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Home Loan was started to help our customers achieve their goals, and we're proud of our track record. But don't take our word for it. Here's what some of our customers have to say:

"Working with Mario [Loan Originator] at Home Loan Investment Bank made the often rocky road of refinancing smooth and almost easy. Once we sent our information to Mario he reviewed it quickly, and promptly let us know if anything was missing. We were in Arizona, the property we were refinancing was in Maine, and Mario was in Rhode Island, but working with Mario was like working with a next door neighbor!"

– Dave M.

 "In this day and age, it is rare to find true kindness, consideration and courtesy. Emily [Loan Originator] was all of those things and more. I just wanted you, her manager, to know what a really excellent job she did for us. Thank you.

– D. Gayle & Robert W.

"This is just to thank you for all of your help. We finally closed on the houses! Please know that we are very thankful to you for helping us achieve a 'new' dream in America. My husband came to America 18 years ago with one dollar in his pocket and now he owns three houses... thanks to Home Loan Bank."

– Carolina B.

"Thanks to Kristin [Loan Originator] and your bank loan, this New Year is certainly looking brighter for me and my children. I know that I am one of the many thousands of people your bank deals with on a daily basis, but I never felt like a number or an account."

– Maggie C.

"I am writing to thank your for the opportunity for us to finally bring our previously high mortgage rate down. Due to financial difficulties over the past several years, until now we have been unable to do so. The opportunity your institution has made available for us is making all the difference in us securing our financial future."

– Karen T.

 "Thank you so much for all your help on our recent loan. Your professionalism, knowledge and great customer services made it all happen."

 – Frank and Eileen S.

"I closed on a home refinance with Home Loan Investment Bank in May. Mario [Loan Originator] made the process easy and painless. Mario and Home Loan were great to work with. It was just like your neighborhood bank on the phone and over email, and they were always available to move the process forward. This was truly a once in a lifetime refinance opportunity. I have the same monthly payment for a 15 year fixed mortgage versus my old 30 year fixed mortgage. Thank you. "

– Nils M.

"Thank you for superior professionalism and just plain human compassion throughout my refinancing process."

– Sonja S.

"I have been a Real Estate Broker for over 24 years, dealt with a lot of banks, bankers and brokers and I have never been treated so kindly."

– Evelyn B.

"Lance [Loan Originator] was extremely helpful, answered all of our questions promptly, whether asked by phone or fax, and his attention to detail and follow up were commendable. It may be a level of excellence that you expect from all of your agents, but we found it exceptional and worthy of comment."

– Harold S.

"We have told other people about the great way we were treated and about the smooth refinancing experience your company and Emily [Loan Originator] provided and have referred them all to you for help in refinancing their home."

–Gay and John B.

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The impact of environmental hazards on home values

Posted on Monday, February 20, 2017 at 4:03:05 PM

Environmental hazards have a tangible impact on home values in many areas. However, this impact isn't as clear cut as it may seem. 

What are environmental hazards?
"Environmental hazards" is a broad term, referring to a variety of different substances and events that pose a threat to a natural environment or a person's health. The CDC traces several distinct environmental hazards that occur both naturally and due to human negligence in the U.S., including air pollution, radiation, or extreme weather.

Some of the major hazards that threaten residential homes include brownfields - property contaminated by a hazardous substance - polluters, poor air quality. While the majority of homes exist in areas that would be considered "safe" by surveyors and regulators, recent data from ATTOM Data Solutions suggests that roughly 17.3 million single-family homes and condos currently stand in zip codes facing a high risk of environmental hazards - with an overall value of almost $5 trillion. 

Environmental hazards and home value
Whether homeowners in these areas purchased their homes knowing about the possible hazards - or even if these were hazardous areas at the time of purchase - the classification has a distinct impact on home values. In general, experts at Attom point to the fact that home values in areas most at risk for environmental hazards are disproportionately lower than those in low risk areas

"Home values are higher and long-term home price appreciation is stronger in zip codes without a high risk for any of the four environmental hazards analyzed," Daren Blomquist, senior vice president at ATTOM Data Solutions, told RISMedia. "Corresponding to that is a higher share of homes still seriously underwater in the zip codes with a high risk of at least one environmental hazard, indicating those areas have not regained as much of the home value lost during the downturn."

It's unclear whether this is causation or correlation - i.e. whether these areas have lower value homes due to the environmental hazards or if it is merely on of several factors - but the way that hazard risk ties to value is stark: Median home prices in very high brownfield risk areas are 2.8 percent below where they were 10 years ago, while median home prices in very low brownfield risk areas are up 2.8 percent up. Home sales similarly are impacted by environmental risk, with low risk areas seeing significantly higher sales volumes than high risk equivalents. 

Investors not deterred 
In spite of this data, real estate with higher hazard rates may not be quite as toxic as they seem. The same report showed that real estate investors - those looking to purchase the homes but not necessarily live in them - have continued to buy real estate in high risk areas.

"Conversely, home price appreciation over the past five years was actually stronger in the higher-risk zip codes, which could reflect the strong influence of investors during this recent housing recovery," Blomquist said. "Environmental hazards likely impact owner-occupants more directly than investors, making the latter more willing to purchase in higher-risk areas. The higher share of cash sales we're seeing in high-risk zip codes for environmental hazards also suggests that this is the case."

This implies a certain optimism on the part of investors, both regarding the housing market and environmental challenges. As the economy continues to recover, these properties are likely to see increases in value as long as the hazards can be kept in check.

If you are considering purchasing a new home this year, or you are thinking about refinancing an existing loan, always reach out to your local bank to identify all the options available to you. With a more personal approach to shopping for the right residential financing program, you will have a better chance at choosing the right one.