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Mortgages, Spelled Out

Mortgages, Spelled Out

Picture the spelling bee in your mind.  The elementary school-aged child stands under the bright light, alone listening intently as the pronouncer provides the history of the word the child is required to spell.  The voice echoes through hidden auditorium speakers, “its background is both Old French and Latin; the root word is ‘mort.’” Then […]

Picture the spelling bee in your mind.  The elementary school-aged child stands under the bright light, alone listening intently as the pronouncer provides the history of the word the child is required to spell.  The voice echoes through hidden auditorium speakers, “its background is both Old French and Latin; the root word is ‘mort.'” Then there’s silence.

“Mortgage.  M o r t g a g e; Mortgage” spills the child nervously into the microphone.  Rightfully so; it’s one of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language.

Logic and reason suggest the process itself should then be equally as challenging; and lonely, right?

No and No.

First, let’s do a quick little test.  Don’t worry; there’s no right/wrong answer no pass/fail; only bragging rights among friends.

Grab a pen or a pencil and a blank sheet of paper.  Ok; close your eyes.  No cheating now… Don’t look at your wristwatch (if you don’t wear a watch because Apple or Samsung tell your time don’t look at your phone).  Spin that watch under your wrist.  Flip that phone over.

Now open your eyes.  The task?  Sketch a detailed picture of your watch/phone screen.  Artistic talent is not a criterion.

You have 15 Mississippi’s; without a watch or phone timer, you’ll have to do it like we did on the school playground… count it out loud or in your mind; it’s part of the test.  Ready, set… GO.

Did you manage to draw each and every detail?  Is the sketch higher or lower than the standard you quickly advanced yourself credit for?   Here’s a good question… did you draw the actual time and date?

Right.  Items we interact with time and time again on a daily basis.  When asked to sketch a rendering with elementary distraction we find it harder a task than we initially thought.  Now imagine nothing was more important; life depends on it.

Ok.  Let’s go get a Mortgage.

Wait.  Wait.  Do we want to put no money down or a lot of money down?  Do we want to borrow a lot or just a little?  What’s the best use of our money?  Are you a first-time buyer or is this your 2nd or 3rd time buying a home?  Are you a Veteran?   What is a transfer tax in the State of Pennsylvania and how much is it?   Appraisals… cool… I get a copy, right?  Can I afford all of this?  What effects do real estate taxes have on the process?  Just what is a title company/closing attorney and what crucial, important role do they play? What’s a flood zone?  What are points and do they benefit the lender or me? How does all of this work in the present market conditions?

We will need to choose a type of loan, a term for that loan and the type of rate.  We can choose among conventional, FHA, VA, Rural Housing (USDA), first-time buyer, construction, swing or Jumbo.  All of these loan programs offer solutions to meet specific needs; individual needs.  Some require little to nothing out of pocket while others are tailored to what you determined is best for you.  Terms are available between 10 and 30 years each with options for fixed or adjustable rates.

Regardless of the type, term or rate the Federal Government requires lenders collect a 2-year history of residency, a 2-year work history, 2 years of income tax returns & w2s/1099s, 2 months of bank statements and 1 month of pay stubs in order for a mortgage loan to be compliant with its regulatory standards.  Everything we need to succeed… hey, we come across all that in the course of our day, month and year (que Emeril; BAM!).  Thanks Emeril.  That’s really good news because time is running on the low side… the closing date just around the corner and it’s pretty important; it’s where we’re going to live.  We can sketch that out, right?

Right so… how is it that we defy logic and reason?  Service; S e r v i c e.

Minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, month by month award winning service paints a perfect picture of your immediate future.  It starts with meeting the Loan Officer, then to processing, after that the money is wired and into the title company you go!  Pick up the keys.   Regardless of what the industry would lead you to believe… that can be done with eyes closed.

A free consultation with a quality loan officer will answer all of your questions select the loan type, the term and the rate structure that meets your individual needs.  That won’t be done in general; rather, it’s at this moment that you meet your banker as both an educator and trusted advisor.  In the midst of your search you and your real estate agent and your loan officer will communicate on a consistent basis.  You and your real estate agent ratify the purchase contract.  Lastly, the loan officer will collect a formal application tailored specifically to you.  You’ll walk out knowing exactly how what you’ll be spending.

Processing will review the necessary documents you’ve submitted ensuring they meet regulatory standards and work with you to achieve compliance.  When put to task and coupled with your help processing can complete your review and approval in a day or two.

The closing department then works together with the title company your real estate agent recommended.  The property’s ownership history is clean.  The cost to close is sharpened to the penny and the loan funds are wired to the title company in advance.  You’ll receive a copy of the finalized settlement cost statement reminding you of how much cash is required and your transaction is funded.

The total process can be completed in just 8 days; many times, over.  Whether a buyer’s market, a seller’s market or in between you need service you can trust, and it is present in the industry.  You can be a priority.  Your closing date provides more than enough time for that level of service.

Call and ask questions, too; they’re important.  Find the artist that draws your picture day in and day out.  One who uses one of the easiest words to spell, not one of the hardest.  Time will fly when you’re having fun. F u n; Fun.

We’ll stand on your stage, by your side and at the ready – holding a perfectly painted picture in one hand and Webster’s dictionary in the other.

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VOLUNTEERISM; The Higher Calling

Little did I know the moment I grasped the neatly curled Liberal Arts diploma from the Pennsylvania State University that the promise of the well-rounded education I’d earned was going to be defined much differently than the paper it was written on.  I do, however, peer at the wall periodically to admire the font. At […]

Little did I know the moment I grasped the neatly curled Liberal Arts diploma from the Pennsylvania State University that the promise of the well-rounded education I’d earned was going to be defined much differently than the paper it was written on.  I do, however, peer at the wall periodically to admire the font.

At the age of 43 hindsight paints a well-rounded picture as 22 years of service in the Chamber of Commerce 8 of which as President, 10 years of continued emergency medical services board ship and a crucial 2 years chairmanship of a consortium of not for profit volunteer groups who donated a $100,000.00 improvement project to the Borough in which I was raised.  I must say…. Bruce Springsteen’s ‘My Hometown’ is a song that now bears a more special meaning.  In our house – it’s required listening.

The references used to compile this snippet are the author’s point of view shaped by more than 150 individuals whose path were crossed; all contributing as they were willing and able listing results that have not really been advertised.

One quote that bears a place of prominence comes from a former coach who commented during a meeting, “In my years I’ve only had one favorite player…. he never looked at how many points he scored or cared to know how many infractions he incurred.  He just checked each time he came off the court to ensure the score was better than it was when he got on.”

The coach does a great deal to define ‘the150’.  Regardless of their walk in life each shares a common thread; putting their talents toward a greater good without expectation for compensation.  In a room with a handful of the 150 amazingly, uncommonly, one simple idea mentioned in its raw form is passed around and refined until is transformed into a sparkling diamond of an idea.  What’s more?  The 150 actually figure out how, by who, when and what resources are necessary to put the idea in motion turning it into a reality.  That’s the rarity.  That’s the magic.  That’s the core of volunteerism.

Having open, consistent access to a concentrate of creators and doers is equally as addicting as ice cream and movie popcorn.  It should be required curriculum with the option to jumbo size the soft drink.  Young or old, the sooner anyone can surround themselves with the activities of board meetings, exercise efforts in a committee, serve the food at the fundraiser and stock the shelves of the food pantry, the better.  It is the platform of volunteerism, not the workplace that best mixes the hands-on responsibility of taking to task turning an idea into reality.

The byproduct?  Schools that have additional funds to provide for children, fire departments and ambulance corps that are funded with the best equipment and training with which to save lives, family-owned businesses visited by customers outside the area, an improved life for future generations, municipalities that are rewarded for their efforts, a sharing of knowledge and experience academia simply cannot replicate, food delivered to those who cannot afford to eat, glasses for those who can’t afford to see, holiday gifts for those in need, children who learn sports at a young age, high school plays that place our youth under the lights and… and… wait for it…a community.  Nicely woven and tight-knit.

It’s a well-known fact that when gathered together we can accomplish more than on an individual basis.  Something very different occurs when we gather without expectation for compensation…we give back, we learn new talents while sharpening our own and things are left better than they were before we got there.

If you’re reading this by some definition, you’ve reached success.  Look around.  How’s the scoreboard?  Take the time to walk on the court, share your talents, pass along your successes and Volunteer.

Many a score will improve.

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