Are you planning to move this year?

31009982 - woman sealing boxes ready for house move2018 is shaping up to be a big year for interstate moving activity. But where are people moving to — and from? That’s a question that can be answered by the United Van Lines’ Moving Study. The 41st annual report by the nation’s largest moving company tracks state-to-state migration patterns.

According to the company, the top inbound states in 2017 — where most people are moving to —were Vermont, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada and South Dakota. The survey includes people moving for employment and for other reasons, such as retirement.

Markets ‘in balance,’ meaning that there’s about the same number of people moving in as are moving out, include states such as New Hampshire and Nebraska. Illinois, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut and Kansas are the five states with more people moving away than moving in. For more information about the study, go to this link.

Are you planning on making a move this year? With more than 280 locations nationwide and growing, Primary Residential Mortgage is probably somewhere you want to find us.

Renting? Now may be the time to buy a home

Finally a home of our ownShould you continue to rent a home in 2018 or is it time to buy? Your job situation plays a big role in that decision. How stable is your employment? Buying could make more sense right now if you aren’t thinking about switching jobs, your employer is not reducing its workforce or if your company isn’t planning to move you to a different city or state.

How long do you plan to remain in your home? Generally, the more time you plan to live in a home, the more sense it makes to buy. The U.S. Breakeven Horizon, compiled by real estate website Zillow.com, is designed to provide an estimated number of years one needs to live in a home for buying to make more sense than renting. Factors such as expected growth in rents and home values, price-to-rent ratios and mortgage interest rates are included in the analysis. Nationally, that figure is 1.8 years. For more information about the Breakeven Horizon, go to this link.

While a variety of factors may influence the buy-versus-rent decision, there’s one that continues to make buying a home so attractive: Low mortgage rates. Take a look at average mortgage rates since 1971 and you’ll see that today’s rates are extremely favorable. Low mortgage rates help families stretch their home buying dollars.

The link between homeownership and happiness

71266853 - excited family explore new home on moving dayDid you know that numerous studies over many years show a link between owning a home and happiness and overall well-being? The most recent one, from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, shows that homeowners generally have higher financial well-being than non-homeowners.

In the CFPB’s report, homeowners have an average financial well-being score of 58. That’s higher than both renters (with average of 49) and those who neither rent nor own (average of 50). The U.S. average financial well-being score is 54. You can read the entire report at this link.

Research studies have linked owning a home to a number of positive outcomes. Researchers at the University of Southern California and the University of San Diego, for example, have linked homeownership to a reduced risk of teenage pregnancy and a lower possibility that a child will drop out of school. A study conducted by Ohio State University found that children of parents who own their own homes are more likely to score higher in reading and math and have fewer behavioral problems.

At the very least, buying the right home can be a key ingredient in being happy, according to a report by HomeAdvisor. The company’s research in the area has found that homeowner happiness boils down to an affordable and comfortable home in a safe and connected neighborhood and with a reasonable commute. Good things to keep in mind during your next home search.

Five housing trends for 2018

9042176401What’s in store for the nation’s housing market in 2018? The National Association of Realtors offers a glimpse at some of the most significant changes that are expected. Here are five key takeaways:

Housing inventory is expected to increase. Strong demand has depleted the inventory of available homes in markets throughout the country. The association projects U.S. year-over-year housing inventory growth to enter positive territory by fall 2018 for the first time since 2015. That’s good news for home buyers. Most of the inventory growth is expected in U.S. homes priced above $350,000, followed later by lower-priced starter homes.

Price appreciation expected to moderate. U.S. home prices are forecasted to slow to 3.2 percent growth year-over-year nationally, down from about 5.5 percent in 2017. Appreciation likely will end up being highest with lower-priced entry-level homes, which continue to be in extremely high demand.

Millennials will be a bigger part of overall home buying activity. Millennials are on track to comprise about 43 percent of home buyers taking out a mortgage by the end of 2018, up from an estimated 40 percent in 2017. Their influence on the US. housing market is expected to grow in the coming years.

Demand is pushing home sales higher in the South. Cities such as Tulsa, Okla.; Little Rock, Ark.; Dallas; and Charlotte, N.C. are expected to see home-sales growth of 6 percent or more, compared with 2.5 percent nationally.

Uncertainty surrounds tax reform. Tax reform could have a positive effect on housing in some respects, not so much in others. Stay tuned.

Jumbo loan rates: Similar to rates for conforming mortgages

41296455 - interest rate shoppingYears ago, jumbo loan rates were higher — sometimes much higher — than rates on traditional or conforming mortgages. Today, rates on both types of loans are near historic lows. Recently, the difference in rates between regular (conforming) and jumbo (nonconforming) mortgages has been minimal. On some days, the rates for jumbo loans are even lower than those for conforming loans.

A nonconforming or jumbo mortgage is a type of mortgage that has a balance that is above the limits for government-sponsored loans. In most parts of the country, any loan for a single-family home greater than $424,100 is considered to be ‘jumbo’. (Some high cost-of-living areas, along with Hawaii and Alaska, have higher thresholds.) Jumbo loans are useful where real estate is expensive or for home buyers who want to purchase a higher-priced property. Jumbo loans can be either adjustable rate or fixed rate mortgages.

Qualifying for a jumbo mortgage, however can be a bit more difficult. Generally, you’ll need a credit score of at least 700. The required downpayment is typically higher with jumbo loans than with traditional mortgages. Questions about jumbo loans? At PRMI, we have answers!

PRMI: One of Utah’s best places to work

Top Workplaces 1Once again, Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc. has been recognized as one of the top places to work in Utah by The Salt Lake Tribune newspaper. This year, the publication named 70 companies and organizations in the state to its annual list. Companies are ranked based on employee input. This year, PRMI is ranked No. 4 among large companies, up from No. 8 last year.

At PRMI, our mission is to help individuals and families nationwide achieve the dream of homeownership through a positive and personal experience. We achieve that by creating an incredible environment for our employees that’s based on mutual trust as well as open and honest communication. Get to know PRMI’s core values and how they help our company be such an incredible place to work and get a home loan:

Teamwork. At PRMI, we believe in the power of teamwork. Working together gives our customers better results than we could ever achieve individually.

Stability. Our decisions are deliberate and careful. They have to make sense today and tomorrow.

Advocacy. We believe that what’s good for our customers is good for us, too. We are allies for our customers—advocating for sensible laws and stronger accountability.

Empowerment. When we are empowered, we do more—for each other and for our customers. We take charge of each situation with a solutions-oriented approach.

Integrity. A dedication to a high level of business ethics guides all of our decisions. When we act with integrity, we build trust by always making the right choice, regardless of circumstance.

Excellence. The pursuit of excellence is a guide to our true potential. We seek to be better, smarter, and more effective people—for ourselves and for our customers.

Happiness. A happy work environment and a great customer experience go hand-in-hand. When we enjoy what we do, it’s easy to deliver a knockout experience.

For more information on the newspaper’s annual ranking, go to this link.

Four reasons for refinancing

9737664 - dollar house isolated over white.With today’s low mortgage rates, refinancing activity is on the rise. Does it make sense for you to refinance your home loan? Here are a few reasons why you may want to consider it:

You want a fixed rate home loan. When you purchased your home, you took out an adjustable-rate mortgage. But you plan on staying in your home over the long term and want the predictability of a fixed-rate home loan.

You want to get rid of your monthly mortgage insurance payment. Generally, private mortgage insurance is required with a down payment of less than 20 percent. In some cases, though, if you have increased your home equity past the 20 percent mark, refinancing can help you get rid of your monthly mortgage insurance premium. It all depends on your home value as determined by an appraisal and your outstanding mortgage balance.

You want to tap your home’s equity. Depending on the amount of equity you have in your home, you may be able to ‘cash-out’ of some of your equity during the refinancing process.

You want to lower your monthly payment. If today’s mortgage rates are lower than when you purchased your home, you may want to refinance to lower your monthly payment. It’s estimated that there are millions of homeowners with higher-rate mortgages who could save money by refinancing.

How FHA home loans work their magic

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At Primary Residential Mortgage, we know there are many hardworking families out there who want to buy a home but who don’t have perfect credit or a 20 percent downpayment. We make first-time home buying easier with our FHA loan options. As an established FHA loan lender, our team helps you take the necessary steps to help you finance your own home.

FHA Loans are geared toward hard-working families with low- to moderate incomes. The key advantages to FHA home loans are the easier down payment and credit score requirements. The requirements for FHA loans are lower than many types of conventional loans.

Turn homeownership into a possibility with Primary Residential Mortgage. We are one of the top mortgage companies in the United States, with the national presence to leverage better terms and rates, and the local presence to provide the best experience for our customers. Get started on the path to homeownership today.

The first step toward pursuing the American Dream

22903134 - usa real estate concept: house against american flagReady to pursue the American Dream of homeownership? Our company has helped more than 200,000 people become homeowners. We would love to help you, too.

We offer a variety of home loan options for home buyers. We proudly work with the FHA and VA home loan programs. If you meet the qualifications, you can enjoy lower closing costs, lower mortgage payments, and the possibility of no down payment. It’s an incredible benefit for military personnel, veterans, and military families.

Buying a home that needs a lot of work can be challenging in more ways than one. That’s why we work the FHA 203(k) home loan program. Eligible borrowers can purchase a fixer-upper with one loan for both the purchase price and improvements. It’s another low-downpayment option that provides our customers with even more flexibility in their home buying choices.

Ever heard of a USDA home loan? It’s not for people buying farms! This no-downpayment program allows eligible borrowers to purchase homes in rural areas. The USDA determines what “rural” means, and that varies widely by state. If the home you’re buying qualifies, it could be a good choice for you and your family.

At PRMI, we also offer conventional loans, jumbo loans, reverse mortgages and more. As one of the top mortgage companies nationwide, we have a full and unwavering commitment to helping you realize your dream of home ownership. And with more than 280 locations and growing, chances are we are convenient to you!

The New Era of Marketing and Technology: Looking Ahead

Dave Zitting Future of Marketing

By: Dave Zitting and John Seroka
This was originally published in California Mortgage Finance News, a California Mortgage Bankers Association publication.

Results. We want them quicker now than ever before. There’s an app for just about everything you want to do in your life. Want to get healthy? There’s an app for that – try Fitbit which allows you to control your weight, set goals, monitor your physical activity and calories burned, map your running routes and much more all in one place. No need to build spreadsheets and gather information from a collection of devices. Would you like a personal assistant? There’s an app for that too – try Speaktoit which will search for websites, make calls, get weather data and help you prepare for meetings. Suffice it to say that since the birth of the iPhone, we’ve been conditioned as a society to expect more and more from technology.

It used to be that enterprises (medium to large businesses) were the primary users of technology. Enterprise technology vendors like IBM, Oracle, Salesforce and many others would, and still do in many cases, target the CIO of an organization with their solutions. The focus of the technology was to capture, store, manage and deliver content and documents to eliminate paper, lower costs and create other efficiencies. However, the accelerated growth of content and information, the Cloud, analytics and collaborative technologies at a time when workforces were becoming increasingly mobile started to drive change.

Enterprises are no longer the primary purchasers and users of technology. This change has happened largely over the last decade and arguably started about 20 years ago. Remember the Palm OS released back in 1996? A bit clumsy to use, but early adopters were all over it. It was the first true PDA (personal digital assistant) that allowed for basic functions to organize your day, store contacts and take notes. Then, shortly thereafter, was the introduction of the Nokia phone that came with a game called “Snake” which landed in the pockets of millions. Fast forward to the release of the iPhone in ’07 and about a year later the App Store was launched with 552 apps created by third party alpha “rock star” developers…and life changed as 10 million app downloads were recorded within a week!

Now, Android users have access to over 1.6 million apps. Apple’s App Store gives consumers access to over 1.5 million apps. This kind of rapid innovation makes it so that consumers just want an end result, which is what these apps all do their best to provide – constantly updating to provide the best user experience they can deliver.

Today, the bottom line is that enterprise level technology platforms like IBM, Salesforce and others that you use to manage your business, sales efforts, marketing and more are becoming obsolete. We now live in a world of apps that are designed to provide us with the results we’re looking for in an instant. And, not just any result, but the very end result. For example, if you’re in a rental car travelling to a meeting and want to get a Starbucks coffee on the way, you don’t need to pull over to Google it and then open a separate app to find a location, you just ask Siri and she’ll find it for you and start telling you how to get there in about 5 seconds. This is the level of responsiveness that people expect from technology now. Anything less is too much work and wears quickly on the nerves of a populace accustomed to instant gratification.

What does this mean for the future of marketing?

When it comes to marketing, businesses are demanding the same thing – just bring me the end result. They don’t care what steps you took to get there, they just want to have the customer materialize in front of them. So, much like their alpha developer counterparts, enterprise developers are creating apps that businesses and business people can use with the goal of delivering the end result to replace older platforms still in broad use today that enable users to simply “do a lot of marketing.” Newer platforms, however, focus on smarter, data-driven marketing to help businesses find only their most valuable prospects.

So, where does this data come from and how is it used?

Frequently, companies will turn to 3rd party data sources like BlueKai or eXelerate which are data aggregators. For the most part, they pay publishers to let them collect information on site visitors and then segment the data into various user profiles. Then, this data gets sold to advertisers who use it to develop highly targeted online ad campaigns, called “programmatic display.” The data they sell is great for demographic, behavioral and contextual targeting of online ads. These online ads are programmed to reach the specific people that fit the correct profile when they visit particular websites. These people are targeted according to their behavior, demographic makeup and context…the closest you can get to PII (personally identifiable information) without actually having it.

Here’s one example of how all of this comes together to the benefit of all parties in a real estate transaction…

Not long ago, Nationstar launched an end-to-end real estate platform called “Xome,” giving homebuyers a better alternative to Zillow, Trulia and other apps with far less functionality. Once in the Xome app, users can search homes, place offers, sell a home, arrange inspections, arrange appraisals, become prequalified by a Nationstar MLO, receive and e-sign most mortgage documents and more. Users also receive a minimum 1% savings on the transaction if they close through Xome which also means using a Xome-approved Realtor®. Accordingly, this app provides a win-win-win situation for the consumer, Xome and the Realtor®.

From what we can see, Xome has a site retargeting strategy (based upon ads that we’ve seen after visiting their site) and likely has a programmatic display strategy in place as well that leverages third party data sources. That’s just a guess, but probably accurate and would make sense since it was just launched and they surely want to build their brand awareness and drive users.

In an interview with investors, Jay Bray, Nationstar CEO, states “Today, real estate search engines allow you to search for homes, find the estimated property value of your home and, somewhat realistically, those of your neighbors.” He goes on to say, “However, these search engines are not currently designed to allow consumers to transact.”

The future of marketing is upon us and it’s all about obtaining real results. We’re quickly moving away from a long era of enterprise technology solutions that capture, store and manage data and into an era where data is analyzed, correlations are made and real results can be instantly provided. In fact, right now, there are new technologies that we’re either aware of or directly participate in, that will change the game for real estate professionals and consumers alike – all with the end result as the top priority!

Stay tuned…