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As October ends, we face the stark reality that our year is about to conclude. For those in the mortgage and real estate world, it means there are about 30 days to generate an opportunity and close a deal that will count for you production and income in 2021. The calendar waits for no one! So, we must choose, and it is a choice, what opportunities do we need to generate to take advantage of the time we have left, as well as what are the actions, we need to take to make it happen?

  • What are your options and what are the choices?
  • Who are you targeting and what is the message?
  • What are the actions and activities associated with my needs?
  • What does the social and professional calendar look like?
  • What will my schedule need to be to get it done?
  • What is a winning result?


You can win the year with a great November. You can establish the momentum you need to carry you through December and into 2022 by working your plan in November.

There are many strategies you can employ, this year the only modification is around the “Black Friday Sale” given how quickly homes are selling, that we use it more as video coupon, listing generator, and social media event than the normal movement of inventory before the end of the year, but all the other elements are still very effective. 

So, create your action plan and connect it to your countdown clock messaging. How many days left do you have this year to take in a new deal and close it by December 31st? How are you going to share this message? For each of you the specific date may differ, but the message doesn’t; time to get deals done for 2021 is soon to expire; whatcha gonna do? Each opportunity and relationship are “Worth Fighting For” because you never know where they will lead to in the future!

Questions and comments: Mike

Posted On Monday, 01 November 2021 00:00 Written by

“If one door closes and another one opens, you may be living in a haunted house.”  Anonymous

Conversation from the mortgage desk:

Let’s talk about ways to protect yourself from buying or financing a home that haunts you.  No one I know has a crystal ball, but here are some good practices that can help you build a protective hedge to shield yourself.

Hedge against inflation

The financial headlines point to inflation moving into a more permanent position in our economy, robbing the value of our savings today when we have to pay more for things we need with that money tomorrow.   Financial advisors seated across my mortgage desk from me over the years have pointed out how well real estate protected the wealth of homeowners during times of inflation.     As prices on goods and services went up, the value of real estate went up also.    This hedge of protection served them well if they enjoyed a low fixed-rate mortgage.

Hire a home inspector

Homebuyers have said one of their biggest fears is buying a home with so many needed repairs that it turns the house into a money pit.  Hiring a good home inspector can give you peace of mind that you are buying a home that is well maintained.  The home inspector can also tell you about problems that will cost you upfront or after you close.  Know before you owe. 

How much is too much to offer to buy the home

As a homebuyer, a reputable realtor with lots of experience can be worth her weight in gold if you hire her to represent you as the buyer and split allegiances between you and the seller.   Good realtors have at  their fingertips details on the market and what price sellers are getting on the sale of their homes in the area.

Having to take a lower price when I sell my home

Headline news today indicates that the real estate market has hit a tipping point, with home values still going up but at a slower pace than earlier in the year.  Home sellers ask if they have missed their opportunity to make their most significant money selling their homes.   Demand for homes is still hot, with an abundant supply of ready buyers waiting to buy and lock in a low fixed-rate mortgage.  Millennials are leading the charge and are predicted to keep the real estate market strong for three to five years.  Hire an experienced, reputable realtor who knows your neighborhood.  You will enjoy your realtor’s wisdom, knowledge, and discernment when choosing the strongest offer from people who want to buy the home. 

Higher interest rates can be a budget-buster

Plenty of mortgage customers have purchased a home and locked in a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage to protect themselves against a market where interest rates are going up.  Others have refinanced their home to a low fixed mortgage rate, paying off the first mortgage and their variable-rate home equity line of credit and variable-rate credit cards. Getting rid of the variable-rate mortgages can shelter these borrowers against a rising interest rate environment. 

Author of “Choosing the Best Mortgage-The Quickest Way to the Life You Want." A mortgage guide for professionals and consumers full of people stories illustrating the advantages and disadvantages of various mortgage products.   Find this book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble. 

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Posted On Monday, 25 October 2021 00:00 Written by

Buying a home is one of the largest investments someone will make in a lifetime.  Getting a mortgage is one of the biggest loans in the budget.   Take a little time to save yourself a lot of money.  Team up with the experts and use their experience to save yourself from a bad experience. 

Taking a few extra minutes to prepare can give you big bragging rights on your real estate deal for years to come.

Here are some things to do as you set out to buy your home or get your mortgage.

Determine your budget.  Set a timer for two to three hours, turn on your favorite tunes and start slogging through your last six months bank statements and credit card statements.  Keep a tally of how much you are spending on food, rent, utilities, gas, insurance and more. Remember those bills you only pay once or twice a year like your car tags and insurance.   By the end of those two or three hours, you will know a lot better where you can save some bucks and how much you can comfortably afford for a house note.   Remember you need to have an ample amount in savings for emergencies.    How much money can you comfortably put down at closing and still keep your “rainy day” fund?

Are you planning to change jobs soon? Are you switching from a guaranteed W2 income to be a subcontractor or will you be retiring soon?  In most cases, the mortgage company will not use your self-employment income or 1099 subcontractor income unless they can average the net income from these income sources over the last two years. If you are planning to retire, make sure that the house payment that you determined would be comfortable will work on your retirement income. Make sure your timing on a job change or major purchase does not occur during the loan process.  

Putting together your team of experts

Take the time necessary to find a reputable lender that shows the most interest in helping you get the best mortgage terms to fit your plans.   A good lender will ask you questions about how long you plan to stay in the home you want to buy.   A good lender will explore different loan programs or a combination of loan programs that will help you get the house and financing you want, but stay in your comfort zone.  Ask the lender for a strong prequalification letter for the terms you need when you make an offer on a house. 

Find a reputable real estate agent.  Check reviews to track down an experienced realtor who is getting results for his or her clients. Hand to your realtor a list of features and amenities in order of priority that you absolutely require from a home you plan to purchase.   Make a list of things you do not want in your home.  These list can save you and your realtor time when you are searching for the right home. 

Once you have the contract on your home, you may opt to get a home inspection.  Home inspectors put their focus on the condition of the property.  If there is a looming problem with the roof or the foundation, it is better to know up front before you sign on the dotted line to purchase that home. 

If you are getting a mortgage, the lender will order the appraisal through a third-party appraisal ordering company. The appraiser, unlike the inspector, is there to determine a value of the home.  If there are obvious items at the house that affect the structure, security or sanitation of the home, an appraiser will note these items on the appraisal report.  Most lenders require that those type items be repaired before closing.   You may find some workarounds with the lender if you can’t do the repairs before closing.  

Other good team members to advise you on your homebuying journey are homeowners insurance agencies, home repair men, and a good closing attorney or title company. 

Finding the home that will be your castle

Look for homes that are priced to stay within your comfort zone on the monthly payment and the down payment. 

Are the homes in the neighborhood well maintained?

Drive through the neighborhood at different times of the day to get an idea of how much traffic comes through the area.

Will the home, the lawn and the parking work for the way you and your family like to live in a home?

Is the house close to places of interest to you like schools, shopping centers, work and public transportation?

Make a Plan B for your closing date

If you have a house you need to sell first before you can buy your new home, then put together a contingency plan to give you options, just in case both closings don’t close on the same day .

Check your calendar to make sure you have plenty of time to close on your new home, even if the seller can’t close on the day you had planned to close.

Posted On Monday, 25 October 2021 00:00 Written by

We have all heard the theme song to the TV show COPS. See, the song already started playing in your head! Now just make a quick substitution: 

LOs, LOs; whatcha gonna do? Whatcha gonna do now that your rates ain’t TWO?

Inflation continues to push prices higher. Bond yields are responding for fear of that inflation. Ten Year T pushed past a critical 1.63 level and has closed above it. So 30yr mortgage rates have left the 2% level smack into the mid 3% arena causing refinances to fall off.

Loan officers, managers, and company ownership are all facing the facts that refinances are going away rapidly, and what was once the major force in originations is now off by 22% year over year as rates continue to rise. If your business was 50% - 60% - 70% or more refinances; whatcha gonna do for business in 2022?

There are some promising strategies that my clients and I have been working on to maintain loan volume by focusing on positive outcomes that are really paying off. As part of October being Business Planning Month, driving to provide value to our community and attracting the best referral partners from all walks of life, and especially building a database that returns opportunities day in and day out!

The more challenging the business may become; the greater the value in having a proven plan in place so your can schedule your success!

Questions or comments: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Posted On Monday, 25 October 2021 00:00 Written by
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