We’re excited to announce that our Senior VP of Sales & Marketing, Daniela Bigalli, is being featured as a guest on Fintech Hunting, a podcast that highlights lending leaders, tech visionaries, and innovative executives. Hosted by Michael Hammond JD, CMT, keynote speaker, author, and founder of NexLevel Advisors, Fintech Hunting brings you valuable insights from the industry’s greatest financial leaders.
You can find Daniela’s episode on Fintech Hunting on Apple Podcast, Spotify, or Anchor FM. Tune in to hear Daniela’s insights.
Getting a mortgage can seem intimidating. You’re excited to buy your dream house, but you’re nervous about the daunting process of financing it. Luckily, local lenders like Homestead are here to give you the ideal experience. From offering a personalized experience, longer hours of availabilty, on time closings, and in depth knowledge of the local markets we serves, working with us is perfect for enjoying a simpler mortgage experience.
You Enjoy a Personalized Experience
Is talking to a robot on the phone your favorite thing when you’re looking for help getting a mortgage? Didn’t think so. Working with a local lender means that when you call, you talk to real, helpful people. Most of our Loan Orinigators provide their borrowers with their cell phone number so you can call or text at any time for help.
Plus, working with a local lender like us means we focus on getting to know you and your specific situation. We take the time to understand your unique goals. After listening to your individual needs, we customize and personalize your experience to meet and exceed your expectations.You won’t get that kind of service from a big bank.
Longer, More Convenient Hours Available
Another great aspect of working with a local lender is you enjoy support when it is convenient for you – no useless bank hours! In many cases, you will have access to a loan originator 7 days a week. This means you may be able to ask that burning question on your time table, and you’ll feel a lot more comfortable with the process when you have all that support.
You Can Close Quickly
Working with a local lender along with local realtors and attorneys makes the process efficient. Since everyone is in close proximity and on the same page, it’s easier to make all the pieces of the puzzle come together faster. Plus, local lenders like Homestead do the entire process in-house which means that loans are able to close quicker than lenders who do not have in-house operations.
Your Lender is Knowledgeable About Your Local Market
No one knows the local market like your local mortgage lender does. Our local Loan Originators live here too, so they truly know the tiniest details about buying a home in your area. Our Loan Originators have a better understanding of the local economy and property values, so they’re better equipped to handle your unique situation.
At Homestead, we truly care about our community and each of our customer’s specific needs. Unlike big banks, you aren’t just another number. Instead, you’re a valued member of the community we love, and we want to make sure you achieve your goals. Call us today to find out how we can help you!
International Women’s Day is a wonderful chance to celebrate the strong women all around us. Here at Homestead, we’re surrounded by smart, hardworking women who help our company grow and improve every day. In honor of this day, we interviewed our Senior VP of Sales and Marketing, Daniela Bigalli, who is just one of the many exceptional women at Homestead.
Tell us about your background and what you do now.
I am a first generation American. My parents were born and raised in Italy and emigrated to this country in the early 70’s. I was the first female to go to college in my family, and I worked my way up in the mortgage industry. I am currently the Senior VP of Sales and Marketing for Homestead Funding, which allows me to lead a team of great individuals who all have the same goals in mind. We all strive to help our borrowers achieve their home ownership goals and help the people in our communities.
What would you say was the biggest challenge you had to overcome to get where you are today?
Personally, I have had many challenges. English was not my native language, and this caused some issues early on in my education. My parents worked around the clock to support us, so I grew up very quickly. Much of my childhood was spent helping them with the restaurant they owned instead of participating in normal childhood activities. This upbringing instilled a determination and strong work ethic in me.
What has been your biggest accomplishment?
First and foremost, my two amazing little girls are my biggest accomplishment. Secondly, finding a partner in life, my husband, who is very supportive and my greatest champion. Regarding my career, I always knew I wanted an executive leadership position where I could make a difference and help other people reach their maximum potential. Whenever I see someone achieve their personal mark for success and they feel that my leadership was a part of that success, I feel I have accomplished something great. Working with the right team to ensure people achieve the dream of homeownership with the least amount of friction is what gets me excited every day.
What advice do you have for girls and women aspiring to be successful in the professional world?
Know you are only restricted by the limits you impose on yourself. The ceiling only exists if you allow it. Work hard and smart and get comfortable with being uncomfortable. At all costs, do not sacrifice or compromise your personal values and don’t be scared to follow your instinct. Finally, find a mentor, male or female, who will help and guide you.
What advice do you have for men to support women?
It is important to look at what value a person brings to the team. Recognize that everyone, men and women, working together will create the best environment for everyone to be successful. Some of the smartest and most successful men I know realize that value, loyalty, and intelligence is not defined by gender.
Happy International Women’s Day!
Today is a day to be proud of and thankful for all the strong women around us, so remember to show the women in your life how much you appreciate them.
If you’re looking to buy a home this year, you’ll want to know all you can know before diving in. Here’s what to expect when it comes to the housing market and getting a mortgage in 2020.
Low Rates and an Extended Buying Season
With rates low in 2019 and expected to stay low or even move lower, the 2020 housing market is an ideal environment for buyers. Thanks to these enticing rates, the buying season is extending – starting earlier than usual as buyers move to snag low rates.
More New Home Construction and Purchases
Since December, there has been a 40% increase in applications to purchase newly constructed homes. With 2019’s shortage of homes for sale, home construction is on the rise to catch up with demand. As more homes are built, the market that was so desperately in need of inventory should see a strong season of home buying.
Advancements in Technology Create a Favorable Environment for First-Time Homebuyers
Technology has been relentlessly growing and improving for years. As a result, the process of attaining a mortgage will continue to be changed by advancements in technology. Digital improvements will make the mortgage experience easier and quicker, which will be very attractive to millennials and first-time home buyers. Thanks to low rates and technology that create a streamlined mortgage process, we should see a favorable environment for buyers who have been holding off from purchasing their first home due to high home costs and a competitive market.
Home Values Increase
Home prices are expected to appreciate by about 5.6%, up from 2019’s 3.5% appreciation. This is great news for sellers and anyone looking to refinance. Homeowners looking to take advantage of this opportunity who aren’t looking to sell can utilize the increased equity to go for cash-out refinancing in order to pay off debt or invest in home renovations.
2020 will be a year of change and shifting trends when it comes to housing and mortgages. Driven by expansions in technology at a time when younger, more tech-savvy buyers are entering the market, the mortgage and real estate landscape will create an advantageous time for first-time home buyers. Buyers and sellers alike may be able to thrive if they keep these trends in mind and make smart decisions.
Is 2020 Your Year to Buy or Refinance?
If you’re looking to buy a home or refinance your existing one in 2020, contact us today to find out how you can get started.
Source: National Mortgage News, NerdWallet
2020 is a Leap Year, a year that comes every 4 years in which there are 366 days rather than 365 days. Read on to learn more about what leap years are, why we have them, the history behind their celebration, and other interesting facts, including what to do when your birthday lands on February 29th.
What is a Leap Year and Why Do We Have it?
The Earth doesn’t spin around the sun in exactly 365 days. It actually takes an extra 5 hours, 48 minutes, and 45 seconds longer than that, making the solar year 365.242 days. This means that, if we don’t account for that extra time, our calendar will fall behind the seasons we’re used to. So, in 750 years, June would start in the middle of winter. Throughout history, we’ve tried to account for this in different ways. Today, we remedy this by, every 4 years, adding an extra day to the end of February – the 29th.
But even that doesn’t completely solve the problem. So we have to add in a few little extra rules you’ll see explained below.
We all know that leap years are the years that are divisible by 4 (i.e. 2012, 2016, 2020, 2024, etc.), but there are some exceptions to this rule, which can get kind of confusing. To put it as simply as possible, if the year is also divisible by 100 (i.e. 1800, 1900, etc.), it is NOT a leap year. However, if it is divisible by 100, but also divisible by 400 (i.e. 1600, 2000, etc.), then it actually is a leap year. If that was confusing. see our handy chart above to help you easily determine when it’s a leap year!
History of Leap Years
Throughout history, humans have dealt with the fact that the solar year doesn’t line up with our calendar in many different ways. The ancient Sumerian calendar of 5,000 years ago very simply divided the year into 12 months with 30 days each. With just 360 days, this calendar was an entire week shorter than the Earth’s orbit around the sun. The Egyptians who adopted this calendar attempted to solve that problem by adding an extra 5 days of festivals and partying at the end of the year.
The Egyptians eventually began observing a 365-day year with a leap-year system. But the Romans were still behind, trying to adjust their calendar by randomly adding days or months here and there. In 46 BC, Julius Caesar declared they would, for just one year, take on a 445-day calendar he called the Year of Confusion. The idea behind this decree was to all at once correct the damage that had already been done from years of drifting out of sync with the seasons. After this, he ordered a 365.25-day year with a leap day added every four years.
But even this change wasn’t good enough. Since 365.25 days, while close, is still longer than the 365.2422-day solar year, Pope Gregory XIII eventually created the Gregorian calendar that we currently follow in which a leap day is occassionally skipped. This makes the average year 365.2425 days long – much closer to the solar 365.2422-day year. While this still doesn’t perfectly line up with the solar year, it will be 3,300 years before this calendar begins to diverge from our solar year by a day.
What Happens if Your Birthday is on a Leap Day?
If you were born on February 29th, you might be called a “leapster” or a “leapling.” About 5 million people on earth were born on February 29th. Out of 7.5 billion people, that means 0.07% of people on earth are leapsters.
So which day do you celebrate your birthday on when it’s not a leap year? Among leapsters, it seems to be split almost 50/50. Many who celebrate on February 28th – “28thers” – are avid “February babies” who identify with being born in the month of February and refuse to be “March babies.” Those who celebrate on March 1 – “1sters” – hold tight to the idea that they were born on the day after February 28th, which is March 1st on non-leap years. Other leaplings choose to celebrate the moment the clock hits midnight between the 28th and the 1st. Others still, choose to celebrate on both days! After all, why choose sides when you could double the party?
Fun Facts About Leap Day
1. The chances of having a birthday on February 29th are about one in 1,461.
2. When adding an extra day doesn’t cut it, we’ve had to do things like adding a “leap second.” This last happened on June 30, 2015.
3. The Titanic sunk on a leap year (1912).
4. The official animal of leap day is the Australian rocket frog who can leap over 50 times his own body length.
Enjoy Your Leap Day!
Now that you know more about leap years, make sure to celebrate this unusual time. This unique day comes just once every 4 years, so make the most of it!
And happy birthday to all the leaplings out there! Enjoy your special day.
Sources: History.com, National Geographic, Vox