Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Understanding Advertised Mortgage Rates

By Toni Ryan, First Priority Financial

Ads for home loan offerings are everywhere. Online, on TV, driving down the street, or listening to the radio, mortgage loans are probably the most common advertisement.
Banks and mortgage companies promise that they will do whatever they can to offer homeowners the lowest mortgage payment. It is important to understand the rate market and that it is constantly changing   daily and often hourly.  When you see an ad from a bank or mortgage lender that offers a lower rate, or gives you one solid payment figure based on a certain loan amount, you should be skeptical. In fact, most banks and lenders usually offer rates to just bring you in the door, though you may never actually be offered the advertised rate.
A mortgage program and it's subsequent payment is so complex that it is difficult to actually advertise one fixed mortgage rate or payment specific to a borrower without thoroughly interviewing the borrower. There are too many factors that will influence a homeowner's interest rate. The advertisements are examples based upon the highest credit score, low loan amounts, the home, etc.  
So what do you do?  Do your homework.  Ask family friends and co-workers who they used when they last refinanced or purchased a home.  Make calls and interview the loan officer to see if they listen to your needs and have your best interest in mind.  Do not let your credit be pulled but instead ask for the rates based upon a 680 credit score and a 740 score, loan amount versus value of your home and whether you are wanting cash out from the equity of your home.  These factors will allow you to compare options equally. Also ask for the lowest rate program and the lowest fee program based upon the above factors. The lowest rate may not be in your best interest so it is important to know all the facts.  A little time now can save you a lot of money and frustration later.
Rates are still low and equity in existing homes is rising so the time to evaluate your current mortgage or purchase a home is still great.  Connect with a lending professional who can guide you through the choices, educate you on the rate market trends and listen to your needs.  Your mortgage loan is a critical component in your financial picture so partner with a professional you can trust.

Business Website Calls to Action

By Ashlei Jackson, Qlixite

I recently reviewed a website for a potential client. She has beautiful site with tons of graphics. Her goal is to get customer emails or calls (leads) from her site but over the last 4 years - she’s gotten nothing. It took me less than 5 minutes to figure out her main problem...no call to action.
Many websites are made like visual resumes. There's usually plenty of text and maybe some pictures but then what? Why should I stick around? How do I get started? Ask yourself these questions when looking at your business' website (specifically your home page) and then think about what kind of elements would make your customer "click." You want people to engage with your business which requires an effective call to action. You have to tell them what you want!
A call to action is a feature on your website that demands a response from the visitor. It can be a button, linked text or a special graphic that is enticing. In a less-than-subtle way, it says "look at me" and in an equally overt manner it says "click here." Calls to action should not be hidden - they must stand out and grab attention in less than 5 seconds (that's usually how much time you get to make a web visitor take action.

Are You Prepared For Our Multiple Offer Market?

By Christine Schlittenhart, Sierra Pacific Real Estate

If you're an active Buyer right now, then I'm sure you know what a wild market we are experiencing.   Gone are the days of the “Low Ball Offers”. Today's Buyer needs to be quick, prepared, educated and pre-qualified to keep up with our current fast paced multi-offer market.  Not only are most of our listings getting multiple offers within the first week of being listed, they are selling at or above listing price.
• Quick Buyer:  Today's Buyer needs to be looking at the properties sent to them by their agent on a daily basis, if not multiple times a day.  When the right property comes on the market, you need to be at the front door with your Realtor ready to see it and ready to write an offer.
• Prepared Buyer:  Today's Prepared Buyer has already met with a lender and knows the purchase price they are qualified for and has a current pre-qualification letter in hand along with proof of any cash being used for the home purchase.
• Educated Buyer:  Today's educated Buyer has asked their Realtor what homes are selling for in their desired area and has asked their Realtor to run sold comparables on the home they are interested in.  Today's educated Buyer will write the highest and best offer from the start, limiting the amount of work and money to be handled/spent by the Seller. Also, today's educated Buyer does not rely on inaccurate sites such as Zillow, Trulia and Redfin, and relies on properties being sent to them by their Realtor through Metrolist.
In the last six months (as of 7/16/13), 83 properties sold within the boundaries of Christian Valley, Meadow Vista, Applegate and Weimar.  Out of those 83 properties, the average sold price versus listing price averaged out at 99%!!  The average days on market was 64 days, with 22 of the properties selling within 10 days or less.  Even though we are seeing a slight increase in available properties, we still have an abundance of Buyer's all competing for these properties.  
Call one of your local Meadow Vista Merchant Realtors today and become the Quick, Educated & Prepared Buyer that will get the home of their dreams!  (Data taken from Prospector.Metrolist on 7/16/13.)

Meadow Vista Community Center Update

Dental Health affects School Performance and Self-esteem

By Dr. Scott Thompson, DDS, Winning With Smiles

A recent nationwide study published in Pediatrics demonstrated a significant correlation
with reductions in school performance and psychosocial well-being. Children with dental problems were more likely to have problems at school and to miss school, and were less likely to do all required homework. Dental problems were associated with shyness, unhappiness, feeling of worthlessness, and reduced friendliness. The effects of dental problems on unhappiness and feeling of worthlessness were largest for adolescents between 15 and 17 years.

Preventing and treating dental problems and improving dental health may benefit child academic achievement and cognitive and psychosocial development.

A reminder to start early.  The first tooth deserves a dental home.  If you are going to prevent tooth decay, you have to start before the decay starts.

Recipe: Summer Spaghetti

Wine Tasting Tips

By Bear River Winery

Going wine tasting?  Here are a few wine tasting tips for the sensory evaluation of wine.  Humans are the most sensitive sensory instrument there is for analyzing wine.  Most people prefer sweet white wines at first, finding the sometimes bitter flavors of red wines unpleasant.  As we become familiar with wine, we begin to perceive and appreciate the detail and complexity found in wine.
When tasting wine, it is helpful to break down the experience into several categories including appearance, aroma, taste and flavor (a combination of aroma and taste).  If you look at wine in natural light, white wines will appear light yellow but will darken to amber with age or oxidation.  Red wines are ruby red with a purple tinge when young but become somewhat browner with age or oxidation.  Intensity of color is related to grape variety and for red wine is also due to skin contact during fermentation.  Looking through the wine it should appear somewhat clear.  Cloudiness or haziness might be related to microbial spoilage but could also be from an unfiltered wine.  Swirling the wine in your glass with small circular motions will help to release the aromas of the wine.  You will see lines dripping down the inside of the glass commonly known as tears or legs due to the lower surface tension of alcohol compared to water.  Higher alcohol wines will show more legs.
After swirling the wine, place your nose into the top of the glass and breathe in deeply.  You will smell varietal and other complex aromas related to how the wine was processed and cellared. You will smell aromas ranging from fruity or spicy to floral or vegetable.  There might be earthy, woody or nutty odors.  Standardized aroma wheels are commonly found on the internet and can be helpful to describe what you sense.  Different noses will detect different aromas and everyone seems to describe wines a little differently.
When you taste wine, you may notice that your tongue really only senses four basic tastes consisting of sweet, sour, bitter or salty.  The sweet will be on the tip of your tongue while the sour will be on the sides and the bitter will be in the back.  The sweet taste comes from residual sugar while sour is from acid and bitter from tannins.  Astringency such as hotness from alcohol or mouth-feel from tannin is a sensation and not really a taste and both usually mellow with age.  As the wine hits the back of your mouth you will notice additional flavors from aromas traveling up through your nasal passages in your throat.  It is common to talk about lingering flavors after you swallow as the back end of the wine.  Have fun tasting.

Meadow Vista Mountain Mikes Coupons

Dessert & a Movie...A Success!