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About Valley West Mortgage

We are the premier Mortgage Broker in Las Vegas, NV. We have become experts in a variety of Las Vegas Home Loans designed specifically for your individual needs. Our mortgage expertise is in working with you to insure that you get the best value, service and loan product for your specific needs.

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What’s Hiding in the Basement?

March 24, 2017
If you’ve seen recent horror movies like The Conjuring, The Forrest, and The Collector or even more dated movies like Scream from the 90s, or Psycho from the 60s, you’d probably never venture down into the basement for fear of the unspeakable terrors that could be awaiting you within the bowels of your home. Television has portrayed the basement to be a dark and scary place where spooky things happen to nice people. But this is the real world, so what’s really down there in your basement? If you haven’t been conducting séances or communicating with the dead using a oujia board, then you’re probably safe from unspeakable terror. Instead of being afraid of what’s in the basement, why not develop it into a space that can be fully functional for your family? Benefits of a Basement The basement can be used for a number of different purposes. You could develop it into an office space and work from home. You could turn it into a play room for your children and finally get some peace and quiet upstairs. Husbands could use it for a man cave. Wives could use it for all of those extra shoes and handbags crowding up the closet in the master bedroom. You could turn it into a guest space or just use it as a large laundry room. No matter what you decide to use the space for, it’s so beneficial to have the extra square footage. It’s sometimes challenging to add on to the surface level of the home because of backlash from neighbors who think you’ll be to close to their home, or from the HOA for violating local ordinances on construction. Adding a basement to a house that doesn’t yet have a basement can increase the property value because you’re increasing the livable space within the home. Finishing a basement that was already a part of your home also can bring the value up because you’re improving the space that already existed. Imagine how much more your home would be worth if you turned the basement a second master bedroom or master suite, for example. Building a Basement If you’re building your home from scratch it will be more feasible to include a basement. Building a basement under an already existing home requires the approval of your local housing administration. In either case putting in a basement would also require that building professionals (soil specialists, contractors, plumbers, electricians, etc.) come out and evaluate your home’s eligibility for a basement. Certain factors could keep you from building a basement. Those factors include the density and texture of the soil around your home, the depth of frost lines in your area, and your homes proximity to bodies of water. There has to be a foundation underneath your home for the house to sit on. Most builders call this foundation “footing”. Having a basement is what we like to call a win/win situation. You would have a strong foundation underneath your home and you

Spring has Sprung!

March 17, 2017
Preparing Your Home for Warmer Weather It’s that time of year again! The Earth is turning beautifully toward the Sun, sweet smelling spring flowers are budding, and our days are getting longer and brighter. Spring time is quickly approaching with the first day of Spring being Monday, March 20th of this year. We’ve set our clocks forward, we’ve done some spring cleaning to make room for fresh bathing suits and hordes of thong flip flops, but what can we do to prepare the exterior of our homes for the Spring & Summer weather that will be arriving within the next warm breeze? Examine your Lawn You can begin to prepare your home for the Spring and Summer months by cleaning up your outside area. Go out to your lawn and pick up any fallen branches that may have separated from trees with the weight of the snow that fell this year. Most of us choose not to venture outside more than we have to in the winter months, so there may be new and uninvited lawn décor that has floated onto your property and gone unnoticed until now. Amp up your curb appeal by gathering and getting rid of any debris that might be blowing around your yard. Excavate your Gutters Let’s face it, we don’t know what’s in there. The thought of what might have gathered in the gutters during the winter months can be a little bit scary but they have to be dug out at some point, what better time than the Spring? For those of you who get heavy snowfall in the winter, cleaning your gutters is especially important because you want to be sure that the runoff from any melted snow is being released into the right areas. If you’ve got a crack or a leak in your gutters, your basement might be housing an underground pool without your knowledge. Plus, we all know what they say about April showers! Be sure that the gutters have no blockage and are prepared to take on the rain that will bring out May flowers. Break out the Grill One of the best ways to take advantage of the changing climate is to do things that you would normally do inside, outside. Warm weather often brings with it the craving for barbeque and social gatherings. Spring Break, Easter, and Memorial Day hold some of the best opportunities to enjoy time with friends and family. Prepare for the festivities by dusting off your grill, buying some fresh coals and lighter fluid from your favorite home goods store, and get ready to take your meals out to the back patio. Check your Air Conditioning AC is a must! Here in Las Vegas, the summer heat can be brutal and air conditioning is absolutely necessary. No matter what city you’re in, the sun is about to show up and show out. Check your AC Unit by cleaning it up and replacing any damaged parts. If you’re not exactly AC savvy call

More Pros with the Rate Hikes

March 13, 2017
Our last few articles have been on the impact that the oncoming rise in interest rates from the Federal Reserve will have on the general public, and more specifically how it will impact those who are in the market for purchasing and refinancing. Janet Yellen has openly stated that a change from the Fed is coming soon due to the growth in our economy. We’ve mentioned both the pros and the cons of an interest rate hike, but lately we’ve been noticing more pros for our borrowers than cons. One positive impact that this rise in interest rates can have on our current and potential borrowers is the opportunity to free themselves from Mortgage Insurance Premiums. Your Mortgage Insurance Premium is the price that you pay monthly as a part of your mortgage payment that goes into an account to protect your lender if you fall on hard times and happen to default on your loan. A Mortgage Insurance Premium or MIP for short, is usually only required for borrowers who can’t afford to put down 20% of their loan amount when applying for their mortgage loan. Up until January 2013, borrowers were able to cancel their MIP coverage once they had made enough payments and had 20% equity in their home. Now that policies have changed, borrowers no longer have the option of cancelling the MIP on their loan when they reach 20% equity. However, being the mortgage monsters that we are here at Valley West Mortgage, we’ve recognized a way that borrowers can still break away from the bondage of MIP. With a refinance into a Conventional loan where the requirements are somewhat different than an FHA loan, borrowers can drop their MIP payment (provided they meet the aforementioned requirements). Borrowers who used the FHA program to purchase their home who have been making regular mortgage payments have been building up equity since the day they made the first payment. Couple that with the fact that the average prices of homes around the United States has gone up in the last 2-3 years and just like that, we’ve found another reason for you to refinance into a Conventional loan. Having equity or monetary value in your home means that you can apply for a Cash-Out refinance. Thinking of going on a vacation? Have a kid going to college? Or maybe you just want to do some home improvement? A Cash Out Refinance would give you the opportunity to refinance your old loan into a new one and get cash back for some of the value that your home holds. In 2016 about 8% of all the refinances processed were for borrowers who were switching from an FHA loan program to a Conventional loan program. That calculates to about 20,000 of those refinances per month in 2016. With the growth of our economy, it is estimated that the prices of homes will go up by about 5% (according to data found by CoreLogic). Considering the fact that over 2

Inflation and Our Economy

March 10, 2017
How Inflation Impacts our Economy Our economy is doing better than it has done in a long time. As more and more people in the US are finding work, the unemployment rate is steadily dropping. This is great for the economy of our country as people and businesses are buying, selling, and trading and in turn stimulating the economy. One important factor involving economic stimulation is inflation. Inflation is important to understand if you want to realize why interest rates may be going up soon. Inflation, simply put, occurs when prices for goods and services increase, but the value of the dollar decreases. Inflation is controlled by making sure that the costs of goods and services are proportionate to the amount of money that people are making. It also controlled by making sure that the physical amount of money that the  Federal Reserve is printing isn’t being over produced. The downside to a thriving economy, is that the same factor that makes the economy thrive is the same factor that can take it down. If more money is being earned by the public, more money is being printed which makes the value of the dollar go down and the cost of living go up. Let’s illustrate with an example about name brand sneakers. The reason why sneakers are so expensive is because in a lot of cases, the manufacturer only makes so many pair (or in our case, the Federal Reserve only prints so many dollar bills). When people start making more money, they can buy more sneakers. If more and more of the same sneaker is made, the value of that sneaker goes down, because the amount of sneakers being produced has gone up. So, to recreate the exclusivity, the manufacturer increases the price of the sneaker. This brings back the value of the sneaker and ensures that the manufacturer is still making a profit. By the same token, when we as citizens make more money, the Federal Reserve has to print more money to ensure everyone gets paid, but the faster the Federal Reserve prints money the faster the dollar loses its value. When the dollar loses its value, manufacturers have to raise the cost of goods and services to still make a decent profit. This is an example of inflation, and to counter it, the Federal Reserve increases things like interest rates and taxes. By increasing interest rates, the Federal reserve is basically making us spend more money on things that are vital to everyday life (mortgage loans, auto loans, credit card loans) to control the amount of money that is circulating within the nation. When rates are increased some people are cut out of the market meaning the spending of the nation as a whole is slowed. In some circumstances (like the one our economy is in now) the Fed has to up the interest rates in order to control spending. Unemployment rates are dropping which means more money is being circulated. This is good for