Monday, December 4, 2017

2018's Scout Guide

At this point you may have heard that I was featured in the Scout Guide. The reason why I am so proud of this is because it really is a privilege to be on it. You have to be Scouted, which is where the name comes from.

It positions itself as a resource center for people from out of town to find the best of the best.

From their website:
"The Scout Guide (TSG) is a publication dedicated to living beautifully, living well, and living like an insider—wherever you are. We connect you with inspiration, as well as with makers and experts who can help you enhance your life, elevate your surroundings, and enjoy your community to the fullest.

In our print guides, we feature excellent independently owned businesses and business owners that both locals and travelers should know about in more than 60 cities."

I think that last part is pretty great, it's featuring independent local businesses, like C&F and myself.

Thank you all for your support throughout the years, I wouldn't be here without my friends, family and clients.

Friday, November 17, 2017

Don’t be another Horror Story, work with a local lender!

I’ve been doing this job a long time and i’ve run into too many people that were trying to save a couple of bucks so they decided to go with a big lender, or even worse, an online one. 

Let me just tell you guys why that isn’t always the best idea, 

  1. You’re just a number
I hate to say it but that’s how they get such “good” rates. They work in volume which leaves the door open to more mistakes which can then become a delay. If you’re someone who is looking to purchase a home, a delay can mean thousands of dollars! Here’s one simple scenario that i’ve seen happen: you put your home on the market for sale and you’re planning on buying a new one. If there are any delays in your ability to purchase your new home, you could be stuck living nowhere. This means, hotel bills, moving and storage costs, and just lots of time being spent on something that should’ve gone smoothly.

  1. Put a face on it
I have an open door policy, yes in many cases I never meet my buyers face to face, but they take comfort in knowing that I am local and just a short drive away. Most big banks do their loan processing at their headquarters to save money, so you never really meet who is in charge and there is no direct line of communication between you and your lender. That alone is pretty scary, especially when you’re dealing with hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

  1. Flex room
One of my favorite things about working at C&F is that I know everyone in the building, and I work in our headquarters, in fact I talk to my boss everyday. So if a situation arises with a client that needs a little bit of flexibility from the bank, we can try to work with them. These kind of exeptions don’t really exist when you deal with large banks. It goes back to their clients just being a number in their books, they’re not interested in trying to figure out a solution for you when they can get another customer at the drop of a hat. It’s sad but true. 

  1. Good business for small business means more business
Back in the day, businesses ran through word of mouth and less from advertising. I still believe that the best type of client will be the type that comes from a referral. I want to do a GREAT job for all of my clients, and even though I know I won’t be able to make everyone happy, I will try my best. Those happy clients will tell all of their friends and family. This alone is reason enough for me to do an outstanding job. 

If you have any questions whatsoever about how I can help you become a homeowner, please don't hesitate to give me a call! 

Monday, November 6, 2017

5 Reasons Why Working With A Local Bank Can Be Better When Applying For A Mortgage

I work at a local bank, right in Corporate, and my office is just a couple of doors down from the VP. This has lots of advantages for my clients but I wanted highlight the top ones for you, this could help you when deciding to work with a local lender.

1. Knowledge Of Local Products
Mortgage lenders have access to many different products but there are certain products that are specific to Virginia, like the Virginia Housing Development Authority. The VHDA helps homeowners with things like downpayment assistance but there are certain things that an applicant must have in order to qualify. A lot of the time big banks don't process their loans locally, instead they send them to corporate where the staff might not be well versed on loans geared towards residents of Virginia. This means that they might not know how to properly qualify someone for something like VHDA.

2. Local Processors
We've mentioned that big banks sometimes send their loan processing elsewhere but how does that impact someone when shopping with a local lender? As an experienced loan officer in Virginia, I have direct contact with my loan processors so if there are any issues with paperwork or if I see something off about the paperwork, the situation can be rectified quickly. Access to a loan processor can not only help us push an application through quickly but also allows us to catch any errors before they become major issues.

3. One On One Time
Some people feel comfortable with email, phone and even text conversations but there are others that prefer putting a face with whoever is helping them with their mortgage. Most people might buy a home once in a lifetime, and it is comforting to know that someone is there to walk you through the process.

4. Familiarity With Business Partners
Local lenders tend to become familiar with different Realtors, Contractors, Insurance Companies, etc. This can be used as a referral network and a resource center. Need to buy new insurance? We probably have an excellent person for you! What about a home inspector? We tend to know those too.   In some instances we have clients calling us well after their purchase is complete because they are looking for a reference such a cleaning company or maybe a good painter.

5. Keeping Up To Date with Changes In The Industry
This goes back to some of the previous points we deal with local mortgage products often so we're very well aware if there is any changes in policies. This makes the process go much smoother for our clients and in some instances it saves them time and money. Knowing all the requisites, timelines and changes can make sure that we're processing a loan the most efficient way possible.

At the end of the day there are pro's and con's to working with a local bank vs. a large nationwide one. You should pick whatever is more comfortable to you but it is nice to have someone close by that you can easily get in touch with if needed, this is especially true if it's your first time buying a home.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Silver Circle: 2017 Top Producing Loan Officer

In the course of a year, I was able to help a number applicants through the mortgage process with VHDA options. VHDA can be a great program for first time home buyers, in some cases borrower's can even qualify for closing cost assistance. The VHDA only exists in Virginia, so their offerings only benefit residents of our state. Homeownership should be a goal attainable to any hard working person, but sometimes it may seem impossible. This is why I am glad I have a program like the VHDA that makes this a reality for many people who otherwise think they might not qualify. 

If you've ever wondered what homeownership would be like but think that you don't have the means to make it a reality, don't despair! Make sure to give me a call to discuss your options even if it's not something that happens right away for you, I can get you in the right path to make sure it happens. You'd be surprised with the options that there is for us to work with.

Thank you VHDA for honoring me with this award and offering such wonderful solutions to make the dream of homeownership come true for so many! 

Friday, September 8, 2017

President's Club 2017

Every year, our Loan Officers (LO) at C&F strive to meet the requirements to join President's Club. By doing an outstanding job and helping lots of great people into homes, or even just refinance to lower payments, we as Loan Officers get closer and closer to reaching President Club status. 

It's working night and day to make sure that transactions go as smoothly as possible, but it is totally worth it in the end! Typically, LOs will reach this goal in the fourth quarter. This year, I was able to reach President Club status in the first three quarters of the year... and every month that passes by it seems like I am busier than ever. You recommending me as a LO is what made this possible for me and I am glad to have so many satisfied clients that feel confident enough to recommend me to others. I try really hard to make every single person that goes through this process with me, feel appreciated and taken care of, so thank you! It means a lot to me that I was able to help so many people this year and hope to help many more in the near future. 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Help me raise money for the: The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society


~~~~Welcome to My Light The Night Walk Fundraising Page, 2017~~~~

 Please help me support The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light The Night Walk by donating towards my fundraising efforts today. You can help bring us closer to living in a world without cancers!
Can you believe that it's been 7 years since I was diagnosed with the Big C?  Since my diagnosis and treatment, there have been so many crazy things that have happened along the way.  One day, I'll write down these ridiculous stories-- Some are definitely worthy of air time!!!
The craziest and bestest thing happened this last Winter!  My dear friend, Allen Peacock, ran for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Man of the year!!! He raised over $60,000.00--which didn't earn him the coveted Man of the Year title, but I know he is the MAN in a lot of people's eyes, especially mine for his generosity and kindness.  It was truly an unbelievable feat and lots of fun!!

Many people through the years have asked about "my story." So here it goes...
Cancer people always remember the day their entire world changed. Some ask why, I was more like "WTF, are you kidding me?" I had a cough. A cough that was piercing to everyone's ears and it hurt! Kirk said I had TB, some thought I had whooping cough and there was even a kennel cough thrown in there (Thank you, Mitch!). At first, my doctor just thought it was allergies and asthma. After 2 weeks, it wasn't any better--maybe I had bronchitis? He listened to my chest and determined that I was wheezing and my lungs did sound congested. 3 weeks later, my cough was even worse. I was throwing up all the time when I coughed and I couldn't catch my breath--it was terrible! Being at my wits end, I went back to the doctor and he ordered a chest x-ray, maybe I had pneumonia?, but it didn't sound like it. The scan was done right before July 4th weekend, and my doc wouldn't be back in for about week. No big deal, I had dealt with it for this long what's a few more days?!
I will tell you this, no one will ever tell you that you have cancer over the phone. When I was told I needed to come into the office and whenever I got there would be fine, I knew something was definitely wrong. I've never had a shorter wait to get into see my doctor!! And then he dropped the bomb of my life.."You see this?" as he pointed to a mass that was sitting on my bronchial tubes shown on the xray, "This is a problem." He handed me a piece of paper with 2 names on it, one was a thoracic surgeon, the other an oncologist. I kind of stared at him, " Do I have cancer?" He hadn't exactly said it quite yet. "Yes, but you are going to be fine. I promise."
I walked out of his office in a daze, got to my car and called my mom, who was suffering with Stage IV breast cancer. "Mom, I have cancer." Typical of my mom, "No, you don't. Missy, quit screwing with me." --still makes me laugh that I can hear her saying it now:) Side bar: I was strangely obsessed with calling my mom and saying things to get a rise out of her i.e. I was pregnant, had eloped, gotten my nose pierced, gotten a tattoo, etc.
I digress...My oncologist appointment was first and my dear friend Branch went with me. She was my scribe. She knew I would be too wound up to take in everything that was being said--she was 100% correct. My oncologist said I either had lymphoma or something else with an 'oma', but I had a very high rate of success for remission. Next up, thoracic surgeon. He took one look at my xrays and said I had Hodgkin's Disease--he didn't know which one, but that's what I had. Now, I have always been a fly by the seat of my pants kind of person, but this was a lilttle ridiculous. In a one week span, I had been diagnosed with cancer, was supposed to have a major surgery (they were deflating one of my lungs to get to the "oma" which was near my heart, inserting my port and inserting this kick ass pain killer contraption into me) and I had 2nd row tickets to a Yankees-Rays game in Tampa behind the Yanks on-deck-circle!!. After a little haggling, I was cleared to go to my game (yes, my beloved Yanks won!) and would have the surgery the day after I got back. I won't even go into my hospital stay---What a hot mess!!
I didn't tell a lot of people my diagnosis. My tight circle of friends knew and my family. I didn't want anyone to feel sorry for me or say something awkward because truly, what do you say in the situation--sorry you have a sickness where you are going to lose all your hair and energy, feel like shit for awhile and be in a situation for the better part of a year that changes everything in your life? They don't make a Hallmark card for it, I looked:) I had cancer and I wasn't going to die. Just needed some time to get through my issues and deal with myself. For the next 6 months, I went to chemo every two weeks, and then had radiation for 17 sessions. I would take chemo every day to not have radiation--it is the worst!!
October 2012, I was finally put in remission and my chemo port was removed. This little cancer spell was behind me.
I was very lucky, my cancer was caught in the early stages and I had an awesome team of doctors--some are not that lucky, which is why I now raise money for LLS! They help people who are not Missy Bass. Those who don't have insurance and live in the metropolis of Richmond where cancer centers are cutting edge. Those who don't have friends and family who will take them to all their doctors appointment while they are going through treatment. It's these people that I want to help and with you, it's possible:)


Monday, August 28, 2017

How to Lower Your Monthly Mortgage Payment

Money is tight, and you’re looking for expenses to cut. Your mortgage payment is the biggest bite out of your paycheck, so that seems like the logical place to start.
Here are some ways that may help you lower your monthly mortgage payment and important considerations about each one.

Refinance to a longer term

Refinancing a mortgage to gain more time to repay is a popular option. If homeowners have made payments on a 30-year loan for a few years, for example, they refinance the remainder back out to 30 years.
But extending a loan term means you’re piling on additional interest charges, especially if you’ve been paying for a significant amount of time. So, this move should be a “last resort” option, says Randall Lowell of Parkview Services, a HUD-approved nonprofit housing counselor service in Shoreline, Washington. HUD is short for the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
If you’re in that situation, he suggests looking first for a streamline refinance loan product. Some government-backed loans — such as Federal Housing Administration and Department of Veterans Affairs mortgages — offer these lower fee and less paperwork refis.

Apply for a loan modification

If you’ve experienced a severe financial hardship and your mortgage payment is no longer affordable, a loan modification may be an option. That’s when a lender restructures your loan in some way to lower the monthly payment.
You don’t have to be in default to request a loan modification from your lender, Lowell says. If you’re facing an imminent reduction in income — for example, from the loss of a job or retirement — he says it’s a good idea to get ahead of the issue.
“When you reach out to a lender, they might actually refer you over to a HUD-approved housing counselor to discuss your situation,” says Stephanie Somerville, with GreenPath Financial Wellness, a HUD-approved nonprofit financial counseling service in the Detroit area.

Eliminate mortgage insurance

Somerville can speak from her own experience getting mortgage insurance eliminated. After owning her home for only a year in a rapidly appreciating real estate market, she refinanced her FHA loan with lifetime mortgage insurance into a conventional loan without mortgage insurance.
Her mortgage rate dropped one percentage point, and she was free from the FHA mortgage insurance.
Your credit score and the home’s rise in value will play a big part in making this work. Generally, you would need to have more than 20% equity in your home to cancel mortgage insurance. That means a lender appraisal may have to show a substantial increase in your home’s market price, depending on how much you put down.

Refinance the loan to a lower rate

You probably have considered refinancing your loan to a lower rate. Replacing your mortgage with a new loan at a lower interest rate would reduce your monthly payment, right? Yeah, but it’s harder than it sounds.
Somerville says you’ll need equity in your property to pull this one off. Rising home values might work in your favor. And you’ll need a good credit score, too.
However, a small interest rate improvement probably won’t make enough difference, especially when you consider the costs of a refi, which include closing costs just like those you paid on your existing mortgage.
“If you can get a significantly lower rate, that might drive down your payment,” Somerville says.

The mortgage may not be the problem

Lowell says a vast majority of the people who come to housing counselors are struggling with budget issues, but the mortgage is usually not to blame.
More often than not, it’s credit card debt. And prioritizing ways to attack that debt may do more to improve their cash flow than reducing the monthly mortgage payment.
Somerville agrees it’s better to chip away at that debt without putting your house at risk.
“Credit card debt is unsecured; it’s not attached to anything,” she adds. If you don’t make a payment, nothing can be taken. But, if you don’t make your mortgage payments — on a refinance or on a home equity line of credit — you could lose your home.

Friday, July 14, 2017

185 Borrower's Served in 2017 and Counting!

*Correction* We've helped 185 borrower's in the first half of 2017, in our previous version of this article we indicated that we helped 170.

You know why I am in the Mortgage Business? I want to be a part of someone's most notable life achievement. For many people, owning a home might be one of their biggest lifetime accomplishments. My team, which is a handful of people, is responsible for getting 185 borrower's into homes, in some cases helped them refinance to lower rates, in the first half of 2017. This is incredible! We've been working around the clock to make sure that our borrower's have a fantastic experience while also simplifying the process of homeownership.

I've been with C&F Mortgage a little more than one year and I can tell you with a lot of confidence that they have allowed me reach my greatest potential. They do this by granting me the flexibility that my client's need and products that fit their financial situation.

If you've been thinking of buying this is a fantastic time to do so and even if you think that you're not ready, it's important to start that conversation early on in the process so your Loan Officer can guide you and prepare you for what's ahead. We've had a GREAT 2017 so far, can't wait to see what the rest of the year looks like!

Monday, May 22, 2017

Just under $600k raised for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Virginia Chapter!

As you guys know, I am a BIG supporter of the The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, Virginia Chapter and I was SO proud and happy to see that collectively we raised almost $600k this year!

That's amazing!

Every year that number keeps getting bigger and bigger which brings us one step closer to eradicating this disease that affects so many families all over the country. Hearing the stories of the people who have been impacted by this makes me realize how strong we can all be when we need to. Not to surrender to the disease but instead fight to survive, it's not something you can do alone. You could see a sense of unity and compassion from all of the attendees who all had really inspiring stories to share either from their personal experiences or from loved ones.

Glad I got to be a part of such an amazing night and I look forward to being part of many more!

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

WCR's 2017 Spring Luncheon

Had a chance to be one of the Sponsors for the Women's Council of REALTORS ® Richmond, VA 2017 Spring Luncheon and Meeting at the Willow Oaks Country Club.

Not only was lunch pretty delicous but we had an wonderful presentation from Marc C. Wagner, Architectural Historian and a live auction of flowers benefiting FeedMore.

I am so happy to be a part of this Women's Group that is continously trying to make a difference and is always supporting each other!

Thursday, April 27, 2017

2017 Man & Woman Of The Year Campaign

As you all know, I always like to put this information out there. Cancer is no joke but I've learned to make a life after it and I want other people to have that same opportunity too. We all know someone who has had cancer, it could be your friend's mother, your HS friend or even a close relative. This is why it's important for all of us to get involved and do our part.

This year, I am glad to see so many wonderful people as candidates. They've all tried to make a difference so I am going to be at the Gala to show my support. If you'd like find out how to get involved, click here to learn how. If you'd like to buy tickets to the 2017 Man & Woman of the Year Gala click here. Thanks to all my friends and family who have shown me support throughout the years.

Monday, April 3, 2017

Missy Bass: Expert Witness

Some of you may or may not know this about me, but I have been in the industry for almost 20 years! Yes, I know. And in my time being an agent I have learned A LOT of things, from mentors, peers and from just by trial and error. I have been through it all, so when something doesn't look right to me, I will make sure to be upfront with my clients.

Last year, one of my friends asked me to look into what a "loan officer" was doing for one of her clients. Long story short, this particular individual kept asking for money upfront to process a loan application. He would drag out the loan process much longer than it was supposed to take and eventually tell his clients that something went wrong. When his clients would ask to get their money back, one of the documents that he made them sign claimed they were not entitled to a refund. This person is now being taken to court for fraud. You can't be too careful when applying for a loan, this process should be transparent to you and you should be able to verify your loan officers credentials with no problem.

I am now being called as an "Expert Witness" in this trial. My resume and number of years in the field has allowed me to speak with confidence regarding this particular situation. If you have any doubts or have any questions on your loan application, please give me a call! I'd hate to see anymore people fall into this type of scam.

Monday, March 13, 2017

Get your pre-approvals done!

Yes, it's still a little chilly outside but the Real Estate market is very hot right now! I've already had an amazing 2017 and we're only a couple of months in. This past February has already been a great one but as a buyer, now more than ever you should make sure that you're pre-approved before buying. Why? Houses are selling very quickly and it's not even Spring yet!

As a Loan Officer, one of my primary goals is to make sure that you get the home of your dreams, but in order to do so, you need to be prepared to make an offer when you find that perfect home. We can't do this unless you get pre-approved first. Any realtor will tell you this, so make sure that you consult with a qualified Loan Officer before you start looking. I'd hate for you to miss out on a great home because of something that we can prepare you in advance for.

Happy house hunting!

Monday, February 20, 2017

2016 President's Club: C&F Sales Rally

When you achieve a certain number of sales with C&F you reach something that we call "The President's Club", in my case I made a little under $21 million in sales in 2016. The average home price in Richmond is $197,000, using some basic math that means that we financed around 100 loans. I don't pride myself in the actual number of dollars but in my ability to help that people into homes where they can build a life for themselves. A home is most people's biggest purchase and in many cases their biggest achievements and I pride myself in making that process simple and easy for them. I didn't reach this achievement by being good at sales but instead by being good with people. I have to say that I have had a wonderful support system here at C&F and I know that I have an amazing team that has helped me get here. I intend to help even more people in 2017 at C&F, I know it's going to be a great one! So if you or anyone that you know is looking to purchase a home, make sure to have them give me a call, I promise - I will take amazing care of them!

Monday, January 9, 2017

Big changes to FHA Annual MI Premium!

Get ready for some big changes with FHA loans!
As many of you may have heard, FHA announced today that it will be reducing Annual (Monthly) MI Premiums effective with CLOSINGS on or after January 27, 2017. They have also eliminated the distinction in rates based upon the loan amount. The following table outlines the changes:
Please notice that FHA has changed the effective date to be based on CLOSING DATE and not case number assignment date as they have done in the past. If you have a loan in the pipeline currently that is scheduled to close on or after January 27, 2017, please make sure you update the annual MIP factor in Encompass and rerun the AUS.