Friday, October 21, 2011


I saw this centipede crossing the road by the Desert Laboratory on Tumamoc Hill. It looks like it is going in two directions at once, but it was moving to the right.

I saw a millipede just a few minutes before that. The millipede was not as photogenic. It was more like a black worm. You had to see its legs moving like a wave to appreciate it.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Does It Pay to Shop for the Lowest Interest Rate?

I just received this from Sue Pullen at Fairway Independent Mortgage:

Since Loan Officer Compensation Reform took effect recently, loan officers are no longer being paid based on the income they bring to their company. The bottom line is that lenders don't have much wiggle room -- or incentive -- to cut pricing on loans. So the biggest difference between one lender and another won't be based on price: it will be based on competence, knowledge of underwriting guidelines, efficiency, communication, and service - in short, the ability to close the loan on time and without hassle.

I agree with Sue that consumers should choose their loan officer based on the loan officer's ability to deliver a mortgage on time, at the terms they promised, with a minimum of drama. Most home buyers assume all loan officers should be able to accomplish that, so buyers focus on finding the loan officer who promises the lowest interest rate.

Time and again, I have watched loan officers promise the sun, moon and stars, but they deliver last minute surprises, delays, and most tragically, no mortgage. It is frequently too late to choose another lender by the time the buyer learns this hard lesson, and they are unable to buy the house they planned to buy.