Daniel Baffour and his wife Mavis were renting when they had finally saved enough for a down payment on a home. However, TV news’ tales of high interest rates and low inventory scared them. But the more they thought about it, they decided that a high-rate market might not be a bad thing and they were able to find the home of their dreams. Hear how they did it in this month’s episode of Home Run: Great Client Experiences.

Full Transcript is Below:

– [Gene] Welcome to Home Run, Great Client Experiences, a podcast by NFM Lending. I’m your host, Gene DiPaula. So with us today, we have a happy, shiny new homeowner, Daniel Baffour, welcome Daniel.

– [Daniel] Thank you, thank you, proud to be here.

– [Gene] Also, joining us are real estate agents, Kim and Jeff Christensen from Howard Hanna Real Estate Services. Welcome.

– [Jeff] Hey there.

– [Kim] Yep, happy to be here, thank you.

– [Gene] And we have with us branch manager from the Great Lakes division of NFM Lending, Andy Beigel. Welcome Andy.

– [Andy] Thanks so much, Gene. Appreciate being here.

– [Gene] It’s great to have you all here. I’m really excited to talk about this story. You know, in this podcast we love to talk about stories of people who had the American dream of home ownership and it really does take a team to do this. And this is a prime example of a, a great team working behind the scenes, you know, to really make a seamless experience for the homeowner. And first, Daniel, welcome and thank you so much for joining us. I should mention, the home that you bought is in the Columbus, Ohio area, which is where Andy and the Christensens are from. How did you come to Ohio and look for a home?

– [Andy] When we had our first kid and second kid childcare was very costly. We just decided to move down to Ohio because we had a family there already. My mother-in-Law is there, some cousins there, so they could pitch in with childcare and we could save some money, you know, and when we came to Columbus, we rented for while, so we save enough. And my wife was like, we need to buy a house. That was last year when everybody was going crazy for a house. I said, no, I think the interest rate is just too high now for me. I was just listening to, you know, watching CNN news, you know, cable news, talking about how high the rate is and how it is not advisable to buy a house this year, next year. So that was what I was going by.

– [Gene] You and your wife discussed it correct? And you decided that maybe the high interest rates weren’t that bad of a thing. Why did you come to that conclusion?

– [Andy] We talk about it and I said, well, I mean next year when the rate come down, there’ll be more people wanting to buy. So again, you’re going to start competing with all the other people. So if you really need a house, you gotta get it now so that next year you can refinance.

– [Gene] You said you had friends that had been looking for a house and they had come back with horror stories about multiple offers and people offering way over asking price, and so that kind of kept you away from the home market for a little bit, is that right?

– [Andy] Exactly, like that was last year when there was a, there was a mad rush to buy a home, I had friends that went on several open houses and yet they just couldn’t compete, so they gave up, you know, so I don’t think I want to go through now, you know, because for me, the way I do my things, I see something, I buy it, I move on. You know, I don’t like being in competition with anybody.

– [Gene] Kim and Jeff, tell me, when Daniel first called you, what was his situation? How did you understand it and then how did you kind of help convince him that now might still be a good time to buy?

– [Kim] Sure, we’ve been talking to Mavis and Daniel for, are we getting close to two years, Daniel, I think?

– [Daniel] Yeah, forever.

– [Kim] And, for them it really wasn’t that we had to have the perfect house right then, right now, it was more timing and they were renting and they, so they had a lease agreement and it was more if the right thing came along at the right price. So we were just proactively watching the market, homes that were coming on. And if there was a home that checked a lot of their boxes, we would go check it out. And so, so we were just kind of keeping an eye on things. And this one house in particular came up and the price was right. They didn’t have to overpay, they didn’t have to really fight. And one thing that we were really happy about partnering with NFM is one of the big reasons we won that offer is because we had a local partner that was known and trusted and communicated great and got the deal done quickly. And that made our offer more attractive and competitive, which is why we partnered with them. So it was, you know, through time and just patience and knowing what they were looking for, not just settling for a house that checked a few of their boxes, but really listening and paying attention to detail of what it was that they wanted.

– [Gene] So even now there are competitive situations when buying a house. People think of two years ago, three years ago, when there might be 15 offers on a house. You’re not dealing with that same situation now for the most part, but you still are seeing multiple offers on a house right now. Tell us a little bit about the market right now.

– [Andy] Obviously there was a, there’s a huge difference from now to 2020, 2021, people were paying 50, $60,000 over the asking price. And kind of like what Daniel said earlier is when you’re in a competitive situation like that, it’s very, very difficult to win an offer unless you’re paying way more than the house is worth. And those folks that did that might have a little trouble in the future refinancing that home. So, you know, the market now has slowed down enough to where that the inventory’s still slow. But when you think about the difference between 2021 and 2023 or 2024, you’re not paying 50,000 more dollars now than you would be then. So even though the interest rate is a little higher, you’re still probably in a better position and, and the house value is there, you know, so that’s, that’s one of the pluses that we had with this situation. Especially working with Andy and having that relationship and knowing that we can get a deal done really quick. And he has a reputation of great communication, great follow through. And, you know, the agent on the other side had also worked with him before and knew that the deal was gonna get done, get done right, and get done quick. And that kind of helped us out a lot too.

– [Gene] Yeah, that’s so important to work with a local lender who really knows the area. Andy, tell us what you remember about Daniel’s situation. He told me that you had really walked him through a bunch of different loan products, ultimately settled on an FHA loan. But tell me about that process that you go through to identify what the best program might be for a buyer.

– [Andy] Our process in general is to ensure we’re just providing the highest level of service to the client at the end of the day. And of course to our wonderful partners, Jeff and Kim. But you know, it’s really taking the time to do the application over the phone, not just sending them an online link because they’re not just another number to us. We want to be able to get to know them on a personal level, what their goals are, what their priorities are, and of course, what they’re comfortable with because we want to put them in a position to succeed with home ownership and not just buy a house and have stressors of making payments or not understanding the ins and outs of their mortgage loan. So initially, what we do is we get the application over the phone, we go through their goals with them, we identify what they’re looking to achieve with their home purchase, and then we educate them on what options are available, whether that’s a conventional loan, an FHA loan, a high down payment versus a low down payment, down payment assistance options versus a closing cost grant or an interest rate reduction. So taking the time upfront before the client even goes into contract and walking through those details and showing them what those numbers looks like, give them the confidence and the comfortability to move forward with purchasing if of course it all lines up, you know, with their vision and being able to work with, you know, intelligent and successful real estate agents certainly help. You know, and it’s, it goes a long way for us to have a, a team and, you know, create this triangle of trust where all three of us are working toward the same goal, which is to ensure Daniel and Mavis are happy and comfortable with purchasing.

– [Gene] Jeff and Kim, do you remember any challenges that you had along the way or did everything go real smoothly?

– [Jeff] I will tell you that, you know, any time you present an FHA offer to another agent, the first thing that they do is they turn their nose up, you know, so I think initially that was probably a first little bit of a challenge, but, you know, working with the agent and then, and letting the agent know who we are working with on the lender side, you know, I think once, once that was established and the comfort level was, was huge and we, or Andy, I guess closed that loan in pretty much record time for FHA. So, you know, we didn’t, there was no worries on, on that side at all once, once that challenge was overcome.

– [Kim] Right, and it, and it wasn’t just the type of financing it was making all the other terms as attractive as possible, closing, possession, inspection, remedies, you know, all of those other things that go into an offer. And, then the course, just like Jeff said is, is making sure that our communication was top notch and that we would be there throughout the whole process to make sure that it got across the finish line. Because that was the most important part to the listing agent.

– [Gene] Yeah, and Daniel mentioned that you helped get him some help with closing costs and down payment. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

– [Kim] Sure, so Mavis, works in the healthcare industry and Jeff and I, we, we have had a, it’s been a kinda special place in our hearts for anyone that is in the service industry, healthcare, military, they’re a veteran, education, police, and fire. And so for the last few years we’ve given back a lot to individuals and organizations to support our local first responders. And with Mavis and Daniel, we were going to, you know, give them like a reward for their service at the end. So basically what we did was we just fronted that to help by just reducing our closing costs to help them get across the finish line with enough funds. So it wasn’t so stressful for them just getting it a little sooner versus later.

– [Gene] So Daniel, you said that you felt like Kim and Jeff and Andy worked hard behind the scenes for you, a lot of times borrowers don’t really realize that. What made you think that they were doing a lot of work so hard behind the scenes for you?

– [Daniel] It was just a feeling we had, the whole team that was working to make sure that a deal gets done, you know, they were quick to, I mean, respond to our calls, our needs, anything we didn’t understand, you know, quick to get back to us, if they didn’t have the answer right away, you know, they would get back to where the point they went once they get it, to the point that we really felt comfortable going forward.

– [Gene] Andy, tell us following from that, tell us a little bit about what is your philosophy when it comes to communication. The loan process can be sometimes a long process and then you have different levels of experience, people who’ve maybe bought a home before or like Daniel, this is their first time. So what is your approach to communicating with them?

– [Daniel] Certainly, so the first thing is I couldn’t do it without a team. There’s a lot of people that are involved in creating a successful experience and an enjoyable experience when it comes to a mortgage and purchasing a home. So, you know, our policy is we’re available from 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM every single day, including the weekends and the holidays. We respond to emails and text messages within the hour, you know, of course, if possible, right? That is our goal and our priority because it’s a stressful experience for a home buyer to purchase a home, whether they’re buying their first home or their 10th home. There’s deadlines, there are expectations that are set by all parties. And so if we can have that communication and just be very transparent with the borrower on where we’re at, what we need, and how things are moving, then it ends up being a win for all parties. Nobody is ever left in the dark or, you know, with their hand in the air, you know, having questions that are going unanswered.

– [Gene] Yeah, I had mentioned earlier that Andy was part of the Great Lakes division of NFM Lending. That division is headed by President Daniel Saw, just one of the most topnotch groups in the country, really. So Daniel, how are you enjoying your new home?

– [Daniel] My kids are happy. You know, my eldest son has his own room, you know, the other kids are happy, grandma is happy, my wife is happy. So if my family is happy, obviously I’m also happy. So I think it’s a great experience, yeah.

– [Gene] Well that’s what this is all about is highlighting just great experiences. So congratulations once again. We’re very happy for you. Thank, and again, thank you for joining us today.

– [Daniel] Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you for all that. You know, the team did NFM, Kim and Jeff, you know, I can’t say enough. If I could write like a million reviews across internet, I would, but you guys did great. That’s all I got to say, yeah.

– [Gene] Great, well, thank you Kim and Jeff for joining us.

– [Jeff] Thank you for having us.

– [Kim] Thank you.

– [Gene] And Andy, thank you also for joining us today. Wonderful job, everyone.

– [Andy] Of course, thank you.

– [Daniel] Thank you.

– [Andy] And thanks to Daniel for trusting all of us to be a resource. It is very much appreciated and we don’t take it lightly. The responsibility. I know I can speak for Jeff and Kim on that as well, and we very much value your trust. So thanks again.

– [Daniel] Thank you, thank you.

– [Gene] Well, thank you once again. You’ve been listening to Home Run, Great Client Experiences, a podcast by NFM Lending. I’ve been your host, Gene DiPaula. Thanks for listening.

– [Announcer] Home Run, Great Client Experiences is a production of NFM TV and NFM Inc. NFM Inc does business as NFM Lending, NMLS number 2893. Andy Beigel’s NMLS number is 1682169. This podcast is for informational purposes only. Contact NFM Lending directly to learn more about their mortgage programs and your eligibility for such programs. The experiences of clients appearing on this podcast are individual experiences of those who have used our services. NFM Inc does not provide incentives for testimonials or reviews. NFM Lending is not a credit repair company. You should consult with a credit repair company to determine what may be best for your individual needs. This is not a credit decision or commitment to lend. Eligibility is subject to completion of an application and verification of home ownership, occupancy, title, income, employment credit, home value, collateral, and underwriting requirements. NFM Inc is not affiliated with or an agent or division of a governmental agency or depository institution. Copyright 2024.