The Challenges of Self-Employed Borrowers
George has a stellar credit rating, ample assets and a 30-year career. So why did banks turn him down when he applied for refinancing? Two dreaded words: self-employment.

The lending industry relies upon the predictable – predictable, steady income to pay predictable debts and supporting documentation that meets predictable criteria. Unfortunately, self-employment is anything but predictable. Incomes go up and down, expenses rise and fall, and savvy accounting often blurs the full income picture on tax returns.

In George’s case, he transitioned his B2B enterprise to keep pace with technological changes. During the transition, his income dipped as equipment expenses skyrocketed. All of a sudden, his tax returns no longer reflected an income stream that met criteria to refinance his mortgage.

After a few lenders turned George down, his financial consultant recommended Debbie. “Debbie really helped me by strategizing. She analyzed all my records, spoke to lenders and counseled me to wait until my 2012 tax return was in,” George explains.

Sure enough, a bump in income on George’s 2012 return did the trick. Three years after first applying for refinancing, George finally got his mortgage – but not without undergoing what Debbie calls a “financial colonoscopy”.

“Self-employed borrowers need to be prepared for unbelievable scrutiny,” warns Debbie. “I actually like the challenge of helping business owners like George work everything out.”

George responds that he appreciates Debbie’s “can do” approach to obtaining mortgages. “Debbie doesn’t dump everything in your lap. She does whatever it takes to get things done,” he says.

Before working with Debbie, George didn’t know that mortgage brokers existed. Now he has a deep appreciation for brokers like Debbie who go the extra mile for challenging clients without charging the borrower for services. “It costs you no more to use me than it does to go through a conventional lender, yet you get a partner to work with you throughout the whole lending process,” Debbie explains.

Want to know more? Please give Debbie a call at 617-965-1236 or email Debbie for information or help.

May’s Home Value Improver

Banish Indoor Bugs

Ants, fruit flies, hornets, mosquitoes – warm weather brings out the insects, both outside and in. What should you do if you discover an ant colony parading across the basement floor or a bug festival in your kitchen?

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) cautions against reaching for pesticides. Instead, seal any entryways such as holes in screens or gaps around floors or windows. Then, remove food sources by making sure that your house is clean and dry.

  • Wipe up spills immediately with soap and water.
  • Take out garbage daily and keep garbage cans clean of food residue.
  • Keep ripe fruit in the fridge.
  • Wash dishes daily, or at least submerge them in soapy water until you can get to them.
  • Make sure all food and beverage containers outside the fridge or freezer are tightly sealed.
  • Sweep and vacuum your floors regularly.
  • Keep bathroom and kitchen areas as dry as possible. Fix leaky faucets and don’t let standing water accumulate.
  • If you have a pet, comb it regularly with a flea comb and wash its bedding frequently. Be sure to vacuum floors, rugs and upholstery your pet comes in contact with regularly.

If you still have insects in the house, the NRDC recommends vacuuming for individual bugs or nests since bugs will usually suffocate in the bag. You may also lay flytraps, pheromone traps, light traps and other chemical-free traps.

If all else fails, try these low-risk pesticide techniques from the NRDC:

  • Dust boric acid on cracks and crevices, which slowly poisons crawling insects like ants, cockroaches and silverfish, but is far less toxic to humans and other mammals.
  • Use tamper-resistant bait boxes, an effective and safer choice than sprays, powders or pellets, which all spread pesticide residues. Look for one that uses a nonvolatile chemical, like boric acid, and make sure to keep bait stations out of the reach of children.
  • Try insecticidal or fatty-acid soaps, which kill soft-bodied insects like caterpillars, fleas and mites on contact, and are virtually harmless to humans and mammals unless they’re ingested.
  • Hire a professional trained in Integrated Pest Management (IPM), which uses physical controls and low-toxicity products to manage pest problems.