City Creek Mortgage News

At City Creek Mortgage, we’re here to help first-time homebuyers looking to enter the market in smart ways. From helping debunk common myths that often face first-timers to helping them find the programs that fit their situation, our mortgage experts are here to help if you’re new to the market.

Some of what goes into being a good first-time homebuyer just speaks generally to doing good research, plus being both diligent and flexible during the process. Let’s look at some of the top tips we give our first-time homebuyers.

Research Programs

Depending on several factors, including your credit score, income, locality and even your spousal or children situation, you might qualify for a number of different loan programs that are either designed specifically for first-time buyers or are very beneficial to them. One good example here is the FHA loan, which is backed by the Federal Housing Administration – it allows people who don’t have a full 20 percent available to use as a down payment to get financed with far less money down.

There are other programs that might benefit first time homebuyers as well and you should consider all of these. If you are able to qualify for any of them, they can help make your expenses lower.

Financial Snapshot

To whatever degree you feel comfortable, prepare yourself financially for this process. Many websites have basic financial snapshot worksheets you can complete either on the computer or by hand. Areas you should be looking closely at include your credit score, your income, and your current debt situation compared to your overall credit limit.

Be Ready to Compromise

When preparing for a home search, you should be discussing with your spouse and any other family members the qualities you need in a home and the qualities you desire – and in the latter case, you should be willing to have at least some flexibility. If you have children, multiple bedrooms will be an absolute must that you can’t sacrifice; on the other hand, a two-car family might be able to let go of that dream of a three-car garage if it’s simply outside your price range. Be realistic and flexible on the amenities and qualities you’re looking for.

Down Payments

There are a number of misconceptions out there about down payments, and perhaps the largest is that you absolutely must have 20 percent down to get approved for any loan. Average down payments are far lower than this in reality, and there are some programs that require no down payment whatsoever if you qualify. Once again, do your research here before simply assuming you can’t enter the market without 20 percent up front.

For more tips for first-time homebuyers, or to learn about any of our mortgage loan services, speak to the pros at City Creek Mortgage today. 

Last time in this space, we went over some of the primary “do” areas as part of our two-part do’s and don’ts series for mortgages. Achieving a successful mortgage and home buying experience means following the right steps, but also means avoiding the proper roadblocks to accomplish a few basic things.

At City Creek Mortgage, we’re here to help whether you’re looking at a conventional mortgage, FHA loan, VA loan or another type. Today, we’ll go over the “don’t” section of this series – here are some areas you should avoid wherever possible to ensure a smooth mortgage process.

Make Big Credit Changes

As we noted in part one, credit is one of the single most important factors when it comes to getting approved for a great mortgage rate and program. We went over checking and understanding your credit in the “do” section, but one important point to be made here as well: Avoid opening or closing major lines of credit during periods where you’re looking at a mortgage.

Why? Well, because these behaviors can negatively impact your credit. This, in turn, can limit the programs you qualify for and leave you looking at worse rates than you expected.

Be Unprepared for Document Requests

Mortgage lenders have to be detailed and careful about who they lend money to, and this means getting a full picture of your finances through several different methods. We discussed being prepared for this in our first section, including having documents like your tax returns, paystubs and bank statements available and easy to access.

However, even if you’re very detailed here, be prepared for further possible requests. The underwriter may need some other document to help close the loan, for instance. Don’t be surprised or suspicious here as long as these requests come through the proper channels.

Respond Slowly

Down similar lines, expect to hear from loan professionals you’re working with regularly during the process – and be ready for this. The key to some closing situations is providing documentation and other information quickly, so this needs to be your top priority.

Make Unaccounted Deposits

When it comes to mortgages, lenders place a high priority on being able to document the source of funds you’re using for down payments, closing costs and your monthly payments. Even if you’re using gift funds, for instance, you need to be able to prove the source of these gifts.

For this reason, avoid any large cash transfers you can’t provide this proof for. Regardless of the reason, these could raise red flags and slow or even stop the process in some cases.

Go it Alone

Throughout this process, know that you have help available in every area. Our loan professionals will answer even what seems like the silliest of questions – this is one of the biggest financial commitments of your entire life, and we want you to feel comfortable and supported while taking these steps.

For more on the areas to avoid within the mortgage process, or to learn about any of our mortgage services, speak to the pros at City Creek Mortgage today. 

At City Creek Mortgage, we’re here to help with every step of the process if you are looking to purchase a home. From your preliminary mortgage research up to closing day itself, plus any refinancing needs down the line, our mortgage professionals will help you understand and move through the stages of acquiring a mortgage and getting into the home of your dreams.

This involves steering you in the right direction, but it also involves the flip side of this: Helping you avoid the pitfalls that can crop up during this process and derail your efforts. In this two-part blog series, we’ll go over the do’s and don’ts for the mortgage process – here’s part one, on the “do” areas you want to emphasize as you get started.

Check and Understand Your Credit

One of the first steps to any mortgage process involves checking your credit score, which has several factors that go into the weighting and final calculation of your number. Not only should you know what your score is, as this plays a big role in the kinds of mortgage programs you qualify for, you should also work to understand why your score is the way it is – particularly if it’s lower than you expected.

You should also be checking your credit to see if there are any inaccuracies from credit bureaus. These aren’t common, but they do happen from time to time and it’s your right to contact the credit agency and have the issue resolved.

Get Pre-Approved

Pre-approval is a process where you submit financial information to a third party, who assesses your situation and gives you a detailed report on the kinds of loans and programs you can expect to qualify for. Pre-approval is a fantastic way to get a head start on the process, and it also shows sellers you’re serious about things and have already obtained proof of your purchasing power. People with pre-approval in hand as they begin their home search can generally make stronger offers than those without.

Keep Solid Records

Lenders require documentation for your income, employment, debt and a few other possible areas. If your records are in good order, including tax documents, this will be simpler for everyone involved. Lenders should be able to easily track how money comes in and out of your accounts to get a good picture of your finances.

Maintain Stable Financial Indicators

Lenders and sellers alike want to see stability in areas like employment and income, so do your best to keep these consistent near the time of a mortgage application. If you were considering quitting your job in the near future, for instance, perhaps hold off temporarily until after closing – even if this move won’t negatively impact you financially. The exception here would be any positive change in this area, such as getting a raise or a promotion, as these make you look better to lenders.

Make a Savings Plan

This is a great time to be saving money, both for your down payment and for important closing costs. Try to avoid major purchases you don’t absolutely need, and focus on a separate account where you save as much as possible.

For more on the do’s and don’ts of the mortgage process, or to learn about any of our home loan services, speak to the friendly staff at City Creek Mortgage today.

If you’re considering buying a home for the first time, you’re probably already aware that this will be one of the single biggest financial commitments of your life. Buying a home is a big monetary step for many people, and involves a detailed process of budgeting and ensuring your finances are properly organized ahead of time.

At City Creek Mortgage, we can help you with every step along the road toward finding a great mortgage and using it to purchase the home of your dreams. This includes assisting you with all your basic budgeting and financial areas, from your future expectations to your recent history that will determine many important details, such as the mortgage rates you qualify for. With that in mind, let’s go over three important budgeting areas to assess well in advance of any mortgage or home purchase.

Budgeting Monthly

The most common budgeting format for Americans is a monthly one, and while it’s totally fine if you utilize some other method normally, you should strongly consider making a change within the realm of your mortgage. Mortgage payments are made monthly, and as these will be some of your most significant expenses, it makes sense to align your entire budgeting system this way.

In today’s modern age, making a trackable budget is simple and easy. There are numerous apps, software programs or even simple spreadsheets that allow you to track income and expenses, including detailing all the specific sources and their relevant numbers. The entire budgeting process for your mortgage will feel a lot simpler once you have a basic handle on your monthly figures and what you can or can’t afford on top of them.

Credit Report

Once you’ve set your basic budget and have a baseline for your finances, it’s time to get a copy of your credit report. This is information is collected by three major credit reporting agencies. The data is what lenders look at closely when it comes to assessing your credit worthiness.

Using your financial history, particularly your repayment of debt in a timely manner, a credit score will give a single number that reflects your overall likelihood of repaying back a loan. You can obtain your credit score for free at least once a year without dinging the score at all, so take advantage of this.

Down Payment Considerations

Finally, consider the funds you might have available to put down on a down payment. This isn’t necessarily required for every purchase, but having one can not only speed up the process but also lower your total amount of interest paid over the life of the loan. Your down payment total may also play a big role in whether or not you’re required to carry private mortgage insurance.

For more on arranging your finances ahead of a mortgage, or to learn about any of our mortgage loan services, speak to the pros at City Creek Mortgage today. 

Happy 20th Birthday City Creek Mortgage

Who would have guessed that a couple of kids who met in their teens would marry, build a business, and work together for over 20 years? Every statistic out there says it’s almost impossible—and they’re right! Some days, “hard” is a laughable understatement.

But as we look back over the last two decades at all the families we’ve helped, all of the teammates we worked alongside, all the loyal referral partnerships we have built, and at all the challenges we’ve faced, we are grateful to our core.

Your stories fuel us. Our mission is to help you build beautiful lives just as you have helped us build ours!

Saying THANK YOU for choosing us doesn’t begin to communicate our appreciation. But thank you nonetheless.

When it comes to paying down a mortgage, budgeting is a very important area for homebuyers. Failing to stay within a budget may risk missed payments or other issues that can reflect badly on their financial profile, while those who are diligent and disciplined will leave themselves in good shape – and if you go the extra mile, a mortgage can even become a fantastic financial asset.

At City Creek Mortgage, we’re here to help you buy a home that becomes a positive investment for you in the long run. One strategy for doing so? Making one extra mortgage payment each year as part of your budget. Let’s go over the various formats you can use while doing this, plus how this practice will benefit you over time.

Ways of Doing It

There are a few different ways of making an extra yearly mortgage payment:

  • Boosting each monthly payment: Take your extra payment amount, then divide it by 12. From here, just add that amount to each monthly payment – be sure to specify that this additional amount is to be applied to your principal balance, not interest.
  • Bi-weekly payments: Instead of making one monthly payment, take that same amount, divide it in half, and then pay that amount every other week instead. Over the course of the full year, this will result in you making exactly one extra payment toward your principal amount, due to the fact that most months are slightly longer than four weeks.
  • Single lump sum: Spend the year budgeting and saving up a full additional monthly payment, then determine a date when you send it in full. Again, specify that this extra payment is meant to go toward principal only.

Why Do It?

If you have the financial flexibility to use any of the methods detailed above, you should absolutely consider it. Benefits might include:

  • Generating equity: The higher a percentage of your home that you “own” (that you’ve paid off, in other words), the more equity you have in it. This means that you get more profit if you choose to sell, and equity can also be used as a way of creating additional financing for home improvement or other areas. Extra yearly payments build equity faster for you.
  • Paying less interest: As we noted above, you’ll be ensuring your additional payments go toward your principal loan balance. This will lower the amount of interest you pay, as interest is generated as a percentage of the principal amount remaining. Over the life of the loan, you can save thousands of dollars this way.
  • Paying off early: Through a single extra yearly payment, you’ll likely pay off your mortgage several years earlier than you would have otherwise. This frees you from monthly payments faster, plus as we noted, saves you interest.

For more on how making extra mortgage payments benefits you, or to learn about any of our mortgage loan services, contact the pros at City Creek Mortgage today.

As those who have been through it before can tell you, buying a home comes with a few basic processes. These processes naturally have expected time periods in which they’re completed, and while these can vary a bit within each situation, there’s a general range you can expect heading into the mortgage and homebuying process.

At City Creek Mortgage, we can do a few things when it comes to these processes while you’re buying a home. We can help familiarize you with them, for starters, but we can also offer tips on shortening certain areas for buyers who may need to close a bit faster than normal. Why might you need to close faster on a mortgage loan, and how can you go about making this happen?

Why Close Quickly?

There are actually a number of reasons why you might need to close sooner than normal if you’re a buyer. They include:

  • You’re relocating to a new city, perhaps with date requirements for a new job.
  • You have a baby or a new pet on the way and require more space in a bigger home.
  • Your first home is for sale or has already sold, and you need a second home.
  • You’re a home flipper who has identified a hot market and is looking to capitalize on it.
  • You’ve done your research on mortgage rates and expect them to rise in the near future, so are hoping to close before this happens.

Typical Process Time Periods

The general homebuying process can vary in length depending on a few factors, including the market, the home you’re looking for, and the areas you’re searching in. You can generally plan for at last a month of searching for a home, then between another 30 and 60 days for the mortgage closing process to be completed. Basically, expect a standard homebuying process involving a mortgage to take between three and four months.

Tips for Shortening the Process

This doesn’t always have to be the case, however. There are some basic things you can do to help speed up the process, including the following:

  • Pre-approval: Pre-approval is an official process where you provide your lender with significant documentation, including credit information and other important financials. You go through the underwriting process as well, and get a detailed estimate of the price range you’ll have available to you based on the mortgages you qualify for. Pre-approval allows you to both save time and bolster your initial purchase offers in many cases.
  • Great realtor: If possible, look to a local expert in a realtor who knows your area. They can help you find great homes, and also can negotiate for you.
  • Planning and flexibility: Do as much advanced planning as you can before ever starting the process. Consider the things you’re prioritizing in your search, whether this is neighborhood quality or home amenities. Prepare your paperwork in advance, plus ensure financial areas like your credit score are in good order. At the same time, be prepared to be flexible and meet the needs of your lender or underwriter quickly to help move the process along.

For more on getting a mortgage closed out quickly, or to learn about any of our mortgage services, speak to the staff at City Creek Mortgage today.

At City Creek Mortgage, we’re here to help you understand all the basics of a given mortgage loan if you’re buying a home. This is one of the biggest financial commitments you’ll make in your entire life, and you need to have a clear picture of the rates available to you and all the other important financial details.

One of the biggest questions many clients have here: What are the basics of a given mortgage payment that I’ll make each month? Let’s go over the primary financial elements of a mortgage payment, plus a few options you have in this arena.

Elements of a Payment

There are four primary elements of a mortgage payment, which is generally due on the first of each month. These elements are:

  • Principal: Principal refers to the part of your monthly payment that goes toward the actual remaining balance. As you move into later years of your mortgage, a higher and higher percentage of the principal amount will be paid off with each payment.
  • Interest: This is the fee that you’re charged by a lender for borrowing this money, a rate that’s set during your approval process. The best way to view interest is in APR (Annual Percentage Rate) format, which includes mortgage insurance and any fees that were folded in.
  • Taxes: Monthly property taxes can also be part of the mortgage payment.
  • Insurance: In many mortgages, the buyer will also have to purchase homeowners and/or private mortgage insurance.

Taxes and Insurance Options

The last two sections mentioned above, taxes and insurance, come with a few options as to how they’re paid. Here are the most common options:

  • Holding in escrow: This is a format where your lender gets your tax bills and any insurance bills, then estimates a monthly amount that will be needed to cover them. Each month, they’ll collect that as part of your mortgage payment and hold it in an escrow account, to be paid as these bills are due.
  • Self payment: A format where you actually pay taxes and insurance bills yourself, directly. These payments often aren’t monthly or on the same schedule as standard mortgage payments, though, so remember to be diligent about due dates.

For more on the basic elements of a mortgage payment, or to learn about any of our other mortgage loan services, speak to the pros at City Creek Mortgage today.

There are several important factors when it comes to getting a great mortgage for a new home or refinance, and one of the biggest is the down payment. While you obviously want to get the best mortgage rate possible, the amount you spend up front on your down payment is generally the single largest bulk spend during this process.

At City Creek Mortgage, we can help with all down payment-related areas. Unfortunately, a number of misconceptions have formed in the mortgage world surrounding down payments, and these often misinform buyers. With that in mind, let’s look to debunk a few of these down payment myths.

10 Percent Minimum Requirement

According to a study by NAR, well over half of first-time homebuyers are convinced that without a 10 percent down payment on the principal loan amount, they will be totally blocked from obtaining a mortgage for a new home. Simply put, this is false.

Average down payments for all loans today range between 5 and 10 percent of the principal total, with some programs offering down payment options as low as 3 percent. There are even some special options that come with no down payment requirement whatsoever. An assumption that you can’t get any kind of mortgage without 10 percent down could keep you from finding a lot of great home options.

Mortgage Insurance Requirement

Another related myth is that if you don’t have 20 percent to put down up front, you’ll automatically be required to purchase private mortgage insurance (PMI). But again, there are several loan programs that do not require this, including VA loans and other types – some with no PMI and others with significantly reduced rates.

Private Mortgage Insurance Myths

Another myth about PMI is that it protects the buyer, their home or a potential foreclosure situation. This isn’t the purpose of private mortgage insurance – rather, it’s to protect the lender from default on the loan. There is no foreclosure protection. Also, be sure you don’t mix up PMI with homeowner’s insurance, which is indeed for the buyer and protects your physical property.

Another big misconception with PMI is that it cannot be canceled, but this is patently untrue. PMI is only in place to protect a lender when less than 20 percent equity has been paid or built up in the home – even if you don’t put 20 percent down up front, you’ll build this level of equity at some point during the mortgage. At this point, PMI can be removed in most cases. It will be automatically cancelled when your balance reaches 78 percent of the original value, but you can request the cancelation sooner in writing if your home value has gone up enough.

For more on the down payment process, or to learn about any of our mortgage services, speak to the pros at City Creek Mortgage today.

This year, I applied and was accepted into the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small business program. It was like getting an MBA in City Creek Mortgage from Babson College, which is ranked #1 in Entrepreneurship. The $20,000 cost was completely underwritten by Goldman Sachs and is an amazing gift to any small business owner.

This 3 month (typically 1 day per week) program was the most powerful, comprehensive and valuable education I have ever received and I’m excited to launch my new growth plan next month.

To qualify you must:

    • Own your business or be the majority decision maker
    • Been in business for at least 2 years
    • Have 10 or more employees
    • Earn over 1 million per year in gross revenue

If you would like to learn more about how the GS10KSB program can help you grow your business, you can contact Contact Mike Ballif at or 801-957-5396. Tell him Tobi sent you and you’ll receive extra special attention. ☺ I’m also available for any questions. #ContinuousImprovement

Graduation Day abd Tobi is voted as the Goldman Sach’s valedictorian speaker for graduation. Thank you to Gretchen Figge for sweetly insisting Tobi join her in this program.