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Your Purchasing Power

May 25, 2017
Who’s your favorite X-Men character? Wolverine? Storm? Professor X? What makes that character your favorite? For some people it’s the character’s courage, or perhaps their good looks, or their intelligence. My favorite mutant character is Mystique and what makes her my favorite is her superpower. Mystique is a shape shifter, meaning she can change her body and her voice to look like anyone she chooses. Did you know that outside of the comic book world there are real-life, everyday people with super powers? You are one of them. This article is going to walk you through tapping into and applying your purchasing power. Though I’m sure you’re not a mutant like the characters of X-Men, your purchasing power is a great power to exercise when you’re looking to buy a home. Your “Purchasing Power” is the ability and the flexibility to get the home you want. Your purchasing power can be increased by applying the following practices:             Decrease Your Debt Though the ultimate goal is to eliminate your household debt all together, depending on the amount of expenses you have, you may not be able to eliminate all of your debt all at once. In the meantime, decrease your debt by eliminating what you can. Pay off any outstanding medical bills. Return those overdue books to the library. Most importantly, stop using your credit cards. The minute you decide that you want to purchase a home, stop all usage of credit. Every time you swipe that card, you’re swiping yourself into debt.             Increase Your Credit Score Similar to how eliminating all of your debt will take time, improving your credit score will take time too. It’s easy for credit scores to drop, it’s a little tougher to bring them back up. Every 30 days the credit bureaus update with any new financial information from the previous month. That means there’s only 12 opportunities within a year for your score to go up (once each month). So each month you’ll have to make a conscience effort to change something for the better on your credit report. Remember, when credit does increase, it’s usually only increasing by a factor of roughly 1-15 points. Big events (like a delinquency or having an account go to collections) can change your credit score drastically, negatively hitting your credit anywhere in the range of 100 to 150 points so be sure to pay everything on time if not early.             Check Your Credit Report When you do your application to purchase a home, your credit report will be pulled and lenders will evaluate how much money you can be trusted to borrow. Do yourself a favor and check your score before the lenders do. I read once that at least 5% of Americans have a major error on their credit report. This could be caused by something as simple as someone having the same name and birthday as you. You’d be surprised how many John Smiths were born on the same day. Check your

Banks vs. Brokers

May 19, 2017
Commercial Banks vs. Mortgage Brokers When it comes to getting a home loan, you have a few options available to you in order to come up with the money to purchase the home. This article will focus on two of the most common ways you can borrow money for your home loan. More importantly, it’ll will focus on the differences between these two options. What is the difference between financing a home loan through a mortgage broker and financing a home loan through a commercial bank? Well for starters, a mortgage broker acts as a middleman between the borrower and the big banks. Brokers have knowledge and experience with market trends and they analyze the possibility of your loan with several different banks. Commercial banks on the other hand will only show you what their bank offers; a comparison with other banks is not part of the process. Brokers are able to accommodate borrowers who may have an unusual financial situation by doing the footwork for you. Instead of you going from bank to bank finding out who will qualify you, you can give your information to a broker and he searches through his database of banks to find what bank will suit you best. It’s easy to turn to a commercial bank when you think of applying for a home loan because most of us do our everyday banking with commercial institutions anyway. Commercial banks often offer discounts on home loans because of your loyalty through everyday banking. Borrowers are comfortable with who they are familiar with. Truthfully though, familiarity with your bank doesn’t guarantee them as the best option. Loan officers also differ depending on weather you decide to go with a bank versus a broker. Mortgage brokers often hold small operations, making the process of your home loan quicker because your file doesn’t have to go through as many hands. A loan officer that works for a broker is likely to be able to give your loan more attention than that of a loan officer at a commercial bank. Broker institutions are more intimate and offer the borrower a more involved experience. Also, it may be safe to say that loan officers who work for brokers are more knowledgeable about the business. Why? At commercial banks loan officers are required to do the general hours of study necessary to be licensed with the Nationwide Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS). With brokers, loan officers are required to do the same as well as required to be licensed in every state that they will do business in. In other words, LO’s at commercial banks get a general education of the market. LO’s who work for a broker obtain a more in depth knowledge of the market. Their knowledge is  not just based on the national standard, but also on the specific standard of each state that they operate in.   When doing your research always be sure to consult great sources. Check out the sources for this article below!  

3 Loan Documents You Should Know

May 18, 2017
Three Loan Documents You’ll Want to Know   Buying a new home (or refinancing your current home) is a process that requires quite a bit of paperwork. Thankfully, all of the paperwork isn’t thrown at you at once, instead it comes in stages. At each milestone of the loan process (beginning with disclosures and ending with your final loan docs), there is a different wave of documents that you’ll have to read and sign. Depending on your loan terms and any unexpected findings during processing you may even have to sign some documents twice (or as many times as loan terms change).  In this article, I’ll provide you with the names and descriptions of a few documents to keep in mind. The following documents are arguably the most important documents that you will encounter during the closing of your mortgage loan. The Loan Estimate The Loan Estimate, or LE for short, is a form that you’ll receive after applying for your home loan. You will receive a Loan Estimate from your mortgage lender no later than three days after completing your application. The Loan estimate shows the terms of the loan program you’re applying for, estimated payments based off your desired loan amount, and it shows your closing costs. If you’ve done a mortgage loan before (prior to October 2015), the LE replaces what you formerly knew as the GFE, or Good Faith Estimate. Your loan estimate is designed to clearly explain the cost of closing a loan. The Closing Disclosure The Closing Disclosure, or CD for short, is a form that is very similar to the Loan Estimate. The CD has updated fees and loan terms and shows not only what you will pay to close your loan as the borrower, but it also shows what every other party is doing financially. If your lender is giving any kind of credit towards your loan it will show on the CD. The CD also reflects when loan fees will be paid, either before closing, at closing, or by a third party. After you sign your initial Closing Disclosure you have 3 days to ask any questions or change your mind before your final loan docs are drawn up. Every financial transaction that will take place during the closing of your loan will show up on the CD, read it carefully! The Note The Note in mortgage is the contract you sign at closing that details the amount of your loan, the interest rate, the payment due date, any penalties for late fees and other important financial info regarding your loan. This is the document that marks your home as collateral with your lender. If you were to default on your loan, having signed your Note puts you in a breach of contract and it’s what banks will refer to if you can’t or don’t pay your mortgage. Signing your Note is your promise to pay. Similar to how a car dealer holds the title to your vehicle until you have

Your Home’s Feng Shui

May 12, 2017
Affecting Your Home’s Feng Shui Feng Shui (pronounced “fung shway”) is an idea adopted from ancient Chinese culture that describes how the placement of objects in a particular space affect the energy flow in that space. If you believe in energies, vibrations, and auras then you’ll probably want to arrange the furniture in your home in a way that will give you the most positive feelings. The idea behind feng shui is that the inside of your home is a reflection of the inside of your soul. A clutter free home is a clutter free spirit and a clutter free mind. The feng shui of your home is affected by what you have inside of it. So if you let the trash cans pile up and allow the sink to run over with dirty dishes, you’re killing the feng shui or, the good energy in the room. Since those of us who work demanding jobs don’t always have time or the energy to just sit at home, it’s nice to have positive vibes flowing when you do get to be home. No one likes to come home to a disorganized house. Having a good amount of light in your home also adds to the positive energy flow. The sun itself is a big ball of energy, and we’re lucky enough to have the sun shine down on us every day. It’s easy to take advantage of the sun’s positive energy by opening the blinds or drawing back the drapes. Allowing fresh sun rays in your home from day to day is sure to stimulate the feng shui in your house. There are five basic elements of Feng Shui. They include Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, and Water. These elements can also be expressed in colors or shapes. The Wood represents growth and creativity. Fire represents expansion and transformation. Earth is for stability. The Water represents clarity and relaxation. Metal (my favorite element) represents mental power and sharpness, it has a lot to do with intelligence. Having some form of these 5 elements in your home is thought to bring your home balance and solidity. Though you do not need to have a deep understanding of Feng Shui to apply it to your home, it’s a great practice to put in place. There are tons of articles about Feng Shui and Chi and Chakras and how they all can affect you and your home. The point of it all is to give balance to your mind and your wellbeing. Whether you spend a lot of time or a little time at home, Feng Shui can help you to feel incredibly relaxed and peacefully organized.       When doing your research always be sure to consult great sources. Check out the sources for this article below! https://www.realsimple.com/home-organizing/decorating/what-feng-shui/feng-shui-living-room. https://www.thespruce.com/create-good-feng-shui-in-your-home-1275057 https://www.thespruce.com/feng-shui-tips-for-beginners-1274536 http://www.feng-shui-and-beyond.com/feng-shui-elements.html  WHITNEY RUSH, VALLEY WEST MORTGAGE  

Valley West Mortgage Cinco de Mayo

May 5, 2017
Three Square is a Feeding America affiliate, serving four counties in Southern Nevada: Clark, Nye, Lincoln and Esmeralda. Three Square and Feeding America estimate the number of food-insecure persons in our service area to be more than 296,000. Food insecurity occurs when people aren’t able to secure enough food for a healthy diet and active lifestyle, at some point during the year. We at Valley West Mortgage love to make contributions to our community and this is no different. Three Square and Nacho Daddy teamed up today by having locals donate canned goods/non-perishables to Three Square. By giving back they offered $2.00 tacos and a free beverage upon donations. Come down and make canned good donations to Three Square and get some Cinco de Mayo Tacos Nacho Daddy off of W. Sahara. #valleywestmortgage #lasvegas #donations#nachodaddy #tacos #cincodemayo          

Millenials are Taking Over

May 4, 2017
With a count of 75.4 million people, Millennials are the United States’ largest living population, surpassing the Baby Boomers who’s population consists of 74.9 million Americans. Millennials are those citizens that were born between roughly between 1983-1999, currently those between the ages of 18-34 in 2017. Millennials, being the largest age bracket in the US, are also the largest population expected to purchase homes this year. Millennials however, also have reservations when it comes to home buying. Most Millennials admit that their largest issue with home buying is having a lack of knowledge about the industry, with their second largest issue being a lack of trust with lenders and banks because of the aforementioned absence of home buying knowledge. Around 32% of Millennials are currently living at home with their parents. Some are waiting for marriage before leaving the nest, others are stuck in an unexperienced rut and simply don’t know how to move out. Millennials with drive and ambition have the ability to take over the housing market. First time homebuyers are projected to be the bulk of the purchase market in 2017, and 75% of those buyers are predicted to be Millennials. Overall, Millennials are a very strong minded hard working group with the potential to stir up a housing boom, something that would greatly benefit the economy. So what can more Millennials do to ease their uncertainty about the housing market? Get Finances in Order When you’re young, you’ve got a drive that will push and motivate you to go full throttle on anything you set your mind to. This is the drive that gives college students the ability to study (or party) all night and get up and be fully functional for school or work for a full 8 hours the next morning. Millennials work hard but we can also be impulsive. We tend to have a “Cross that bridge when we get there” mentality. It’s a combination of our high energy and spur of the moment mentality that causes us to make lots of money but still somehow spend more than we earn. It’s important to get and keep your finances in order when you want to buy a home. You have to plan and save accordingly for your down payment and closing costs. Programs do also exist for borrowers who do not have a full down payment readily available. Understand the Process Home buying consists of a lot of phone calls, emails, and in person meetings. The amount of questions you may have as a first-time home buyer can seem overwhelming but questions are good, they are the tool we use to learn. Once you’ve decided on a bank to borrow from, ask as many questions as necessary until you fully comprehend what the entire process is, step-by-step. Know the Market Educate yourself on the sales of homes in and around your desired neighborhood. The best way to be sure that you’re not being overcharged on the price of a home is to compare