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Beyond the Numbers

Owning a home can be as abstract as the American Dream.  It is what you make of it.  But I firmly believe there are fundamental values in Homeownership that go beyond the numbers.  I mention on my site, “a place to call home” as a bullet point of owning a home.  This is what I mean.

Homeownership brings families together

This idea is not the end all to solve all the world’s problems.  But it is a good start to promoting family values which in turn help contribute to good virtues in a culture.  These things can lead to economic development and a healthy outlook on life.  It’s that hope we long for in building our families and passing on a legacy to children.  Home is where traditions form or carry on which always help bring families together making our most precious commodity, time, of importance.  When we focus on our families in a comfortable setting, we are at home in some form.  In this case, it’s YOUR home. 

A voice in your community

A lot of attention today is focused on what is happening all around the world.  But what about your community or small neighborhood?  Homeownership has always promoted a vested interest in the community surrounding you; your neighbors, the local coffee shop or restaurant, High School athletics, small businesses, etc.  Who determines how the community is formed?  It’s always been the current Homeowners of today, not the owners of the past.  There is certainly a legacy to be honored with the past.  Continuing to maintain a community is also part of Homeownership. 

My personal experience with this has evolved in the last few years participating with the local Chamber of Commerce, events, and developing great relationships with my surrounding neighbors.  My reasons for being involved in some capacity were about creating a legacy for my kids and setting an example of what civic duty and responsibility looks and feels like.  The rewards have been abundantly great and created a vested interest in what happens with the future of the community we live in.

Homeownership & Stability

Owning your home certainly has its financial benefits.  Ways you can manage your equity can be found here.  Beyond the numbers it also promotes a sense of stability.  In times of a slow down with the economy or your business, your home may get you through the event because you developed good financial literacy in the process of ownership.  Your mortgage payment and overall household expenses are reasonable enough with budgeting and a slow period.  The added advantage is not needing to uproot your family because your lease is coming due or a Landlord wishes to sell the home to someone else.  While it’s not the ideal situation, selling might be what you need to gain new ground in starting over. 

None of us are immune to the risk of a slowdown.  In 2014, when I was beginning a new career, I sold my home to start over financially, using the equity to pay expenses.  While it was a difficult time, I was happy that I owned my home and had that opportunity.  Within 15 months, I bought a new home so that our family could have that sense of security once again.


Talking with people about the value of homeownership often brings about this kind of conversation.  The numbers can make sense to nearly everyone.  But the action of “taking the next step” is almost always because of a hope or dream of some kind.  It usually comes from the heart in the end.  That is truly beyond the numbers.

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6 Reasons to Buy a Home

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Homebuying 2018

6 reasons to buy a home


Given that the past 10 years, since the recession, we’ve been accustomed to a strong demand for housing with historically low rates, one can’t help but question home values and interest rates now that we’ve entered a Seller’s Market.  Here are 6 reasons Homebuying still makes sense, especially for Millennials.

1) Lending guidelines have changed since 2008, creating a stable housing market (lengthy, but stay with me)

The main reason we had a housing bubble was because banks, in the years leading up to 2008, allowed consumers to borrower more than they could realistically afford and on loan terms considered today as predatory lending.  The class of home loans issued to these consumers were sub-prime mortgage loans.  This 4-mintue video by helps explain.  These loans allowed borrowers with poor credit, and nearly no down payment, to borrower loans by stating their income on the application and not being required to support it with documentation.

Fast forward to 2018, lending rules have changed to prevent these kinds of loans and practices ever happening again.  You must show the ability-to-repay your mortgage loan to a bank where the Loan Officer and Underwriter assess your loan approval.  Basically, the sub-prime days are over so that people can realistically afford their homes.  See my recent post on Self-Employed Income and ways to qualify showing the ability-to-repay.

It’s important to note that home valuation practices have also been revised to ensure prices are not over inflated due to under-the-table handshakes and side deals.  Appraisers were hit heavily with regulations to ensure home values are represented with integrity based on local market trends and sales data.  Buying a home today and selling it tomorrow for 50% – 100% markup is behind us.  You only see this now with homes that have undergone extensive remodeling or upgrading, and it’s considered an acceptable practice because the market demands a modern home.

2) Build Equity, Growing your Money

This is probably my favorite reason to own a home because I’ve used my home’s equity to pay off debt and start a business.  Equity is the additional value something gains after it’s purchased.  Stock in a company builds and gains equity.  Your home is similar.  Waiting to buy means you lose the compound effect of your equity gain.  You can see your cost of waiting by scrolling the page in the link.  Be sure to complete the form.

While there are many uses for equity from your home, it’s a good idea to leverage that equity for the future.  Please do not use your equity to buy a boat or an RV (unless selling your home to travel the country).  Think of your equity as an aspect of your financial planning.  You do not want to rely solely on your home’s equity, but it makes for a chuck of your potential savings or retirement in the future.

3) Don’t pay taxes on your equity gains

When you own a home as your primary residence and turn around to sell it later, you do not pay taxes on the equity gains from the sale up to $250,000 if filing single or $500,000 if filing a joint return – IRS Site.  For this to work, the home must have been your primary residence and not have converted into a rental property.

4) Fix your monthly expenses

When you purchase a home with a fixed-rate mortgage, you lock your monthly principle and interest payments for a specified term of 15 or 30 years.  Property taxes and homeowner’s insurance may fluctuate, but the bulk of your housing payment is fixed.  Imagine when you want to renew your lease and the landlord charges an additional $200 to renew.  Over several years, that increase adds up and will eventually force you to move, beginning the cycle all over again of moving.

Moving is a silent expense that you don’t realize until it’s too late.  I’ve seen someone’s hard earned savings, that adds up to be a down payment on a home, get depleted when moving from one rental to another.  Request a Rent vs Buy review by scrolling the page in the link.  Be sure to complete the form.

5) Convert your home for cash flow

One objection I’ve heard a lot of lately is uncertainty about where someone wants to live.  This may be because of lifestyle or employment opportunities.  If you have a relatively stable income and don’t plan on moving for 3 years or so, buy a home.  You will thank me later because you will have the option of selling it and taking that equity or converting the home into a rental property.

The demand for housing (rentals and purchases) is only getting stronger.  You can have someone else pay the mortgage every month while you realize the equity gains.  It’s like someone buying you stock every month in your home.  See the chart below: Household Growth and Housing Completions.

6) A place to call home

Financial benefits aside, owning a home gives a sense of pride and fulfillment for our families.  Watching our children grow up in a neighborhood and making friends or meeting new people and becoming active in a community are just some of the things that come with owning a home.  Last year I helped run a charity picnic with a cornhole tournament.  My family and I got to meet some great people and we supported a great cause.  It was fun creating memories in the community we call home.


Owning a home is a responsibility and should be taken seriously.  The reasons to buy a home in today’s market give consumers financial opportunities for the future.  If you’re on the fence about buying a home, it’s worth a call to explore what it means for you.  A good lender will give you all the options around the idea and help you decide if it’s a good fit.


Chris Gonzalez
(480) 442-4494

Facebook: Chris Gonzalez – Your Neighborhood Lender



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Sponsoring Local Events – My Story

Local Business Owner?  Looking for Sponsorship Opportunities?

Here is my story co-sponsoring last year’s Charity Cornhole Tournament

All Western Mortgage and I are once again proud to be sponsors in the annual Charity Picnic that follows the Daisy Mountain Veteran’s parade in Anthem, AZ.  Last year, I was privileged to both sponsor and announce the tournament play during the picnic.

The Story

2018 Daisy Mountain Veterans Parade Committee

For the past 5 years, Anthem Young Professionals (AYP) has hosted a charity picnic event to raise money and awareness for a charitable cause in the community.  Every year, it’s been a cornhole tournament with 2018 no exception.  This year, AYP is sponsoring Youth 4 Troops and collaborating with Daisy Mountain Veterans to help a Veteran in need.  Follow the links to learn more about each organization.  Both are non-profit 501(c)3 organizations.

Youth 4 Troops  Daisy Mountain Veterans

This year, as a member of AYP, I will be announcing the tournament and Chairing the event itself.  It’s a lot of work juggling my own work and this event, but I’m excited for this opportunity.  Here are the highlights from last year and what to expect this year.

2017 Highlights

Team All Western Mortgage 2017

Last November the weather was warm but not triple digit warm.  Fortunately, we had all the elements of keeping as cool as we could with sunny skies covered by clouds and a light breeze.  Everyone stayed well hydrated and enjoyed themselves.

During the parade, there were unique floats with the highlight being a war bird flyover.  Later, a B-52 flew over several times.

There were 44 teams and 18 sponsors of the charity picnic after the parade.  In all over 500 people attended the picnic and watched the tournament play on.  Live music, beverages, great food from local restaurants, and bounce houses added to the atmosphere.  Businesses from all over Anthem and North Phoenix participated for the title “Champion” in 2017.  It was a nail biter to the end and everyone was proud to participate.

The best part of the event was the band playing the National Anthem with an electric guitar when the finals commenced.  Everyone stood silent and sang along.  It was moving to say the least.

2018 Goals & Plans – Steppin’ it up!

My co-workers supporting the event last year. And my kids hanging out.

This year we expect both the parade and cornhole tournament to double in attendance all while setting the bar high for raising money for the charities.  This year our goal is to raise $10,000.  That means double the players and double the sponsors.

The parade will feature a fly over from Luke Air Force base, eye catching parade floats, and a Mardi Gras-style candy and prize toss to the crowd.

Enhancements to the sponsorships for the charity picnic and cornhole tournament were made to help create a stadium-like atmosphere for game play.  We are working on a hot-air balloon, will host food trucks serving food for purchase, and will have a video game trailer for the older kids at no cost.  Bounce houses will also be available for the kids.

The goal is to continue the fan fair of the parade into an “after-party” family environment so we can continue honoring the Veteran community and raise money for causes around Veterans and their families.

Want to Play and/or Sponsor?

We want you to play and sponsor in this year’s tournament!  You will be supporting a great cause and helping the local Veteran and Armed Forces community.  You can visit to register your team or become a sponsor.

The Parade and tournament will be November 3rd, with the parade beginning at 10am and the Tournament kicking off at 11:30am.  Registration for teams is required in advance and will include lunch.  Prizes will be announced at a later date.

I know Youth 4 Troops and Daisy Mountain Veterans would love to see your there.  The venue is a great fellowship and networking event.  I had a blast getting to know everyone and growing my presence in the community.


For sponsorship information, call or email Chris at or 480-442-4494.

Visit Anthem Young Professionals to sign up to be a sponsor or play in the tournament.

To be a sponsor in the Daisy Mountain Veterans Parade, visit their siteClick Here

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