisle you’re on” issue that we’ve talk about before, if you’re not actually working IN the financial services industry, there’s a good chance that you just skim the headlines that talk about the effects on consumers since the CFPB (Consumer Financial Protection Bureau) was created.

So just in case that might describe your experience with how the new laws are affecting the public, we thought it might be a good time to point out some of the real benefits that have come out of the Dodd-Frank Act. Things that are helping real mortgage borrowers – people who are just like you.

Information Resources

Prior to the creation of the CFPB, the road to getting a mortgage loan was a difficult one to navigate. Basically, each mortgage company pretty much made their own rules (within certain legal guidelines) – but there wasn’t much of a way that borrowers could easily compare “apples-to-apples” per se as far as they information they were given.

Now, the CFPB not only offers excellent resources on their website that explain where to start when it’s time to search for a loan, but easy-to-understand explanations on the differences between types of loans, and even between types of lenders. For first-time buyers and others who aren’t that familiar with the mortgage loan process, the CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe” website has helped take the mystery out of the mix, and also helped people learn how to avoid shady lending practices and overcharging. Score one for the consumer!

Consistency in Disclosures, Policies and Procedures

If the only plus out of the CFPB’s creation were the two forms now used – the Loan Estimate and the Closing Disclosure – it would be a solid win for consumers all by itself. These two forms are now far easier to understand, easier to use, and required to be used by every lender so comparisons are easily made.

But there are also other benefits that came about – including the rule that borrowers get three business days to review their Closing Disclosure and ask questions before they close on their mortgage loan. (In other words, the days of “closing surprises” are gone – when the pressure was on to close or lose a deal and emotions were running high.)

“Know Before You Owe” Program Provides Borrowers with the “Big Picture” of Buying a Home

Mortgage loan officers who are more concerned with getting customers to closing and picking up their paycheck – rather than ensuring their borrowers are actually getting the right loan for their needs – have a new foe: The CFPB’s “Know Before You Owe” site, mentioned above.

But, of course, consumers need to know this information exists to allow it to help them in making the big decision of buying a home. (That’s one reason Premier Mortgage also created their KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com website – because we agree that customers should be fully informed about the decisions they’re making.)

At the CFPB’s site, several resources are provided to help people consider all the costs and expenses involved with making a decision to buy a home. With budgets and worksheets, checklists and conversation starters, it is designed to provide borrowers an “eyes wide open” approach to home buying.

Those three things are just the tip of the iceberg about how everyday consumers are gaining benefits from the rules and requirements put in place on the financial industry following The Great Recession. If you pay closer attention to what comes underneath those ‘complaining headlines’ about the CFPB in the future, you may notice one striking similarity: Most of the grumbling is coming from the financial institutions affected by these changes . . . not from the consuming public. A little something to worth remembering!

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

IS IT REALLY POSSIBLE TO GET A “NO-FEE” MORTGAGE LOAN?

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It’s one of those things that you seem to hear about when you’re not really looking for one. While you’re driving, you’ll hear a radio spot about “no fee mortgage loans,” or you’ll see an ad while flipping through a magazine advertising the same. Maybe you’ll run across an article in the newspaper that touts the benefits of a “no fee mortgage.”

Then one day, you actually need to find a mortgage yourself – and you start to wonder, “How can that work? It can’t really be “no fees” because the company has to have a way to make money, right?”

That’s a great question – and there’s a simple and honest answer to it – at least there is if you’re dealing with Premier Mortgage in Las Vegas.

“I get that question a lot from potential clients,” reveals Rick Piette, owner of locally owned Premier Mortgage Lending. “It can be confusing, and it seems when people hear the words “No Fee” they often translate that in their mind to “free” – which of course would make it difficult for a mortgage lender to stay in business,” smiles Piette. “

Of course Premier Mortgage generates income from the mortgage loans we make, but there are two very important differences between how we do business as a “mortgage broker,” versus how banks and “mortgage bankers” are allowed to operate.

“First, Premier’s earnings – as a mortgage broker – are capped by law. We operate with complete transparency, and we are required to disclose our total earnings to the borrower in writing.

“Second, many borrowers don’t know that banks and mortgage bankers can add “invisible charges” to the cost of your loan – and they don’t even have to tell you you’re paying for it,” explains Piette. “To see if these invisible charges are being applied to your loan, all you need to do is compare the interest rates. For example, if one lender is showing a 4.0% interest rate and another 4.25% – that second lender will be earning an additional .25% on your loan amount over the life of your loan. And that can add up.”

“But there can also be charges for your loan that are shown right on the Loan Estimate form,” he continues.

By definition: In order for a mortgage loan to truly be called a “No Fee” loan, there should be zero costs associated with the Origination Fees that are shown on the Loan Estimate.

That means $0 for Loan Origination Fee, Processing Fee, Underwriting Fee, and Lender Doc Prep Fee.

At Premier, there are no charges for those items on our traditional loans. But with other lenders, those four things can add up to $3,500-$4,000 – or even more,” explains Piette. “That’s money that comes directly from the borrower – out of pocket – at closing. And it’s been our experience that homebuyers have much better things to do with that kind of money than pay it to their mortgage lender!”

For more information about how to shop wisely for your next mortgage loan – and to save literally thousands of dollars – visit Premier’s “Know Before You Owe Nevada” website to view the quick educational videos. According to Rick Piette, “If ten minutes of your time can save you at least $4,000 on your next loan – then we think you’ll agree that’s time well spent!”

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.

The Mortgage Industry Should Continue Evolving on the Consumer’s Behalf

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Bad things happen to good people. In fact, Harold Kushner even wrote a book on the topic a few years back. That was in 2004, when the economy and housing market were on a roll. The book itself dealt with human issues and the difficulties that we often face going through life. But we see an interesting correlation between that concept and the economic hardships so many millions of Americans experienced in recent years, as a result of the actions of the financial institutions in which we placed our trust.

“For decades, the final word on our biggest financial decision – buying a home – was at the whim of these large banking institutions,” reveals Rick Piette, owner of Las Vegas-based Premier Mortgage Lending. “They made the rules, bent them for some, broke them for others, and ignored them for many. A stigma arose in our society that caused many of us to look down on those whose credit scores were less-than-worthy, often making the assumption that if these people would just “do the right thing” – they’d be better, upstanding members of society.

“But when the curtain was pulled back in 2007/2008 as The Great Recession began – suddenly there were many more members unintentionally joining the ranks of those unable to meet their obligations, with all the falling credit scores and unimaginable loss of credit and financial stability that accompanied it.”

Piette continues, “Many discovered that the state of their credit could quickly become a life-changing variable. Suddenly, society came to recognize that it IS possible to ‘do everything right’ – and still wind up on the wrong side of a good credit score. You know, that credit score that decides your finances, the interest you pay, your insurance rates, and even where you’re able to live.

“At Premier Mortgage Lending, we have long believed that changes to the “old order” of things is not only desperately needed, but deserved – for the millions of people in our country who put their trust in a system many feel was rigged against them. That’s why we have embraced the changes introduced by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and why we deliberately choose to practice complete transparency with our borrowers.

“We’re also encouraged to learn about new changes we hope to see implemented soon, as proposed by industry-related organizations. It includes those designed to level the playing field by introducing more fairness into a process that gives full consideration to each consumer’s individual circumstances.

“After all – these are people’s lives being dealt with – on a huge scale. Those people are more than a three-digit score – which in millions of cases took a serious hit that was not only unintentional, but often out of their control.”

One example is this: In June 2016, the National Association of Realtors sent a letter to two members of Congress to declare their support of alternative credit-scoring models under the “Credit Score Competition Act of 2015,” a bill still to be considered by the House Financial Services Committee.

This bill would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (the government-sponsored entities that assist Americans to obtain home loans) to use scoring models other than the standardized FICO to consider loan approval – such as their record of paying rent and utilities on time (true indicators of fiscal consistency not currently tracked in FICO’s credit scoring). The goal is to assist middle-to-lower income Americans who are financially qualified to buy a home – but are unable to do so because of their FICO score (or lack of one altogether).

This is only one of many recommended changes headed for congress and led by many different homebuyer and consumer-related advocates and industries. While each is to be considered individually to determine its probable impact, we believe that pursuing these types of ‘fairness doctrines’ will not only help our economy continue to recover, but restore a large piece of humanity to those whose lives were (in some cases, irrevocably) damaged by the financial hardships of the last several years.

We’d love to hear your thoughts on this subject. News? Ideas? Recommendations? The more it’s open for discussion, the more likely change is to occur. Share your comments below.

Visit our website at www.PremierMortgageLending.com for more information about our true “No Fee Mortgage” loans. And to learn which are the most important questions to ask your mortgage lender, visit our www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com website – where you’ll find quick informational videos that take the mystery out of getting the best mortgage loan for your needs.

Premier Mortgage Lending, NMLS #393282, is located at 701 N. Green Valley Pkwy., Suite 125, Henderson, 89074. The full-service lender is a member of the Las Vegas, Henderson, and Boulder City Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau and Southern Nevada Home Builders Association, as well as an affiliate member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors.