I’m not good enough

This one insidious little lie, that most of us have bought into in some form or another, is so effective at annihilating one’s self esteem and eroding our sense of self that we are often stuck in success purgatory engulfed in the simultaneous fears of both failing and succeeding. Because, as we understand it, failing is bad so we shouldn’t fail. But succeeding can also seem bad, especially when others around you are failing.

So we unwittingly limit ourselves. To avoid failing, we don’t try. To avoid success, we don’t try. Same strategy but it can look very different depending upon the stakes.

Let’s take getting a mortgage for example. People want to own a home and get a mortgage (success) but their negative beliefs about themselves and their situation limit them (failing) so they are “stuck” renting (purgatory).

We’ll hear things like “Oh I really would like to own a home, but I know we wouldn’t qualify for a mortgage”. There is the move toward success in even broaching this with a mortgage broker but then a quick retreat by disqualifying themselves before we can even get started.

It took me a couple of conversations like these to realize the best answer to this statement is:

How do you know?

So simple, yet so profound! Because the fact is, most people don’t actually know. Most people are just ASSUMING that they can’t qualify. They’ve based this life limiting assumption on something they read somewhere, or something someone said once, or that so-and-so couldn’t get a mortgage so of course there’s no way they could get one… I’m sorry, but that is straight up ridiculous. That’s like saying, “Oh, I know how to perform botox; I saw them do it in a movie once”.

Life altering situation + irrelevant information = not being able to move (your muscles in your face).

So, if you ask yourself “How do I know I can’t qualify for a mortgage?” and your answer is anything other than “Because I talked to Kerry and Kari and they built a plan for me so I WILL qualify for a mortgage”, stop limiting yourself. Give us a call and find out for real.

Just so you don’t feel alone, here are some real life examples of clients who came to us with objections that simply were not an obstacle to them getting a mortgage. Enjoy!

Limiting belief: My credit is bad.
Bad is a relative term. I find what some people think is bad is actually pretty darn good by mortgage lender standards. And even if your credit is really in the dumps there are STILL lenders who will give you a mortgage. A client of ours was very reluctant to have us pull his credit report because he had some past credit challenges. When we did, he had a fantastic score (which he still felt was low) and we could easily place him with several different lenders and get him the very best rate.

Limiting belief: I don’t make enough money.
Well, that may be true if you have your eye on a Maserati, but until we’ve run your numbers you don’t know for sure. For example, a client of ours who owns his own business has a very good accountant and claims very little income in order to pay very little taxes. We were able to get him approved for a house and a condo… when his bank wouldn’t do it AND another mortgage broker said it couldn’t be done. But it could, and we did. BOOM.

Limiting belief: I’ve claimed bankruptcy but it hasn’t been seven years yet.
So what? I mean… not to worry. There are lenders who will look at your file just 6 months after being discharged. No need to wait seven years! A client of ours had been putting off home ownership for YEARS thinking it wasn’t possible but didn’t check with a broker to make sure. Now they are out looking at places and could be in a new home within months of our initial meeting.

Limiting belief: I don’t have enough of a down payment saved.
This is an interesting one. There can be many variations when people start quoting just how much they think they need to put down. Truth is, for your principal residence the minimum you need saved is zero and the minimum you need to put down is 5% of the purchase price. So how does that work? There are lenders who have programs that allow you to use borrowed funds for your down payment. We have a client who currently owns a home and they are looking to upgrade but it’s not a great time to sell. So after reviewing their situation with use, they decided not to sell and keep it as a rental investment instead. This leaves them with no money for a down payment, but they are able to qualify for an additional loan, which they can use for their down payment. Moving on up!

Limiting belief: I can’t afford the monthly mortgage payments.
If you pay rent, I’m pretty confident you can afford a mortgage payment. Generally speaking, for every $100k in house purchase price your monthly mortgage payment is $470.00. So if you’re paying $950 in rent you could probably swing a $200k purchase. A client of ours was told by another mortgage broker that in order to qualify they were going to have to sell their vehicles and make all these changes to reduce their monthly debts – which wasn’t true. That said, there is a difference between how much mortgage you can qualify for and what you are comfortable paying each month in terms of your financial budget and goals. One of our clients, a single gentleman, thought for sure he couldn’t afford a mortgage on his salary alone yet was paying upwards of $1200/month in rent. Wasn’t he surprised to find out that he could buy almost the exact same unit in his building and pay only slightly more a month!

Limiting belief: My bank denied me a mortgage and I’ve been with them for years so why would any other lender give me one?
Well, that’s because non-bank lenders are running a business based on mortgages and giving you a mortgage makes them money. Banks make their money in a variety of ways however, so your mortgage business may not be their priority. Plus they know that many people will remain loyal and come back to them when their financial situation improves. At this point the lending “risk” to the bank is lower and they can better protect their profit. So they often don’t bother going that extra inch to help an existing client. I have too many examples of this one-sided loyalty. So many that I think I will make it my next blog post.

Okay, okay. I could be at this all day. Bottom line is… unless you have talked to us you don’t know for sure that you DON’T qualify for a mortgage. And IF you don’t, we’re happy to help you make a plan so if becomes a when you can qualify.

Feel free to post in the comments any other ridiculous limiting beliefs and I would be happy to rebut them for you!

Kerry Reid is a Licensed Mortgage Professional with Modern Mortgage Group, a franchise of Dominion Lending Centres, in Sooke, BC. She recently teamed up with Kari Stauble, also a Licensed Mortgage Professional with Modern Mortgage Group, to become the powerhouse team Kerry and Kari, Licensed Mortgage Professionals. Don’t worry. We’re on it. http://www.kkmortgages.com

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Oh yeah? Well my Dad could beat up your Dad!

Remember when that was the go-to phrase to end the one-upmanship on the playground? The little sentence thrown in the face of your opponent as a last ditch effort to win the fight? And the general comeback? “Oh YEAH?? Well, mnaw” (or some equally lame variation).

Well that’s what’s going on with the mortgage rate “wars” that are happening right now. It’s all talk and not a lot of follow through. Don’t get me wrong. I’m loving the low rates and its great for clients that the lenders keep trying to out-do each other but rates are not the be all and end all to a mortgage.

Often times, borrowers are fixated on their mortgage rate because it’s the one aspect of their home financing they know to ask about; it’s concrete and what is most predominantly advertised. But it’s important to look beyond just the rates to the bigger picture surrounding what’s significant when it comes to your specific mortgage needs.

For example, if we put into real terms the difference between 2.99% and 3.04%, it works out to an additional $2.66 in your monthly payment per $100,000 of your mortgage. Over the course of a five-year term, this culminates into just $159.60 per $100,000. Say what??!

So, while “no-frills” mortgage products typically offer a lower interest rate (like our 2.99% example) when compared with many other available products, the lower rate is really its only perk. A one trick pony so to speak.

The biggest problem with looking at rate alone is that you may end up paying thousands of dollars in early payout penalties if, for instance, you opt for a five-year fixed-rate mortgage and then decide to move before the five years is up. Yes, you read that right. So you get that great job promotion and now you need to move so you have to break your “no-frills” mortgage because you can’t transfer it to your new home and you get dinged up the wahzoo to do it. But don’t worry, you’ve invested that $159.60 you saved in some magical investment vehicle that pays you a 200% return so you’ll at least be close to breaking even. No? Oh…you spent it on shoes? Well, that’s unfortunate.

No-frills mortgage products won’t let you take your mortgage with you if you purchase another property before your mortgage term is up – portability is not an option with this product. Portability is an important option that could save you money over the long term. For example, if that dream home is within your reach before your mortgage term is up and rates have risen (which they have a tendency to do over a five-year period) you get the house AND keep your existing low rate. Cha-CHING!

This no-frills, rock-bottom, fire-sale type of product is usually a good option for those who also have zero plans to take advantage of prepayment privileges that will help pay down their mortgage faster – such as lump-sum payments, double or increased payment frequency, or general extra payments for those times when you won a fistful of cash at bingo.

Essentially, this product is only ideal for borrowers who a) are certain then will not be moving before the end of their term; b) won’t be in a position to put any extra money on the mortgage or c) property investors who need a low fixed rate and aren’t concerned with making lump-sum payments. Oh, and d) those borrowers interested in saving the above-noted $159.60/year over anything else.

It’s understandable why these products are appealing. I don’t fault you. I will hunt out a deal like no other. I have bins of clothes for my 8 month old ranging in sizes from now ‘til college because I can’t pass up a bargain. But it’s important to remember that, like fashion trends, a lot can change over the course of five years – or whatever term you choose for your mortgage. You could get transferred, find a bigger house, have babies, change careers, etc. Five years is a long time to be anchored to anything. At least with an out-of-fashion outfit it can be re-purposed as a Halloween costume. Your mortgage, not so much.

The thing is, you can still get great mortgage savings without giving up the perks of traditional mortgages. And there are still many other ways to earn your discounts. A mortgage shouldn’t be a clearance-item-impulse-buy-that’s-one-size-too-small-but-that-you-will-fit-into-eventually-once-you-lose-those-5 lbs-but-you-never-do-and-it-just-sits-in-your-closet…

Remember, you are borrowing money from someone who is in the business of making money off of this transaction. If they are not making it on the rate they are sure as heck going to make it somewhere else, or at the very least prevent you from taking your good rate and running. They’ll get their pound of flesh out of you somehow. That’s why it’s essential to discuss with your mortgage broker the full details surrounding the small print behind the low rates.

So there!