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‘Tis the Shopping Season! Is Your Mortgage Loan on Your List?

mortgage loan

The holiday season is upon us full force. Actually, it’s been coming on for a while, hasn’t it? When you start seeing Christmas decorations in the stores before Halloween has passed, you know that retailers are competing in vying for your dollars by offering one great deal after another. Which is great! Because with all the Before Thanksgiving, Black Friday, Shop Small Saturday, Cyber Monday, and Christmas sales going on, you can make darn sure that you’re finding the best deal you can for all the gifts on your shopping list.

Oh – if we just had one wish this holiday season, it would be that people who need a mortgage loan would follow that same logic! Because when it comes to getting a mortgage – it should be just like anything else you buy: Shopping for the best deal.

“Everyone at Premier Mortgage has been sharing that news for quite some time – but we know there are still plenty out there who don’t know that you can get a deal on a mortgage loan,” explains Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending in Las Vegas.

“How do we know? Because we still surprise new customers when they discover our true “No Fee” loans really do cost thousands of dollars less than the lender their Realtor or home builder sent them to. Yes, there is a difference between mortgage lenders – and it’s not that difficult to sniff out the best mortgage loan deal. In fact, we’ve created a website that explains just how to do it,” adds Piette.

The website Rick Piette is referring to is http://www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com. Created for local Nevadans here in Las Vegas, it’s based on the premise of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) website about educating consumers about the rights of borrowers when it comes to getting a mortgage loan. But Piette expanded on that idea by providing a collection of short, easy-to-understand videos that explain things such as:

• Understanding the actual cost of getting a home loan
• How to compare Loan Estimates, what to ask and what information to look for
• Seller Incentives and how they can affect the cost of your loan
• The differences between lenders
• “Visible” and “Invisible” loan charges (we told you not all lenders are the same!)
• What’s a Marketing Service Agreement, and how it can cost you money
• How your Real Estate Agent’s lending referrals can save you – or cost you – money

According to Piette, “This collection of videos altogether add up to only about 15 minutes of time – but the information contained in them is priceless. It gives home buyers an enormous advantage when it comes to not only getting the best loan for their circumstances – but saving an incredible amount of money while doing it.

“Truly, it’s not uncommon for us to save our clients anywhere from $4,000 to $10,000 – or even more. And the icing on the cake: They’ll get the same loan for less – with the best, friendliest, and most personalized service around.”

Since so many Premier Mortgage customers return over and over again for their future mortgage loan needs, and waste no time referring their family and friends to do the same – it’s a pretty safe bet there are good reasons for that.

“At Premier, we pride ourselves on providing savings, service, and long-term industry expertise,” Piette adds. “So far, we’ve found those to be our clients’ favorite reasons for coming back.”

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.

What a Year It’s Been for Homeownership

looking back at the housing market

All the news and events going on in the country seem to have made a lot of us gaze back on all that’s happened in 2016 and think “Thank Goodness It’s Almost Over!” We can understand that. But it’s precisely because of that sentiment that we’d like to bring up some of the good news from the past year that we reported on in our blog posts about the state of the housing market. What’s more, as far as we can see, there’s good reason to believe that there 2017 will be great, too. Take a look and see what you think.

The Las Vegas Housing Market Has Returned
In fact, not only the housing market, but the economic status of our exciting city has bounced back from the years immediately following the Great Recession. For a long time, it seemed that the country had given up on Las Vegas – but they didn’t count on Las Vegas not giving up on itself. But we’re back, baby! And with the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008, the new T-Mobile Arena and our very own NHL hockey team (Go, Vegas Golden Knights!). Then there’s the opening of major new hotel/casinos and the start of more, new medical facilities, the possibility of an NFL team on the horizon (and did we mention IKEA?). With all that came people, families, and jobs. And following close on the heels of everything was a rise in the construction and sale of new homes, the resale market ticked up, and foreclosures came down. Plus, the year’s run of record-low interest rates helped homeownership return to numbers that naysayers never believed would happen again. Additionally, the slow and steady rise of real estate values in Las Vegas has helped many long-time homeowners escape the ‘underwater borrower’ scenario and begin to return to firm financial footing, too. In short – it’s clear that people are rebuilding their lives in Las Vegas, and thanks in no small part to the entrepreneurial spirit of our residents.

Mortgage Standards Loosened Up
Following the economic crash (can you believe it was nearly 10 years ago?) – banks and other lenders tightened their belts and made the task of obtaining a mortgage loan much more difficult than it had ever been. Partly due to new regulations, partly due to economic and social pressures – the fact is, the restrictions put in place were at such a high threshold that getting a loan became an onerous task – even for those who were gainfully employed and had good credit scores. As for those who had been financially harmed by the housing crisis, the thought of owning a home again seemed an impossibility. But 2016 saw mortgage lenders nationwide begin to ease their lending guidelines – with FHA and VA following that lead, as well. As a result, and with the passage of time that resolved many credit issues incurred due to the recession, more and more people are able to escape the rental market, invest in themselves and their family, and begin planning for the future by buying a home of their own.

Millennials Join First-Time Buyers in Huge Numbers
We mentioned this in a recent blog post, but it bears repeating here: According to recent reports from the National Association of Realtors® and Zillow – the market share of first-time buyers has risen to 35% of all homes purchased. (Big news when so many headlines reported a lack of homes in this price range!) Even more notable is that 61% of those buyers were under the age of 35. Many new statistics have confirmed this trend and further indicated that not only weren’t those Millennials going to be living in their parents’ basement forever (did you really think they would?) – but many were actually choosing to wait to buy until they could start with what would normally be considered a “2nd move up home” (which leaves that many more ‘starter homes’ available for the buyer’s market).

Since the election, many industry experts forecast that the 2017 housing market will continue to grow, but at a more moderate pace (which is something we’re all in favor of, quite honestly). Western cities will continue to lead the nation in home sales and pricing. Interest rates are anticipated to rise slightly, but since 2016 saw the record lowest home mortgage rate occur in August 2016, that’s not the worst news we’ve heard all year!

All things considered, Las Vegas and its housing market have bright futures to look forward to – both in 2017 and beyond. The even better news – is that Premier Mortgage is here to help homebuyers get the most value for every dollar. How? By offering “No Fee” loans that make sure you spend less of your hard-earned cash towards the cost of getting your mortgage loan – and more into the home you’re buying.

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.

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.

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

175002-All-Great-Changes-Are-Preceded-By-Chaos

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.

Las Vegas Bounces Back Big – Again

The-secret-of-getting-ahead-is-getting-started-Mark-Twain

There are headlines – and then there are straight-up statistics. Most of us know that the source of the news articles we read anymore is generally serving self-serving on any given position. (And if ever there is a time when this is blatantly obvious, it’s during Presidential Election season!)

But real data – facts driven by numbers and tangible, physical changes – is a much more reliable indicator of the truth. And here in Las Vegas, we can share numbers that represent a lot of great news about our town already taking place, and coming up in the very near future.

When a city is hit as hard as Las Vegas was during the economic crisis a few years back, there are only two options: Let it beat you, or use it to rise up from the proverbial ashes. Anyone who has spent any time around Las Vegans should never have doubted that we’d choose the latter. And in these past few years, we have slowly but surely continued to make gains month after month, year after year.

This is important – because as the status of our economy stabilizes and grows, so too does employment, housing, and our job market. In Las Vegas, since hitting the high watermark of unemployment in mid-2011 of 14.5%, to our current 6.1%, remarkable results are being seen.

Perhaps the most well known at the moment is the newly opened Las Vegas Arena. This $375 Million project is bringing not only major artistic talent to the city – but will quite possibly be the home to the first NHL expansion team ever to come to Las Vegas. (An announcement due to be made on June 22, 2016.) And that is BIG news.

But that’s only one of the mind-boggling new entertainment, resort, residential, and public works projects currently under way in Las Vegas or scheduled to begin soon. Overall, an estimated more than $5 billion of development and investment activity has either already begun or is on the boards to launch. After all – Las Vegas now has an IKEA of its own. Do we really need more proof than that? <wink!>

Seriously though, this return of economic growth to our valley has also prompted a rise in our previously recession-led diminishing population. And it’s at a good, consistent pace – 2% growth now, down from the more than 4% growth prior to the crash. In fact, Las Vegas is now the 28th most populous U.S. city, just ahead of Baltimore; and Henderson jumped from 71st place to 67th place in 2015.

People are rebuilding their lives in Las Vegas, where the entrepreneurial spirit is alive and well. And that means new places to live, jobs in construction, hospitality, and new industry – and as they say, a rising tide lifts all boats.

We’re a cautious people now, learning from past mistakes and working hard to keep from repeating them. That includes the state of our real estate and lending markets. The rose-colored glasses have been cast aside, new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau oversight is working on the side of consumers to ensure fairness and transparency – and Las Vegas is well on its way to rising to new heights of economically smart growth.

Premier Mortgage Lending is on the same path, helping those in search of affordable mortgages with no curtains, no sleight-of-hand – just fair, honest dealings that save consumers money. Find out more about our true “No Fee Mortgage” at www.premiermortgagelending.com.

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.

The Real Reasons To “Shop Local” For Your Mortgage Loan

0206Shopping Local. Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock for a while now, you’ve heard the term. What began as a way to support local farmers while at the same time bringing healthier, chemical-free foods to our tables has turned into a national movement. The multiple benefits discovered by applying that “Shop Local” concept to the surrounding businesses in a community are widespread – and growing all the time.

1. Money That Stays Local Helps Your Community

Studies have proven that when people choose to spend their money with local merchants, for every $100 spent at a local business – $68 remained in that city (as opposed to only $43 if you buy at a chain retailer). The impact of that single fact is huge. Why? Because it helps your local business operate and pay employees, and that business in turn spends their dollars with other local merchants. That begins a cycle that recirculates more money locally, creates jobs, and supports the community as a whole.

Of course, when residents and communities prosper economically, that helps the housing market, too. More people employed = more homebuyers, and the overall effect stimulates virtually every segment of the local economy.

2. You Know The People You Do Business With – (and not just virtually)

We are an internet age. And if it seems that the click of a mouse and a few taps on a keyboard make doing business more ‘efficient,’ it also means that in reality, you have no idea who, exactly, you’re doing business with on the other side of that wireless connection. Unfortunately, it’s not just “The Good Guys” conducting that business (as we’ve all learned from the enormous amount of personal information that gets hacked around the world daily).

The contrast – to those nameless, faceless, “I-have-no-idea-where-these-people-even-are-in-the-world“ entities online – are your local merchants. (The key word being: Local.) You remember them: They’re the ones who live and work right in your town; they have an actual, physical office location; and it’s where you’ll find an experienced team of professionals that enjoy getting to know you personally while helping you find the products or services you need. Specifically when it comes to your finances – you need to know you’re working with people you can trust. What a concept!

3. Service Matters To Local Merchants

Ever had a problem with your cell phone bill and needed to contact your mobile phone company? Or how about the national TV satellite service you subscribe to? Don’t you just love those (800) numbers and the 7-8 times you get transferred around to different departments – only to get off the phone 30 minutes later having the same problem you called about in the first place?

It’s one of the reasons consumers recognize the following fact more and more every day:

When you do business with people you meet and get to know, you get better, faster, more personalized customer service that those huge international corporations can only dream of achieving.

It’s built into a local business owner’s DNA – because they know that if they don’t take care of their customers, they’re free to shop elsewhere – and that means the end of their livelihood. They can’t just choose to “close down the branch in this city because it’s not as profitable as our other offices.” This is their business, and this is their home. It’s likely your kids go to school with theirs, or that you belong to some of the same organizations. You live, eat, and shop in the same places they do. In short – you’re connected by virtue of the city you chose to live in – and that means you’re both in this together: Doing what it takes to keep your ‘home turf’ safe and prosperous.

4. Small Local Businesses Save You Money

It costs money to run a huge, multi-national organization. The fancy offices and the huge corporate staff. There’s a “department” for everything, and if it’s a public corporation – there are stockholders to answer to. Between the payroll, the multiple locations, the need for profits, and (let’s face it) – the bureaucratic inefficiencies that go along with huge companies and chain stores – there are a lot of reasons large business entities need to charge – you – more.

But take a look around you at your small, locally owned businesses — the ones where you get used to seeing the same faces every day – because, well, it’s their company. They have to run things more efficiently – which means the overhead is lower. In many cases, there’s a pretty direct line that goes like this: Customer Walks In Door and Works With Owner. Compare that to “The Big Guys” – where they have to cover all of these salaries for the one department that handles only what you’re shopping for: Employee, Supervisor, Manager, Department Head, Vice President, Regional Vice President. Ouch – Can you picture the size of that monthly payroll?

What’s more, small, locally owned business owners are real people – who know that you DO have choices about where to shop. So they’re likely to pass on all those operational savings and price their products to get – and KEEP – customers. The ones just like YOU.

Why Is This All Important For Your Mortgage Loan Needs?

We’re all bombarded with media images today – and the fact is, big banks and multi-national mortgage banks and lenders spend big bucks so they can pepper you repeatedly from every angle with their claims about “quick, easy, cheap mortgage loans.”

But many times, consumers choose that option only to discover at the signing table that what they’re getting isn’t what they bargained for. (For many reasons – the most important being that different types of lenders have different regulations to follow. For more about the differences between mortgage lenders, check out our previous article here.)

But what we’d like to help consumers and homebuyers realize is this:

All of the reasons we listed above for keeping your consumer business spending local to your community – also applies to getting a mortgage loan.

• Keeping money in your community

• Knowing who you’re doing business with

• Getting better and more personal service

• Saving money

This is one instance where your shopping decision can have a positive effect on both your community – and your financial bottom line. If that doesn’t sound like a recipe for finding the best mortgage loan – with competitive rates, lower fees, and premium service – then you haven’t worked with the pros at Premier Mortgage Lending yet. Because that’s exactly how it works with every customer, every time, right here in Las Vegas.

Premier Mortgage Lending is the home of the true “No Fee” mortgage loan. That means No: Loan Origination, Underwriting, or Document Fees. And you’ll still find the most competitive interest rates – so you may end up saving thousands of dollars on your mortgage loan.

Find out more at our www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com website. Our series of short educational videos explain exactly what you need to know to save big money on your next mortgage loan – and know which questions you need to make sure you ask your next mortgage lender.

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 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

Wondering if Now is the Right Time to Buy a Home in Las Vegas? The Odds are With You.

image003When the final real estate market figures for 2015 were tallied in Las Vegas, a remarkable thing was discovered: Every zip code in the urban Las Vegas valley reported a price gain in median value over 2014.

That’s huge news – especially in a city hit so hard in the aftermath of the economic collapse. Many so-called “experts” said it wasn’t possible. Many said Las Vegas would never recover. (Seriously – “never” – direct from the Wall Street Journal.)

And yet, here we are – with Las Vegas ranked as the top state in the U.S. with a four-year value jump of nearly 75 percent. That’s not to say every homeowner in the city has fared so well, of course. Some who bought at the height of the boom prior to the housing crisis are still suffering negative equity. Unfortunate as that is, it was to be expected for a city hit as hard as we were.

“But the fact is that for those who bought real estate in Las Vegas since 2012, their homes have and continue to appreciate,” comments Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending. “And that is a trend that will only help those still working towards recovery – as a rise in the median value of homes is a rise for them, too.

In addition, there are several other good reasons for potential buyers to “get off the fence” and make their move into homeownership here in Las Vegas, such as:

1. Credit is becoming move available to consumers. Thanks to more and better lending models, along with renewed confidence in the U.S. housing market, more lenders are easing mortgage loan standards and issuing loan approvals.

2. Interest rates remain at near-record lows. Traditional 30-year mortgage loans remain at rates lower than 4%. That’s a figure that even our parents would have been thrilled to receive when they bought their first home. (In 1965, the average interest rate was 5.83%.)

3. Unemployment continues to drop. From a high of over 13% in 2008 to its current 6.2%, jobs are coming back to Nevada. In fact, Nevada ranked 11th in the nation for job growth from 2009 to 2015.

4. Housing in Las Vegas is poised for a strong season. Employment, income, and population are all on the rise, and analysts agree, ”Las Vegas real estate is in about the best shape it’s been in for a decade.”

According to Piette, “All of these reasons – when added to the emotional and psychological benefits of owning a home – mean that for those who have been waiting for “the perfect moment” to buy a home in Las Vegas – now is that time.

“But be smart about the entire process. Find the right Realtor® – then do your homework to make sure you find the best mortgage lender, too,” he adds. “Mortgage loans are no longer ‘one-size-fits-all’ like they used to be. There’s a huge difference between how loans are made between banks, mortgage banks, and mortgage brokers – and it’s a difference that can cost buyers who don’t know what to look for thousands of dollars out of their pocket.

“So shop around, compare interest rates, pay attention to the fees – and you’ll save money. That’s what we tell all of our clients at Premier Mortgage. And most of the time, they come back to tell us “You were right. Let’s do this.” It’s a good feeling.”

To find out more about what to ask prospective lenders, visit Premier’s www.KnowBeforeYouOwe.com website and view the quick educational videos that make it easy to understand how to shop for a loan. We’re pretty sure you’ll be glad you did,” confirms Piette.

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 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.

New Mortgage Loan Checklist

house-checklistPicture it: You found the house of your dreams. You shopped around for the perfect lender. Now it’s time to get all your ‘ducks in a row’ so you can move in and start enjoying it as soon as possible. Oh boy! You know what that means – Paperwork!

Actually, it’s not as bad as all that. Because you can start gathering most of the information you’ll need to provide to your mortgage lender even before you find the home you love. And to help you start planning ahead for the day you’re ready to submit your loan application, we’ve put together a checklist for you. (Because, hey – who doesn’t love checklists?)

Following is a list of the general information every lender will require for your application – although depending on your individual circumstances, your loan officer may require additional documentation. But knowing where to start is half the battle!

Identity and Income Verification

• Your full legal name, Social Security number, and birth date. (Assume you’ll be asked for a copy of your driver’s license or state-issued photo ID card, along with a copy of your Social Security card.)

• Your phone numbers, email address.

• Current residential mailing address, along with former addresses during the past two years.

Credit Verification

• Your lender will need to pull their own credit report. But it’s a good idea for you to get a copy of your credit report early. That way:

o You can check it for errors – and submit the necessary corrections ahead of time.

o Be aware of any credit issues that will require explanation (late payments, collections, or other derogatory items) – then create a written explanation for each item.

Employment Verification

• Provide the name, addresses, and phone numbers of all your employers over the past two years.

• Written explanation if employed less than two years or if an employment gap exists within the last two years.

• Documentation of compensation from employer, either monthly or bi-weekly. Online pay stubs must be signed by a company representative.

• Copies of your W-2s for the past two years.

• If you are self-employed, additional documentation will be required typically in the form of Profit & Loss Statements, tax return forms, etc. Your lender will advise you what you need to compile.

Assets / Debts

• Copies of statements from your personal and/or business checking, savings, brokerage, retirement, and money market accounts that are requested in order to verify assets, income, or the sources of large deposits, excluding paychecks. Typically, borrowers are asked to send statements from the previous two or three months. (Be sure to include all pages of the statement, including ones that are blank.)

• A list of your monthly debt obligations. (Include name, address, account number, and amount).

• Document the source of funds for any large deposits on asset or bank statements.

Tax / Legal Documents

• Federal tax returns (1040s) for the past two years.

• Your lender will have you complete a Request for Tax Transcript form. This is required on all applications and gives your lender permission to verify the income reported to the IRS. Usually requested for the previous one or two years.

• If there is a Bankruptcy in your history, provide a copy of your Bankruptcy discharge papers.

Property Purchase Documentation

• A copy of the signed Purchase Agreement or Sales Contract between the buyer and seller describing all the terms of your real estate purchase transaction.

• The name and contact information of the insurance company for your new home.

It may sound daunting – but the great news is, with a mortgage broker (like Premier Mortgage Lending) – you fill out the application and provide the necessary documentation just once – and then your Loan Officer will be able to shop around to find you the best rates and terms from multiple lenders. So shop away for that new home, and use the checklist above to get prepared in advance – and you’ll be ready to close escrow before you know it!

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 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.

What the Fed’s Recent Decision Means for Mortgage Loans

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A couple of weeks ago, it seemed that you couldn’t open a website or turn a newspaper page without hearing all the buzz about the upcoming decision by the Federal Reserve on the key interest rate. “It’s going up” – “It’s staying the same” – it’s not like there were a lot of options, really. But media being what it is meant everyone shared their opinion as they jostled for position at the top of the search engines. (Not-so-much-of-a-Spoiler-Alert: The Fed announced September 17 that rates would not change.)

So for the time being, the interest rate stays near zero – as it has since early in the financial crisis in December 2008. Or at least until October or November of this year- as the Fed committee still has two more meetings to go – so it’s possible things could change before the end of 2015.

But what exactly does that mean when it comes to mortgage loans? If you’re currently searching for a home, or planning to in the near future, you more than likely already know that interest rates have a huge effect on your financial ability to buy a home and qualify for a mortgage.

So we’d just like to shed a little light on the answer to that question and say that it depends: Are you a glass half-full, or a glass half-empty kind of person?

On the “half-full” side, conventional wisdom indicates that mortgage interest rates won’t be seeing a huge change anytime soon. Because even if the Fed increases the interest rate before 2015 is ushered out, such an increase is anticipated to be small (a maximum of about .25%).

It does, however, open the door for additional interest rate hikes in the months to follow. But the good news is that because rates are still currently very low, it may take a year or more for such slow, incremental increases to cause any noticeable impact on the mortgage industry overall. In other words, the rate on your new mortgage loan isn’t going to change overnight.

On the flip-side – for those “half-empty” personalities, the decision by the Fed not to raise the interest rate reflects a U.S. that has not yet fully recovered from the financial crisis. While projections call for employment to continue to rise and the economic growth outlook is improved, concerns about global economies play an important role in the decision-making process. Because in many ways, what the Fed does plays a role in trade, currencies, and commodities on the world stage.

In truth, a rate hike by the Federal Reserve can have both positive and negative results. On the upside, the housing market itself can gain additional momentum simply based on the anticipation of such a hike, as home buyers get off the fence and make the decision to buy now so they can lock in low mortgage rates. Conversely, if such a rate hike hurts other economies in the world, that can ultimately impact U.S. trade and economic growth.

It’s a fine line to be sure. And it’s a call with enormous impact that reaches far beyond our borders. But the current decision, in our opinion, is a great one for the mortgage industry – and for anyone looking to upgrade, downgrade, or buy their first 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 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.

Watching Las Vegas Grow: Again, Bigger, and Better Than Ever

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Reinventing itself – yet again. That’s Las Vegas for you. It’s always been a bit of a microcosm of American ingenuity; that ability to create something new and desirable out of what’s near at hand. It happened when the seeds for the city were first sewn back in 1905, took off again with the start of Hoover Dam, kept growing with the arrival of Nellis Air Force Base, and took full advantage of the prosperity sweeping the country following World War II with the glamorization of gambling.

As Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending observes, “During the 80’s, the Las Vegas Strip transformed itself from a California getaway weekend into a world class destination resort city. And because all those people had to live somewhere, construction for both housing and commercial properties boomed. And boomed. And boomed. And then it got quiet in 2007.

“Things got tough,” Piette continues, “but slowly and steadily Southern Nevada has been on the mend, and the evidence is everywhere you look. Data, statistics, and news reports continue to show that despite the reservations the rest of the country may have had about Las Vegas’ recovery – it’s returning to firm ground more and more every day.”

With major financial investments under way in the city – from the new Elan Resort & Casino and Resorts World, to the expansion of the Las Vegas Convention Center and McCarran airport, and the addition of the new Las Vegas Arena (that could see the first major sports franchise come to town soon) – it’s clear that those with the money still see Las Vegas as a good bet.

“But it’s not only tourism-related projects that have been lowering the local unemployment rate – which is now below 7% and still dropping,” Piette reveals. “New industry is finding its way into the city and making a difference in the local economy, as well. Tech and data companies are establishing a firm base in Las Vegas, while office, retail and entrepreneurial services have now surpassed their pre-recession numbers. ”

In response, it’s only natural that the housing market would be bouncing back, as well. Construction workers are now in high demand, and new and used home sales have been on a steady upward trend for some time, effectively leveling out the playing field for both buyers and sellers.

For those who play the numbers game based on news headlines, it’s important to keep in mind that even what might at first seem to be bad reports – aren’t necessarily so.

“One example is the recent announcement that Las Vegas once again topped the foreclosure rankings nationwide,” reports Piette. “But in truth, this is a direct reflection of a recent Nevada Supreme Court ruling that is effectively forcing the hand of banks to begin clearing out their foreclosure pipelines. These are properties that filled their books during the recession and banks have been holding onto them for years. Far from being a negative, however, it’s the gradual return of these foreclosed homes to the market will help Las Vegas reflect a more accurate housing status – and one that keeps both supply and demand of homes from rising too high or falling too far.”

So what does all this financial investment, building and expansion activity, improved job market, and housing recovery really mean for Las Vegas?

“It means what those of us who call Las Vegas “home” have known for a long time,” Rick Piette explains. “It’s a great place to live – for growing families and retirees, for young professionals just starting out, and for those looking for opportunity. We enjoy over 300 days of sunshine every year, a great sense of community, and let’s face it – you have to try really hard to get ‘bored’ in this city.

“The fact is, Las Vegas is more than a just a tourist destination. People come from all over the country to find, start, or create a better life here. And we like to think the role Premier Mortgage Lending plays in helping that happen makes a difference,” Piette adds.

“After the recession hit and so many lost their homes, we created our “Another Chance Nevada” program that helps people regain the pride of ownership as soon as one day after short sale or foreclosure,” he explains.

“And now that many have had the time to recover both their finances and credit histories – we are proud to offer a true “No Fee” mortgage loan – which means no origination, underwriting,, document or other ‘junk fees’. So buyers are able to keep on the path toward financial recovery without paying unnecessary loan fees that can add up to $5-$10,000 or more out of their pocket.”

The bottom line is that your bottom line matters to the people at Premier Mortgage Lending – and that’s one of the reasons for their new “KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com” website. Visit the site to learn more about your protections as a consumer and how you can (and should) save money on 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 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.