Ask people who have been successful in their chosen field what helped them get to the top and the answers will be as varied as the people themselves. However, one common thread will inevitably be information. It may be information that allows them to win a client over the competition, or it may be about a new product coming to market or it may be about the people who are involved themselves. Whatever the reason, having more and better information than the other person can be a decided advantage.
The mortgage lending industry is no different. That includes people who work in any aspect of the field to fulfill their particular needs.
- Real estate agents/brokers—Market activity. Comparable properties.
- Real estate appraisers—EPA issues. Zoning laws.
- Loan officers/mortgage brokers—Daily interest rates. Available programs.
A person might need to obtain either a mortgage on a property they are buying (primary) or based on the difference between the current debt load on the property and an appraiser’s opinion of market value (equity). The types of programs available include:
Cash-out (Equity)—This is the most basic of home equity loans. The available equity is determined, the lender’s loan-to-value criteria are applied and the homeowner gets a lump sum to spend at their discretion.
Reverse Mortgage (Equity)—This program was designed for people at, or nearing, retirement age (62+ years of age). What this program does, in a very basic nutshell, is to allow a homeowner to leverage the equity in their home without selling or incurring additional debt. The homeowner uses the money they have invested into what is, in all likelihood, their largest asset to receive a monthly stipend to spend as needed. Obviously, there is a lot more to it and that is why professionals exist. One helpful website I found is reversemortgages.com.
FHA (Primary and Equity)—The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insures a lender against the possible default of a mortgage. The program allows lenders to loosen their loan criteria so that less money is needed for down payments and prior bankruptcies are easier to deal with. Among others. The FHA offers both initial mortgages and Home Equity Line of Credit Loans (HELOC)
Gone are the days of “it’s in the mail.” Also gone, for many things, is “it absolutely, positively has to be there overnight®,” as FedEx brought to the American lexicon. In today’s competitive real estate and mortgage industries, professionals want all the details right now, sooner than ASAP.
Oceans is inadequate to describe the amount of data that is available in the Ethernet. Fortunately, there are ways to tap into that information to help increase earning potential. From a megacorporation to a sole proprietorship, there are programs available to mine the nuggets that are the most appropriate to fit the need. What kinds of things can a mortgage professional bring to their desktop? Examples include:
- Multiple Listing Service (MLS) searches within a website
- Potential client leads
- Online marketing presence
The world of mortgage lending is ever evolving. New loan products are continually coming to market and rules and regulations need to adapt to the times. The implosion of 2008 taught us that greed will cause people to “bend” the rules and “reinterpret” them. The Government then reacts and introduces a whole new batch of them. An industry professional needs to (in fact, licensing and certification laws require) continually update their knowledge and practices. There are specialized schools and institutes that offer these courses. Some are held in brick-and-mortar classrooms (or steel-and-glass if one prefers to catch up during an ocean cruise) others in online classes. Either way, it’s keep up or be left behind. And, being left behind means being unemployed.