Provo’s a great place for a startup, writes business week. I agree.

Earlier this year, when considering buying a home in Utah, I posted a blog about an experience I had at a presentation about B.I.Y.D.S.. They offered to help me build my own house with tons of equity. It sounded very good but I wasn’t in a position to take their offer.

Later, Google did it’s job and my blog came to the top of the search results for BIYDS. That page began to draw traffic and Jeremy Firth commented on his horrible experience with BIYDS. ” Take it from one who knows: do NOT sign a contract with BIYDS. You will kick yourself every day after that.”

As others came, they commented. Steve said “I’m very glad I stubbled across your comments about BIYDS. I’ve been calling people and trying to get a feel for their company and system. I was literally hours away from signing with them.”

Now, I’m not speaking for or against any person or company, I’m just pointing out how powerful blogging can be to empower the people to inform themselves on decisions. I encourage anyone reading this to start a blog. There are a lot of free blog services out there.

Finally, we gave UtahRealEstateHelp.com a much needed face lift. It will need to improve over time, but it is so much easier to see what the site is about. I’m so excited about the opportunity it affords home buyers. We’re just putting money back into their pockets.

It appears that our competitors site utahrealestateconnection.com, who claims to be search engine marketing professionals, can’t use their superior page rank well enough from utah.com to move their site ahead of www.utahrealestatehelp.com. We are way in the lead with 64th ranking in Google for “Utah Real Estate” and their site coming in 339th. It should be interesting to see how quickly we can make it to the first page.

Chris Jones, a friend of my brothers invited us to a presentation in Sandy where we learned about buying versus building. Chris is a Mortgage broker. I found it interesting that he was part of the dotcom craze before the finance business. So was my friend Nathan. All the dotcomers left the Internet and started into real estate? I guess the two industries really balance one another out. When the Internet is roaring, real estate is down and vice versa.

After an overview of the housing marketing and the Interest rates for 10 year bonds, Chris pitched a method for buying a house and beginning with 20-30 percent equity without a down payment! Sounds tooo good to be true. They claim that one can become their own general contracter, consult with B.I.Y.D.S. and five months later have more equity than most folks have after 10years on their 30 year mortgage.

The offer sounds very appealing. Especially after they gave case studies of folks who have done it and then sold their homes for 40-60 k profit. Well, the only catch is that you can’t finalize your long term loan until the house is built. It takes at least 5 months to build the home. Considering I’m quitting my job June 1, my chances for a decent loan will be very slim.

Tim Whipple gave us a lead to a nice little home that has the capacity to rent to 4 single students from BYU. It could bring down the mortgage to less than our rent. We’re looking into it. We fear Provo’s rules about renting. Originally, I thought they just wanted Owner occupied homes. I’m coming to believe, from what I hear from others, that they don’t want people renting in the neighborhood at all. I don’t understand their line of thought. If they want clean neighborhoods, owner occupied should be sufficient. These laws seem very restrictive and make it difficult for new home buyers.

Trisha, Michael and I drove out past Lehi and visited Alta Vista’s model home near the ranches. The homes they build today are so well designed. The corners, floor plans, everything is designed to seem more spacious than it is. It was a beautiful home, but we felt like there are too many people out there for our test. We are country folk. But those new homes are so well designed.

While out there, I met with the developer, Dave, and his partner and told them about Utah Real Estate Help. They were very interested. I came away realizing that Utah contractors and developers have probably over built. They are having to compete in every way they can to win over not enough home buyers to fill the homes. Our website, is a perfect tool to help them and the buyers. I’m glad to be able to learn about this process, help connect buyers to developers, it’s a great opportunity. I think by the time we build this business, I’ll know the market well enough to make a good decision about buying a home.

For information specific to utah and the first time home buyer, look at
http://www.utahrealestatehelp.com

I talked with my brother and he told me how the first time he looked for a home, he signed with a realtor. The realtor became busy and let my brother slide and didn’t serve him very well because my brother was locked into buying from him for at least a year or two. The only way to keep the realtor working for you until the very end is by leaving your options open. Good advice from my brother.

Here is the fax that Lance sent me from the American Lending Network:
I asked him to give me different scenarios.

Loan Type Down Payment Monthly Payment Estimated Tax, Insurance, MI Total
FHA 0% down $0.00 $864.44 $170.28 $1,034.72
FHA 3% down $4,500 $839.97 $170.28 $1,010.25
100% Loan Conventional $0.00 $1,020.24 $107.23 $1,127.47
Conventional 5% Down $7,500.00 $845.59 $107.23 $952.82
Alta Loan $0.00 $894.44 ($336.05) $107.23 $1337.72
Alta Loan 5% Down $7,500.00 $792.95 ($154.18) $107.23 $1054.36

Purchase Price $150,000
Payment amounts are estimates and may vary with % rate, loan amount, and escrow amounts and are subject to loan approval.
Alta loans require two loans and therefore two monthly payments.
These estimates are also based on good/excellent credit rating.

I found an on-line option for getting approval: Mortgage Info Center

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