Posts Tagged Ogden

Buying a Home – Home Ownership and Your Community

Owning your home means providing a secure and comfortable space for your family to flourish as well as investment in a financial tool that can help you build equity, move up through social classes, and prepare for retirement. Buying a home, however, is more than just a long term investment in your family’s security; it is also an investment in your community.

When you own your home, you become more than just a resident in a neighborhood, but a contributor to the well being of your community. By owning a home, your property taxes go directly towards funding the schools, libraries, and other services provided by the county to your community. The care that you put toward maintaining your home’s exterior helps the community prevent blight. Your vigilance while participating in a local Neighborhood Watch program can keep your community free of crime. All of these contributions to your community not only help maintain a safe and desirable living atmosphere, but over time helps increase the overall property value of homes in your community.

An increase in property values helps you and other members of your community thrive financially. When property values increase, residents in the community begin to build more equity in their homes. This growth of equity provides community members with money to invest in businesses in the community, which in turn continues to increase property values. Most important, as you continue to build equity in your home, you begin to build a nest egg that you can use to send your children to college or retire with. As with any investment, owning your home requires diligent financial planning, and the help and advice of a professional who cares for both your interests and the interest of your community.

As a first step to buying your home, you should reach out to the local Realtors and lenders in your area. These organizations are usually vested in the community where they operate and have a high focus on helping you with financial planning and education. Ask your Realtor and lender to show you how to work with a mortgage calculator and explain the finances of owning your home including PITI payments (Principal, Interest, Taxes, and Insurance) and federal tax benefits. Realtors or lenders who do not provide this level of financial education can put you in peril of buying a home that you may not be able to fully afford resulting in a foreclosure. Unfortunately, nothing hurts a community more than a high rate of foreclosures because of the reduction of property values and the general sense of despair that foreclosures bring.

As you prepare to purchase your home, make sure to keep in mind that it is more than just your own security and well being that you are investing in, but the security and well being of an entire community. As a stakeholder in your community, you should work with local real estate professionals that can help you make a responsible home purchase decision that will benefit your financial well being as well as the financial well being of your community.

Visit for more articles on how home ownership can be made affordable.

Rambod Jacoby is the founder of HomeBuyer Go, a free platform developed to help first time home buyers clearly understand and experiment with the different financial concepts in a home purchase.

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Appraisals hurting home sales

A huge stumbling block I’ve come across in the past month or so is getting an appraisal that is acceptable to a lender.  Lenders are being very skittish conservative about lending their money even though they receive billions of it from the Federal Government over the last few months.  One way they seem to have found a way to hold onto this stimulus money to fluff their bottom line is by introducing stricter acceptable appraisal guidelines.  Guidelines such as:

Comparable sales used to determine value can’t be older than 90 days

Comparable sales used to determine value can’t be farther than 0.50 miles in urban areas, 1.0 miles in suburban areas and 5.0 miles in rural areas.

And they are holding fast to these policies.  Just a few months ago comparables up to 6 months old were acceptable.  The distance from the subject property hasn’t changed much, if at all.  What has changed though is that lenders will not allow exceptions even when noted by the appraiser in the “Analysis” and “Additional Comments” sections of the appraisal.  Many times an appraiser has to go back more than 90 days or farther out than 1 mile from the subject property to find a like-property comparable.  For instance, if you have a fairly new home in a neighborhood surrounded by older homes.  Or your home is in a new neighborhood that hasn’t had many resales yet with which to determine value by.

What’s happening is that appraisers have had their hands tied on being able to accurately and honestly valuate your home.  The banks are now dictating what your home is worth, not the free market.

If the new Home Valuation Code of Conduct (I love that name, like the government is looking after you) goes into effect on May 1, 2009 this situation will just get worse and worse.

Remember, the banks are in it for themselves.  Independent brokers are in it for your benefit.  We are small businessmen and depend on your business – and the business of your friends and family – to stay in business.  Like any small business, if we don’t do right by you we don’t stay in business long – as seen with the huge exodus of loan officers and real estate agents from the industry over the past year.  Those that were in it for the quick buck haven’t survived.  Those that do this to help home buyers and home owners, and in turn help themselves and their family’s welfare, are still here.

So support your local independent broker.  And keep your rights as a homeowner in the forefront by contacting your elected officials and weighing-in on issues that harm you as a homeowner like the new HVCC.

For Salt Lake City, UT today’s average mortgage rates are as follows:

30-year fixed: 5.125%

15-year fixed: 4.75%

Conforming Jumbo 30-year fixed: 5.75%

FHA 30-year fixed: 5.50%

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