social media trends 2018

Social Media Trends and Insights for 2018

Social media trends never cease to surprise us with its rapid evolution and growing features. It’s clear that it has continued to change at a rapid pace and we know you want to stay ahead of the social game, right? Right! For example, over a year ago, several major social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram added sharing stories as a feature – – fast forward to the present, over 300 million people are sharing stories on Instagram everyday! 

If you want to be successful as a chef, hairstylist, makeup artist, realtor, or any type of occupation that is entrepreneurial in nature, it’s crucial to stay ahead of the social media curve and embrace its latest trends. 

That’s why we’ve put together 7 of the top major trends to help grow your business on social media now! 


1. Ephemeral Stories

Source: Fonepaw

This type of content is a great way to create fresh content, reach wider audiences, and create urgency as well as exclusivity to your viewers. What is an ephemeral story? It’s a message, whether it be text, image or video, that is shown on your profile for a limited period of time and disappears. Although Snapchat was the original creator of this type of content sharing, Instagram and Facebook has just as many, if not more users. 

So what does this mean for your business?

This means you have the opportunity to share a myriad of unique content to reach audience members that may not be following you yet and/or make your current followers feel special. It’s also an opportunity to stay fresh in your viewer’s minds by appearing at the top (refer to the image above as to how your stories appear on one’s header). Here are some ideas for sharing ephemeral stories on the platform that you prefer:

-Sneak peeks into your brand/company’s products

-Offer a limited time promotion

-Show your personality with sharing something special to you or something funny

-Day in the life of video or behind-the-scenes


2. Social Messaging and Social Call-Out Customer Service  

There was a time when customer service used to only be held in private; emails, phone calls and forms. Not anymore. As long as the use of social media rises (and it probably will), so will the rise of customer service being in the public eye. Businesses that have a facebook page, instagram page or any social media platform cannot afford to ignore customers. Many social media users are quick to essentially “call out” a business for their dissatisfaction and it is in your business interest to respond to all social messages/comments in a timely manner.

Ignoring any social media comments or messages about your business can have dire consequences and can discourage other fans to distrust your business. It’s not worth it. Make it a priority to respond to all messages on social. 


3. Currently 2.46 BILLION Social Media Users

It’s also been predicted to have over 3 billion social media users in the year 2021. With that being said, out of the 2.45 billion social media users that are online day to day, some of them could be your most valuable future fans and/or customers. It just comes down to how you are targeting them. What’s the best way to target your specific type of customers? Ask yourself the following questions about your business:

-What is your niche

-What type of fans/customers do you currently have? 

-What types of things motivates your target? 

-Most importantly, what niche do you enjoy working in? (Ex: for hairstylists, enjoy cutting hair for kids? elderly? special ocassions?)

-Although tempting to want to target everyone, it’s simply not possible and does not provide your marketing strategy with a laser-like focus. 


4. Social Media on Mobile >> Desktop

As the rate of mobile users increases year by year, it’s crucial for entrepreneurs to provide mobile-friendly content. Currently, the most popular social media platforms that are used on mobile are: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. Here are some tips on making more mobile-friendly content:

-Crop images that are easily viewable on smaller screens

-Keep headlines/captions short, precise and engaging

-Consider employing a social media content management tool such as CoSchedule, Hootsuite or IFTTT


5. Video: The Most Popular Content Type 


By the year 2020, according to, 80% of the entire global internet traffic will soon be attributed by videos! In fact, 73% of B2B companies have reported positive results to their ROI from their marketing campaigns. With that being said, video content has become so increasingly valuable and popular that it’s impossible for businesses and entrepreneurs to ignore.


6. User-Generated Content 

Source: Slideshare

So, what is user-generated content and what does it mean? It is essentially any content that is created from a customer using a specific product or brand. For example, if Sheila buys a Starbucks drink and takes a selfie with her Starbucks and tags @Starbucks on Instagram, that is what’s considered user-generated content because Sheila created the content. It’s a great way to encourage trust from other brand users and showcases a truer than true testimonial. 

How can you incorporate user-generated content for your brand’s social media? 

Here are some tips: 

-Run contest/quizzes/promotions on social media and encourage users to participate and provide content

-Leverage the use of hashtags to spread the word of your promotion/contest while encouraging users to use it when talking about your brand’s contest. Ex: #PutACanOnIt

-Reposting your fans’ or user’s content to show them you appreciate them


7. Trust Declines as Peer Influence Rise  

Remember the days when you’d see celebrity endorsements on your favorite cereal box? Or how about Macho Man Randy Savage “snapping into a Slim Jim”? These days, celebrity endorsements aren’t as impactful. In fact, as cool as those celebrities are, it’s going to take much more to convince a consumer to buy into a brand. 

So, why did celebrity endorsements stop working? One answer: authenticity

The demand for authenticity is higher than ever and it comes down to how you portray that in your brand or product. Be yourself, use stories to record conversations about your brands with people who have actually used it. Encourage users to tell stories about your brand and tag you on it. 




first time home buyer - questions

The Best First Time Home Buyer Q & A

As a first time homebuyer we know you have a lot of questions. Our team here at Sun American Mortgage knows this and wants to make the path to homeownership as simple as possible. 

Thoroughly answering all your questions and walking you through each step is important to us. Today we are going to cover some of the most popular questions we get from first time home buyers and break it down to the basics for you!

How can I best prepare to apply for a mortgage and purchase a home?

To purchase your first home, you’ll need a good credit score and DTI (debt-to-income) ratio, steady job history, and a size-able chunk of cash saved up for a down payment.

Does one of these areas need some work? No worries! Our team is happy to help you make homeownership possible. We will work together to build a plan specific to your needs – whether it’s helping you build your credit up or saving up for a down payment – our team here at Sun American will be there every step of the way! 

What is a DTI? How does it effect my qualifying for a mortgage?

A lower debt-to-income ratio will lower your credit score and mortgage rates.

What is a DTI? Debt to Income Ratio is a major factor lenders look at during the mortgage application process.

The amount of debt you have compared to how much money your household is bringing in each month, lets lenders know how much of a monthly mortgage payment you’ll be able to handle.

Depending on which loan program you qualify for, determines which percentage of DTI you’ll need. Currently for a Conventional and FHA loan program, you can get an approval at 50% DTI. Generally you should try and stay under 45%. 

Below is an example from with a break down of how DTI or PITI works.

first time home buyer - dti

Click here to calculate your DTI! 

How can I apply for a mortgage loan?

A simple loan application will collect things like your current income, assets and debts. The loan officer will then use this information to get you lined up with several different loan programs that will fit purchase price and monthly payment goals.

Here at Sun American Mortgage we have made applying for a mortgage easy, efficient, and right at your fingertips! You will receive updates throughout the entire process and you can upload documents with our Online Accelerator.

Whether you apply for your mortgage loan in person or on your phone, our team will be thorough and walk you through each step of the way! 

Between my husband and I, we have thousands of dollars in student loan debt to pay off. Does this affect us qualifying & purchasing a home?

Most mortgage lenders don’t mind student loan debt, as long as there is proof to show you are paying your monthly payments on time. It is still wise to pay off as much as you can before applying. But don’t sweat it if you have student loan debt on your shoulders. Almost everyone has some, what’s important is how well you make you’ve been making your monthly payments.

Our team of Loan Officers have helped many first time home buyers purchase their first home. One of our Loan Officers Derek Hargrove says this regarding student loan debt:

“Student loan debt is not the end of the world. Incurring that debt in order to gain some type of specialized training is generally viewed as a good investment that will pay off in the long run! Once the student has graduated and found a job they will normally take advantage of a “post-graduation deferment option”. This is where no payment is due on their student loans for 6 months after they have completed their last class. This deferment period can be kicked out, further pending student loan servicer approval and is not generally something that the servicer will fight you on. Interest is accruing on the debt and you are still obligated to pay it in the future, so the servicer is willing to defer the payment now for more money later. The former student generally plans to kick them back into repayment once they have gotten established in their industry and start making some good money. This is very budget friendly out of the gate but ends up wreaking havoc on a mortgage application as a mortgage company is required to use 1% of the deferred balance as a payment in the debt to income ratio.

For example, a $50,000 student loan debts digs a $500 per month hole in an applicant’s debt to income ratio and will severely limit their ability to qualify for a loan. However, current underwriting guidelines will allow a mortgage company to recognize income based repayments. The student loan servicer will require you to submit proof of income and adjust your required monthly payment accordingly. For example, a $50,000 student loan debt could be flipped from a deferred status that I would have to recognize as a $500 payment to a $20 per month income based repayment depending on your income. This $480 difference in the debt to income ratio calculation will completely change the application and allow you to qualify for way more home that you would have been able to qualify for previously. It is a complete game changer!!!”

We offer some great programs that would benefit first time home buyers with student loan debt.

What is the difference between Pre-Approval and Pre-Qualification?

After you are pre-qualified, your Loan Officer is able to prepare an accurate pre-approval letter. This is used most often when purchasing a home. The letter is then given to your represented real estate agent as well as to the sellers agent, which ensure you are qualified to purchase the home you’re about to make contract on.

The seller’s agent will oftentimes call the loan officer to see how solid your pre-qualification is. This gives us a great opportunity to brag about awesome you are and convince the seller to accept your offer!

Once your real estate agent has been able to help you go under contract on a home they will send your loan officer a copy of the contract so that the real fun can begin!

Which loan program do I fall under?

For first time home buyers there are a lot of different mortgage loans out there to choose from – so how do you decide which is right for you? It’s important to thoroughly research each type of mortgage loan program and understand the benefits of the different financing options available to you!

As you are going through the mortgage application process, your Loan Officer will help decide which loan program will fit your needs best.

I don’t currently have any established credit. How can I start building it up now so that I may qualify for a home soon?

Derek, our loan officer here at Sun American offered this great credit building tip for first time home buyers: “Establishing credit can be tough for people. It is hard to find a bank that is willing to give you a chance if you don’t have any history but it is impossible to get any history if a bank won’t give you a chance. This conundrum has a very simple solution that I would be happy to walk you through.

Here is what I would do to get established. It is easy, simple and can be set in motion with about an hours’ worth of work. You need a secured credit card. There are a ton of banks out there that will set up a secured credit card and essentially allow you to borrow money from yourself. For example, let’s say you walk into a bank with $500 cash. You tell the teller that you want to set up a secured credit card. They have you sit down with an adviser. The adviser takes the $500 and puts into an account as collateral against your new line of credit. The new line of credit will have a $500 limit and will have a normal looking credit card that you can use like any other.

You start to you use the card responsibly and pay down the balance regularly. The bank gets to report that good behavior to the credit bureaus and your credit score goes through the roof within a few months. The bank has next to no risk in this line of credit and generally will not even require a credit check because you are effectively borrowing that money from yourself. Once you have a credit score you can apply for other more traditional lines of credit that do not require a deposit or secured account. After a few months of this even a person with a completely non-existent credit score will be well within range of being able to purchase a home. I have seen it happen lots and lots of times before. It works like a charm!”

First Time Home Buyers Experience With Us

We know purchasing a new home is a big step and for many, a brand new chapter in life! We take pride in making this the most memorable and positive experience for you, walking you through every step of the way!

Here are some of our recent testimonials from first time home buyers and their experience working with us: 

first time home buyers - review

first time home buyer - review

first time home buyer - review

Let’s Get Started!

Now that you see how easy it is to qualify- what are you waiting for?! These affordable programs are right at your fingertips and just an application away. Our team of experts have the best programs and love helping home buyers qualify for their new dream home, or refinance their existing one.

Get started today! Call us to get a quick estimate at 480-832-4343

Below are some of our past blogs that will also help guide you on your path to becoming a homeowner! We hope all your questions have been answered. If we missed any, please contact our team at 480-832-4343 and we would be happy to help!

4 Things That Don’t Matter When You’re Choosing Your First Home

Overcoming Home Buying Fears

Simple Savings Tips To Save Up For Your Dream Home In a Year!

How The Mortgage Process Works

5 Benefits of Becoming a Homeowner

Exciting Easter Events To Hop Over To This Weekend

We put together some upcoming family-friendly events happening here in the Valley.

Start reading below to get some ideas and maybe start some new Easter traditions with friends and family! 



Easter Egg Hunts & Events

While Easter Egg Hunts are fun and cheap to do at home, head out to one of these events below to get an even better experience! 

Checkout this list below of Egg Hunts, Easter Bunny photoshoot events, and more.


Mother Nature’s Farm Spring Social: 

When: 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday and Saturday

Where: Mother Nature’s Farm, 1663 E. Baseline Road, Gilbert

Cost: $7 per child and $3 per adult

Information: (480) 892-5874 or


Tempe Community Easter Egg Hunt

Over 6,000 plastic eggs packed with small prizes and a roaming Easter bunny attract loads of kids age 10 and younger to this fourth annual event. Children must be accompanied by a parent and should bring their own bags or baskets to collect eggs. Every child leaves with a prize!

When: 9 a.m. Saturday

Where: Kiwanis Park, 6111 S. All-America Way

Cost: Free

Information: (602) 625-4487 or



Golfland easter egg hunt

Affordable & fun hunt for eggs for $2 per tot inside this castle-themed amusement park, or add on to the basic egg hunt with packages that include extras like game cards, meal deals, etc. Water slides will also be open just in time for this 80 degree weather this weekend! 

When: Egg-hunting sessions for a variety of age groups go on 10:15 a.m. Friday through 2 p.m. Sunday. Select your session of choice online or by phone.

Where: Golfland Sunsplash, 155 W. Hampton Ave., Mesa

Cost: $2 for egg hunt; $5 for egg hunt and $5 game card; $8.99 for egg hunt, mini golf, one slice of pizza and a drink; $13.99 for egg hunt, water slide admission, one slice of pizza and a drink. Buy tickets online or by phone before you show up.

Information: (480) 834-8319 or


Easter Bunny Photo Experience

Head out to AZ Mills Mall for Easter Bunny photos! Click here to learn the details.


Mesa Chocolate Bunny 5K Race:


Easter Pageant at Mesa Temple

The Mesa Arizona Easter Pageant, Jesus the Christ, presents the life, ministry, and mission of Jesus Christ through music, dance, and drama. This presentation is for all religions, ages, and cultures.

It is recommended to arrive at least two to three hours early. While you are waiting, you are invited to step inside the visitor’s center to view the majestic “Christus” statue and enjoy free guided tours, short film presentations, and wonderful displays and exhibits. The visitors’ center will be open before and after the Pageant.

Location: Mesa Arizona Temple Visitors Center

Address: 525 E Main St Mesa, AZ 85203-8740

Times: From: 08:00 PM to 09:30 PM

Admission: Free

Phone:(480) 964-7164

The Easter Pageant last night is Saturday, March 31st. Click here to learn more!



Easter Crafts & DIY Projects

46 Easy Easter Crafts –

80 DIY Easter Decorations –

38 Easy Easter Crafts –


Community Carnival at Superstition Springs

Butler Amusements Carnival is back with another fun-filled carnival of rides, cotton candy, games, food and more!

March 23, 2018 – April 1, 2018

Where: Superstition Springs Center, 6555 E Southern Ave (Parking Lot between Macy’s & JCPenney) Mesa, AZ 85206

Times: Varies daily

Admission: Pay One Price unlimited ride passes are $25. The pass is good for any one person only on same day of purchase.
Individual Ride Tickets: One ticket for $1; 27 tickets for $25; 80 tickets for $70; 120 tickets for $100

Phone:(480) 409-7900

Click here to learn more.



Every third Saturday from October to June MAC’s campus will be taken over by a new artist with a unique, crazy-fun theme–complete with live art, live music, great eats, tasty adult drinks and much more. 

 This month:

  • BBQ Vibes
  • Drinks
  • Street Dance Performances
  • ASU Gospel Choir
  • Live DJ
  • Low Riders

Click here to learn more!


Whether you’re interested in Outdoors, Business, Family-Friendly events or want to take up a new hobby – there are so many affordable and fun activities coming up here in the Valley! 

Click here to see all the upcoming East Valley events!

 Thanks for reading, until next time! 

mortgage insurance - insurance

Everything You Need To Know About Mortgage Insurance

If you can’t meet the standard down payment on a mortgage loan and still want to be a home owner, don’t despair! Mortgage insurance was created for this situation so that both borrowers and lenders can benefit. 

Just like you have health or car insurance in case of an emergency, mortgage lenders require mortgage insurance for similar reasons. Mortgage insurance helps minimize the risk to the lender who lends to borrowers that can’t meet at least the 20% down payment threshold on the loan.

What is Mortgage Insurance?

One of the great things about mortgage insurance is that it makes you a more attractive candidate to mortgage lenders. It’s your way of showing the bank they can trust you with this huge loan if you don’t have that extra cash in your pocket right away. 

mortgage insurance - home

What’s The Cost?

Mortgage insurance increases the cost of your overall home loan. The cost will be included in your monthly mortgage payments that you make, and can possibly be included in your closing costs as well. Borrowers can request that the insurance be canceled as soon as 20% of the principal balance is paid off. 

mortgage insurance - cash

Conventional Loans: Depending on your down payment, credit score, and other factors, private mortgage insurance is generally cheaper than FHA rates. With private mortgage insurance, little to no initial payment is required at closing. The cost is affected by the loan amount, credit score and LTV (loan to value) percentage. The higher the credit score the lower the payment. Also, the lower the LTV, the lower the payment.

For example. If your loan to value is 95%, your mortgage insurance payment will be more than if you put 10% down and your LTV was 90%.

FHA: If you qualify for a Federal Housing Administration loan, FHA mortgage insurance is required for all FHA loans. No matter your credit score, the insurance will cost the same. FHA mortgage insurance is paid as a part of your closing costs, (upfront cost) and will also be included in your monthly mortgage payment. 

USDA: With a US Department of Agriculture (USDA) loan, the mortgage insurance policy is pretty similar to the FHA loan, only a little bit cheaper. Instead of paying the insurance premium up front, like FHA loans, you can include it in your monthly payments. However, this does increase your loan amount and overall costs. 

VA: There are many great benefits that come with qualifying for a Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA) loan. With this loan program there is no monthly mortgage insurance premium. However, there will be an upfront “funding fee”. How much this fee costs depends on a few factors, such as..

mortgage lenders - va

mortgage insurance - keys

Can I Get Out Of Paying Mortgage Insurance? 

Many people don’t factor in the extra cost that mortgage insurance brings when they are planning their housing budget. Generally the best way to avoid paying this insurance is to have 20% or more to apply to your down payment up front. 

For more tips on how to avoid mortgage insurance click here or any of the links below! 

We are here for you every step of the way and can thoroughly answer any question you may have. If your goal this year is to become a homeowner, don’t put it off any longer! Take the first step and get a quick estimate of what you may qualify for today! Use our Online Accelerator application here – or Call us at 480-832-4343











first time home buyer - home

4 Things That Don’t Matter When Choosing Your First Home

If you are a first time home buyer, you may be wondering what you should and shouldn’t be worrying about through out the home buying process. When you finally get settled into your dream home, you’ll probably look back and wonder why you were obsessing over some of the wrong things. Luckily, there’s millions of people who’ve been in your shoes before who can help you avoid those fears and anxiety.

Here’s a list of the top 4 things you shouldn’t be worried about as you are choosing your new home! 

first time home buyer - home

The Paint On The Walls, Landscaping, & Any Other Easy Fixes

It’s easy to take a peek at homes and see things for how they currently are. While you are house hunting, you have to force your eye to view the potential..not the hideous painting on the wall!

Get past the fixes in the home that can easily be changed. A room can totally be transformed with a few coats of paint, new lighting, and some simple decorating! You don’t have to be Chip & Joanna Gaines to make those spectacular modern upgrades (although it doesn’t hurt to watch their show for some ideas!)

There are some details in the home that you DO want to pay attention to. Some things are not easily changed or may cost you more money down the road.

Which way is your home facing? Will you like all that extra sunlight coming in? Is your home located next to a school or busy intersection? Will you mind all that extra noise?

The top three things you may wish you could change but can’t are noise, view and natural light ― although skylights help.

first time home buyer - painting

The Owner’s Ugly Decor

When the seller leaves, they take their stuff with them. We’re all guilty of judging a room by the overall look, decorations included. When you’re touring homes, keep as much of an open mind as possible!

Even if the previous owner has put in some out dated carpeting or wall paper, get a quote of how much it’ll cost to be removed. You don’t want to miss out on a stunning home because you were picky about something so trivial.

first time home buyer - ugly

Being Picky About How Your Furniture Will Fit

If you’re an HGTV lover, you’ve probably seen multiple episodes of couples passing up on a magnificent home due to certain furniture not fitting. Maybe you’ve found the PERFECT home, except your favorite couch isn’t going to fit in the living room. Or maybe your dining room table is too huge for the tiny dining space.

Unless the piece of furniture has significant importance to you, sell and replace it. Don’t let this be a factor in whether or not you get a spectacular home!

first time home buyer - table

It’s Not In Your Ideal Neighborhood

The only qualification you should probably have for your new neighborhood, is making sure you’re located in a good school district. Whether you have kids or not, this is considered a huge deciding factor for many home buyers if you decide to sell your home in the future.

“Even if you don’t have kids, it’s best to move into a neighborhood that’s in a good school district. Not only could the next buyers have a family for whom that matters, but these neighbourhoods tend to hold their value longer even through market fluctuations,”  says Emma Pace, realtor with Zoocasa, “For many people, school is a top priority.”

first time home buyer - kids

Every single first time home buyer has felt those fears and all the ups and downs that come with purchasing your first home. Give yourself those constant reminders that you are not the only one that feels this way and that everything always works out in the end. When you choose the best team, realtors, and companies to work with, they make it their job to have your back and make the home buying process as stress-free as possible.

We hope this article eased any home buying worries you’ve had! Get excited about purchasing your dream home and don’t let unnecessary fears keep you from enjoying that.

If you’re looking for a top-notch mortgage team to work with, call us at 480-832-4343. Sun American Mortgage has been one of the top mortgage companies in the Valley for over 30 years! To get a quick estimate call us or use our Online Accelerator here!

Thanks for reading, until next time!


Things First Time Home Buyers Shouldn’t Worry About

title company - sign

Why Do I Need A Title Company?

There are a lot of people involved in the home buying process that work hard to help you close on your dream home.  Some of the roles are clearer while others you may not know too much about. 

You may be wondering why you need a title company, what their role is in the closing process, and why they are so important.  

The title company plays one of the crucial roles in the closing of your home and in helping you avoid any future legal issues. 

What other roles do they play in the mortgage closing process? Keep reading to learn more! 

What is a Title Company?

So what exactly is a title company?

A title company’s job is to ensure that every component of the real estate transaction runs smoothly, legally, and problem-free. After thorough research and their expertise, they make sure that the title to a piece of property is transferred correctly from the seller to the buyer. 

title company - sign

Why Is A Title Company An Important Part of the Mortgage Closing Process?

Title issues are pretty rare, but if they do arise it can possibly cost you your home. Working with a title company that has a stellar reputation throughout your mortgage closing process helps you ultimately avoid expensive potential problems. 

title company - home

Title Insurance

Once they ensure that the title to a piece of real estate is legitimate, the title company will issue title insurance for that property. Title insurance protects the lender/and or borrower against any claims against the property or legal disputes. There are 2 main types of title insurance: owner’s title insurance and lender’s title insurance. Here’s a little more info on title insurance from

title company - lineEscrow Officer

Your title company can also serve as your escrow officer. Making sure that closing costs, down payments, and any other funds will be paid correctly and properly dispersed. 

Closing Agent

The title company also acts as a mediator and impartial party during the closing meeting. They provide help with the mortgage closing process and ensure that all important documentation is signed and distributed correctly. 

title company - team

What Does a Title Company Charge?

According to the Federal Reserve, “a lender’s policy on a $100,000 loan can range from $175 in one state to $900 in another.” The cost of title insurance depends on the size of the loan and where you live. No matter the circumstance, this charge is a one-time fee that is paid at closing. 

title company - charge

How Do You Pick a Title Company?

Putting in the time to shop around and pick out a high quality title company is absolutely worth it. A home is one of the biggest investments most people will make in a lifetime. Your lender will likely have their top picks ready for you. 

title company - meet

Who We Recommend…

Here at Sun American we highly recommend and refer clients to North American Title Company!

They have a team of skilled escrow, title and sales executives, seasoned attorneys and the resources and stability of a Fortune 500 parent company.

They’ve got what it takes to get things done and are better equipped than ever. With well over 1,000 associates and a vast network of branches from coast-to-coast, North American Title Company is among the largest real estate settlement service providers in the United States! Consisting of both agent and underwriter operations, they are always there to help you close whatever your real estate transaction may be. Whether you are a consumer purchasing, selling or refinancing a home, a REALTOR®, a builder, a commercial investor or a lender, they can service your needs. North American Title Company does it with skilled underwriters, seasoned attorneys and the resources and stability of a Fortune 500 parent company. 

If you want to learn more about this great company call 602-280-7500 or visit

Thanks for reading and we hope you enjoyed this article! If you’re ready to purchase a home or have any questions about the mortgage loan process, please call us at 480-832-4343 or visit us at


buying a home

Are You Thinking Of Buying a Home? Things Just Got A Lot Better!!

Are you house hunting and ready to purchase a home in 2018? We’ve got great news!

For the second year in a row, and the second time since 2006, the FHFA is increasing the conforming loan limits for Fannie and Freddie in 2018. The FHFA just announced that they will be increasing the conforming loan limits from $424,100 to $453,100 for 2018.

These conforming loan limits for Freddie and Fannie are determined by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008. This established the loan limit at $417,000 and required that, after a period of price declines, the baseline loan limit cannot rise again until home prices return to pre-decline levels. This last year, FHFA finally increased the loan limit to $424,100.

The FHFA’s third quarter 2017 House Price Index report, which includes estimates for the increase in the average U.S. home value over the last four quarters, showed that house prices increased 6.8%, on average, between the third quarters of 2016 and 2017. Since home prices are on the rise, FHFA announced today that the maximum conforming loan limit in 2018 will increase by the same percentage – from $424,100 to $453,100. FHFA noted that with this increase in home prices, its necessary to have a second straight yearly increase in the conforming loan limit.

In what the FHFA calls “high cost areas”, the loan limits will also increase. In certain areas, the cost of living is more expensive and requires a loan limit above the general. The new ceiling loan limit for one-unit properties in the majority of high-cost areas will be $679,650 (which is 150% of $453,100) for one-unit properties in the contiguous U.S. To learn more about this increase click here. 

buying a home

If you want to see the conforming loan limits for your county, click here! 

This is a huge increase and great news for new home buyers ready to purchase in 2018! If you’ve been on the fence about buying a home, this is a great opportunity you don’t want to pass up!

Click here to use our Online Accelerator to get a quick estimate or call one of our expert team members today to learn more about our mortgage process! 480-832-4343


showing gratitude - winning

How Showing Gratitude Helps You WIN!

Thanksgiving is that time of year where we pause to count all our blessings and show appreciation. But gratitude should be practiced all year long and every day! Especially since showing gratitude has been linked to better physical health, improved relationships, more energy, powerful mental/emotional strength, and many other amazing benefits!

To improve the quality of your life and the life of those around you, gratitude can be the key player to facilitate this at the highest level.

Here are some of the benefits that an attitude of gratitude will bring you!

1.Gratitude Opens More Doors and Builds Connections

Have you ever heard the saying “A person who feels appreciated will always do more than expected”

This rings true in any relationship-family, spouse, friends, employees, or business partners. A 2014 Study published in Emotion showed that strangers are more likely to seek an ongoing relationship from hearing appreciation from you. Whether this is through a thank you note or acknowledging their hard work, following up and showing sincere appreciation will always benefit you in the long run!

2.Gratitude Improves Confidence & Self Esteem

An essential component for optimal performance in an athlete is having great self esteem. A 2014 study published in the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology found that gratitude increased athlete’s self-esteem tremendously! Many other studies have found that cultivating gratitude daily incredibly reduces social comparisons. As we are grateful for our own lives and blessings, there isn’t any resentment towards others successes. These studies have proven that people who are more grateful and positive each day, will appreciate their own accomplishments, as well as those around them.

3.Gratitude Is Good For Your Overall Health

Being grateful and focusing on the good each day has shown to be phenomenal for your physical and mental well being! According to a 2012 study published in Personality and Individual Differences, grateful people feel fewer aches and pains, sleep better, and are more likely to take care of their health.

Writing in a gratitude journal has been proven to drastically improve sleep. Take some time before bed and focus on all the good things that happened that day. As you’re reflecting, you’ll began to feel the stress or negative feelings dissipate! Whether you’re writing these in a journal or meditating, find some way to wind down and make a list of what you’re grateful for that day.

4.Gratitude Makes You a Happier Human Being

“The wealthiest person on earth is the one who appreciates.”-Tony Robbins

Lifestyle Entrepreneur and Speaker Tony Robbins has said in his speeches countless times that, fulfillment and happiness does not come solely from money. He’s worked with billionaires and hundreds of well known names, and has concluded that some of the wealthiest men and women he’s ever met, are some of the most unhappy!

Avoid getting in the pattern of saying “When I make this amount I’ll be happy” or “When I accomplish this…I’ll be happy”

Be happy NOW. Be grateful NOW for what you’ve been given and what you have in this moment. You never know when it can be gone, so never take it for granted!

Still, chase those goals and be ambitious for all the things you dream about, but make sure to always be appreciative and SHOW it along the way!

How to be more grateful

  • Keep a gratitude journal
  • Be aware of what you think and say
  • Spend more time with loved ones
  • Embrace any setbacks or failures as feedback. Learn from them and keep pushing forward!
  • Mindfully use social media
  • Volunteer. Participate in something that is outside of yourself and give back to others.
  • Exercise regularly. This has been proven to reduce stress and set you up for more gratitude. “Life is a series of problems that have to be solved — and a lot of times those problems cause stress,” says Dr. Robert Emmons, gratitude researcher and psychology professor at the University of California, Davis. “Gratitude can be that stress buster.”

How to SHOW gratitude to the people around us

  • Send a hand-written thank you note
  • Spend quality time, take them out to lunch!
  • Give a small thoughtful gift
  • Be an active listener
  • Perform a random act of kindness
  • Always say Thank You

Thanks for reading, and as always, please comment and share what you are most grateful for or how you show gratitude towards others.

Hope everyone has a Happy Thanksgiving this week!

Until next time!

Here’s some other great articles to teach you the benefits of cultivating gratitude in your daily life!

What’s Your Marketing Plan Look Like For 2018?

2017 is coming to a close pretty soon. How has your current marketing plan been working for you this year? Did you notice more closed deals? Is business slower than ever? Now is the PERFECT time to sit down, re-evaluate things, figure out what’s been working for you/what’s not, and make the necessary adjustments.

Maybe you see other competitors in the industry killing it or bringing in new leads and wonder what you’re doing wrong. Their success is no secret. As we talked about in the last article, to stand out you have to be willing to do what others are UNWILLING to do!

Our goal today is to help set you up for success in 2018 with some solid marketing tips and a structured marketing plan that works for you!

Where Do I Start?

If you don’t have a detailed and structured marketing plan, here’s a great starting point.

1. First and foremost. what gets you excited? If there is passion for your target audience/niche, it’ll shine through to everyone around you. On the reverse, if you don’t get excited about serving your current niche, now is the time to dig deep and think about finding the one that does. Is it first time home buyers? Retirees? Who do you feel the most passionate about helping in this industry?

2.When you discover the niche with the accompanied effortless passion, it’s time to start THINKING BIG! Create a grand vision that reflects on all the goals you dream of achieving in your personal and business life. Specifically with this niche, what do you imagine yourself accomplishing for them? Do you have an idea for a program that would make the home buying process easier? Do you dream of being known as the expert in your community with this audience? Write down all that you’d like to achieve and visualize it every day!

3. We’ve all been there. You’re all pumped up and excited after creating this vision board or “to-do” list of your dreams and goals, but then reality sets in…and over time you fall back into old habits and those goals seem to drift away. But when you get specific with that vision and plan out exactly how it will be accomplished, amazing things happen! For example, let’s say you want to make more connections in the coming year. You could start by sending out invites to influential people in your circle to lunch. Create big community events and make your name as well known in the area as best you can.

KEY: Get ridiculously specific. Seriously! Work backwards. Write down what you will do differently weekly, even daily to make it happen! Change any habits that could hold you back from achieving these goals.

To learn more about Creating a Fanatical Tribe & Connecting with your community, click here! 

Re-Evaluate What’s Working & What’s Not!

After you review those points and make a good, solid marketing plan, it’s time to do some reflection over the last year. What were you doing when your business was at it’s peak? Write down both the positive and negative trends you saw and how to start improving.

Did you receive some criticism or bad reviews? Failure is just feedback! Learn from these mistakes and do your best to not repeat them this next year.

Is there something you know you could be better at? Write down a plan and do some research how you can improve upon that.

There are a lot of mistakes, especially on social media, that people aren’t aware they’re even making. Here’s a few links from expert marketers to help you see what you should & should not be doing on your social media platforms in your business!

KEY: Keep this list short. Don’t focus too much on what you didn’t do, and focus more on looking forward to what you’re going to do. Evaluation is not meant to pull you down, it’s meant for positive feedback on what you can improve on, so you can propel forward faster!

Take Action!

You’ve written it all down, visualized it, now it’s time to execute that plan!

There will be hurdles you’ll have to jump over and mistakes that will inevitably be made along the way. Don’t let fear or being uncomfortable stop you. Everyone experiences these feelings, but the ones who push through and hustle harder than the rest, come out on top!

KEY: It’s not about talent…it’s all about hustle. Talent will develop faster to those who out HUSTLE their competition. If you struggle with taking action, write down all your mental and emotional barriers. BE HONEST. Then work out on paper, what you have to do to move past those barriers. You’ll find that it actually isn’t that hard to move past your barriers when you do this step.

So to recap…

-Be passionate about your niche, make a plan how you’ll serve them best. THINK BIG.

-Write it all down and make a very specific plan how it will get done. Make deadlines for yourself and your team. Hold yourself accountable!

-Execute that plan and be consistent even when obstacles or fear creeps in.

A solid marketing plan is crucial. Taking the time to sit down and follow all of these marketing tips from today will highly benefit you in the long run. Go into this next year with confidence, make a detailed plan, and take some action!

Let me know some of the questions you have or ideas on some marketing strategies you’re thinking about. It’s always good to bounce ideas off someone and start a discussion that can lead to even better ideas.

As always, thanks for following and look forward for next weeks tips.

hustle - work

One Word That Changes Your Business TODAY!

“If I could give ONE piece of advice to a budding entrepreneur, it would be one word: HUSTLE! Sacrifice, in some form, will be a necessary part of the process, and whoever is more willing to sacrifice for the hustle will always succeed in the long run. Prepare yourself, as it’s time to EMBRACE the underdog within and step into your greatness!“- Lewis Howes

hustle - lewis

This is a direct quote from New York Times best-selling author Lewis Howes. His podcast School of Greatness, has over 400 million downloads and over 500 episodes since its launch in 2013! He was recognized by The White House, featured on the Today show, People, Forbes, Men’s Health, and many more! His best-selling book The School Of Greatness is incredibly informative, motivating, and teaches how we can all strive for greatness.  He is a true example of an underdog who rises to the top and through each lesson, teaches how you can do the exact same.

Today we will breakdown the main points of one of my favorite chapters in this inspiring book. Chapter 4 is titled “Develop Hustle” and if this chapter doesn’t light a fire in you to chase after your goals I don’t know what will!

hustle - dont wait

Freakish Combination of Passion & Hustle

Lewis’s success story really began with his older brother Chris. At just 18, Chris was thrown into prison for dealing drugs and was sentenced to 6-25 years. Fast forward five years later, Chris was released for good behavior and went on to become one of the best jazz violinists in the world, has been on the cover of magazines, played Carnegie Hall, and has collaborated with musical legends. He beat the stigma that came with being a convicted felon. He walked out of those prison doors with a fire lit underneath him to repent, to hustle, and do whatever it takes to make something of himself. He promoted himself like crazy, showed up to coffee shops, tiny jazz clubs, and no name festivals.

Chris’s journey taught Lewis one of the most valuable lessons of his life. In his words, “With a freakish combination of passion and hustle, Chris overcame others opinions, biases, and fears of people he encountered. Instead of blaming the system or anyone else around him or giving up, he made clear choices how to resurrect his life.”

This story and especially this quote is so powerful to me. With over 500 podcasts episodes and best selling books, Lewis has discovered a trending theme in all of these entrepreneurs journeys. It is to have PASSION and develop HUSTLE. It’s not about who has the most talent, it’s about who is willing to put in the most work. Maybe you’re not the most experienced in the industry or you’re just getting started. But if you’re willing to do what others are unwilling to do, you already have a head start.

“No one is going to hand me success. I must go out and get it myself. That’s why I’m here. To dominate. To conquer. Both the world and myself.”- Unknown 


It’s pretty easy to put things off, procrastinate, or put a dream on hold to be more “realistic.” Something magical happens when you truly understand the value of time however. Something that really sticks out to me from the story Lewis tells us of his brother, is the sense of urgency his brother Chris had. He values time so much and was doing all he could to make up for the time he lost behind those prison doors.

The truth is, we are all making up for lost time…and THAT is the essence of hustle in the pursuit of greatness!! It’s doing whatever it takes and chasing opportunity with great urgency, like your life depends on it.

The Underdog Inside Each Of Us

Lewis used to be a pro-athlete, but his football career was cut short due to injury. He soon spiraled into depression, had student loans and credit card debt built up, and no money to pay it all off. After meeting with his past mentors and other people who’ve inspired him, he started to create a better vision for himself. He began by using LinkedIn to his advantage and in the first year made 10,000 connections! Soon after that, he started hosting networking events in major cities with hundreds of people attending. These connections were just a kick start for him in this grand vision he created for himself.

Every great success story involves some type of pain or trial that was used as fuel to transform themselves to something bigger and better.

“The best hustlers are all underdogs. Even if they’re not, they view themselves that way. They have a chip on their shoulder, they chase something bigger than they are. Hustlers are better and badder. They work smarter and harder. “

We all love a good underdog story and Kyle Maynard is the perfect example of that. Despite being born with profound limitations, Kyle accomplishes every goal he has set his mind to. He is the first quadruple amputee to climb up Mount Kilimanjaro. He went on to become a champion wrestler, CrossFit Certified Instructor and gym owner, competitive MMA/Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu fighter, world record-setting weightlifter, and skilled mountaineer. He deeply believed in his passion, went out and hustled and proved that you can push past any limitation set upon you! He didn’t sit in self pity, blame others, or wait for success to come to him. He puts in the work and is unstoppable!

Listen here to Lewis Howes Podcast “The No Excuse Approach To Success” featuring Kyle for free! 

Failure is Feedback

Everyone is absolutely capable of hustling and chasing after their dreams with this incredible urgency. So what is it that holds people back?


Fear of looking bad, fear of failure, fear of being in the spotlight. The biggest solution to smashing these fears is to take baby steps. No one gets to where they want to be without the necessary progression. It takes time to achieve greatness at a high level. So stay consistent, and be patient with yourself.

Failure is just feedback. It’s growth and a chance for you to stop and evaluate how you can improve from that lesson.

Mistakes are inevitable. You have to feel the fear, process it, and still continue to achieve what you’ve set out for yourself.

I’ll conclude with Lewis Holmes conclusion paragraph for this enlightening chapter!

“When you experience fear, move toward it. When you feel doubt, take the necessary actions to build your confidence. When you are afraid of being wrong or looking bad in front of others, be humble and vulnerable to create real human connection. The hustle takes action. It requires getting over yourself and how you look. It can be a beautiful journey if you give yourself permission to hustle like a maniac because what else are you here to do other than make the most of what you can be?” 

Hustle is the number one thing that separates the mediocre from the truly successful.

I hope you enjoyed this as much as I did in writing it. I’d love to hear what you think – Comment below!

Until next time!