About Amy Tierce

As one of the top rated mortgage professionals in New England, Amy is sought out both locally and nationally to speak at mortgage industry events and training programs including the “Turn on Your Million Dollar Brain” workshops. Amy has also been featured in both radio and print media including the programs “Financially Speaking” and “Money Matters,” and “Mortgage Originator” and “Banker and Tradesman.” Amy regularly shares her industry knowledge via her “Fairway Promise” blog to keep clients and industry related professionals apprised of the latest news, trends, and tips in the mortgage industry.

Digital dependence getting you down?

I was driving to an appointment the other day when my phone died. Black screen would not open no matter what. I needed the navigation because I didn’t know where I was going or for that matter where I was! What to do?

Make a phone call – let my client know I would be late. Have you seen a pay phone lately?

I could probably have managed to source a phone but the number for my client was… that’s right, in my phone.

Directions? I am sure if I located a gas station or a knowledgeable pedestrian I might have been able to find my destination….

Fortunately, I looked up to see a phone store and it was my provider’s. After much back and forth we got enough charge for me to text my client. After a light snack at the place next door, I had enough charge to get my navigation working and to my appointment.

Last week, I was in a committee meeting, when we were looking for a good date for our next meeting one woman pulled out a calendar (yes, a paper calendar) and before any of us pulling up calendars on our phones she had the date input and was on her way out the door. I often wonder if this technology is making life easier or more challenging and I am still not sure. I am missing my Filofax but it was awfully heavy to lug around, I might buy a map book to keep in my car, I am definitely buying a simple paper calendar to carry in my notebook, and I might print out my contacts and keep them safe somewhere…

But if I never ever use a pay phone again I will be ok with that.

Cheers!

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In memory of a petite giant in real estate and the world

My friend, and realtor, Judy Moses was killed in a senseless car accident this past week. I cannot stop thinking about it and her and loss. I cannot stop thinking about all the things I wanted to share with her about our recent move and how great she is to work with. About all the professional stories that I never got to tell her, or the lessons learned that I was waiting to share when we had the time…
Judy was a terrific agent because she cared so passionately about her buyers and sellers. She wanted them to be happy with their housing choices and completely educated before they made that choice. I remember in 2005 when there was plenty of inventory and houses were flying off the shelf like bread before a hurricane, Judy told me that she hated the market even though she was selling a lot of real estate. She hated it because she felt like some buyers were making bad decisions because winning a bidding war was becoming more like sport. She would rather not make a sale than have a buyer make a bad choice!
We talk about living in the moment. Boy, that can be hard to do in our fast-paced world. What does it even mean to live in the moment? I think it means, pick up the phone and say hi to a friend, be spontaneous on a beautiful day and have lunch outside with a friend or colleague. Drop everything and go home and love your dog. Give him a kiss and take him for a walk! Notice the sky, find the good in everyone, give generously of yourself.
If you can find your self living in the moment, take a minute to celebrate Judy Moses, because you will be honoring her by living as she strived to do.
Especially, the part about kissing your dog!
Rest in peace my friend.
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What are you willing to give up for home ownership?

A huge hurdle for young, first-time buyers to overcome when looking to purchase their first piece of real estate is coming up with the down payment. Saving can mean sacrifice, what is buying a home worth to you?

Consider these several ways to save listed below:

  • Cancel that vacation. The average vacation is $1500 which means that if there are two of you the cost is $3000.
  • Is it time to sell your car? If you don’t need it for work daily and have alternatives, this may be a way to raise cash and reduce expenses at the same time.
  • Party Less! The cost of going out, having fun, drinking and eating gets costlier. Limit your partying and stay home with friends or go to free events.
  • Clear out your house. The average home has potentially 100’s if not 1000’s of dollars of unwanted or unused items which can be sold online or at a yard sale.
  • Stop renting if you can. Moving home may feel like a big step back but the monthly savings will get you into home ownership faster.
  • Bring on a roommate to reduce your monthly costs.
  • Ask Mom and Dad for help.

Here’s the GOOD NEWS!

Many consumers and real estate professionals are under the misbelief that a home purchase transaction requires a 20% down payment. This is simply not the truth. There may be programs, property types and loan categories that require a 20% down payment but the following do not:

  • USDA – 100% financing in communities considered rural. You would be surprised at how many communities meet the USDA requirements for rural.
  • VA – 100% financing for eligible veterans.
  • FHA – Requires a 3.5% down payment but that can come from a gift.
  • State Housing Agencies – Offer many varieties of low down payment programs including down payment assistance which can amount to 100% financing.
  • Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – Both agencies offer programs with as little as 3% down.

All of the above programs have various requirements.

To determine what is best for you, contact MEP and a mortgage professional will help determine which programs work for your situation and out of those, which program will be best for your current and future financial needs.

We are here to help you learn more, grow more and win! Contact us today!

Cheers!

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Are Your Clients Listening to You?

What is most important to you in a transaction of any kind? What is important to you in your employment, in your relationships, in your daily life?

When I ask a potential employee, a prospective referral partner, a possible mortgage client I generally hear the same answer, communication!

What does it mean, what is great communication?

The world is a complicated place and real estate and mortgage transactions are even more complicated than what most people must address in their daily lives. When crafting your communication strategy consider this thought process, great communication is answering the question before it gets asked.

Effective and timely communication is the bedrock of great marketing and marketing is in everything that we do in our businesses. In real estate, great communication means updating the buyers or sellers and their agents involved in the transaction before they reach out to you. This does not happen by accident. You must create a weekly schedule for updates, tell all parties the schedule and stick to it. if you are actively engaged in updates, you will naturally be answering questions before they get asked. Also, let all parties know that if something comes up between updates they will receive a special communication. Providing timely updates will also contribute to strengthening your reputation as a great agent.

Each and every one of us has a different communication style. We all simply process information in different ways. Therefore, it is important to ask your clients what their preferred method of communication is. Some consumers may hate the phone and prefer email, while some like to hear from you. In certain situations, you may have to dictate how the communication will be delivered. However just asking shows that you care about the clients in the transaction.

It is important to remain cognizant of the role we play. For our customers, we are helping facilitate one of the biggest decisions in their lives. Effective and timely communication is the glue that holds everything together, inspiring confidence and delivering on promises.

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Mortgage Memo #16

Everything is marketing, for all businesses, no matter what business you are in, from Real Estate to Mortgages, to Accounting to a Medical practice, we are all customers and they are all a service in one form or another. If a Doctor consistently keeps patients waiting for 30 minutes at some point that Doctor is going to lose business, there are other doctors with more organized practices.

Marketing begins with first impressions, from how you look to how you shake hands. Are you dressed professionally? Do you smile, make eye contact, have a firm and friendly handshake?

How does your office space present, is it clean and neat and organized? What impression does your business give when people walk in the door? Is the staff energetic and friendly? Is the customer made to feel like they are the top priority?

How is your communication, is it clear and well written in email, or articulate and clear on the phone or in person?

Whatever business you are in, your marketing department starts with you. Your company could be spending millions on radio, television and billboard marketing, but if your personal brand is not in great shape no amount of marketing dollars will help you win in the game of sales.

Remember we are all in sales no matter what, and all day what we are doing is selling ourselves.

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Ready Set Go! – Preparing to Purchase a Home in 2018

8 tips for a successful purchase in 2018

By all estimates and gut feelings, 2018 is going to continue to present the same challenges for buying real estate as in the past few years, too few properties for too many buyers, multiple offers and finally…. heartbreak. In fact, 2018 could be even more challenging for buyers if the fed continues to raise interest rates which could heat up the market even more.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare to win in the real estate game in 2018:

Talk to a lender – Your first step is to find a local lender. You will typically find that local lenders tend to be more hands on and available and can offer a variety of loan programs to fit your needs. They will help determine how much house you can afford and walk you through the approval process.

Keep your finances in order, document and keep records – This is vital as these items will have a bearing on your final approval. It is imperative that you don’t make any large purchases or open any new lines of credit. You want to make sure you have all your financial statements, tax returns and income documents ready to present to your loan officer.

Save, save, save… Although you can purchase a home with as little as 3.5% down a 20% down payment is ideal. Either way homeownership can cost money, so saving now will help you when you buy your new home and want to make improvements or need to do any repairs.

Keep your credit clean and improve it if needed. With the Fed looking at possibly raising rates this year, your credit score will play a big role in obtaining the best interest rate you can. Pay off what you can and be extra diligent with all your credit card and loan payments. Your loan officer can help determine how you can improve your credit and put you in the best position to buy.

Consider buying a property that needs works, this could mean less competition! If you are handy around the home, maybe a house that needs a little extra TLC may be the way to go. You should have more negotiating power with the price and you can really make the home your own. There are renovation loan programs which will help you purchase less desirable properties and you can improve them to your taste so don’t shop for home beautiful, look for an ugly duckling that you can turn into a swan.

Prepare to be aggressive. If you want the property, offer at or above the list price with your agent’s recommendation. It is no secret that it’s a seller’s market. The days of low offers are far behind us. I would strongly advise hiring a buyer’s agent that will represent you in the transaction. They can help craft an offer that has real teeth but still makes financial sense for you.

Now is the time to start getting everything in order to make your move for 2018!

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Mortgage Memo #14

Yes, we have been here before, another amazing win by our beloved Patriots and another trip to the Super bowl!

I have observed this before; how a Pats’ trip to the big game impacts sales in the Greater Boston Market. I might be crazy, but this is what I have witnessed:
Forget about open houses between now and the big game, everyone is too distracted by another potential Super Bowl win that they are afraid to chance disrupting karma or angering the football gods by making offers on a house.
All energy must be focused on the upcoming game and what food to prepare to soak up the alcohol that is going to be consumed.

Then what:
If karma turns against us and (gulp, we actually lose the big one) the buyers will have to sit at home and nurse their wounds and their hangovers and slowly but surely, over the next couple of weeks as their depression eases, they will return to their house hunting duties.

BUT if they WIN…. Irrational exuberance abounds, and a great euphoria will erupt over New England! Monday morning MLS will be buzzing, phones will be ringing, and the buyers will be buying in droves, because everyone wants to own a piece of Patriots Nation.

Ok, that is my take on the Patriots real estate meter, I hope that you have had some fun with me. Let me know if this proves true in you practice. While your buyers are waiting anxiously for Super Bowl Sunday be sure that they get in touch with a lender and are thoroughly qualified and prepared to buy, there will be a lot of competition post game and as the Pats have taught us, among many things, being prepared is essential for the big wins.

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Preparing to buy a home in 2018

By all estimates and gut feelings, 2018 is going to continue to present the same challenges for buying real estate as in the past few years, too few properties for too many buyers, multiple offers and finally…. heartbreak. In fact, 2018 could be even more challenging for buyers if the Fed continues to raise interest rates, which could heat up the market even more.

Here are a few things you can do to prepare to win in the real estate game in 2018:

Talk to a lender – Your first step is to find a local lender. You will typically find that local lenders tend to be more hands-on and available and can offer a variety of loan programs to fit your needs. They will help determine how much house you can afford and walk you through the approval process.

Keep your finances in order, document and keep records – This is vital as these items will have a bearing on your final approval. It is imperative that you don’t make any large purchases or open any new lines of credit. You want to make sure you have all your financial statements, tax returns and income documents ready to present to your loan officer.

Save, save, save – Although you can purchase a home with as little as 3.5 percent down, a 20 percent down payment is ideal. Either way home ownership can cost money, so saving now will help you when you buy your new home and want to make improvements or need to do any repairs.

Keep your credit clean and improve it if needed – With the Fed looking at possibly raising rates this year, your credit score will play a big role in obtaining the best interest rate you can. Pay off what you can and be extra diligent with all your credit card and loan payments. Your loan officer can help determine how you can improve your credit and put you in the best position to buy.

Consider buying a property that needs works, this could mean less competition – If you are handy around the home, maybe a house that needs a little extra TLC may be the way to go. You should have more negotiating power with the price and you can really make the home your own. There are renovation loan programs which will help you purchase less desirable properties and you can improve them to your taste so don’t shop for home beautiful, look for an ugly duckling that you can turn into a swan.

Prepare to be aggressive – If you want the property, offer at or above the list price with your agent’s recommendation. It is no secret that it’s a seller’s market. The days of low offers are far behind us. I would strongly advise hiring a buyer’s agent who will represent you in the transaction. They can help craft an offer that has real teeth but still makes financial sense for you.

Now is the time to start getting everything in order to make your move for 2018.

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Why the Holidays is a Perfect Time to Refinance

Why on earth would anyone even think of refinancing their mortgage around the holidays? Believe it or not there are a lot of reasons why now is the perfect time to refinance!!
New home purchases have slowed down with the kids settled back in school, and the holidays on the way. In the Northeast, the upcoming weather makes viewing properties uncomfortable and difficult. These are the cyclical fluctuations that correspond to seasonal changes that take place every year. The real estate market will heat back up in the Spring just like it does every year.
For homeowners that aren’t planning to move now is a good time to look at finances. Did I mention the holidays? If you overspent on credit cards or maybe need a tropical vacation it is a great time to cash in on the equity in your home. It is your money! A cash out refinance at Mortgage Equity Partners can be done in no time, and you will have your money and a new lower rate before next month’s credit card bill arrives.
But seriously, there are lot of significant reasons to think about a refinance, and what you might be able to do with the equity in your home.
Home values have risen dramatically due to the lack of inventory in the housing market. As a result, the value of your home has probably risen too. Rates are still extremely low. According to BankRate.com the interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan in October, 1981 was 18.5%. Today, rates are in the 3’s and 4’s depending on your personal financial situation.
With Mortgage Equity Partners Fast Track Underwriting Program all you need to do is apply for a loan with one of our talented loan officers and provide the required documents, (but you really do have to provide all the required documents). The loan will go directly to underwriting and we guarantee a 3-day turn around. The loan will be subject to the appraisal and other property information, but you can sleep well knowing that the basics of the loan approval process have been completed.
Contact us today to learn more about the fast track program at MEP at 877-866-4511 or visit us on the web at meploans.com.
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Refinancing Around the Holidays

Why on earth would anyone even think of refinancing their mortgage around the holidays? Believe it or not there are a lot of reasons why now is the perfect time to refinance!!

New home purchases have slowed down with the kids settled back in school, and the holidays on the way. In the Northeast, the upcoming weather makes viewing properties uncomfortable and difficult. These are the cyclical fluctuations that correspond to seasonal changes that take place every year. The real estate market will heat back up in the Spring just like it does every year.

For homeowners that aren’t planning to move now is a good time to look at finances. Did I mention the holidays? If you overspent on credit cards or maybe need a tropical vacation it is a great time to cash in on the equity in your home. It is your money! A cash out refinance at Mortgage Equity Partners can be done in no time, and you will have your money and a new lower rate before next month’s credit card bill arrives.

But seriously, there are lot of significant reasons to think about a refinance, and what you might be able to do with the equity in your home.

Home values have risen dramatically due to the lack of inventory in the housing market. As a result, the value of your home has probably risen too. Rates are still extremely low. According to BankRate.com the interest rate on a 30-year fixed rate loan in October, 1981 was 18.5%. Today, rates are in the 3’s and 4’s depending on your personal financial situation.

With Mortgage Equity Partners Fast Track Underwriting Program all you need to do is apply for a loan with one of our talented loan officers and provide the required documents, (but you really do have to provide all the required documents). The loan will go directly to underwriting and we guarantee a 3-day turn around. The loan will be subject to the appraisal and other property information, but you can sleep well knowing that the basics of the loan approval process have been completed.

Contact us today to learn more about the fast track program at MEP at 877-866-4511 or visit us at www.meploans.com.

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