I Want YOU to Read About VA Loans (and Downton Abbey)

I hear they’re reading my blog in Iraq. That all the troops crowd around this one computer in an Army tent and laugh their heads off at my mortgage wit. They’re all, “Good job disarming that car bomb today! Oh and hey – did you read Just the Assistant’s newest post?”

Or I mean, that’s probably what will happen after today. Today, dear readers, we need to talk about the lovely people who serve our country. It’s time we learn about Veterans Affairs Loans. You may be tempted to stop reading now, thinking What do VA Loans have to do with me? But stay with me, because I’ve got funny pictures.

To get the full scoop, I’ve cornered Christina Gobe. Gobe is one of our mortgage bankers here and she knows what’s up with VA loans. She also knows what’s up with the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Downton Abbey and House Hunters International, but the Bosses wouldn’t let me interview her about those things.

I Want YOU to Get a VA Loan!

I Want YOU to Get a VA Loan

An interview with Gossip Blog Reader Mortgage Banker Christina Gobe

Just the Assistant: First things first, Gobe. What’s the latest Hollywood gossip?

Christina Gobe: I keep reading about that South African Olympian who killed his girlfriend. Isn’t that horrible?

JTA: Uh, yeah, it is horrible. Anything less sad?

Gobe: Did you see his girlfriend? She was a model…

JTA (realizing this interview is headed in the wrong direction): Let’s move on to loans before we send our readers into a depression. Now, I hear you are an expert on VA loans. What the heck is a VA loan?

Christina Gobe: A VA loan is a government loan designed for active, retired or reserved military.

JTA: Does being a veteran mean you were in a war? Whenever I hear “vet” I think of people who were on the front lines.

Gobe:  No, you could have a desk job in the military and still get a VA loan.

JTA: What if you were in the military, but broke your leg on the first day out in the field and had to come home? Can you get a VA loan?

Gobe: You have to have served a certain amount of time in the military. It depends on whether you’re in the reserves or active duty. In general, you must have been in active duty for over 181 days. If you are in the military during times of war, then the time served is reduced to 90 days.  If you’re a reservist during peace time it is a cumulative time of 6 years.  I had one client who had been called into service twice and only served 180 days both times. He was so frustrated because he wasn’t eligible for a VA loan.

JTA: Bet he loved you anyway though. Do you think the following Glamour Shot from when I was ten will qualify me for this loan? Please note the US Navy hat.

How's this for proof of service?

How’s this for proof of service?

Gobe: Nice, I doubt it.

JTA: What’s so great about VA loans anyway?

Gobe: First of all, you can finance 100%, meaning no down payment is required. And on top of that, there is no mortgage insurance.

[Note: the reason the mortgage insurance (MI) thing is a big deal is because for most loans, if you put down less than 20% for a down payment, you have to pay MI. More on that here.)

JTA: Do veterans get better interest rates with these loans?

Gobe: Yes, interest rates tend to be lower than Conventional Loans.

JTA: Do you think it would be a good idea to join the military in order to secure a VA loan?

Gobe: Uh, not necessarily to secure a VA loan. But if you do, you should use it because it’s a great loan.

JTA: Are you like an expert on VA loans?

[Note: Gobe never talks herself up. So before I give you her answer, I’m going to give you my answer for her: Yes, she’s an expert, not just on VA loans but on regular loans, too. (And realtors love her.)]

Gobe: I’ve done a lot of them. A lot of mortgage bankers shy away from doing them because there are more steps involved in the financing.

[Translation: I’m bad to the bone good at these babies.]

JTA: Anything our realtor readers should know?

Gobe: Yes. When you get an appraisal for a home with a VA loan, the VA orders the appraisal from their list of appraisers, not the lender like with other loans. Also, there are certain fees the buyers can’t pay. Either the seller will pay it, or it gets financed into the interest rate.

Gobe Tells Us What's Up

Just The Assistant (losing interest): I’m already asleep. How about we tell realtors to contact you for the rest of the scoop? Now go answer all those phone calls!

If you would like to chat with Gobe about her extensive knowledge concerning all things mortgages and Hollywood, contact her today: 713.725.7475 cgobe@envoymortgage.com. If you would like to chat with me about Glamour Shots or Glamour Magazine, tell Gobe to pass the phone over the cube when y’all are finished talking.

Lastly, I have a realtor giveaway. If you are a realtor, subscribe to my blog this week and I’ll enter you in a drawing to win a Kindle Fire (and nobody ever enters my drawings so you’ll probably win). You subscribe on the right, and I’m off to track down that Navy hat.

My Modeling Career

My modeling career began long ago. I was in the fifth grade and talked my mom into paying for me to get Glamour Shots. We giddily walked through the mall, and then grinned as the hair stylist ran her fingers through my curls and the makeup artist painted my lips and doted on my features. Then came wardrobe. They put me in a pink netted shawl and black gloves. I had found my calling. I was to be a super model.

Glamour 1

But the modeling career didn’t stop there. After those fateful Glamour Shots were taken there was New York Fashion Week, Paris runways, and then Italy. (I mean, I visited New York once, and it could have been Fashion Week. I forgot to check my calendar. And I went to Paris, too. I’ve never been to Italy though. That part is a total lie.)

And now, the time has come for me to display my modeling savvy again. Today, I am a model mortgage client.

See, remember how I told you I am buying a house? Well said house is coming along nicely and it’s time for me to start turning in my paperwork for my mortgage.

Just the Assistant and Just the Dog standing in front of their future digs.

Just the Assistant and Just the Dog standing in front of their future digs.

And this Just the Assistant knows how important it is to turn in mortgage documents in a timely fashion (and you can know too, by reading this handy chart).

Oh, you need my bank statements? Every page, you say? Boom. Done. You need my W-2s from last year? They’re already in your inbox. Want me to docusign this contract? Hmm? Did it yesterday. The rest of the office is gushing all over me, telling me what a model client I am, and I’m all like, “Oh stop it. Now fetch me some chilled water.”

Below, I model how to properly turn in loan documents.

Except you can email them in since your cube doesn't back up to our loan coordinator's cube like mine does.

Except you can email them in since your cube doesn’t back up to our loan coordinator’s cube like mine does.

I had planned on wrapping up this post here, but my mother has derailed me. Before writing this post I asked her to find my old Glamour Shots and text them to me. Well, apparently, Mom started having a field day once she opened the ole family picture albums, and she’s sending me ridiculous pictures of myself left and right.

Mom and I call this one “The Wrastler” because I look like I’ve had my eyes punched closed in a wrestling tournament. And because whenever she talks about the day I was born she says, “You looked horrible! Like a wrastler!”

Who turned out the lights?

Who turned out the lights?

While I go buy frames for my Glamour Shots that I plan to hang in the new house, you all subscribe to my blog on the right and become model mortgage clients yourselves. Oh, and team? I’ll take that chilled water now.



The Emily Series Part IV: Things to do Quickly

Hair salons stress me out. I just got a haircut, and it will be my last one for another year. The tattooed girls at the front desk intimidate me, and today while I waited, a little girl (I think she was the daughter of one of the stylists) danced around my chair. She had pink highlights and high top Converse and just oozed, “I’m four, and I’m so much cooler than you.” Is it weird that I was afraid of a four-year-old? Then my hair cut lady called me back and gushed over how awful my hair looked.

“When’s the last time you came in?” she asked, pulling at my frizzy curls and scrutinizing the split ends.

“Uh, like a year ago,” I mumbled, squirming in the chair, thankful for the cape draped over me to hide my wringing hands. I wanted to tell her that the reason I never come in is because I’m afraid of the hair salon, and how the guy in the chair next to me showing off his lip injections is giving me the heeby jeebies. And how it seems like everybody knows everybody else. They’re all laughing really loudly and slapping their pierced knees. But I just kept quiet. Best to get this over with as quickly as possible.

Speaking of things to do quickly (trust me, I’d rather go on about hair, but they make me write about mortgages, so hang with me – zzzzzz) . . .

Our dear Emily is still searching for a home, and in the past few weeks, she’s learned a thing or two about acting fast. (To get caught up on our Emily Series, click here and here and here.) The last time we checked in on Emily, she was deciding between buying one of three houses. One of the houses was listed at $30,000 under her max purchase price, but it needed some work. She stewed on this delema for several days. What to do? What if it needed $40,000 in repairs? What if the place was a dump? Ah ha! I’ve an answer for you. (The answer actually came from Emily’s realtor, but it was such a clever idea I am taking it as my own.)

Emily’s realtor brought in a contractor to measure walls, tap on tile, and knock on the floor (seriously, he did a lot of knocking). The contractor asked Emily questions about what she wanted to do to the house, and then he set to work on providing an estimate. The idea was, Emily could then calculate whether or not it made sense to buy the house.

Emily gives her vision for the shower.

Emily gives her vision for the shower.



The contractor was not only legit (the more keys and do-dahs a contractor has hanging from his belt, the more legit he is), he also offered some really great ideas, things like moving a bathroom sink to an opposite wall to provide more space in a bathroom. However, Emily learned the hard way that she should have brought him in sooner. One hour after we left, another buyer put an offer on the house and snatched that bad boy up. Emily never even had the chance to find out the contractor’s quote. The lesson: it’s a great idea to bring in a contractor if you’re deciding on buying a house that needs some work, but you’ve got to act fast in this market. (Did you hear that? I said “market” like I know what I’m talking about – ha!)

If you’re thinking of buying or refinancing your house (and you should be if you’re a smart one), run like the wind to your phone and call our office – 281.822.0660. While you do that, I’m off to buy some high top Converse.

The Special Guest and a Broken Weenie…

Hayley had to take her weenie dog to the hospital this morning. She feared he’d broken his back. Turns out, he pulled a muscle in his neck jumping onto her bed (they have necks?) and now Hayley is significantly poorer than she was two hours ago. Donations for the pulled neck meat are welcome.

Since Hayley was busy at the vet this morning, she missed our special guest. See, sometimes Envoy’s corporate office hires new people. Then they parade those new people around to ensure all the branches are nice to them. Like, “See, John’s a real live person with feelings, so please don’t send him nasty emails.” Today, this happened. To mark the occasion, all the guys ironed their shirts and Rachelle even donned a business lady dress.

Here’s why. Envoy (and when I say Envoy, I mean our corporate office where all the fancy people and support staff work, not our branch) has hired a new manager of underwriting. Underwriters are the people who decide whether or not your loan is approved, so you best be nice to them. If they’d simply sent a new admin to our office for a meet and greet, we’d have dressed in flip-flops and jean shorts. But underwriters have lots of power, and we’re a smart branch. Heels and pearls, folks.

I caught him in the middle of a blink here, and thought against splashing it across the web.

I caught him in the middle of a blink here, and thought against splashing it across the web.

The underwriter is named John Holland. Here’s what I learned:

First, John used to work at a Big Box Bank! Eww! You know how we feel about Big Box Banks, right? If not, click here or here or here. Turns out, John feels the same way! He’s so glad he came to Envoy. Actually, six months ago Envoy offered him this job, but so did a Big Box Bank. Sadly, John decided to work for the Big Box Bank. And then, guess what? He realized he made a mistake. He says he should have come here six months ago. He called Envoy and expressed as much, and Envoy hired him two days later. I refrained from telling him he could’ve just read my blog and made the right choice from the start, but, oh, don’t listen to me. I’m just the assistant, just the blogger (who was like, totally right).

"Actually, I was just thinking about reading your blog..."

“Actually, I was just thinking about reading your blog…”

We’re all glad John made the move. He’s tough, and has loads of experience. He even had some job on Park Avenue at one point. I didn’t catch what it was, but seriously, even if he was a street sweeper, it’s pretty cool that it was on Park Avenue, right? He says he loves Envoy because when decisions are made, there are reasons given behind those decisions. And, he said they still used fax machines at the Big Box Bank. Fax machines!?  Y’all, come on. Here’s an example of what things look like at those Big Box Banks:

At the Big Box Bank, you might apply for a loan, and then thirty days in find out you can’t close on time. You’ll make a call to someone, being all polite and asking why your loan is delayed while moving men sit outside your door drinking Red Bull waiting to deliver your furniture to your new house. The person on the phone is going to tell you they have no idea why your loan is delayed. They’ll be like, “Um, let me ask my manager.” But there is no manager! Then they’ll go fax somebody, “Why is this loan delayed?” And you know what the answer is? Neither do we. Neither does John. That’s why he came here.

But at Envoy, we’ve got answers. You got a question about your loan? You call Gobe, Will, Terry, or any of the other fine mortgage bankers at our office and you get answers (don’t call me though, okay?).

And about John being tough. If John was all willy nilly about guidelines and rules and procedures, that would indicate that Envoy provides crap loans that will default. Nope. Envoy provides solid loans that people like you and me pay off.

John also said our systems are the cream of the crop, even better than the famous banks! I love it!

If you would like your very own purchase or refinance home loan that John Holland will gladly underwrite, please fill out an application on the right. If you would like to send Hayley’s dog a get well card and some cash, that would be okay, too.

The Emily Series Part III: Help Emily Choose a House

Some of you My Boss Chad has raised some concerns over the fact that I have used this blog this week to drive away his business. Dude needs a Xanax. To make amends, and since I don’t carry drugs handy, I am including this bonus round blog today to ensure he doesn’t fire me.

Our dear Emily (my blog reader who you can read about here and here) is still house hunting, and she needs your help. Now, she hasn’t actually requested your help, but clearly you’re all helpful people and I thought we could do some good in the world.

Emily is seriously considering three different houses at the moment. Let’s assist her decision-making process, shall we? Please vote on which house you think Emily should buy, and I’ll convince her to buy the one you want. If Emily buys your house, I will convince her to have us all over for spaghetti once she moves in.

Below, I have included three pictures of each home: The exterior, the kitchen, and a bathroom. All three homes are in the same area, and are similar styles.

House A: This home is listed for $13,000 over what Emily is comfortable spending.

Cute, right? Big yard, too.

Cute, right? Big yard, too.

Nice bar plus handy garbage storage.

Nice bar plus handy garbage storage.

House A Bath


House B: This home is $9,900 over Emily’s desired max price.

Looks kind of like an old person's home, but it's still cute. And brick - that's a bonus.

Looks kind of like an old person’s home, but it’s still cute. And brick – that’s a bonus.

I like this kitchen because it makes me think of my mom. Maybe Emily can have my mom over?

I like this kitchen because it makes me think of my mom. Maybe Emily can have my mom over?

Oh boy.

Oh boy.

House C: This home is $20,100 under Emily’s max purchase price:

Oh stop it. Too cute.

Oh stop it. Too cute.

She says she'd repaint.

She says she’d repaint.

Got a bit of work to do here...

Got a bit of work to do here…

So what do you think, readers? House A? House B? House C? Please vote below and help Emily buy her very own home. I’ll post the results next week and present Emily with a full report. Emily, get the meatballs ready.

Help Me Stir the Pot

Are you kidding me? I’m like, unstoppable here. Another reader came in to meet with my fine Boss Chad about a loan! Yes way! You know how I’ve been telling you all that you can simply come in to chit-chat with any of my fab team to find out how much loan you can afford and what options are available to you? Well that’s exactly what this reader did. So that I’m not gabbing about everyone’s business on the web here, we’ll call her Lori.

Lori came in knowing that she’d like to purchase her first house sometime soon, but she didn’t even know what price range she should be focusing on. Could she afford a $150,000 home, $250,000? Until she saw the breakdown of the monthly payments for each, including taxes and insurance, she really wasn’t sure. Chad was able to show all of that though, and Lori walked away with any exact price of house she knows she can comfortably afford. It was beautiful really.

Chad wows Lori with his mortgage wisdom.

Chad wows Lori with his mortgage wisdom.

And it has led me to a greater plan. A plan that I need your help with.

A couple of months ago, I posted a little survey here to find out what you sweet readers want to see more of. Well, I was simply overwhelmed by the responses. Kidding. I think 16 people replied, but of the 14 of you who weren’t my Bosses, you all said you want more office gossip. Do I have a deal for you.

Here’s the thing. James is a wee bit jealous that my readers have come in to chat with Chad about loans. He tried to act like he was all cool and fake jokey about it, but I knew he was fake fake joking, that he really was annoyed. I even asked if he was juicing again. (For any of my new readers – no, James Beaver is not “on the juice” meaning he shoots steroids and screams as he bench presses; rather he dabbles in drinking only liquefied bok choy for weeks at a time.) Alas, he claims he’s not juicing now. So he must be plain cranky.

Here’s where the office gossip comes in, dear readers. You can help me stir the pot over here. Let’s set up boatloads of loan meetings with everybody but James! Woo ha ha ha! You want a funny loan officer? Terry Kelling is ready and waiting. You want a loan officer plus a nice dinner? Jason Bates is the man with the dates (I know, that was horrible). You want an awesome loan plus some Hollywood gossip? Christina Gobe is the lady for you. You want to refinance your house with someone who could break your arms? Will Zugheri is your man. You want someone who makes you feel warm and fuzzy, and then knocks your socks off with her loan smarts? Hayley Rudy is on fire.

Now, your job. If you would like to help me turn James Beaver green with envy in addition to the green hue he receives from juicing, let me know by filling out my super handy form below. Just think, this could be you!

Lori and JTA

Interest Rates and the Animal Kingdom

Happy New Year, readers! It seems like reporters got quite lazy over the holidays, and instead of just owning up to it like I did and quit writing for two weeks straight, they sissied out and wrote a bunch of crap “here’s what happened in 2012 that we’ve already told you about” articles.

In the spirit of those crap recaps, I would like to let you all know where we stand as far as interest rates go. And since nobody is doing anything interesting in the office today, I’d like to display a brief history of mortgage interest rates compared to animals. Remember, smaller is better when it comes to interest rates…

Interest Rates and the Animal Kingdom: Then and Now

Animal Kingdom Interest Rates

And now let’s take a peek at modern times:

Interest Rates Today

So remember, interest rates are low. Lower than 30 years ago, lower than 20 years ago, lower than 10 years ago, but a tiny bit higher than a month ago. If you’d like to know more, let me know or simply fill out a loan application on the right with “Just the Assistant and the Animal Kingdom” in the referred by section, and I can pull some strings and get your name displayed on our fancy flat screen TV in the foyer when you come in to chat about your praying mantis-sized mortgage with one of my normal-sized fab co-workers.



It’s Just Time…What the Heck is APR?

First of all, the caption contest is still going strong! Enter your caption for last week’s post for your chance to win a fancy Just the Assistant t-shirt. Winner will be chosen by the funny police on Friday.


Did you know it’s possible to sleep standing up?  It just happened to me in the middle of a MANDATORY meeting James called in which he and Chad went over Good Faith Estimates (remember that’s the document I never learned ?). They also discussed MI (I know that one – mortgage insurance) and APR (no clue).

Now that our branch has grown so much, there’s not enough room for all of us to sit in the conference room; that’s why I was standing.

I realize it’s tacky to up and leave meetings, and I normally wouldn’t recommend it. But y’all, it was so boring. I’m sure it was important information to know, but I just couldn’t hang. I up and left the meeting. Just walked right out.

Now that I’m out, I thought it’s time we all figured out what the heck APR really is. James started to tell me one time, but them rubbed his forehead and was like, “Can we do this some other time?”

But n0w that I get to write about the whole office, I’ve lassoed Jason and Will in to give me the scoop.

What the heck is APR

An Interview with Mortgage Banker and Online Dater Jason Bates and Mortgage Banker and V-shaped gambler Will Zugheri

APR Buddies


Just the Assistant: Jason, I’ve been working in the mortgage industry for 6 ½ years now. Tell me, what the heck is APR?

Nikki (popping head over cube): None of us really know!

Jason: Here’s what happened. Investors needed a way to compare certain loans, so they took the base rate of a loan and took certain costs of that loan (origination, prepaid interest, notary fees, etc.) and calculated what those fees would represent as an annual percentage. It’s basically a finance whiz’s way of comparing loans to each other.

JTA stares blankly.

Jason: But here’s the thing – not all companies include the same fees within that APR. So borrowers shouldn’t just compare one APR to another APR. What borrowers should do is compare everything within a quote – the interest rate, processing fees, closings costs, discount points – the entire picture.

Coming from a large bank, I know this from experience. Large banks often charge anywhere from $1000 – $1400 in extra fees on top of every loan. So you can’t just compare rates.

Will (rolling chair over): This all came about during the savings and loan days.

JTA: What’s that? What are the savings and loan days? Like the good ole days?

Will: Yeah they were! It was back when mortgage bankers could do anything. What happened was back in the eighties some folks were saying, “We only charge 3% interest!” while every other bank was charging 18%. It was a way for credit unions to compete with big banks. But, they were charging all sorts of fees that made that 3% not be what it seemed. So investors created APR to try to compare what the rates really were.

JTA: You guys weren’t doing that though, right?

Jason and Will (talking over each other): No! We were riding skateboards in the eighties!

Just the Assistant: Okay thanks guys. I still don’t really know what APR is, but I appreciate your time.

Jason: Just make sure clients know that it’s one part of a big picture. And if they have any specific questions, call me! And check me out on Match.com.

[He didn’t say the match.com thing but I think it’s funny.]

If you’d like to know more about APR, get gambling tips from Will or dating advice from Jason (or a loan from either one of them because they’re both awesome), give us a call today!

And enter my caption contest so my mom will think people read my blog.

We are so, so low here…

Thanks for all who asked Jason on a date! He’s currently reviewing his spirituality since many of the suitors are Christians and want to know his feelings on Jesus. I’ll report back when that gets that wrapped up.

Things are hectic in the office today. It started while we were sitting quietly working in our cubes and were interrupted by abrupt cursing. Seems Hayley (remember Hayley? Used to be the loan coordinator; worked her way up to being a mortgage banker and is so good at it that I’ve heard the Bosses, James and Chad, ask her questions about mortgages) forgot that she had jury duty today. Apparently jury duty begins at 12:30, and her phone alerted her at 11:48 that she needed to head out. That’s when the potty mouthing began. That, along with, “What happens if I miss it?! Can I bring my laptop?!”

Will and I kind of mumbled something about it not being a good idea to miss, and after Hayley literally ran out the door with her laptop bouncing all around, Will and I agreed that we’re pretty sure she’d be quasi-arrested if she didn’t show up.

“Would she have a warrant?” I asked.

“It’d be something close to that.”

So now Hayley is gone. Then guess what happened? First of all, I’m not allowed to write interest rates here on the blog for a slew of reasons (lawsuits, potential prison time, the Boss Chad having a heart attack and telling me to go read my Glamour Magazines at home). But I will tell you this. I have been working in the mortgage industry for a combined total of six and a half years. Today I overheard Jason (the online dater mortgage banker) lock someone in with the lowest interest rate I have ever personally seen/heard. In six years of loitering about mortgage banks, I’ve seen a lot of interest rates. I’m not saying that the interest rate he provided today is the lowest rate that’s ever been provided in the universe, but it is the lowest I’ve ever heard of, period.

If you are remotely thinking about buying a house, or refinancing the one you already own, contact one of us today. After Jason hung up with his client, our loan coordinator, Andie, said, “I wish I was buying a house right now so I could get that rate.” Plus, I just asked Andie if that rate was the lowest rate she’s heard, and it is. I know I’m sounding pushy here, but it’s like free money, people! Besides, I’m small and the Internet allows me to be a bully. Plus, I wouldn’t be surprised that at rates this low, a mortgage payment will be less than your rent.

Okay, I’m stopping! Back to office scoop. Well, actually there is no more scoop. Here’s the thing. I leave on Friday for Rwanda. This is my last post until after Thanksgiving. I’ll be spending the rest of the week popping malaria pills, counting all my socks, stuffing toilet paper into my carryon, and trying to convince my mother than I’m not hopping a plane only to be abducted by African rebels. This morning, she called and wanted to know how many men were going on the trip. When I told her two she kind of moaned and screamed at the same time.

All this to say, I’m serious about this being the best week of my career to get a mortgage. But, I’m going to need you to email James or Chad instead of me to find out more. James and Chad will listen to your situation, and connect you with the right mortgage banker for your needs.

Okay, while I calm my mother down, you all contact this office. And please tune back in after Thanksgiving. Hopefully by then, Hayley will be off her high-profile court case, Jason will have found the love of his life, and you all will be on track to securing the best home loan in the state of Texas.

[Insert witty Rwandan statement here about seeing you soon.]

You Won’t Manipulate THIS Just the Assistant

My devotion to the ole Bosses has been tested in the past few weeks. “Did James try to flowchart you to death? Did Chad schedule a bacon eating competition in the conference room?” you ask? No, dear readers, the Bosses have done nothing wrong. Here’s the thing.

As I mentioned last week (and by the way, those of you who are email subscribers only got to see half of my post because of technical failures and the stupid Internet) I am moving. This upcoming move is the product of some negotiations though. It started when the builder casually said, “I don’t know if you already have a lender or not…”

Do I have a lender? Ha! I jumped in and told him that, oh yes, I had a lender alright. And that’s when he mentioned that if I used my own lender instead of their “preferred lender” (read: lender who won’t do as good of a job as James and Chad and will totally screw up my loan and close it seventeen days late), I’d need to give them forty thousand dollars in order to secure the lot upon which I’d like my house built.

Did you hear that?

Forty. Thousand. Dollars.

Just to use my own lender. Granted, this forty thousand would eventually be put towards my purchase price, but I won’t actually be purchasing this house until May or so, when it’s complete. But they wanted those forty thousand smackers today.

That’s when I had to ask myself, “How much do I love the ole Bosses?” I write about how devoted I am all the time, but was I willing to dole out my entire life savings to be tied up for 8 months just so I could secure a loan with James and Chad instead of the slimy Big Box Bank? What if I stubbed my toe between now and May? I wouldn’t even be able to afford band-aids! What if I got hungry? Food would be out of the question for sure.

And keep in mind, I don’t get any special deals with my Bosses. Working on a loan for me requires just as much work for them as it does when they work on your loan. So I pay for my appraisals just like you do, I pay closing costs just like you do. What I’m saying is, I’ve used James and Chad for all my home loans because they actually are the best mortgage bankers in this state.

I called James and told him about the tricky tactics of the builder. “They want forty thousand dollars from me if I use you, ole Boss.”

James told me to do what’s best for me, that he would be fine. Why’d he have to be so nice about it!? It made things even harder. I knew using another lender would mean problems arising throughout the loan, and I knew that while James and Chad are honest with all their clients, other lenders are not.

And this is where my real estate agent came into play. As I’ve mentioned before, you need to use a reputable real estate agent. Why? Real estate agents are like a free service! And if they’re all free, why would you go with a shoddy one? I know they get paid, but the seller pays for them, so you just worry about finding a darn good one.

My real estate agent looked over the contract. “Forty thousand dollars to secure the lot if you use your own lender? That’s ridiculous.” And then she got to work.

That night I got the call. My real estate agent told the builder (or rather, the builder’s agent) that we’d be using our own lender, and that we would put down ten thousand dollars. Anything else would be a deal killer.


I’ll let the texts tell you the rest…

So if you find yourself in this same position, ask your realtor to negotiate the heck out of that thing for you. After that, let’s you and I go shopping for entryway tables together.

And since I can officially still afford them, off to buy groceries!