Tag Archives: Housing market

What a Year It’s Been for Homeownership

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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.

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.

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

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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.

Las Vegas Bounces Back Big – Again

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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.

Keeping “The American Dream” Alive and Well – With Another Chance Nevada Mortgage Financing

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Owning your own home.

That’s a powerful statement, all by itself. For some people, it’s a scary thought – for others, it’s a lifelong dream. It can conjure up many different thoughts and emotions – from gaining a sense of pride to representing grown-up responsibility . . . and pretty much everything that flows between and around those ideas.

Since The Great Recession – when untold numbers of Americans saw the value of their homes drop by huge percentages, many even losing them to foreclosures or short sales, there have been those who wonder if that particular “American Dream” is over – that perhaps its time has come and gone.

But the truth is – the dream of homeownership is still very much alive and well. And that’s because owning a home isn’t simply a ‘transaction’ – it’s a mindset and a way of life. Just ask those who lost their homes in recent years due to the housing crisis – because after having owned a home, the desire to own again is even stronger. There are no ifs, ands, or buts about it: Having a home of your own provides a sense of security, belonging, and family stability that can rarely be found any other way.

At Premier Mortgage Lending, we recognize that owning a home can be the very foundation that families build their entire way of life upon. That’s why when we saw the effect the housing crash was having on the lives of thousands of our Las Vegas neighbors, we took action. We created Another Chance Nevada, so that we could offer a mortgage alternative to those whose credit had been damaged by the recession – either through losing their home or by seeing their finances and credit rating take a hit due to the developing economic crisis.

Through Another Chance Nevada, we created a source of Private Money Financing options for those who aren’t able to qualify now for traditional financing. These loan programs do require a minimum of 20% down payment, and rates and fees will be higher than for a traditional home loan. However, it’s an excellent opportunity for buyers to obtain long-term financing at competitive rates. These loans are free of any predatory loan features — and best of all, there are no pre-payment penalties.

Why is that the best part? Because it means that as you continue to work on raising your credit score and financial stability – as soon as you’re able to qualify, you can refinance to get a traditional loan at an even lower interest rate.

In fact, we even have the perfect mortgage loan for after you recover financially, too – because Premier Mortgage Lending is the home of the true No Fee Mortgage Loan. That means Zero: Loan Origination, Underwriting, or Document Fees. And you’ll still find the most competitive interest rates – so there’s a good chance you’ll end up saving thousands of dollars on your mortgage loan. (And yes – we encourage you to shop around and compare rates when that time comes. You don’t have to just take our word for it . . . you can find out for yourself!)

To learn more about how you can own a home again – in as little as one day following a short sale or foreclosure – visit us at AnotherChanceNevada.com. And to watch our short series of Home Loans #101 educational videos, visit www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.com. We created them to take the ‘mystery’ out of obtaining a mortgage loan. They’ll explain exactly what you need to know to save big money on your next loan – and tell you exactly which questions to 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.

Why Owning A Home Is Important, And Why Should You Buy One Now?

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We’d like to be honest about something: There are plenty of reasons why “other people” want you to buy a home. But there are even better reasons why you should do it for yourself.

As far as the “others”, we’ll be the first to admit: Owning a home is a huge driving factor in our economy. It affects builders, real estate professionals, insurance agents, contractors, inspectors, appraisers, furnishings stores, interior decorators, and yes – mortgage lenders, too. The real estate market is tied into the cycle of jobs, and the list of benefits it brings to your local community are innumerable. In other words, the act of buying and owning a home – one person, one couple, one family at a time – has a cascade effect on your hometown that simply cannot be overstated.

“Even so – those reasons don’t address the most important factors about owning a home,” reveals Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending in Las Vegas. “It may sound surprising – even as you realize the livelihood of so many depends on the purchase and sale of real estate in your community. But making the choice to purchase a home actually benefits you the most – and is perhaps the most life-changing decision you can make.”

Rick Piette goes on to explain there are some very fundamental reasons this will always be true.

“When you’re in the midst of shopping for a home, there are elements your mind is constantly evaluating,” continues Piette. “Beyond the obvious points of finding a home style you like and being close to schools and shopping – your brain is actively making connections about your comfort level with the area. Proximity to people and places you’re familiar with; judgments about the surrounding homes and neighbors, and more. In fact, a wise real estate professional will find ways to appeal to your basic, evolutionary desires that address your need to supply safe surroundings for your family, a sense of community, and ways to provide relaxation (whatever that might mean to you).

“Why is this important?” Piette asks. “Because you’re not only making a financial investment in building your personal wealth – you’re putting down roots. Ultimately, where you choose to live will inform who your future friends will be, who your kids will meet and offer different opportunities for their futures. It’s the place you’ll create memories, build traditions, experience joy and heartache – and live life in all its myriad of flavors. It will be your “safe haven” from the world, where your family gathers to enjoy its unique existence. And it will be the base from which your children venture forth into the world as adults – their success often relying on the home environment you provided and on which they have come to depend.

In short, as this recent Wall Street Journal article elegantly informs, “A home is more than an investment. It is the place that helps shape who we are.”

“That’s why it’s no small matter – owning a home,” Piette adds. “Because the affect it can have on the trajectory of so many lives is immeasurable.

“For the past several years since the Great Recession, many people lost that touchstone and were forced by circumstances to become tenants rather than owners. But it doesn’t have to be that way. At Premier Mortgage, our mission is to find mortgage financing solutions that help families get back into their own home. We’re proud to say that’s exactly what we’re doing – one family at a time.”

“For years, interest rates have been at historic record lows in a nation-wide effort to help the housing market recover. And it’s worked, too. We’ve reported in previous blogs that all the data and statistics clearly show that over time the Las Vegas housing market has recovered. In many ways, it’s even healthier than ever.”

But the fact that interest rates have been so long for so long has also given buyers some leeway in postponing their decision to return to the ranks of homeowners. “Procrastination happens in everything we do,” suggests Piette.

“However, all reports point towards the fact that is about to change. The Fed has declared our improved U.S. economy and lower unemployment data indicate it’s time for an interest rate increase – and soon.

“What does that mean for those who have been ‘thinking about’ buying a home but haven’t taken action yet? Two things:

1) It’s time to get off the fence and make that decision, as delaying it can be costly in the form of higher interest payments on a mortgage loan; and

2) As many people will be making that call shortly – the amount of available home inventory will shrink as homes are removed from the market. That means potential buyers who felt they would have their pick of the home they want – will rapidly discover that’s no longer the case.

The bottom line is that there is plenty of great news affecting the current status of the real estate industry in the U.S.

• The economy continues to improve

• Jobs are still on the rise

• We’re healthy enough as a country to raise our interest rates soon

• But rates are still at historic lows right now

• Home builders are confident and building new homes to meet improved demand

• New mortgage loan industry regulations benefit borrowers more than ever before

• Time and distance from the housing collapse has made it possible for buyers to recover their finances and creditworthiness.

“Basically, if you were looking for a playbook on “The Best Time To Buy A Home” – you wouldn’t find a better convergence of circumstances than we’re facing right now,” reveals Piette.

When you decide that it’s the right time to buy, we’d like to remind you what Premier Mortgage Lending will bring to the table to help you make sure you get the right mortgage loan:

1) Savings (we’re the home of the true “No Fee” mortgage loan in Las Vegas)

2) Service (real people you meet and who work with you on your specific loan needs)

3) Transparency (no smoke, no mirrors – just apples-to-apples comparisons with other lenders, and honest answers to your questions)

You’ve heard it a hundred times before. But based on everything you just read, it may have never been more true: Now is perhaps the best time and opportunity to buy a home than ever before.

For more information on Premier’s loan programs and unique “Home Loans 101” educational program, visit. www.KnowBeforeYouOweNevada.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 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.

3 Things That Can Stop You From Getting A Mortgage Loan – And How To Change Them

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The American Dream of owning a home is alive and well. And while it’s true that some of the rules for getting a mortgage loan have recently changed, every month thousands of families enjoy the excitement and extraordinary pride of becoming a homeowner – whether again or for the first time.

And you just might be one of them – if you play your cards right. (Your “credit cards,” that is.) Because homebuyers who plan ahead can take steps to improve the odds that their application receives the coveted “Your Loan Is Approved!” stamp. (Instead of that nasty alternative.)

Of course, lenders will still be looking at your finances to reach that final determination. But by making changes today in your spending behavior, you can make a huge impact on your future home-buying opportunities. It might not happen as quickly as tomorrow, but continually making small improvements and heading in the right direction with your credit and debt will make a difference to your lender.

According to Rick Piette, owner of Premier Mortgage Lending in Las Vegas, Nevada, “There are three key areas that those planning to buy a home in the near future should concentrate on immediately. These are: your credit history, how you handle your debt, and making the effort to educate yourself about mortgage loans.”

Having a Poor Credit Score and Credit History

Getting your credit in order is vital – because poor credit can mean you’ll pay more for that mortgage you get. Or worse yet – your application could be denied because your credit score is too low.

There’s no doubt about it, in this day and age, good credit makes the rules. In fact, it’s been calculated that over a lifetime, a person with poor credit could end up paying nearly $200,000 more for the same purchases over someone with good credit – simply due to the differences in costs and interest charges.

But even if life has thrown you some curve balls (such as, oh, maybe a Great Recession) – if you take calculated steps to get back on track with your money, it will begin to show up on your credit report and score with steady improvement. These include:

• If you have any collections or judgments against you, paying them off as quickly as possible.

• Bringing your over-the-limit and past-due accounts up-to-date.

• Paying all your bills on time.

• Reducing your credit card debt to 25% or less of your credit line on each card.

• Not opening new lines of credit.

• Not closing any credit card accounts, because then you’ll be using a higher percentage of your overall credit limit.

If your credit has hit some bumps, it’s always wise to speak with a mortgage lender about your situation before shopping for a home. A reputable firm will be happy to recommend specific actions you can take with regard to your personal credit status – such as which cards to pay off if you can, and in what order to tackle your debt reduction. They can also help you understand the different type of loan programs available to you and what credit scores you will need to achieve for them.

In short – if buying a home is on your list of Things-To-Do now or in the future, get your credit checked, speak with a lender, and then take the right action to start improving it now.

Carrying Too Much Monthly Debt

Your Income + Too Much Debt = No Home For You.

Debt-to-Income Ratio – that’s an important thing to know about when you’re planning to buy a home. (That’s your monthly income divided by your monthly debt payments.) And if those percentages aren’t right, your loan can be denied.

How to fix it?

“Obviously, you want to reduce your debt,” confirms Rick Piette. “Unless you’ve hit the lottery, this probably isn’t going to happen overnight. But by formulating a plan of how to attack your debt- in ways that will make the most difference to your ratios – you can begin to turn these figures around.”

“However, as Michael F. Kay explains in his recent Forbes column, Digging Yourself Out of Debt – without changing how you think of debt, the odds are you’re not going to change your spending habits. (The old maxim really does apply here: If nothing changes, nothing changes.)

In many cases, that mindset can be altered simply by changing what you focus on before making a purchase. Instead of concentrating on momentary gratification (as in, “The Super Bowl is going to look great on this 55-inch television!”) – think about how you’re going to feel when the bill arrives. In truth, it really can be as simple as that. When it comes to money, many people need to shift their perceptions about how society has conditioned us to behave.

“Kay goes on to offer several other techniques that help to re-train our thoughts on how we spend money,” adds Piette. “Reminding yourself of the long-term goals you’ve set and asking whether an expenditure will help or hinder your ability to achieve them is one. Kay recommends ‘visualizing’ where you want to be (in a home of your own and building wealth) vs. where you don’t want to be (renting an apartment and paying huge credit card bills each month).

You’re Not Asking The Right People The Right Questions

“You don’t know if you’re able to qualify for a mortgage, so keep that to yourself and don’t make any inquiries.”

WRONG!

If you have dreams of owning a home someday, then take your questions to a professional – whether it’s a Realtor, mortgage lender, or another industry expert. Even if you’ve never bought a home before, or you’ve lost your home to foreclosure or short sale – don’t simply assume that you’re not qualified to get a mortgage. Remember: Every person’s financial situation is unique, and because of differing circumstances – what was a complication for one person may not affect someone else.

“This is one of the most common problems we run into, and it’s really a shame,” reports Piette. “Because more people are qualified now to get a mortgage loan than they realize. As we’ve mentioned in a previous article, studies show that over half the people who want to buy a home never even ask if they’ll qualify for a loan simply out of fear the answer will be “no. ” And a large percentage of those people actually are able to qualify.

“What’s important to remember, though, is that even if the answer is “no” right now – by taking an active role to improve your credit and financial stability, you’ll have the opportunity to change that to a “yes,” – and in many cases, not too far down the road.

“At Premier Mortgage, we believe it’s so important for people to know the right questions to ask about getting a mortgage loan, we created an educational series known as “Home Loans 101” to help take the mystery out of mortgages. It helps buyers understand what to ask, and gives them the chance to compare lenders equally.

“A common misconception we run into is that people often think the cost of getting a mortgage loan is the same with any lender – and that is not at all true. There’s a difference between Banks, Mortgage Bankers, and Mortgage Lenders – and unless buyers shop around for the best deal, they can end up paying thousands of dollars too much for their mortgage loan. Those costs alone can make the difference in receiving a loan approval – or a loan denial.

“That’s why buyers need to discover the facts for themselves. Just as different people have different financial circumstances, different lenders will have different loan programs. Some of those programs can price you out of being able to buy a home,” Piette confirms. “But at Premier Mortgage – home of the true “No Fee” loan – we’re making it possible every day for Las Vegans to get into a home of their own. That could include you, too. What do you have to lose by asking?”

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.