Why Rate Watch?

Some have asked why I started sending out a Rate Watch email every morning. As if getting up at 5:30am were a pleasant thing (actually, if you try it, you find that it is, but that’s another column for another day). Allow me to explain.

There are two reasons that come to mind immediately. The first one is selfish – I do this because it sets me apart from the other billion or so mortgage guys in the industry. I actually understand how the market works, and the products it produces. I understand how everything from the weather to CNBC reporting influences the mortgage rate you pay. No, I’m no prophet, and I can’t always forecast accurately which direction rates are headed. I’m a tracker, not Nostradamus. But I know the landscape and I can help anyone with a mortgage, or anyone that works with people in real estate, save money on mortgage interest. It does little good to be that kind of professional if people don’t know about it, and as usual in business, if you want people to know something about you, you have to tell them. Hence Rate Watch.

But the second reason is a better one, and that is that it’s good for my clients. There are a dozen examples of clients of ours that scored an interest rate on their mortgage several ticks below the general market because of this service. We got together early, figured out what rate would make sense for them either for a purchase or for a refinance, and then we Watched until the rate came into play. And we locked it. Many on this list got a call at 3:50pm on a Friday, with an alert to lock. 90% of the loan officers I know have quit for the week an hour or so before that, but we’re still in the saddle because it makes a difference to us what happens to our friends. Since we only do business by referral, everyone we work with is a friend, so we watch rates for every one of our clients.

You can get this kind of service, too. It’s very simple. We need to have half an hour of conversation (okay, sometimes an hour to get the whole picture) to figure out what you want to do and the best way to do it. Then we get you on the Watch Sheet, and you not only get this email every day the market is open, but you also get a phone call when we reach your target and we have another five minute conversation to make sure we’re still doing the right thing. It might take a year to hit the target you want. But if it saves you $30,000 in interest, wouldn’t that be worth it? Especially since, let’s be fair, you’re not doing much of the work here. :-)

I sincerely want to have this conversation with as many people as possible. I didn’t start in mortgages, I started in financial services, and I run my business differently than other lenders. What if, I thought, you could take the consultative practices of stockbrokers and attorneys and mate it with the pay-for-performance of the lending industry (so no hourly fees, and no paying just for advice)? You’d have something powerful and different. Welcome to the Chris Jones Group.

So if all you do is read these posts, we’re glad you’re here and we’re happy to see you forever, especially if you like us and tell others about us. But if you really want the Full Monty, so to speak, you really owe it to yourself to send an email to chris@thechrisjonesgroup.com and let’s start a conversation. There’s so much more than just this blog. Don’t miss out on the real power of Rate Watch.

Oh, right. The MARKETS. That’s the point of this whole thing, isn’t it. Well, folks, earnings season is over (better than expected), nonfarm payrolls lost only 20,000 jobs last month (better than expected), and the Fed is finished cutting interest rates, it appears. This is good news. It’s Friday, it’s May, and everywhere except Utah, where we had half an inch of snow on my tulips yesterday, Spring is in the air. Ice is off the Jordanelle and the trout are hitting everything in sight. And Charlie’s Pit Barbecue just opened three doors down. Life is good.

Which means bonds are getting shelled, and rates are rising, but it’s just too hard right now to be much disappointed about that, especially since the damage seems fairly minor. 30-year rates are splitting the gap at 6-6.125% (for 20% equity, 700 credit, and a job); FHA rates are lower by about .25%, and far fewer restrictions apply. We’re going to lose some ground today, so if you’re sitting on a rate, expect a call.

Have a great Friday. I’m buying.


P.S. Spread the word. If you like this, and find it useful, pass it on. It would mean a lot to me.

P.P.S. I especially want to welcome today Renee Ferjo, my favorite California Realtor, whose email address I just reacquired. If you’re buying or selling a home in or near Rancho Palos Verdes, go to www.reneeferjo.com. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.

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