Tips for Lowering Your Mortgage Insurance Payment

Mortgage insurance can be a pain, though in many cases it’s a necessary evil. Without mortgage insurance you may not be able to qualify for certain loan programs, including loans serviced through the FHA. Depending on the circumstances of your loan and the insurance you buy, this can be a considerable expense. Fortunately, there are ways to reduce this expense; in some cases, you may even be able to get rid of mortgage insurance altogether!

Be sure to keep in mind that like many things loan-related, there are a lot of factors that go into determining your mortgage insurance costs. While these tips may help you to lower that payment, their effectiveness will vary from person to person.

Build Your Credit

As with loan interest rates, mortgage insurance costs can be affected by your credit score. Mortgage insurance is designed to provide additional safety for the lender that extends the loan. As such, the better your credit score is, the less risk there is that you’ll default on the loan. If you can improve your credit, you’ll have a much stronger case for negotiating a lower mortgage insurance payment.

Pay Down Your Loan

Mortgage insurance is typically required when your down payment is under 20 percent of the value of your home. As such, you can usually renegotiate it or have it removed entirely as you build equity. If you can afford it, make additional payments against your loan to pay it down and build equity faster; this will get you in a position to renegotiate your mortgage insurance sooner than you would otherwise be able to.

Refinance Your Mortgage

Provided that you can get a good deal on your new loan, refinancing is a great way to reduce the cost of mortgage insurance. Because you’re taking out a new loan to pay off the previous one, any mortgage insurance that’s required will be based on the new loan amount in comparison to your home’s value. If you refinance with a loan that’s for 80 percent or less than the total value of your home, then you likely won’t have to take out mortgage insurance for the new loan at all. Likewise, if you can refinance with some government-backed loans such as those offered through the Department of Veteran Affairs or the Department of Agriculture, then you should be able to skip the mortgage insurance as well.

Increase Your Home’s Value

Another option for reducing or eliminating your mortgage insurance payment is increasing the value of your home. In some cases, this is simply a matter of having the property appraised again; there are a number of external factors that can affect property value, and if your property sees a value increase then you can use this to renegotiate your mortgage insurance rate. If that isn’t an option, consider home improvements or similar actions that will increase the value of your property so that you can get out from under that insurance umbrella.

Talk to Your Lender

If you aren’t sure what to do, talk to your lender and see which options are best in your situation. They may look at your mortgage payment history and other factors to help you find a way to reduce that insurance cost. They can also help you calculate your equity and see exactly how much more you’ll need to significantly reduce (or completely eliminate) your mortgage insurance obligations. If you’ve already built over 20 percent equity then you may be able to simply ask for the insurance to be cancelled in your first contact with the lender.

Ask the Experts

Since mortgage insurance costs can vary from person to person, it’s always a good idea to find a professional to advise you about your specific loan situation. Fortunately, HomeKeepr can connect you with mortgage experts who can help you evaluate your personal situation and find the best way to reduce or eliminate your mortgage insurance costs. Sign up for a free account today to get started!

Weekly Listing Round Up

Are you looking to sell your home? The market is still HOT in Tehaleh!

Exquisite MainVue resale features 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms + all of the luxury that comes standard with a MainVue home! Extra special because it backs to a gorgeous pond and park with views of the Cascades. Main floor den is set away from main living areas for privacy. Great room boasts an abundance of natural light with ceiling-height walls of sliding glass that opens to the Outdoor Room with fireplace. In the kitchen enjoy Quartz counters, huge pantry and Electrolux appliances. Amazing master suite, A/C and more!

http://bit.ly/36GUE4v

These Tehaleh Homes JUST Went Under Contract!

Deliveries, Security and You

In our modern always-connected world, it seems like we’re always having packages dropped off from one re-tailer or another. If you receive packages regularly while you’re not home, though, you may be setting yourself up for problems. Packages left alone on your porch invite thieves to come up and take them, and if there are regularly people coming to your property to drop deliveries off then your neighbors might not think that it’s strange when one more person walks up with a box… even if it turns out to be a burglar with the foresight to throw on a brown shirt and carry a package.

So how can you make sure that your package deliveries aren’t creating a big risk for you? There are a few ways.

Establish a Delivery Area

When placing orders online, you often have the option to provide instructions to delivery drivers to make sure that your packages are delivered correctly. If you’re concerned about how frequent deliveries affect your home security, you can use these instructions as a powerful tool to thwart would-be thieves. Set up a delivery area around your home that’s covered or otherwise protected but not directly adjacent to your home and leave instructions for drivers to place any packages there. If possible, place the delivery space in an area that is clearly visible from neighboring houses as well. Because this designated area stands on its own, anyone entering it to try and steal packages will be very visible. It also foils would-be burglars because they now have no convenient excuse to approach your house.

Set Up Security Cameras

One thing that you can do to keep both your home and your packages safe is to install security cameras around your front door. This will allow you to see who’s coming to your house and will also provide evidence in case a burglar or thief approaches. If someone comes on your porch and steals your packages, you’ll have video of the thief and you’ll have proof that a theft took place so you can file a claim with the shipping company or retailer. You can even put cameras in an external delivery area if you’ve set one up! Make sure that you purchase a high-quality camera, though; cheap security cameras provide grainy and washed out footage that makes it very difficult to identify a perpetrator.

Invest in Smart Monitors

If you’re worried that a burglar might dress as a delivery person to gain access to your property, consider installing smart monitors on your windows and doors. These monitors may or may not be part of an alarm system – but setting off an alarm isn’t all that they can do. When triggered, the devices can notify you not only that a window or door was opened but also which one was triggered. This allows you to call a neighbor or notify the police and provide very specific details as to where a potential burglar entered. In some cases, the monitors may even be integrated into locks so that you can lock windows or doors remotely if you realize that you left them unlocked, taking care of a mistake that might have given a burglar easy access to your home.

Install a Security System

If these solutions don’t do enough to keep your packages and your home safe, consider getting a full home security system installed. These systems are more than just alarms; they contain several components that work together, along with active monitoring to contact the authorities or take other action if something suspicious occurs. Best of all, they can protect your home from other problems such as fires and even water leaks.

Keep Your Home Secure

Regardless of how you choose to close security holes related to package deliveries, you can find a security expert on HomeKeepr who can help you get the job done right. Sign up for free today so you can have a safer and more secure tomorrow!

There are endless amounts of cozy fall activities you can do with your family. Here are just a few!

PATCHES & MAZES

City Goat Farm and Zoo

Pumpkin patch, bounce house, petting zoo, pony/zebra/camel rides. 811 168th St E, Spanaway, WA / 206.613.9052  

Double R Farms

Pumpkin patch, corn maze, tractor-pulled hay rides, school tours. 5820 44th St E, Puyallup , WA / 253.227.5385

Filbert Acres

Pumpkin patch – pick in the field or buy from the farm stand. 6625 Pioneer Way E, Puyallup, WA / 253.251.1361

Jim’s U-Fish at Old McDebbie’s Farm

Pumpkin patch, fall festival, refreshment stand, pony rides, petting zoo, picnic area. 4924 268th St E Spanaway, WA / 253.875.0356

Maris Farms

Pumpkin patch, cow train rides, corn maze, haunted trail, petting zoo, gift shop. 25001 Sumner-Buckley Hwy., Buckley, WA / 253.862.2848

Picha Farms

Pumpkin patch, corn maze, and picnic area. 6502 52nd St, Puyallup, WA / 253.841.4443

Events

October 4th – 6th

Oktoberfest Northwest

WA State Fairgrounds – Puyallup   www.oktoberfestnw.com / 253.295.3262 

October 5th                       

Fife Harvest Festival

Dacca Park – Fife

www.cityoffife.org / 253.896.8652

October 17th – 20th

Holiday Food & Gift Festival

Tacoma Dome – Tacoma

http://holidaygiftshows.com / 800.521.7469

October 26th                                                             

Sunset Festival of Bands                                            

Sunset Chev Stadium – Sumner      

www.promotesumner.com

Join Us For The Annual Harvest Fest In Tehaleh!

Visit the Liz Keeps It Real Booth and enter to win our Thanksgiving Basket.

First 40 people to visit the Liz Keeps It Real booth and wear your Living at Tehaleh gear will receive a $10 gift certificate to Caffé D’arte.

You can purchase your Living at Tehaleh gear now! Just follow the link- https://www.facebook.com/pg/TehalehHomes/shop/?rid=115516545266781&rt=6

Date: Saturday, October 12th
Time: 10 AM – 3 PM
Location: 19001 Cascadia Boulevard East, Bonney Lake, WA

Weekly Listing Round Up

13525 188th Ave E, Bonney Lake

Fantastic 3 bedroom, 2.5 bathroom + Loft home on corner lot in Tehaleh is ready for you to call home! This light filled home features A/C, huge kitchen with stone counters, under cabinet lighting and butler’s pantry. Upstairs is a large loft, the large master suite complete with 5 piece bath and walk in closet, plus 2 more bedrooms, full bath & laundry. Large yard is level and has an inground sprinkler system. Close to parks, trail heads & the coffee shop!

http://bit.ly/2kXPMEX

18417 135th St, Bonney Lake

Been dreaming of a 5 bedroom, 3.5 bathroom home in Tehaleh with a BASEMENT? Well your dream just came true! This barely lived in, light filled home features on the main level, a french slider onto a huge covered deck with gas fireplace and recessed lighting, kitchen with walk in pantry, gas range and white quartz counters, a large mud room right off the garage. Basement large open space with slider out to the back yard/ patio, bedroom and full bath. Upstairs is where you’ll find the master suite, 3 bedrooms and bath.

http://bit.ly/2lV9CRe

14003 195th Ave Ct E, Bonney Lake

Former model home with every luxurious upgrade imaginable is now ready for you! This main floor living home does have a 2nd story complete with loft, bedroom and full bath for your long or short term guests! Hardwood floors grace the entire main floor including the master suite that features a 5 piece bath and a closet with built ins larger than most bedrooms! Huge kitchen with gas range, large pantry, quartz counters and open to the great room. Fully fenced corner lot, A/C, sprinkler system, surround sound and more!

http://bit.ly/2lxfSOZ

13911 197th St E, Bonney Lake

Gorgeous Tehaleh Home on Greenbelt with the Master Suite on the Main! This 3 bedroom + den, 2.75 bathroom home features hardwoods throughout the main living areas, kitchen with huge island/ bar, gas fireplace and 2nd bedroom & 3/4 bath on main. Upstairs you’ll find the 3rd bedroom, full bath and loft. Other features include A/C, sprinkler system, tankless H2O, and a gorgeous back yard that is private & lush. Homes with a huge master suite on the main level don’t come on the market very often so don’t hesitate!

http://bit.ly/2Yytrvj

Join Us For The Annual Harvest Fest In Tehaleh!

Come join us on Saturday, September 22nd from 10am – 3pm. This is truly the event of the season that brings the whole neighborhood together to have fun as a community.

If you wear your Living a Tehaleh shirts or hoodies to the event and you are one of the first 40 people to visit our booth , you will receive a $10 gift card to the post!

You can purchase your gear now. We have both men’s and women’s t-shirts, hoodies, and tanks!

Men/Kid’s T – $10

Women’s T – $15

Hoodie – $30

Women’s Tank Top – $15

Coffee Mug – $6

Selling Your Home In The Off Season

Spring and summer are traditionally seen as the best times to sell your house. Research has actually shown that homes sold during the first half of May tend to sell faster and sell for a higher average price than house sales at any other time of the year. Once you get into fall and winter, buyer competition doesn’t seem as fierce and average prices start to drop. This doesn’t mean you can’t sell during the off season, of course; it just means that you need to maximize the value of your home to get the most out of your property.

There’s Always a Buyer

Even though it’s the off season, there will always be someone out there who’s looking to buy a home. There are traditionally fewer home sales during the fall and winter, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t any. It’s easy to assume that you’ll have to take what you can get if you find someone who’s interested, but that’s definitely not the case. While there’s a good chance that you’re a motivated seller if you’re selling during the off season, keep in mind that many home buyers are motivated as well. It’s true that you might not get as much out of your home as you would near the start of summer, but don’t think that you’re necessarily going to have to settle either.

Aggressive Pricing Strategies

With that said, you’re more likely to sell quickly if you’re more aggressive with your pricing strategy than you would be during the summer. Don’t price your home for less than its worth – but cut a little closer to its actual value than you might otherwise. Determine the actual value of the home and what you need to get from the sale, then add a little more to the total to give yourself some wiggle room for negotiations. This lets you present the home as a great deal and still yield a bit to the buyer, convincing them that they really are getting a great deal on the property and need to make the purchase before somebody else comes along.

Appearance Matters

It’s always important to have your house looking its best when you’re trying to make a sale, but it’s especially important during the off season. This can be a chore, especially if you have trees dropping leaves all over the yard, but it’s worth it. If at all possible, your home should be the one that stands out from the neighborhood because it has fresher paint, a neater lawn, cleaner windows and any other adjustments you can make to improve its overall look. The more you can wow potential buyers, the more likely they are to actually buy.

Cut Out the Clutter

If you’re in the process of packing while trying to sell your home, take any boxes and anything that’s ready to go and get it out of the house and into a storage unit or elsewhere. The same goes for most of the clutter that we build up in our daily lives. When a potential buyer comes to look at the house you should ideally have everything pared down to some basic furniture, standard amenities and perhaps a few picture frames or other personal items that are tastefully presented around the house. You want buyers to see the house for its beauty and be able to picture their lives there, not to see how the house looks overflowing with your life.

Be Prepared

If you really want to get a potential buyer’s attention, show them that you’re prepared to answer any questions they might have about the house. Get a pre-inspection so you’ll know about any issues that you might not have noticed, making necessary repairs or disclosures as needed. Gather up documentation about the heating and cooling system, any maintenance that’s been performed and even details like the energy ratings on the windows. If you really want to go the extra mile, track down photos of the house from different seasons or pictures of any flowers or trees in bloom so that potential buyers will have an idea of what they can look forward to.

Weekly Listing Round Up

OPEN HOUSE! Saturday August 31st from 1-3pm

18117 135th St E, Bonney Lake

Magnificent, move in ready Lennar Next Gen home with private main floor suite that includes an amazing kitchenette,bedroom, laundry, and separate keyless entry! Main home features a kitchen to delight any chef with double ovens,massive island,stainless appliances, and open living/dining room. The 2nd floor boasts large master suite, Loft, huge laundry room and 3 additional bedrooms and bath. Beautiful level back yard with pergola & extended patio. A/C makes this home the obvious choice! Steps from Big Sky Park!

http://bit.ly/2T5OG6O

NEW PRICE! $494,950

13911 197th St E, Bonney Lake

Gorgeous Tehaleh Home on Greenbelt with the Master Suite on the Main! This 3 bedroom + den, 2.75 bathroom home features hardwoods throughout the main living areas, kitchen with huge island/ bar, gas fireplace and 2nd bedroom & 3/4 bath on main. Upstairs you’ll find the 3rd bedroom, full bath and loft. Other features include A/C, sprinkler system, tankless H2O, and a gorgeous back yard that is private & lush. Homes with a huge master suite on the main level don’t come on the market very often so don’t hesitate!

http://bit.ly/2Yytrvj

13428 192nd Ave E, Bonney Lake

Gorgeous Tehaleh home on greenbelt! This great floorplan offers chefs kitchen with large island, beautiful creamed colored cabinets, granite counter tops, kitchen appliances stay! Spacious great room with gas fireplace and office/den on main floor. Upstairs you will enjoy a lovely master bedroom, 3 additional spacious bedrooms and loft. You will love this master planned community! Several parks, trails, coffee shop and walking distance to highly rated elementary school. It’s time to call Tehaleh home!

http://bit.ly/2Nok7s9

There are 3 awesome events starting tomorrow Friday, August 30th!

Here is you weekend wrap up.

Starting in Seattle:

Bumbershoot is one of Seattle’s largest music festivals and always features amazing artists. Bumbershoot runs from August 30th-September 1st.

For more info visit and to purchase tickets: www.bumbershoot.com

Next In Puyallup:

The Washington State Fair or as the locals still refer to it as the Puyallup Fair is the largest state fair and runs from August 30th – September 22nd.

Normal pricing is $14 – ages 13-61,  $10.50 – ages 6-12, and ages 5 and under are FREE.

Check out these FREE admission days as well.

  • Friday, Aug. 30KOMO’s Opening Day Food Drive – FREE gate admission for all 10:30am – 12:30pm, with a suggested non-perishable food donation.
  • Friday Aug. 30 – Monday, Sept. 2BECU Free Kid’s Weekend – FREE admission for kids, ages 18 and under, courtesy of BECU.
  • Every MondayMilitary Appreciation Day – FREE admission for all active, reserve, and retired military and National Guard and their dependents, plus disabled veterans, when each shows valid military ID at any Fair gate.
  • Friday, Sept. 6School Supply Drive – FREE gate admission for all 10:30am – 12:30pm, with a suggested new school supply donation.

For more info visit and to purchase tickets: www.thefair.com

Lastly in Olympia:

Olympia’s Harbor Days celebrates the return of vintage tugboats of the Puget Sound to Olympia. You can climb aboard and tour the vintage, retired and working tugs all weekend, enjoy some delicious food, and check out some amazing art with some amazing history mixed in there!

Friday 5pm-8pm

Saturday 10am-7pm

Sunday 10-6pm

For more info visit and to purchase tickets: https://www.harbordays.com/