May: It’s a magic month to sell a home

47945268 - little wooden house in spring with blossom cherry flower sakuraDid you know that April showers bring … a blooming real estate market? Housing website Zillow crunched the numbers and found that homes that are listed for sale in May are likely to sell faster and for a higher price compared with nearly all other times of the year.

In 20 of the 25 largest metro areas, the best month to put a home on the market is April or May, according to Zillow. The company found that homes listed in the first half of May sold nine days faster and for almost 1 percent more money than average listings.

Why is this the case? The low supply of homes on the market in many areas of the country could be pushing the ideal selling window later in the spring. Additionally, many home buyers who start searching for a home in early spring may need to look at several homes and make multiple offers and may still be home shopping weeks later. By May, many buyers want to close a deal as soon as possible so that they can have their family settled by the end of the summer and ready for a new school year.

For more information about the Zillow report, go to this link.

Where in the world is your family moving?

46285504_SDid you know that the average American moves 12 times over a lifetime? That’s a lot of moving around each year! To find out where people are moving, check out the newly-released United Van Lines’ Migration Study. This annual report tracks the states the company’s customers are moving to and from over the course of each year.

The states with the most people moving in are South Dakota, followed by Vermont, Oregon, Idaho, South Carolina, Washington, Washington, D.C., North Carolina, Nevada and Arizona. Markets ‘in balance,’ meaning that there’s about the same number of people moving in as are moving out, include states such as California, New Mexico and Delaware. The survey includes people moving for employment as well as retirees.

Which states are people leaving? New Jersey, Illinois, New York, Connecticut and Kansas round out to the top five states with more people moving away than moving in. For more results of this annual study, go to this link. United Van Lines is the nation’s largest moving company.

If moving is in your future this year, remember that Primary Residential Mortgage has more than 280 locations nationwide. Chances are, we’re somewhere you want to find us. And we’re growing! Stop by and see how we can help you with a wide variety of mortgage needs.

A smooth and stress-free closing experience

39394642_SAt PRMI, we are dedicated to providing a smooth and pleasant closing experience. Are you buying your first home? Here are some of the things you can expect when you meet to finalize your home loan.

A lot of signing and initialing. Carefully read your closing disclosure information. None of the numbers you see at closing should be a surprise. Double check that items such as your loan, loan amount, loan term, estimated total monthly payment and mortgage rate are what you expected. Don’t feel rushed! Take your time to read through all of your paperwork before signing or initialing.

Pay your downpayment and/or closing costs. At closing, you’ll be paying for your share of the closing costs and any down payment. If you need private mortgage insurance, your first month’s premium also will be due. For your closing costs, you’ll need to bring a certified check or cashier’s check. Don’t worry — you’ll get the exact amount you need to bring with you a few days before closing. At closing, you also will be required to show proof of identification, such as your driver’s license or passport to prove that you’re you.

Provide proof of insurance: You’ll also need documentation proving you have obtained homeowner’s insurance, and if it’s also required as a condition of your loan, flood insurance. Most lenders require you pay one-sixth of the annual insurance premium at close, to be placed in your escrow account.

Once you’ve completed the process of closing, your home purchase will be recorded with the appropriate county or other government entity. That’s why your closing costs include a recording/government filing fee. This fee pays for the cost of officially filing your property information at the local county courthouse; includes recording your ownership and transferring taxes and documents to your name. Once that’s done, you get the keys and you’re officially ready to move in.

Should you select a fixed-rate or adjustable-rate home loan?

19750953 - mortgage application form with a calculator and house  3dMost home buyers today opt for fixed-rate home loans. With consistent monthly principal and interest payments, it’s an ideal choice if you plan to stay in your home seven years or longer. But if you’re planning on staying put for less time than that, an ARM could be a good option for you.

With an adjustable-rate loan, you also get a fixed rate, but only for a set number of years — typically 3, 5, 7 or 10 years — before the mortgage adjusts annually based on a particular index. With an ARM, your introductory rate is typically lower than the rate you would get with a fixed-rate loan. But with an ARM, you run the risk of a higher mortgage rate once the fixed-rate period is over and the rate adjusts.

While fixed-rate mortgages often make sense for people who plan to live in their home for seven years or longer, adjustable-rate loans can be a good choice for home buyers who are planning to sell or refinance their homes before their rate adjusts. Questions? We have offices in 49 states. Give us a call at 844-500-2845.

Five of the most common questions we get about mortgages

45858911 - portrait of happy couple sitting in new house

At PRMI, we get a lot of questions about mortgages. And we’re happy to answer them! We love educating families about the home-buying process. Here are five of the most common questions from first-time home buyers – along with the answers.

What is the difference between pre-approved and pre-qualified? There is a big difference between the two. When a homebuyer is pre-qualified, he or she has provided the lender with basic information to determine which loan program the homebuyer may qualify for. When a homebuyer is pre-approved, the lender has collected, verified and presented the information needed for underwriting and approval. Many home sellers will accept offers only from pre-approved home buyers.

What is the difference between interest rate and APR? Your interest rate is the monthly cost of the unpaid balance of your home loan. An Annual Percentage Rate (APR) includes both your interest rate and any additional costs or prepaid finance charges such as the origination fee, points, private mortgage insurance, underwriting and processing fees (your actual fees may not include all of these items). While your interest rate is the rate at which you will make your monthly mortgage payments, the APR is a universal measurement that can assist you in comparing the cost of mortgage loans offered by different lenders.

What are closing costs? Closing costs include an assortment of costs, such as appraisal fees, title insurance fees, attorney fees, pre-paid interest and documentation fees. These items are usually different for each customer due to differences in the type of mortgage, the property location and other factors. You will receive a Good Faith Estimate of your closing costs in advance of your closing date for your review.

Which amounts are included in my monthly payments? If you have a fully amortizing mortgage, portions of your monthly mortgage payment go toward loan principal and interest.(Interest-only mortgage payments include only the interest that is due on the outstanding principal balance.) If your mortgage carries mortgage insurance, a portion of your monthly mortgage payment will include this as well, unless the lender has paid your mortgage insurance or you have paid your mortgage insurance upfront. If you have set up an escrow account for your mortgage, then a portion of your monthly payment will go toward your property taxes and homeowners insurance.

What is PMI? Private Mortgage Insurance is provided by a private mortgage insurance company to protect lenders against loss if a borrower defaults. Studies show that generally, the lower the downpayment a homebuyer makes, the greater the risk of default. That’s why typically, PMI is required if your down payment is less than 20 percent of the value of the home you are purchasing or refinancing. The cost of PMI is customarily added to your monthly mortgage payment.

An incredible journey of public service

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 8.34.13 PMAt PRMI, we strive to be much more than a great mortgage lender and employer. We also are dedicated to being a company that gives back — not only to the communities we serve but those in need around the world. Join us in looking back at our incredible journey of public service in 2016.

In early December, more than 30 PRMI employees from across the nation flew to Montego Bay, Jamaica, to help 79 children living at the SOS Children’s Village. The private, non-profit organization helps protect orphaned and abandoned children, ensuring that each child grows up with love, security, education and respect.

PRMI employees planted fruit trees, shrubs and a garden, painted homes, served food and provided early Christmas gifts to the children and caretakers. The group also gave a fresh makeover of paint to the tennis court and playground area.

Screen Shot 2017-01-04 at 8.26.36 PMAlso in December, PRMI’s corporate office held its annual winter clothing drive and donated more than 200 articles of clothing to the Road Home shelter in Salt Lake City and volunteered to help sort and distribute donations. PRMI employees also volunteered at the Rescue Mission of Salt Lake to help prepare its annual Christmas dinner, which served more than 1,400 people in need.

image003Earlier in the year, PRMI partnered with Feeding America during its annual Hunger Action Month campaign. We were able to raise $152,052 in just eight weeks! The donations will help provide more than 1.68 million meals to children, families and seniors nationwide. It was an amazing way to give back to the communities we serve.

“Primary Residential Mortgage has fully embraced the need for a strong, united hunger-relief effort in order to feed the individuals and families struggling with hunger in the United States,” said Nancy Curby, interim senior vice president of development at Feeding America. “We’re grateful to have their support and know that the meals they’ve raised will provide hope for thousands of people.”

At PRMI, everyone — from our employees to our executive team — are involved in giving back to our communities. It was an extraordinary year for our company and we’re looking forward to making an even greater impact in 2017.

You can let your home work for you

41521125 - happy elderly couple posing against the skyAt PRMI, we are dedicated to providing a wide range of options, including reverse mortgages. Reverse mortgages give seniors the ability to use their home’s equity as cash and eliminate monthly mortgage payments. Common uses of reverse mortgage income include paying off debt, assisting with everyday living, covering costly medical bills, home repairs, vacations and more! We offer a type of reverse mortgage called a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (HECM), a federally-insured reverse mortgage backed by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Reverse mortgage programs can be an important financial tool for seniors, especially those with low to moderate incomes. This type of mortgage has no credit or income requirements other than the borrower must demonstrate a financial ability to pay ongoing property expenses.

To be eligible for a reverse mortgage, a borrower must be at least 62 year of age and have the ability to pay ongoing property expenses, including taxes and insurance. Borrowers must occupy the property as their primary residence and either own their property outright or have only a small mortgage balance. They must not be delinquent on their mortgage or have any federal debt.

Since reverse mortgages are much different than traditional mortgage loans, borrowers must meet with a counselor from an independent government-approved housing counseling agency before applying for one. Once they know it’s right for them, it’s important to contact a lender that is experienced in these types of loans. That’s us! Contact one of our offices today to learn more about reverse mortgages.

What is in store for the housing market in 2017?

45858733 - cheerful young couple relaxing in new houseThe National Association of Realtors has released its 2017 National Housing Forecast, which provides a glimpse at projected trends in home sales, prices, mortgage rates and changing buyer demographics nationwide for the year ahead. Here are some of the most interesting takeaways of the report:

1. Demand for homes is highest in the West. The association projects that Western U.S. metro areas will see a price increase of 5.8 percent and sales increase of 4.7 percent in 2017, significantly higher than the nation as a whole. Phoenix, Ariz., is ranked No. 1 in terms of expected sales and price increases, with a projected increase in prices of 5.9 percent and an increase in sales of 7.2 percent for next year. Also in Arizona, Tucson is No. 9. Utah’s housing market shows continued strength with Salt Lake City ranked 16th among 100 metro areas with a projected increase in prices of 6.7 percent and an increase in sales of 4.7 percent. Provo-Orem is No. 18 with a forecasted rise in prices of 5.2 percent and sales of 5.8 percent.

2. Millennials will be out in force buying homes. The National Association of Realtors predicts that one-third of all buyers will be young adults, many of which have limited savings and less-than-perfect credit. Baby boomers, with more significant financial resources, are expected to make up 30 percent of buyers in 2017. Simply put, there’s a diverse group of home buyers today, and that’s why at PRMI we offer a wide variety of mortgage options for home buyers of all incomes and in all financial situations.

4. Mortgage rates could remain extremely attractive. Although mortgage rates have increased in recent weeks, its important to remember that they remain historically low. Remember back to the 1980s and double digit mortgage rates? Or the rates in the 7 percent, 8 percent or even 9 percent range that were common in the 1990s? For 2017, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — and others — are projecting 30-year mortgage rates to remain in the low 4 percent range. Looking at rates over several decades, today’s rates are extremely attractive.

The benefits of the VA home loan program

50864661 - adorable little girl standing in front of parents outdoorsDid you know that the VA home loan program has helped more than 20 million military families nationwide? Yet this program could help so many more! Many military personnel, veterans, reservists and National Guard members don’t realize that they are eligible for this incredible type of mortgage. Most spouses of military members who died while on active duty or as a result of a service-connected disability don’t realize they can apply, too. At PRMI, we are dedicated to helping military families take advantage of this incredible benefit.

With a VA home loan, eligible borrowers can choose from various term options — 15, 20, 25, 30 years — and fixed or adjustable rates. Eligible borrowers can get 100 percent financing with no down payment requirements. They also can enjoy lower monthly payments because they don’t need to pay mortgage insurance.

The VA home loan program is one of the few mortgage programs that lets you finance 100 percent of the home’s value with $0 down. Equally impressive is that it doesn’t require Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) on loans of more than 80 percent of a home’s appraised value, potentially saving borrowers $100 to $200 a month.

VA home loans also often have lower interest rates than the rates of conventional loans, and the minimum credit score requirements of VA home loans are lower than many other types of programs. There are strict limits on the closing costs borrowers are required to pay and a simplified approval process. Simply put, it’s a great way to finance a home.

Less-than-perfect credit history? Get to know the FHA Choice loan

45857361 - couple carrying boxes moving in new houseAt PRMI, we know that bad things can happen to good people. That’s why there’s the FHA Choice loan program. It’s designed to help borrowers whose less-than-perfect credit history makes it difficult for them to qualify for a traditional mortgage.

It’s a 30-year mortgage with a fixed rate designed for borrowers with low credit scores — as low as in the 500s. If approved, borrowers must provide a down payment of only 3.5 percent of the final loan amount.

It’s one of the many home loan options we have available. At PRMI, we work with the Federal Housing Administration loan programs, including the 203k, which allows qualified buyers to finance the purchase and renovation of a property.

We also work the VA (Veterans Affairs) and USDA (U.S. Department of Agriculture) home loan programs, as well as the federal government’s HARP — Home Affordable Refinance Program. Jumbo loans? Reverse mortgages? We offer those types of loans, too.

Whether you’re a first time or move-up buyer or an investor, we have loan programs designed with you in mind. We also have a variety of lending options for homeowners who want to lower their monthly mortgage payment or renovate their property.

Finance your home with Primary Residential Mortgage. Where the primary focus is you.