Since we are in real estate, I think it’s important to give you a little insight on my husband, his history in the business and his moral character. All of you who know him know these things already, but I wanted to share with those of you who don’t. That way you’re aware of the kind of real estate partner I am blessed to have by my side.
It’s actually quite fascinating to me all of the things he has predicted in this crazy industry over the years. Since Tom eats, sleeps and breathes real estate and the economy, he was prepared for the crash and had called it at the end of 2006. And I’m DEAD SERIOUS about this!! All of our friends and family got a talking to from him about it and no one believed him. I would even say, “Babe, you’re wasting your breath. No one is listening to you.” He just wanted everyone he cared about to start selling their homes if they purchased at the end of 2004 on, to stop buying investment properties and to sell off the ones they had already purchased. How many listened to him? NOT ONE, until it was too late and they needed his help and advice on the decision to short sell or foreclose.
We sold off all of our investment properties (4 at the time) by the end of 2006 and our primary home in December of 2007. Two of them with another investor that he had to convince of what was about to come. I should state that he knew something devastating was going to happen to the real estate market, but he never imagined it was going to be THIS bad; but enough for him to want OUT. He even said it would not recover until 2013, when those who had foreclosed (and/or filed bankruptcy) in 2007-2008 would be ready to buy again once their credit was built back up. He trusted in his research and knowledge and thank God he insisted on selling those two properties he co-invested in because that would have crushed us.
Another thing he would tell people until he was blue in the face was that in order for the market to recovery that interest rates would have to come down to the low 3%. Where are they at now? 3.39% on a fixed 30 year mortgage. I hope that those he spoke with back in the day will chime in and give him credit for these statements he was absolutely positive on. Some told him he was out of his mind if he thought interest rates would come down that low.
In the blog he wrote that I’m sharing later, he explains what you need to know about how lenders make their money and things you need to be aware of during the real estate process (since Tom was in the mortgage business for several years, he knows a thing or two about a thing or two.) and it made me want to share more about this honest man I am blessed to be married to.
He was one of the VERY few mortgage guys that steered clear of the dishonest ways of the business and we would stay up late at night talking about these crazy loans (option ARMs) that people were doing and how he couldn’t do them for people knowing that they might be losing their home in 2 years when the rates adjusted and they could no longer afford the mortgage. I loved that about him then and love it about him now. He is just a REALLY great person and once said to me during those talks, “I got in to this business to help people with such a big decision in their lives, not ruin them.” That always stuck with me because boy was he right since it ended up being devastating to so many families. There was one night he was telling me about the receptionist in his office who went through another loan officer in the office to get a loan on a $500,000 home. He felt bad for her knowing she would not be able to afford that mortgage when the rates adjusted and would eventually have to foreclose and have her credit ruined. But this was the greed that so many were driven by. We heard that some practically added zeros to stated incomes just to get that person in “the home of their dreams!” Yes, it was bad decision making on both sides of the deal, but the risk was something the loan officers should have explained in detail to their clients, which he always did. We pondered what to do about some of the shady stuff happening, but had no idea what…then the market crashed and karma happened with many facing lawsuits and even jail time.
Now if someone insisted on this kind of loan, he would explain the risk factor involved and only if they STILL insisted on doing it would he continue. He would lose a lot of business that way and who knows if they just went to someone else to get it done, but in the end Tom felt better about himself and what he was doing.
Yes, we could have made three times as much money like everyone else, but to do so he would have needed to be shady and that just never fit him. I sure as heck wasn’t the type to encourage him to do whatever it took so we could live the lavish life and keep up with the Joneses. So we stayed honest and morally just…and could sleep at night. Well, not so much for him since he suffers from insomnia, but you catch my drift.
When the real estate crash happened his business was crushed. He was then lumped with all of the shady and dishonest loan officers and when we moved to Albuquerque to be near my family, he was almost blacklisted when applying for jobs out there. Some of the job descriptions even stated, “Do not apply if you were a loan officer.” It was embarrassing for him to be categorized in with those other loan officers when he knew he wasn’t anything like them. He ended up getting in to real estate in Albuquerque because of his passion for the business and worked really hard to make this happen. However, in a suffering market, new city and a stressful family situation we ended up coming back to Las Vegas where he knew more people and could get a salaried job with benefits that could provide for our family. And that’s what he did.
After being back in Las Vegas for two years, Tom was itching to get back in the business, but since he puts 100% of his efforts in to his place of employment now, the only way to do it was if I got in the business as well. He has already taught me so much and is being an amazing mentor while I handle the leads thus far.
So that’s my husband of nearly 11 years! Yes, Tom, on January 7th will be 11. Now you don’t have any excuses since I alerted you a month in advance. 😉