Many are dissuaded from taking out loans by the adage, “If you can’t pay cash, you can’t really afford it.” However, VA loans are a whole other business and may just prove to be beneficial to you. David Sidoni, the How to Buy a Home Guy sits down with fellow advocate for the underappreciated, Chris Griffith. Chris is an outstanding loan broker who has dedicated a large portion of his business to serving veterans by educating them on the gold that is a VA loan – the most cost-effective and risk-averse loan product available today. Today, they chop it up and get into the nitty-gritty of VA loans and throw in some solid advice for ALL first time home buyers as well. Learn how your debt you acquire from homeownership, when properly managed, can be your greatest wealth builder – using your largest monthly payout, your rent, that you already have in your monthly budget.
Interview With VA Loan Specialist Chris Griffith With Tips For Vets, As Well As All First-Time Home Buyers
Why A VA Loan Is Magic For Any Qualifying First-Time Home Buyer
Did you know that active military and veterans have a loan available to them that is hands down the best loan product available to homebuyers? Did you know that civilians can capitalize on some of these products as well? All that plus a ton of other great and practical information for anyone looking to buy a home, plus some very specific and special information for our men and women in uniform. We interview the loan guru. We teach you how to turn your largest monthly bill, your stupid rent payment, into your largest automatic wealth builder. Sooner than you think just by getting educated. We have a fellow educator drop in his knowledge. If you’re new here, welcome. I love helping first-time home buyers, so I decided to make that my full-time gig. I want to help you not only achieve the goal of getting your keys to your first house but also serving you. Maybe you’re a planner, maybe you need help with a plan and you’re years away from the keys. That’s cool because we’re going to help you with the most important piece of the home buying puzzle, your plan. It’s a map. In fact, my guest comes up with his own map metaphor and it involves a children’s cartoon character.
If you’re years away from potentially buying a home or if you’re a first-time reader trying to get some tips, just a heads up. Our guest gets pretty technical with the loan process. I break it down in more basic terms. You can start with episode sixteen. We go through some of the basics. Of course, there’s the seven-episode little mini-series that we’ve entitled How to Financially Plan to Buy a Home. That begins on episode nineteen. It’s got seven parts to it that helps break everything down for you. If you’ve been reading for a while and you’ve been waiting for some deeper knowledge and maybe you have already done some research. Maybe you’ve researched some of our other recommendations and you have a baseline of knowledge and you’re waiting for some more in-depth, nitty-gritty details on the loan process. Hang onto your hats because my guest, he’s got it. He’s going to give you some good information. Why is he a guest? Because the person has a passion for this. He and I obviously click. Someone that is passionate and fired up, but also extremely well educated. He says what I tell you guys all the time, we’re not the smartest guys on the block. We just read the most information we can consume and then regurgitate to you.
He’s going to get into the details of how leveraging the debt of homeownership is the core, the pillar, the foundation of your financial wealth. He is not blowing smoke. He believes in this and he, like yours truly, Mr. How to Buy a Home. He’s dedicated himself like I have, his entire business, his livelihood to sharing the message, but not sharing it to the wealthy so that they can build more wealth. To share this message of hope to an underserved community that has the opportunity to live a better, more secure life. That’s all they need if given the proper information, the tools and the map to get there. I’ve dedicated myself to first time buyers. He’s dedicating himself to veterans, another underserved community and many of them cross over.
Last time, I talked about talking to your parents, talking to your family members, talking to other people about getting a gift to help you with the down payment. Printing up the transcripts of the pertinent information is great. If you’re talking to your parents or relatives about investing in something exciting, not only is it great to show them that you’ve already done some research and you’re not just coming to them blind asking for money. This is not the last time you went to them with that harebrained idea telling that you were going to run an Etsy shop with handmade yarn stitched beanies for doggies. This shows them that you’re serious.
It also shows them that you have a third-party opinion from experts in the fields. A lot of times, when you’re trying to talk to people about this stuff, it’s better to have other people’s words, experts’ words, not just yours. I know they love you, but I can’t help. If you broke their trust in high school, that’s your fault. Shouldn’t have climbed out the window. One more thing. If your people are older, which usually that’s the way parents work. Sometimes, those older people love printed paper with highlights and sticky notes. They eat that crap up. Let’s get to some of this great information that will be available for you on the website. Lots of detailed information coming your way along with some fundamental basics to help you on your journey to becoming a homeowner.
As promised, here he is. He’s Captain VA. He’s Mr. Loan. He’s the man who believes that debt does deals. The mortgage loan originator from Texas and the Owner and Founder of Debt Does Deals. Ladies and gentlemen, Chris Griffith. How are you?
Thank you very much for having me, David. I appreciate the opportunity to speak about the things that I feel like I wouldn’t say expert on. I don’t like that word. I don’t like subject matter expert. I don’t like guru. I don’t like any of that. What I’m great at is aggregating experts, vetting experts in a daring and a post type manner to the operation. My network has been certainly my strength, but I love what I get to do and love when I get to have an opportunity to speak about it to people.
We definitely sound like we’re on the same page there because as I tell my people all the time, I’m just a dummy who reads a lot of books and tells you all about it and listens to a lot of smart people like you.
I’m a dummy who’s kicked a lot of coffee tables in the dark and my pinky toes helped me remember perfectly where they’re at.
One of the reasons why I wanted to introduce you to Chris is Debt Does Deals says that it shows clients how to use mortgage debt to build a legacy. Whether it’s purchasing your first home, refinancing an existing home or building a home from scratch, they’ll provide you the best home loan to make your financial dreams a reality. Do you know how to plan with debt or are you just saving a little money and hoping? Let’s reverse engineer your perfect project mortgage. Does that sound familiar? How many times have I been talking about planning? Tell us about your mission. A lot of people say, “I’m going to do loans and help people do loans.” That sounds like you have a more specific message that you talk about before.
I think houses should make you wealthy. Everybody who’s bold enough to believe it and don’t believe in it, read up. If you can’t stand it, you think it’s just a bad idea, then tune out and continue to be a statistic.
The last time I heard was 44, 45 times wealthier net worth.
That’s been updated as well. The census released a data point claiming emphatically that homeowners are 80 times wealthier than renters per data. A lot of people hear this, they’ll start to make an argument of correlation or causation because they want to know, is it a factor that causes it or is it a characteristic of successful people? What I’ll tell you is very simply, Harvard, the census, Freddie Mac, all of their data not only argues the point further than correlation. In my opinion, they best make the claim for causation. If I invited you over for dinner, David, and I said, “David, sit in this chair not that chair, because that chair you’re 80 times more likely to get salmonella.” You would look at me and you go, “I’m eating the same food,” and then you’d sit in a chair where you didn’t have a shot of getting zero. The 80 times is a big number. It’s going to be so obtuse in that point, you’re going to choose the thing regardless. Is it the chair’s fault? No, but that’s the solution. The argument I would make all of those people out there, regardless of whether you think, homeowners are 80 times wealthier than renters because of correlation or causation, it doesn’t matter. The number is too stupid. It’s too big. The 88% of homeowners financed the purchase of their home.
Elon Musk, he took out close to $53 million in mortgages on three properties. The equivalent to his wealth of financing his daughter’s Christmas bicycle at Layaway because it was 0%. Leverage debt itself is a tool of leverage. It’s a tool that abates risk and it’s a tool that allows your values to do the one thing that Einstein said they ought to do and that’s compounding. Einstein said, “Compound interest is the eighth wonder of the world.” He didn’t say amortized interest. Einstein was concerned with achieving compounding growth. He was not concerned wholly with abating cost. That’s the mindset people need to have regardless of their beliefs.
Owning real estate overtime is proven in every single data point to create wealth. Freddie Mac released houses over the last 60 years. Home value grew four times faster than wage and value. That’s a significant number. I try to show people because debts of currency that works in two years hindsight, most of the time, it’s something you need to plan for. Those that don’t know how to plan for their debt needs, which usually determine their biggest opportunities in life, whether or not they’re accomplished. If they don’t know how to plan, what happens is they save a little money and hope and then they have to deal with stuff later that they should have dealt with when they first had the idea.
It’s so funny that when you talk about the wages versus the growth of housing. We had an audience that called me. She direct messaged me. It was because the same week she got a job increase. It’s 3% bump in salary. She got a 10% increase in her rent in the same week and she suddenly realized that this was a cycle. Unless you use leverage, she was stuck in forever. Because one of the great things about these leverages it’s the same rate if you get in with a fixed. We know that you’re very passionate about using this, but you also have a side passion. I sell real estate, help people buy and sell real estate, but I’ve moved into the first-time buyer world. I know that you’re working with the veterans a lot. Can you give us the basics? We’ve got people that are reading that never even heard of a mortgage before. Give us some of the basics and some of the pros of the VA loan.
I would invite anybody who would like to argue, especially if they’re fans of math and facts. I would say right off the bat, the VA mortgage is the most efficient residential mortgage on the face of the earth dollar for dollar, considering cost and centering ROI if you’re looking at it from a cash required standpoint and considering risk in the risk numbers. VA mortgages of the past years had been more risk-averse than even conventional products concerning default nature. There have been some pilfering of the loan itself by large lenders. It’s created some instabilities which they pass cost on the veterans to fix, but the loan itself is very risk-averse. As far as cost goes, there are a couple of different publications that put out articles stating that veterans had an edge in a home buyer market because of affordability difficulties. What they’re saying is the VA mortgage allows it to be so much more efficient as to the cost of leverage that veterans have a better opportunity to achieve housing in a meaningful and sustaining type manner. That’s the very first thing I would tell everyone about the VA loan.
If you’re a real estate agent and a consumer going to sell a house to a vet. If you are a buyer’s agent or you’re anyone out there. The other thing I want you to know is our VA loans are probably the most flexible mortgage on the face of the earth. The reason this exists is because of the abnormal set of circumstances that most veterans go through financially with pay, with deployment, even things like a government travel card. That they don’t make a payment on time and they get it late. There are all sorts of unique sets of circumstances that pertain to veterans so that the loan itself is more flexible around some of those that other loan types might say, “These are not good things.” Even though they are, keep in mind, VA loans had been more risk-averse even than conventional or last several years. Over historical times, VA loans are marginally more risk-prone than conventional loans looking at the data. They’re incredibly efficient. They’re incredibly risk-averse and they’re incredibly flexible. What this mean to the listing side, to the sellers? You don’t have to be worried about accepting an offer on your home that’s a VA mortgage because the VA mortgage is probably has a higher likelihood that actually closing. They close exceptionally quickly.
The VA appraisal process, a lot of people are worried about, “I hear that via appraisal has higher standards.” It has some higher standards, but none of those are problematic. They’re not higher necessarily even than FHA or other government-based loans. Even though they have some standards, it’s the only appraisal that actually affords the listing agent, the buyer’s agent. If value’s not going to be reached, it affords a proactive opportunity through the Tidewater Act, so that the appraiser has to come to the agents and say, “I feel like I’m going to have to bring this property in undervalue and invoke Tidewater.” The professionals have an opportunity to re-substantiate value with different additional comparable properties to correct that.
Systematically from cost to risk, flexibility of underwriting to troubleshooting proactively, problems that usually kill deals, VA is where it’s at. What I’m tired of seeing our ignorance on these issues preventing and causing discrimination against veterans, accepting or being able to use their VA loan because people do not understand it. Ignorance always causes fear. It’s, it’s in everything. It’s not just a mortgage. Veterans’ not a bad word. You don’t have to tense up when you see VA mortgage. It is the mortgage to beat all other mortgages. Do not deal with debt from a macro level, assessing all of it against one another to choose the most efficient, most likely way to get someone to a certain position and future time to make them money.
It’s great because I’ve been doing these for several years and our readers are reading this because they’re trying to figure out how to buy their first home. What they found is that different realtors were given different information. All this stuff that you talked about at the VA, when I present my loan, I present all those facts and make sure that if the other agent doesn’t understand that my buyer has been represented in the best way, and is giving all these information to show them this VA is gold. Because of some of the old-timers, they still think it runs the way it used to.
In addition to updating your picture on your business card from 1996, update your mindsets as well.
Tell my readers who are eligible for this loan. If they were reading all that and they went, “I don’t understand what any of that means because I haven’t done this yet.”
VA eligibility can be determined by a few different things. Active duty service is usually the most common and simple one. If you have the right characteristics of service from an honorable discharge, you can’t have a bad conduct discharge or anything like that. You have to check those boxes. I was pulling this up to tell everybody where they can go. I’m a fan of telling you where to go to vet information, not necessarily just to trust me because I’m telling you that. This is actually on EBenefits.VA.gov. It’s a website. Those veterans or even reservists, regardless of how they’ve served, they should be able to find. If you just go there and search VA home eligibility, it’s going to pull up a ton of information. It’s about two and a half pages long. I’ll try to capture the specific points. For reservists, you have to have served for six years or you have to have been activated for 90 days of wartime-type service in Wharton. If you’re a spouse or if you’re the surviving spouse and your significant other had passed because of a service-specific injury and you have not remarried, you may be eligible. There are a lot of different ways to qualify.
Most people know if they’re eligible for a VA loan, I’ll say in general. For the ones that don’t, it’s very easy to go here and check because you probably have a specific circumstance. For everyone else, civilians can get a VA loan. Civilians can assume a VA loan from a veteran, which I wouldn’t do as a veteran. It ties up the entitlement. Not necessarily a great thing, but it happens. That’s one way. Another way is as a co-signer. You have something called Joint Entitlement where you’re going to have a veteran and his non-military relative, father or his girlfriend. It’s a veteran or something along those lines or even a close family friend, they can qualify together.
The VA won’t allow a full 0% down because of the way the 25% guarantee work on the entitlement. What the law requires because one’s a vet and one’s not half of that 25% guarantee. The 12.5% of it will have to be a down payment. You might ask, “Why would they do that if they have to have down payment?” Even with a down payment that they’re going to be coming up with sizably is still going to put them in a better, more efficient lower rate, no PMI mortgage product that’s going to be more cost-effective monthly and cost-effective long-term even with the down payment with a civilian co-signer.
If someone’s looking at a 10% product. For those of you this is going to get a little technical for you, but an old 80-10-10 where you could avoid PMI, those things used to be out there. They’re not there as often. 10% a lot of times you’re still paying PMI, that extra insurance per month. It sounds to me what you’re saying is if mom or dad is a vet, they can co-sign and you’re in this beautiful VA loan that has all these wonderful privileges.
That’s absolutely the case and I have to come up with a little bit of a down payment in that situation. The financing mechanism itself, the mortgage will be more cost-effective, more efficient. Another route is Vendee Financing. There’s a website, Listings.VRMCO.com. What this entire system is the way the VA sells its real estate owned property. The properties the VA is taken back and foreclosure. For some reason the properties they have taken back and own, they’re selling those off to everybody, not just a veteran. What they’ll do is if you’re wanting to buy a home out there that they own through Vendee Financing as a civilian and zero down. It’s a 100% loan-to-value product. You don’t have the monthly mortgage insurance. You have a funding fee just like a veteran with a non-service connected disability would have, but there’s no limit to how many properties from them you can buy in this owner-occupied manner.
They will seller finance it in whatever condition of the property is in because they’re seller financing it. Probably the identical product that is the VA home loan guarantee. If you want to buy one of these properties as an investment, you can on a 5% down. No PMI, the funding fee. There’s no limit to the number of times that you can do that either. Still, there’s an opportunity for civilians to pay attention and buying those properties is actually going to help make the VA itself even more stable than it already is. It’s a great opportunity for everyone to interact with the product and the entitlement itself has some mechanism or some way to ensure it’s healthy.
That would be fantastic to keep it healthy and keep it growing. Specifically for the readers out there, we’ve been talking to a lot of people a lot about house hacking. A lot of people looking to buy a duplex or looking to get a mom and dad or a family member to help them co-sign and then they get roommates. The goal of many of them have bought into this to have real estate grow their wealth. When they talk to me about investing, I always tell them to go maybe look at the duplex idea, but start with your own first and then we’re going to need you to do a big savings plan because we have to save 25% to 30% for our first investment property. You blew that out of the water. Your first investment property could be at 5% with one of these. Let’s go over the basics for the VA loan. It’s zero down, it’s no PMI and it’s a more affordable product. When you’re going and talking to someone who is a first-time buyer, and let’s say they’re signing a lease coming up the end of the year, what advice do you give people for the twelve months before they’re ready to activate this loan and buy their first house?
I would say they need to be mindful of all of the different categories that are going to be important to prepare for and what each of those categories requires so that when they get to the X, they’re ready to act. Let’s start with credit first. On your credit, you don’t need to have any over 30-day late payments to a credit card, to a car payment, to anything. That over 30 days late is going to hit you and harm you and prevent or cause difficulty to your mortgage approval. Too many of them, and they’re certainly not going to be eligible. Not very many programs allow for them necessarily either, even if it’s through automated underwriting problems. Credit’s important. They’d be making on-time payments. Don’t carry a large balance on your credit cards. One of the things that causes the most fluctuation monthly in a person’s credit score is their credit card debt utilization ratio. If you have $1,000 credit card and you’re carrying $1,000 balance every time it reports and they’re billing interest. What that’s reporting to credit is that you’re maxed out.
Paying it off to zero also will not get you all of the potential points that they could award you because it’s not shutting up and coloring for the guys that were in the military. It’s not following their algorithm. Rather than paying it off, if you carry at the time reports, you have a $10, $15 balance on there. I try to stay below 1% of whatever the card threshold is when I’m staging my credit to make certain I’m getting all of my points. It’s a dumb game. If I wanted you to prep perfectly, I’d paid off to zero but again, that’s counterproductive. Carrying those balances low compared to your maximums in turn will deliver more points on all of the FICO algorithms for credit reporting that they’re going to be using.
Don’t get new debt. Delay those large purchases that are in reports to your credit until later. Certainly, don’t do it during your period where you’re trying to buy a house. That one’s always comical. Income-wise, you need to make certain that your income has been consistent regardless of what type it is. You don’t want to make the change from W2 salary to self-employed if you’re transitioning or getting ready to buy a house because that’s going to change how they view your historical income. You need to be mindful of those needs. Debt, I’ve addressed it with credit. You don’t need to compile additional debt, new furniture, new anything. The house is more valuable than anything else you’re going to buy.
Pace yourself and then you’ll be able to buy whatever you want later. The point is to get the house because that’s the asset that’s going to appreciate. Limit your debt so that you can do another part that’s important, which is save. Even with a VA mortgage with 100% loan to value. I don’t like to say zero down because it may imply that in their mind at least that they don’t have to come up with cash, which usually is not the case. You have earnest money, you have closing costs and you have prepaid costs. We like to negotiate those out to the seller side if we can settle or concessions to cover them. You can cover some of them are or all of them potentially, even though that’s more costly. With a lender credit, which means you’re getting a higher interest rate so they can give you back some of that money, or the borrower can cover him. The 100% loan-to-value loan, even though you have that, it’s a bad idea in my opinion to go into it with no reserves. The thing that makes debt safe, if a borrower had 20% to put down and qualified for a VA loan, I would say consider not putting it down.
My personal preferences, I would never put it down. They may want to put some down to lower the funding fee if they have that, which makes sense but outside of what you’re getting value from, don’t put any additional money down. That makes the lender more secure, not yourself. You might not be able to access that equity later when you need it because when you need it, something in one of these other categories I described is going to be problematic likely and that’s going to prevent access. Don’t give more than you need to. Better than doing that 20% or 10% because you want a 10% down to lower the funding fee cost.
That 10%, even if it’s in your bank account, I don’t like holding money because it does one thing daily. It loses value daily. Savings a day is not a dollar gained. It’s different. Even if you’re taking that money and saving it, which I don’t like to do, and you have that 10% down and an in case of emergency break and glass bank account that you have to go in to get, that has better security so long as those funds are only used for your PITI. It’s your Principal Interest Tax Insurance. The monthly mortgage payment that secures the asset you’ve intended to purchase with your obligation currency. Obligation currency is more difficult and complex to spend than value currency or money even though money’s debt itself.
It’s more important to have those reserves so that when your income is disrupted, it will be, and if you don’t think it will be, you haven’t lived long enough. When you get hit with a medical emergency and large bills. When you get hit with an odd thing breaking in the house and causing damage to your homeowner’s insurance or your home warranty company simply throws their hand up. When these things happen, reserves are the thing that ensure you have the replacements in order to move forward. If you don’t have those, the entire process is potentially a waste of your time. If you lose the asset, all of the time was wasted. You need to plan from the beginning to have reserves, to have savings.
We’re limiting expenses, watching income, working on credit so that we can save to ensure that the longevity of ownership is a cheap. That is where you make money in real estate, ownership over time. All of these are necessary. The fastest and easiest way to do it and put yourself in a system with bumper lanes is honestly by simply pre-qualifying with a local independent mortgage broker. I say it this way for a very specific reason. As a true wholesale representative, I only have one client, my client. I’m not representing one bank. I’m looking at all of the banks and making them compete for my client’s businesses.
I’m being a steward of the client’s needs solely showing them how to work backwards to pick out the best things that solve their problems to get them from A to B. A lot of other banks have these overlays that you talked about. If you call in to Veterans United and you have a 619 FICO score, good luck. They don’t go below 620, USAA also. These are overlays. They’re not necessarily what the VA or FHA or any of these other companies or entities require. Regardless of what it is, their opinion of what they want to do within what’s allowed. They narrow the capability of the product down and water it down a bit and just cherry-pick the easier stuff to do.
It’s important that you talk to an independent broker because you’re going to understand totally what’s able. Like you would call an independent insurance agent and if you haven’t, you ought to, you’ll probably save money, or an independent financial advisor. It shifts who the fiduciary is. If I’m working for a bank and my job is to sell one of ten products, I guarantee you’re one of the ten products. As a broker, I have access to thousands of products, hundreds of banks, and I can go out and choose perfectly the one that solves a need in the most efficient manner possible.
That is fantastic reiterating some of the things that we’ve talked about. Not only is he talking about the mortgage broker versus the banks or the tap to get a mortgage, which I absolutely hate. If you’ve haven’t read me say this, you haven’t read enough. Don’t tap for your mortgage. Talk to a broker. When you’re talking to someone like Chris, he is going to give you all those pillars, all those things that you need to start fixing. He said, “Talk to a mortgage broker early and help yourself make this plan.” If you’re a year out, talk to someone now and get your plan. If someone calls you and says, “I’m looking to buy a home at the end of my next lease. I just signed it.” Is that something that you are then able to give them a roadmap and get them on their way?
I’ve got three daughters and I’m going to use a very simple and one of my favorite analogies here. For any and all of those who’ve seen Dora the Explorer. When you come to me and you’re out and break open the map and going to sing his little song and I’m saying, “You want to get to the big red barn. We can go along the long and winding river through the dark forest or over the tall purple mountains. Which route would you like to take?” There are different routes to get to that goal. All of those routes, the only difference is usually the other two are bad ones. That can be the case.
Regardless of the point, we’ll get you whichever route you want to go through. I’ll tell you what it’s going to look like, what the difficulties will be, what the values will be. The point is you set a plan in place. If you don’t plan to do something, if you don’t have goals set and established, if you don’t work towards those goals, then you’re going to do what most people do. Save money and hope. That’s not a great strategy. Not financially, it isn’t at least. Something that’s so important to your financial wellbeing, to your opportunity to grow.
In my opinion, you need to be very mindful of and proactive on upfront a year out, it’s a great time. You can begin to understand everything because it’s not as simple as qualifying for a mortgage and knowing what to do there. To make money in housing, do you know what you need to do? You need to understand what drives value. You need to read a book out there called Emerging Real Estate Markets by a guy named David Lindahl. Under the series, the guy who owns the trademark for The Other Side of the Coin has a book series and he has one book specifically on mortgage that weighs out the pros and cons of every type scenario you could ever want to see.
You need to begin to do these things because you need to understand what’s going to drive value with markets, with populations, with jobs. What stage of the market your market is in so you know which type of asset to look at? Where the corridors of growth are within your market are. What the acquisition metrics for the house that you’re liking should be based off of not only historical record but likely future. You need to understand what options for rehabilitation that you have and then you need to understand when an exit should occur. I say that meaning even if you’re going to pull out equity, even if you’re planning to pay off, even if you’re planning to sell, convert, move, whatever else, you need to look at those things and consider when they might be likely because even for five to seven years sounds like a long time. I’ve got a 10-year-old, 9-year-old and a 4-year-old daughter that proves to me how fast the years actually run. You need to have these things in mind so you can plan for them because that’s what we all need to be doing. We need to be good stewards of our futures.
For those of you out there, I’ve been beating you over the head telling you that you need to find a unicorn realtor who’s going to help you find a unicorn lender. Someone with experience that’s willing to talk to you. Obviously, Chris is one of those, someone who’s willing to talk to you. If you haven’t figured out what an expert he is reading this information, then go back. Chris, thank you so much for the information. I have to tell you though, you destroyed my metaphor with your Dora metaphor. I’ve been telling people I could get in a car in Los Angeles and I could drive to Nashville. If I followed East, I’d get there. If I’m not talking to a mortgage broker, then I’m driving without a map or without a GPS, that’s my analogy. You destroyed it because Dora is way more exciting.
I appreciate the opportunity to come on and speak to people that are going to be considering pursuing what in my opinion is the lowest common denominator for establishing wealth in America. I think homeownership is the first, is the most likely, is the most common way for people who have never had wealth, have an opportunity to create some. I think the data supports it. I’m willing and able and desiring to argue with anybody who disagrees with that statement.
I completely concur. The reason why I started this is because in my twenties, I moved out and my largest monthly bill was my rent just like everyone else out there. I paid for it. I never got evicted. When I was 28, I moved back down to where I grew up. When I was a realtor, I went back and did the math for maybe an $8,000 or $10,000 down payment on a condo, that first apartment I rented, I would’ve had $350,000 at 28 years old when I moved out. That was during a recession. It didn’t even go well. This was the ‘90s. It’s simple math. It’s so great to have you help validate that for us. Where can people find you if they’ve got some basic loan questions, especially some veteran questions?
I would say the fastest way to find me is on Facebook. I use Facebook as a means to stay in contact with the people I’ve developed relationships with nationally over my entire 34 years of existence. On Facebook, I’m Chris Griffith. You can see me, I’ve got a great beard. I’m also on most of the other social platforms. My cell number is (903) 815-7537. It’s the only cell phone number I’ve ever had. You can always email me as well, [email protected].
You’re in Texas, but you’re also licensed in mother states as well, correct?
We are licensed in Texas, Oklahoma, Colorado, Montana, California, Florida and North Carolina.
You know the drill here at the How to Buy a Home, we want you to find your unicorn agent and your unicorn lender to help you get that map that we were talking about. Chris, thank you so much for being with us. Good luck with your continued mission and we appreciate the information. Thank you.
It’s my pleasure. Thanks for having me.
For everyone out there freaking out about your student loans, you just got a freaking masters in debt leverage to build wealth and it was free. We will not be coming after you with a monthly bill. If you want it to feel like school, go to DavidSidoni.com, print it up and make yourself your own textbook. That was some good stuff. If it didn’t make sense to you yet, don’t worry about it. That’s the way learning works. You didn’t understand how to eat food until you did it repeatedly. Let me get a more realistic metaphor. You didn’t understand car insurance until you needed it, and then the more you researched it, the better you understood it and the better deal that you got. There was a ton of information in there. Here are a few highlights and some takeaways from Christopher.
Number one, for several reasons, a VA loan is the cheapest and safest, most risk-averse loan that you can get. That’s pretty exciting to know if you’re a veteran or one of our men and women in uniform actively, or a reservist six years in. Another great takeaway, you need a unicorn realtor to present your VA loan. Some people in the industry are dinosaurs. Not sure if you’ve heard me say that before, but the industry is broken in, it’s backwards. You can fix that by getting fantastic representation by finding a unicorn realtor, someone with experience who actually wants to help you. They can present your VA loan for what it is. It’s gold, so that the home seller and the home seller’s real estate agent can see what a gift-wrapped, slam dunk, badass buyer that you are.
He also told us that using a home is the greatest way to leverage your monthly payment out your rent and you can leverage it into a wealth-building, automatic savings that includes appreciation and tax benefits and you get to live in it. Finally, my biggest takeaway was you need a map. If you draw your own map instead of calling a pro who’s willing to work with you, then you’re going to suffer by taking the more expensive and more time-consuming path like the two that you’re not supposed to take of the three paths with Dora. There are unicorns out there dedicated to helping those that the real estate industry ignores. First time buyers, veterans, people that aren’t getting the service they deserve and that are getting ripped off. We’re here to help you.
You have options, you have choices and your unicorn agent is paid for by the seller. Did you know that your unicorn lender often is also something that isn’t a big chunk out of your paycheck? They’ve usually got a fee, but a bulk of their payment for serving you will actually come to them from the bank. Did you know that as a first-time home buyer, if you’ve got a good unicorn agent who refers you to a lender, then you’re going to pay them what we call an origination fee? In California, it’s around $1,000. That’s your loan fee. That’s in California, it’s different all over the place. Any good unicorn lender who you get referred to you by your unicorn realtor, they’re just going to have that origination fee. That mortgage broker, what they’re going to do is they’re going to hunt and they’re going to find you the best rate, the best deal, the best product for you.
Usually, you just pay that origination fee and anything else, that lender gets paid on top of it, they get paid by the bank, not by you. You shouldn’t be paying tons of extra fees to get that great deal. A unicorn lender is either going to get the rebate for the bank or they’re going to do enough volume that they can make that origination fee and be fine helping and serving many people like you. If it doesn’t work out like that and the numbers don’t look like that, you’re probably not with a unicorn. How do you find someone that’s going to sit down with you when you’re a regular renter? A person out there thinking, “Someday I want to buy a house, but I’m not even close.”
What are you doing? Are you looking for your Dora map? Is that what you’re looking for? If any of you watch Dora and you know that map has some serious self-worth and self-image issues. How many times you have to tell us you’re a map? You guys know the song, you listen to the chorus? He says it like 50 times. If you’re reading this, that means you took the time to seek this out. You took the time to find this. It means you’re thinking about this. It doesn’t matter if you’re 30 days or 30 weeks away. I don’t care if you’re years away from buying a home. If you ask me what’s the number one mistake first-time buyers make, in all of my years of experience and hundreds and hundreds first time buyers that I’ve counseled all over the country, they all waited too long to start their plan with a pro.
I get it. I understand why. There’s not a lot of information out there. No one tells you this is the way you should do it while giving you the insider secrets. You are getting the hack from the insider. I’m a whistleblower. Not all that many people who are real pros are willing to help. You found me. The Promised Land and I will help you and so will your local unicorn. Unicorn nation is here to help. DM me, text me, email me, find me at DavidSidoni.com. Fill out the contact sheet and let’s hook you up with a unicorn realtor in your area. I’m not driving to where you live and going to help you go through everything, but I could find someone badass in your area to do it. Many other readers didn’t think they could do it. They reached out to me and I got them a unicorn and they were on their way and some of them have even gotten their keys. As of November 2019, we’ve got six audiences who have bought a home, one more in escrow. They didn’t think they could do it until they read this. They learned they could do it and then we hooked him up with a unicorn.
Nicole in Green Bay got the keys to her house with the help of Kevin, the unicorn realtor. Justin from Green Bay reached out to me, he direct messaged or emailed and he said, “Who’s that unicorn you were talking about?” Justin and Kevin are hooked up and Justin’s on his way to buy a house. Amy in Allentown, Pennsylvania asked for a unicorn. It’s done. She’s on her way. Annie in Northern California, unicorn. Christopher and Cape Coral. Ethan in Arizona got him hooked up with a unicorn agent who is seriously almost as pumped up about Unicorn Nation as I am. They’re out there. We’re a small percentage, maybe 15%, 20% of realtors are willing and want to do this and find you as valuable.
Is this the fastest, most lucrative way for other realtors to grow a real estate business? No. That’s why there are not that many doing it because they don’t understand and they believe that the system is designed for them to work with sellers. That’s how they make money. Think about it. By choosing to work with first-time buyers in my area so I can be a real-world expert for you, not just some blowhard giving advice for something that he or she does not do every single day. There are thousands of people that are giving you advice about something they don’t actually do full-time.
By making that choice, it’s a 30% to 40% pay cut with every client that I work with since first-time buyers are obviously at the bottom of the pricing scale. The realtors get paid off of a percentage of the purchase price. I’m taking 30%, 40% cut. In Unicorn Nation, they’re out there for you and I do receive some small referral fees when I get you out to the unicorns. It works out about $3.12 an hour with all the research that I do, vetting the unicorns and making sure that they have high integrity and high character and can be part of this nation because I’m putting my name on it. All the time that I spend talking to all the unicorns and creating Unicorn Nation, communicating with you, taking the calls, answering the DMs, answering the messages and the emails. Getting to all of your questions on Facebook and Instagram and of course, all of the time creating this in the wee hours of the night after my clients and my family go to bed.
No, it’s not making me rich. I believe in this project and I believe it can grow. Why else do I do this? Why do I give all this information for free? Because it makes me happy because I get notes like this. “After renting for two years and calculating all the money we’ve been losing to rent as we rent our apartment, we decided to start saving money to buy a home. We didn’t find a whole lot of information in this process at first and we began to question if this was even possible. We came across your amazingly informative show and we are even more confident and believing that we can actually do this. We’re wondering if you know a unicorn realtor in the Dallas, Fort Worth area. Thank you for your help you have given us so far and for believing in us.”
They have been unicorned. This is why I do this because it’s an opportunity for me to help people that have not been helped who deserve to be helped. Taking my knowledge means to put my head to the grindstone, helping first-time buyers. I get to wake up and feel good about myself because you are learning something. Most importantly, you’re learning to believe in yourself and understand this process is not impossible. I have spoken. If you didn’t get that Mandalorian rules and if you don’t think so, then we agree to disagree and I agree that you have no taste.
You’ve got three jobs to do, three action steps. Number one, go back and read the others if you need a refresher on some stuff. Reread some things that you need to pound into your noggin. If you haven’t read to all of them, there are bits and pieces of every part of the process along the way. I highly recommend that you do that. Not because I’m a narcissist, not because I think I’m the expert on this, because I think I’m the only idiot taking all his time to spend and put this all in one place because you need it. Most people go to a realtor and they get this in a crash course in a weekend and they figure out, “I needed to do six months of other stuff and I should have planned differently and I should have done this and I should have done that.” Don’t be one of those people. This is free, real information from a guy who knows the stuff from the inside. Beat the system.
Number two, go to the website, fill out the contact form at the bottom and tell me where you need a unicorn. They’re out there and I can help you find one and then they will give you the map. Number three of your action steps, share this. If I’ve given you any value, please help me out. This is for two reasons. Number one, it’s just the right thing to do. I believe in this. It’s my passion project. It is a mission that I have and I know that the best way to get what you want is to help others get what they want. You can do the same thing. The second reason why sharing helps, the more reviews that we get, actual written reviews on iTunes, the more downloads. The more audience we get, the more time that I can dedicate to this free venture for all of you. Helping you to make yourself the hero of your own story. You can share it with others and make them feel like a hero. Text it to a friend, share it with them. Get it out there and be a hero to them. Enjoy the fact that you get to be the hero in your own story and find your own happily ever after because you can do this.
- Episode sixteen – previous episode
- Episode nineteen – previous episode
- Debt Does Deals
- Emerging Real Estate Markets
- Chris Griffith – Facebook page
- [email protected]
Christopher Griffith’s experiences range from single-family residences to large-scale commercial asset acquisition. With a knack for finding mortgage solutions, he specializes in working with Veterans of the Armed Services and VA loans. Christopher believes in solving problems based solely on the needs and motivations of his clients. He delivers on this promise by having the most options to choose from when working in Real Estate Finance.
A student of real estate for the majority of his life, Christopher Griffith has leveraged his education, experience and exposure to yield a full spectrum of service to past, current, and future clients. A robust construction background provides the foundation for his understanding of property value, which assists his clients in achieving maximum appreciation of primary, secondary, and investment properties. Educated by family with 30+ years of originating experience, Mr. Griffith provides a lifetime worth of knowledge and experience to each of his clients while not yielding in the energy department. A retiree of the United States Marine Corps, associates of Mr. Griffith quickly realize words like Honor, Integrity, and Commitment are not platitudes to be thrown around lightly, but cornerstones of his moral fabric.
This podcast was started for YOU, to demystify things for first time home buyers, and help crush the confusion. After helping first timers for over 13 years, I knew there wasn’t t a lot of clear, tangible, useable information out there on the internet, so I started this podcast. Help me spread the word to other people just like you, dying for answers. Tell your friends, family, and perhaps that random neighbor you REALLY want to move out about How to Buy a Home! A really easy way is to hit the share button and text it to your friends. Go for it, help someone out. And if you’re not already a regular listener, subscribe and get constant updates on the market. If you are a regular and learned something, help me help others – give the show a quick review in Apple Podcasts or wherever you get your podcasts, or write a review on Spotify. Let’s change the way the real estate industry treats you first time buyers, one buyer at a time, starting with you – and make sure your favorite people don’t get screwed by going into this HUGE step blind and confused. Viva la Unicorn Revolution!