Bill Sparkman

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Free Marketing Tips For Mortgage and Real-Estate Professionals

See The People!

98% of all success in sales is directly related to the number of people you meet and talk to every day! Want more sales? See More People!

 Coach

DIY: 3 You Can Definitely Do on Your Own

Following up on the recent blog post about DIY vs. DIFM, it’s important to recognize which projects are hard (definitely DIFM), and which are pretty easy (when you should really consider saving some money by DIY). Here are some handy tips from The Hamilton Spectator on three projects that may sound harder than they are: unclogging a garbage disposal, tiling a backsplash, and installing a new toilet. To be sure, these are not trivial — but they’re also not so hard that you really need to get a professional. Give it a try, you may be pleasantly surprised!

11 Steps to Navigate Refinancing Your Home

With interest rates near record lows, and many people sitting on loans with fixed rates over 5%, this guide by U.S. News & World Report couldn’t be more timely. Of course, refinancing only makes sense if it will actually save you money. You need to take many things into account, from how much of your loan remains, to closing costs on the new loan, to the time-value of money for money now vs. money over the life of the loan. There are lots of comparison calculators out there, but a calculator alone won’t get the job done. This report gives 11 concrete steps you can follow to navigate the refinance process.

Watching The News Can Give You Whiplash

Normally, this blog provides you with a consolidated view into all things home related. On a daily basis, there’s usually something interesting to report. But sometimes, the news itself is the news. If you google “mortgage” and click on the news tab, then in today’s top stories you’ll see that “mortgage rates slipped lower last week” and “mortgage applications plunge on higher rates”. It’s exactly this kind of conflicting news that can drive someone mad. In times like this, the extreme fluctuations in reporting remind one that mortgages are a market, not unlike the stock market. And just like the stock market, trying to time things can be a mistake. Sure, if you wait for the next Fed announcement, whether you’re a buyer or a seller, things might improve. But they also might go the other way. If you guess right, you’ll certainly congratulate yourself. But if you guess wrong, how much worse is that going to be?

INFOGRAPHIC: Money Saving Tips for 1st Time Buyers

For the last few months, there’s been uncertainty in the market — not enough supply, but also prices not moving in proportion to the costs. As we head into summer, it looks like that’s changing — at least for first-time buyers. And the demographic is changing too. After months of talking about how Millennials aren’t buying houses, Zillow is predicting that they’ll be the biggest group of buyers in 2015. Inman reports, and provides a handy infographic (image courtesy of Jacob Grant) which covers 15 ways first-time buyers can avoid missteps that may cost thousands.

9 Home Repair Scams to Avoid

Last week Tuesday, the blog addressed an increasing trend of moving from DIY to DIFM. Obviously, to each their own on that sort of decision — but, if you are going to contract out work, some caution is prudent. In one of their weekend roundups, Money Magazine covered the 9 biggest home-repair scams. It’s hard to imagine anyone falling for some of these, but on the other side of the coin, some of them might be really convincing. Termite infestation is a great example of that. Can you tell the difference between a flying ant and a termite?

A 1/2 Billion Dollar House?

At 55,000 square feet, the White House isn’t just any old McMansion. But recent reports on a project that broke ground last year indicate that it’s originally ambitious goals were actually understated. The home is currently planned to have a 74,000 square foot main residence, with total square footage for all buildings in the compound coming in at 100,000 sq. ft.  And of course, what would a house like that be without a 30-car garage, and your own, private casino. The master bedroom is bigger than most homes at 5,000 sq. ft.  The developer plans to list it for $500 million.

5 Things You Should Know about The FHA

Conventional mortgages are those not insured by a government agency — and to get one, you usually need to put 20% down, and they’re usually only 30-year, fixed rate. If those terms don’t fit your needs, then you can consider an FHA guaranteed loan, and if you do, you need to know a few things. Philly.com wrote a nice introductory article covering five points about FHA backed mortgages. It covers everything from current down-payment requirements to some more surprising items, like FHA mortgages may be easier to re-finance.

FHFA Looking to Enable More Low-Cost Housing

Apparently, there’s confusion. The Federal Home Loan Banks (a collection of 12 regional banks that help finance mortgages made by their member banks) have been holding back on purchasing mortgages from their members, because they’re unsure how they would have to meet Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) targets for affordable housing. The FHFA has declared this an undesirable outcome. As a result, they’re looking into new ways that they might encourage home loans for people in the very-low to moderate income ranges.

Are You Moving from DIY to DIFM?

Did you finish some much needed work on the house this Memorial Day weekend? Or maybe kick-off a new project? For 30 years now, do-it-yourself has been a big part of American life, and has led to the success of companies like Home Depot). But it looks like the UK has started moving in the other direction. Apparently, DIY projects reached their peak in England all the way back in 2004 — they’re giving up on do-it-yourself, and moving to do-it-for-me. What about you? Have you started to see this trend in the U.S.? Or have our British cousins just gotten a little bit too lazy?

 

WSJ Critiques Financial Regulatory Improvement Act

Last week Wednesday, this blog reported on Sen. Shelby’s discussion draft of The Financial Regulatory Improvement Act of 2015. For those of you who are inclined to delve a little deeper into these things, and who haven’t already done so, you may be interested in the Wall Street Journal’s critique of the draft. The upshot is, the particular way the bill proposes to loosen the requirements around qualified mortgages may, in fact, put banks in a worse position than they were before the 2008 collapse — and no one wants to see that again. Well worth the read if you have an opinion on banks’ ability to self-assess their risks.

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About Me:

Bill Sparkman has coached, trained and motivated thousands of mortgage professionals and real-estate agents nationwide. He has been creating and developing champions in the mortgage business, as well as salespeople in all fields, since 1987.
Bill's “nuts and bolts,” real-world approach to increasing personal performance and achieving a balanced life, can help move you quickly to the next level. His ideas are fresh, proven and easy to apply.
Bill is the creator of Total Success Seminars, The 30 Minute Marketing System, Circle of Champions™ Coaching Program, and the author of "Winning Ways", "How to Achieve Peak Performance in Sports, Business, and Life", "How to Sell to An Idiot - 12 Steps to Selling Anything to Anyone", and "Clear to Close, The Real Estate Agents Guide For Turning Prospects Into Paychecks."
Bill's talks, seminars and presentations can be custom designed for groups from 10 to 1,000 or more.

Contact:

Bill Sparkman
Owner
Bill Sparkman Seminars
278 Worthy
Franklin, TN 37064
Office Phone: 847-721-6200
Fax: 615-794-0251

Email:

bill@billsparkmanthecoach.com

Website:

www.billsparkmanthecoach.com

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Bill Sparkman
August 2015
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