We’re the Biggest… We’re number one…. We’ve been voted the best….

Best of lists don’t always reflect what’s best for your needs

When selecting a lender to work with, do any of these attention-grabbing phrases matter to you? Does being the ‘top’ lender necessarily make them a better lender? Does closing across the nation make them more knowledgeable in the market area that you care about? Should rankings or popularity polls inform your decision on who to select for a professional service?

Perhaps recognition and awards may be one measure to use when selecting a service provider, however the lack of those should not be the only deciding factor when choosing a professional. Many of the most talented people in the mortgage industry work for lesser known firms; those small independents and local institutions. Many companies large and small do not submit their numbers to the ranking organization. As a matter of fact, many of these rankings are not even consumer-driven. There are quite a few companies who offer incentives to their employees to insure multiple votes in the ‘best places to work’ polls that are run locally and nationally. Like opinion polls in politics, the results can vary depending on how the questions are worded and how the participants are selected. So many times, these polls are not a direct reflection of client satisfaction.

In the end, you want people to connect with you because of a strong referral, or because of your terrific reputation, one that is built upon integrity, hard-work, knowledge and superior customer service. If you happen to be numero uno on some list, well that’s just a cherry on top.

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Millennials can get real with real estate

In recent years, hundreds of researchers have discussed the “millennial” as a strange breed of human, likely to spend more than $100 on a nice dinner, unlikely to buy a home, and likely to buy products branded with a particular shade of pink – millennial pink that is. But few have explored the real reasons behind the home ownership issue and provided real, actionable advice based on said reasons.

Let’s put it out there: millennials watched as their parents struggled through the Great Recession, graduated college when the job market was at an all-time low and lived through some of the most confusing political and economic shifts. So it’s no wonder they want to wait, date, mate, then procreate before buying a home. That said, these five steps can be taken by millennials of any age, in any financial situation.

1. Talk to a loan officer. I know, I know, it seems so far off, so why bother? But it is never too early to have a conversation about where you are today, where you’re going and what you need to do to achieve your goals. A loan officer cannot only do a credit review and provide advice on how to repair or build up credit, but can also provide you with a good sense of what your income today might support, and how you can work toward saving for a down payment.

2. Start saving – every little bit helps. You may want to think about co-housing while you’re still young, or cutting down on some of the pricier expenses in your day-to-day life (cough cough, food delivery). Every dollar that typically goes toward those expenses can be put in a savings account and, one day, used for a down payment – the most difficult part of buying a home.

3. Consider: where do you want to be in five years? It’s clear that the days of staying at one job for five to 35 years are over. Whether it’s to find the right career or to make more money, most millennials have had to hop jobs and/or cities on a yearly basis, and many see their current situation as temporary. But it’s also important to consider where you are today, where you’re hoping to go and when you want to settle; that way, you can plan thoughtfully and appropriately for your future.

4. Be realistic. What kind of lifestyle do you want? If you want to be in a new construction building with fancy amenities, you may need to consider where you can realistically make that happen – the answer may be Chicago instead of New York City. If you’re locked into a more expensive city because of a particular career, consider what sacrifices you might be able to make in order to make your current lifestyle and your future finances work for you.

5. Stop watching home improvement shows. This point goes hand in hand with the above question, but you’ll need to start thinking about setting realistic expectations for yourself and your future home. You may not be able to get an all-white, stainless steel appliance apartment, but you could get an apartment that needs a little elbow grease, then put in just a bit more money to get the clean, finished dream home you imagined.

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Let the Construction Begin!

When buying a new construction property there is a lot to think about, from finishes to paint colors, appliance choices to flooring. The one thing you don’t want to worry about is what the interest rate will be on your loan.

Mortgage Equity Partner’s long lock program protects you from market movement for up to 270 days, that’s 9 months to get the property completed!

And you get a free one-time float down or a free 30-day extension if you find you need more time.

So, stop worrying about rates and start shopping for furniture, you can be confident when you work with a Mortgage Equity loan officer that we have your needs front and center.

** One time float down to current 60 day rate allowed at any time during the process. Must meet investor specific qualification guidelines. 30-day extension cannot be used with float down. Borrower gets one or the other.

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No, I didn’t send you that letter…

Good consumers should be educated in marketing ploys to stay out of trouble. We are here to help.

If you recently closed on a mortgage you might find that you are getting lots of new types of mail. Because a mortgage is recorded with the registry of deeds it becomes public record. Many service providers purchase lists of newly purchased homes in order to market their services to the new homeowners. That’s why you are seeing mail from landscapers to heating companies. But there is another type of mail that you might get, mail that isn’t from your lender but appears to be.

Insurance companies and other financial service companies seem to specialize in this. The letter may reference “your mortgage from ___________ lender” and go on to mention the lender along with the service they are trying to sell you as if the two are connected when they are not.

We get weekly calls from borrowers who are being offered ‘Mortgage Insurance’ to protect their home investment. It takes a while to explain that the letter did not come from us and that the product being sold is not likely one that the borrower should invest in. What they refer to as mortgage insurance is simply a life insurance policy that covers your loan amount. Basic life insurance is more reasonable.

The mail barrage happens at other life events, having a baby or with a death in the immediate family, marketers love to target life events as a way to sell you more, generally insurance but other products as well.

It is important to understand what you are getting in the mail and why. Call your lender if something does not sound right, or call your financial advisor, accountant or insurance agent with questions, if you don’t have any of these advisors give us a call and we can provide you with referrals to excellent professionals.

Good consumers should be educated in marketing ploys to stay out of trouble. We are here to help.


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You Don’t Need to Drop OUT… Just Opt OUT!

Stop disruptive calls from credit card companies and lenders.

It may feel like you have to go off the grid to rid yourself of annoying credit calls. The good news is that you don’t. You can stay connected while eliminating many of those telephone interruptions offering you new credit cards or a mortgage.

Before you have your credit pulled for a home loan qualification take the preventative step to protect yourself from identity theft and hassling telemarketers and lenders.

When a mortgage inquiry is logged on your credit report, your personal information is sold by the credit repositories, Experian, Trans Union and Equifax to certain types of mortgage lenders. These are called trigger leads because the leads are triggered by your credit pull and mortgage companies pay a lot for this type of information. Once they have your information lenders may try to sneak through your defenses by vaguely representing that they are working for your chosen lender or by using other tactics.

The more companies that have your personal data the greater risk that you will become the victim of identity theft. Put yourself in control of your personal information. At least 48 hours prior to having your trusted lender pull your credit, call or go online to:

You will be asked to provide some personal identification information for this service to verify that it is correctly removing your personal record from its marketing lists. In addition, you can choose to be removed from the lists that are currently sold to credit card companies which are used to generate credit card solicitations. You can opt out for a period of five years or forever. No reason not to OPT Out today!

Just OPT OUT at www.optoutprescreen.com to protect your personal information and keep your phone from ringing.

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