WHY I BECAME A REALTOR®

Would you apply for a job if the classified ad looked like this?

Professional needed — Must have extensive knowledge of area and geography, exceptional interpersonal relations and superior negotiation skills. Willing to work nights and weekends. Will need to generate leads consistently (and handle rejection), since more than 75% of leads will not result in actual transactions. Contact us today!

I did. And I love it!

I think it’s important that you know just why I became a REALTOR® — and why I work so hard for my clients.

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of jesadaphorn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

My Mortgage Background

During the real estate “boom” of the early 2000s — which became the real estate “bubble” that burst a few years later — I was actually working on the mortgage loan side of the business.  

The first lender I worked for was one of the biggest names in the industry. And although I saw a lot of loan officers go for the fast and easy money, I refused to put people in loans that they wouldn’t be able to handle (especially the adjustable mortgages).

The second company I worked for was a much smaller lender, but the bubble at that time was about to burst (and the recession was beginning) — so the leads began to dry up and everybody was struggling.

I’m proud that I never put a client in a bad loan, and that I did my very best to clearly explain to each and every customer what they were getting into when they signed those papers. And those experiences would serve me well in future years, both as a REALTOR® and as a homebuyer myself.

Lessons Learned From Personal Experience

My husband and I have bought and sold a few homes, and we had different experiences each time — some good, some bad … but I learned something from each and every one of them.

I learned that every client (including myself) wants a REALTOR® who is:

  • Hard-working. Someone who’s committed to doing the legwork to find the right place.
  • Dependable. Someone who arrives at the right place at the right time — and is available beyond regular working hours.
  • Honest. Someone who tells the truth at all times — even when it’s not what a client wants to hear.
  • Attentive. Someone who listens to the client’s “wants” and “needs” — and doesn’t waste their time by showing them homes that are clearly not the right fit.
  • Detail-oriented. Someone who makes sure all paperwork is accurate, and that every person involved in the transaction has all the information and forms they need.
  • Knowledgeable. Someone who is up-to-date on market conditions and prices, geographic areas, communities, neighborhoods, etc. — and has resources such as lenders, appraisers, stagers, and other related professionals.

My 5 Goals For Every Client Relationship

  1. To help each client find the right home at the right price. I make sure their mortgage professional gets them the right type of loan at a good interest rate.
  2. To be friendly. We’re in a “people” business, and being professional and courteous helps put everyone at ease.
  3. To be honest. It’s how I am at work and in my personal life. I have no time for anything less than the truth, and my clients deserve 100% transparency.
  4. To be reliable. I will be there when I say I will, and my clients can depend on me for answers, advice and encouragement.
  5. To help my clients understand everything, every step of the way. Combining my mortgage experience with my personal home-buying knowledge, I’m able to walk my clients through the entire home-buying process.

The Bottom Line

I love my job. I get to help people find a place to live — whether it’s a single person or a big extended family — and I take that responsibility very seriously. I do my very best to make sure that they’re truly happy they chose me as their REALTOR®. 

So now you know my story! Tell me yours — and how I can help you buy, sell or lease your next home. Contact me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2014 Shannon Rubin.

 

How to Buy a Home With Bad Credit

Lots of people are dealing with bad credit. (No judgments here!)

You could have credit issues for a wide variety of reasons:

Maybe you made some bad decisions…

Maybe you were just unlucky…

Or maybe your credit report has errors that you don’t know about— a recent study shows that 1 in 4 Americans have had issues with their credit report.

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of digitalart at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

But it’s not impossible to buy a home with bad credit — maybe tougher than normal, but it can be done. Here’s how:

1) Know your score.

First, you need to know where you stand in the credit world. Find someone you trust who can “pull” your credit. (I don’t usually recommend those “free credit check” websites — they usually require a subscription.)

Once you see what’s on your credit report, it might just mean paying off some credit cards or a medical bill — which could be the difference in qualifying for a mortgage.

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“37% of American adults admit they don’t know their credit score.”

(Source: FINRA Investor Education Foundation, Sallie Mae,
TransUnion, Experian, U.S. Department of Housing;
http://www.statisticbrain.com/credit-score-statistics/)

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2) Find a loan officer.

If you already know someone in the business, great. If not, chances are a friend or colleague knows a mortgage loan professional who can help. (I’m happy to refer you to one of my trusted colleagues.)

You definitely need a hard-working pro who you can trust. Their main responsibility is helping you find which loan programs and amounts that you qualify for and fit your budget.

3) Develop your plan of action.

If your credit issues need serious work and you don’t qualify for a mortgage loan right away, you might have to postpone your house purchase — but not forever.

Now that you know what your credit issues are, you can work towards paying off old debts and getting them removed from your credit report.

Also, there may be sellers who will consider working with you by way of asking for a larger down payment. This could require a multi-month plan to save cash for your down payment.

4) Think before you budget.

We’d all like a big mansion for the price of an efficiency apartment. But in reality, it’s crucial to look for a house that fits your budget.

That doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice house in a good neighborhood with exemplary schools and a beautiful park. It just means you need to ask yourself some very important questions:

  • How much of a down payment can you afford?
  • How much of a total monthly payment can you afford?
  • What kind of term loan would you like (how many years — 15, 30, etc.)?
  • What interest rate can you qualify for?
  • What’s your loan-to-value ratio? (Divide mortgage loan amount by the fair market of the home value.)
    Ex.: A $150,000 loan on a home appraised at $200,000 = an LTV of 75%.
    Note: Most mortgage loans with an LTV that’s more than 80% require private mortgage insurance.
  • What can you afford to pay in yearly property taxes?
  • What can you afford to pay for yearly property insurance?

Try the “How Much Can You Afford?” calculator from “Freddie Mac” here.

(Freddie Mac is the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation.)

Bad credit? Mediocre credit? Good credit? Excellent credit? Whatever your score, I know how to help you find your next home.

Call me at 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com today!

© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.

Working With Your Mortgage Lender

(This post is Part 2 of my “Mortgage Lender” blog series. You can read the first blog in the series here.)

Once you’ve found a mortgage lender you trust, it’s time to get to work. But not just for your mortgage pro — you need to be involved, because the more you know, the better.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

You’ll want to know as much as you can about:

RATES

This is one of the most important parts of the homebuying process. Getting a good mortgage loan rate means less money in your monthly payment — and more money in your pocket.

Talk to your lender about:

  • Delivering on the rate or range they mentioned.

    • (It might not seem like it, but there’s a big difference from 5% to 6%.)

  • How your rates may vary, and the contributing factors.

    • (Ex.: Your income, assets and credit will be highly important.)

  • When the rates will be determined.

    • (They cannot be determined until credit and other guidelines are met.)

POINTS

A “point” is one percent of the amount of your mortgage loan. Make sure your lender explains:

  • What your points will be equal to and how they affect your loan rate

  • How points can be charged (for both fixed-rate and adjustable-rate mortgages) in order to increase the yield on the mortgage AND to cover loan closing costs

    • These points are usually collected at closing and can be paid by the borrower or the seller — or may be split between them.

FEES

Banks charge them, lenders charge them — fees are an unavoidable part of a major transaction like a home purchase/sale. Make sure to ask your lender:

  • What fees are associated with my loan?

  • Can you explain each one and how they might affect the overall loan?


GET ALL THE SPECIFICS

There are lots of other details worthy of your attention. You’ll want the answers to questions like these:

  • What loan programs do you offer?

  • Can I see a good faith estimate right away?

  • Can I see estimated closing costs?

  • Are you certain you can get a deal done by closing?

  • Can you get approval for my loan locally?

THE THREE MOST IMPORTANT TIPS ON WORKING WITH YOUR MORTGAGE LENDER

  • Do your homework. This is a huge amount of your money at stake!

  • Make sure you’re working with someone you trust at a reputable company.

  • Before you sign on the dotted line, make sure you understand all the details.

If you have a question about mortgages or choosing a mortgage lender, let me know! I’m a REALTOR who also worked as a loan officer in the mortgage industry — and I can help point you in the right direction.

Think you’re ready to start the homebuying process? Call 267.566.3448 or email me at shannon.rubin1@gmail.com right now!

© 2013 by Shannon Rubin.