It’s Story Time!!!!

movieWe love stories! We just celebrated story telling this past week. We call it the Oscars…but let’s face it. All a good movie does is tell us story. Now we may all like different stories! Your husband may like artistic, emotionally filled, thought-provoking, award winning movies like Space Balls, Caddy Shack or Major League. Your wife may like movies based on deep plots and high-browed story lines (the fact that Brad Pitt, George Clooney or one of those Magic Mike fellas are in them is coincidence). And our movie preference depends on our mood, the occasion and the company we keep. But…the basic premise of a movie is the same. Get involved as soon as possible…get you laughing or caring as soon as possible…get your time vested and committed and then end the movie crying, mad or laughing. Emotion…they want emotion and a good story does all that. It gets you…connects with you…and gets you vested.

Well since we are on stories…I have a story to tell. Now this may not win an Oscar. And when I say ‘may not’ I mean there is no chance at all. I mean you have a better shot of seeing monkeys flying brooms out of a castle than seeing this story on a big screen. Wait…monkeys on brooms??? Monkeys on brooms??? Oh well…I digress.

So here is the story line. The economy is trying to come back. Gas prices going up. People working hard for their take home pay and trying to find ways to save money. Out of the dust and fires of restructuring walks a local mortgage company. Fire raging in the back ground…slow motion yet confidently walking away from the financial rubble. Sleeves rolled up and work boots on, this mortgage company reaches out to the local families of its community. Offering ways to save money every month. Many families reach out and take the hand of the mortgage professionals and start saving money. Tragically some families miss their opportunity. However, our story line gets more specific. We need you to feel for the main character. At first glance you think this mortgage company is the main attraction. No, No, No. It’s the people they meet along the way and help.

So the story quickly becomes about “Sam and Suzy”.  A hard working couple…they trying to keep things going. Paying their bills on time…working 40, 50 sometimes 60 hours a week. Watching the price at the pump and at the store slowly creep up.

They decide to call this mortgage company  they have heard of. After all it’s free and why not…what do they have to loose. Plus it can be done on line and they know when it comes down to it…they can get in their cars and go see them…they are the local mortgage hero’s. So super fast (like super hero fast) the mortgage company responds–yes they can save money. How much you ask. You watch the couple read over the information and their faces slowly transform. A smile here…an eye brow lift there…a quick glance at their significant other.

Story-line details:

  • Convert from a 30 to 15 year loan
  • Shave 8 years off their mortgage
  • Drop their rate from their current 5.35% to to something much lower they qualify for.
  • Save money each month AND ten’s-of-thousands over the life of the loan
  • Now they can create a retirement fund – college fund – help other folks – you get it….their life gets better

They call the mortgage gurus and yes…it is confirmed this is not a dream. What will they do with that money? How much better can they retire? How many family members can they help? Plus…they will own their home by the time they are in their 50’s!!!!!!

Now here comes the great part. The deal is done in 27-days! No house payment the next month and then they are on track. It was free….easy and quick….and just in case you missed it….it will save them LOT’S OF MONEY! Being this is the movies…fast forward 10-years. That same couple still working hard coming home to a house they own…taking vacations that would have been difficult before and now they are putting some serious money into a retirement fund.

This plot is plays out every week at Peoples Home Equity in Chattanooga (6650 East Brainerd Road). They do this all day-every day. They do it for hundreds of clients and they do it the right way. They work as hard for your business as you do for your money. Call them to see if your story is the next one to be written…423-591-9801 or check them out on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga or www.chattmortgage.com. Tune in every Monday night to ‘The Buyers Market’ on WGOW Talk Radio 102.3fm. Enjoy the popcorn and the movies. See you next time.

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It’s Hot!

It’s hot. I mean bad attitude, fry egg on the sidewalk, A/C goes out hot! The kind of hot we talk about 20-years from now. So if we are smart we prepared for it once we saw the forecast. Side note…You are welcome heating and air company who I will have to call when my A/C goes out, because I did not call to get my system checked BEFORE the heat wave rolled in. Now back to the blog…What does preparing in-tell?

  • Getting A/C system checked
  • Maybe going to get a few fans
  • Remind family to keep lights off, conserve power because power usage is going to go up, keep blinds/shades down, NO DOORS LEFT OPEN
  • Have a plan for your pets and elderly family members

Preparing makes sense (just ask the Boy Scouts). That way when the heat got here…you were ready! If we stop to think about…we prepare for a lot of things in life:

  • Vacations
  • Retirement
  • School
  • Meetings
  • Colonoscopy (that’s just inappropriate…I should NOT have mentioned that…I actually saw you all cringe when you read that)
  • Presentations

You get it…we are used to preparing AND if we don’t? Well…things may not go as smoothly as we would like. So why, oh why do we start house shopping BEFORE we know what we can afford? It saves time, it helps manage expectations, it can open up possibilities and options, it can save frustrations, etc… Knowing what you can and cannot afford is never a bad thing.

Getting pre-qualified is almost like…well…being PREPARED!

Once you have done that you and your Realtor will know what part of town to look in, what square footage is appropriate, what features you can look for and how to prioritize them. Nothing worse than going to look at a house, loving it, the neighborhood, the location and then realizing you can’t afford it. AND how exciting it is to have a price in mind and then to find out you can afford that upgrade, that neighborhood near the school you like, etc… Being prepared gives you focus and makes the process better.

If you are working with a good real estate agent or Realtor they will tell you….let’s get you pre-qualified. It helps everyone. So the moral of this story….colonoscopies are NO fun! Wait…sorry…it’s being prepared.

Peoples Home Equity helps folks and families just like yours every month get ready to start the house buying process. See if they can help you too! 6650 East Brainerd Road * 423-591-9801 * www.chattmortgage.com * ‘The Buyers Market’ radio show WGOW Talk Radio 102.3fm Mondays 7pm * facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga.

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Mortgages, Whitewater and Boats!

I have been whitewater rafting several times and down several different rivers. One beautiful Saturday afternoon I went down a river I had never experienced before. It was a group adventure in southeast Tennessee. We had big red rafts, got some brief instructions, the appropriate safety equipment, a certified instructor and away we went. What a great way to spend a Saturday afternoon. Testing your will and sense of adventure against the beauty and majesty of mother-nature. Now…I did leave out one small, but important point.

I went with a group of guys and the guide was a friend of ours…so he felt his job was to try and dump us all out of the boat as often as possible. Funny!! HaHa!! Big Fun!! Well…..not so much. You see I spent most of the day out of the boat…on the bottom of the river…getting introduced to million-year-old river boulders….going through rapids on my back (face, front, head, etc…) and on the verge of drowning. Fun…Right? Side note…they instruct you that if you ever are out of the boat and going through a rapid to stay calm, go feet 1st and cross your arms over your chest. Now…that sounds great, but my reality was a little different. I look like mister potato head thrown across the river, lots of screaming like a 2-year old who has seen a spider and lots of cussing then praying for forgiveness (no one wants to die cussing). Those instructions are right up there with ‘if the plane starts going down stay calm and put your head between your knees’…right!

Now the only reason that story is important when it comes to mortgages is that a lot of families can relate to that feeling. The past 5-7 years have been tough. We have all witnessed the housing market struggle…not only witnessed it…but some of us have felt it ourselves. A lot of us have felt like I did on that river. Not knowing if we are going to make it…can’t reach the boat before the next set of rapids…barely keeping our nose above water…getting drug over the boulders of job loss, foreclosures and home values dropping. Let’s face it…odds are some folks owe more on our homes than they are worth.

You know that day on the river was a little scary, but there was no better feeling than when I saw calm water in front of me and finally reached a boat of good folks (I am sure they will all go to heaven). They pulled me in. I remember how good it felt to relax and finally get my breath.

Back to the mortgage world….there is a program available to some that is like that boat. It’s the H.A.R.P.  program. For home owners who owe more on their home than it’s worth…who may have tried to refinance and been turned down…who are struggling and don’t see the calm water ahead…it can be that boat!

What is the H.A.R.P program?

Home Affordable Refinance Program and it is designed to help homeowners who may owe more than their homes are currently worth refinance. You may be able to take advantage of the low rates even if you are underwater or upside down in your loan.

Do I qualify?

If your loan is owned by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae and you are current on your mortgage you may qualify. Even if you have tried to refinance in the past few years you should consider reaching out to a local mortgage professional to see if this program can help you. Believe it or not most homeowners do not even take advantage of this program. Crazy….like seeing the raft and not getting into it.

What should I do to find out?

Call a local mortgage professional you trust and sit down to go over your situation and the details of your loan. Usually this is a free and fast procedure.

You or someone you know may have been  ‘out of the boat’ at some point over the past few years…having some calm water ahead can make all the difference in the world. Like with most good things…this will not last forever. The window of opportunity is up to congress and just as fast as it was put into place it can be pulled off the table. The economy is showing signs of improvement and the housing market is bouncing back…this may be your time to get into the boat. Find out about H.A.R.P.

This blog is sponsored by:

Peoples Home Equity. PHE is Chattanooga’s local mortgage professional and home of the 28-day closing date guarantee (they close on time or they pay you). Find out more about them and if they can help you take advantage of the H.A.R.P. program by calling 423-591-9801 – look them up on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga – visit them online www.chattmortgage.com or tune in Monday nights at 7pm to Talk Radio 102.3fm to ‘The Buyers Market’ (online at www.wgow.com).

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Hey Friend Could You Refer A Mortgage Company?

Have you ever told a friend to go see a movie that you thought was awesome, only to have them tell how much they hated it? Me neither…I am always dead-on right about movies. I mean I can’t believe they didn’t make a Catwoman 2 (admit it…you didn’t know they had
actually made a Catwoman 1 did you? It’s ok…not many people saw it). Seriously though…don’t you feel bad when that happens?

Or maybe it’s a restaurant! Yep…you and your lovely had a wonderful evening out, highlighted by a great meal. So what do you do? You post it on facebook, tell your friends, tell your co-workers, etc… So one of them tells you that they are going to go have the
same wonderful experience you had! Great! Fast forward to that Saturday
night and you get a call from your ‘friend’ who is spending the evening in the
local ER and apparently food poison was on the menu. And they didn’t wave the
check! Ouch! That is not a good feeling either.

As bad as it feels to refer someone who has a less than positive experience…it feels just as GOOD when all goes as planned! We all love running into those folks who say ‘thank you’.

I have been lucky enough to have had a few ‘thank yous’ lately. Not for a restaurant or a movie…but for saving some friends a lot of money.

I recommended several friends and co-workers to Peoples Home Equity to have their mortgage reviewed and eventually refinanced. Guess what? They all have had a great experience.

Two of them converted from a 30-year to a 15-year note and EACH saved over $100,000 on their loans! Wow….that’s a lot of money. You are welcome (I hope this makes up for the ER visit).

I asked them what made it such a good experience and each of them had something different. For one of them it was the fact that PHE closed their loan in 23 days. So they skipped the next months payment and when the next mortgage payment was due it was almost $200 bucks lighter.

Another buddy of mine said he never had to leave his desk until the closing date. He applied on line (free), he and the PHE loan officer communicated via phone-scanner-email – bingo – 25 days later he leaves work an hour early and goes to close his loan.

Another friend (one of those I mentioned earlier who converted to a 15-year loan) said that they are going to use the money they are saving and start a college fund for their 1-year old
daughter.

So guess what…my referrals are now referring others!

Bottom line is this…there is no greater compliment to a business than getting referred by a client. And it  makes you feel good to live up to the hype. There is not a week that goes by that PHE does not have a few folks walk in and say ‘my friend told me I would be crazy if I didn’t talk to you about refinancing my home’. Wow…thank you to all those folks who refer Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga every day.

You should see for yourself if PHE is worth referring to your friends…call them, email them, apply free on line…find out if they can help you. You never know it may be your turn to save money. Call 423-591-9801 or apply on line www.chattmortgage.com or you can look them up and follow them on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga.

They are also radio stars! Well…’stars’ may be a strong term…they have a radio show every Monday night on WGOW Talk Radio 102.3fm from 7p-8p. Tune in…at home, in the car, at the gym or on-line. They look forward to talking with you soon.

 

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A Mortgage Story!

We love stories! We just celebrated story telling this past week. We call
it the Oscars…but let’s face it. All a good movie does is tell us story. Now we
may all like different stories! Your husband may like artistic, emotionally filled, thought-provoking, award winning movies like Space Balls, Caddy Shack or Major League. Your wife may like movies based on deep plots and high-browed story lines (the fact that Brad Pitt, George Clooney or one of those Magic Mike fellas are in them is coincidence). And our movie preference depends on our mood, the occasion and the company we keep. But…the basic premise of a movie is the same. Get involved as soon as possible…get you laughing or caring as soon as possible…get your time vested and committed and then end the movie crying, mad or laughing. Emotion…they want emotion and a good story does all that. It gets you…connects with you…and gets you vested.

Well since we are on stories…I have a story to tell. Now this may not win an Oscar. And when I say ‘may not’ I mean there is no chance at all. I mean you have a better shot of seeing monkeys flying brooms out of a castle than seeing this story on a big screen. Wait…monkeys on brooms??? Monkeys on brooms??? Oh well…I digress.

So here is the story line. The economy is trying to come back. Gas prices going up. People working hard for their take home pay and trying to find ways to save money. Out of the dust and fires of restructuring walks a local mortgage company. Fire raging in the back ground…slow motion yet confidently walking away from the financial rubble. Sleeves rolled up and work boots on, this mortgage company reaches out to the local families of its community. Offering ways to save money every month. Many families reach out and take the hand of the mortgage professionals and start saving money. Tragically some families miss their opportunity. However, our story line gets more specific. We need you to feel for the main character. At first glance you think this mortgage company is the main attraction. No, No, No. It’s the people they meet along the way and help.

So the story quickly becomes about “Sam and Suzy”.  A hard working couple…they trying to keep things going. Paying their bills on time…working 40, 50 sometimes 60 hours a week. Watching the price at the pump and at the store slowly creep up.

They decide to call this mortgage company  they have heard of. After all it’s free and why not…what do they have to loose. Plus it can be done on line and they know when it comes down to it…they can get in their cars and go see them…they are the local mortgage hero’s. So super fast (like super hero fast) the mortgage company responds–yes they can save money. How much you ask. You watch the couple read over the information and their faces slowly transform. A smile here…an eye brow lift there…a quick glance at their significant other.

Story-line details:

  • Convert from a 30 to 15 year loan
  • Shave 8 years off their mortgage
  • Drop their rate from their current 5.35% to to something much lower they qualify for.
  • Save money each month AND ten’s-of-thousands over the life of the loan
  • Now they can create a retirement fund – college fund – help other folks – you get it….their life gets better

They call the mortgage gurus and yes…it is confirmed this is not a dream. What will they do with that money? How much better can they retire? How many family members can they help? Plus…they will own their home by the time they are in their 50’s!!!!!!

Now here comes the great part. The deal is done in 27-days! No house payment the next month and then they are on track. It was free….easy and quick….and just in case you missed it….it will save them LOT’S OF MONEY! Being this is the movies…fast forward 10-years. That same couple still working hard coming home to a house they own…taking vacations that would have been difficult before and now they are putting some serious money into a retirement fund.

This plot is plays out every week at Peoples Home Equity in Chattanooga. They do this all day-every day. They do it for hundreds of clients and they do it the right way. They work as hard for your business as you do for your money. Call them to see if your story is the next one to be written…423-591-9801 or check them out on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga or www.chattmortgage.com. Tune in every Monday night to ‘The Buyers Market’ on WGOW Talk Radio 102.3fm. Enjoy the popcorn and the movies. See you next time.

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3-2-1 Your Mortgage!

Well we are well into 2012! How are those resolutions looking? Are we still eating better? Working out? Spending more time on the important things? I hope so!!! I have done pretty good (if it weren’t for those hot Krispy Kremes and Merv Burgers). Anyway…I hope you stick with those commitments you made to yourself.

This time around I want to walk us 3-2-1 Your Mortgage! 3 Things nationally that are happening in the industry that may affect your mortgage. 2 Things locally you may want to remember. 1 Thing that is happening on East Brainerd Road that could really change your mortgage experience.

3 Things Nationally:

1) The FHA is giving the ok to investors to get involved in the foreclosure crunch. Up until now they have been asked to sit on the side-lines and watch as foreclosures have flooded the market place. Now investors can do what they do best…invest. Buy homes-fix them up- and sell them. Get those homes moving again and help neighborhoods who have had homes sitting there with that depressing sign in the yard.  There are some details and restrictions still in place, but this is still pretty good news for a foreclosure market that is drowning.

2) Fannie Me and Freddie Mac have revised their policies on mortgage forebearance. Now servicers can grant a 6-month forbearance without having to get permission beforehand when a home owner can so that becoming unemployed has affected their ability to make their payments. It unemployment continues beyond that the servicer will need to ask Freddie or Fannie for an additional 6-months. Fannie Mae’s new policy will take affect March 1st and Freddies will start February 1st. There are still rules and considerations to make…but again this is something you should know. http://realestatemarbles.com/campga/2012/01/22/fannie-mae-and-freddie-mac-revise-policies-on-mortgage-forbearance/

3) I am sure you have heard…but rates are low. I mean low, low! Like the girl that broke up with you on Valentines Day in 7th grade in the cafeteria and then held hands with your best friend at the same table low. (Ok…maybe that analogy was a little personal…but she really hurt me). As of this writing the rate on a 30-year loan was 3.88%. Just in case you have forgot…depending on what month you bought a home, but in 2000 your rate would have been between 7.57% – 8.47%. So this may be a good time to buy a new home or at least look at refinancing the one your in now!

2 Things Locally:

1) Chattanooga has had it’s rough moments over the past few years; but we have also been blessed to be somewhat protected from the full force of the housing blow. With all the new companies coming in to the Scenic City we have seen a more stable job enivronment and more money come into our community than most. We have had more good news in our headlines than most cities/towns.

2) Chattanooga is a big city that operates more like a small town. Especially when it comes to how we do business. We like doing business with local folks. We like being able to shake hands-we like knowing that we could run into folks at the store-our kids go to the same schools and we like the accountability that comes with that. When it comes down to it…most banks and mortgage companies are dealing with the same rates and products…so what separates them. Service and service. Again…there is a big advantage of working with a mortgage company who knows THIS real estate market and THIS mortgage environment.

1Thing on East Brainerd Road:

1) 28-Day Closing Date Guarantee at Peoples Home Equity 6650 East Brainerd Road. This may sound like a marketing ploy and you may be right. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t really good for you. Here is how it works. After you have applied and the PHE professional has your info they will give you a closing date…28-days from that moment. If your loan isn’t closed by then…they will give you a $250 dollar gift card to the home improvement store of your choice. In 2011 PHE averaged just over 26 days…the national average was around 52. That means PHE customers got into new homes sooner or were saving money on their refi’s sooner. Something to keep in mind.

If you want to find out more give Peoples Home Equity a call 423-591-9801 or stop by 6650 East Brainerd Road. They take pride in being a great resource for local real estate agents as well…listen in every Monday at 7pm to WGOW Talk Radio 102.3fm to ‘The Buyes Market’ or you can check them out at www.chattmortgage.com. Be our friend on facebook too…Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga.

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New Years Resolutions…STINK!!!

New Years Resolutions…a list of things I hope to do in the upcoming year…but have no real chance of ever happening! Right?? Come on we all know it. Failed resolutions are a punch-line. Let’s review some of the most common and then I want to give you 4 steps to help improve your odds of actually following through on those promises to yourself.

Weight: I am going to lose weight starting Jan.1st!!! (2-weeks later) I am going to lose weight…starting next Monday!! (2-Mondays later) I am going to lose weight…but if you lose it too fast it will just come back…so I am pacing myself!! (2-weeks later) It isn’t how much weight you lose…it is how you feel!! (2-weeks later) Crap…it’s March and I am busy…I really just want to look good for Summer so I will start at the 1st of April (April 1st) This sucks…pass me another donut (I really like Tasty Daylight Donuts) and I will buy bigger pants and longer shirts!

Money: I want to make more money this year and I want to save more money this year! I am going to work harder! I mean I am really going to put in the hours! I am going to show up early and leave late! Now…I have no idea what I will do during those hours or what I will do different than this year to make more money; but watch me. I will make more money! By June your burnt out and not really any further ahead than last year…except now you are tired and are dragging the rest of the year! Plus I saved up some money; but that was a great deal I got on that widget that ‘we’ really ‘needed’. It was half price. Yep 50% off, but 100% of the savings! I will be working the drive-thru when I am 80!

Relationships: I am going to be a better parent! I want to spend more time with my wife/husband this year! I want to enjoy my weekends with friends and family more! I want to see my friends more often! Things come up and you find yourself dealing with kids ONLY when they are in trouble, kissing your wife/husband goodnight saying you will have a date night next week, and you see friends at funerals and weddings. These are the most important people in my life…why not give them the left over time each day, week and month? Good call!

What happens to us? We all intend to do so good! None of us want to fail…right? It’s the donuts…they are so good when they hit your lips! There are a number of theories on why we do this to ourselves. Self-fulfilling prophecies, fear of success, poor self-image, comfort level mindset…most of these are worth blogs and time themselves and are just too deep to cover here. But lets go ahead and admit…no matter why we do it. We make promises that we do not keep! How can we fix this? Well, I hate to use sales as a guideline; but I am going to (so I don’t hate it that bad).

There are 4 things we all can do to increase our odds of keeping those hell-like New Years resolutions.

1)  In sales it is vital to set goals! Having specific goals is even better. If you don’t know where you are going any old road will get you there. Taking a trip without knowing where your going means you really do not know where to start and will quickly get frustrated. Examples:

a.  Weight: Don’t just say I want to lose weight. “I want to lose 20lbs in the next 3-months”

b.  Money: Don’t just work harder and try to save. What are the one or two things you could be doing that would make the biggest difference. Do those things more often…work harder at those specifics and say I want to save 10% of my paycheck each month. Why? For retirement, school for kids, vacation, gift, etc…

c.  I just don’t want to have a date night sometimes…put in on the calendar. Ask now and schedule. Get it on her/his calendar too! That way you will not want to disappoint and you will find that you schedule around it.

d.  Goals are important…be specific with them. Set your goals in your phone a few times a month…maybe on pay-days. ‘Save Money for kids college’.  It goes off and helps keep you on track.

2)  Expectations. A lot of times we fail in sales and life because we don’t manage our expectations. We expect to work out today and lose 5lbs by tomorrow. We live in a ‘reality TV’ world. We see The Biggest Loser contestants lose 15bls a week. That is their reality because they work out 10-hours a day and have their meals prepared. That is not our reality. We have maybe an hour every other day…we drive by fast food and donut shops (I love donuts). So set goals with that in mind. If you don’t run now…then don’t expect to start with 2-miles a day. Set yourself up to win…not to fail. Don’t expect to take your wife on a date night every Friday if you know Fridays are crazy. Be specific with your goals AND be realistic…be sure they are designed for small victories quickly. Victories give you confidence and motivate you. Small victories now lead to winning big later.

3)  I am big on calendars.  Have a master calendar…on your wall…in your phone…in your day planner. Somewhere and include your date nights, include your workouts, include your cold-calls, include your marketing time, include your social media marketing time, include all the things that could help you improve your life. Get it from your brain to paper/phone…somewhere that it can help remind you.

4)  Be accountable.Find someone or a group of people who will hold you responsible. Want to lose weight…get a buddy who expects you to show up at a certain time or asks you about your diet. Tell your daughter you and her are going out next week…and watch her light up! Trust me…she will hold you accountable. Want to make more money…have your spouse hold you accountable…a buddy…your CPA. Want to change work habits…tell someone at work what your plan is. I am going to make 5 more cold-calls each week…I am going to spend X number of hours sending out letters each week. Have them hold you accountable…maybe you could help them as well. Be accountable increases your odds of success…we may disappoint ourselves; but we hate to disappoint others.

Good luck this year and if saving money is on your 2013 ‘to do’ list…give us a call. Everyone at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga wishes your family the best year yet. Let us know if we can help. www.chattmortgage.com * on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga * 423-595-9801 * check us out every Monday night on WGOW Talk Radio 102.3fm at 7pm ‘The Buyers Market’ radio show. Happy New Year!!!!

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The Buyer’s Market Show Transcripts – Dec. 12, 2011

Guests include Cheryl Owens of People’s Home Equity, Brandon Lewis of Painter Ready and Christmas Ready.

Discussions include USDA Loans, Christmas Ready, home improvement tips for both curb and interior appeal, caller questions and more.

TheBuyersMarket_20111212

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It’s That Time Of Year!!!

We are that great time of year…between Thanksgiving and Christmas! A time to slow down, be thankful for what we have, get our priorities in order, spend time with family and friends and get ready for a brand new year. Lots of old claymation TV shows on TV (because nothing say holidays like a animated snowman-scooting through the forest-singing Christmas songs), football, food, family and time-off…and some crazy folks getting into fist fights while shopping for this years latest craze (YouTube should be full of good stuff the next few weeks).

Even with our economy a little weak- even when we have folks ‘occupying’ everywhere – we have a lot to be thankful for. Home ownership is still part of the American Dream and our country still affords us more opportunity to achieve it than any other country in the world.

For our real estate friends and developers keep in mind what you do is important…let’s look at a few statistics that may surprise us or who knows…may help motivate us for 2012!

• Homeowners pay 80% to 90% of federal income tax…contributing to federal programs that benefit all Americans! (realtor.org)

• Housing accounts for more than 15% of our Gross Domestic Product-making it a key economic driver. (realtor.org)

• Every home purchase pumps $60,000 dollars into the economy with furniture, improvements, and related items. (realtor.org)

So to all of our real estate partners and friends…thank you for all you do. Your willingness to work late hours – sit at open houses every weekend – and to show homes to people even when they change what they want – helps grow our economy. As we get ready for a new year; home ownership is going to be very important factor to help us get back on track.

We know that giving is always better than receiving this time of year…but what if you could do both? Give and receive at the same time. That is what a refinance can do. You can give yourself money every month…the joy of giving the fun of receiving! You should look into it and then give your local professional mortgage professional a call.

But if you really want to enjoy the Christmas season…find someone who needs your help and extend yourself. Maybe a neighbor, someone at your church or a charity. We are happy to be a drop-off spot for Toys-for-Tots this year. If you want to be part of the efforts bring your toy to PHE at 6650 East Brainerd Road. Toys-For-Tots delivers messages of hope to needy children every year and are active in over 500 communities and in all 50 states. We hope you will join us this year in reaching out to those around us who may not be as fortunate as we are and make this Christmas season just a little bit better.

If we can ever help feel free to give us a call 423-591-9801…www.chattmortgage.com…find us on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga or listen to us every Monday night at 7pm on WGOW Talk Radio 102.3fm “The Buyers Market”.

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Mortgages: Local vs. National

AAAHHHH…the holiday season! I love it!! Let’s rewind a few years shall we. My wife and I went shopping…ON LINE! Man how fun, easy and convenient. We finished 6-weeks before the big day! All we had to do was sit back, watch the old Christmas TV shows, drink some hot cider and wait. Finally one day I pulled into the drive way and there it was…the big box. I mean a big, big box. We ripped it open and dove in…. inspecting our bounty. Wow…how fun…I mean this is…gre..a…t…wait…wait! Where is the big gift for our daughter? Oh no! We are missing a gift! How could this happen…and another one…now we are missing 2…no 3 gifts. So we get back on-line…make phone calls…all in an attempt to get our Christmas put back together. We didn’t make it! We turned lemons into lemonade when we had gifts show up a few weeks later…we just celebrated again. Not the end of the world!

This pass year we had some very bad storms come through our area and our house had some damage. Now before I go further let me say that I have loved our insurance company…up until the storms. The weeks following I really wished we had a local rep who knew my family…knew where I worked…who had a local office and had a vested interest in making sure I was getting things done quickly and RIGHT! But there was no local guy/gal to yell at, cry with, shake hands with or even joke around with. Just a 1-800 number. They were nice enough…but man-o-man I would have loved to have someone who lives in my community…someone I could have had a cup of coffee with and got things done. Sometimes there’s nothing better than having a local contact.

By now you probably have figured it out…we are talking about a local mortgage professional vs. a national mortgage 1-800 number or an on-line company. When things go great and it’s all about the interest rate…you are a happy camper. But when things go bad…when the process stalls…when you have questions…when things aren’t what they need to be…it sure would be nice to have a local person. Let’s be honest interest rates are something most all mortgage companies, local or national, offer…so what separates them. The local flare! I mean having a local person who knows the right questions to ask matters. Having someone who will answer his or her phone in the evenings. Someone who knows if they mess up they could run into you at the store. We want to be serviced and we want to have someone we can go ‘see’ if things go wrong.

In today’s economy the standard, simple, easy loan is fading…there are more challenges out there and it is critical to work with someone who you can trust. Trust is hard to develop through emails, phone calls and a ‘help’ button on a webpage.

To meet a local mortgage professional call Peoples Home Equity 423-591-9801 or find them on the web at www.chattmortgage.com or look them up on facebook at Peoples Home Equity Chattanooga. You can always listen to their radio program ‘The Buyers Market’ every Monday night at 7pm on WGOW 102.3Fm (stream it www.wgow.com)

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