June 2007 Vol. 2 No. 6
 Choosing the Right Mortgage Broker  June's Home Value Improver  About Us

Choosing the Right Mortgage Broker

Chances are, you got a few references before you chose a doctor. You asked friends and coworkers, looked around, and ultimately decided on the person who was right for you. You need to trust your doctor with your health. Most likely, you followed a similar process when choosing a sitter for your child.

Shouldn't you do the same for your mortgage broker, the person who manages the money you need to make the biggest investment of your life?

Too often, people ready to put an offer on a house take the card offered by their real estate agent too quickly. The agent may put in a quick "she's good," but this hardly counts as a reference. Buyers call the number cold, putting decisions, responsibility, and profit into the hands of someone they do not even know.

Don't make that mistake. Instead, when you're thinking about number of bathrooms and kitchen floor plans, think about what type of mortgage broker is right for you. One size may not fit all.

Consider what you want in a mortgage broker:

  • Are you a "number cruncher" who knows exactly what you can afford and can figure out a monthly payment lickety split? If so, you may just need a broker who can be a liaison between you and a mortgage company. Find someone who is quick and efficient.
  • Do you know what you wish you could afford, but not quite sure what will work with your budget? A mortgage broker ready to roll up his or her sleeves and look at your budget would be your best choice. Look for someone who is thoughtful, interested in your life, and willing to put in some time.
  • Is this your first mortgage and the idea of a 30- year bill makes you want to quickly flip to the Apartments section of the newspaper? You'll likely benefit from a mortgage broker who can hold your hand throughout the process, explain everything to you from escrow to adjustable rate, and accommodate your jitters.
When talking with friends and family, ask them who they have used for their mortgage broker and if they were happy. Tap the members of your financial team such as your accountant, financial manager, or tax preparer. Then, take the time to talk to the person you are considering. You're opening up your private financial books to this person; he or she is worth at least a quick interview. Make sure it's someone whose style works for you.

The three most important components of people's lives are their children, their time, and their money. You choose your child's care very carefully. You work hard to get the most out of your time. Show your money the same respect and think hard about who will broker your mortgage. After all, you'll probably live with your mortgage longer than you'll live with your children.

June's Home Value Improver

Upgrade Your BAthroom for Comfort and Value

Real estate agents may say that location, location, and location are the three most important things to consider when buying a house. But buyers will tell you that bathrooms and kitchens follow closely behind. When you compare them to bathrooms and kitchens, the rest of the rooms in a house are just slight variations on four walls.

Bathroom -- its dull name belies its importance to your home. Your bathroom is where you bathe, primp, and relax. It's where your guests get to take a private look into your life. If you take the time and money to improve your bathroom, you'll upgrade your quality of life while boosting your home's value.

Experts estimate that a bathroom upgrade can give you a 70% return on your investment, and a full renovation can give you a 100% return. If selling isn't in your near future, a bathroom upgrade can give you a 100% increase in pleasure when you're brushing your teeth, styling your hair, or soaking in the tub.

If a bathroom addition or upgrade is not in your future, try some simple steps. To improve your bathroom's look and your house's value, consider:

  • Add some color to the vanity. A coat of paint can be an aesthetic lifesaver to a bathroom vanity that has seen better days.
  • Change the cabinet panels. Frosted glass in your cabinet panels will open up the area, while a stenciled design with give you artistic appeal.
  • Get some new hardware or fixtures. A vast array of fixtures are available to transform the look of your vanity area.
  • Add stylish furniture to the room. You can take a favorite chest of drawers and turn it into a bathroom vanity. A cabinetmaker can fit it for a sink, and add a good-looking granite countertop.
  • Change the window treatments. A new set of curtains can make a dramatic change in the look and feel of a bathroom.
  • Paint the walls and add beadboard. Not much changes a room like a fresh, bright coat of paint. Attach some beadboard that you pick up at the hardware store, and you have just made your bathroom look "richer."

I may not be the right mortgage broker for you. That may sound like a funny statement to make in my monthly newsletter, which goes to prospects and clients. But it's true, and here's why.

Every buyer has different needs, expectations and approaches. And I have a specific approach to the way I work with clients. If the two don't match, we're in for a rough ride. That's why it's so important to take the time to assess your style and then ask prospective brokers the questions that will help determine if your approach and their style will be a good fit. This month's article should help with the process.

I'm always happy to answer your questions about mortgages. Consider me your mortgage resource!

Best regards,
Debbie Siegel
Westchester Mortgage

P.S. You're receiving this E-Newsletter because you have a prior relationship with me or with Westchester Mortgage. If I've sent this to you in error, or if you want to remove yourself from the list at any time, just click the "SafeUnsubscribe" link at the bottom of this e-mail.

Click here to read my "Mortgage Minute" in ForeclosuresMass.com's monthly newsletter. This month's column: "Financing Home Renovations."

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