Sacramento Realtor JaCi Wallace celebrates a milestone birthday in Elk Grove at the Sheldon Inn. Celebrating a birthday with family felt so very special as with Covid-19; our get-togethers have been rare for the last 18 months. No one had Covid19 thus far. We were so blessed. Also, celebrating my job as a Realtor and licensed 27 years. What a journey. The is photo shows my handsome very tall son J.T. Bradley of Bradley Builders construction, my niece Candace in the Hawaiian dress, my baby sister Lisa in the blue top, and my sister Cathy with the pixie hair cut.
My niece, Candace, asked me many thought-provoking questions at the Inn; it’s a birthday game. So what have I learned in real estate about myself? The list is endless. I’ve learned how to tactfully interact with tough and complicated people and keep my cool. In my history as a Police Officer, if someone didn’t do what you told them, it sometimes required physical force if necessary to gain compliance. I can’t physically restrain people in real estate as it’s a game of using your mind and your heart to guide you. Sometimes, I’ve learned the hard way; it’s best to let go of toxic people and fire a client nicely by saying, ” I’m not the right fit for you.” Problem-solving is what Realtors do most, day to day, hour to hour, some days it’s minute to minute.
When selling Sacramento real estate, I often see it brings out the best and the worst in people, including buyers, sellers, Realtors, lenders, home inspectors, pest inspectors, roof inspectors, sewer inspectors, well inspectors, septic inspectors, escrow officers, contractors, and appraisers, only to name a few of the vendors involved when we sell a property. Fortunately, our vendors are on top of everything 95% of the time. But, of course, no one is perfect, and having a few bad days now and then or a health issue is part of the human experience.
Sacramento Realtor JaCi Wallace celebrates a milestone birthday in Elk Grove, It was a fun blog to write, and I hope you enjoyed it too. Call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors with RE/MAX Gold real estate if you want to sell or buy a home. Our team collectively has over 92 years of real estate experience. You can reach us 24/7 at 916-233-6759.
Difference between a Mortgage Prequalification letter and a Preapproval letter?
Difference between a mortgage prequalification letter and a preapproval letter? This is a timely blog from our preferred lender, Dan Tharp with Guild Mortgage. Enjoy, JaCi Wallace.
If your lender’s approval letter is not worth the paper it’s written on, it has no value. Unfortunately, this is something Realtors and sellers know all too well. And in an extremely hot seller’s market, you need to make sure your offer, among many others, will stand out!
Don’t worry about which word lenders use. For example, some lenders use “prequalification,” while others call the letter a “preapproval.” What matters is not what they call the letter, but instead the process they went through before giving you that letter. In reality, lenders’ processes vary widely, and some indeed are not worth the paper they are written on.
A prospective buyer can complete a loan application and have an approval letter within minutes without providing any stitch of personal documentation. And this may be a solid approval, even if an underwriter has not touched the file, because the lender uses third-party verification. Unfortunately, not every bank offers this, and it does not work for all borrowers given their employment or banking situations, but LET’S BE CLEAR. Every buyer should be aware of this game-changing technology. Third-Party Verification is the process through which a Borrower’s employment, income, and asset information are verified directly by the Mortgagee with a borrower’s employer or financial institution through the services of a third-party vendor. An approval letter based on this technology is a powerful letter. But how do you know if the lender took these steps? You don’t unless you ask.
Another sleight of hand lenders will employ (if they don’t have third-party verification) is to tell you that you don’t need an underwriter to preapprove your loan before shopping for that new home because they have Fannie or Freddie AUS approval (Automated Underwriting Approval). As a 20-year mortgage veteran, I can submit your loan application directly to Fannie or Freddie and get an approval letter within seconds. But it means ZERO if I did not correctly validate or verify your employment, assets, or income. So, again, I repeat, “If your lender’s approval letter is not worth the paper it’s written on, it has no value.”
3 KEY STEPS to get your offer Accepted
Get an actual consultation: At Guild, we have coined our process, high-tech, high-touch. Meaning, we try to meet with every client to help them build a strategy to compete in this current market and give them all the tools necessary to make this life-changing decision. Buying a home is one of the most stressful events in anyone’s life, and I would rather have the buyer well prepared before they make their first offer.
Build Your Mortgage/Realtor A-Team: Make sure your realtor and your lender are in sync and collaborate on your behalf. Working together is a good thing, but you need your A-Team to work for you, NOT THE SELLER. Your team must be strong communicators, especially in a time-sensitive environment. They should set realistic expectations early to minimize stress, calm fears, and build the trust necessary for a successful close. Finally, and most importantly, your team must have integrity and share similar work ethics, values and experience. When goals are set and reviewed in detail, it keeps the team focused and accountable to close your transaction. A good team never forgets this.
Pre-underwrite at Application: This means a human being, an actual underwriter, is signing off on your income, assets, and credit so that we can tell the sellers your approval is done, and all we need now is a signed contract and an appraisal. The fear something will derail the transaction is instantly gone, and knowing your transaction will close very quickly will jettison your offer to the top of the pile and improve your chance that the seller will choose your offer.
Guild’s Credit Approval Protection* program can give your bid a boost because it gives added confidence in Guild’s preapproval process. If Guild issues a preliminary underwriting credit approval and cannot close on the borrower’s loan, we will pay the borrower up to $1,000 for inspections, appraisals, and relocation expenses. Guild will also reimburse the borrower for their lost earnest money deposit, up to $5,000.
*For full terms and conditions, visit: guildmortgage.com/cap-
The above information is for educational purposes only. All information, loan programs, and interest rates are subject to change without notice. All loans are subject to underwriter approval. Terms and conditions apply. Always consult an accountant or tax advisor for full eligibility requirements on tax deduction.
If you want to be pre-approved call, Dan Tharp. If you want to buy a property or sell a property, call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors with RE/MAX Gold Real Estate at 916-233-6759.
Dan Tharp – Branch Manager – 916-257-1470 2250 Del Paso Rd. #A, Sacramento, CA 95834
NMLS# 280913 | Company NMLS # 3274
5 lessons competitive rowing taught me about LIFE and MORTGAGES is a very timely blog when thinking about Sacramento real estate loans. Having been in mortgage lending for almost 20 years now, I have seen a few things. Getting a mortgage is not a linear sales process, like ordering a burger and fries at your favorite fast food joint. It can be quick and reasonably easy or a complex layering of documents that require navigating dense and complicated underwriting rules. My job is to mitigate surprises and guide and educate my clients to the best possible result – which is easier said than done at times. As Forrest Gump so eloquently stated, “Life is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you are going to get.” Welcome to Real Estate and Mortgages.
I owe much of my success and longevity in lending to my other passion, competitive rowing (also called crew), Which ironically started the same year I began my career in lending and joined a small mortgage bank in Davis, California. I now realize how intertwined these two specialties have been and how much my success on the water has positively impacted my mortgage career and family life at home.
Crew is one of the most physically and mentally taxing sports you can do, and as a result, you learn to deal with adversity quickly and efficiently. And you must accept and internalize those lessons quickly. Otherwise, you risk hurting yourself and your team. So here are the five lessons competitive rowing taught me about life and mortgages:
#1) You Must Commit To Your Actions
In competitive rowing, this is made abundantly clear if eight guys in the boat don’t fully commit to applying full pressure at the catch (that is when we drop our oars in the water) and don’t focus on sustaining that leg drive through the entire stroke. Then the boat gets heavy, and we don’t go fast. When I am in the middle of a race, I can’t hide in the boat by giving less of myself, just as I can’t hide in the middle of a loan transaction. It’s unspoken – my team depends on me to do my part to ensure our client’s success. So if you want to achieve something, commit to it. And commit fully from the start.
#2) Things That Used To Be Hard Will Become Easier
Fear of failure is something I think is innate in all of us (well, most of us). Some of us choose to avoid failing by doing the obvious – nothing! But, with competitive rowing or providing a mortgage loan, we have no choice – we must perform or lose. The more focus I placed on getting better at rowing, the easier it became to go faster. If there is something you find challenging or scary in life, you should push yourself to the extreme of it. It will make the original action seem positively easy in comparison.
#3) Practice and Task Saturation.
There have been times when working on a loan file when a challenge presents itself. Maybe my loan was denied by the underwriter because my borrowers lacked enough reserves, or we missed a decimal in calculating the income correctly. Now our file is crashing and burning. We may have triple-checked the loan file, thinking we were good to go, only to be sideswiped by a small item we missed. Sometimes this is unavoidable and not something we could have predicted, but in many cases, we were so rushed and unorganized in how we packaged the file that we missed the most obvious thing. We didn’t have a system and process in place; we were not up on current guidelines and didn’t practice daily – until we got it right. Perfecting the loan process is the key to making it more natural as we then are more likely not to cut corners and check every contingency as if it’s second nature – this only comes from lots of practice (and discipline).
#4) Quality Over Quantity
Crew is a sport of incredible beauty and pain, of singular effort, combined with perfect teamwork. During a race, your body quickly burns its standard oxygen supply, and then it demands more, but less and less oxygen is available. Your body is still producing high levels of energy, but your muscles pay for it as they make more significant levels of lactic acid. It’s like heaven and hell are fighting as your brain and body try to deal with the chaos – Yet, through all this turmoil, there is this fantastic clarity that is present when the entire crew’s efforts can result in the calmness of complete cooperation. Its nirvana! That one amazing race will have you bouncing off the walls with excitement, and it fuels your passion for another one. This will not happen unless everyone on your team is in sync and on the same page. Quantity means nothing. It is the quality of whatever we do or experience that matters.
#5)You Don’t Need To Be The Best Athlete, Just The Most Informed
Unfortunately, genetics didn’t provide me with the prototypical rowing body, which is tall and lean. I am of average height and weight and never even thought about rowing until I moved to Sacramento and a friend told me about River City Rowing Club. I was moving from Huntington Beach, where my passion had been surfing, so water had to be in the equation.
When I started rowing with a novice team, I was surprised that it works your whole body; from your head to your toes. The seat in the boat is rolling, so you engage your legs, your core, your arms, and your brain. It also becomes quickly apparent that the sport is not just about stamina and muscle strength; but technique – perfecting the stroke and slide control to match those rowing with you, keeping your body centered, as not to rock the boat on its keel, while carefully placing the oar in the water at the appropriate angle, so it enters the water to ensure maximum time pushing the boat, to “grab” as much water with every stroke.
With repetition, good coaching, and a drive to keep learning, I quickly realized my lack of genetics was something I could work with and still be a successful oarsman. The problem wasn’t a lack of height or strength; because I was dedicating myself to something I was passionate about. As soon as I figured that out, I started winning more races and beating guys who were, without a doubt, much stronger than me. Again, it wasn’t a sudden gain in muscle mass that caused this improvement in my skills; it was simply that I became better informed about how to perform the task in question.
When I graduated college with a degree in Journalism, I never thought I would do mortgage banking as my career. And, now that I consider myself a true mortgage professional, I can see that competitive rowing has had a lot to do with my success and longevity in this career. I owe so much to rowing and my crew for keeping me strong and focused. You must believe in yourself and your ability to achieve what you set your mind to; otherwise, you don’t stand a chance of succeeding.
Please contact Dan Tharp directly for your mortgage information or to apply for a loan. Dan is a part of the Weintraub & Wallace real estate team as our preferred lender for over a decade. We can’t sing enough praises for Dan’s work our clients love him.
Lockbox Use In Sacramento Real Estate
Lockbox use in Sacramento Real Estate is not as simple as you may think. Recently, we had a lockbox on a listing that was set up to use, as per the seller’s signed instructions. The buyer’s agents were to send in prequalification and proof of funds before booking an appointment. To add an extra layer of security, I use what is called a CBS code. This code, which is the secondary access code that an agent needs to access the lockbox. This code is not given out until after the necessary paperwork is submitted.
You might be wondering why we have to go to all these extreme lengths with agents regarding block boxes? The truth of the matter is some agents skim over showing instructions. The important thing to remember is this is the seller’s home, and therefore, the seller has complete control over how access is provided for showings because their home is on the market. The guidelines are not as strict when the listings are vacant homes. If an agent does not follow the MLS showing instructions, it can be an MLS rules violation within Metrolist.
It is a position of trust to have a key to a seller’s home, a responsibility we don’t take lightly. However, you would be surprised if you saw how many emails, texts, and voicemail messages we have to leave after agents who do not follow the guidelines. Then they often think that they have a showing appointment when it clearly says they do not until the showing is confirmed.
There is a new app on Metrolist called Showing Time, and this has been a great service. Agents can log on to the different time slots that the listing agents make available. Then, they can instantly book the appointment for their tour as long as they follow all the extra instructions that come along with it. This is sort of like self check out. Like any tool, it is only as effective if they follow instructions.
When an agent accesses the lockbox and has the key, it is only in her possession. She is not allowed to share the key with someone else. When leaving the showing, if another agent is waiting, she cannot hand them the keys. She must put the key back in the lockbox. The next agent must access the lockbox; that is the only way to track everyone going into the house.
Things can happen innocently where someone didn’t intend to cause any harm but did not realize their actions could, in fact, cause harm. Though we are members of the Metrolist many agents, have not even read the MLS rules. The rules are available online as well as a booklet can be obtained.
Professional Realtors take the extra time to learn whatever they do not know. If you want to hire Realtors that are very careful with your house keys and work hard to keep the security on your home safely in place, then call Weintraub & Wallace Realtors. You can reach us at 916-233-6759. Our brokerage is RE/MAX Gold in Sacramento.
JaCi M. Wallace
If you haven’t noticed, we are in the middle of a very hot seller’s market. The 2020 pandemic caused thousands of home sellers to pull their home offers off the market, fearful of strangers entering their homes. At the start of the pandemic, 1.49 million existing homes were on the market for sale. A whole year later, that number dropped to just over 1 million. Combine the lack of homes with lower interest rates and a whole new perspective on what we want out of our living space, and the demand for housing went through the proverbial roof.
If you are just now dipping your toes into the homebuyer market, you most likely have no clue what to expect. You will not get your offer excepted unless you have a strategy in place. It’s why the most important thing you can do is get pre-approved by your lender (and I mean fully approved by an underwriter) and trust your real estate agent to advise you on current market conditions. If you take shortcuts, you will only end up wasting your time and will get your heart crushed when your offer is not even in the running.
Remember that sellers love clean offers with limited contingencies or none at all. And since contingent offers are usually a safeguard for buyers, they are not conducive in a hot seller’s market. In the eyes of the seller, one contingency that will most definitely disqualify a buyer’s offer is a Home Sale Contingency: when you tell a seller, you can only buy their home after you sell yours. Thus, making the purchase of their home contingent on selling your home first. They will quickly discount your offer and move on to the next. Secret tip of the day – RECASTING!
What Is Recasting?
Most buyers know they can make additional payments above their required monthly mortgage payment if they want to pay off their mortgage sooner. This is a common strategy to accelerate one’s freedom point or the moment they pay off their mortgage in full. Making an additional mortgage payment, say $250, will decrease your loan balance, but your monthly payment will stay the same. The term of your loan is reduced, but again, this does not affect your monthly payment.
Also, recasting is not something all banks will offer, so be sure to ask your lender if they provide this service. Recasting is also not a refinance as it will not change your loan terms or interest rate – instead, it will simply lower your monthly payment based on the newly reduced mortgage balance.
Let’s look at an example. Let’s assume that dream home of yours was just listed for $650,000, and you want to pounce. Figure you can sell your home and get $200,000 in net proceeds. But, you now understand your offer to buy that dream home of yours won’t happen if you make a contingent offer by telling the seller you have to sell your home first.
Your lender approves you with a $585,000 loan, putting 10% down on a 30 year fixed mortgage. Remember, you still must qualify to carry two mortgages; your current primary, if you have a mortgage in place, and the new mortgage. This is a short-term endeavor in this market, as you will sell your home right after you close on this dream home.
After you sell your home, you will take the $200,000 in proceeds and recast your new mortgage; thus, your $585,000 loan will be reduced by $200,000 to a new loan balance of $385,000. Your interest rate and term of the loan do not change, and your monthly payment is reduced based on the new, lower balance. This is not a refinance where you incur fees, and you can lower your monthly obligation to a more manageable place.
- Recasting is just one of a few tactics to improve your chances of getting your offer accepted, and there are more, so please reach out to your trusted lender to learn more.
- Not all lenders offer to recast, so be sure to ask upfront before completing an application.
- Not all loan types are eligible for recasting, so be sure to ask your lender.
- Even if your mortgage is eligible to recast, it may still not be the best fit for your unique financial circumstances. For example, I had a client put 50% of their proceeds into the recasting process and split the rest between a reserve safety net account and paying off some high-interest debt.
- Refinancing might make sense. The main perk of recasting is to lower your monthly obligation; however, maybe your credit scores are better by the time you recast, and rates have come down. In this case, refinancing might make more sense.
Dan Tharp – Branch Manager – 916-257-1470
2250 Del Paso Rd. #A, Sacramento, CA 95834
NMLS# 280913 | Company NMLS # 3274
Equal Housing Lender