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

49277481_S (1)

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…

Navigating the New World Of Qualified Mortgages

At PRMI, we are excited about the long-awaited arrival of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s (CFPB) Qualified Mortgage/Ability-to-Repay rules (QM). We believe these new rules will allow us to help even more Americans pursue the dream of home ownership now that we have a clear line drawn in the sand of what is considered a quality (QM) and non-quality (non-QM) mortgage based on CFPB interpretation of the Dodd-Frank Financial Reform Act. By distinctly separating the two categories of mortgage-transactions based on consumer borrowing criteria, the new Qualified Mortgage rules will play a significant role in the interest rates and fees a consumer will recognize in the mortgage shopping process.

Most mortgage lenders will largely focus on serving QM borrowers, or only those who meet the more stringent government lending criteria. At PRMI, we see an opportunity to better serve all customer needs by providing products to consumers who don’t necessarily meet the QM standards, but who may still be able to demonstrate the ability to perform and repay a mortgage utilizing a Non-QM solution that properly considers their unique circumstances.

The QM rules were put into effect as a preventative action to protect against another housing finance crisis like the one that began in 2008. It also provides mortgage lenders legal protections from being sued by the consumer for extending a loan on which they are not performing when QM standards are met. Although the QM rules will have an impact on the industry by tightening the loan restrictions, it is my belief that Non-QM products will play an important role in the strengthening of the broader housing market, as new products allow for a greater number of consumers to access credit. In fact, the lack of mortgage-credit options today has been one of the major roadblocks preventing the housing market from a achieving a complete recovery.

Allow me to illustrate the limitations created by QM with a real example. After the housing meltdown, the loan qualification requirements tightened to the point where some well-deserving consumers were completely unable to qualify for a housing loan. For example, a consumer with a 760 credit-score, 30 percent down and seven years of successfully running a business found it much more difficult to get a loan than a consumer with a 600 credit score, 3.5 percent down and twelve months on the job. What’s the reason behind this discrepancy? The first consumer had written off too much of his/her income as a self-employed borrower (depreciation, investment in equipment, thus bettering the business, etc.), and in doing so reduced their adjusted gross income (AGI) to a point at which they don’t meet new income qualification requirements. But where did all of the money for such a large down-payment come from in the first place? Their hard work in operating a successful business! We can clearly see that a more in-depth investigation of the first consumer’s financial characteristics may very well prove him/her to be a less risky borrower. It certainly seems reasonable that this consumer shouldn’t be prevented from accessing mortgage credit.

With Non-QM, lenders will now have the ability to build new products to better serve their customer’s specific and unique needs. We will be able to offer more loan options to those who fall outside the stringent criteria of the QM realm (Although, Non-QM loans are still evaluated to ensure that the borrower has the ability to repay).

Living in a QM world does not necessarily limit the lending options as much as some naysayers have feared. The new rules do not condemn the mortgage industry to an atmosphere of negative growth and minimal risk-adjusted profitability. On the contrary! Regulators have afforded us the opportunity to establish a robust lending business in a significant part of the market—one that has been undeserved in recent years. If implemented responsibly, judiciously and with the protection of the consumer and the U.S. taxpayer in mind, I believe lenders can both properly serve credit-worthy consumers, and in so doing, restore the strength of the housing market that is critical to overall economic growth.

PRMI is gearing up to provide more options for consumers, including private mortgages that fall outside the QM definition. Although 98 percent of the loans prepared by PRMI fall into the QM category, the Non-QM loans offer exciting possibilities. In time, I believe the Non-QM loans will be as relevant and common as the FHA, VA, Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Regardless, I feel that these changes will inspire exciting debates among mortgage professionals and consumer advocacy groups over the next few years.

I remain positive and optimistic regarding the future of the mortgage and real estate industry, and the opportunities that these new rules bring. It is time that we put the consumer first. In achieving that, we need to deploy new ways to safely provide financing options that fit the broader market and the many unique needs of the individual home buyer.

Renting versus Buying

How does one know when it is time to stop renting and purchase your first home? There are many advantages to owning a home, but there are advantages to renting as well. In many cases, the question of renting versus buying comes down to lifestyle choice.

Renters have the freedom to move quickly and make impulsive lifestyle choices. If you aren’t sure you want to stay in the city where you currently live having the freedom to move when opportunity strikes is an advantage. Another consideration is job stability. Could you be relocated with little notice? Could you suddenly find yourself back on the job market? If so, renting makes sense.

But for many people, buying is a better choice. Although mortgage interest rates are no longer in the record lows, it is still cheaper to buy than rent in most parts of the country. For a comparison by area, visit the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development website.

When considering the advantages of buying a home, often the first things that come to mind are tax savings and investment. Homeowners can write-off property taxes and interest paid on a home loan. Renters have no similar tax write-off unless the rental home also serves as a place of business. Purchasing a home is also an investment in your future and a good first step toward retirement.

Additionally, buying a home brings a sense of stability that renting does not. Renters are not in control of their own housing destiny. Landlords can choose to raise the rent once a lease is up and there is little a renter can do besides agree to pay more or move. If you buy a home with a fixed mortgage rate your payment will only increase if property taxes or homeowner’s insurance increases. Landlords can also decide to sell the property with little warning or simply decide to no longer rent to you. Having to continuously move is expensive and exhausting.

Homeowners also have the ease of mind that comes with taking charge of your home environment. You can plant a garden or redesign the yard if you wish. You can paint the walls any shade that you desire and no one can dictate whether or not you can adopt a pet.

Despite the desire to own a home, the question of renting versus buying can be decided by factors outside one’s control. The tightened credit standards are challenging for young, first time buyers who have had little time to build a solid credit history and overcome credit mistakes. Entry level wages and student loan debt can also affect a first-time homebuyer’s ability to get a loan.

But, don’t be discouraged. First time homebuyers should meet with a financial planner or professional mortgage loan officer to discuss options. Approval is often easier to obtain than people think. With a little financial discipline and planning you can definitely reach your homeownership goals.

Plus, if you are secure in your job and you do not plan to move within the next five years, buying can save you money in the long run. Owning a home for five years or more is a solid investment. Just remember to prepare for additional costs beyond the monthly payments. If something breaks, there is no landlord to fix it.

Home Ownership Was Warren Buffet’s Third Best Investment

While he has made thousands during his accomplished career, Warren Buffet, the CEO of Berkshire Hathaway, says his rather modest home was the third-best investment he ever made.

The house, which Buffet purchased more than 50 years ago for $31,500, is now valued at more than $660,000, which he calls proof that homeownership makes financial sense. His only better investments were two wedding rings.

Buffet is also somewhat optimistic about the future of the housing and mortgage markets. He said he expects to see signs of recovery within a year, as long as mortgage lenders return to common-sense lending.

“A house can be a nightmare if the buyer’s eyes are bigger than his wallet and if a lender – often protected by a government guarantee – facilitates his fantasy,” Buffett said. Adding that not everyone can actually afford “the house of their dreams.”

The government has taken over a large share of the mortgage market over the past few years. The Federal Housing Administration alone accounted for more than 20 percent of mortgage loans in 2009.

We’re proud to be in the business of helping Americans realize the dream of homeownership. After 14 years of business, we are now one of the top lenders in the country. A lot of our growth has come in the past few years, some of the most troublesome ever in the mortgage industry. We attribute that to the common sense lending tactics Mr. Buffet remarked on.