• Do You Need 20% Down To Buy NOW?

    A survey by Ipsos found that the American public is still somewhat confused about what is actually necessary to qualify for a home mortgage loan in today’s housing market. The study pointed out two major misconceptions that we want to address today.  1. Down Payment The survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to… [Continue Reading]

    Do You Need 20% Down To Buy NOW?
  • 5 Reasons Why Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment

    According to a recent report by Trulia, “buying is cheaper than renting in 100 of the largest metro areas by an average of 37.7%.” That may have some thinking about buying a home instead of signing another lease extension. But, does that make sense from a financial perspective? In the report, Ralph McLaughlin, Trulia‘s Chief… [Continue Reading]

    5 Reasons Why Homeownership Is a Good Financial Investment
  • 3 Questions to Ask If You Want to Buy Your Dream Home

    If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market. Ask yourself the following 3 questions to… [Continue Reading]

    3 Questions to Ask If You Want to Buy Your Dream Home
  • What to Look for in Your Real Estate Team

    How do you select the members of your team who are going to help you make your dream of owning a home a reality? What should you be looking for? How do you know if you’ve found the right agent or lender? The most important characteristic that you should be looking for in your agent… [Continue Reading]

    What to Look for in Your Real Estate Team
  • Rising Rents……Take a Look

    People often ask if now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent. The Census Bureau recently released their third quarter median rent numbers. Here is… [Continue Reading]

    Rising Rents……Take a Look
  • Homeownership Offers Stability & Wealth Creation

    he most recent Housing Pulse Survey released by the National Association of Realtors revealed that the two major reasons Americans prefer owning their own home instead of renting are: They want the opportunity to build equity. They want a stable and safe environment. Building Equity In a recent article by The Mortgage Reports, they report that “buying and… [Continue Reading]

    Homeownership Offers Stability & Wealth Creation
  • 4 Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage

      You may be wondering whether it’s worth it to refinance your home loan. Rest assured my team and I are here to make the process as smooth and painless as possible. We’ll answer all of your initial questions and walk you through the entire loan process, with the end goal of securing the right… [Continue Reading]

    4 Reasons to Refinance Your Mortgage
  • 3 Tips for Making your Dream of Buying a Home

    Some Highlights: Realtor.com recently shared “5 Habits to Start Now If You Hope to Buy a Home in 2017.” Setting up an automatic savings plan that saves a small amount of every check is one of the best ways to save without thinking a lot about it. Living within a budget now will help you… [Continue Reading]

    3 Tips for Making your Dream of Buying a Home
  • What Does Home Mean to You?

    No matter what shape or size your living space is, the concept and feeling of home can mean different things to different people. Whether it’s a certain scent or a favorite chair, the emotional reasons why we choose to buy our own home are, more often than not, the more powerful or compelling ones. Every… [Continue Reading]

    What Does Home Mean to You?
  • The Impact of Homeownership on Civic Involvement

    The National Association of Realtors recently released a study titled ‘Social Benefits of Homeownership and Stable Housing.’ The study confirmed a long-standing belief of most Americans: “Owning a home embodies the promise of individual autonomy and is the aspiration of most American households. Homeownership allows households to accumulate wealth and social status, and is the… [Continue Reading]

    The Impact of Homeownership on Civic Involvement
  • Cindy Hallas Social Sites
  • The Navigators

    The Navigators  My cousin works for this charity and I am honored to sponsor him and allow him to mentor and bring so many young adults to know Jesus Christ, our savior.  To Know Christ and to Make Him Known® The Navigators® is an international, interdenominational Christian ministry that helps people grow in Jesus Christ as they… [Continue Reading]

    The Navigators
  • A Homeowner’s Net Worth is 45x Greater Than a Renter’s!

    Every three years, the Federal Reserve conducts a Survey of Consumer Finances in which they collect data across all economic and social groups. The latest survey, which includes data from 2010-2013, reports that a homeowner’s net worth is 36 times greater than that of a renter ($194,500 vs. $5,400). In a Forbes article, the National… [Continue Reading]

    A Homeowner’s Net Worth is 45x Greater Than a Renter’s!
  • Think All Millennials Live in Their Parent’s Basement?

    According to the Census Bureau, millennials have overtaken baby boomers as the largest generation in U.S. History. Millennials, or America’s youth born between 1982-2000, now represent more than one quarter of the nation’s population, totaling 83.1 million. There has been a lot of talk about how, as a generation, millennials have‘failed to launch’ into adulthood… [Continue Reading]

    Think All Millennials Live in Their Parent’s Basement?
  • Baby Boomers on the Move

    According to a Merrill Lynch study, “an estimated 4.2 million retirees moved into a new home last year alone.” Two-thirds of retirees say that they are likely to move at least once during retirement. As one participant in the study stated: “In retirement, you have the chance to live anywhere you want. Or you can… [Continue Reading]

    Baby Boomers on the Move
  • Are You Sitting on the Bench?

    There are many people sitting on the sidelines trying to decide if they should purchase a home or sign a rental lease. Some might wonder if it makes sense to purchase a house before they are married and have a family. Others may think they are too young. And still others might think their current… [Continue Reading]

    Are You Sitting on the Bench?
  • Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step

    In many markets across the country, the amount of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved… [Continue Reading]

    Why Getting Pre-Approved Should Be Your First Step
  • The Housing Market is Just Fine

    There are some that think that housing affordability is a challenge. Historically, that’s not true. Others think that home prices are approaching bubble values. If we look back over the last sixteen years, that is also not the case. As a matter of fact, the numbers show that the U.S. residential real estate market is… [Continue Reading]

    The Housing Market is Just Fine
  • 3 Crucial Questions Most Home Buyers Don’t Know the Answer To…DO YOU?

    Whether you are considering the purchase of your first home or trading up to the home your family frequently fantasizes about, there are three crucial questions you must know the answer to: 1. What is the minimum down payment required to purchase a home? 2. What is the minimum FICO score required to qualify for… [Continue Reading]

    3 Crucial Questions Most Home Buyers Don’t Know the Answer To…DO YOU?
  • The Foreclosure Crisis: 10 Years Later

    CoreLogic recently released a report entitled, United States Residential Foreclosure Crisis: 10 Years Later, in which they examined the years leading up to the crisis all the way through to present day. With a peak in 2010 when nearly 1.2 million homes were foreclosed on, over 7.7 million families lost their homes throughout the entire… [Continue Reading]

    The Foreclosure Crisis: 10 Years Later
  • Validating a Collection Debt

    Andorra Credit Repair shares some great information on Validating a Collection Debt on your Credit Report: You find a Collection Debt on your credit report and you just don’t remember it….what do you do? Ask for a validation notice. A debt collector must send you a validation notice within five days that explains how much… [Continue Reading]

    Validating a Collection Debt
  • Buying Remains 36% Cheaper than Renting!

    n the latest Rent vs. Buy Report from Trulia, they explained that homeownership remains cheaper than renting with a traditional 30-year fixed rate mortgage in the 100 largest metro areas in the United States. The updated numbers actually show that the range is an average of 5% less expensive in Orange County (CA) all the… [Continue Reading]

    Buying Remains 36% Cheaper than Renting!
  • Mortgage Standards Easing TOO MUCH? NO!!

    There is no doubt that getting a mortgage is easier today than it was right after the housing crash a decade ago. However, the easing of credit availability has led to some questioning of whether or not we are headed for another housing crisis. Let’s put everything into the proper perspective. Mortgage Credit Availability Over… [Continue Reading]

    Mortgage Standards Easing TOO MUCH? NO!!
  • Serious About Home Buying?

    In many markets across the country, the amount of buyers searching for their dream home greatly outnumbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified or pre-approved… [Continue Reading]

    Serious About Home Buying?
  • Do You Know the Real Cost of Renting vs. Buying? [INFOGRAPHIC]

      Some Highlights: Historically, the choice between renting or buying a home has been a close decision. Looking at the percentage of income needed to rent a median-priced home today (30%), vs. the percentage needed to buy a median-priced home (15%), the choice becomes obvious. Every market is different. Before you renew your lease again,… [Continue Reading]

    Do You Know the Real Cost of Renting vs. Buying? [INFOGRAPHIC]
  • Mortgage Glossary

    **All your Purchase and Refinance needs at one stop!     Call or email me today before rates take another increase! 602-793-9061 or challas@amerifirst.us Adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) An adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) is calculated on a 30-year basis. The rates adjust at scheduled intervals. An ARM starts with a fixed payment rate and adjusts thereafter.… [Continue Reading]

    Mortgage Glossary
  • Rising Rates- Rising Prices?

    There are some who are calling for a decrease in home prices should mortgage interest rates begin to rise rapidly. Intuitively, this makes sense as the cost of a home is determined by the price of the home, plus the cost of financing that home. If mortgage interest rates increase, fewer people will be able… [Continue Reading]

    Rising Rates- Rising Prices?
  • 3 Questions Every Buyer Should Ask Themselves

    If you are debating purchasing a home right now, you are probably getting a lot of advice. Though your friends and family will have your best interest at heart, they may not be fully aware of your needs and what is currently happening in the real estate market. Answering the following 3 questions will help… [Continue Reading]

    3 Questions Every Buyer Should Ask Themselves
  • Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next 5 Years?

    Today, many real estate conversations center on housing prices and where they may be headed. That is why we like the Home Price Expectation Survey. Every quarter, Pulsenomics surveys a nationwide panel of over one hundred economists, real estate experts and investment & market strategists about where they believe prices are headed over the next five years. They… [Continue Reading]

    Where Are Home Values Headed Over the Next 5 Years?
  • The Connection Between Home Prices & Family Wealth

    Over the next five years, home prices are expected to appreciate 3.22% per year on average and to grow by 17.3% cumulatively, according to Pulsenomics’ most recent Home Price Expectation Survey. So, what does this mean for homeowners and their equity position? As an example, let’s assume a young couple purchased and closed on a $250,000 home in… [Continue Reading]

    The Connection Between Home Prices & Family Wealth
  • Why is a Consumer Credit Score Different from a Mortgage Credit Score?

    Scoring models are formulas or algorithms that assigns points based on known information to predict and unknown future outcome.  The Credit Monitoring Services and Nationwide Credit reporting agencies sell credit reports to consumers.  The scores that are sold to consumers are educational credit scores to prepare for loans, managing debts and to check for fraud/identity… [Continue Reading]

    Why is a Consumer Credit Score Different from a Mortgage Credit Score?
  • Over Half of All Buyers Are Surprised by Closing Costs

    According to a recent survey conducted by ClosingCorp, over half of all homebuyers are surprised by the closing costs required to obtain their mortgage. After surveying 1,000 first-time and repeat homebuyers, the results revealed that 17% of homebuyers were surprised that closing costs were required at all, while another 35% were stunned by how much… [Continue Reading]

    Over Half of All Buyers Are Surprised by Closing Costs
  • Why Do Credit Scores Vary Amongst Credit Bureaus?

    One of the main criticisms of credit scoring is the extreme variation between credit scores. Studies have shown scores to vary as much as 100 points between credit bureaus.  There are several reasons for this:  The first reason is not all creditors report their information to all three credit bureaus, and if they do, they… [Continue Reading]

    Why Do Credit Scores Vary Amongst Credit Bureaus?
  • Lock in Your Housing Payment

    There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top ones is being able to protect yourself from rising rents and lock in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage. Don’t Become Trapped Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, reported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis.” He warns that, “Low rental… [Continue Reading]

    Lock in Your Housing Payment
  • Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying a Home

    Many people wonder whether they should hire a real estate professional to assist them in buying their dream home or if they should first try to go it on their own. In today’s market: you need an experienced professional! You Need an Expert Guide if You Are Traveling an Ever-Changing Path The field of real… [Continue Reading]

    Why You Should Hire a Real Estate Professional When Buying a Home
  • Do Americans Believe Real Estate is the Best Long-Term Investment?

    Some Highlights: Real estate outranks stocks/mutual funds, gold, savings accounts/CDs, and bonds as the best long-term investment among Americans. Real estate is ranked as the best long-term investment among all age groups. Millennials rank both real estate and savings/CDs at 26% when it comes to the best long-term investment.    

    Do Americans Believe Real Estate is the Best Long-Term Investment?
  • Business Strategy

    Business Communication Strategies are a key function to the success of any business! “To effectively communicate, we must realize that we are all different in the way we perceive the world and use this understanding as a guide to our communication with others.” Anthony Robbins “Effective communication is 20% what you know and 80% how… [Continue Reading]

    Business Strategy
  • 2 Myths About Buying a Home

    Fannie Mae’s “What do consumers know about the Mortgage Qualification Criteria?” Study revealed that Americans are misinformed about what is required to qualify for a mortgage when purchasing a home. Myth #1: “I Need a 20% Down Payment” Fannie Mae’s survey revealed that consumers overestimate the down payment funds needed to qualify for a home loan.… [Continue Reading]

    2 Myths About Buying a Home
  • Careful…Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap

    There are many benefits to homeownership. One of the top benefits is being able to protect yourself from rising rents by locking in your housing cost for the life of your mortgage. Don’t Become Trapped  Jonathan Smoke, Chief Economist at realtor.com, reported on what he calls a “Rental Affordability Crisis.” He warns that, “Low rental vacancies and a lack of… [Continue Reading]

    Careful…Don’t Get Caught in the Rental Trap
  • Your First Step when buying a home

      In many markets across the country, the number of buyers searching for their dream homes greatly out numbers the amount of homes for sale. This has led to a competitive marketplace where buyers often need to stand out. One way to show you are serious about buying your dream home is to get pre-qualified… [Continue Reading]

    Your First Step when buying a home
  • Rates at History Low Since 1951

      Rates at History Low Since 1951 The interest rates have been slashed again by the Federal Reserve.  Now the question is will the banks follow and reduce interest rates for mortgages?  This rate reduction is a step forward in the uphill battle to stave off a deep recession.  The dramatic rate reduction takes the… [Continue Reading]

    Rates at History Low Since 1951
  • BREXIT: What’s the FIXIT for U.S. Home Buyers and Sellers?

      Now that much of the dust has settled and the panic has waned, let’s take a look at what impact Britain’s exit from the European Union may have on the U.S. housing market. The most immediate impact of Brexit will be on mortgage interest rates. Interest rates have remained at historic lows for the… [Continue Reading]

    BREXIT: What’s the FIXIT for U.S. Home Buyers and Sellers?
  • What Makes Up a Credit Score??

      A credit score is an extremely important financial tool. It provides access to the financing you need in order to buy a car, a home, or pay for college tuition, among other things. Since higher scores result in lower costs, it’s vital to understand the factors involved in calculating your score. Here are the… [Continue Reading]

    What Makes Up a Credit Score??
  • Mortgage Interest Rates Went Up Again

    Mortgage interest rates, as reported by Freddie Mac, have increased over the last several weeks. Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors, is calling for mortgage rates to continue to rise over the next four quarters. This has caused some purchasers to lament the fact they may no longer be able to get… [Continue Reading]

    Mortgage Interest Rates Went Up Again
  • The Presidential Election and Its Impact on Housing

    Every four years people question what effect the Presidential election might have on the national housing market. Let’s take a look at what is currently taking place. The New York Times ran an article earlier this week where they explained: “A growing body of research shows that during presidential election years — particularly ones like… [Continue Reading]

    The Presidential Election and Its Impact on Housing
  • Daydreaming About Your Perfect Home? Know What You WANT vs. What You NEED

    In this day and age of being able to shop for anything anywhere, it is really important to know what you’re looking for when you start your home search. If you’ve been thinking about buying a home of your own for some time now, you’ve probably come up with a list of things that you’d… [Continue Reading]

    Daydreaming About Your Perfect Home? Know What You WANT vs. What You NEED
  • Multiple Credit Inquires…do they count?

    The media, newspapers, internet are full of information, but sadly, much of the information concerning credit is inaccurate.   Please enjoy this article provided by:  Sal Bonanno Prime National, Inc. Main: 855.278.3578 Direct: 646.283.2783 www.PrimeNational.com Let’s check out some common credit myths: Credit Myth: “Multiple credit inquiries will hurt your score, each and every time.”  In older… [Continue Reading]

    Multiple Credit Inquires…do they count?
  • Owning a Home Can Help At Tax Time

    Many Americans got some depressing news last week; either their tax return was not as large as they had hoped or, in some cases, they were told they owed additional money to either the Federal or State government or both. One way to save on taxes is to own your own home. According to the… [Continue Reading]

    Owning a Home Can Help At Tax Time
  • When Is It A Good Time To Rent? Definitely NOT NOW!

    People often ask whether or not now is a good time to buy a home. No one ever asks when a good time to rent is. However, we want to make certain that everyone understands that today is NOT a good time to rent. The Census Bureau recently released their first quarter median rent numbers. Here is… [Continue Reading]

    When Is It A Good Time To Rent? Definitely NOT NOW!
  • Why Millennials Choose to Buy [INFOGRAPHIC]

Mortgage Industry Acronyms