The podcast link leads you to the Real Estate Mortgage Shoppe program with me, Jo Garner, Mortgage Officer with Evolve Bank and Trust.  We are talking with Lynn and Troy McDonald of Erin McDonald Allstate Insurance Agency.  We cover money-saving tips for you to keep your insurance costs at their lowest without giving up adequate coverage. Also keeping your mortgage rate low with the best terms for your individual situation.

For those of you who have been patiently waiting for the HARP 2B program to roll out so you can refinance to a lower rate the appraisal value being no issue–well, so far the automated underwriting systems for that program are supposed to be rolled out March 17th.   Move to the front of the line by getting your loan in early. My assistant Susan Belew and I are getting your loan info now so that you don’t have to wait when the program is rolled out.  call me on my business line right now at (901) 482 0354  That is (901) 482 0354.  Susan and I can crunch some numbers with you.


The President talked about an even newer refinancing program -not the HARP program that  would not require an appraisal at all and would remove some other barriers as well .  Don’t hold your breath waiting on the newest one because, for now, there are just too many barriers to cross.  The HARP 2B program we have been talking about week after week is still slated to roll out on March 17th but NOT the one the President talked about during his State of the Union Address.


This newer program puts even less restrictions on the borrower and the President says he wants this program available to people who have been making their payments on time whether there loan is backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac or some other program.   If you WANT this newer program to roll out sooner, my suggestion is that you call your Congressman or Senator and tell them that you want this newer program available.

Keep listening to our show and we will keep you updated on any new developments. You can also hear our past shows on my blog


Here’s some good news for our military personnel arriving back home. HOPE NOW,  a national mortgage relief program, are focused on assistance to military homeowners and foreclosure mediation. If you know a veteran that needs help, they can call (888) 995-HOPE.

Here is the news on mortgage rates:  With what looked like a possible agreement from Greeceon how to effectively handle their debt, Mortgages Rates started to creep up yesterday.  But today one of the political leaders inGreece said his party would not back the bail out agreement so our mortgage rates begin a slight downward motion.  Are you getting seasick yet?    With the on-again-off again financial battle overseas, it is enough to make one dizzy.

Rates are being quoted a little higher this week– 3.875% to 4.375% on 30 yr mortgages depending on how many points you want to pay, your loan amount, loan type, loan-to-value and credit score. The 15 yr is still in the low 3’s to 3.75%.  Susan and I would like to do a personal analysis on your financing to see how much money on a refinance we can save you per month with a lower rate  or by shortening your loan term. We can do comparisons for you on financing to purchase a home.   Call us on our direct line at (901) 482 0354.

Susan and I are focusing this next week on first-time homebuyers.  If you have heard a friend say they can’t buy a house because they don’t have enough money to put down, please give me chance to talk with them.  Susan and I are trained on many first-time homebuyer special programs, we stay up-to-date on the old stuff AND the new stuff to help first-time homebuyers who need down payment assistance getting into their first home with a loan program tailored to them.  Of course we can help those who are NOT first-time homebuyers too.

Some questions answered byLynnandTroyabout keeping your insurance low and your property covered: The benefits of bundling your coverage with the same insurance company.  Some examples of this benefit.

The importance of having adequate insurance on your car & ways to keep premiums low.  Because of lawsuits over car accidents, it is like you are driving around with all of your assets in the car trunk.

Benefits on having renters insurance preceding your future homeowners insurance policy

Benefits to renters insurance to the landlord.

Weighing how much to make the deductible.

Why you never want to call the insurance company 1-800 number.  And other trouble with 1-800 call centers.

Questions answered by Jo Garner about mortgage financing.

  1. Jo, you mentioned that your focus this week is to help first-time homebuyers get into their first home with the Lowest Movein costs with down payment assistance programs.  What are some of the most popular down payment assistance programs you are using?
  2. A lot of people want to get the best rate in town on their mortgage.  How do you get the “best rate?”The best rate is not always the lowest rate.  The best rate for you is the one that saves you the most money with the least amount of costs and that best suits your financial plans.

A.The first thing I will ask you is “How long to plan on staying in this house or how long do you plan on keeping this house?”  If you say you are keeping the house for over 5 years, we can begin by looking at fixed rate loans instead of variable rate loans. If you plan on keeping the house less than 3 to 5 years, then an ultra-low rate that is fixed for only the 5 years you are going to be in the house before  converting to an adjustable rate may be the best deal to allow you to enjoy a below-market rate with a low payment during the years you know you will be in the house.

B. The next question I will ask you is “Is your focus on paying the loan off quickly or just on saving the most money per month?”  If you are 10 years from golden years making a house note, you may want to look at a 15 year loan or 10 year loan instead of a 30 year commitment. Hear the story of the  customer who wanted to travel when she retired and did not want the house note.     Hear the story of someone about to put children through college and wanted a low note even if it was a 30 yr.

  1. Or maybe you will be coming into a large amount of money from the sale of a home, an inheritance or cashing in on an investment within a year or two–In that case you may want to look at a very, VERY low rate and payment you get from an adjustable rate and enjoy a below normal payment until your large amount of money comes in.  Use that large amount of cash, when you get it, to pay down over 20% of the balance on your mortgage. Then when the rate becomes adjustable, your payment should not go up and in so many cases come down considerably because the balance has been significantly reduced and on the adjustable rate, each year when it adjusts, your payment will only be calculated on the unpaid balance.  Hear the story of the family member selling their house in town and buying land and a bigger house out in the country  Buying new house first and later having the lump sum from the sale of the old house to put down larger than 25% toward the balance on the new loan within less than 12 mos. Why this family went with a 1 year ARM and came out better than ever, paying off the house in less than 10 yrs.

More about mortgage financing options, little known facts and tips for saving on insurance.