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Our team secretly came together for this photo while we were out of town and put it up on billboards for our return.
Mike and I started this amazing journey when Austin Taylor Roberts was still in a baby carrier sleeping under my desk.CCM_Turns_19_Years_txt
It has been the most rewarding, challenging, painful, scary, and exciting thing we’ve ever done…and we wouldn’t change it for anything.
Every day we get to work with our friends who believe what we believe and share our mission to be the most Trusted, Respected & Loved mortgage company in Utah….and soon beyond 🙂
I could not be more proud of this team, of the company we have all built and to all of you who honor us with the opportunity to serve.
Here’s to another amazing 19 years!

– Tobi Roberts

 

My wife and I are considered by many to have a hot, sexy marriage. I must admit, that’s a badge I wear proudly. It seems rare to find couples who met in high school 28 years ago who are still passionately in love. I often get asked what are secret is. Although I’m far from an expert I have created a theory that has greatly helped me. and I’d like to share it with you.

Healing Conflict – According to Mike

Conflicts are one of the greatest relational challenges we face in life. Although they can be painful, they can also provide opportunities for personal growth. In fact, some of my greatest growth stemmed from the hardest trials I have experienced.

If you truly analyze the root of personal conflicts you encounter with another person, you will find that many of them stem from a misalignment of how each person is proportionately valuing two mutually exclusive alternatives. For example, in a marriage one person may value their work more than having dinner as a family at 5:30 pm each night. It isn’t that either party is right or wrong, it’s simply that they are not valuing the two options the same.

Whether it’s intimacy, time together, spending money, or how active a lifestyle they live, all couples have areas in their lives where they’re not in alignment. In such cases, there are three options that will avoid continual conflict:

1. One or both parties genuinely alter their values to come into alignment with the other person in a true and healthy way.

2. You live according to your alignment and your spouse modifies his/her behavior to “artificially” align with your values. In this case, you may be happy and feel that all is good, but your spouse will live in conflict.

3. You adjust your behavior to artificially align with the values of your spouse. In this case, you feel pain and continue to live out of alignment with what you believe.

Clearly the first option is the only healthy solution. In many cases, issues that are creating conflict can be mutually aligned with a discussion and a real look in to what each person is valuing in a situation.

In the case of the above example, the person working while the rest of the family is eating dinner together may not be what they truly want in life. They may just be in a competitive job that requires they work beyond 5:00 even though they truly would like to be at home sharing time with their family over dinner. Or maybe they do value working long hours to provide for their family. …Understanding the WHY behind the behavior is the first step in coming together.

As for #s 2 and 3, these are far more painful and have the greatest chance of creating division and distance in a relationship. From what I have witnessed, it seems there are five possible outcomes:

1. The conflict eventually ends the relationship.

2. One person continues to live out of alignment with their values, in a state of conflict, while the other person goes on; possibly not even realizing they are creating pain for their spouse. This is the case when you hear of someone who thought they had a wonderful marriage and then received surprise divorce papers. They didn’t realize that their spouse was existing in conflict that eventually caused them to snap.

3. Each person compromises and they establish an agreed upon solution that is comfortable to both parties.

4. The person living out of alignment adjusts their values in a healthy way to become in alignment with the other.

5. The person setting the course re-aligns their values.

The reality is that each of us need to question what we are truly valuing in life, and determine which values are healthy and which ones are not. For example, if I was to have a girlfriend on the side, it would be an indication that I might be valuing attention from another above my marriage commitment. This would clearly be an unhealthy value that would not serve me or my family well. I would then get help to realign my values in a healthier way.

The key takeaways that I hope you learn from this are:

1. Talk openly when you are out of alignment with your spouse’s behavior.

2. Never make your spouse wrong when they verbalize that they are out of alignment with you. It isn’t a matter or right or wrong. It’s simply that current values aren’t in alignment.

3. Seek to create a level of safety in your relationship where both parties feel comfortable discussing areas in which they feel conflict.

Having a fulfilling relationship for almost 30 years takes work, hard work. Of course, we work on different issues today than we did back then. It’s a never-ending commitment.

I hope you find value in my theory. It has certainly helped contribute to the success of my relationship. If I get a good response from this, maybe one day I’ll share my fool-proof recipe for a passionate sex life! 😊

You’ve made the decision to buy a home. This process can be both nerve-wracking and exciting, especially if it’s your first time. You might not know what to expect and feeling uncertain. Most of your concerns can be put to rest once you do a little homework. Follow these 4 tips to ease your worries and help the process run smoothly.

Check Your Credit Score

One of the most crucial factors to qualifying for a mortgage is your credit score. Evaluate your credit report and look for collection accounts, unpaid accounts, and mistakes. Knowing your credit score will help you prepare for purchasing your new home because you know where you’ll stand.

Analyze Your Liabilities and Assets

Keeping track of your monthly cash flow is important. Take time to understand your spending habits and what your budget looks like. Knowing where your money goes will help you save better for your first home. Knowing your liabilities helps in being prepared. For example, self-employed individuals may need to show a longer history of earnings to qualify for a loan.

Organize Your Documents

Documenting your taxes and income is required for homebuyers. Here are some documents you’ll likely need to show mortgage lenders:

  • W-2s from the last 2 years
  • Tax returns
  • Bank statements from the last 2 months

Mortgage lenders look for nonsufficient funds or if there are any odd trends of money going in or out. Having these documents ready before you start actively searching for a home will save time.

Know Your Down Payment

Make sure you’re ready to make a down payment. If you’re not able to do this on your own, you may qualify for assistance loans. This can help take the edge off of the down payment and secure your new home.

As you can tell, it only takes a few steps to ease some of your anxieties about buying a home. Preparedness is key and City Creek Mortgage can help. Follow the above steps to save time and be ready to qualify for a new home.

A mortgage is an important financial service that lets homeowners leverage the value inherent in their property. Deciding to take out a mortgage on your home is a big step because it will have financial repercussions for many years to come. Savvy homeowners can help themselves make sense of their mortgage options with the help of a simple to use online mortgage calculator. We offer one of these calculators on the City Creek Mortgage website for our customers to use. Once you understand how this simple tool works, you can use it to make more informed decisions about your financial future.

Why Bother Calculating?

Monthly mortgage payments have to be part of the household budget. Depending on the sort of mortgage product you select, you might make the same payments throughout the lifetime of the loan or a slightly different amount. You can see the differences between your options just by entering some basic information. With some hard numbers to refer to, you can see more clearly which option is going to suit your lifestyle and your needs best.

How to Use a Mortgage Calculator

The mortgage calculator you will find on our website requires only a few basic pieces of information. To get started, you will need to know some basic loan information, including:

  • The price of the home you wish to mortgage
  • Any down payment associated with the loan
  • The relevant percentage rate
  • The loan structure of your mortgage

These four pieces of information will provide you with the monthly payment associated with that mortgage. You can even see how much money is applied to the loan principle, interest, and insurance.  Experiment with different values and loan types to discover the differences between your options. Then you can choose the mortgage loan that best suits your needs and personal finances.

City Creek Mortgage provides several other valuable financial calculators on our website. Use these to get a more precise look at your personal financial circumstances.

The stock market appears to be stalling, unable to break above the overhead resistance of 1935 on the S&P 500 that we identified in yesterday’s market update.  This comes right at the same time the bond market hit a floor of support holding prices from falling lower.  This is a good sign for mortgage interest rates, which have moved higher by nearly .25% in the recent trading days.  The correction lower could prove to be a healthy move for the bond market, which could now build the strength needed to make another run higher.  The outcome will likely fall on the stock market.  If stocks continue to fall from here, mortgage interest rates could be the beneficiary. 

 

James Bullard, a current voting member on the Federal Reserve, was speaking last night in St. Louis about the current state of the US economy.  He said that it would be unwise to raise interest rates in an environment of declining inflation expectations.  Since James is considered to be one of the more “hawkish” voting members of the Fed, this is a really clear sign that they will be in a holding pattern and not raising rates anytime soon. 

 

Initial Jobless Claims for last week were reported this morning to be 262,000.  This was stronger than the 269,000 anticipated by the market, and represents a drop of 7,000 from the previous week.  Most importantly, it was the “sample” week used in the ADP and BLS Employment estimates.  Given that this was the strongest number reported in the past three months, this will influence a more robust month of new hires for the month of February. 

 

Although bond prices are currently stable, it’s too early to say if we will see improvement in the near future.  You can float as long as we remain above current support.  However, if you aren’t able to watch the markets closely, the safe play will be to have a locking bias. 

 

Turning 40 is somewhat of a big deal. Just ask my wife, Tobi. She recently faced this milestone. Unlike when I had my turn, she handled the transition like a pro. Maybe it was the ENORMOUS ice cream sundae we shared, or just her positive perspective that made the day a true celebration.

One lesson I have personally learned over the years is that birthdays are easier when you are comfortable with where your life is relative to your age. Since I have experienced both sides of this coin, I know the value of making wise decisions that lead to longer term happiness. Knowing this, I closely watched how well she faced the change. I was pleased to see her respond like a champ, and without a single tear!

When your youngest enters the realm of high school, you begin to realize just how quickly time passes. My daughter, Mikaela, is part of the 9th grade class at Corner Canyon, the brand new high school in Draper. She is an avid soccer player and will now represent her high school on the soccer field. As a natural born competitor, she looks forward to the challenges and opportunities that come with being part of a new team.

As most young athletes learn, the time commitment to play high school and competitive sports is immense and requires much sacrifice. Mikaela is no stranger to hard work; from a very early age she has spent many days training, practicing and playing on the field. Watching my children grow and progress I find that, as a parent, one of my greatest joys is sharing in my children’s successes. I am extremely proud of her and all her accomplishments. I know that no matter what she does in life, I will always be her biggest fan.

One of my passions in life is studying people and businesses to learn what makes them unique, valuable and successful. I recently had the privilege of visiting Zappos in Las Vegas. Not only did I tour their corporate offices and hear from Tony Hseih (CEO of Zappos), but I also had the privilege of touring his home as well and discover what drives him personally. What I learned surprised me. They have values and an overall culture that are unlike any I have heard of before. For example:

1.They do life together. Zappos leases a large portion of a high-rise condominium building where many Zappos employees live (including the CEO). They believe that the stronger their relationships are, both personally and professionally, the more successful they will be.

2.Their company’s culture is the most valuable asset they have and they pay people that don’t fit to find another company to work for.

3.Above all, they are not a shoe company; they are a customer service company that happens to sell shoes.

Each of these core values has shaped Zappos into the amazing company that it is today and I have found these values to be just as relevant to me in my personal life as they are in my business perspective. Their unique approach to blending life with business is one of the many reasons Zappos has been so successful and has been recognized as one of the most desirable companies to work for.

For the past few years, many homeowners have found themselves trapped, so to speak, in their homes. Not able to sell because they have owed more on their mortgages than their homes were worth and perhaps not even able toRefinance to a lower rate because of the same market value issues. With home prices now steadily increasing, many are in a position where they are finally able to put their homes on the market. Of those anxious to sell, many have growing families and need to move to a larger home, while others may have originally bought more home than they can comfortably afford and are hoping to downsize to something that fits better within their budget. Either way, this pent up demand is adding strength to our current housing market and helping to fuel higher prices.

Is the Appreciation in Value Real?

There are differing opinions as to whether we are now in a temporary housing bubble triggered by artificially produced sources, or if the growth will continue. On the one hand, it is clear that with the government pumping $85 billion per month in bond purchases through “Quantitative Easing III,” we are likely to see a continued corrective movement in the stock market as well as higher interest rates as the program comes to an end. However, with housing being a commodity-based product, home values will certainly increase when the inevitable inflation hits that follows such significant government intervention. Given both sides of the equation, many believe that over the long term, home values are poised to continue moving higher.

Impact of Higher mortgage Rates and Higher Values

The mortgage interest rate market has seen substantial change since rates began to move higher in May of 2013. As a result, many fear that the combination of higher home prices and interest rates, which ultimately translate to larger house payments, will begin to slow down the growth of the housing market. Those who purchased a home last year seemed to have timed the market just right. If we consider that home values have, on average, increased by 10% in the past 12 months, not only will homebuyers pay more for the same home today, they will also have a higher interest rate as well. Consider the following example which shows the impact the higher interest rates and home values have had to a monthly payment:

Date Price Interest Rate P&I Payment

Last Year $200,000 3.50% $898.09

This Year $220,000 4.50% $1,114.71

$216.62

Increase in Monthly Payment

The above example illustrates a 24% increase in monthly house payment. This increase is measured overall as the home affordability index. As values and interest rates move higher, homes become less affordable. Eventually, if the trend continues and homes become less “affordable”, the housing market will cool. Despite this, many experts feel we have several years of a strong housing market ahead of us. Watching the Home Affordability Index will assist in predicting the future of the housing market.

Bottom line, right now is the best time to sell a home that we have seen in over five years and with interest rates still incredibly low, it is still a good time to buy before any additional increases begin to set in. If you are one of the many who are considering making a move, now is a great time to look into your options. Whether you see yourself in a brand new custom home or a larger home in your same neighborhood, you may be surprised at how easy it would be to sell your current home and find your dream home. If you would like to discuss your options, give us a call. We are always here to help you through each of life’s transitions.

We have also partnered with many fantastic local real estate agents who can help guide you through the buying or selling process; their expert opinions will help you feel at ease in this ever-evolving market. Call us for a trusted referral.

 

Moms are such special people. By nature, mothers are selfless, always putting the needs and wants of their children first. Their love is unconditional and unbreakable. For those of us lucky enough to still have our moms in our lives, Mother’s Day provides an opportunity to show them how special they are and how grateful we are for all of their support, nurturing, and love throughout the years.

My mother taught me at an early age to always be honest, treat people with respect, and to serve those in need. I hold true to these values today, and hope to have passed the same core values on to my own children. I would not be the person I am today without the influence of my mom, and appreciate her not only on Mother’s Day, but every day of the year. I love you mom!