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April 19, 2022

How to Plan Your 2022 Home Renovations

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When the pandemic caused thousands of people to stay in the safe confines of their homes, it shaped a new critical perspective for many homeowners. There was a pressing need to revamp homes into recreational spaces and functional work environments, causing a spike in home renovations. According to the Porch survey, 76% of homeowners began at least one major home improvement project since the pandemic. Now, with inflation on the rise, it’s tricky to upgrade your home and get an optimal return on investment (ROI). You may be wondering, How will inflation affect the cost of my home improvement, and what will my ROI look like?

With the changing economy, it can be hard to know what’s a good investment for your home. The shortage of goods and workers against high demand has created the fastest annual increase of inflation we’ve seen in 40 years. With the current financial climate, you should be tactical with your home improvements, and we’re here to help!

 

Here are five improvements projected to yield a high return for 2022. So, when the time comes to sell your house, you won’t be eating the cost.

1. Replace the garage door

This may not be the most glamorous way to home renovate, but when we manage our renovations based on the ROI, replacing the garage door is TOP on the list. According to Cost vs Value 2021, the job cost is $3,907 and the resale value is $3,663, giving a 93.8% return on investment. It’s rare to get 100% back for your home improvements but replacing your garage door is most likely as close as you’ll get.

2. Add stone veneer

First impressions are HUGE. Adding a stone veneer is a way to give your home a pretty facelift while ensuring that people like what they see. Most importantly, it’s a bang for your buck. The average ROI for adding stone veneer to a house is 10,386 for the job cost to a $9,571 resale value, which gives you a 92.1% cost reoccupied.

3. Enhance your curb appeal

Whether it’s brightening your front porch with a fresh coat of paint or adding window boxes, you want to create a welcoming visual experience in the front of your home. According to Top Agent Insights for New Year 2022, buyers will pay 7% more for a house with great curb appeal versus a home with a neglected exterior. Enhancing your curb appeal allows you to invest in your home, and then get back from that investment when it’s time to sell.

 

4. Minor Kitchen Remodel

With a minor kitchen remodel, you keep the original footprint and focus on small updates. It includes replacing old appliances, installing new flooring and backsplash, and anything else that gives your kitchen a fresh look. Minor kitchen remodels cost on average $26,214 with a resale value of $18,927, giving a 72.2% cost reoccupied. You won’t be tearing it down to the stubs! In 2021 the average major kitchen remodel cost around $75,571 with an ROI of $43,364 with only a 57.4% cost reoccupied. When it comes to a kitchen remodel, less is more!

5. Add a pool

From pre-pandemic to 2021 the value of having a home pool went up 69%. The pandemic caused many people to focus on building home environments that promote lifestyle and healthy living. When everyone was forced to entertain themselves at home, pools grew into a valuable commodity. Of course, you have to consider the climate and community, but for many people, this is a good opportunity to invest in a fun outdoor outlet for your family.

The economy is unpredictable, and it can be hard to gauge what will actually yield a return. Your home is an expression of yourself, but as you make updates, stay tuned to the current trends and areas of high inflation. When it comes time for you to start any of your home renovations, contact us to see if you can use the equity out of your current home with our Home Equity Line of Credit program.

How Your Credit Score Affects Your Mortgage

February 8, 2022

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The housing market is ramping up, and many people are looking to invest in a home. One of the biggest concerns in the home-buying-process is how your credit score impacts your loan. Whether you’re getting a mortgage or have your eyes on your future dream home, here are a few things to consider about how your credit score is impacted and how it affects the long-term cost of your mortgage. 

 

1. There’s a Big Difference Between Having Good and Great Credit.


Your credit score reflects the loan you have access to and its interest rates. Even a slight shift in your score can significantly affect the long-term cost of your mortgage, potentially costing you thousands of dollars in the long run. Here’s is an example based on a 30-year fixed loan of 200,000 based on current rates using the interest calculator from myFICO.

 

 

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Note: All numbers here are for demonstrative purposes only and do not represent an advertisement for available terms. This example is based on a $200,000, 30-year loan and the interest rates as of Jan. 25, 2022. Calculations were made using the MyFico loan savings calculator.

There can be a huge difference between the interest rates of “good” and “excellent” scores. In this example, having a FICO score of 680-699 will give you an APR of 3.595%, resulting in a monthly payment that’s $45 more per month than a credit score of 760-850 with an APR of 3.196%. Over the course of the mortgage, the total interest for an APR of 3.595% is $15,923 more than an APR of 3.196%. Having an excellent credit score would save thousands of dollars in the long run.

Over time, a small difference in your score could bump up your rates and have a major effect on the total interest of your loan. For more information on how your credit score can impact your mortgage, use the interest calculator from myFICO and input your personal information, or give our experienced team a call. 

 

2. Pulling your credit score for a mortgage industry does not have the same negative impact as it would for a credit card or a hard money loan.

People are often concerned with how inquiries will impact their credit score. Inquiries can remain on your credit report for up to two years, but they typically have a minimal effect.

 

According to Loan Originator Jonathan Fry, “Oftentimes clients are nervous about having their credit pulled, even though it is necessary. I always advise them that a mortgage inquiry affects your credit differently than a credit inquiry for a credit card or a hard money loan. While those types of credit pulls absolutely can have a negative impact on credit score, the bureaus view mortgage inquiries a little bit differently. In essence, you are applying for credit to spend money rather than receive it, so a mortgage inquiry does not have that same negative impact.” 

 

In most cases, inquiries only have a minor effect on credit scores. According to Consumer Education Specialist Jennifer White, “They generally have little or no effect after a few months.”  

 

3. Know Which Score Matters the Most.

Before you jump into the housing market, make sure you’re aware of what credit score the mortgage lender is pulling. Their results may be different than what you expect. 

 

The FICO score model that a lender uses will differ depending on what you’re borrowing. Auto loans, mortgages, credit card companies, and other borrowing industries have differing score models that obtain different pieces of information necessary for your loan. According to Credit Expert Gerri Detweiler, one factor affecting these models is risk. “All credit scoring models are trying to predict some type of risk, but how they go about it varies because different lenders are assuming different levels of risk. The risk a lender takes when it makes an auto loan is different than the risk a lender takes when it issues a credit card. Different models can help lenders understand those different types of risk.” 

 

The varying levels of risks are a major factor contributing to the number of credit score models. Mortgage lenders use the specific credit score models that the Federal Housing Finance Agency dictates. Although there are newer models, currently, these are the industry standard. 

  • Equifax Beacon® 5.0;

  • Experian®/Fair Isaac Risk Model V2SM

  • TransUnion FICO® Risk Score, Classic 04


Because of the varying credit score models, the score you obtained through your credit card company may differ from what your mortgage lender pulls. One option to get a credit score based on the models used by mortgage lenders is from myFICO.com. Know that your score may adjust between the time that you check it and the time your lender checks it. According to Certified Mortgage Advisor Kyle Seagraves, “The only way that you get exactly what the actual mortgage [credit score] is going to be is to have that hard pull done by a lender.”

 

Take Action!


If you are still unsure how your credit score affects your mortgage, talk to a professional! Our experienced loan originators would be happy to assist you and personally answer any questions you may have. Please call us at (480) 443-9090, and we will direct you to one of our qualified team members. 

 

Don’t wait! Learn more about how your credit score affects your mortgage today!

LHM Financial Is Proud to Support Heroes on Horses in Their First Appearance in Arizona

February 3, 2022

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LHM Financial is proud to support the NSBA Foundation’s Heroes on Horses as they ride to the Arizona Sun Circuit for the first time. Heroes on Horses is an equestrian competition for all active or retired US military personnel. Since 2011 Heroes on Horses has presented a creative platform for veterans to develop their equestrian skillset, requiring no fee for participation. Heroes on Horses is a project of The National Snaffle Bit Association Foundation. Their mission is to “enhance the well-being of the show horse community through various charitable programs that benefit horse people, horses, and the relationships they create.” Heroes on Horses is a great way to recognize and appreciate our brave men and women who have served our country.

 

Click here for the full Press Release on Phoenix Business Journal.

Learn More About Heroes on Horses

How to Design In-Home Office Spaces Where You’ll Be Productive

November 09, 2021

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Home offices are becoming the new norm.

Homes are changing. 

With so many people making the shift to working remotely, either part-time or full-time, homes are now where we are expected to focus, concentrate, and be productive, no matter what is going on in the background. 

As a result, many people are setting up at-home workspaces and looking for home office decor ideas that will let them do all the things they used to do in the office while surrounded by all of the comforts (and distractions) of home. 

If you can relate, and you find yourself wondering how to go about creating a productive workspace at home, we have some ideas to share with you. 

As a full-service mortgage broker with over 20 years of serving homeowners, we’ve learned a thing or two about homes and how to adapt them to the people who live in them. So we’ve collected our top tips on designing your home office for minimum distraction and maximum productivity. 

1. Choose a Spot with Plenty of Natural Light

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Use Soundproofing to Create a Quiet Oasis 

Noise from children, dogs, delivery people, neighbors, and local wildlife are all part of the “symphony of sound” that can ruin the peace and quiet of a home office. The good news is, you don’t have to live with a constant stream of racket and you also don’t have to go to the trouble of installing professional soundproofing. 

There are plenty of simple ways to reduce noise and create a peaceful and productive home office, such as:

·   Choose a room with a door that closes fully

·   Use area rugs and soft furniture to cushion and absorb sounds

·   Hang tapestries and large pieces of wall art 

·   Position a “door snake” at the base of the door

·   Apply insulating tape around the window frames

·   Get a white noise machine

3. Make Sure You’re Wired and Ready to Go

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Use Aromatherapy to Boost Your Focus

The best interior design office space ideas are about more than just furniture and objects; they’re about creating an entire environment that promotes focus and concentration. This is why scent is also an important element to consider when creating a productive workspace at home. 

Certain scents, such as lemon, lavender, and peppermint, are proven to enhance focus and productivity. So it’s worthwhile to invest in an essential oil diffuser that releases a steady stream of scents that will fill your home office throughout the day and help you stay motivated and on task. 

5. Bring in Some Color and Life with a Desk Plant 

Another excellent way to upgrade the look and feel of your home office for maximum productivity is with plants. Just like with aromatherapy scents, the mere presence of a plant contributes to an atmosphere that’s vibrant, inspiring, and pulsing with life—just the kind of setting you need to be creative and focused. 

There is also a practical reason to keep a plant close by they give your eyes a much-needed rest from staring at your screen. Place one within your eye line, where you can easily use it when applying the 20-20 rule for screen time, which recommends taking a break from your screen every 20 minutes and looking at something else for 20 seconds. 

Key Takeaways on How to Design In-Home Office Spaces

Your home is your castle, and for many of us, it’s now our office, too. With a little bit of thought, it’s easy to make the transition to working from home a seamless one. In a well-designed home office, you can actually be more productive than you were at your company’s office space, whether you were in a cubicle or a corner office. 

Office location with natural light for zoom calls with mortgage clients

Studies have shown that daylight is not only a mood booster, it’s also a productivity booster. It’s also the number one office perk that employees look for in a traditional office. 

So when you set up your home office, it makes sense to capitalize on the power of solar energy to energize and uplift you by choosing the sunniest spot in your home. A room that has a large window is an ideal choice—just make sure that you have dark curtains or blinds you can close when the sun gets too bright and too hot for comfort. 

If you don’t have the space to devote an entire room to permanent in-home office space, you could also consider setting up a makeshift office in a bright corner of your living room or dining room. A popular home office interior design idea is to partition the space with a folding screen that gives you some much-needed privacy and a clear division between workspace and home space. 

A spotty internet connection is a surefire way to interrupt your workflow and zap your productivity. Set yourself up for success by making sure your Wi-Fi is strong enough to reach your in-home office space. This is especially important if you’ve chosen to locate your office in your backyard or garden. 

If you find that your internet connection isn’t as strong or reliable as you need it to be, you can improve it with a Wi-Fi signal booster or get a dedicated router for your office. 

In home office space with a desk and great wifi
Chris Lagerblade is a HousingWire Woman of Influence

2021 HW Woman of Influence

AUG 2, 2021

We are so proud to announce our President has been selected as a HousingWire Woman of Influence! It is one of the highest awards women in housing can earn and, out of the hundreds of submissions, she was one of 100 winners.

Read More 

Two employees promoted to branch managers

Matthew Kranz & Nash Paradise

JULY 1, 2021

LHM Financial would like to recognize Matthew Kranz and Nash Paradise for their promotion to Branch Manager! Matt and Nash have been with LHM for six years. They are consistent President’s Club award recipients, a designation for top sales within the company. Congratulations Matt & Nash, on your continued success.

Employee is awarded the 2021 finance leader award from HousingWire

2021 HW Finance Leaders

MAY 5, 2021

40 of the most impactful corporate finance and capital markets executives in the housing.

Congratulations to Julie Messina for her recognition by HousingWire as an industry Finance Leader! 
We know she is the best and we are glad to share it with everyone else!

Industrywide link

Julie Messina's Article

Employee promoted to Vice President at LHM Financial Corporation

Angie Smith

APRIL 22, 2021

Vice Presidnet at LHM Financial Corporation.

LHM Financial Corporation would like to recognize Angie Smith on her promotion to Vice President. Angie has worked in the home financing business since 1998 and has been a Loan Originator with LHM for 13 years. She is a consistent President’s Club award recipient, a designation for top sales within the company, and she is dedicated to helping every client achieve their dream of homeownership. Congratulations Angie, on your continued success.

Employee, Ben Nihart, promoted to branch manager at LHM

Benjamin Nihart

MARCH 22, 2021

Branch Manager at LHM Financial Corporation - Northshore.

LHM Financial Corporation would like to recognize Ben Nihart for his promotion to Branch Manager. Ben has worked in the home financing business for 4 years and has been a Loan Originator with LHM since 2018. He has successfully climbed his way to a designation for top sales within the company, and he is dedicated to helping every client achieve their dream of homeownership. Congratulations Ben, on your continued success!

LHM Financial had two loan originators in the Scotsman Guide

Scotsman Guide - Top Loan Originator 

MARCH 16, 2021

LHM Top Two Loan Originators Made Scotsman Guide!

We want to take a moment and congratulate our two superstars - Nash Paradise and Tiffany Taradash. Great work to the both of you!

Secure your mortgage interest rate today with our long term rate lock solution

Program Announcement - Long-Term Rate Lock

MARCH 16, 2021

Secure Your Mortgage Interest Rate Today!

 

An Extended Rate Lock can lock in your interest rate today while your new home is under construction. This is also available on Conventional, Government, and Jumbo Loan Programs. Interested in learning more? Call us today!

LHM's loan originators (LO's) rank nationally

LHM LO's Rank Nationally

APRIL 1, 2020

Scotsman Guide Releases Top Originators 2019 Rankings.

LHM Financial congratulates Tiffany Taradash and Nash Paradise for ranking as a Scotsman Guide 2019 Top Originators.

Tiffany and Nash were ranked among entries from more than 6,000 mortgage professionals across the country. To be eligible for initial consideration in Scotsman Guide‘s Top Originators rankings, originators must have had at least $40 million in loan volume or 100 closed home loans for the 2019 calendar year. 

LHM Financial receives Best of Scottsdale Award in 2020

LHM Recieves 2020 Best Of Scottsdale Award

MARCH 13, 2020

Scottsdale Award Program Honors the Achievement

LHM Financial Corp has been selected for the 2020 Best of Scottsdale Award in the Mortgage Bank category by the Scottsdale Award Program.

Each year, the Scottsdale Award Program identifies companies that we believe have achieved exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and our community. These exceptional companies help make the Scottsdale area a great place to live, work and play.

LHM is Officially Launched

JANUARY 6, 2021

Focusing on current technology innovations & modern appeal to new & existing homeowners; CNN Mortgage rebrands their company name & image.
 

SCOTTSDALE, AZ

January 6, 2021 – CNN Mortgage, an established leader in mortgage lending, has announced today that the company will begin operating under a new name and will be known as LHM Financial Corporation. This rebranding strategy reflects both the evolution of the company as well as its vision for the future. Along with this change, a newly redesigned company logo has been revealed and a new website has been launched. This will feature the company’s focus and drive to continue serving their community with the same excellent financing options available in today’s mortgage lending environment. Customers, vendors, and partners will find no change in the quality of products or services offered, obtaining information, or conducting business with our new identity.

 

Founded in 1998, CNN Mortgage has built a strong reputation as an outstanding mortgage banker, servicing the lending needs of individual home buyers, real estate professionals and builders with an experienced staff offering knowledge in every area of mortgage lending.

 

About LHM Financial Corporation:  LHM Financial Corporation not only strives to deliver customized service to meet our clients’ individual needs, we care about our clients having an affordable mortgage in order to increase quality of life. Mortgage lending isn’t just about buying a home, it’s about walking in each step of the American Dream. Headquartered in Scottsdale, Arizona, LHM Financial is licensed in ten states with offices in four of those states.

Find this press release:

Phoenix Business Journal

Dallas Business Journal