The home purchase I gave away.


Image courtesy of njaj/

Joe and Julie Johnson (names changed for privacy) are long time clients of mine.  I helped them move back to Minnesota from Nebraska with their newborn twins.  When interest rates lowered, I helped them refinance their mortgage.  I also helped them refinance a second time to prepare for retirement once they had all of the other financial pieces in place.

When Joe called me up this past spring, he wanted to get approved for a new purchase. It was time to rehouse the growing family and this time they wanted to build a new home.  So I helped navigate the waters of negotiating with a builder, and walked them through the best way to put the mortgage together financially.   In this case, it was to refer Joe to a local bank instead of taking on the business myself.

Here’s why:  Joe found a builder who only builds one home at a time and cannot finance the construction process on his own.  This meant Joe would need to secure both a construction loan and an end loan.  If he did both separately, he would have to pay closing costs on both loans.  That would have been an additional $4,000-5000 that would be directed away from the kids college fund, or a really, really nice tree house in the backyard. There are still a few local banks that offer a ‘one time close’ loan and do it well. Unfortunately, that is not a product I can offer so I directed Joe where he needed to take his business to secure his best interest.   Joe still called me several times with questions and concerns just as he would have if we were working together and as always, I happily guided him in anyway I could.  Everything went smoothly and they moved into their new home mid summer.

In the meantime, interest rates took what looks to be one last drop lower so I called Joe and went over the options compared to his current mortgage, gave him a full analysis on where something like this would and would not be in his best interest.  After a long discussion, we determined that he would come out ahead within 12 months if he chose to refinance at the lower rate.

What I did not find out until we started work on the refinance is that when Joe told me his loan went ‘smoothly’ with the other lender is that he was embellishing a bit.  The reason he called me during the process was due to poor service he received.  He wanted answers in simple and plain English and I have always prided myself on translating financial jargon to an understandable language for clients.  It’s important for me to know that my clients always understand what they are doing and why, even if I’m not getting the business.

If Joe had not come back to refinance that quickly, he would have still called me the next time he had any need for refinancing or moving…or simply to ask a random housing question.  That’s what I’m here for.  It’s what I stand for and how I work with every single client I work with.

I truly have your best interest in mind.


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