Category Archives: Finance

Home for rent with couple standing behind

Be Able to Afford Your Dream Home — Here Are 4 Ways to Save Money on Rent

Home for rent with couple standing behindAcquiring their own house is almost everyone’s ultimate goal. That’s why most people are trying to save a portion of their salaries to apply for a mortgage loan in places such as Ogden. But what if you’re still renting?

Although it’s always better to have a home of your own, paying the rent while saving for a down payment is a struggle. But how can you do that if you’re only living paycheck to paycheck? Here are some tips on how you can save money on your rent.

Try to negotiate

Before signing the deal or renewing your lease, try to talk to your lender and negotiate your rent. Most often than not, your landlord might be willing to reduce a portion of your monthly rent in exchange for a much longer lease.

Doing so can significantly save you costs on your rent. If your landlord doesn’t seem open to the idea, try to request if you can include other utilities instead.

Look for roommates

One of the best ways to lessen the cost of renting is by getting a roommate, two if possible. Having two or more people to split the bill and the rent can cut your expenses, primarily if your apartment is located in crowded cities.

Ask for referral discounts

Ask your landlord if they can somehow give you a cut on your rent if you help them find new tenants for their apartment. Both you and your landlord can benefit from this.

Watch your utility usage

Utilities can sometimes come up as a surprise and can drain your paycheck. You need to learn how to conserve energy. Switch off the lights when leaving the room or turn the faucet off when you’re brushing your teeth. You could also invest in energy-saving lighting to save.

These are just some tips that you can do to save money for your dream house. Keep in mind that purchasing a house can be expensive, so you have to save every penny that you have to get your dream home finally.

mortgage loan agreement

2 Important Things to Know Before Securing a Home Loan

mortgage loan agreementThe real estate market in Utah is on an uptrend. Home costs have surged over the last five years. From a median price of $190,000, it has now gone up to $280,000, far higher than the pre-recession prices of $250,000. That makes investing in a Utah property more inviting.

Getting a mortgage or refinancing an existing one is best dealt through home loans. Mortgages in Utah are not prohibitive at all, but before investing, it’s important to learn some facts about mortgage regulations and product types.


It’s important that a borrower knows the laws and regulations that govern the industry to ensure investor protection. In Utah, the Division of Real Estate regulates the real estate, mortgage, and appraisal markets. They maintain a list of providers of mortgage loans, as well as brokers that are also depository institutions or affiliates.

There are 194 registered residential mortgage lenders and brokers in the state. You can check them on the Division of Real Estate’s website. The law that governs mortgages in the state is the Utah Mortgage Financing Regulation Act.

Mortgage types

If you’re abreast with the regulatory environment, you can now look into the type of mortgage loan to secure. Fixed-rate loans are the most common options. Their terms include thirty, twenty, fifteen, and ten years. Longer terms offer lower monthly payments. A disadvantage of this is that the annual percentage rate (APR) is higher than those of the shorter-term loans. An APR not only includes the interest rate but also broker fees and other charges.

The 30-year and 15-year fixed-rate mortgages are the most traditional of the mortgage types, but lenders also offer several adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) types. These mortgages’ interest rates float during the life of the mortgage. Often, they start at lower rates compared to fixed-rate mortgages.

Now armed with some regulatory and product type knowledge, you can start your mortgage lender hunt with ease.

How to Find the Best Mortgage for Your Housing Needs

Couple reviewing a mortgage agreementChoosing the right mortgage program here in Krum, TX can bring you one step closer to your dream house. However, with all the available mortgage plans in the market today, you might want to apply for one that’ll fit you the most.

But how would you know which one is perfect for your housing needs?

Make a thorough assessment of your financial situation

You need to make a careful evaluation of your financial situation and your financial responsibilities before you even consider any loan option. You should think about the potential cost of owning a home, your financial health, and especially your plans.

Think about your mortgage options

Once you’ve thoroughly evaluated your situation, then you may now try to look at the different loans available for you. There are three several factors that you have to know when comparing various loan options.

These are loan terms, loan type, and interest type. Each one is important so can know which one will fit your budget.

Apples to apples

You may consider comparing the lenders that you’ve discovered and their loan estimates. It’s best to ask any of your friends or relatives for any recommendations. You may also check the internet or any listings that’ll give you more information about each lender.

Learn more about the loan costs and fees

Always remember that your monthly payment can differ depending on your current interest rates and other charges. You can make extra payments directly to your principal balance to decrease your loan’s interest rates. You may always check a loan calculator to get an estimate of your monthly payments.

Choosing the right mortgage can be complicated. You have to consider several things before you can make a decision. Always remember that you’ll be paying the mortgage for several years. So, it’s essential to choose one that’ll fit your finances to ensure that you won’t get behind.

Two people shaking hands over a loan agreement

Guide to Getting Approved for a Mortgage Loan

Two people shaking hands over a loan agreementThe pain and disappointment that a denied mortgage loan application can cause could be heartbreaking. It’s usually because the applicant didn’t have the right knowledge to make the right decisions.

City Creek Mortgage explains that mortgage rates in Salt Lake City are always changing. This is a very important factor in understanding your loan application. You also need to consider your income and credit score. If you’re a first-time home buyer, here are some tips on how to get your mortgage loan application approved:

1. Stay in a job that you like

Having a consistent job that provides you with a stable income is one proof that you can pay off the loan. If you don’t have a job or if you’ve been job hopping for a while, your ability to repay the loan becomes questionable.

2. Find a way to reduce your debts

This doesn’t mean you have to pay all your debts in one go, but it’ll help a lot if you kept them low. Find ways to lower car loan debt or credit card debt before applying for a mortgage loan.

3. Improve your credit score

When you lower your debt, your credit score goes higher. The higher your credit score is, the better chances you have of being approved.

4. Save up

There will always be deposits and down payments before you get the keys to your new home. Make sure you know how much you’ll need and save a little more than that amount.

If you haven’t stayed on top of your finances since day one, it may take a while for you to organize these things. If you find it too difficult, you can always get the help of a financial or mortgage advisor. If you’ve managed your finances well, then getting your mortgage loan application approved will be easier and you’ll soon be living in your new home, worry-free.

How Your Home Can Help You Get Emergency Cash

Couples outside home for rentYou don’t need to look elsewhere when looking for a way to get extra cash. Sometimes the answer is just at home. Sometimes the answer is the home itself.

Not sure how your home can help when you have a financial problem? Consider these options:

Use the Title to Get a Loan

The title of your house is an important document that testifies to your ownership of the property. It’s usually kept in a safe location inside the house or a family safe. Did you know that in Provo, Utah Money Center‘s title loans can help you pay for emergency expenses without requiring anything else but the title? Once you’ve paid back the loan, you’ll get the title back. It’s just like you’re keeping the title in a different location while you get the money.

Rent Out a Spare Room

Not everyone can afford to have their own home. That means there are people who are looking for cheap accommodation options, whether for the long-term or short-term. If you’ve got an unused room in the house, you can offer it for rent for transients or individuals looking for a place to stay. If you don’t want a long-term commitment, you can also put up the room for rent through Airbnb.

Declutter and Sell

This one involves things that are inside the house, specifically those that are taking up space but you are not using anymore. If you’ve got extra furniture or appliances lying around and you want to redecorate anyway, they can be sold at flea markets or garage sales. Market your unique items right, and they could fetch a good price on eBay. Even Instagram can be a good place to sell second-hand furniture. Use the best photos of your items to make them look more enticing.

Your home holds plenty of treasures. It’s up to you to use them wisely.

Tax graphs on a computer

1031 Exchange: Explained and Answered for the Everyday Property Owner

Tax graphs on a computerLawyers and accountants may have tried to explain the 1031 exchange in simpler words, but understanding what 1031 exchange is, with all the legal and accounting jargon, can be confusing to the everyday business owner.

So, here are some of the basic questions about the 1031 exchange answered to make your future investments more understandable.

What is the 1031 Exchange?

When you sell your property, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) takes a chunk of the profit as “capital gains tax,” which may be a problem if you were planning to use that profit to buy another property. According to, property investors should never have to pay for taxes if they plan to reinvest that income immediately in a similar type of property.

This is where the 1031 exchange comes in. In its simplest form, it means that if you sell your property and purchase another “like-kind” property, you do not have to pay taxes.

What does “like-kind” mean?

“Like-kind” properties mean that the property you are selling and the property you are buying must be of the same nature, character, or class. The quality or grade doesn’t matter.

Words like “character” and “quality” may sound alike, but there’s a difference, according to the IRS. For example, you can trade a run-down apartment building for a brand new home you plan to rent out, which has equal value to the building you sold.

How Do I Find the Right Property?

If you don’t have a property to purchase after selling your old property, you need a middleman called “qualified intermediary” or “exchange partner.” This is an independent third party who holds the money made from selling your old property. You can’t touch that money, but you have 45 days to find a property to buy and then another 180 days to make the purchase.

It is recommended that you find the property you want to purchase before selling your property, but sometimes this is not possible due to time restraints. Some exchange partners offer replacement property search assistance to help you find the property you need.

Can I Sell My Residential Property?

Unfortunately, you cannot use the 1031 exchange for personal purposes. There are some loopholes regarding vacation homes you once used and now rent, but there are strict guidelines to prevent abusing the 1031 exchange. For trickier properties like this, it is best to have a CPA Attorney with you.

The 1031 exchange may sound daunting, but it’s an important strategy for property owners and investors looking to diversify their portfolio or earn passive income. To be prepared, however, it is best to have a lawyer during this exchange. This is a smart decision if you want to sell your property in exchange for another.

House under renovation

What to Keep in Mind when Buying an Old House

House under renovationOld houses and other real estate properties have their own distinct charm. However, they also bring with them a couple of issues that buyers need to look out for. Like in any other investment, it pays to do your research if you’re planning to buy a nifty yet affordable piece of history.

Investment value

An old wreck may gain you more profit than a property in an excellent condition. Though it may take longer and you’ll have to shell out money to hire a professional and renovate it, you’ll be adding more value to it as compared to something in a reasonable condition.


Insulation is one of the basic things that are often taken for granted, especially when buying an old property. Insulation in old houses is different from new house insulation, so you have to inspect its current state. Finding out whether the property uses external insulation or dry lining will help you decide on what course of action to take. Remember that a carefully executed insulation helps reduce utility bills, provides comfort during extreme weather conditions, and makes the house lasts longer.

Electrical works

Rewiring can be expensive. That’s why most old houses still have their outdated wiring systems, which could be hazardous. Such electrical systems can’t keep up with modern usage, so make sure that it can sustain your needs if your lifestyle uses a variety of electronics. Look out for knob and tube wiring, as they cannot meet today’s electrical demands.

Foundations and structural conditions

Even the most solidly built house can’t weather time and can form cracks or unevenness. Everything on the house sits on the foundation, so you have to keep an eye out for any cracked, leaning, sunken or damaged parts.


Corroded pipes not only results in weak water flow but also leaks, which are the main reason for the presence of mould. Mould remediation can be expensive, so check for any leaks or update your pipes if necessary.

Purchasing an older property can be a great investment especially for first-time buyers, just make sure that you do your due diligence before signing a contract with your realtor.

3 Ways to Start Planning for Your Retirement Budget

Retirement budgetThey say life begins at 50 because it is the age when you are in the prime of your life and retirement is just around the corner. It’s easy to lose track of your plans at this age, as this is when you begin to think about preparing for retirement.

When you plan for retirement, you should consider your retirement savings and the lifestyle you want to have as a retiree.

If you are having difficulty with planning your retirement funds, you can opt to employ the services of a financial advisor for retirement planning. An advisor can help you think about the choices you have now and how they can affect the way you spend your time during retirement.

Here are a few ways to start planning for your retirement in your 50s.

Personal planning

Individuals who are nearing retirement tend to switch focus to obtaining a financial plan to map out their funds and be able to manage their finances better. While this is an important factor in preparing for retirement, you want to take the time to think about how you want to spend your post-career life.

Maybe you want to be a volunteer at a local charity, take a short course in baking, or spend your time traveling the world. Whichever you choose, make sure to take your personal preferences into consideration.

Financial planning

The kind of lifestyle you will have during retirement is linked to your financial resources. If you choose to spend most of your time traveling, you will need to secure larger funds to make it happen. This is to avoid encountering any debt problems during retirement.

Your retirement income can come from different sources including employment-related sources, government pensions, retirement accounts, and your personal investments.

Your retirement income will be enough to cover your envisioned lifestyle as long as you choose hobbies or activities that fit your monthly income.

Having a financial plan before you retire can make the transition from your day-in, day-out job to post-career life smoother. You should also evaluate your expenses and create a budget you can stick to. If you have debt from personal loans and credit cards, it is better to pay them off before you retire.

But if you are expecting your investments to grow in the coming years, you can use the higher interest to pay off your debt.

Loan-To-Value: Defining LTV in Layman’s Terms

A variety of mortgage ratesA mortgage involves plenty of complicated terms, which is why homebuyers and sellers must understand these in simpler explanations. Among all the technical jargon, LTV is one of them. Loan-to-Value or LTV is the percentage of the balance of the mortgage loan divided by home value.

For instance, a resident with a balance of USD 500,000 and USD 550,000 home value will have more or less a 90 percent LTV. You have to know this because LTV plays a crucial element to mortgage companies in Jackson, TN such as Mortgage Investors Group, as it is part of mortgage approval procedure.

Through a refinance, your LTV is usually equal to the size of the loan divided by the evaluated value of your home. When it comes to purchase, LTV relies on many factors such as the rate of sales of your house, unless your house values for below its purchase rate.

When this occurs, the LTV of your home will depend on the lesser appraised value and not its purchase rate. Here are samples to demonstrate the notion of LTV:

Refinancing a house without a second mortgage

  • Value of Home – USD 150,000
  • Balance of Loan – USD 110,000
  • Equity – USD 40,000
  • LTV – 73 percent

Refinancing a house with a second mortgage

  • Value of Home – USD 150,000
  • Balance of Loan – USD 110,000
  • Second Balance of Loan – USD 10,000
  • Equity – USD 30,000
  • LTV – 80 percent

Purchasing a house that appraises for more than its purchase rate

  • Price of House – USD 150,000
  • Value of Appraisal – USD 160,000
  • Down Payment – USD 20,000
  • Amount of Loan -USD 110,000
  • LTV – 73 percent

Purchasing a house that appraises for less than its purchase rate

  • Price of House – USD 150,000
  • Appraised Value – USD 140,000
  • Down Payment – USD 20,000
  • Amount of Loan – USD 110,000
  • LTV – 79 percent

It does not matter if you are refinancing or buying because the LTV is crucial as it helps to identify your eligibility for the loan and mortgage rate.

The Significance of Mortgage Rates in Determining Monthly Payments

House loan financingYou already know you can use a mortgage loan to borrow against, purchase or refinance any home, but, there is more to that. It is with first mortgages that you can buy a house or refinance a loan, with second mortgages allowing you to take out loans using the available equity, to add to a first mortgage.

You can also take advantage of the times when mortgage rates here in Ogden are at an optimum low to enjoy an equally lower monthly payment that you would have had you locked in the loan when mortgage rates were high.

Even a 0.25% dip can mean a whole lot of difference

Yes, you read that right. However, besides you identifying any dip from current average rate charts, it will need you to involve a credible credit union to know whether what you term as a low rate is what has been the case in the market. It is only until when you have confirmed that can you lock in that loan.

Should you notice that the mortgage rates are rising, it is advisable that you wait unless your projections for the project for which you are taking the mortgage show that unless you make the step now, the investment will not be cost-efficient.

The Other Jig of the Puzzle

Irrespective of when you take a mortgage loan, it is important you note that closing costs and loan processing fees remain a constant factor that you must take into account. These include, among others, escrow & title fees, lending, appraisal and credit fees, and insurance and taxes.

Whether you are planning to buy a (or borrow against your) Ogden home or to refinance a loan, you can benefit from understanding how the current mortgage rates can affect your monthly payment.

However, besides doing your research on that, engage a qualified financial service provider in discussing your options and determining a time that will be the most cost-efficient to take the mortgage.