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Thursday, December 24, 2009

VA Maximum Loan Amounts for 2010

2010 VA loan limits: 2009 limit in black and 2010 in red

Davis County $423,750 $417,000
Morgan 423,750 417,000
Salt Lake 652,500 516,250
Summit 652,500 516,250
Tooele 652,500 516,250
Weber 423,750 417,000

Government Debt and the effect on Bond Pricing and Mortgage rates

As I have mentioned in previous Blog posts, I am going to be watching government spending and the increasing Federal debt and the effect on Bond prices and resulting effect on Mortgage rates.

The following is a very sobering commentary on the out of control Government spending going on that will have far reaching implications on our debt structure. Remember, future inflationary worries from Government spending will negatively effect Bond prices and increase mortgage rates.

The Senate was very busy in the season of giving, approving a 10-year, $871 Billion Bill yesterday that would extend health insurance to millions of Americans. The vote was split 60 to 39, down party lines. The Bill is being framed as the biggest change to the health care industry in decades, but it’s not a done deal yet. Now the Senate and the House must come together to hammer out a compromise between their two versions, which means more discussions, negotiations, and debates.

And the Senate wasn't done there – we of course have to pay for all the stimulus, benefits and programs, so they just voted to raise the “debt ceiling” for government debt by $290B to $12.4T. By our calculations, that’s over $40,000 dollars per American. Whoa. The amount of debt that our country is piling on is very concerning – our children and their children may have a different standard of living, as they carry more of a burden in the future. Now President Obama must sign this measure into law, which would permit the Treasury to issue enough Bonds to fund the government's operations and program until mid-February.

Call me if you would like to lock in on a historically low interest rate for a purchase or refinance need you have.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Tax Credit for existing home owners

Frequently Asked Questions
About the Move-Up/Repeat Home Buyer Tax Credit

The Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009 has established a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified move-up/repeat home buyers (existing home owners) purchasing a principal residence after November 6, 2009 and on or before April 30, 2010 (or purchased by June 30, 2010 with a binding sales contract signed by April 30, 2010).

The following questions and answers provide basic information about the tax credit. If you have more specific questions, call me and I will visit with you about your unique situation.

  1. Who is eligible to claim the $6,500 tax credit?
  2. What is the definition of a move-up or repeat home buyer?
  3. How is the amount of the tax credit determined?
  4. Are there any income limits for claiming the tax credit?
FAQ web site (in addition to the 4 questions above, 17 additional questions and answers):

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Fed MBS purchase program drawing to a close

Thu, Dec 17 - 3:17 PM ET
The Fed bought $16B in Mortgage Backed Securities (MBS) in the latest week bringing the total to $1.087T. There is $163B left to purchase until the end of the 1st quarter of 2010.

With approximately 14 weeks remaining in the Fed Bond purchasing program, no indication has been given that there will be an extension of the program. Without purchase of MBS by the Government, bond prices could begin to fall and mortgage rates could begin to increase.

I will watch this situation very closely and will make regular Blog Posts to update this important news. Call me with additional questions or if you would like to lock in a rate at these historically low rates for either purchase or refinance needs.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Ogden and Salt Lake were listed as No. 3 and No. 9 for foreclosure crisis recovery

Real Estate: Cities Recovering From The Foreclosure Crisis
By Francesca Levy, 12.10.09, 07:00 PM EST

In these metro areas, both modest incomes and stable real estate markets are improving the outlook for borrowers.

Ogden and Salt Lake were listed as No. 3 and No. 9 on Forbes's list of cities recovering from the foreclosure crisis.

For more information on the top 100 recovering cities go to:

(Thank you to Wendie Buttars for the information in this Blog Post. Wendie is a Realtor with the Franklin Group and can be contacted by e-mail at and by phone at 801-710-7098 for more information on Real Estate in the Utah Market)

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Josh and Carrie Bambrough Closing

Josh and Carrie Bambrough with kids Alexee, Winter, and Austin (out playing)
Loan closing March 2, 2009

Jared Steglich Loan Closing

Jared Steglich
Loan Closing March 1, 2009
Tyson Thornock, Equity Real Estate, 801-820-7772

Karen Wright Closing

Karen Wright
Loan Closing February 24, 2009

Cole and Amber Hancock Loan Closing

Cole and Amber Hancock
Closing February 27,2009
Donald Mendenhall Realtor, Equity Real Estate, 801-628-7743

Steve and Ann Stokes Closing

Steve and Ann Stokes
Loan Closing February 19, 2009

Jeff Burkhalter Closing

Jeff Burkhalter
Loan Closing March 1, 2009

Melody and Reid Sweatman Thank You

Having participated in several buys and refinances, we can say without any hesitation, that working with Marty and his team on our latest refi was the easiest, most advantageous, and enjoyable home owners’ experience we’ve ever encountered.

We cannot recommend Marty more highly. He kept us in the loop, found the best deal for us, and made closing a breeze.

Reid and Melody Sweatman
Loan Closing March 3, 2009

Dan and Mischelle Ansley Thank You

Thank you for working so quickly on getting our loan processed. You made everything go so smoothly, you kept us up to date on the entire process and we greatly appreciated that.

We have worked with you in the past and as always you did a great job. We will definitely recommend you to others. Thanks again,

Dan & Mischelle Ansley
Loan Closing February 10,2009

Friday, December 11, 2009

DU making LTV adjustments for Duplex's

Desk top Underwriting (DU) is making a BIG adjustment on the LTV limits for 2-Unit homes (DUPLEX) effective Dec 12th, 2009.

2-Unit Primary Residence:

Purchases & Rate and Term refinances:
Old: 95% Loan to Value
NEW: 80% LTV

Cash out refinances:
old: 85%
NEW: 75%

2-Unit Investment Properties:

Purchases & RT refis:
Old: 85%
NEW: 75%

C/O refis:
old: 70%
NEW: Ineligible

Call me with any other questions on purchase
or refinance of multi unit, owner or non owner, properties.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

FHA doesn't want to crowd out the return of the private market

FHA Shying Away from Risk-Based Pricing

December 2, 2009

The Federal Housing Administration wants to stay
away from traditional risk-based pricing for mortgage
insurance premiums, saying it doesn't want the government
to compete against private sector MI firms. Lowering prices
for the least risky borrowers could have the effect of
"potentially crowding out the return of a private market"
or delaying its return, HUD secretary Shaun Donovan told
a congressional panel. FHA officials are planning to raise
the upfront premium or the annual premium - or both. The agency
willunveil details of their proposal in January. In determining
the premiums, they want to employ some combination of credit
scores, loan-to-value ratios and other underwriting criteria
that would limit the entry of the riskiest borrowers into
the FHA fund. For example, FHA might raise the downpayment
for borrowers with low FICO scores. "We also have to be careful
about overpricing risk," secretary Donovan testified. He noted
new FHA originations are "quite profitable."

FHA Mortgages are Changing...

FHA Will Hike Premiums, Credit Scores and More

December 2, 2009

The Federal Housing Administration is asking for an increase in mortgage insurance premiums to replenish its diminishing capital reserves while hiking credit scores for applicants. Housing secretary Shaun Donovan will ask Congress Wednesday afternoon to raise the 55-basis point cap on annual government MI premiums. Administratively, FHA officials are expected to raise the 1.75% upfront premium and prohibit those points from being rolled into the loan amount. (The agency does not need Congressional approval to raise upfront premiums.) Even though it is hiking loan costs, HUD will allow the upfront premium to be priced into the interest rate. It also will allow home sellers to pay the premium. "The good news is that they are doing this administratively and taking leadership," said Brian Chappelle, a mortgage-banking consultant with Potomac Partners. As the health of the mortgage insurance fund improves, FHA can reduce the premiums and other restrictions, he added.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Sales of existing homes jump 4% along Wasatch Front

Sales of existing single-family homes across the Wasatch Front climbed 4% in the 3rd quarter compared to the same quarter a year ago, according to the Salt Lake Board of Realtors and Utah Association of Realtors.

The increase marked the first time in four years that home sales showed a year-over-year increase during the third quarter. Across the Wasatch Front there were 5,608 single family homes sold in third quarter, 2009. In Davis County sales surged and were up 9% in the third quarter.

The median home price for a Single Family Home sold along the Wasatch Front for the quarter was $213,250.

Source: The Enterprise Newspaper, SLC, UT, November 16-23, 2009

Renters Have Much to Gain

For immediate release November 18, 2009

A Qualified Mortgage Consultant Can Outline Your Options

Renters Have Much to Gain by Pursuing Home Ownership

By Loan Marty Qualls, Sr. Mortgage Loan Officer

Primary Residential Mortgage

Ogden, UT – Buying a home vs. renting is a big decision that takes careful consideration, as most mortgage consultants will agree. But the rewards of home ownership are great. For many years, purchasing real estate has been considered an extremely profitable investment. It is an achievement that offers a sense of pride, financial stability and potential tax advantages.

Yes, there are certain responsibilities associated with owning a home. Landlords will often argue the benefits of renting, and for obvious reason. If you are renting, you’re helping them make their mortgage payment.

The numbers are staggering if you look at it this way. If you are paying $1,000 per month for an apartment, and you know your rent will increase 5% every year, then over the next five years you will pay your landlord $66,309. If you are currently renting a house, you may be paying much more than that each month. Either way, you gain no equity by shelling out this monthly housing expense and you certainly won’t benefit when the property value goes up!

However, if you were to purchase your own home or condominium, you would be well on your way toward building equity within that same five-year period. By choosing a fixed-rate loan program, you can have the comfort of knowing that your monthly mortgage payment will never go up. In fact, you would have the option of refinancing to a lower interest rate at some point in the future should interest rates drop, and this would cause your monthly mortgage commitment to go down.

In addition to building equity, there are tax advantages that come into play with home ownership. Depending on your tax bracket, owning a home is often less expensive than renting after taxes. Interest payments on a mortgage below $1 million are tax-deductible, and your mortgage consultant should help you evaluate the tax advantages of various loan scenarios, and share this information with your tax consultant to glean feedback on your behalf.

To find the loan program that is right for you, your mortgage consultant will need to evaluate your monthly household income, current assets and savings, as well as any monthly obligations you may have for credit card payments, car payments, child support, etc. These prequalification factors, along with the report of your credit score, will determine how much house you can afford and what interest rate you will pay for financing. It is also important to let your mortgage consultant know what your future goals are, because this will help narrow down which loan option is the best fit for your long-term needs.

There are many different types of loan programs available, including “low” and “no” down payment mortgage programs. These types of programs require the borrower to provide less than 3 percent of the loan amount as down payment. FHA lenders rule that the mortgage payment, including principal, interest, taxes and insurance (PITI) should not exceed 31 percent of your gross income, and the PITI plus other long-term debt (car payments, etc.) should not exceed 43 percent of your gross income.

Housing is an expense that takes a big bite out of the monthly budget. If you are a renter and feel that “home” is more than just someplace to hang your hat, think about the advantages of purchasing real estate. It may be time to take the step into building your personal net worth as a home owner.

Monday, November 9, 2009

FHA Condo Update

FHA Condo Update
By FHA expert Marty Qualls

This update contains the temporary changes to the FHA Condo Approval Process as outlined in Mortgage Letter 2009-46 B.

Here are the 5 things you need to know about these changes:

1. These temporary changes are effective on December 7th, 2009 through December 31st, 2010; except for Spot Loan Approvals.

2. Spot Loan Approvals will be eliminated as of February 1st, 2010.

3. FHA loan concentration may be increased to 100% if the following criteria are met: a. Project construction has been 100% complete for at least 1 year, b. All units have been sold and no single entity owns more than 10% of the units, c. Project holds 10% of the budget in reserves for capital expenditures and deferred maintenance, d. Control of Home Owner's Association has been transferred to the owners, and e. Owner-occupancy is at least 50%

4. FHA requires a 50% owner-occupant ratio but bank-owned units that are either vacant or tenant-occupied are not required to be included the calculation.

5. New construction pre-sale requirement is temporarily reduced to 30%.

Call me with questions you may still have about whether your condominium purchase or refinance will qualify through FHA!

Friday, November 6, 2009

First Time Home Buyer Tax Credit Extended and Expanded!

Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended…
Plus, New Tax Credit for Existing Home Owners!

It’s official! President Obama has signed a bill that extends the tax credit for first-time homebuyers (FTHBs) into the first half of 2010. In addition, the extension also opens up opportunities for others who are not buying a home for the first time.

First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit Extended Into 2010!
Plus...A New Tax Credit for Certain Existing Home Owners!

It's official. President Obama has signed a bill that extends the tax credit for first-time homebuyers (FTHBs) into the first half of 2010. This program had been scheduled to expire on November 30, 2009.

In addition to extending the tax credit of up to $8,000 through June 30, 2010, the extension measure also opens up opportunities for others who are not buying a home for the first time.

So Who Gets What?
The program that has existed for FTHBs remains intact with the one exception that more people are now eligible based on an increase in the amount of income someone may now earn.

Additionally, the program now gives those who already own a residence some additional reasons to move to a new home. This incentive comes in the form of a tax credit of up to $6,500 for qualified purchasers who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years.

In order to qualify for the credit, all contracts need to be in effect no later than April 30, 2010 and close no later than June 30, 2010.

Higher Income Caps in Effect
The amount of income someone can earn and qualify for the full amount of the credit has been increased.

Single tax filers who earn up to $125,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, single filers who earn $145,000 and above are ineligible.

Joint filers who earn up to $225,000 are eligible for the total credit amount. Those who earn more than this cap can receive a partial credit. However, joint filers who earn $245,000 and above are ineligible.

Maximum Purchase Price
Qualifying buyers may purchase a property with a maximum sales price of $800,000.

First-Time Homebuyer Tax Credit – Frequently Asked Questions
Here are answers to some commonly asked questions about the tax credit.

What is a tax credit?
A tax credit is a direct reduction in tax liability owed by an individual to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In the event no taxes are owed, the IRS will issue a check for the amount of the tax credit an individual is owed. Unlike the tax credit that existed in 2008, this credit does not require repayment unless the home, at any time in the first 36 months of ownership, is no longer an individual's primary residence.

What is the tax credit for first-time homebuyers (FTHBs)?
An eligible homebuyer may request from the IRS a tax credit of up to $8,000 or 10% of the purchase price for a home. If the amount of the home purchased is $75,000, the maximum amount the credit can be is $7,500. If the amount of the home purchased is $100,000, the amount of the credit may not exceed $8,000.

Who is eligible for the FTHB tax credit?
Anyone who has not owned a primary residence in the previous 36 months, prior to closing and the transfer of title, is eligible. This applies both to single taxpayers and married couples. In the case where there is a married couple, if either spouse has owned a primary residence in the last 36 months, neither would qualify. In the case where an individual has owned property that has not been a primary residence, such as a second home or investment property, that individual would be eligible.

As mentioned above, the tax credit has been expanded so that existing homeowners who have owned and occupied a primary residence for a period of five consecutive years during the last eight years are now eligible for a tax credit of up to $6,500.

How do I claim the credit?
For those taking advantage of the tax credit in 2009, you may choose to either apply for the credit with your 2009 tax return or you may apply for the credit sooner by filing an amended 2008 tax return with Form 5405 (

Can you claim the tax credit in advance of purchasing a property?
No. The IRS has recently begun prosecuting people who have claimed credits where a purchase had not taken place.

Can a taxpayer claim a credit if the property is purchased from a seller with seller financing and the seller retains title to the property?
Yes. In situations where the buyer purchases the property, even though the seller retains legal title, the taxpayer may file for the credit. Examples of this would include a land contract, contract for deed, etc. According to the IRS, factors that would demonstrate the ownership of the property would include: 1. the right of possession, 2. the right to obtain legal title upon full payment of the purchase price, 3. the right to construct improvements, 4. the obligation to pay property taxes, 5. the risk of loss, 6. the responsibility to insure the property and 7. the duty to maintain the property.

Are there other restrictions to taking the credit?
Yes. According to the IRS, if any of the following describe your situation, a credit would not be due.

  • You buy your home from a close relative. This includes your spouse, parent, grandparent, child or grandchild.
  • You do not use the home as your principal residence.
  • You sell your home before the end of the year.
  • You are a nonresident alien.
  • You are, or were, eligible to claim the District of Columbia first-time homebuyer credit for any taxable year. (This does not apply for a home purchased in 2009.)
  • Your home financing comes from tax-exempt mortgage revenue bonds. (This does not apply for a home purchased in 2009.)
  • You owned a principal residence at any time during the three years prior to the date of purchase of your new home. For example, if you bought a home on July 1, 2009, you cannot take the credit for that home if you owned, or had an ownership interest in, another principal residence at any time from July 2, 2006, through July 1, 2009.

Can you buy a home from a step-relative and be eligible for the credit?
Yes. Provided the person you are buying a home from is not a direct blood relative, the purchase would be allowed.

Can parent(s) who will not live in the property cosign for a mortgage for their child and the child that is a qualifying FTHB still be eligible for the credit?

Can a separated spouse who has not owned a home for four years qualify for the FTHB tax credit if the spouse has owned a property anytime in the last three years?
No. However, the spouse may be eligible for the repeat buyer credit. The best path to take in any situation regarding income taxes is to speak with a professional tax preparer or CPA.

If you have any questions that fall outside the situations here, give me a call and if you do not have an accountant to speak with, I can refer you to one.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Paul and Maria Wagner Loan Closing February 13, 2009

Fantastic timing for best rates in history, Paul and Maria! Took their 30 year mortgage to a 15 year term and lower rate! Thanks again for the opportunity to help you with your mortgage loan!

Maria and I want to thank you for the hard work you put in, and the amount of time you put in to get us the best loan possible, you were there in the beginning when we first bought our home and you have been there ever since .

You are truly the best and its shows in all that you do, once again thanks, by the way your gift is appropriately displayed where all can see, THANKS Marty...
Paul and Maria Wagner

Brad and Amy Forsberg Loan Closing January 26, 2009

The Forsberg family ready for loan closing for the purchase of their new home! Jon and Michelle Hiatt were their buyer's Agents and did a fantastic job of selling their home and finding them a new one!

Hi Marty,

Just wanted to say thank you again for everything.

We had a great experience working with you and will share your name with anyone we know buying a home.

Thanks, Amy and Brad Forsberg

Ed and Julie Soriano Loan closing January 30, 2009

Marty with Julie and RJ Soriano at their refinance closing where they got one of the best rates in 50 years! Congratulations on the perfect timing!

Gary and Elly Robinson Loan Closing January 23, 2009

Gary, Elly and Marty at their refinance closing at Inwest Title-Rachel Miller Escrow Officer and photographer.

Thanks Marty,
Appreciate all your help and hard work you did on the refinancing of our mortgage.
It saves us a couple of hundred a month in our payment, awesome!

Elly Robinson

In January 2009, my wife Elly and I had the privilege to work with Marty Qualls, Sr. Loan Officer. In my experience with Marty, he is always prompt and followed through with whatever he said that he was going to do. His nature is pleasant and inviting. In looking for the best rate when we refinanced, he helped us secure an awesome rate.
As it was our first time refinancing a house, it was unfamiliar territory. Marty made the experience very easy. He made sure that we understood all the information and took the time to explain to us the processes as we went along. He also took the additional time to answer clearly every question that we had. Marty Qualls is a man of sincerity and integrity. I would highly recommend Marty Qualls to work as your Mortgage Lender.

Thanks Marty,

Gary Robinson
Associate Broker
ERA Webber Real Estate

Sunday, October 4, 2009

100% Mortgage Financing Announced at Ogden Bridal Fair!

"100% Mortgage Loan Financing is again available in Utah!"

That was the message I delivered at the Ogden Bridal Fair at the Ogden Marriott Hotel on September 25th and 26th, 2009.

Call me for the "Planning for Success" First Time Home Buyer meeting and receive one of 3 excellent books, a free credit report, credit report analysis, a free credit approval letter and guidance in the "19 Steps to Home Ownership"

First Time Home Buyer Programs Highlighted at Fall Bridal Fair!

Marty Qualls in front of the Primary Residential Mortgage Booth at the Fall Bridal Fair at the Marriott Hotel in Ogden.

Brides were pleased to find that opportunities for 100% home loan mortgage financing are again recently available in Utah!

During the show, Brides registered for a Spa Treatment Giveaway and received information about Grants, Tax Credits, 100% mortgage loan programs, Loan Program Highlights and Homes available for purchase in Weber and Davis County.

With Mortgage Rates currently at a 4 month low, the first time home buyer tax credit scheduled to expire November 30th, and home inventory at historically low sales prices, timing for a home purchase couldn't be better!

Excitement was in the air at the show!!!!

Marty offered his Planning for Success Program to those First Time Home Buyer who would like to learn more about purchasing their first home.

During the face to face Planning for Success Program meeting, one of 3 great books is given to the first time home buyer and Marty goes over the buyer's credit, issues a credit approval letter and gives them the 19 steps to home ownership.

Marty and Cindy Keil, RE/MAX Community in Ogden, shared duties at the booth to educate potential first time home buyer's on Friday, September 25th at the Ogden Marriott Hotel.

100% loan mortgage financing in Utah!

100% loan mortgage financing is again available in Utah!

With the recently announced "Equity Now" program with the State of Utah, buyer's meeting the income and credit standards of the Utah Housing Program can now receive 100% of the funds they need in order to purchase a home!

With the Equity Now Program, first time home buyer's are eligible for the Utah Housing funds to complete the purchase AND qualifies for the $8,000 Federal Tax Credit!

Ask me about my Planning for Success Program for First Time Home Buyer's!

Please call me for additional program highlights and as an approved Utah Housing Lender, I can help you with your Mortgage Loan to get you into your first home before the November 30th expiration of the Federal $8,000 tax credit!

Realtor Thank You from Derrick Sorenson

"Marty and I have had the opportunity to work together on many occasions. As a Sr. Loan Officer it is his responsibility to ensure a successful transaction with my clients.

My clients rely heavily upon his knowledge, experience and people skills, all of which Marty excels in.

I have never had a client be disappointed with Marty’s work.

He is quick to respond and isn’t afraid to address tough issues.

As a result of his upfront, honest and kind nature he has proven himself as an excellent Loan Officer time and time again.

In the three years that we have known each other Marty quickly became one of the few people that I consider referring.

I feel that the work my Loan Officer’s perform is as big of a reflection of who I am and how I conduct my business, as it is to them and their own clients and business.

Marty is capable of handling any Loan that I could ever send him.

He is willing to go the extra mile to make sure things are done correctly.

When you are considering a mortgage loan and loan officer, Marty is the one you should choose.


Derrick Sorensen
Principal Broker / Owner
Sorensen & Company Real Estate, Inc."

Will and Ann Rodgers-Loan Closing January 22, 2009

Ann, cutest boy in the universe, and Will! Congratulations on a great loan and interest rate!

Thanks for all your hard work in helping our family to refinance our home mortgage loan!

I appreciated how easy you made the process for us, especially since we'd just had a new baby.

Thank you!

Will and Ann Rodgers

Delone Keller-January 15, 2009, Reverse Mortgage Closing

Daughter Karen Palmer, Delone Keller and other daughter Cheryl Larsen at Loan Closing!

Congratulations and thanks, Delone, for the opportunity to help you with your Reverse Mortgage needs!

Tim Delamare-January 12, 2009 Closing

I enjoyed my experience working with Marty. He was very prompt in providing all the necessary information that I needed to complete my re-finance.

The process was seamless and he made it a very simple and a completely enjoyable worthwhile experience.

I look forward to working with Marty for any future mortgage needs.

I appreciated his dedication to the process and his determination to make it a great one for me.

Thanks Marty!

Tim Delamare

Jim and Mckel Harrison-December 29, 2008 Closing

Jim and McKel Harrison and their Realtor, Ava Felt! Their First Home! Congratulations!

Marty was very friendly and easy to work with. You could tell that he was concerned about our need and always excited to give us good news.

He kept us current on our loan process every step of the way and answered any question we could possibly come up with.

He was a big help in the stressful steps of purchasing a home.

Thanks Marty for all your help! Our house really is what we wanted.

Jim and McKel Harrison

Jesse and Jody Reid-Closing 3/4/09

Jody and Jesse and their Realtor, Brad Afuvai! Their first home! Congratulations!

Darren and Ann Smith Closing-January 26, 2009

Ann and Boy's. Taylor, Tanner and Tyler-oldest to youngest! Dad, Darren, was off doing what he does best-Selling! :)

The Smith's wrote this message and sent it to me in LinkedIn:

"We have used Marty for mortgage loans and refinances more than once and have been extremely satisfied with our results each time.

We can always trust that if he says it will be done, it is done.

We will continue to use Marty for all our mortgage needs."

Service Category: mortgage loan officer
Year first hired: 2007 (hired more than once)
Top Qualities: Great Results, Personable, Expert

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Home Run 2 Grant 2 Program: How long will it last?

This week, I have been watching the number of grants which are being reserved each day. Today there were 17 grants reserved and if I do the math at 20 grants per day, counting only work days of the week, the grants will be completely committed by November 30th!

Coincidentally, November 30, 2009 is also the expiration of the Grant Program! There are 54 working days remaining until November 30th so if the rate of reservations increases slightly, which is bound to happen, time is of the essence!

With this grant issue, the program requires an appraisal before we can get a reservation for the borrower. In order to quickly expedite the reservation process, here is what I need for an appraisal to be completed:
  • Contract with the Builder with sales price and address
  • Plans and Specifications
  • Plot Plan
  • Cost Breakdown
Once we have the appraisal and all of the signed Home Run 2 Grant Forms, I can get the reservation in place!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Utah Housing Equity NOW Program

Governor Gary Herbert announced today that first time home buyer's can now use their $8,000 tax credit for down payment and closing costs!

Utah Housing will give First Time Home buyer's, who meet the credit and income guidelines, a first mortgage loan and a small second mortgage loan for purchase of their home and also payment of closing costs and down payment.

The buyer then applies for the tax credit with an amendment to their 2008 tax returns and when received, can apply the money to their first or second mortgage used to purchase the home. If they apply the money to the 2nd mortgage within 6 months of the loan date, Utah Housing will credit them $100.

Here is the web link with all of the details:

I am an approved Utah Housing Lender and can help you with any questions which you have.

State of Utah Home Run 2 Grant Program

Great news! Today, Governor Gary R Herbert announced that there is new grant money available for purchase of a new construction home that has never been lived in before, a home that is being newly built, or a partially built home. There are 1,950 Grants ($7.8 Million).

Here is the Web site for FAQ's and I will be on the approved lender list for this Grant money, just as I was for the first Home Run Grant. Today the Utah Housing site is showing that the Approved Lender List is under construction. Call me and I can answer any of your questions! Here is the site for more information:

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Loved the book you gave me!

I finished the book, in about the two weeks I told you it would take me, and quite enjoyed it! I would definitely recommend it to anyone buying a home, it was so helpful and I feel educated about all the ins and outs of purchasing a house. Thanks!!

Keri Mathias

(I gave Keri the book, "100 Questions Every First Time Home Buyer Should Ask", which is part of my Planning for Success Program for First Time Home Buyer's)

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Clearfield Grant Money Available as of 4/15/09

Clearfield Grant money is now available, but it is limited and going fast! There are only 14 more grants of $5,000 available as of today (4/16). I have the 52 page program guideline if you would like me to forward it to you. There are income limits on the program, the buyer needs to be a first time home buyer, there is a forgiveness of the grant over a 7 year declining period and there is a 3:1 matching required (if the buyer puts $1667 down, Clearfield will give $5,000).

Monday, April 6, 2009

FAQ on the 2009 $8,000 tax credit

Here is a useful site to answer Frequently Asked Questions about the First Time Home Buyer tax credit:

Friday, March 20, 2009

$6,000 State of Utah Grant Money Now Available

Governor signs bill for new homes grant

Gov. Jon Huntsman Jr. signed a bill yesterday that will provide $6,000 grants to buyers of newly constructed, never-occupied homes. Upon his signature, he immediately directed the Utah Housing Corporation to begin dispersing grants under the “Home Run” program to buyers who finance a recently constructed home with a 30-year (or less) fixed-rate mortgage and meet other qualifications.

Senate Bill 260 created a fund that will use federal stimulus dollars to provide about 1,600 grants to be distributed through Utah Housing Corporation to home buyers on a first-come, first-served basis.

To apply for the grant, home buyers should work through their lender. Any mortgage lender qualified to make mortgage loans under Utah law can assist home buyers to secure the Home Run grant, but Utah Housing has a list of currently approved lenders. Lenders will work directly with Utah Housing Corporation to apply for the grant money. Examples of qualifying mortgages include conventional, FHA, VA, Rural Housing and Utah Housing loans. Cash buyers should work directly with Utah Housing.

Consumers do not have to be first-time buyers to qualify for the program but incomes cannot exceed $75,000 for singles and $150,000 for married couples. Buyers who qualify for both programs can take advantage of the $8,000 federal home-buyer tax credit as well as a Home Run grant.

“It is up to the states to use the federal stimulus money in a way that truly has a beneficial impact on our economy. This is an immediate stimulus targeted at the weakest area of Utah’s economy,” Huntsman said in a press release. “This investment of $10 million will result in 8,800 jobs in the market and $324 million in wages into our economy. This boost is critical for us to reverse our current position.”

To learn more about program details and how buyers can apply, visit . Also visit for information about both the Home Run program and the $8,000 federal first-time home buyer tax credit.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Housing Affordability Index at a Record High

The National Association of Realtors’ Housing Affordability Index has risen 13.6 percentage points to 166.8, a new record high (December 2008: 153.2 to January 2009: 166.8). A value of 100 means that a family with the country’s median income has exactly enough income to qualify for a mortgage on a median-priced existing single family home. The higher the index, the more income buyer's are making relative to home prices (and the better housing affordability is for the buyer).

The reading shows that the relationship between home prices, mortgage interest rates and family income is the most favorable since tracking began in 1970. “History suggests that home sales can rise even in times of job losses when housing affordability rises,” said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist. (Source: The Enterprise March 16-22, 2009)

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

How long before our economy recovers?

IT MAY TAKE SOME TIME - The current bear market (defined as a drop of at least 20% of the S&P 500 stock index from a previous closing high) is the 9th bear market in the last 50 years and the 3rd where the loss has been at least 40%. The current bear’s “peak to trough” drop is 56.4%, the low close occurring just last Thursday (on 3/05/09). It took the S&P 500 index 70 months and 56 months to recover back to a new closing high following the 2 previous bears where the loss exceeded 40%. The S&P 500 is an unmanaged index of 500 widely held stocks that is generally considered representative of the US stock market (source: BTN Research).

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Refinancing Initiative: 105% of Current Market Value

Refinance Opportunities Now Available
to Those Who Lack Sufficient Equity

Revised March 4, 2009

The Obama Administration unveiled the final details of its "Making Home Affordable Program," which is designed to help up to 9 million American families refinance or modify their loans to a payment that is affordable now and into the future.

One of the initiatives in this program is aimed at helping responsible homeowners "refinance" their loans to take advantage of historically low interest rates. Here are some common Questions and Answers about the Refinancing Initiative in the program.


Who is eligible?

You may be eligible if:

  • You own and currently occupy a one- to four-unit home.
  • Your mortgage is owned or controlled by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.
  • You are current on your mortgage payments.
  • The amount you owe on your first mortgage is about the same or slightly less than the current value of your house.
  • And, you have a stable income sufficient to support the new mortgage payments.

How do I know if my loan is owned or controlled by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac?

Simply call or email me. I'll help you determine if your mortgage is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

I owe more than my property is worth. Do I still qualify to refinance under the Making Home Affordable Program?

Eligible loans will include those where the first mortgage will not exceed 105% of the current market value of the property. For example, if your property is worth $200,000 but you owe $210,000 or less, you may qualify. The current value of your property will be determined after you apply to refinance.

If I am delinquent on my mortgage, do I still qualify for the Refinance Initiative?

No. But the good news is, you may qualify for the Modification Initiative. Contact me to discuss your situation and review your options.

I have both a first and a second mortgage. Do I still qualify to refinance under Making Home Affordable?

As long as the amount due on the first mortgage is less than 105% of the value of the property, borrowers with more than one mortgage may be eligible for the Refinance Initiative.

Will refinancing lower my payments?

That depends. If your interest rate is much higher than the current market rate, you would likely see an immediate reduction in your payment amount.

However, if you are paying interest only on your mortgage, you may not see your payment go down. BUT... you will be able to avoid future mortgage payment increases and may save a great deal over the life of the loan.

What are the terms of the refinance and what will the interest rate be?

All loans refinanced under the plan will have a 30- or 15- year term with a fixed interest rate.

The interest rate will be based on market rates at the time of the refinance. Currently, interest rates are at historical lows, which makes this a good time to examine your refinancing options.

Will refinancing reduce the amount that I owe on my loan?

No. Refinancing will not reduce the principal amount you owe. However, refinancing should save you money by reducing the amount of interest that you repay over the life of the loan.

Can I get cash out to pay other debts?

No. Only transaction costs, such as the cost of an appraisal or title report may be included in the refinanced amount.

How do I apply for the Refinance Initiative?

Call or email me today to discuss your specific situation and to examine your options. If this plan is right for you, we can begin working on your refinance immediately.

As part of the discussion, we may need to look at the following information:

  • Recent 30 days pay stubs to help determine your gross (before tax) household income.
  • 2008 and 2007 w-2's and if self employed, your most recent 2 years income tax returns.
  • Information about any second mortgage on your house.
  • Account balances and minimum monthly payments due on all of your credit cards.
  • Account balances and monthly payments on all other debts, such as student loans and car loans.
As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how this may specifically impact you, I'd be happy to sit down with you. Just call or email me to set up an appointment.

Friday, February 20, 2009

2009 Stimulus Plan Update

Revised February 20, 2009

Tax Credit for Homebuyers
First-time homebuyers who purchase homes from the start of the year until the end of November 2009 may be eligible for the lower of an $8,000 or 10% of the value of the home tax credit. Remember a tax credit is very different than a tax deduction – a tax credit is equivalent to money in your hand, as opposed to a tax deduction which only reduces your taxable income.

The tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000. Buyers will have to repay the credit if they sell their homes within three years.

Tax Credit Versus Tax Deduction

It’s important to remember that the $8,000 tax credit is just that… a tax credit. The benefit of a tax credit is that it’s a dollar-for-dollar tax reduction, rather than a reduction in a tax liability that would only save you $1,000 to $1,500 when all was said and done. So, if a homebuyer were to owe $8,000 in income taxes and would qualify for the $8,000 tax credit, they would owe nothing.

Better still, the tax credit is refundable, which means the homebuyer can receive a check for the credit if he or she has little income tax liability. For example, if a homebuyer is liable for $4,000 in income tax, he can offset that $4,000 with half of the tax credit… and still receive a check for the remaining $4,000!

Phaseout Examples

According to the plan, the tax credit starts phasing out for couples with incomes above $150,000 and single filers with incomes above $75,000.

To break down what this phaseout means to homebuyers who are over those amounts, the National Association of Homebuilders (NAHB) offers the following examples:

Example 1: Assume that a married couple has a modified adjusted gross income of $160,000. The applicable phaseout to qualify for the tax credit is $150,000, and the couple is $10,000 over this amount. Dividing $10,000 by $20,000 yields 0.5. When you subtract 0.5 from 1.0, the result is 0.5. To determine the amount of the partial first-time homebuyer tax credit that is available to this couple, multiply $8,000 by 0.5. The result is $4,000.

Example 2: Assume that an individual homebuyer has a modified adjusted gross income of $88,000. The buyer’s income exceeds $75,000 by $13,000. Dividing $13,000 by $20,000 yields 0.65. When you subtract 0.65 from 1.0, the result is 0.35. Multiplying $8,000 by 0.35 shows that the buyer is eligible for a partial tax credit of $2,800.

Remember, these are general examples. You should always consult your tax advisor for information relating to your specific circumstances.

Homes that Qualify

The tax credit is applicable to any home that will be used as a principle residence. Based on that guideline, qualifying homes include single-family detached homes, as well as attached homes such as townhouses and condominiums. In addition, manufactured or homes and houseboats used for principle residence also qualify.

Higher Loan Amounts

More good news – there is an extension on the additional tier of conforming loan amounts which had been first established in 2008. This tier of home loans are those greater than $417,000, and with a maximum that depends on the area, but is not greater than $729,750. These loans will again be eligible for rates that are slightly higher than conforming loan rates, but less expensive than the standard “jumbo” loan rates.

Additional Housing-Related Provisions

Tax Incentives to Spur Energy Savings and Green Jobs — This provision is designed to help promote energy-efficient investments in homes by extending and expanding tax credits through 2010 for purchases such as new furnaces, energy-efficient windows and doors, or insulation.

Landmark Energy Savings — This provision provides $5 Billion for energy efficient improvements for more than one million modest-income homes through weatherization. According to some estimates, this can help modest-income families save an average of $350 a year on heating and air conditioning bills.

Repairing Public Housing and Making Key Energy Efficiency Retrofits To HUD-Assisted Housing—This provision provides a total of $6.3 Billion for increasing energy efficiency in federally supported housing programs.Specifically, it establishes a new program to upgrade HUD-sponsored low-income housing (for elderly, disabled, and Section 8) to increase energy efficiency, including new insulation, windows, and frames.

Expanding Housing Assistance—This provision increases support for several critical housing programs. It includes $2 Billion for the Neighborhood Stabilization Program to help communities purchase and rehabilitate foreclosed, vacant properties.

More Help for Homeowners in the Future
Another thing to keep an eye on in the coming weeks is President Obama’s plan to help struggling borrowers before they are faced with a default on their mortgage.

According to reports, the Obama administration is discussing plans to help borrowers who are struggling to stay afloat, but who have not yet fallen behind on their payments. At this point, details are scarce; however, reports indicate that President Obama is looking to spend approximately $50 Billion to directly help homeowners before they face foreclosure and financial disaster.

While this is good news for individual homeowners, it will likely be good for the housing industry as a whole. That’s because, assisting struggling borrowers before they default should help stop the wave of foreclosures, which are estimated to top two million this year. That, in turn, will help stabilize home prices.

The Economic Stimulus Plan is huge, and impacts a number of industries. I’ve highlighted some of the major provisions that may impact you now and in the future.

As always, if you have any questions or would like to discuss how this may specifically impact you, I’d be happy to sit down with you. Just call or email me to set up an appointment.