Today's Mortgage Industry is a vast, complicated landscape of amortization, interest calculations, equity lines and bond prices.
People are clamoring to get in on the profession but soon find that it is far more education intensive than they ever would imagine.
Just keeping up with the ever changing progams offered by the major lenders is a challenge, but to keep up with a whole slew of smaller, more diverse and cutting edge lenders and the effect the mortgage backed securities market has on their rates is something better left for a pro.
My main concern as a Mortgage Broker is... who are borrowers going to for their mortgage advice?? and why aren't they mortgage brokers?!
They say you can't spend 10 minutes in a restaurant in Boca Raton, Florida or any other volatile real estate market without hearing some conversation start up about real estate. From the first time homebuyer to the retiree living on rental incomes from an industrial park complex, everyone wants to talk about it.
The thing is... that's GREAT for me... it means that there are people thinking about transacting and I want to know them!
The problem is... when everyone is talking about it - no one is LISTENING about it!
Far too often I'm hearing someone call me to tell me what loan fits their needs rather than going through a brief but thorough fact finding mission to determine which of the THOUSANDS of loan products out there fits their needs best.
- All I want is a 30 year fixed, no points, 5.5% on a Mobile Home
- Don't even bother me with that talk about Interest Only
- Option ARMs are only talked about by Thieves
- I don't want any of that Negative Amortization stuff
- My friends went bankrupt because of their ARM
WHOA... hold the bus!
It is GREAT to know what you want... and to do some research into different loan programs... but I don't operate like that. Why? because you are UNIQUE and my goal is to take your unique financial situation and pair it with a specific loan program that will effectively and efficiently meet or exceed your needs for the entire life of the PROPERTY - NOT the just Loan!
HOGWASH!? NO... and don't listen to anyone that tells you otherwise! I MEAN IT!
Look... here's the skinny.
- Who are you?
- How old are you?
- What stage are you in your life?
- What stage are you in your family?
- What stage are you in your career?
- What is your salary like today... and next year?
Those are all things that all your research can't help you distill with the help of a Banklate or SpendingTree. They are questions that I, your friendly neighborhood Mortgage Guy will ask you.
Wikipedia, MSN Money, Mortgage-X... none of them can help you sort through who YOU are to arrive at the right program for you... instead they let you bring your biases and those of your trusty advisors with you.
You know... Mom and Dad, Your friend the family attorney, Your grandfather's accountant, your rich older (much older) sibling, your family's stockbroker, your Realtor... all the people that would answer all the questions above VERY differently than you.
So why are THEY telling you which loan to get? How are they, all of a sudden, masters of the information that will help you get the program that fits YOUR needs properly?
Well...sorry to say... I'm BLUNT so I'll say it anyway... THEY ARE NOT the people you should be listening to for Mortgage Advice. Most of the time they aren't even the ones you'll tell about your credit and salary issues when you're NOT buying a house!
Let's look at the facts.
- Mom and Dad are 50-60s, settled down, may have one more house in their future and it is likely smaller than this one, they have savings, pension, security and retirement planned. Even better, they have YOU out of the house so you're not draining their disposable income away from their leisure. So how are they poised to help someone starting out? much less understand one in this economic time/market?
- Your family attorney, in his 60's in his prime earning years, has a huge house on the affluent side of town, a condo by the beach, and a timeshare in Ireland for when he really needs a Guiness and a Sweater. He's got a few million in assets, partially liquid and his house is long paid off. How does HE know what you, the newly hired salesperson is going to need to get into the house and afford to stay in it??
- Grandfather's accountant... When I was your age, I paid $1,200 for my first house and I paid CASH because that's the way we did it! - do I need to continue??
- Your much older sibling, mid 30's, two cars, two incomes, two kids, too many credit cards...too condescending... you don't really talk to him about anything anyway!
- Your family stockbroker/financial planner... PLEASE... this is your home, there is no return on the equity in a home so leave it alone! We haven't covered that yet, sorry... Every dollar you put in that house is a dollar you're not putting in a mutual fund with him....move along.
- Your Realtor... well... they should at least be versed in mortgages to some extent, but the best Realtors won't talk loans with you because it is illegal and unethical for them to do so because of license laws!
What have I just illustrated?? There is an impartial person who has good advice, who knows the markets, who knows the products, who is just waiting for you to call and let him do his job... but... and this is a BIG BUT
But you've got all the advice you can handle in what is already an overwhelming and stressful life cycle event!
So... who do you listen to? Do you consider the scrutiny you'll endure if you pick something outside of what everyone else thinks is right for you?
DO YOU CARE?
Remember... everyone says, "Buying a home is the single, biggest investment you'll ever make..."
So why are you buying with other people's own needs and experiences when they probably do not reflect what YOU need??
Look... it is simple. I'm not telling you to tune them out and only talk to me. That's unreasonable. What is reasonable is to tune everyone out for a little while. Let them know you'll get to them. Then take the evidence to them that your Friendly Neighborhood Mortgage Go To Guy (or Girl) has to offer.
Relate to them the reasoning behind why you may want to consider an ARM, or the benefits to YOU of Interest Only, or the easy to afford minimum payment on the Option ARM, or the versatility of the Hybrid that is a combination of two or three loan programs.
Better yet, show them that there is someone else out there with your best interests in mind that is an expert in that field... nay a guru that you're willing to trust and so should they.
I'm not saying they'll trust me too... but with proof and logic, we can at least make them understand why the program I offer fits you better than the program they think you should have.
And isn't compromise what good, lifelong relationships are about?
So when the time comes that you're thinking of buying your first home, relocating to Florida, buying a Second Home with a Beach View, buying an investment property, buying a property to grow your business... call me...
We'll sit down and have a coffee... and I'll LISTEN...
After that, we'll know your entry strategy, exit strategy and have a good idea of what you want life to be like in your new loan. Then I'll get you pre-approved so you can call your favorite big sister/new realtor and let her drive you all around town to find you a new property!