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4 TIPS ON HOW TO GET OUT OF DEBT FOR THE NEW YEAR

couple managing finances, reviewing bank accounts using laptop computer

couple managing finances, reviewing bank accounts using laptop computer

A popular New Year’s resolution is paying off debt. A new year offers people a brand new to start to get their financial situation together. But many people wonder where to start to get themselves out debt. Here are 4 tips to help you get started start on living a debt free lifestyle:

  1. Make A List of All Your Debts- The first step in getting out of debt is to tally up each debt you currently have. Take a look at your credit report to ensure you didn’t miss any. Figuring out your debt grand total will show you exactly how much debt you currently have and how you can make a plan to tackle it.
  2. Pay Off Debt Smallest to Largest- This is also known as the debt snowball. The reason this works with a lot of people is because it gives you momentum. When each debt is paid off you start to see progress and builds momentum to pay off the next debt.
  3. Start A Monthly Budget- Starting a budget is a great way to figure out where your money is going to each month. Do you know where every dollar you spend is going? Most people do not and this will help determine that. If you realize that you are spending a lot on going out to eat or getting lattes every morning, you can make adjustments that can give you more money to pay down your debts.
  4. Live Within Your Means- Spending less than or equal to the money you bring in every month means you are “living within your means”. By spending no more than you bring in each month, it will ensure you do not go into further debt. By making this small change, you can change your financial situation and no longer live paycheck to paycheck.
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4 EASY WAYS TO SAVE THIS NEW YEAR

Plant Growing In Savings Coins - Investment And Interest Concept

4 EASY WAYS TO SAVE THIS NEW YEAR

Plant Growing In Savings Coins - Investment And Interest Concept

Most people want to start the new year by trying to save money and fixing their financial situation. It can be hard to figure out where to start, so our team compiled a list of four easy ways to help you get started in 2018. Take a look at our list to help you in 2018:

  1. Start a Budget- Starting a budget is great way to start saving money. Most people do not know where their money is going every month. Making a budget and following it will help improve your financial situation. There are many free budgeting tools online that can help you get started.
  2. Refinance Your Mortgage- Another easy way to save money is to refinance your mortgage. Refinancing your mortgage with a lower interest rate, can help you save money on your monthly mortgage payment. For more information on refinancing your mortgage, give one of our friendly mortgage specialists a call at (877) 290-9991.
  3. Consolidate Your Debt- Consolidating all your debt into one loan can help you save money because your interest rate will be much lower than credit card rates. This will help you pay off your debt faster because more money will be going to your debt rather than interest. A mortgage refinance can provide you with the lowest interest rates to consolidate your debt. You can give one of our friendly mortgage specialists a call at (877) 290-9991 for more information.
  4. Cancel Unused Subscriptions- Another easy way to save money is to cancel subscriptions that you are no longer using. Do you have a gym membership that you are no longer using? Or perhaps video or music streaming services you do not have a chance to watch or listen to anymore? Cancelling subscriptions that you do not use often can you save you tons of money!
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How To Throw A Fun New Year’s Eve Party!

New 2018 Year is coming! Group of cheerful young multiethnic people in Santa hats carrying gold colored numbers and throwing confetti on the party

New 2018 Year is coming! Group of cheerful young multiethnic people in Santa hats carrying gold colored numbers and throwing confetti on the partyWe all want to start the New Year off on the right foot, and an enjoyable New Year’s Eve party can help to do that. When deciding how to throw a New Year’s Eve Party, try not to take the night itself too seriously; instead, focus on the most important thing: the people with whom you are going to enjoy it. Spending the night at home with close friends and family can be as exciting and fun as a night out on the town, in addition to costing a lot less money. Good parties should be planned; if you want to know how to throw a New Year’s Eve Party, consider the following elements:

A Theme

This is not essential, but having a theme around which the party is focused can liven things up a bit. Consider costumes or theme-related activities. Guests may feel less inhibited and more relaxed when wearing costumes.

The Food

Usually, food for a New Year’s Eve party will consist of light meals and finger foods rather than a Thanksgiving-style dinner. Finger foods allow guests to move around and mingle rather than be stuck at a dinner table. Your options range from getting frozen pre-made dishes at the grocery store or spending a little time to make some hors d’oeuvres yourself. Fondue is a good idea for your New Year’s Eve dessert as it can help to promote interaction and mingling among your guests. If you decide that your guests need more substantial fare, consider a potluck buffet-style dinner; there is more food at less cost to you and your guests can still interact freely with each other.

The Drinks

Champagne is the traditional option but not really a necessity. Instead of expensive alcohol, try some sparkling grape juice or apple cider. If you decide that you want alcohol but do not have room in your budget for champagne, try a more affordable alternative like prosecco. If you do provide alcohol, make sure that your guests have a safe way to get home. Consider a cab company or get your spare room ready for overnight guests.

Fun Activities

The entertainment you provide for your guests is a big part of how to throw a New Year’s Eve party. The entertainment can range from board games to poker. Games can help strangers to break the ice and pass the time till the clock strikes midnight. If you want dancing, you will need to have appropriate music. Create a playlist to suit your guests, whether old standards or the latest pop hits.

Things to do at Midnight

This is the time in the proceedings when it is traditional to make some noise. You can light fireworks or use noisemakers to usher in the New Year.

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3 Steps To Get Yourself Ready To Buy A Home in 2018

Young Couple Standing Outside Dream Home

Young Couple Standing Outside Dream HomeBuying a home is not only one of the biggest purchases you will make in life but it’s also big process to go through. Getting yourself prepared now can save a ton of time and answer many of your questions. There are three steps that you can take now to get yourself ready to buy a home in 2018. Find out what they are:

  1. Find Out Your Credit Score: Checking your credit score is a necessary task to see if you are ready to take on a mortgage. Your credit score is representation of your repayment history. The higher your credit score is, the better interest rate you will get. A high interest rate can save you a lot of money over the life of your mortgage loan. If you have any errors on your credit report, now is a good time to take care of those. In this step, you should also not open any new credit lines or credit cards as they can affect your credit score.
  2. Get Pre-Approved: Getting pre-approved is an essential task to answer many questions, such as how much of a home you can afford. When you are trying to get pre-approved for a mortgage you need to show your lender some important information such as proof of your income, proof of your assets, proof of your employment and proof of your credit score. By showing all the above paperwork, a lender can then determine how much of a home you can afford, what your interest rate will and most importantly how much your monthly payment will be.
  3. Start Interviewing Real Estate Agents: Once you have checked your credit score and you have a pre-approval letter in your hand, it is now a good time to start interviewing real estate agents. There are many real estate agents out there so make sure you find one who is knowledgeable of the real estate marketing right now as they can help you get through any situation. Another quality to look for in a realtor is one who is organized, knowledgeable of the area you are looking to live in and has connections with real estate professionals.

These three steps are pivotal phases of the process and can answer many questions to help get you prepared with the homebuying and mortgage processes. If you have any question about the first and second steps (checking your credit score and the pre-approval process) you can reach out to one of our knowledgeable Senior Mortgage Specialists at (877) 290-9991. Our Senior Mortgage Specialists also have a lot of local real estate agent connections that can help you tackle step three.

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6 Ways to Prepare Your Home for Winter

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Untitled-4The start of winter is approaching and it is now time to get your home ready for the frigid temperatures. There is no need to panic if you haven’t started winterizing your home! Our team put together a list of 6 ways to prepare your home for the winter. Check out our list below:

  1. Drain Your Sprinkler System – Before temperatures start to drop, it’s necessary to drain your sprinkler system to prevent your pipes from bursting because of lingering frozen water. Draining your sprinkler system can prevent you from paying for costly repairs.
  2. Clean Your Gutters – Cleaning your gutters is must! If your gutters are clogged, water is more likely to freeze, which can cause roof and foundation problems to your home.
  3. Trim Back Trees and Bushes – If you have tree branches that are close to your home, cut them back. Branches that break due to snow and ice can cause major damage to your home.
  4. Check Furnace and Replace Filters – It’s important to get your furnace checked by a professional and get filters replaced before icy winter weather comes. You do not want to take the risk of having heating issues when frigid temperatures occur!
  5. Prevent Frozen Pipes – A great way to prevent frozen pipes is to use insulation around your pipes. Homeowners should also look for any air leaks around pipes and insulation that would bring any cold air.
  6. Check Your Emergency Supply Kit –It’s a good idea to get your emergency supply kit checked for appropriate clothing, expired food, valid medications and enough water. Winter storms can cause emergency situations and doing this can keep your family safe.

By doing these precautionary steps, you can feel more prepared heading into winter this year. These small steps can save you a ton of money on costly repairs and high utility bills. A few hours of doing these pre-winter maintenance tips, can keep your family safe and warm this winter season.

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5 Tips for A Debt Free Christmas

Family celebrating Christmas at home.

Family celebrating Christmas at home.We all know Christmas lands on December 25th every year but it always seems to sneak up on us, leaving most Americans unprepared. A majority of Americans start the new year with a big pile of debt because they overspent during Christmas. With Christmas being just a few weeks away, we want to help you have a debt free Christmas. We have compiled a list of 5 tips to help you stay debt free this holiday season:

  1. Make a Budget – Start by making a budget of how much money you need to spend this holiday season. Then make a list of everyone you need to buy gifts for this holiday season. Christmas gifts are a large chunk of this budget but don’t forget to budget for decorations, holiday cards, food, wrapping paper and anything else you know you are going to spend money on over the holidays.
  2. Use Cash – Using cash is a great way to ensure you will not overspend and go into debt this holiday season. Many people do not think about the money they are spending when they swipe their credit card to make purchases. Using cash generally makes consumers more aware of the money they are spending.
  3. Make A Gift List – Making a list is like making a budget! If you can put a gift list together, you can shop around for the best deals. Then you also know what you need to buy when you go shopping at the store. By having a list and sticking to your list, you can ensure you do not overspend.
  4. Shop Online – Shopping online is a great way to save lots of money! There are wonderful deals available online and it’s a great way to stick to your list and budget. Shopping online also saves time and money driving to the store!
  5. Look for Coupons and Promo Codes – Before you start shopping, be sure to check newspapers and flyers for coupons. During the holidays, there are also several promo codes in circulation online. Before checking out online, be sure to look for a promo code so you can potentially save some money!

If you can follow these tips this holiday season, you can go into the new year without having to worry about paying off your debt. Christmas is not a reason to get into debt. Christmas is a time to make memories with your friends and family. It’s also a time to reflect on the positive things going on in your life and helping others in the community who are less fortunate.

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VETERAN INTERVIEW WITH PARAMOUNT’S PAUL LAVANCHA

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fA2F8bxI7y96OpsipK4WQlCvY-aTAhOAf5n1FZvLZ4UModerator: We would like to thank you for taking the time to sit down with us today, Paul. We’re excited to learn more you and how our VA loan program can help other veterans, like yourself. Let’s get started!

Moderator: How long did you serve in the military and for what military branch?

Paul: I joined when I was 19 years old and served four years from August 2000 through August 2004 in the US Airforce.

Moderator: How long have you been working at Paramount?

Paul: I have been in the business since 2005 and was hired as a District Sales Manager with Paramount in 2013.  I have since been promoted to Vice President of Sales which I love because it gives me the opportunity to educate Bankers about our military vets as well as the benefits of VA loans.

Moderator: Can you tell us what the VA mortgage program is?

Paul: We really have two types of VA loans.  If a borrower is currently in a VA loan and simply looking to lower their rate and payment, we would us the VA IRRRL program (Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan).  This may be the best thing about being in a VA loan because any time rates drop we can reduce their interest rate and payment without all the underwriting requirement other loans may require.  VA IRRRL’s do not require an appraisal or even income documentation, which allows us to close quickly with ease.  A traditional VA loan is a loan that every veteran should take advantage of.  Not only do they allow you to refinance or purchase 100% of the value of the home but they typically come with low interest rates as well.  Unlike FHA loans, the VA does not require a monthly mortgage insurance even if you are at the max LTV (Loan to Value).  VA also has less stringent guidelines, which allows approval for our veterans with lower credit scores as well as higher debt to income ratios.  These are just a few reasons why VA loans are a wonderful program to be a part of.

Moderator: How come veterans do not have to pay private mortgage insurance?

Paul: While all other loans may require monthly mortgage insurance, the VA loan does not.  These loans are designed to help our veterans as a benefit, not a detriment.  Now even though the VA does not have a monthly mortgage insurance, they do have a VA funding fee. This fee reduces the loans cost to taxpayers, considering that a VA loan does not require a down payment nor does it have a monthly mortgage insurance.  You have the option to finance the funding fee or pay it cash.

Moderator: What do veterans need to do to see if they are eligible for a VA loan?

Paul: All of our licensed loan officers are trained and happy to help.  If you are unsure if you would qualify or not, we can look into it for you by requesting a COE (Certificate of Eligibility) from the VA department.  This will let us know if you are eligible and what your entitlement amount is.

Moderator: Thanks, Paul, for telling us your story and for spreading the benefits of the VA loan program to other veterans. We appreciate your sacrifice and service to our country.

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Top 5 Advantages of a VA Loan

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Being a military veteran comes with some great benefits, especially when it comes to home loans. Veterans who want to purchase a home can do so with a VA (Veteran Affairs) loan. The goal of the VA loan program is to make homeownership feasible for active and retired military personnel. The Department of Veteran Affairs makes buying a home easier for Veterans through the VA home loan program. Find out the top 5 advantages of the VA loan program:

  1. A Down Payment is Not Required- One of the biggest advantages of a VA loan is that a borrower does not have to pay any money toward a down payment. This is the only mortgage loan where a buyer does not have put money down to secure a loan. The reason for this is because VA loans are made by private lenders whereas for other loans the bank, mortgage company and other lenders put the funds toward the purchase of your home.
  2. Do Not Have to Pay Private Mortgage Insurance- VA borrowers do not have to pay private mortgage insurance if they do not have a 20% down payment toward their home. This is significant because private mortgage insurance can add $100 or more to a borrower’s mortgage payment each month. This benefit can save VA borrowers thousands of dollars over the life of the loan.
  3. You Can Use the VA Loan Benefit Numerous Times- A big misconception of a VA loan is that borrowers believe they can only use this program one time. There is not a limit on the number of times a borrower can use the VA loan program. Veterans who served our country earn this benefit for the rest of their life and can use this loan program as many times as needed.
  4. VA Loan Interest Rates Are Typically Lower- The interest rates for a VA loan are very competitive and typically lower than a conventional loan because it is guaranteed by the Department of Veteran Affairs. Since the Department of Veteran Affairs backs this particular loan, financial institutions feel more secure and can offer lower interest rates.
  5. Flexible Approval Guidelines- Veterans do not need to have perfect credit to secure a VA home loan because the Department of Veteran Affairs oversees the program. The Department of Veteran Affairs is not a lender and therefore it does not require minimum credit scores. This is a significant benefit because most conventional loans have a minimum credit score benchmark that must be met to receive a competitive interest rate.

If you are a Veteran and would like learn more about the VA program, give one of our senior mortgage specialists a call at (877) 788-4564 or to receive a free quote click here >> http://bit.ly/2iZFPFM

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