Deanna Valeo

CEO, Steve Jacobson, visits Fairway of the Carolinas June 4, 2013

Here in Charlotte, we were thrilled to hear that Fairway Independent Mortgage CEO, Steve Jacobson, was going to be making a late May visit before our annual meeting in Wisconsin. He came down to discuss the CFPB (Consumer Finance Protection Bureau) which will be regulating mortgage lenders to make sure consumers are treated fairly.

At Fairway, we are preparing for their eventual audit, but we are not concerned about how how this will impact our company. You see, we treat people fairly everyday, so it won't change the way that we do business. Fair Lending is a very important issue to us and Steve was kind enough to take the time to come to Charlotte to discuss what our company is doing now and what our plans for the future are.
Regional manager, Tom Tousingnant and other managers for local Fairway offices took Steve to the famous Mac's Speed Shop to enjoy some Carolina barbeque before heading to the south Charlotte Elevation church to speak to the staff of the Fairway of the Carolinas' offices. It certainly isn't everyday when a CEO takes the first 20 minutes to get to know each and every person personally, but Steve knows his company is only as good as each person who works for him. His pride in what Fairway accomplishes is as evident as his care and concern for every member of his team.
Feedback from our Charlotte team:

Tom said, "It was great for our whole team to spend an afternoon with our CEO.  To see and hear Steve's passion for Fairway and the industry, and see his focus on staying ahead of the changes in the industry is a real confidence builder for all of us.  We know that Fairway Corporately "Has our Backs" and this allows us to focus on helping our clients and referral partners without worrying about the back office.  Steve is on our side and our secret weapon for success!"
Our loan officers were impressed with Steve's personality and support of his team. Rick Melville, said, "Jake is great to see in person, because he's successfully done our jobs. He built Fairway to provide fantastic support to the Loan Officers, and consequently our customers, because he knows that's how you succeed in our world. He's real, he's passionate, he's smart and strategic."

Ken Land agreed. "Steve's visit yesterday just further supports that we work for the best mortgage company in the industry!  I always feel very motivated after hearing Steve talk since he speaks "Loan Officer" on tough topics and makes you feel good about how we are positioned to handle the challenges and ever-changing industry."
Said Tony Garshink, "I have never had a CEO that was so down to earth, and that is so in touch with our client's needs.  Jake has such a refreshing approach.  Keep our clients First!!  Revolutionary."
Jenny Stoner added, "It's pretty amazing when you hear your CEO say 'Production is a personal decision. We're never going to decide for you at a corporate level how much you should produce.  Here, it's Faith, Family, Fairway; in that order.'  Incredible to hear. I'll follow a man that like any day!"

Kim Venable agreed, "How awesome to work for a company that feels like family and has the right values!"
It was also an excellent opportunity to have our growing offices under one roof. Check out our staff posing with Steve....


Get Your Best Charlotte Home Appraisal June 20, 2013

A home appraisal is used to help lenders, buyers, and sellers come to an understanding of how much a home is worth, or its market value. Appraisers visually inspect the home and compare it to similar homes in the area. Throughout the appraisal they will research the neighbor crime rate, quality of schools, access to highways, public areas, etc., and take note of all features and issues throughout the home.
Don't feel great regret after getting an appraisal that's too low, instead do more to plan and prepare beforehand. Here are some things that appraisers agree are very important for keeping the look, feel, and condition of the property as updated as possible.

1. Spruce Up The House: While dirty dishes might not hurt your home's value, rats, insects, overgrown landscaping, soiled carpeting, and marked walls might. Appraisers want to see your house through the eyes of a potential buyer so clean your home as much as possible but keeping it convenient; store things you aren't using on a regular basis.

2. Curb Appeal: Mow the lawn, trim the hedges, and control your landscaping. By doing this you can help offset your house from any unfair comparisons with nearby unkempt homes. In today's climate, sprucing up the homes immediate visible condition cannot be stressed enough. Just spending a little time on the appearance of your home from the sidewalk can set your home apart.

3. Be Mindful of that Peeling Paint: Some agencies such as the FHA and VA, require that peeling paint be removed in houses built before 1978. Focus on things that might require a whole new paint job.

4. Keep A List Of All The Updates: Keep a list of all your notable features of the property and all updates done within the last 15 years; make sure to itemize each update with approximate date and cost. This will help you remember the items that an appraiser might not notice, especially the minor ones.

5. Focus on Returns: Don't spend money that wont yield a return of the investment. The best things to spend money on are paint, carpets, light and plumbing fixtures. It is also important to prioritize what you do choose to spend money on. Appraisers often value homes in $500 increments, so if there is a repair costing more than $500 that can or should be made, it will count against the property.

6. Location: If anything in your neighborhood has changed for the better, it is important to share. If there is a new park, additional grocery stores, or if something has been declared a landmark, etc., let the appraiser know.

7. Make Your Appraiser Comfortable: Lock up your pets and have someone watching your children. Make the appraiser comfortable; if its cold out, put the heat on; if its hot out, put the A/C on this will also help avoid the appraiser questioning if your unit is broken.

With all these things in mind, let the appraisers do their jobs. Save questions for the end and try not to interrupt because you don't want them to miss anything. The appraisal is one of the most important steps in purchasing or selling a home. There are many factors that can significantly affect the value of your home so it is important to research your neighborhood and the best ways to boost your homes value with minimal cost and moderate effort.

Conventional 30-Year Home Mortgage Loan June 23, 2013

If you, as a borrower, are generally financing less than $417,000 for a single-family home, you should be looking at a 'conforming' conventional loan. Conventional conforming loans are not made by a government entity, like FHA and VA loans, but instead follow the terms and conditions that follow the guidelines set forth by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac; these established guidelines generally call for a minimum credit score, certain income requirements, and a minimum down payment (generally between 5% and 20%).
Conventional home mortgage loans have either fixed or adjustable rates. A fixed rate mortgage, or FRM, means that your mortgage monthly payments remain fixed for the period of the loan and typically have a term of 15 or 30 years. A shorter-term loan usually results in a lower interest rate. While an adjustable-rate mortgage, or ARM, fluctuates in relation to the rate of a standard financial index therefore, monthly payments can go up or down accordingly.
Due to origination fees, down payments, mortgage insurance, and points and appraisal fees, borrows completing a conventional loan may have to show up at closing with a sizable sum of out-of-pocket money, or be prepared to roll over some of these costs into their mortgage amount, which may result in a higher loan rate.

While you do need excellent credit to qualify for the best interest rates and that many lenders require higher down payments since the loan is not government-back, conventional mortgages generally pose fewer hurdles than FHA or VA loans. Also, because these mortgages generally require higher down payments than the other options, the homes equity can build up faster.

When making such an important decision as to how you should best finance your home, it will always be in your best interest to contact a mortgage banker. You will need someone who knows the ins and outs of the vast array of loans that are available to you. Why make the process harder when you can contact Fairway Mortgage, speak to an expert, and make this the best home buying or refinancing experience you could imagine.