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Posted On Tuesday, 18 May 2021 00:00 Written by
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“I don’t regret the things I’ve done. I regret the things I didn’t do when I had the chance.”

We have seen lots of moving and shaking going on this week in the home financing market.  The inflation data ran hot, sending the 10-year bond yield into a spike.  When the bond yields spike, it typically bumps up the price of mortgage rates. Rates were up about an eighth of a point.   This Richter scale blip could spell higher bumps in the mortgage rates later.  When the financial markets move around, you may want to put yourself in a solid place. 

Several mortgage clients put themselves in a stable place and are enjoying some bragging rights right now.  The Smiths refinanced and lowered their interest rate and freed up a few hundred dollars per month by lowering their mortgage payment.  They plan to take part of the extra money and pay off debt. The other part of their savings is to take some memorable vacations. 

The Millers have ratcheted down their mortgage rate and eliminated ten years off their mortgage term. Now they can retire without being tied down to a mortgage payment. 

I have celebrated with the Garcia’s who took this opportunity to refinance, pull cash out to upgrade, or modify their home.  John and Jane Doe bought an additional house.    

The Johnsons bought their first home and locked in a fixed-rate mortgage in the high 2’s that will help them build wealth and keep their budget on track.  They don’t have to worry about the landlord raising their rent every year. 

The opportunity is there now but will be gone one day, and we don’t know when.   Do something today, and don’t regret missing the opportunity. 

Home prices are steadily rising. The National Association of Realtors announced that the median home price rose 16.2% year-over-year to $319,200. That means the houses selling in the neighborhood where you want to live selling at $200,000 last year are now selling for about $232,000.  That is a $32,000 difference over 12 months or a $2666 per month increase. 

The Millennial generation leads the home buying market, with Generation Z making their entrance into the real estate market.  Demand is predicted to remain strong for home buyers.  The lack of homes available to buy is currently continuing to push prices up.

As mortgage professionals, we can win trust and appreciation from our mortgage clients when we listen carefully to what the customer wants to accomplish from the new mortgage. Ask good questions like, “What do you want to accomplish with this mortgage?” “What is the maximum house payment that is personally comfortable for you?”   Asking open-ended customer questions like these can move you to the customer’s side of the table. You will be in a better position to help them choose the very best mortgage terms to meet their goals. 

Posted On Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00 Written by

While some are struggling to get deals to go together, those focusing on what it takes to win the deal keep on winning. As I spoke to the issues in the past about “winning vs. whining”, you can make a choice every day about your approach to the market in which you work. You can whine about the issues and the challenges, or you can identify the solutions and the strategies necessary to help your clients win!

Record numbers of homes being sold tell us that there is an opportunity. Greater numbers of buyers wanting these homes creates the challenge of how to navigate the market to put your client in the best position to win. However, the plan is not a one and done solution or strategy that will make it all come together for you, it takes a series of strategies to optimize results and secure the win. Remember, more than one strategy at a time to make the win a reality, and the process of winning incorporates the possibilities that there are losses along the way. The good news is; your client only needs to win once!

A few things to keep in mind are:

1. Get your client in the best possible position to buy.
2. Give them a buyer improvement plan to follow each week so they become stronger and more flexible in their options.
3. Set the stage by setting expectations about their specific market.
4. Use all the tools available to be sure your clients and referral partners can make their best offer possible and be sure to include the power of speed to the closing table.
5. Be sure you, the client, and your referral partners are on the same page and working toward the same solution! 

As originators you need to use your experience about what people are doing to win their offers and help your current clients benefit from your experience. Yes, it is a challenging market, but it also a market ripe with opportunities. Use your winning strategies to keep on winning!

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Posted On Monday, 17 May 2021 00:00 Written by
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Posted On Friday, 14 May 2021 12:06 Written by
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Charles T. Jones, a great speaker and writer and lover of books proclaimed that “You will be the same 5 years from now as you are today except for the people you meet and the books you read!” He influenced me to begin building a robust library some forty years ago, and it has been one of the most rewarding activities I have ever been involved in.
 
An interesting phenomenon has taken place in the last century. In the eighteen hundreds and early nineteen hundreds, people relied on books to learn and gain sophistication through being “well-read”. Today we have so much information inundating us that we hardly have time to sort and process it. Technology has changed our world substantially in that regard. The learners of 150 years ago simply did not have the choices we had. Books were sacrosanct in the lives of many.
 
Today lots of people, this writer included, still carve out reading time and enthusiastically forge ahead devouring 100 to 200 books a year. I keep a to-read stack of books in my library that is usually 15-20 books high. That’s ok, as I like my reading habits just fine and I continue to learn and grow from both new and old books alike.
 
When recently going through my library I came across a 1st edition copy of The Place of Books in the Life We Live by William L. Stidger (copyright 1923), which I have been reading. In his foreword, he said “Books are like the windows of a tower. They let light in. Every life is a growing tower. It is put stone by stone. The higher it grows, the darker it gets if we do not put in a window here and there to give light. That is what a book does to a life. It lets light into that life.” Well said, indeed.
 
Stidger believed that a book could frequently be the turning point in the life of a boy or girl, or man or woman. It can change the course of a human life, awakening the soul like nothing else. He believed that a well-read teacher could add fifty percent to his or her efficiency adding greatly to their usefulness to the human lives they touched. He further believed that books would keep the soul and the world alive, and raise people to greater heights.
One of the greatest things we can do is to encourage others to be eager readers. We can give books for gifts and urge others to expand their horizons through the creation of excellent reading habits.
 
The previously mentioned Charlie Jones paid his kids a modest sum as they were growing up for each book they read. They had to give him a short written book report and he also challenged them orally with questions about the content and what they learned. He was convinced until his death that he helped all of his kids enjoy a better life through exceptional reading habits.
 
Arnold Bennett (1867-1931) once declared “The aim of literary study is not to amuse the hours of leisure; it is to awake oneself, it is to be alive, to intensify one’s capacity for pleasure, for sympathy, and for comprehension. It is to change utterly one’s relation with the world.” It is obvious with statements of this sort that reading was deemed critical to one’s growth and quality of life. I believe it still is, and my hope is that we as responsible adults will continue to offer encouragement to others to experience the life-changing activity of reading books.
 

Near the end of Stidger’s book I was inspired to read a quote from Bishop William Quayle (1860-1925)… “Ah, my soul, hast thou learned the lure of the book, and hast thou learned what a book is as a delight, and hast thou learned, not as a scholar reads, to get to be great, or to read as the egotist reads, to be thought wise, but hast thou read as God would read, to catch good and to see far, and, to learn to live, and to blazon thy scutcheon with the radiance of the morning light?” Read on, friends, and inspire others to do the same!

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