There’s an app for that!

March 24, 2015

I’ve had a number of requests for links to loan calculators, rate information, and mortgage industry news, and my app gives you all of that! You can also request a quote and get pre-approved directly from the app. Download it here for quick access to the information you need.

there's an app for that

Mortgage Rates: What’s Next

June 11, 2013

As many of you may have noticed, interest rates have started to go up after the many months of historically low interest rates. The question I am most often asked is, “How much have they gone up and why?”

In the background driving these historically low rates, is a Fed buying program that purchases $85 Billion of mortgage backed securities each month. It’s part of the Fed’s mandate to help manage both employment and price stability. So, the lower rates have helped drive forward the housing market and to manage unemployment. This security purchasing, called Quantitative Easing, is something that many of the Fed’s Board Members believe the volume of securities purchased needs to be reduced. As a result, they have decreased the amount of securities they buy from $85 to $65 Billion, unofficially.

The market started to respond to this news around May 1st which is why you have seen so much activity in the bond market, which ultimately has moved rates upward.


I anticipate in the next thirty days the rates will drop again. For those of you considering a refinance, purchase or investment property this is still a great time to make a move. I know, however, that this rate range is more than what you’re used to seeing over the last few months. It’s important to keep in mind that rates in the 4% range were unheard of until 2010, and rates in the 5% range were unknown prior to 2003. Think about the rates many of our parents paid in the seventies and eighties where they rarely dropped below 10% and skyrocketed to 18% during the eighties. My point is this:  if you know that you are in a stable financial position to purchase a home, and/or it makes sense to refinance, the rates are still low compared to historic norms.

One thing I’ve learned about my clients, is that you all can have some really great insights. I’d love to get your thoughts too on the market changes; shoot me a note or post in the comments and let me know what you think.  Will mortgage interest rates drop again?

Tips for a stress-free family move

June 5, 2013

tips for a stress free family move relocation Frisco TX FriscoMortgageGuy

If you’re relocating your family this summer or know someone who is, check out these tips for easing the stress of relocating for your kids. What would you add to the list?

Homeowners, offer your advice!

June 4, 2013

Mortgage Sign Contract FriscoMortgageGuy

Thinking back to your first home-buying experience, what advice do you wish someone had shared with you before you signed on the dotted line?

It all comes down to trust

April 30, 2013

handshake trust relationship contract businessAs you consider your mortgage options in today’s lending world, there are basically three different kinds of folks you can work with as you explore mortgage options: Mortgage BrokerMortgage Banker and a Retail Loan Officer. Regardless of which path you choose, all of the products offered through all three are created and underwritten to the guidelines of Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac.

A few years back, I was a Mortgage Broker where I operated independently of a bank and could shop various options to help find my clients the best loan scenario for their particular needs.  As the mortgage industry changed, and the crisis occurred, it become increasingly difficult to operate as an independent broker given the increased scrutiny on this sector.  As a small business owner, the increased legal/compliance requirements meant I spent less time serving my clients and more time trying to remain compliant in the new mortgage world. From a P&L perspective, it became too expensive to operate under this structure.

I was blessed to find my way to a Mortgage Banker role, which provided the infrastructure I needed (e.g., compliance management, operations support) but expected me to bring in my own business. In this scenario, I became a bank employee and part of a broader team seeking a win/win for both the clients and the bank. We all want the process to work as well as possible and now I find that I can close loans within three weeks even in today’s tougher mortgage environment. As an additional upside, First United Bank, does not sell off the loans it originates and services them internally. So, if there is a problem afterwards, I can actually call someone internally versus not being able to correct an issue when a loan is sold off.

Finally, there are big Retail Lenders with Retail Loan Officers who sit at a corporate location and field inbound activity from things like marketing campaigns or branch referrals. Typically this type of business is focused on bank brand, and less on relationship, given that you never know who you will get and his/her qualifications. Many of these large retailers are not known for being the most nimble in terms of working volume through their processes which can sometimes create issues if you are time sensitive. If you are interested in the industry, this can be a great way to start out learning the business.

When it comes to one of the largest purchases of your life, you deserve the best loan possible: a  loan to match your personal needs and be priced correctly. While there are lots of choices in the market, I would encourage you to consider where you think you will get the best advice around the most effective options for you and your family.  Find someone you trust, and go that route, regardless of which of the three options you might land. If there’s trust, when the inevitable hiccups happen, you will have an advisor who has your needs at heart.


What Windows 8 tips can you offer?

April 22, 2013

I am the proud owner of a new Microsoft Surface Pro tablet.  The goal was to have a smaller computer that could work a few more programs than the iPad let you.  So far I have to say, strange set up – maybe I am not the target audience.

So, do you own one or use Windows 8 and have tips for me?  I just want to use Outlook, Word and a few programs that I will be working to install.

microsoft surface pro

Buying Parents a Home While Avoiding Investment Loans

April 17, 2013


Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you wanted your folks to move closer to where you now live?  I have seen lots of that over my mortgage career – the question most times is: “how do we handle the loan?”  Not all parents are in a situation to sell their existing home or buy one closer to their children.

With all the changes in the mortgage industry, loan guidelines have become tighter which means it can be harder for those with limited income or an existing home to buy a residence closer to loved ones. I am finding more and more kids are looking to buy homes for their parents who might not be able financially, or credit wise, to do it on their own (or until their current home sells).

A few years ago, I might have steered you towards buying one as an investment property, but now Fannie Mae guidelines allow for children to buy a home for parents who do not qualify on the loan on their own. It can be purchased by the children at “owner occupied” rates and with as little as 5% down rather than the higher rate and the 20% down for investment properties.

If down the road, your parents are in a position to pay-off the loan (e.g., sold previous home), and you want to put them on the title, you can always meet with your local real estate attorney to add them. If this is a possibility, it’s important to avoid loans with pre-payment penalties.

Do you have a story about a loan like this or would you like more information?  I am here and ready…thanks for reading!