Posts Tagged ‘Real estate’


Loan (Photo credit: Philip Taylor PT)

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with GMAC Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076. Website is

It’s time to act.  If you have been patiently waiting for better rates and better home prices, 2013 could be your last chance.

1.  Move if you’re a buyer – Rates are still awesome and you may never hear the words “it’s a perfect time to buy a house” again.  Interest rates are expected to increase this year.  Higher rates mean more money out of your pocket and the amount of home you can afford will decrease.

2.  Be picky about your lender – Always ask your friends and family who they trust or have used in the past.  I guarantee that you will not only find out who to use, but you will definitely find out who not to.  Talk with the recommended lenders about service and turn times.  Buying a home can be the most stressful event in your life.  Closing on time should not be taken for granted.  GMAC Mortgage has a closing on time guarantee. Trust me.  Your agent and you will appreciate not having to worry.

3.  The fat lady hasn’t sung until the loan closes – At the risk of sounding strange….closing a loan is a battle.  It doesn’t matter if you have an 800 credit score, no debt, and a seven figure income.  You must work hard with your loan officer as a team.  If they need something, get it now.  Putting things off even one day slows down the process.  Three things I always tell me buyers.  First, do not accept any money from anyone until your loan closes.  What if we need an updated bank statement and there is a large deposit listed?  This is a problem and even more documentation is needed.  Second, do not apply for any credit until the loan closes.  Do not apply for any credit cards so you can get a discount of the new stove for the new house.  Your credit will be monitored and if an inquiry pops up, more documentation is needed.  Third, do not quit your job.  Now, I know this sounds crazy, but I have seen it happen on the day of closing.  You have to have a job with income.

4.  Check your credit annually – is a great website to track your credit.  If you are planning on buying a home later this year, pull your three free reports and make sure that every item listed is in fact yours.  If not, take the steps to correct it.  Take a look at your credit card balances.  Generally speaking, you never want to go over 30% of the credit limit.  People tell me all of the time that they pay it off in full every month.  Great, but that will not matter if I check your credit and you have a $750 balance on a $1000 limit card.  Keep that balance at or below $300.  Do you have a MasterCard, Visa, AMEX, Kohl’s, Target, Sears, and Discover cards?  That’s too many.  Available credit is also a factor in determining credit scores.  If you’re interested, call or email me to discuss how to tackle this problem.

5.  Get preapproved – A good real estate agent will never show you a house without you getting preapproved first.  Some still do, but I think you would agree that it’s a waste of time and money to drive you around only to find out later that you don’t qualify.  Find out how much house you can afford and then proceed from there.  Lenders (good lenders) will give you exact figures on payment and a price range you should concentrate on.  It is imperative that you are armed with this knowledge before you Google the first area to start looking.

2013 I going to be a great year, but change is ahead of us.  Please let me know if I can help in any way.


About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with GMAC Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076. Website is

The market is better.  Rates are low.  Home prices are rising.  BUT what if there was more?  Hopefully, I can answer some of those questions and give you a way to move more property, make more money, and do an even better job for your customer.

What if a lender offered to pay the majority of the closing costs?  Would this help your negotiations?  Of course it would.  What if closing costs and seller concessions weren’t an issue?  What if you could throw out the standard 3% seller concessions because it wouldn’t even matter?  Talk about a negotiating tool.  Wouldn’t it be awesome if your buyer could come to the table with just their down payment.  Do you think they would remember that and refer more business to you?

What if a lender guaranteed you would close on time?  I know you’ve heard that before.  BUT, what if they offered to pay your buyer $500 if they didn’t close on time?  Do you know of any lenders that want to pay money to a buyer.  I don’t.  Talk about motivation.

What if a lender communicated with you constantly so you never had to “wonder” what was going on with the transaction?  Have you ever had to pick up the phone and ask?  My bet would be yes.  Wouldn’t it be great if you knew when the file came out of underwriting?  Or, that the appraisal and title are in and there are no issues?  Even if there are issues, you want to know.  You need to know.

What if you felt like you had control over every transaction?  You knew your buyers or sellers were in good hands.  You knew that they were getting the best deal out there.  You knew that you were going to close on time. 

Maybe this sounds like a perfect world to you and there’s no way this could ever happen.  I challenge you to find out.  My job is to make the purchase of a home as stress free as possible.  With some of the lowest rates in the industry, guaranteed to close on time, most of the closing costs paid by the lender, and communication throughout the process……Is there anything else you, your buyer, or your seller needs?  If there is, I would love to hear about it.

If you’re interested, I would love to talk with you to show you how this is a reality.  These tools will no doubt help you to grow your business, receive more referrals, and make more money.  Feel free to email me at or call me at 678-725-8076 anytime to discuss how I can do this for you.  It’s new to your market so be the first to take advantage and don’t delay.

What do real estate agents want and expect from their loan officer? Great question!  I would love some feedback on this because I have heard them all.  I recently dealt with an agent that said not to call, email, text, or send carrier pigeon. Close on time and I’ll see you at closing.  Then there’s another agent that wants an email every morning by 10:00 stating the status of the loan.

My thoughts are simple. What if you were provided a weekly update?  What if you were notified any time something happened?  For instance, the appraisal is in, the title is in, or the file is out of underwriting.  I realize that all agents are different, just like all loan officers

Carrier Pigeon

Image via Wikipedia

are different and I don’t have a problem with that.  I believe the agent should be kept up to speed as we move through the process.  I believe that an agent should never have to “wonder” what is going on with the loan.  I believe that if there is a problem the agent should know ASAP.

I know that some agents need more information and some need less.  I would suggest that the first time you speak with your loan officer, you tell them what you expect.  Then if they don’t live up to that, move on until you find one that meets and exceeds your expectations.  Find one that doesn’t like drama.  Find one that loves to communicate.  Find one that is willing to tell you NO when he or she knows a deal will not work.  Find one that you know has your back.  Find one that returns your calls immediately.

I would love to hear your thoughts.

About the Author:  Chuck Walden (NMLS #148160) is a loan officer with Prospect Mortgage.  Email Chuck at or call 678-725-8076. Website is

I speak to a lot of potential home buyers every day.  One question that I get is, why do I need to be preapproved?  This preapproval arms you with a legitimate document, that tells the seller two things.  First, it tells them that you are serious.  Second, it tells the seller that you are qualified to buy the home you are making an offer on.  Very few, if any, sellers will accept an offer without a preapproval letter.  Also, if an agent is driving a potential buyer around without being preapproved first, they are wasting their time, effort, and money. I am amazed when a buyer tells me that they have already been preapproved with another lender, only to find out later that the other lender never even checked their credit.  How can a lender issue a preapproval letter without checking credit?  The answer is you cannot.  If you have been preapproved and have a “letter” in your hands and the lender did not check your credit, income, or assets, you’re only walking around with a piece of paper.  You could be setting yourself up for failure later on down the road.  You found your dream home!  You submit your offer and it is accepted!  You turn in your paperwork to your lender and you don’t qualify.  Wow, what a let down that would be.


The preapproval process is something that should be taken very seriously. I imagine that you would rather hear that you will qualify in 60 days, rather than get denied right now.  It is important to work with a lender or loan officer that takes this process seriously.  They will (or should) ask you for the following when preapproving you:


1)  30 – 60 days of paystubs


2)  2 years of tax returns


3)  2 months of bank statements in order to show you have the cash to put down on the home you are buying


The loan officer will also ask for your social security number, full name, and current address.  This info will allow them to see if you actually  qualify for the home you would like to buy.  It will also allow them to alert you of any potential red flags.


If you are a potential homebuyer, please take the time to do this.  If you are an agent, please make sure that your buyers do this.  Underwriting guidelines are tight.  Let an experienced loan officer


An old Social Security card with the "not...

Image via Wikipedia


help you and your customers navigate this process.