How To Overcome The Down Payment Blues

Don’t Be Sitting On The Sidelines

Don’t be the person who sits on the sidelines of purchasing your dream home because you lack a down payment. There isn’t any reason why Buyers shouldn’t be taking advantage of the low-down payment programs that are available to them. Buyers who are not taking full advantage of these programs are running the risk of spending more money on rent, delaying the potential of home price appreciation, forego the tax advantages of deducting mortgage interest and could be missing out on historically low mortgage rates.

High rents and low interest rates should be enough to convert more people into potential home buyers, but low-down payment options can add that extra point that tips the balance.

Private Mortgage Insurance

The most common methods of low-down payment loan options are conventional loans and FHA loans with private mortgage insurance (PMI). Loans with PMI can be more attractive because it requires a borrower to put as little as 3 to 3.5 percent down.  Private mortgage insurance may be an added expense to the mortgage payment, but this is the reason why homeowners qualify for a mortgage in the first place.

Private mortgage insurance started in 1957 and has served a reliable and affordable way of expanding homeownership by helping millions of families get into homes. Anytime a 20% down payment can’t be accomplished the private mortgage insurance steps in. This is insuring the lender in case the bower defaults on the loan. In the event of a default the insurance typically makes up the difference on what the lender may lose when they have to foreclose on the home.

Several Options For Low Down-Payment Mortgages

And it even gets better. There are so many mortgage programs that are available to Utah home buyers that will allow even 100% financing. Most popular 100 percent financing program is Utah Housing. Utah housing is a FHA back mortgage with down payment assistance of a second mortgage. A buyer is able to finance the 3.5 percent down payment that is a requirement of FHA into a second mortgage, thus allowing the buyer to purchase with no down payment.

Another popular low-down payment loan program is a VA. A VA loan is available to eligible American Veterans and their surviving spouse. There is no down payment required and is a 100% financing mortgage.

USDA home loan is another true 100% financing program, that is used in rural areas. Don’t let the rural areas fool you, this is usually any city or area with fewer than a population of 10,000. Here in Utah and Salt Lake areas there are places like Tooele, Saratoga Springs and Eagle Mountain that still offers USDA financing.

Gift funds are allowed and very popular has well. Most parents and even Grandparents wants to help their kids become home owners. Almost all the mortgage programs out there will allow a family member to gift funds for a down payment.

Of course, lets not forget about the several Grant programs that are out there. Almost every City and County has some form of Grants or free money to assist in buying a home. Not all Grants are for first time home buyers, some are available even if you have owned a home in the past. Some of these Grants are forgiven and some will need to be payed back.

A fantastic mortgage program that may not be 100% financing but is really close is a conventional loan from Freddie Mac that offers a 1% down program. With participating lenders, the lender will give 2% to the borrower and the borrower comes in with 1%, this makes up the required 3% down that conventional requires. This does more than just helps the buyer come in with little out of pocket, but they will come in and have instant equity in the home.

So, you can see the many options are available out there that will allow a buyer to purchase with very little money out of pocket. This will help cut the time down to save for a large 20 percent down and get the buyer into a home so they can start enjoying the pride of homeownership and get on the appreciation train that we are experiencing.

Find out what mortgage product you may qualify for or best fit your needs.

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2017 Salt Lake Housing Forecast

2017-forecast2017 season is upon us and the housing forecast is looking bright

Sal Lake County’s residential market had its best year since 2006. What helped the market is…strong job growth, increased in-migration, low mortgage rates, and solid wage gains-supported increased levels of sales activity  and pushed up single family and condominium prices to all-time highs.

Question is; Is there a housing Bubble?

The experts say no and this is why. The large increase in prices over the last five years raises the question of whether a housing price bubble is building. A 48 percent increase in five years is extraordinary. But this increase must be set in the context of the four years of declining housing prices.  For 16 consecutive quarters housing prices declined in Salt Lake County. That was a unique period in Sal Lake County’s real estate history. There had never been more than four quarter of declining prices. The return of prices to pre-recession levels should not be confused with a housing bubble.

Home prices will continue to increase

There are a number of factors that helped and will continue to help the housing market here in Utah. Although prediction is still positive for the area, experts don’t expect to see double digit rise in prices this year but a more moderate 5 – 7%.

For a complete free download of the 2017 forecast and Economic and Real Estate Market Outlook, visit our Utah Real Estate website.

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FHA Financing Just Got Better


FHA has lowered the annual Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) by 25 percent.

The high cost of Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) has unfortunately put homeownership out of reach for many first-time home buyers. This program will help to get these buyers back on the right road.

What this means to home buyers who were considering using FHA financing is that not only does the program offers only 3.5 percent down, the new annual mortgage premium can save the borrower hundreds of dollars a year. This will also help lower the debt-to-income ratio that the buyer/borrower needs to qualify for the mortgage.


Increase In Buying Power

The other door it will open is that it will help increase the buyer’s buying power. With home prices continually going up, some homes are becoming out of reach for buyers. With this new annual private mortgage insurance on a $225,000 home with 3.5% down the monthly cost for the PMI is $144.75. With the new premium the monthly cost is $99.52. A $45.23 savings may not sound like much, but this just increased the buyer’s buying power close to $10K.  In most areas, a $10k difference in a home cost can be a big change.

Buyers who were right on the edge of qualifying, this can be a game changer for them, allowing them to enter into the home buying market.


Don’t Overlook FHA

FHA mortgage products are here to serve an important part in the home buying process, providing homeownership opportunities to creditworthy borrowers who are overlooked by conventional loan programs. Lower credit scores and lower incomes are more acceptable through FHA financing.

Mortgage programs are continually to become more relaxed and affordable for borrowers and home buyers.  Want to see what mortgage program is right for you?

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Utah Holiday Fun For The Holidays

christmas   The Holiday season is here and with the Holidays brings fun activities that the whole family can enjoy. You can just hop in your vehicle and go see some lights, some are in neighborhoods that are free and some just cost a few dollars to drive through. You don’t have to be just confined to a car to see the lights, If you are up to a nice little stroll, there are plenty of places to see the amazing lights that the holidays bring.

There are plenty of other activates going on throughout Utah from festivals, to holiday plays and fundraisers. So, take a break from the everyday routine and from the busy shopping centers and enjoy the sights and festival activities that this season has to offer.

Below are links to some fun times for the Holidays.

Kids Out And About  

Utah Holiday Lights & Event Guide

2016 Guide to Christmas And Holiday Events In Utah

Find Your Fun Over The Next 10 Days In Northern Utah

Top 10 Places to see Christmas Lights Around Utah

Or you can go to just one place to get the links and links to other non-holidays activities in Utah at Be safe and enjoy the season!

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Utah Grant Money Available



house-moneyA Down Payment Can Be Challenging

Coming up with a down payment and closing cost can be one of the biggest challenges that a first-time home buyer has. It plays such an important part that it actually keeping these buyers from entering the home buying seen and holding them back on the sidelines.

But this reason alone should not be a factory for first time home buyers due to the available Grant Money and Assistant Down Payment Programs that are available. These programs are designed to ease the difficulty of saving for the down payment and closing cost that is associated with buying a home. Grant money will come with no interest accruing; some are forgiven after a period of time and some are paid back through either the sale of the home or with a refinancing of the mortgage.

With the aid of a down payment assistance which is different for Grant money, is a mortgage program that can loan up to 6% of the purchase amount that can be used towards down payment and closing cost through a second mortgage. This is as close to a 100% financing as you can get.  I have seen buyer’s walking into buying a home with under $1,000 out of pocket with these programs that is offered by Utah Housing Corporation.

Some Guidelines 

Household incomes cannot exceed 80% of the area median income and varies on the number of people that will be living in the home. Maximum purchase price for the Salt Lake County is $256,400 and first time home buyers are required to go through a home buyer education program, which is a good idea even if you are not applying for a Grant or Down Payment Assistance.

The grant money does tend to run out by the middle or end of summer, but will be replenished in the Fall time. However, the down payment assistance programs are available all the time and does not relay on funds to be available.

New Funds Available

New areas that have just been added for Grant money is South Jordan Utah and Sandy Utah. Actual award amount is based on individual need and is determined on a case-by-case basis up to the amount of $7,500 for these two Cities.

Some of these programs are available to people who have owned a home in the past or who has not owned in the last two years.

Free Guide

We have put together a comprehensive free guide for our local Grant Money and Down Payment Assistance programs for the areas in the State of Utah. This covers the amount of money available, forgiveness of the Grant and other details related to the Grants. You can request your FREE copy here.

There are great opportunities available to home buyers that will help homeownership become a reality without needing the funds for a down payment.

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Why Buying A Home In The Fall May Be The Best Time

Buying a home in the Fall time may be your best time to do so and here is why. If you were around the buying season this spring or heard of someone who was, there was a feeding frenzy going on. Multiple offers, offers way above the asking price and the disappointment of being beat out week after week by another party.

The Fall time brings slower time to the real estate market, those who were wanting to buy before their kids started school may have already done so or are now waiting for school to get out in the spring. Some people may have decided to just sit tight for the upcoming Holidays and Winter. For whatever reason the Fall time may be the best opportunity for most Buyers.

Here are some articles that also give reasons why Autumn is the time to buy.


7 Reasons Fall Might Just Be The Best Time To Buy
Spring and summer get all the real estate glory. But the very best time to buy a home is fall. Here’s why. Read More…
By Margret Heidenry |


The Perks of Buying a Home In The Fall
But the change of season doesn’t mean activity drops off completely – in fact, fall’s arrival presents opportunities for homebuyers. Read More…
By Suzanne De Vita | RISMedia’s HouseCalls


Buying Home In The Fall
When people think of a hot real estate market they usually think about the spring market but the fall is also a busy time for real estate and a great time to buy. Read More….
By Jim Sinnott | Bedard Realty



4 Reasons To Buy This Fall
It’s that time of year; the seasons are changing and with them come thoughts of the upcoming holidays, family get-togethers, and planning for a new year. Read More…
By Pat Laracy Baker | Key Advantage Realty

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First Home is Just A Stepping Stone To The Next One

Stepping Stone




My advice to first time home buyer has always been this; your first home is just a stepping stone to your next home.

Build Equity Quick In Today’s Market

With the speed of the market right now, sometimes it’s not about looking to find that perfect home but to find a home that will work for now and a home that has most if not all of the qualities you desire in a home. I’m not implying to give up everything you want in a home and settle only to be miserable living there, but look at compromising on a few items if need to be.

For the first time home-buyer, their first home won’t be their last and defiantly won’t be their only home they buy but just the beginning of homes to come.  Once you buy this first home, keep it maintained, maybe do a little upgrading here and there. The plan is to make the home better than when you first bought it, even if it is just minor upgrades.

The main goal is to buy a home in an increasing market and you will start to gain equity through appreciation almost immediately. In 2 to 5 years, depending on the speed of equity gain, you can sell the home and be able to buy up to a better, bigger home and maybe in a more desirable area and able to get that two car garage that you may of sacrifice on the first home.

With the equity in this current home you will be able to put more money down on the next and have more money for upgrades to the new home or just be able to put some away in savings.

You Don’t Need 20% Down To Buy

Most buyer’s, especially first time home buyers, may not have the funds for the down payment, so they may say why bother to try. With grant programs and assistant down payment program available, this really should not get in the way of home ownership.

The myth you need 20% down is just that, a myth. With these local down payments assistant programs available, not just first for time home buyers I might add, you can easily get into a home with little or no money down.

Get Off The Fence

Don’t be a fence sitter and wait for the perfect timing or that perfect house to come on the market or until you have 20% down saved up, get into the game before prices continue to increase and interest rates start walking upwards. Someone will reap the equity gain, why not you?

Find out more about Utah’s Grants and Down Payment Assistance Programs.

Search for homes in Salt Lake and surrounding areas here.

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