In support of our local business owners, several years ago my wife and I declared Friday night as ‘Local’s Night’. Every Friday we would wrap up the traditional work/school week and treat ourselves to a night out. The only rule was it needed to be a local business/food establishment. No ‘chain’ restaurants. Even during the pandemic, actually more so during the pandemic, carry out and support of our local businesses became the Friday night staple. Choosing to spend locally allows money to be cycled back into your community, which means you are helping boost the local economy. Investing in people in your area is an easy way for you to pay it forward to people in your community. Shopping local also helps ensure your tax money (which is going to be spent anyway) is going back into your regional tax base. Local taxes are then used for parks, roads and community improvements which we all benefit from on a daily basis. When you shop local, not only are you helping grow your area’s economy, but you’re helping grow the dreams of your neighbor. In addition to restaurants and other small businesses, I’ll champion the importance in supporting our local trades and professional services, specifically to the real estate profession. Coincidentally, over the past month, I’ve worked with two (2) different buyers who clicked on the online lending options and later regretted their decision. Possibly they were attracted to the lure of appealing terms and conditions without realizing the big picture as the transaction rolls on and the needs for local assistance and expectations are realized. Three points to keep in mind when working with online mortgage lenders are as follows: (1) They do not know the market. Nor do they have relationships with REALTORS®, appraisers, attorneys, etc. Local lenders work, play, and live in this community and they plan on doing so for many years. They have a reputation to uphold. You’d be surprised how many online lenders I speak with have no idea how geographically large West Virginia is. I’ll queue the running joke… “I’ve heard of West Virginia. How close is Morgantown to Richmond”? (2) An online ‘pre approval’ may be nothing more than a credit check. Local lenders will ask a series of questions and require a little more information to help you with your pre approval. This is important so that once you’re under contract, you don’t need to worry about having a loan denied because of the lack of personal information obtained in the beginning. (3) They may lure you with low rates, but offset the loan on the back end with high hidden fees (points, closing costs, processing fees, etc). A friend of mine and local lender once said, “If your mortgage company has a commercial during the Super Bowl, you’re probably paying too much”. Not to sound like the real estate community is ‘cliquey’… but maybe for the benefit of our clients… we are.
Until next week, love where you live. And if you don’t… contact your local REALTOR®.
Brian Haufe, 2022 MBOR President