Category Archives: Money and Finance

Finding the Best Mortgage Rate in Utah

Couple in a Meeting for House Mortage

Obviously, the best mortgage rate is somewhere in the vicinity of all-time lows. Today, home ownership is more attainable than ever, with fixed mortgage rates below 4%. Finding a good rate is the first step when choosing the right lender. The experts at City Creek Mortgage recommend some tips on finding the lender that offers the best mortgage rate in Utah.

Compare Mortgage Rates

Although your real-estate broker may direct you to reliable lenders that they may have worked with in the past, do not rely on that. After all, your broker’s main concern is to close a quick deal. The process of securing a mortgage can be complicated, especially to first-time homeowners. Thus, you need to look around for the best possible deal.

Work on Improving Your Credit Score

When applying for conventional loans, a good credit rating is of the utmost importance. The higher your score is, the more preferential rates you will qualify. You will also have more loan choices.

Come Up with a Higher Down Payment

While saving enough money for a down payment is not easy, paying a higher down payment will help you get a lower interest rate. This will allow you to save more in monthly payments down the road. You will also avoid paying for mortgage insurance that most lenders charge if you make a low down payment. A 20% down payment would be ideal for a 30-year mortgage.

Consider How Long You Intend to Stay

If you are sure you will stay in your new home for only a short time before you resell, an adjustable rate mortgage would be more beneficial. This way, you can enjoy the low initial interest rates that come with an ARM. You can then sell your home once your interest rate is set to change. However, this will only work if you are sure you won’t stay in your home for a long time.

Compare rates, improve your credit score, put more money upfront, and consider how long you will stay in your home. Follow these tips to find the best mortgage rate for you.

Now May Be a Good Time for You to Buy a Home in Phoenix

Couple Outside Home with Sold Sign

Couple Outside Home with Sold SignArizona residents rarely get bored with its extensive list of things to do, sights to see, and places to visit. These, plus the quality education system it has, the lower-than-national average cost of living, and good median household income, make its people want to keep living here. At the same time, it draws the interest of property investors and homebuyers.

The Grand Canyon State boasts of beautiful cities, but one that consistently gets a lot of attention is Phoenix.

Why Phoenix Keeps Attracting Home Buyers

Phoenix has a “very livable” ranking. In fact, Time Money has included it in its 2014 list of best bargain neighborhoods in the country. It also placed within the top 50 of all the places the U. S. News and World Report reviewed for its “Best Places to Live” rankings. These should already give you an idea of the kind of life you’ll have here.

Its best characteristics include countless amenities in and within proximity, as well as low cost of living. As long as you work with the right Phoenix mortgage broker, you can secure a home loan with an interest rate you can afford and allow you to become one of the state’s proud homeowners.

What to Expect from the State’s Home Lending Industry

In the beginning of 2017, the mortgage market opened with a nationwide average interest rate of 4.09% for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages. By the end of March, it went up to 4.14%. In Arizona though, home buyers have access to lower rates. This is especially true for the current rates for the benchmark home loan, seeing as the statewide average is at 4.05%.

Fixed-rate mortgages with the 15-year term have much lower interest rates, with the state average just at 3.25%. If you intend to refinance your loan in the future, then you might find this term more favorable than the 30-year one.

Top Business Ideas You Can Start in a Small Tourist Town

Small Town Businesses Travel has taken the spotlight in recent years. More and more people are hitting the road and experiencing the world all around them. This is a great opportunity for small town entrepreneurs who want to turn these tides of tourists into a terrific trade.

Here are a few ideas even Mom and Pop can get behind on:

Cafes and Restaurants

Every town needs a good and cosy nook for brunch or afternoon tea and tourist towns are no exception. Picking a nice location is the key to a good business, but what attracts more tourists is something unique to your town. Do you have a local delicacy that might pique the interest of travellers? Is there a gimmick you have in mind to make your own café stand out? Study the atmosphere and find your niche. You’ll be surprised at your results.

Hotels, Motels, and Lodges

Of course, you can’t expect to own the next Hilton or Ritz, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get into the hospitality business. If you have a roomy house, why not turn it into a bed and breakfast? Tourists will always need a place to stay and this could be the start of your own small business. Are you looking to house more customers? Resort Brokers Australia shares that there are motels for lease that you can get and still turn a good profit.


From bikes to boats, cars to jet skis, no tourist town is without activities and you can capitalise on these by starting a rental business. Is your main attraction a lake? Why not rent out fishing boats or even your own yacht if you own one? Do you live in a place where taxi service is uncommon? A car rental service may be the answer your visitors are looking for. Even a small town by the countryside can rent out bicycles for a nice afternoon stroll. Finding a need is essential to getting good business and in tourist towns, needs are almost everywhere.

These are just a few ideas to get you started on your entrepreneurial journey. Feel free to explore other options and find that one special thing you can offer your unique clientele. You’ll never know. You might be sitting on a gold mine and still haven’t realised it.


Three Effective Tactics to Speed up Your Mortgage Application

Mortgage in Salt Lake City

Mortgage in Salt Lake CityThe option to borrow money in order to purchase a home is convenient, especially for people who do not have the present means for this venture. However, application processes for such loans can entail extremely long waiting periods and can discourage most applicants. Fortunately, there are effective methods to reduce your processing time.

Prepare Any and All Documents – One of the main reasons that mortgage applications can get delayed is the lack of specific documents required by the potential lender, warns Econ Mortgage. Save time by acquiring a list of all mandatory papers and preparing them even before you start approaching mortgage companies. Also, make sure that all your documents are current and contain accurate information before submitting.

Be Prepared to Answer Financial Questions – Before they lend any amount to you, mortgage companies in Salt Lake City need to have an idea on how you’ve spent money before and how you’ll be spending it in the future. Expect interviews regarding your finances and be prepared to answer personal finance questions that can include savings, assets, and monthly budgetary habits. Again, you might want to prepare all your possible answers for these questions beforehand to direct them to your strengths. You are spared a longer wait time for either an acceptance or rejection if you are honest and confident with your answers.

Ask About Faster Processes – Aside from the regular mortgage application, there are fast-track mortgages that offer a quicker version of the application process. If you are qualified enough, you can also get pre-approved to make the process go a little faster. Of course, you would need an excellent or, at the very least, a clean credit history to pass these swifter processes.

There are ways to expedite your mortgage applications. Preparation and a good credit score can do wonders for approvals. Taking the time to prepare yourself and improve your credit ratings may still mean added time, but at least these are within your control. Besides, these methods can raise your chances of approval as well, which is well worth the wait.

House on a Budget: Ways to Make it Possible

Buying a House in BrisbaneBuying a new home, whether you are a first timer or just someone who needs a bigger space for your growing family, is a task that requires a lot of planning, computation, and decision making. You might have a smaller budget compared to others, but this does not mean you have to settle for less.

Here tips to follow when buying a home on a budget:

  1. Know your monthly expenses.

Know your monthly expenses before setting a budget. This includes your debts, insurance fees and the amount of extra cash you have every month. Having a clear picture of how money flows in your household is the best way to determine how much you can afford.

  1. Set a budget.

After knowing your financial capability, it is time to set a budget and stick to it. There are house and land packages in Brisbane that require no deposits, such as those from Planbuild Homes. However, a majority of the places still do. Be sure to include additional expenses such as down payment and taxes in setting your budget.

  1. Find an efficient real estate agent.

Real estate agents are like double-edged swords; they can either make you or break you. A good real estate agent should be able to get you deals that are within your budget. A real estate agent who pushes you to purchase a property way beyond your financial capacity should not be trusted. When this happens, do not be swayed and stick to your budget.

  1. Avoid exclusions.

A house might be on the stale list for months, but this does not mean you should not check it out. Sometimes, such properties are not being purchased not because of its price, but because of personal preference.

No matter which kind of house you purchase, on a budget or not, the most important thing would be making it a home. As long as you and your family and comfortable and happy, then it is worth the budget.

Car Buying: 4 Steps to Secure an Auto Loan with Bad Credit Record

Auto Loan in ArkansasPoor financial standing and employment loss can make you look bad to lenders and financing agencies. The thing is it doesn’t necessarily reflect your character as a borrower. With these hindrances, you might think it is almost impossible to get an approval of an auto loan. Fortunately, you can do something to be qualified for car financing. Here are some of them:

Know Your Credit Status

Even if somebody told you that you have bad credit, doesn’t mean it is true. Before you apply for a loan, be sure to obtain a copy of your credit report and credit score.

Read the Terms Carefully

Most loan programs, whether you have bad credit or not, look enticing and promising at first glance, but don’t get swayed by it easily. You need to study everything carefully to see if the plan is a match for you or not. List down the things that matter to keep you focused on your goal.

Keep Shopping Around

When shopping for loans, you need to have options to choose from. This is so you can compare the terms and agreements of each package. Even if you got an approval from a lender, keep on looking because there’s always a better one out there. In Arkansas, bad credit car loan rates are lower you just need to look closely.

Beware of Add-on Cost

As you are desperate to get an approval, some lender might take advantage of your situation. Pay attention to whatever they say. If they use terms or words that are not familiar with you, ask them to explain it. Don’t simply agree with what they say, read and study everything before you sign anything.

Getting an auto loan with bad credit can be challenging, but it’s not impossible. As long as you know what you’re getting into, it’ll be easy to find a financing term based on your financial capacity and needs.

Entrepreneur-in-the-Making: Opening a New Restaurant

Restaurant Business in St PetersHave you ever considered making your cooking hobby into something that will give you profit? If yes, you’re probably one of the many who have come up with the idea of owning a restaurant. This is good news! However, you must first learn the business side of this situation, to make sure you’re starting on the right track. Here are a few pointers to jumpstart your venture:

Where are You Planning to Build it?

No matter how big or small it is, location is one of the most critical factors to consider. Not every empty lot is appropriate for business. A certain spot might be okay for a house, but it is a different case when it comes to restaurant. The place should be visible and can be accessed by anyone who wants to dine and enjoy your food.

Start Small, Plan Carefully

Since you’re just starting, it would be better to start small. Try two to four tables first and see how the customers or the people around perceive your restaurant. If it gives you an okay sign, then that’s the only time you can apply changes and make some adjustments.

Promote and Advertise Your Place

There are a lot of ways to promote and advertise your restaurant especially with the appearance of social media. Whether you choose traditional or modern type of marketing, the key point is you do something to woo and attract new customers. Be creative with the designs and ideas. The more unique it is the more people will recognise your brand.

Make a Good Connection

Since you’re a restaurant business, it is normal to think about your possible resources which usually involve your supplies and dining stocks. For this one, you might need to summon up all your connections, from your favourite local grocery store to your most trusted fruit and veg suppliers to complete all the goods and stocks you’ll need for smooth operation. This is a must especially because it has a direct effect to the taste and quality of food you’ll be serving which can somehow suggest the success or failure of your business, says an expert from

Opening a restaurant takes a little more than just bringing your dream into life. As much as possible you want to make it successful, and the best way to make it happen is to plan out everything thoroughly by starting with these factors. Once you deal with these things, the next and succeeding steps will be more manageable.

Popular Mortgage Plans Being Offered to Homeowners Today

Mortgage PlanThere are quite a number of mortgage loans being offered today. Admittedly, not many do understand all their options and would just choose what’s first offered to them. However, it’s still best to know the basics of the more popular choices so you’d have an idea which ones would work best for you.

FHA Loan

This is a mortgage loan that’s insured by the FHA or the Federal Housing Administration. Primary Residential Mortgage, Inc notes that this program started in the 1930s to encourage buyers with low credit and first-time buyers. It also offers low down payments and can qualify even those as low as a 500 credit score. This is possible since the FHA insures the loan and will pay the lender if the borrower defaults. However, the lower one’s credit score is, the higher the interests their payments will have.

Fixed-Rate Mortgage

This loan has a fixed interest rate and monthly payment scheme for the whole mortgage period. The only changes will mostly be coming from property taxes, residential association dues and other miscellaneous fees. The main advantage is that your payments will not be affected by sudden inflation rate adjustments, rise in interest rates or other financial issues that may arise in the future. However, be ready to pay interest rates that may be larger than the property’s actual price.

Adjustable Mortgage

This home loan features mortgage rates that start off low and then goes higher as the years pass. That’s the typical situation since it’s typical for the market prices to rise in the future. However, if the market prices fall, so does your monthly rate. Although this can be alleviated with a progressive career and pay grade, market prices can rise so severely that your house can be more of a financial burden than an asset.

All of these loan offers can be discussed further by a reputable mortgage company. All you need to do is to find a trustworthy and experienced loan provider to guide you through choosing the best package for you. Good luck on your search for a house and mortgage that suits your requirements.

Getting Your Money’s Worth: What to Do with Your Tax Returns

Income Tax ReturnTax returns are often treated as windfall income: people tend to spend them on things like vacations or paying off debts. Some might choose to put this amount into a savings account and though it won’t earn much interest, it is, at least, money that can be used for emergencies. There is nothing wrong with spending whatever extra money you have but why not put it into something that can make you more money?

Create an Investment Account

Instead of just leaving your savings be, why not use some of it to build an investment account? Once you have saved enough for emergencies, the extra money from your tax returns can help you jumpstart one. Where to invest depends entirely on what you are interested in. If you like real estate, then use the money as part of the down payment for a house you might be interested in to either flip or lease out. You can also use the money to start a stocks portfolio, or even as seed money for a business.

Business Expenses

If you are operating a business, you can use the tax return to pay for some business expenses such as rent or maybe your satellite service provider. Keep in mind that expenses in a business usually lead to business income. If you don’t have a business then consider setting up a home office. The expenses you accrue with the home office can be used as tax deductions. Of course, that will reduce your future tax returns but that still translates to money that stays with you instead of money the government has to return.

Consult a CPA

If you do try to reduce your tax returns by creating a business entity make sure you consult with both a lawyer and a CPA. You definitely don’t want to go to jail for tax evasion instead of being able to enjoy increasing your income using your tax returns.

Keep these things in mind to enjoy financial freedom. Always plan carefully and do thorough research. 

Conversion Rate Optimization Mistakes You’re Making

Conversion RateConversion rate optimization (CRO) has grown to be one of the most important aspects of today’s online marketing. However, there are two sides to conversion optimization. You get to perform tests, measure the activity, and select a winner that will give the best conversion rate for your business. The options could be signing up for a demo, buying products, or signing up for an email list.

While marketers give you elements to measure before making a decision, these measures can be taken too far. Numbers don’t always reflect quality. Here are some mistakes you might be making.

Your website is not ready for CRO

PR Caffeine says it’s important to reach out to your audience online. A lot of marketers will tell you every website can benefit from CRO, but that’s not always the case. If you haven’t tested the true product market, you’d rather spend time improving your product before implementing CRO strategies. Ultimately, what you’re offering will have a huge impact on your conversion rates.

Your advertisements do not match your experience

Most website owners believe they’re offering the best deal, so they end up with ads that over-promote. Once users see the content, they are disappointed to find that you don’t have the experience or the information to back it up.

According to Facebook, customers don’t like click-bait articles — those that promise one thing but never quite deliver. They will leave and never come back. Invest in learning more about the product you’re offering to be able to present value to your users.

You neglect external factors

While redesigning your website can significantly make a huge difference in improving your site’s design, it can end up affecting your conversion rates. When new users are supposed to relearn how to use your site, they’ll end up leaving. Other external factors such as new technology implementation, a positive press release, or a major disaster could have an impact on your conversion rates.

Conversion rate optimization helps your business improve its revenue. Avoid these CRO mistakes that could negatively affect your business in the long term.