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April 27, 2018

VA Clients Can Now Take CASH OUT UP TO 100% LTV!

VA Clients Can Now Take


The 100% doesn't stop there, we also offer 100% LTV Purchase and 100% coverage of non-allowables!
  • Max LTV of 100% for loan amounts up to $453,100. 
  • Cash out is available up to the max loan amount for loans over $453,100.
  • Minimum FICO 680 and Approve/Eligible for LTVs over 90%.

New Website Functions New Look - 100% Online Process Now Available

April 26, 2018

Sun or Shade: The Perfect Plants for Your Garden

Not every garden is created equal.
If you have trees shading your garden, you want to select plants that don’t need a lot of sunlight. On the flip side, you don’t want to put a shade-preferring plant in direct sunlight.
Want to know the right plants for your garden? Here are a few of our favorite plants that grow best in the sun and some that grow best in the shade.

Sun-Loving Plants

Pheasant’s Tail Grass

Pheasant's tail grass
Image: RHS Plants
Pheasant Tail Grass, as well as most other types of grass, love the sun. This quality makes it perfect for a sunny garden. They don’t require much care and are drought tolerant. Their low-maintenance nature makes them an attractive garden feature year-round.


Not only is lavender beautiful and smells great, it also blooms best with lots of sunlight. One thing to keep in mind is that lavender is not a year-round flower. It blooms in late spring/early summer, and you typically don’t see another bloom after that.
Make sure that your soil drains well. Lavender doesn’t need a lot of water, so a well-drained soil helps keep the roots healthy.


Hibiscus is a tropical flower that, not surprisingly, loves the sunshine. Unlike some of the other sun-loving plants mentioned here, this flower needs lots of water. You want to keep the soil moist to keep these flowers looking lively. If you live in a drier climate, hibiscus might not be the best option for you.
Additionally, hibiscus is affected by the changing climate, so if your region’s temperature fluctuates, you might want to opt for another type of bloom in your garden.

Russian Sage

Russian Sage
Image: Gardenia
If you want your garden to be the hot spot for butterflies and hummingbirds, you should look into Russian sage. It is not temperamental, grows well in direct sunlight and it brings all the butterflies to the yard.
Be mindful prepping your sage for the changing seasons. From late winter to early spring, you’ll want to keep Russian sage cut closer to the ground. When you start to notice new growth, stop cutting and let it grow.

Shade-Loving Plants

Japanese Forest Grass

Japanese Forest Grass
Image: Heronswood
These grassy beauties grow best in complete shade. If you have them in the sunlight, it can fade their color and make them look white. Too much sun can even cause them to brown.
If you have a shady area in your yard, these can spruce it up and they’ll thrive living there. Keep the soil around it moist and they’ll be just fine.


Looking for plants that come with ease and peace of mind? Perennials will be your best friend because they’ll return to your garden every year. You know these plants will come back year after year, and if you have a shady garden, look no further than the hosta.
The leaves on hostas prefer shade, but they can handle some sunlight. They will flower in the spring and summer months, so keeping them somewhere that only sees the sun for part of the day works well if you want to see the blooms. If you like their show-stopping foliage, then keep them in the shade for optimal growth.

Bleeding Hearts

Bleeding Hearts
As you probably guessed, this flowering plant gets its name from the heart-shaped blooms that drip off of the stems. Their unique shape adds some visual interest to a shady garden. Unlike some other shade-loving plants, bleeding hearts like a lot of water. Make sure you keep the soil around the plant moist at all times.


Image: Gardenista
Helleborus, otherwise known as Lenten roses, have hearty leaves but the blooms are delicate and colorful. These distinct perennials come in a variety of colors from bright white to a deep purple. They grow best in groups, in the shade.
Whether your garden is shaded or in the sunlight, you can enjoy beautiful flowers and plants. Don’t have a garden or an area to landscape? Try out some indoor plants to brighten your home.

How to Find the Best Mortgage Rates

Mortgage rates can change daily, and can vary widely depending on the borrower's personal situation. The difference can mean tens of thousands of dollars over the life of the loan. Here are some tactics to help you find the best mortgage rate for your new home loan.
  1. Shop Around

    You may be tempted to just use the lender who your real estate agent typically works with, but that doesn't guarantee you'll get the best rate for your home loan. It's best to compare official Loan Estimates from at least 3 different lenders to make sure you're getting a competitive interest rate.
  2. Compare Fees

    The mortgage rate isn't the only factor when it comes to the cost of your home loan. Be sure to look at each lender's fees and closing costs to fully assess the cost of the loan. When you apply for a loan, your lender will give you a form called a Loan Estimate that makes it easier to compare the total cost of the loan, including fees.
  3. Increase Your Down Payment

    Did you know that your down payment amount can have an impact on your mortgage rate? That's because mortgage rates are generally tiered, and typically lower mortgage rates are available for those with a down payment of 20% or more. If possible, consider increasing your down payment to see if it'll get you a lower rate for your home loan.
  4. Improve Your Credit Score

    Your credit score is one of the biggest factors that affects the mortgage rate that you'll be offered by lenders. Generally, the higher your credit score, the lower the interest rate for your home loan. Before applying for a mortgage, it's best to review your credit score and get it in the best shape possible. Learn more about how to improve your credit score.
  5. Consider Your Loan Program

    The 30-year fixed loan is by far the most common loan program, but adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) and 15-year fixed loans offer lower rates. If you're ok with the higher monthly payment of the 15-year fixed loan or the possibility of your rate changing with the ARM, one of these loan programs could help you pay much less interest over time for your home loan.

April 25, 2018

6 Simple Strategies to Improve Your Credit Score

When shopping for a home, a higher credit score could save you thousands over the life of your mortgage. And if your score is too low, you may not qualify for a mortgage at all. That’s why many home shoppers want to increase their credit scores as much as possible. Whether you’re like many Americans who struggle with bad credit, or you want the best deal possible for your home loan, you can take steps to improve your credit-worthiness. Let’s take a look at the common sense strategies that financial experts suggest to boost your credit score.

1. Always pay your minimum balance on time.

Let’s face it, credit card companies make profits on you when you maintain a balance. Just make sure you send them their due each month. Better yet, only spend what you can expect to pay back at bill time.

2, Try to reduce balances.

Even throwing in an extra $20 to $50 each month will help reduce the overall debt, and paying extra looks good on your credit report.

3. Don’t run up the entire balance.

Having $100 left on a $10,000 line of credit doesn’t look so hot. Lenders look at the dollar amount of credit available to you and, from there, what percentage of that credit you have used. In other words, if you have a card with a $1,000 limit and you’ve spent $900 on that card, you’ve used 90% of your available credit; this looks a lot worse than having a balance of, say, $200 on the card.

4. Throw away new credit card offers.

Don’t apply for new cards and lines of credit right before you go home shopping. And when those clerks in the stores offer you a discount if you just open an account, say no. Banks will not turn a blind eye to numerous inquiries for new credit.

5. Check your credit report and fix credit mistakes

In addition to cleaning up your debts, you also need to check your credit report to make sure it is accurate. This is important: Items that are just plain erroneous can stay on your report for up to 10 years if they are not disputed. Even if you have bad credit, you may still be able to obtain a mortgage – view our resource page on getting a mortgage with bad credit.
By disputing items on your credit report, you put the wheels in motion to clean up the report and get a better mortgage. Your credit bureau will attempt to get the disputed items deleted from your report by contacting the creditors involved. After 30 days, if the creditors do not respond, the item is deleted from the report. You can also contact the creditors yourself.

6. Don’t close all your old credit card accounts

Did you know that the length of your credit history is factored into your credit score? So if you have credit cards with a history of on-time payments, keep them open, even if you don’t use them any more.

April 24, 2018

5 Ways that Going Paperless is Good for the Environment

Green is the new black. In fact, it has been the new black for a while, with environmentally responsible companies the world over looking for cost-effective, high-impact ways to become more environmentally friendly.
The paper industry is the fifth largest consumer of energy in the world. This over-use of paper has a huge impact on a company’s carbon footprint – not just from the chopping down of trees to make the paper, but also on the fossil fuel power used for printing, and the chemicals involved, too. To produce just one ton of paper, it is estimated that 253 gallons of petrol is used. In turn, to make just one piece of A4 paper requires 10 litres of water.
Since DocuSign came along, which enables anyone to transact anything, anytime, anywhere, on any device, more than 2.28 billion documents have been signed electronically instead of getting printed out. This has helped to save:
  • Over 10 billion pieces of paper
  • 316,000 barrels of oil
  • 27,210 cars’ worth of CO2 per year
Clearly, going paperless is a big tick for the environment. Here are five clear reasons why.

1. Save trees

Worldwide, use of paper has risen by 400% in the last 40 years. This increased usage takes a huge toll on trees. Rapid deforestation – much of it to produce paper products – is a huge concern for our environment. Trees play a critical role in absorbing CO2 from our atmosphere and producing oxygen to support life on our planet. By reducing or eliminating your use of paper, you are doing your bit to preserve the life of trees.

2. Cut down on pollution

Did you know that paper manufacturing is one of the worst offenders when it comes to pollution? Making one tonne of paper emits more than 1.5 tonnes of CO2 equivalent. Using less of the stuff will help to reduce the number of pollutants in our atmosphere.

3. Reduce transport

Every document that is transported across town or across the world uses up fuel. And the burning of fuel releases greenhouse gases. By switching to a digital document sending solution – where a signed and secure document is sent with the click of a button – a lot of fuel can be saved.

4. Save water

It takes 1.5 cups of water to make 1 sheet of paper. In a world in which fresh drinking water is a growing concern, this is certainly food for thought. By going paperless in your office, you are helping to conserve our world’s water sources.

5. Use less of the other stuff

It’s not just the use of paper that’s bad for the environment. There are the other consumables that go along with it – like ink. Production of ink uses fossil fuels; most inks contain chemicals and other substances that are harmful to our environment.

April 18, 2018

Kickbacks Allowed In Some States But Not Others -1024.14 Prohibition Against Kickbacks and Unearned Fees - Federal Law

  1. Section 8 violation.
  2. Any violation of this section is a violation of section 8 of RESPA (12 U.S.C. 2607).
  3. No referral fees.No person shall give and no person shall accept any fee, kickback or other thing of value pursuant to any agreement or understanding, oral or otherwise, that business incident to or part of a settlement serviceinvolving a federally related mortgage loan shall be referred to any person. Any referral of a settlement service is not a compensable service, except as set forth in § 1024.14(g)(1). A company may not pay any other company or the employees of any other company for the referral of settlement service business.
  4. No split of charges except for actual services performed.No person shall give and no person shall accept any portion, split, or percentage of any charge made or received for the rendering of a settlement service in connection with a transaction involving a federally related mortgage loan other than for services actually performed. A charge by a person for which no or nominal services are performed or for which duplicative fees are charged is an unearned fee and violates this section. The source of the payment does not determine whether or not a service is compensable. Nor may the prohibitions of this part be avoided by creating an arrangement wherein the purchaser of services splits the fee.
  5. Thing of value.This term is broadly defined in section 3(2) of RESPA (12 U.S.C. 2602(2)). It includes, without limitation, monies, things, discounts, salaries, commissions, fees, duplicate payments of a charge, stock, dividends, distributions of partnership profits, franchise royalties, credits representing monies that may be paid at a future date, the opportunity to participate in a money-making program, retained or increased earnings, increased equity in a parent or subsidiary entity, special bank deposits or accounts, special or unusual banking terms, services of all types at special or free rates, sales or rentals at special prices or rates, lease or rental payments based in whole or in part on the amount of business referred, trips and payment of another person's expenses, or reduction in credit against an existing obligation. The term “payment” is used throughout §§ 1024.14 and 1024.15 as synonymous with the giving or receiving of any “thing of value” and does not require transfer of money.
  6. Agreement or understanding.An agreement or understanding for the referral of business incident to or part of a settlement service need not be written or verbalized but may be established by a practice, pattern or course of conduct. When a thing of value is received repeatedly and is connected in any way with the volume or value of the business referred, the receipt of the thing of value is evidence that it is made pursuant to an agreement or understanding for the referral of business.
  7. Referral.
    1. A referral includes any oral or written action directed to a person which has the effect of affirmatively influencing the selection by any person of a provider of a settlement service or business incident to or part of a settlement service when such person will pay for such settlement service or business incident thereto or pay a charge attributable in whole or in part to such settlement service or business.
    2. A referral also occurs whenever a person paying for a settlement service or business incident thereto is required to use (see § 1024.2, “required use”) a particular provider of a settlement service or business incident thereto.
  8. Fees, salaries, compensation, or other payments.
    1. Section 8 of RESPA permits:
      1. A payment to an attorney at law for services actually rendered;
      2. A payment by a title company to its duly appointed agent for services actually performed in the issuance of a policy of title insurance;
      3. A payment by a lender to its duly appointed agent or contractor for services actually performed in the origination, processing, or funding of a loan;
      4. A payment to any person of a bona fide salary or compensation or other payment for goods or facilities actually furnished or for services actually performed;
      5. A payment pursuant to cooperative brokerage and referral arrangements or agreements between real estate agents and real estate brokers. (The statutory exemption restated in this paragraph refers only to fee divisions within real estate brokerage arrangements when all parties are acting in a real estate brokerage capacity, and has no applicability to any fee arrangements between real estate brokers and mortgage brokers or between mortgage brokers.);
      6. Normal promotional and educational activities that are not conditioned on the referral of business and that do not involve the defraying of expenses that otherwise would be incurred by persons in a position to refer settlement services or business incident thereto; or
      7. An employer's payment to its own employees for any referral activities.
    2. The Bureau may investigate high prices to see if they are the result of a referral fee or a split of a fee. If the payment of a thing of value bears no reasonable relationship to the market value of the goods or services provided, then the excess is not for services or goods actually performed or provided. These facts may be used as evidence of a violation of section 8 and may serve as a basis for a RESPAinvestigation. High prices standing alone are not proof of a RESPA violation. The value of a referral (i.e., the value of any additional business obtained thereby) is not to be taken into account in determining whether the payment exceeds the reasonable value of such goods, facilities or services. The fact that the transfer of the thing of value does not result in an increase in any charge made by the person giving the thing of value is irrelevant in determining whether the act is prohibited.
    3. MULTIPLE SERVICES.When a person in a position to refer settlement service business, such as an attorney, mortgage lender, real estate broker or agent, or developer or builder, receives a payment for providing additional settlement services as part of a real estate transaction, such payment must be for services that are actual, necessary and distinct from the primary services provided by such person. For example, for an attorney of the buyer or seller to receive compensation as a title agent, the attorney must perform core title agent services (for which liability arises) separate from attorney services, including the evaluation of the title search to determine the insurability of the title, the clearance of underwriting objections, the actual issuance of the policy or policies on behalf of the title insurance company, and, where customary, issuance of the title commitment, and the conducting of the title search and closing.
  9. Recordkeeping.Any documents provided pursuant to this section shall be retained for five (5) years from the date of execution.
  10. Appendix B of this part.Illustrations in Appendix B of this part demonstrate some of the requirements of this section.