Thursday, April 26, 2007

A Random But Good Quote...

You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing.”
- Michael Pritchard

…Though I guess if you want to live forever you could just do whippets…

Monday, April 23, 2007

What I Do...

The best chance of making a sale is first thing in the morning. You sit down with your coffee and you log into the system. You have anywhere from 2 to 5 fresh leads in your system. If you are the first person to reach these people your odds of closing the deal are high and it could be a great start to the morning. If you aren’t the first person… well, it could be all downhill from here.

This is how a residential loan consultant starts his day… everyday.

You get into the office and you get on the phones. If you are doing your job you will already have deals in your pipeline that you can work on and that will eat up anywhere from 1 to 3 hours of your day. The real meat of your day however, is spent dialing and dialing… waiting for someone to pick up and listen to what you have to say.

I am trying to convince someone who filled out a form online, that they should refinance their home with me. I am honest and I tell it like it is, yet because of the nature of my industry many are prone to distrust me at first.

Do they have a right to be so apprehensive? Absolutely. We are dealing with their most important asset; their home. Are they apprehensive for the right reasons? Absolutely not. They think everyone is a cheat and a crook trying to juice them for anything they can cram into the closing costs of a loan. There are people out there who do this, but more often then not, the person on the other end of my phone has no clue what they should be looking out for and thus end up going with that person unknowingly.

You would be amazed at the things people associate with a good deal:

“This guy is promising me the lowest rate and the lowest closing costs…”
Well, he also left about $4,000 worth of fees off of your Good Faith Estimate. You can’t get lowest fees and lowest rate… it doesn’t work like that, and no one I have met in this industry works for free.

“This person said my home will appraise for $100,000 more than you guy said…”
Well, when that appraisal gets cut in the internal review process, what is your guy going to do then? Create the same loan I am, but increase his fee’s for “his extra work”.

“I spoke to another guy this afternoon who said he can get my 5.00% on a 30yr fixed…”
He could get you that… 3 years ago. Plus, did he put any discount points on his Good Faith to let you see that he is buying down his rate substantially to try and get as close as possible to that rate?

These are very basic things that homeowners get talked into thinking is possible. You will think by going with the cheapest person, you are getting the best deal? That notion is much farther from the truth than you would like to believe.

A good source of information to check out is Blown Mortgage. The author of the site owns a mortgage company and relays all sorts of inside information that you as a consumer may not typically get. Plus he does it anonymously with no ties to his own company.

With this job there are some tremendous ups and downs. My goal is to even those out into a nice flat line so I don’t get extremely excited over a potential $15,000 month because it could quickly turn into a $00,000 month… actually it would turn into a negative month because I would owe my boss a desk fee at that point (since I am a waste of money for him that month). It can be stressful at times…

Don’t cry for me (Argentina) though… I choose this job and all that comes with it. You live with the ups and you live with the downs… I am just trying to make it through to the other side of this industry where I can tell people to make phone calls for me…

Go read Blown Mortgage now…

Monday, April 16, 2007

A Martini Or A Cannoli?

A friend posed this question the other night (while we were drinking)...

Would you rather be Tony Soprano or James Bond (the most recent Daniel Craig variation)?

To me, the answer is easy. I would much rather be James Bond.

Here is why:

  • He drinks like a fish yet is able to remain classy and charming.
  • He gets to drive the most amazing cars in the world
  • He gets to drive the most amazing women in the world
  • He is always traveling to the most amazing locations all over the globe
  • He has a license to kill

Those are the first few reasons that spring to mind.

My friends reasoning for being Tony Soprano is very simple. He feels that Tony is able to enjoy the finer things in life just like James, but he doesn't have to travel like Bond. He does not need to work as hard for what he has at this point in his life. His favorite reason however, is that he can be rich, sleep with hot women, and still be able to look like a fat ass.

He has a decent point there. It would be nice to enjoy a great plate of pasta, some top shelf Chianti, and not worry about hitting the gym in the morning.

Ian Fleming may not have written it in to the stories, but there is no way James Bond looks the way he does without hammering the weight room (remember, Daniel Craig not Timothy Dalton or Roger Moore...) every day that he is not on an assignment.


A jet-setting spy or a mob boss whose turf is part of New Jersey? That is an easy call to me... I will take my toned body, 2007 Aston Martin DB9, and a Vesper waiting for me at the bar...

... the drink and the girl.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Dear Hair, Please Stay! Love, Don

I love my hair.

It is full and thick and grows fast... and I want it to stay that way until they put me in the ground.

The reason I am so paranoid about my hair is that my father, his 4 brothers, 3 of my mother's brothers, and my paternal grandfather, all have thin or no hair.

...and it scares the crap out of me.

I don't care if it's vain or silly to worry about such a thing, and up to this point my hair is healthy and full. However, I want it to be there for the rest of my life, I don't care if it turns grey as a ghost... if it is all there, I will be a happy (senile) old man.

We hear all the time that you should judge your future hair status by taking a look at your mother's father. I never met him because he died at a young age thanks to the stereotypical combination of alcohol-related liver problems and being Irish.
I am assured that when he passed (around the age of 40 or so I believe), he had a full head of bushy, red hair. Now I like to drink (which is fine since I don't have an addictive personality and know when to say when) but I also love my hair (as you may have been able to pry from the subtle meandering of this post). Things are looking up at this point.

There have been some modern gains in science and medicine in terms of hair restoration it seems. I have a couple of friends who swear by Propecia, and it seems to work nicely for them. They however have health insurance and can afford such things...

If someday I find my drain is getting full and my scalp is getting sunburned, I will most likely be forced to resort to more "affordable" tactics... perhaps in the future, there will be a procedure where they can take the hair off a monkey's ass and put it on my head... but then I wonder, will I constantly smell shit all day and could I develop an overactive love for bananas? Hopefully my coworkers won't walk into the bathroom and find me flinging crap over my stall... now that would be a touch embarrassing at the Monday meeting.

For now I will hold on to the belief that you go by your mother's father... so 3 cheers to my healthy head of hair!!

Shit... maybe I should get my liver looked at...

Thursday, April 5, 2007

Excuse Me Sir, Do You Have The Time? Why Yes, It's About $5,000.

Is there something wrong with me?

I really like watches. I think they are an accessory that is very nice and functional at he same time. It is not as pointless as general jewelry, it actually serves a purpose.

However... the watches that I want to purchase cost ridiculous amounts of money and therefore I cannot afford them.

Is it really necessary to have a watch of this caliber? Do I need a $7,000+ Breitling Montbrilliant Olympus? Do I need to also have a $6,380 Jacob&Co Five Time Zone Watch?

The quick answer is no... (ask my fiance, she will tell you the same answer)

I cannot afford one, nor do I need one.

But I WANT one.

Now, does this make me crazy? Say I do have the money some day and can afford one of these watches... will I be stupid for buying one?

I say NO.

The watch works just like a $15 Casio watch sure... but it also does more than that.

When you look down on your wrist, you will be reminded that you have put in a lot of hard work and succeeded in life financially. Financial success in our culture is a very important thing whether you agree with it or not, and this says to you as well as those around you, that you are doing something right.

As long as you aren't a douche bag about owning an expensive watch, you can afford to purchase it, and you appreciate it... where is the harm?

Maybe my brain is getting too much "Orange County" stimulation (my co-worker, and office mate, is looking at Breitlings on his computer as we speak...) and I need to come back to my senses... or maybe I just need to keep working hard so I can look down and see that $5,000-$10,000 worth of happiness shining back at me?

What do you think?

Wednesday, April 4, 2007

Check out

A friend on the East Coast started a website and he is trying all sorts of things to expand it.

He decided to try his first podcast and interviewed me to test it out.

Give it a listen.

He sounds professional and I sound very unprepared... it is funny and it should only get better.

Click on the link to the podcast near the top of the page and then click the title on the page that opens to open the podcast window.