Overzealous Underwriters in Georgetown Texas

I’m in the middle of buying my next home here in my neighborhood, Georgetown Village in Georgetown, Texas and my loan is almost out of underwriting. Then I get the call from my lender that goes something like this:

Hi Edward, there’s just one more thing they need.

Sure, what is it?

Well, the underwriters are having a hard time accepting this home as a primary residence

Ok, that’s easy…”Yes…it is.” Can you just tell them that? Isn’t this what I indicated when I applied?

Yes, but they want you to write them an explanation and “convince” them because you bought other investment homes in the past in this neighborhood and this one is only a few houses down from you.

At this point, I was a little annoyed. They were questioning my integrity! I applied and said it was NOT an investment home but would be owner-occupied, so what’s the big deal? Ok, so I own other homes in this neighborhood and I bought 3 of them last year. I’m not sure how that relates. But, if I really WAS lying, why would I suddenly stop now? So, I tell my lender

Oh, I’ll “convince” them…you can expect the email shortly.

And I send them this…

This email is to affirm my intent to occupy the home on 125 Village Park Drive as my primary residence. Although, I have purchased many investment homes in the past, in this same neighborhood, they were all purchased with the INITIAL INTENT to invest in them and rent them out. They are also all priced BELOW my current primary residence. It would seem to make sense that if my stated intent is to purchase this home on 125 Village Park Drive, as a residence and NOT an investment, that I would follow-through with this commitment, otherwise that would be considered fraudulent, dishonest and maybe even illegal. All of which I would never want any part of.

In addition to the fact that I’m qualifying for this home as a residence and not an investment, there are several other facts that must be mentioned that support the legitimacy of my intent:

1. This home is priced ABOVE my current primary residence which would classify this as a typical MOVE-UP purchase. All of my other rental homes were priced below with significant (20-25% down) cash down so that it would cash flow. This home would be a poor investment choice and could never cash flow given the mortgage and current rental prices

2. This is 4 bedrooms and my current home has 3 bedrooms; it also has 2400 SF and my current home has 2000 SF. Lastly, this home has 400 SF of space above the garage which will be converted to my home office which is one of the main reasons I am moving. I have 3 children under the age of 4 and have worked from a small study for the past 5 years in this home. If anyone has had children before, they can understand the reason for this move!

3. I purchased my current home when I was single, 6 years ago. I am purchasing this home, 3 kids, a wife and a minivan later. Yes, that sounds like a move-up to me.

I hope this helps clarify my intent to purchase this home for a primary residence. If you or the underwriters would like to call me for further clarification please don’t hesitate to call me.

As far as me moving down the street, what person would NOT want to move their belongings a short distance and find the perfect home this close by? This means less time packing and unpacking a moving truck and more time enjoying my glass of ice cold lemonade on the front porch of my new home overlooking the neighborhood park.

So, what do you think? Were the underwriters being a little overzealous or just doing their job? Do you think what they did would really prevent a liar from stop lying at that point? I mean, if a guy is going to say he’s going to occupy it and then really rent it out, why would writing a letter change that? Is this just more “busy work” or is it really effective? I’d love to hear a situation from a lender or underwriter that was similar to this, but had different results (i.e. the purchaser wrote the letter and admitted he was secretly buying the home as an investment but was qualifying it as owner-occupied)

Message to Underwriters/Banks: It’s hard enough to qualify somebody these days, give us “legitimate” buyers a break! Sheesh!

(Bet that picture makes you thirsty huh?)

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My Georgetown – by Maria Dorian – Welcome Home Cleaning

My Georgetown

Did you know that Georgetown, Texas was recently rated the second best city to live and launch a business according to CNN Money?

Although I am thrilled that Georgetown is getting national media recognition, I know firsthand that Georgetown truly is a wonderful and unique city to live in and open up shop.

Hi, My name is Maria Dorian and I proudly live and own a business in Georgetown, TX. In the past 5 years I went from working part time waiting tables to owning a growing residential cleaning service.

Here’s my story:

Five years ago, I was pregnant with my third child as I waited tables in a popular restaurant in Round Rock. Soon after giving birth to a baby boy and while on maternity leave, I started to get a nagging “feeling” that I was not supposed to go back to work at the restaurant. I was not really sure why I felt this way but about two weeks before I was supposed to return to work, my boss at the restaurant called to let me know about my new schedule. I broke down crying and told her that I had every intention of going back to work but I didn’t think I was supposed to be waiting tables any more. Her response to me? “Maria, you’re postpartum, call me next week and we’ll talk.” We both shared a laugh and that was that.

So here I was, needing to work but at a loss as to what to do.

Shortly after, while at church, my then 3 week old son had a dirty diaper in the middle of service. Go figure right?! Who knew this would end up being a blessing in disquise. While in the nursery changing the diaper, I overheard a lady talk about her sister who cleaned houses. Like a ton of bricks, it hit me. There it was.it! My next thought was, “Wow-I’m supposed to be cleaning houses.” Still blows me away to this day as cleaning houses was just so…random! Needless to say that I believe that the incident was God’s way of leading me to start my own business.

Long story short, I did A LOT of research on the industry, got my first client, called myself Marvelous Maria’s Cleaning Service and off I was to clean my first house. I will never forget my thoughts walking into my first home. I was so excited and I remembering saying to myself, “Yeah! I’m here to clean this house!” Quickly followed by, “Oh, cr_p, I’m here to clean this house!” The realization that I’d never actually cleaned a house, besides my own, of course, set in. Boy did I feel the fear of the unknown. But that first cleaning went well and I ended up keeping that client for many years before they moved away. In fact, I still have many of the clients I picked up way back then and they still tease me with, “Oh, there’s Marvelous Maria!” Ha, ha.

Today, I call my company Welcome Home Cleaning Services. We have an office on Williams Drive and currently have ten employees and two managers. To date we have serviced over 6,000 cleans with most of those being right here in our very own Georgetown, Texas!.

I am honored to live and work in Georgetown. And, I’d be just as honored to help you with any cleaning needs you may have!

Maria Dorian

512-931-2095

Upcoming Blog Topic: Cleaning to Sell your home

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Another Lui to join the real estate market

I have a younger brother named “Edwin.” Yes, I know I’m “Edward” and he’s “Edwin.” Ha ha ha.

Well he lives near Anaheim, California and is studying for his real estate license. I’m pretty excited that he’s doing that and I hope he is able to get enough business to transition out of his full-time work.

I entered into the real estate business by just jumping in with both feet. However, the other option is to gradually build up enough business to fully transition over like Edwin. Even though it was scary for me to do that and I didn’t make my first sale for a couple of months, I think the learning curve shot up very quickly for me. It was either “do or die.”

Well, maybe “die” is a little too dramatic.

More like, “do or flip burgers.”

Edwin: (If you’re reading this) BLOG, BLOG, BLOG – that’s my first tip. I wish I would have started blogging about Georgetown, Texas in my first year of real estate rather then waiting until year four. That’s the best way to expose yourself to a large audience quickly. If they like you, they’ll read you and you’ll probably like them. If they don’t like you, you probably don’t want them as clients anyway. Hey, it’s the truth!

On another note, this week I’ll be introducing a friend of mine on this blog, Maria, who also started her business by just jumping in with both feet. I think you’ll enjoy reading her story and writing style.

What about you? Are you a “jump in with both feet” type of person or do you think a slower transition would work better for you if you were to start a business? I’d love to hear your story!

Radical Love

Here’s a story about my friend in Georgetown, Tx

She has 2 beautiful grandbabies who have been fostered and one is now officially adopted (Praise the Lord). The other grandbaby was in the process of being adopted, when there came opposition from her birth mom. Well, the courts ruled that the baby should stay with her birth mom.

After caring for the baby for about a year, my friend’s daughter had the gut wrenching task of returning the baby! Instead of just washing her hands of the matter, she decided to continue to keep in contact with the baby no matter what the cost. The birth mom lives about an hour or so from here and for months my friend or her daughter would make the long trip down there and pick up the baby and bring her to all of her well-baby doctor visits. In addition, she would ask to have the baby for selected weekends throughout the year with the approval of the mom and have the mom and baby over during holidays! And before and after these visits, she again would make that lengthy trip down to pick up and drop off the baby. As if that wasn’t enough, I just found out that the birth mom and the baby are now living with my friend until they can find housing close by!

As I listened to my friend speak of this, I commented that she and her daughter are amazing to do so much for someone they may never claim as theirs. Her response blew me away…she said:

“She’s my grandbaby at heart.”

She is an inspiration to me. I don’t know if she is a Christ follower, but what she and her daughter have done gives me a tangible example of what Christ’s love looks like in the 21st century. They reached out to give this child and her mom love and hope, without expecting anything in return. I am grateful for an example of such radical love. ~Autumn

Editor’s Note: It’s refreshing to read this example of a selfless act of love. Especially in the world we live in where the tradition is always about looking after yourself. Need a break from tradition? Call a Realtor who’s radical about real estate and will look after your best interests. No “old school” high pressure sales tactics or bait-and-switch listing techniques here.

Contact me anytime at 512-554-9594 or email at Edward@georgetowncustomhomes.com

Tracey Day’s first post – FHA LOANS

Waiting to purchase a home in Georgetown, Texas using an FHA loan? There is something you should know…FHA is making changes to it’s lending on 1 – 4 unit single family mortgages.

Coming July 14th, FHA will make the following changes:

1. Risk based pricing on rates…higher rates for those that are credit challenged
2. Risk based pricing on FHA’s one-time funding fee…use to be 1.5%; it will now range from 1.25-2.25%
3. Monthly mortgage insurance…use to be 0.5%; now it will be 0.55

These changes will be based on credit scores and amount of money you will be putting down (LTV).
If your credit scores are not in good shape…better work on it otherwise it is going to cost you :(

~ Tracey Day

Editors Note: Looking for a great Georgetown Texas lender? Tracey is local in Georgetown and works hard for your referrals. He’s handled my own personal loans and has some competitive rates! Best of all, he’ll work with you to clean up the credit report so that you have the best borrowing power when it comes down to getting a loan. You’ll be seeing more of him on this blog, so please comment and ask any questions you have on the financing side of things.

Real estate agent makes bold move (watch out Donald Trump)

Yes, today I decided to live on the edge and change my email address. Pretty bold, eh?

I sent a massive email out to almost 700 people to notify them of this change.  If you didn’t get the email, don’t be offended.  It doesn’t necessarily mean that  you’re not in my “top 700 friends” list.  Maybe I just lost it somehow.  Or even worse, you unsubscribed from my email newsletter!

Ok really, don’t be upset.  Here’s your chance to get on my radar again:

My new email is Edward@georgetowncustomhomes.com

I really love reconnecting with old friends, so shoot me a comment on this post and say “Hi.”  If you’re one of the 3000+ unique visitors on this blog every month and I don’t know you, it’s time to introduce yourself!  I love to hear feedback and this blog is only interesting with your participation!

Fighting for your right…to a fair property tax assesment

Well, it’s that time of year again when Williamson County Appraisal District appraises my home and makes me feel as though I’m living in California.

“What? My house went up $40,000?! Woohoo!”

Actually, that happened to my personal residence, $38,268 to be exact. Not a bad number, unless the home was appraised at $167,445 last year which would mean a 23% increase in value! They capped it at 10% so that makes it only $184,190. Fortunately, I’ve been contesting my home since the beginning and this number is actually favorable for me.

Need some help lowering your tax appraised value?

Just shoot me an email or give me a call and I’d be happy to help! I’m currently working on the following appraisals and will be posting the results soon:

Boxwood Loop – Appraised for $171,607

Westbury Lane – Appraised for $160,324

Rosebud Lane – Appraised for $214,193

Greenside Lane – Appriased for $182,535

If I have helped you lower your taxes, feel free to post the results in the comments section. I’d love to hear how it turned out for you!

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WordPress Upgrade – Who ya gonna call?

I started this Georgetown Texas Real estate blog one year ago and performed my first “upgrade” today!  Actually, it was more out of necessity than anything, I went to my blog this past weekend and noticed all of my posts were appearing in reverse chronological order!  So, an upgrade did the trick.

I tried upgrading it myself and that was a biiiig mistake!  I thought I killed my blog…fortunately I did a backup beforehand.  After poking around in some forums, I was referred to a guy named James Burton who would help.  I emailed him and all he requested was a donation to his wordpress support website.

After about an hour, I was up and running.  If you want to avoid spending hours doing something that you’re not good at and focus on your blogging, make sure you give James Burton a visit. And while he’s fixing or upgrading or getting you started…give his blog a read, it’s very heartwarming and genuine.

Open Season: Comments are now open!

open_season_ver2.jpg   I’ve closed comments on this blog for a while, thinking it would help with all of the spam. Today I checked my account after just a few days and had over 160 spam messages!

Now I have a Spam blocker plug-in that should help. Sorry if you’ve been locked out in the past. Please do comment, I love to hear what your viewpoint is and it sure makes a blog that much more interesting. This is not a personal diary, but a forum for a dialogue. So speak up!
Kevin – thanks for “forcing” your comments through to me via email, it was a reminder that I needed to fix this months ago! Check out his blog here!

Website Milestone!

After a year of launching this website and 9 months into the Blog, today www.GeorgetownCustomHomes.com has hit page 1!!!

For the search term, “Georgetown Texas Real Estate,” we’re on the first page of the 3 major search engines: Google, Yahoo and MSN.

Thanks to all the visitors who have browsed my site! This website was created as a free resource to custom home buyers in Georgetown, Texas and I hope you have found it to be valuable.

Thanks even more to those who have put their trust in me and became my clients as a result of “meeting me” online. I value your trust and friendship and hope I can continue to be your trusted real estate advisor for you, your friends and your family.

In a “slowing real estate market” God has provided for my family, through this website, and I am grateful for the relationships that I have developed in the process…and grateful to Him, who always does exceedingly and abundantly more than I can ever ask or imagine (Ephesians 3:20)!

Your Favorite Homeboy,

Edward

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