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If you looking for a mortgage professional with superior customer service, communication and integrity, call me. I'm qualified to do mortgages in all 50 states.

856 792 9214-Office
856 792 9215-Fax
856 308 2462-Cell

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

The Economy Changes The Way We Think

It wasn't too long ago that we were a consumerist society. I think a lot of us took pride in that. We drove our extra large SUV's like a badge of pride, a statement of our success. Conservation was something that never entered our minds; at least it didn't enter my mind. Now with the change in the economy everyone, not just us mortgage guys are feeling the pinch. There's a huge surge in the green movement. Although a lot of people are genuinely concerned about the environment, I imagine a lot of the newcomers to the green movement are motivated more by economic issues than by environmental ones. We're all looking for ways to trim our budgets. I find myself driving less, walking around the house turning off lights and religious about changing the filter on my heater. The things we do to save a buck!

How does this new mindset affect all of our businesses? For me, it means I'm evaluating my resources. With this economic environment, it takes more time to process mortgages and get them clear. More unqualified people are interested in loans, because everyone is looking for some kind of relief. It's quickly become apparent that time is my most valuable resource. I'm handling these new challenges in a couple of different ways.

First I'm taking advantage of technology. I'm now able to run all of my loan scenarios, whether they are purchases or refinances through automated underwriters. These programs compare any specific loan against Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines to give an instant approval or decline for conventional and FHA mortgages. This innovation allows me to quickly determine who qualifies for a loan. No more week long wait times for underwriters to tell me if I have a loan or not. If someone initially is rejected, I can manipulate the scenario to see what has to change in order to make a deal happen. Amazingly I'm able to save a lot of deals this way by just adjusting some of the variables.

The other thing that I'm doing is using a processing company to deal directly with the underwriter and be a liaison between the lender and the client. This has accelerated the process incredibly! This allows me to let someone else handle the busy work for a percentage of my profit, which in turn allows me to focus on getting new deals. That's the important lesson that this economy is teaching business owners. It's all about volume. Are you making more money as a Rolls Royce salesman, or a Honda salesman? Honda salesmen are doing better in this economy because society as a whole has gone back to looking for value instead of looking for luxury.

Finally I have to think about marketing. With time as my most valuable asset, I need as much marketing bang for my buck as possible. I've discovered a great tool in The Value Pages Group. Those of you who are in sales or own your own businesses, or know of someone looking to grow their business would be well served to check out the website: for a time and money efficient way of promoting your business.

What can we do as consumers? At my house we have a new obsession with turning out lights (most have been changed to the new energy efficient florescent bulbs). I'm also on a strict schedule with changing the filter in the heater.

When buying gas for the car, it pays to compare. Within a 2 mile radius of my house gas prices currently range from 1.72 to 1.99. A great website to find the lowest gas prices is

Another problem we had to deal with is recently a storm blew a few shingles off the roof and peeled back some siding. In this economy a lot of home maintenance gets put on the back burner, but I knew I had to get this fixed. A friend recommended I file a claim against my homeowners insurance. I was hesitant because I had never filed a claim before, and a call to my agent didn't make me feel any better about the idea. I have a 500.00 deductible on my policy and the agent made it seem like I would need to present that money up front. Only after talking to an independent insurance adjuster did I learn that the deductible just comes out of the settlement. So if you've been putting off some needed repairs (it doesn't even matter if a storm or your own actions caused the need of the repairs) and you would like to have them looked at by a professional and see what your insurance policy will cover, call Jennifer at 856-308-2463. Jennifer only works in NJ, PA, & MD, and FL is coming on soon, so if you're in another state, ask around for a referral.

Bottom line is that we've all got to become detail oriented when it comes to money. If you have other money saving ideas, please share them by commenting on this post!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

What It Takes To Purchase A Home

Over the past two years I've been really working to develop relationships with Professional Realtors in all 50 states. No one knows better what it takes to facilitate a Purchase for a client than I do.

Clients need to know what it takes to purchase a home in this market. First of all, the market today requires more from the buyer and the mortgage professional than ever before. 100% financing is no longer available in this market. A buyer needs to be prepared to bring at least a 3% deposit as well as closing costs. A professional realtor can often negotiate a seller's concession with a motivated seller. These concessions allow a buyer to pay slightly more for a property than the agreed upon sales price. The seller then kicks back to the buyer the difference between the original agreed upon sales price and the final sales price. That difference is no more than 6%. The sellers concession will not allow the buyer to get cash back in the purchase of the home, but if structured properly, it will allow the borrower to get into the home by only bringing money to pay the closing costs for the mortgage.

Now lets talk about documentation. Mortgage companies are requiring more documentation and reviewing it more thoroughly than ever before. Programs that require no income documentation, or stated programs are challenging in this market. If you want to buy a home with a stated mortgage, you need to be prepared to bring at least 20% to the table in addition to the closing costs of the mortgage. With a stated mortgage, you will still have to have plenty of liquid assets and be able to verify their existence with account statements. Borrowers should know that stated mortgages have higher interest rates than those that call for full disclosure of income and assets.

If you're OK with verifying your income to get the best deal, you need to have the following: 2 years tax returns and W-2's, 2 months bank/financial statements, and 2 months of pay stubs. Be prepared to answer questions about how much your property taxes will be, how much your homeowners insurance will be.

Just remember that buying a home isn't a snap decision or a process. If you're considering it, make sure you've taken steps to get your financial house in order. Lender's look at your debt to income ratio, so you need to make sure that all of your credit cards, loans, car loans and your new home payments (mortgage, insurance, and taxes) don't cost more than 50% of your overall income. If you can keep it under 40% the lender will be extra happy. Some borrowers make costly mistakes by applying for and taking on additional debt (new credit cards, cars, etc.) at the same time they are trying to acquire a mortgage. This could potentially derail the entire mortgage process by throwing off your debt to income ratio.

Make sure you have a power team of professionals in place. By consulting with a mortgage professional such as myself and a professional realtor well in advance, you will receive assistance in navigating through the entire process I outlined above.

Good luck guys! I'll look forward to talking to you soon!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Where There's A Will, Good Income, Low Debt, and A High FICO Score, there's a way!

So with the economy at the lowest levels in decades, everybody is examining every factor of their financial situation. There's no shortage of people looking to better their mortgage situation. But as demand go up, unfortunately supply has gone down. Lenders, in an effort to stem losses from overly liberal lending practices of the last few years, have trimmed back the products that they offer and increased the level of documentation required. If you go to a local bank, chances are you will only find 15 and 30 year Conventional mortgages, FHA mortgages, and Home Equity Lines of Credit (or HELOC's). Local and national banks have eliminated their Alt-A Lending programs (ARM's, Interest Only Loans, and Jumbo Loans). If you owe more than $417,000.00 on your mortgage, you probably won't be able to use your local bank to refinance in this market. An educated and well connected broker such as myself might be the only way to meet your goals right now. When considering a broker, make sure you do research and ask for references. For anyone interested I can email a copy of my Pre-Lending Package, which is a short Power Point Presentation that gives you some background information about me and my company. Viewing it will give you an idea of the level of customer service, communication, and integrity that you can expect when you choose me for your mortgage needs. I've even included letters of recommendation from some of my recent clients. Any honest and qualified broker should be able to provide you with similar information.