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Justin Coleman's Blog

By Justin Coleman | Mortgage Broker
or Lender in Park City, UT
  • How Interest Rates Move

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Salt Lake City, Financing in Salt Lake City  |  December 22, 2011 6:46 AM  |  171 views  |  No comments


     
  • How QR Codes Can Grow Your Business

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Selling, Agent2Agent  |  September 9, 2011 11:32 AM  |  165 views  |  No comments


    What are QR codes and how can they help your business?

    Quick Response codes (QR codes) and other two-dimensional codes are expected to achieve widespread use this year – and for good reason. Consumers want immediate access to what’s relevant and QR codes are being used to make that possible.

     

    QR Codes 101

    If you’re not yet familiar with QR codes, they’re similar to the barcodes used by retailers to track inventory and price products at the point of sale. The key difference between the two is the amount of data they can hold or share.

    Bar codes are linear one-dimensional codes and can only hold up to 20 numerical digits, whereas QR codes are two-dimensional (2D) matrix barcodes that can hold thousands of alphanumeric characters of information. Their ability to hold more information and their ease of use makes them practical for small businesses.

    When you scan or read a QR code with your iPhone, Android or other camera-enabled Smartphone, you can link to digital content on the web; activate a number of phone functions including email, IM and SMS; and connect the mobile device to a web browser.

    Practical Uses of QR Codes

    • The back or front of your business card
    • Brochures and other marketing materials
    • The sides of trucks and trailers
    • Product tags and packaging
    • Shirts, flyers, promotional items

    Easy sites to download and make them:

    http://qrcode.kaywa.com/

    or put your logo or picture in the middle on one

    http://qr.odoa.eu/Web-QR-Code-Logo.aspx

    No matter how you use the QR code… make sure it stands out!

    For more tips and tricks visit my page HERE
  • Why Refinance Back into a 30-Year Loan? Refinance Your Mortgage for Rate and Payment Reductions

    Posted Under: Home Buying in Salt Lake County, Home Selling in Salt Lake County, Financing in Salt Lake County  |  August 31, 2011 7:23 AM  |  196 views  |  2 comments
    One of the biggest reasons homeowners refinance their mortgage is to obtain a lower interest rate and lower monthly payments. By refinancing, the borrower pays off their existing mortgage and replaces it with a new one. This can often be accomplished with a no-points no-fees loan program, which essentially means at “no cost” to the borrower.

    In the no-points no-fees scenario, the mortgage consultant uses rebate monies paid by the lender to pay off non-recurring closing costs for the borrower. These are “one time” fees such as escrow or attorney fees, title insurance, document preparation, tax service, flood certification, processing and underwriting fees, etc. The borrower is still responsible for recurring fees such as interim insurance, property taxes or insurance policy payments.

    Refinancing typically occurs when mortgage interest rates drop significantly, but borrowers with recently improved credit scores (from paying off credit card debt, making mortgage payments on time, etc.) are often candidates for better interest rates as well. If you haven’t checked your credit score in a while, it’s a good time to call a mortgage consultant.

    The question most asked is, “But why should I go back into a 30-year loan?”

    There are two schools of thought on this subject, and the mortgage consultant should work hand-in-hand with the borrower’s financial planner to determine what works best for their mutual client.

    One option is to take the route of the “same payment” refinance, and actually pay off the loan faster and save money on interest fees in the long-run. If refinancing results in a lower monthly payment, the borrower can still continue making the same payment they made in the original loan, and the extra money will be applied to the principal balance.

    For example: Let’s say you have 25 years remaining in your current loan, and you refinance back to a 30-year loan with a slightly lower interest rate, resulting in a payment reduction of $200 per month. (Note: This is just an example. The actual amount could vary.) You could then take that extra $200 per month and apply it toward the principal on the new loan. At this rate, the loan will be paid off in 22 years and 4 months, which is 2 years and 8 months less than the original loan.

    On the other hand, if the borrower’s financial planner is a proponent of best-selling author and investment guru Douglas Andrew’s philosophies (see Missed Fortune), he or she may suggest investing the extra money in a side-fund that could earn a better rate of return and grow to the amount of the mortgage (and beyond) in even less time. This method provides excellent liquidity, but having more direct access to this money may be too tempting for some homeowners.

    Regardless of the reason for the refinance, the mortgage consultant will need to know what the existing loan scenario entails, review the homeowner’s long-term goals, and provide a comprehensive spreadsheet that compares and contrasts the various loan programs available.

    Bear in mind, refinancing to obtain a lower interest payment could also result in a lower deduction at tax time. The homeowner’s mortgage consultant and financial planner should work hand-in-hand with their mutual client’s best interest in mind.

  • Shopping For a Loan? Part 2

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Home Buying, Financing  |  August 16, 2011 6:42 AM  |  166 views  |  No comments

    Once you are satisfied that you are working with a top-quality professional mortgage advisor, here are the rules and secrets you must know to “shop” effectively.

     

    First, IF IT SEEMS TO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.  But you didn’t really need us to tell you that, did you?  Mortgage money and interest rates all come from the same places, and if something sounds really unbelievable, better ask a few more questions and find the hook.  Is there a prepayment penalty?  If the rate seems incredible, are there extra fees?  What is the length of the lock-in?  If fees are discounted, is it built into a higher interest rate? 

     

    Second, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.  If you are looking for the cheapest deal out there, understand that you are placing a hugely important process into the hands of the lowest bidder.  Best case, expect very little advice, experience and personal service.  Worst case, expect that you may not close at all.  All too often, you don’t know until it’s too late that cheapest isn’t BEST.  But if you want the cheapest quote – head on out to the Internet, and we wish you good luck.  Just remember that if you’ve heard any horror stories from family members, friends or coworkers about missed closing dates, or big surprise changes at the last minute on interest rate or costs…these are often due to working with discount or internet lenders who may have a serious lack of experience.  Most importantly, remember that the cheapest rate on the wrong strategy can cost you thousands more in the long run.  This is the largest financial transaction most people will make in their lifetime.  That being said – we are not the cheapest.  Of course our rates and costs are very competitive, but we have also invested in the systems and team we need to ensure the top quality experience that you deserve.

     

    Third, MAKE CORRECT COMPARISONS.  When looking at estimates, don’t simply look at the bottom line.  You absolutely must compare lender fees to lender fees, as these are the only ones that the lender controls.  And make sure lender fees are not “hidden” down amongst the title or state fees. A lender is responsible for quoting other fees involved with a mortgage loan, but since they are third party fees – they are often under-quoted up front by a lender to make their bottom line appear lower, since they know that many consumers are not educated to NOT simply look at the bottom line!  APR?  Easily manipulated as well, and worthless as a tool of comparison.

     

    Fourth, UNDERSTAND THAT INTEREST RATES AND CLOSING COSTS GO HAND IN HAND.  This means that you can have any interest rate that you want – but you may pay more in costs if the rate is lower than the norm.  On the other hand, you can pay discounted fees, reduced fees, or even no fees at all – but understand that this comes at the expense of a higher interest rate.  Either of these balances might be right for you, or perhaps somewhere in between.  It all depends on what your financial goals are.  A professional lender will be able to offer the best advice and options in terms of the balance between interest rate and closing costs that correctly fits your personal goals.

     

    Fifth, UNDERSTAND THAT INTEREST RATES CAN CHANGE DAILY, EVEN HOURLY.  This means that if you are comparing lender rates and fees – this is a moving target on an hourly basis.  For example, if you have two lenders that you just can’t decide between and want a quote from each – you must get this quote at the exact same time on the exact same day with the exact same terms or it will not be an accurate comparison.  You also must know the length of the lock you are looking for, since longer rate locks typically have slightly higher rates.

     

    Again, our advice to you is to be smart.  Ask questions.  Get answers.

     

    As you can imagine, we wouldn’t be encouraging you to shop around if we weren’t pretty confident that we feel that we can give you a great value and serve you the very best.

     

    Please call us with any further questions you may have at this time – we are ready to work for your best interest!

     

  • Shopping For A Loan? Part1

    Posted Under: Market Conditions in Utah, Home Buying in Utah, Financing in Utah  |  August 15, 2011 5:55 PM  |  191 views  |  No comments

    First:  make sure you are working with an experienced, professional loan officer.  The largest financial transaction of your life is far too important to place into the hands of someone who is not capable of advising you properly and troubleshooting the issues that may arise along the way.  But how can you tell? 

    Here are FOUR SIMPLE QUESTIONS YOUR LENDER ABSOLUTELY MUST BE ABLE TO ANSWER CORRECTLY.  IF THEY DO NOT KNOW THE ANSWERS…RUN…DON’T WALK… RUN…TO A LENDER THAT DOES!

    1) What are mortgage interest rates based on?  (The only correct answer is Mortgage Backed Securities or Mortgage Bonds, NOT the 10-year Treasury Note. While the 10-year Treasury Note sometimes trends in the same direction as Mortgage Bonds, it is not unusual to see them move in completely opposite directions.  DO NOT work with a lender who has their eyes on the wrong indicators.)

    2) What is the next Economic Report or event that could cause interest rate movement?  (A professional lender will have this at their fingertips.  For an up-to-date calendar of weekly economic reports and events that may cause rates to fluctuate, visit www.justin-coleman.com

    3) When Bernanke and the Fed “change rates”, what does this mean… and what impact does this have on mortgage interest rates?  (The answer may surprise you.  When the Fed makes a move, they can change a rate called the “Fed Funds Rate” or “Discount Rate”.  These are both very short- term rates that impact credit cards, Home Equity credit lines, auto loans and the like.  On the day of the Fed move, Mortgage rates most often will actually move in the opposite direction as the Fed change.  This is due to the dynamics within the financial markets in response to inflation.   For more information and explanation, just give us a call).

    4) Do you have access to live, real time, mortgage bond quotes?  (If a lender cannot explain how Mortgage Bonds and interest rates are moving in real time and warn you in advance of a costly intra-day price change, you are talking with someone who is still reading yesterday’s newspaper, and probably not a professional with whom to entrust your home mortgage financing.  Would you work with a stockbroker who is only able to grab yesterday’s paper to tell you how a stock traded yesterday, but had no idea what the movement looks like at the present time and what market conditions could cause changes in the near future?  No way!)

    Be smart...  Ask questions…  Get answers!

     

    More than likely, this is one of the largest and most important financial transactions you will ever make.  You might do this only four or five times in your entire life… but we do this every single day.  It’s your home and your future.  It’s our profession and our passion.  We're ready to work for your best interest.

  • Tips to Improve your Credit Score

    Posted Under: Credit Score  |  April 13, 2011 4:10 PM  |  143 views  |  No comments

    A good credit score translates into lower interest rates for home-shopping borrowers. In a mortgage lender's eyes, the higher your score is, the less risk you are, and the more likely it is you will pay off your debt. For this reason, borrowers with lower scores usually end up paying higher interest rates on their loans.

    If this is you, don't panic. There are a number of things you can do to adjust your credit score to receive a favorable review from the underwriter. Here are a few suggestions:

    Should I pay off all my past due balances and charge-offs?

    This is usually a good idea, but you only need to worry about the past due balances and charge-offs that have occurred in the last two years. Items that are showing up on your credit report that are more than two years old have little effect on your current credit score. In fact, if you pay off delinquent items that are more than two years old it can actually bring your credit score down, which is something we don't want to do. We want to bring that score up if it means you'll get a better interest rate on your loan.

    Should I close existing credit card accounts that I don't really use?

    No. Part of your credit score is based upon credit history. If you have old credit cards that you don't use very much, you still have the benefit of the credit history they represent.

    Rather than trying to pay off all your credit cards, you can move part of the debt from one card to another to even out the distribution of debt. You want to try to keep the ratio of debt to credit limits at about 30% of the available credit or less. If your credit provider will increase your line of credit, the ratio of debt to available credit is automatically reduced.

    When married couples have separate credit card accounts, the debt can be transferred from one spouse to another to clear up credit issues for the other spouse. That spouse with clean credit can be designated as the sole borrower on the loan, but ownership of the home can still go in both names.

    What about errors on my credit report?

    If you have items that are showing up on your credit report that you know you have already paid, request that these items be removed by the credit bureau. They are obligated to rectify this within 30 days.

    If there are items on your credit report that are less than two years old, send in your payment if possible and mark the back of the check with the following notation: "Accepting this check is evidence that the transaction is complete and this charge will be deleted from my credit record." If necessary, the cancelled check will be proof that this should be promptly removed from your credit report if it interferes with the closing of your loan.

    Call me directly for a free consultation.

    Justin M. Coleman

    801-759-7252

    NMLS# 283650

    www.justin-coleman.com

    www.utahloansecrets.com

  • 86% of home buyers and sellers got to the internet first - now what?

    Posted Under: Market Conditions, Agent2Agent  |  April 6, 2011 5:17 AM  |  160 views  |  2 comments

    The greatest piece of information that came from the NAR's 2010 Home Buyers and Sellers Profile was the fact that the first thing that 86% of all buyers and seller do when thinking about real estate is turn to the internet. That is a huge number! As a mortgage professional I am fourth on the list of where clients start. So what do I do now?

    As a mortgage professional I am perceived as the dreaded numbers guy...no one wants to find out what a payment might be or how much it is going to cost...it is just more fun to look at houses and worry about it later. So if no one wants to speak with me, how can I help my Realtors and Business partners attract new business without spending hours and hours working on their internet exposure?

    I set about dividing the areas of exposure needed and test driving the tools available to simplify the process.

    Social Networking - This can take the most time if you are trying to work your Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, Blog, Plaxo and the other myriads of networks out there - there has to be a solution

    Seller Exposure - Most sellers look at the internet these days to find the most active agents by looking at the number of listings on Zillow, Trulia, Realtor.com and the like, so I need to find a tool that makes that an easy processs....but it sure does take a while to submit to all those sites.

    Buyer Exposure - Buyers are scared to death these days to speak to anyone! Will I qualify? Will my Agent take care of me? Am I going to lose my job? These are all rattling around their heads and creating so much reluctance that they just sit on the fence and not make contact.

    A solution emerges......After testing all of the tools out there I came up with the perfect solution. Single Property Websites that submit to all of the major sites including MLS, Zillow, Trulia, Elookyloo, FrontDoor, Craigslist and even Facebook and Twitter!! Click Here for a Demo.

    A Webinar series to educate home buyers and sellers and capture their information for future follow up....and it can also be placed on the Single Property Website pages listed above.....click here to check it out.

    Great, buyers and sellers taken care of.....now how do I manage my blogs and social media? Feedblitz....it speaks to all of your social media sites and creates a fantastic newsletter that autosends to your subscribers when you tell it to....once again, super smooth. Here is the link to them...http://feedblitz.com/

    All in all I feel I have the complete package that takes care of all fronts. I have it down to 1 hour a week to maintain and the leads that are generated are highly qualified. I new there was a way to provide exceptional value to my Realtors and business partners!


    Justin M. Coleman

    801-759-7252

    NMLS# 283650

    www.justin-coleman.com

    www.utahloansecrets.com

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