Tag Archives: #sacramentomortgagelender

Interest Rate and APR…What’s The Difference?

An annual percentage rate (APR) reflects the mortgage interest rate plus other charges.

There are many costs associated with taking out a mortgage. These include:

  • The interest rate
  • Points
  • Fees
  • Other charges

The interest rate is the cost you will pay to borrow the money, expressed as a percentage rate. It does not reflect fees or any other charges you may have to pay for the loan.

An annual percentage rate (APR) is a broader measure of the cost to you of borrowing money, also expressed as a percentage rate. In general, the APR reflects not only the interest rate but also any points, mortgage broker fees, and other charges that you pay to get the loan. For that reason, your APR is usually higher than your interest rate.

Why have both?

“The biggest difference between the two is that the interest rate calculates what your actual monthly payment will be,” says Kathleen Beck, Mortgage Lender, “while the APR calculates the total cost of the loan. A homebuyer can use one or both to make comparisons when shopping for loans.”

As an example, a loan with a 4.25% rate will have a lower monthly payment than a loan for 6.5%, assuming both loans are fixed for the same term.  Which means the total cost of the 4.25% APR will be less than the loan with the 6.5% APR.

How long you will stay in your home matters

If you plan on staying in your home for the entire 30 year mortgage, it makes sense to go with the lowest APR because you will end up paying the lowest amount for your house.  But if you know you are not going to be living in that house that long, it could make sense to pay fewer upfront fees and get a higher rate and a higher APR because the total cost will be less over the first few years.

“Because the APR spreads the fees out over the course of the entire loan, you get the most value only if you stay in the home throughout the entire mortgage.” Kathleen says.

The Right Lender is Crucial

Kathleen says “If you are planning on staying in your home for a shorter period of time you need to do the math and figure out your break-even point. A good lender will help you do that, I will help you do that!” You need to know if you are going to lose money by paying for a lower APR, but end up moving sooner than your break-even point!

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What is Hygge and why should I try it?

The temperatures are dropping, and the nights are getting longer, which is the perfect time to practice hygge! Pronounced “hue –gah”, it is a Danish practice that has helped Denmark have one of the happiest populations in the world for 40 years in a row! (at least since those statistics have been compiled)

Hygge has no real western translation, but it has been described as “cozy” or “homey,” but neither of those translations take into account the emotional part of hygge, which can get lost in the efforts to create a cozy environment when trying to describe hygge. But that is not a bad thing, because a cozy environment is vitally important to a successful hygge.

First off, there is nothing you need to buy, or learn or do in order to hygge. It is not so much in what you do, but in how you do it, and in being present, and aware. Hyggehouse.com describes it this way – “Hygge literally only requires consciousness, a certain slowness, and the ability to not just be present – but recognize and enjoy the present.” It is about holding this time spent as sacred, and important. You can hygge alone, or with friends or family, but the time spent is cozy, comfortable and the people present are engaged and aware of this special time.

There is a lot written about hygge online, and I encourage you to research and learn as much as you can about this Danish tradition. For now I will just help you get ready for your first hygge experience!

You will want to do these things as a starting point, and adjust and change it as you need to in order to suit your lifestyle and environment.

The first thing you need is a place to hygge. A cozy space by a fireplace or wood stove is best, but any warm cozy spot in the house will do, as long as people can join you if it is family or friends hygge time. Light a bunch of candles, enough to illuminate the space you are going to hygge in. Turn off all the lights, tv, computers and such. Prep the space by having it nice and warm. Put on a pot of water for tea, or cocoa, and find some comfort type snacks. Hygge is perfect for fresh baked cookies, warm breads and cakes, and other soul satisfying pastries. If you are watching calories or on special types of diets, look for foods that would fit the comfort profile. Have your tea and cookies ready for you when you are dressed for hygge!

The perfect hygge ensemble would include slouchy wool socks on your feet, comfortable cozy pants such as sweats or joggers on your legs. Sweatshirts, sweaters and cozy flannels for your top and knit cap if you need one for your head!

Nestle yourself into a cozy chair or couch with your family, make sure ALL electronic devices are out of the picture, turned off or in another room. If it is your first time, have a plan of topics to chat about, that are not too heavy or sad. Hygge should be healing to the soul and strengthen the relationships with the people that are with you.

Once everyone is cozy, under lap blankets, curled up with the family dog on their lap, or warm by the fire, you have begun to hygge! If you wish to have soothing music on in the background that is also ok, but not too loud as to hinder conversation. Now just talk to your family or friends, sip your tea and snack on your cookies if you wish for the next hour or so. That is all there is too it!

Hygge, when done on a nightly basis can be transformational. It will become a time to look forward to in the hour or so before bedtime. It allows you to unplug and unwind, without distractions and connect or reconnect with those people that are important to you. Afterall, some of the happiest people in the world have attributed hygge as one of the reason why they can stay so positive in winters that last so long!

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Guide To The Best Pumpkin Patches

Fall is an amazing time to live in the Sacramento Region and the surrounding foothills. As the nights get cooler and the days get shorter, the leaves come alive with vibrant colors and the excitement of Fall fills the air. The region is known for agriculture, and it is no surprise that pumpkin patches that bring the feel and flavor to the fall abound! Here are four of our favorite Pumpkin patches in the region, and we are sure one is close to you, but be adventurous and trek out to see them all, it will be worth your time!

Davis Ranch
13211 Jackson Road, Sloughhouse, CA 95683 – (916) 82-2658

Davis Ranch is a produce stand located off Hwy 16 in Sloughhouse. But during the fall, it becomes a favorite destination for fans looking for a great pumpkin patch and other fall fun! Attractions include a great corn maze, pumpkin patch, pumpkin pyramid, kiddy corn maze and weekend tractor rides to pick your own pumpkins. You will also be able to go home with all the fresh produce needed for a hearty fall dinner.

Zittel Farms zittelfarms.com
6781 Oak Ave., Folsom, CA – (916) 989-2633

Located in Folsom, CA since 1976, Zittel Farms is a favorite pumpkin patch among locals and visitors alike. Touting one of the largest varieties of pumpkins in the region, the pumpkin patch is sure to excite the younger ones. Weekends are great because you can get a real hayride! There is plenty for adults too, such as a collection of antiques from across the USA, Amish made décor and fine handcrafted preserves and honey.

The Flower Farm http://www.flowerfarminn.com
4150 Auburn Folsom Rd., Loomis, CA 95650 – (916) 652-4200

The Flower Farm is a beautiful, multi-purpose farm easily located right off of Folsom Auburn rd. The farm itself is composed of a delicious café, a bed and breakfast, a very large nursery, an event center and Casque Wine Tasting Room. This is a great destination with something for everyone in the family! Of course, the reason we are mentioning it is because of the beautiful pumpkin patch that features their very unique “Pumpkin People Tours”. There are plenty of activities for the kids on the weekends, and of course fall food, wine and beer in the café for the parents! Be sure to check their calendar for details.

Apple Hill – applehill.com
Camino Ca

More than 50 Apple Hill ranches have been the fall destination for families since 1964. With a large assortment of pumpkin patches, farm stands, wineries, breweries, eateries and activities, one of the biggest reasons to visit besides the pumpkins is the fresh hot apple donuts and take and bake apple pies! Apple Hill is a Fall tradition for many, but be sure to plan ahead, and get an early start to beat the traffic. On the weekends, all traffic is diverted to the last Apple Hill exit 54, and then funneled back through Carson Rd. There is no exit from the eastbound lanes on exits 48 and 49 in Camino. Certainly worth the effort, you will enjoy the cool mountain air, the rural farms and the amazing assortment of pumpkins, baked goods and fresh pressed apple cider, maybe even some warm spiced cider!

Fall is the favorite season for many who live in the region, and a visit to any of these wonderful, family friendly farms will show you why that is! Good luck and happy pumpkin huntin’!

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Home Financing “Need List”


Kathleen Beck – Mortgage Lender

West Coast Mortgage Group

NMLS #243181 | BRE #01058848

Looking to buy or refinance a home is a very exciting time. It is also an important time for interested borrowers to organize their documents, better known as a “Needs List” to ensure your loan or re-fi is processed in a timely manner without unforeseen challenges.

The documents listed below are needed by your mortgage officer in order to verify the information you provided during the application process. These items should be sent at your earliest opportunity to expedite the processing of your request.

Documents Needed:

  • Copy of your Driver’s License
  • Copy of your Social Security Card
  • Legible copies of W-2’s and 1099s from last two tax years
  • Personal Federal Tax Returns from last two tax years
  • Statements for all checking, savings, investment and retirement accounts (including all pages for the last two months)
  • A letter of explanation for all non-payroll deposits into your accounts and copies of the checks deposited
  • Current pay-stubs from all borrowers (most recent 30 days)
  • Copy of Homeowners Insurance Policy Declaration Page showing the coverage and premium on all property owned
  • Current mortgage statements on all property owned

The entire loan and re-finance process takes approximately 30-45 days and mortgage officers should work to make this as simple and stress-free as possible. Once you have gathered the items above, send the documents via secure email, hand delivery, or by means you feel comfortable and you should have a smooth experience.

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Is there a Rate-Master?


How in the world are interest rates calculated?  Is there a Rates Boss that gets to decide whether they go up or down?  Not quite!  Here is a little insight into how mortgage interest rates are formed.

Mortgage interest rates have a very significant impact on the overall long-term cost of purchasing a home through financing. On the one hand, mortgage borrowers are seeking the lowest possible rates, but on the other hand, mortgage lenders have to manage their risk through the interest rates they charge. The lowest mortgage interest rates are only available to borrowers with the most solid finances and sterling credit histories.

While the financial health of borrowers affects the specific interest rates they can obtain, the general level of mortgage interest rates is influenced by a number of critical economic factors, as well as government financial policy. The factors that influence mortgage rates all represent basic rules of supply and demand in one form or another.

1) Inflation

The gradual upward movement of prices due to inflation is an important factor in the overall economy and a critical factor for mortgage lenders. Inflation erodes the purchasing power of dollars over time. Mortgage lenders generally have to maintain interest rates at a level that is at least sufficient to overcome the erosion of purchasing power through inflation to ensure that their interest returns represent a real net profit. For example, if mortgage rates are at 5%, but the level of annual inflation is at 2%, then the lender’s real return on a loan in terms of the purchasing power of the dollars they received in repayment is only 3%. Therefore, mortgage lenders carefully monitor the rate of inflation and adjust rates accordingly.

2) The Level of Economic Growth

Mortgage rates are also influenced by economic growth indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) and the employment rate. Higher economic growth levels generally produce higher incomes and higher levels of consumer spending, including more consumers looking to obtain mortgage loans for home purchases. The upswing in overall demand for mortgages tends to propel mortgage rates higher, since there is only a certain supply of money that lenders have available to lend out. Naturally, the opposite effect results from a weakening economy. Employment and wages decline, leading to decreased demand for home loans, which in turn puts downward pressure on the interest rates offered by mortgage lenders.

3) Federal Reserve Monetary Policy

The monetary policy pursued by the Federal Reserve Bank is one of the most important factors influencing both the economy generally and interest rates specifically, including mortgage rates. The Federal Reserve does not set the specific interest rates in the mortgage market, but its actions in establishing the Fed Funds rate and adjusting the money supply upward or downward have a significant impact on the interest rates available to the borrowing public. Generally, increases in the money supply put downward pressure on rates, while tightening the money supply pressures rates upward.

4) The Bond Market

Banks and other investment firms market mortgage-backed securities (MBSs) as investment products. The yields available from these debt securities must be sufficiently high to attract buyers. Part of this equation is the fact that government and corporate bonds offer competing long-term fixed income investments. The yields available on these competing investment products affect the yields that are offered on MBSs. The overall condition of the larger bond market therefore indirectly affects the mortgage rates that lenders charge, since the lenders must generate sufficient yields for MBSs to make them competitive in the total debt security market.

One frequently used government bond benchmark that mortgage lenders often peg their interest rates to is the 10-Year Treasury bond yield. Typically, the average spread for MBSs above the 10-year Treasury bond yield is approximately 1.7%. MBS sellers must offer higher yields because repayment is not 100% guaranteed as it is with government bonds.

5) Housing Market Conditions

Trends and conditions in the housing market also affect mortgage rates. When fewer homes are being built or offered for resale, the decline in homes being purchased leads to a decline in the demand for mortgages and pressures interest rates downward. A recent trend that has also applied downward pressure to rates is an increasing number of consumers opting to rent rather than buy a home. Such changes in the availability of homes and consumer demand affect the levels at which mortgage lenders set loan rates.

Call me with any questions or to find out what current rates are!


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Original post:http://www.investopedia.com/articles/wealth-management/120115/most-important-factors-affect-mortgage-rates.asp


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A little dry?


Is your once beautiful front lawn now just a sea of dead grass and weeds from dehydration?  You are not alone!  The California drought has been a killer on our once green state.  But how can you  have a nice looking yard without getting fined from the water company and the State?

I’m sure you have heard a lot about “lawn painting” by now.  Real Estate Agents have been using this method for a few years now to try to spruce up foreclosed homes.  The result is good, but temporary.  What are your other options?

Alfresco-copyWhen it comes to brown spots and dead grass, artificial grass is the most ideal solution to any lawn, especially over grass paint. Grass paint, a short-term solution, may seem appealing because of its quick gratification and fast results, however, such results do not last. synthetic grass, on the other hand, is the long-term lawn solution that prevents discoloration and dead spots. Though the initial investment may be significantly more than that of painted grass, its overall return on investment is relatively short and can thus help you to accrue valuable savings over the years. artificial turf also yields many more benefits, including being eco-friendly. In dealing with concerns such as dry and dead grass, it is ideal to fully consider the long lasting solution as opposed to a simple quick fix.

Extreme weather climates, overwatering, pet damage, and lack of maintenance time are all contributors to the unsightly yards we all cringe at the sight of. Brown spots, weeds, and barren areas are a common concern for many households. Therefore, for a fast, easy, and relatively cheap option, some people look into the use of grass paint. It is designed to simply spray green coloring on discolored or dead areas, giving a pseudo healthy appearance. Many grass paint products, as well as their retailers commonly advertise it as nontoxic and free of noxious chemicals. However, many grass paint products pose risks involved with eye contact and irritation, as well as strong staining properties that can ruin clothes and other surfaces that it comes into contact with. Though grass paint can help with color, it does not add lushness or texture to a dead or dry area. Thus, appearance is not as realistic with grass paint.painting

Synthetic turf, on the other hand, completely replaces a natural grass yard with a realistic, lush, and healthy looking surface that is realistic and long lasting. Since artificial grass is completely synthetic, it does not depend on water for maintenance, and thus looks lush and green with completely minimal upkeep. Factors mentioned above, including extreme weather conditions and pet damage pose no threat whatsoever on synthetic grass. It is designed for complete durability and long lasting beautiful aesthetics that stay that way for several years. Artificial grass’ unique yarn composition and infill system make it both strong and comfortable for all members of the family, including small children and pets. Throughout the years, technological improvements in synthetic turf have allowed it to look and feel more and more like real grass. Thus, the lines between a real yard and artificial yard have been blurred with innovation.

The wide range in adaptability of artificial grass to any home or environment makes it ideal for all households. It is completely nontoxic and non-staining, unlike grass paint. With the amount of money saved on maintenance, water, and energy costs, artificial grass’ return on investment makes it worth it. When concerned with dark spots, discoloration, and dead grass, artificial turf is the best solution because of its durability lasting vibrant color, and healthy lushness unmatchable by grass paint.

drought-tolerant-front-yard-0110-mAnd the last option is going totally drought tolerate plants.  Use decorative rocks, sturdy green plants and you are almost water free!

If you are ready to tackle the front yard and need some help call me!  I have a list of reputable landscapers ready to help you.  Oh, and if you need help financing the new yard, call me.  Let’s talk refinance!


Please call or email me with any questions… I specialize in finding you the right loan that meets your specific needs and financial goals.  Please email me today Kathleen@BeckHomeLoanPro.com or call 916-722-0395 to get started on your dream of home ownership.



Kathleen Beck A person you can count on.

West Coast Mortgage Group
2716 Broadway
Sacramento, CA 95818

NMLS#243181, BRE#01058848.

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New Year, New Lower Mortgage Payment?

FHA Reduces Annual Mortgage Insurance Premiumsgood-news

FHA has announced that they have lowered the Mortgage Insurance Premium for new loans that are for terms over 15 years.  What does this mean for you?  Refinance your current loan and with the new rules, you could lower your monthly payments.

This is an important measure to help some FHA borrowers take advantage of the lower MIP rate. Call me today to find out if you qualify. Rates are still amazing.  Call today.

Kathleen Beck Mortgage Lender
West Coast Mortgage Group
916.722.0395 direct
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Real Estate in Sacramento, Hot or Not?

hot-real-estate-market1 (1)I have been asked if the real Estate market in Sacramento is still Hot, meaning low inventory and rising home prices.  My answer to the question is yes and no.


Yes, if you want to buy a home now with less competition from all cash investment buyers.  The Real Estate market in the Sacramento Area has stabilized to a more normal market where actual families have a good shot at buying a home.  No, if you want to buy a home and see double digit appreciation.  Since the first of the year the home prices in the Sacramento Area has increased at a normal rate of appreciation.


A normal market means the playing field for both the buyer and seller is more level.  The buyer is not competing against 10 to 20 other offers when they present an offer to the seller.  Likewise, the seller does not have to decrease the sales price and pay the buyer’s closing costs just to seem attractive to potential buyers.


Home prices are stabilizing and selling well if they are price correctly for this market. As always it is very important to make sure you are prequalified by a local lender before you start to look at homes to purchase.


Please call or email me with any questions… Let me help make your dream of homeownership come true. I specialize in finding you the right loan that meets your specific needs and financial goals. With mortgage rates still near historic lows, make this year the year to make your homeownership dream come true. Please email me today Kathleen@BeckHomeLoanPro.com or call 916-722-0395 to get started on your dream of home ownership. Kathleen Beck A person you can count on. West Coast Mortgage Group 2716 Broadway Sacramento, CA 95818 NMLS#243181, BRE#01058848.



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Thank You…

“Kathy was recommended to us by our Realtor.  What a recommendation.  Kathy got us an excellent rate.  Besides the good rate, she was very responsive and on the baThankYou Collagell.

When we got prequalified Kathy looked at our financials and anticipated a bunch of the questions the underwriter may have.  She had us write letters of explanation in advance and gather supporting documentation to expedite the underwriting process.

When we went to close our underwriter had a ton of additional requirements from items that occurred from the date of the offer until when we went into escrow (this was a short sale so 5-6 months had passed – hey we had to live our lives).  As the underwriter had more questions Kathy was right there in immediate communication with me telling me what they saw and what they needed.

One issue, for example, is we ordered a side of beef to be split between family members.  The underwriter needed to see why all of these checks came into our account and what they were for.  Kathy was right there on the phone with me guiding me through the process of what documentation I needed to gather.  These were all small issues but there were a bunch that came up between prequal and escrow.

The home buying process can be stressful and it was great to know that Kathy was there right by our side, every step of the way.  Honestly, this is our second home and of all the Realtors, brokers, and everyone else in the process on the buying and selling side, Kathy was the most professional, on the ball, responsive, knowledgeable, patient person we have worked with.  I felt like she was right there by my side guiding me and advocating for me all along the way.

We closed on an amazing home and Kathy played a big role.

If we buy again in the area we will DEFINITELY use her services.  I couldn’t be happier and feel like it was the best decision we made in the process.

You will not be disappointed!”

A.V. – Fair Oaks

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Interest Rates are Falling!

Great News for Homeowners.

The 30 year and 15 year fixed rate mortgages are falling again.  There is speculation the 30 year rate may fall below the 4% mark in the next 30 to 45 days.  If you missed the last refinance boom you are in luck.  For the most part in the Sacramento Tri-County Area home values have seen appreciation in the last two years, so even if you could not refinance 1 to 2 years ago you may be able to refinance now.
Are you tired of paying mortgage insurance every month?  This also may be a good time to refinance and get out of your mortgage insurance.


Call email or today for your FREE Home Loan Consultation.  Kathleen Beck-Mortgage Lender, Kathleen@BeckHomeLoanPro.com , 916-722-0395.

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