Category Archives for Home Loan Financing Blog

Mortgage-Free House in Dallas Area Given to Military Veteran

A soldier wounded in Iraq for which he received a Purple Heart received an even greater gift for his service to his country: a new home. U.S. Army Sgt. Tobias Green and his family are from Georgia and moved in just before Christmas. The program is sponsored by the Military Warriors Support Foundation, which has facilitated the donation of over 250 homes to veterans returning from conflicts overseas. Bank of America previously owned the home and is planning on donating 1,000 homes across the country. The Support Foundation holds the title to the house for three years to make sure that the family is able to keep up with expenses, then signs the property over to the family.

Said Paul LaVoie of the Support Foundation, the veterans “…come from a high-risk area. They’ve come from an area where they may not sleep well at night. They don’t always trust the people around them. And to come home into their neighborhoods, their cities where they have a home that’s theirs — that’s the safest place in the world they can be.” Veterans are encouraged to apply for the program; Green himself never thought he would be chosen but the selection was a welcome and well deserved acknowledgement of his service.

The location was chosen because the soldier has family in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The home had sat empty as the result of a former foreclosure. The bank, in partnership with the Support Foundation, has been re-deploying these homes to soldiers returning home. And here, we’re confident they will find not only new opportunities for a life after the military but a welcoming family community, as well.

It’s stories like these that make us proud to be serving the Dallas area. If joining such a community is of importance to you, then you should consider buying a Dallas home. Just give us a ring so we can tell you more stories about this incredible region.

Six Rules of Credibility In a Home Financing Relationship

When it comes time to get home loan financing, finance a home purchase, or refinance your home, you’re making a big decision when choosing who will provide your financing. As you’ve likely heard from friends or in the news, it’s no slam dunk getting a home loan these days, so it’s extremely important that you choose to work with a company and team with credibility that has your best interest (and interest rate) at the forefront of their minds.

In order to provide the best experience for our clients we operate under the following Six Rules of Credibility in a Home Financing Relationship:

  1. Under promise, over deliver. This applies to closing times, costs, interest rates, etc… Our team will monitor the market to ensure that we get you the best financing and interest rate available. After our consultation and analysis, we will help guide you to determine the best time to lock in your rate based on market movement. After your rate is locked, should rates improve by .25% or more 15 days prior to closing, we have the opportunity to re-negotiate the lock on your interest rate and float down to the new market rate.
  2. No excuses. Take responsibility for every aspect of the financing experience. When providing financing for a home purchase, we are responsible for the estimate of fees (our and other parties), locking of interest rate, coordinating of appraisal, loan documentation, and ultimately providing the funds for the home purchase/refinance closing. Our team embraces this responsibility and strives for unparalleled service and execution.
  3. Ask good questions, listen and write it down. The days of there being one or two loans to choose from are long gone. Through our planning and consultation approach, our goal is to customize your home financing in a way that it can be used as a tool to reach your overall long and short term goals. We listen to what is important to you about your home loan, whether targeting a specific out of pocket expense at closing or creating the ability to make an extra payment every year, the little details make a big difference over time.
  4. Deliver all news (even not so great news) quickly. There are many moving parts when purchasing or refinancing a home. Each part impacts another and ultimately leads to the closing and funding of the loan. Our team realizes it is paramount to keep all parties informed and advised as information and events unfold. When the news isn’t great, we provide solutions and resolutions at the same time.
  5. Read between the lines and understand the true expectations and motivations. By understanding these important components, our team is better able to show various product options, their benefits, and how they impact the motivating factors and interests.
  6. It’s not what you say, it’s what you do that matters. We could go on and on about what we will do for you, but the bottom line is that you have to build your financial relationship based on trust. The trust is in our desire to help you achieve your goals through homeownership and our ability to deliver what we say.

When selecting your lender or financing relationship, be sure to dig deeper than rate/fees and consider the credibility of the source.

Four Questions to Ask While Shopping for a Mortgage

Are you buying a home and considering shopping for a mortgage or home financing?  Here’s the inside scoop on how to do it right!

First:  make sure you are working with an experienced, professional mortgage planner or senior loan officer.  The largest financial decision of your life is far too important to place into the hands of someone who is not capable of advising you properly and troubleshooting the issues that may arise along the way.  But how can you tell?



1) What are mortgage interest rates based on?  (The only correct answer is Mortgage Backed Securities or Mortgage Bonds, NOT the 10-year Treasury Note. While the 10-year Treasury Note sometimes trends in the same direction as Mortgage Bonds, it is not unusual to see them move in completely opposite directions.  DO NOT work with a lender who has their eyes on the wrong indicators.)


2) What is the next Economic Report or event that could cause interest rate movement?  (A professional lender will have this at their fingertips.  For an up-to-date calendar of weekly economic reports and events that may cause rates to fluctuate, call us and we are happy to provide a complimentary in depth market analysis so you can know when is the best time to lock in an interest rate.


3) When Bernanke and the Fed “change rates”, what does this mean… and what impact does this have on mortgage interest rates?  (The answer may surprise you.  When the Fed makes a move, they can change a rate called the “Fed Funds Rate” or “Discount Rate”.  These are both very short- term rates that impact credit cards, Home Equity credit lines, auto loans and the like.  On the day of the Fed move, Mortgage rates most often will actually move in the opposite direction as the Fed change.  This is due to the dynamics within the financial markets in response to inflation.   For more information and explanation, just give us a call).


4) Do you have access to live, real time, mortgage bond quotes?  (If a lender cannot explain how Mortgage Bonds and interest rates are moving in real time and warn you in advance of a costly intra-day price change, you are talking with someone who is still reading yesterday’s newspaper, and probably not a professional with whom to entrust your home mortgage financing.  Would you work with a stockbroker who is only able to grab yesterday’s paper to tell you how a stock traded yesterday, but had no idea what the movement looks like at the present time and what market conditions could cause changes in the near future?  No way!)

Be smart…  Ask questions…  Get answers!

 More than likely, this is one of the largest and most important financial transactions you will ever make.  You might do this only four or five times in your entire life… but we do this every single day.  It’s your home and your future.  It’s our profession and our passion.  We’re ready to work for your best interest.

Once you are satisfied that you are working with a top-quality professional mortgage advisor, here are the rules and secrets you must know to “shop” effectively.

First, IF IT SEEMS TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE, IT PROBABLY IS.  But you didn’t really need us to tell you that, did you?  Mortgage money and interest rates all come from the same places, and if something sounds really unbelievable, better ask a few more questions and find the hook.  Is the rate adjustable?  If the rate seems incredible, are there extra fees?  What is the length of the lock-in?  If fees are discounted, is it built into a higher interest rate?

Second, YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.  If you are looking for the cheapest deal out there, understand that you are placing a hugely important process into the hands of the lowest bidder.  Best case, expect very little advice, experience and personal service.  Worst case, expect that you may not close at all.  All too often, you don’t know until it’s too late that cheapest isn’t BEST.  But if you want the cheapest quote – head on out to the Internet, and we wish you good luck.  Just remember that if you’ve heard any horror stories from family members, friends or coworkers about missed closing dates, or big surprise changes at the last minute on interest rate or costs…these are often due to working with discount or internet lenders who may have a serious lack of experience and credibility (See our Six Rules of Credibility in a Home Financing Relationship).  Most importantly, remember that the cheapest rate on the wrong strategy can cost you thousands more in the long run.  This is the largest financial transaction most people will make in their lifetime.  That being said – we are not the cheapest.  Of course our rates and costs are very competitive, but we have also invested in the technology, systems and team we need to ensure the top quality experience that you deserve.

Third, MAKE CORRECT COMPARISONS.  When looking at estimates, don’t simply look at the bottom line.  You absolutely must compare lender fees to lender fees, as these are the only ones that the lender controls.  And make sure lender fees are not “hidden” down amongst the title or state fees. A lender is responsible for quoting other fees involved with a mortgage loan, but since they are third party fees – they are often under-quoted up front by a lender to make their bottom line appear lower, since they know that many consumers are not educated to NOT simply look at the bottom line!  APR?  Easily manipulated as well, and not reliable as a tool of comparison.

Fourth, UNDERSTAND THAT INTEREST RATES AND CLOSING COSTS GO HAND IN HAND.  This means that you can have any interest rate that you want – but you may pay more in costs if the rate is lower than the norm.  On the other hand, you can pay discounted fees, reduced fees, or even no fees at all – but understand that this comes at the expense of a higher interest rate.  Either of these balances might be right for you, or perhaps somewhere in between.  It all depends on what your financial goals are.  A professional lender will be able to offer the best advice and options in terms of the balance between interest rate and closing costs that correctly fits your personal goals.

Fifth, UNDERSTAND THAT INTEREST RATES CAN CHANGE DAILY, EVEN HOURLY.  This means that if you are comparing lender rates and fees – this is a moving target on an hourly basis.  For example, if you have two lenders that you just can’t decide between and want a quote from each – you must get this quote at the exact same time on the exact same day with the exact same terms or it will not be an accurate comparison.  You also must know the length of the lock you are looking for, since longer rate locks typically have slightly higher rates.


Again, our advice to you is to be smart.  Ask questions.  Get answers.


As you can imagine, we wouldn’t be encouraging you to shop around if we weren’t pretty confident that we feel that we can give you a great value and serve you the very best.

Please call us with any further questions you may have at this time – we are ready to work for your best interest!