Why Do We Hire When Interest Rates Rise? What Does it Have to Do With Images of Jumbo Jets?

When I wake up in the middle of the night and see dark skies, I know that there will be light in the morning.”


There is always a story for every story (two in this case). I wanted to write about what is going on in the mortgage business, but needed another catchy story to go with it. Today, I received two calls from lenders describing their new Jumbo loans and I started to think about how to inform borrowers about them.
Meanwhile, as I mentioned in the last couple of newsletters, I still cannot access my photo images on my computer. Therefore, I am limited to what I can write about, since photos are an important part of my stories. The solution was in my pocket. Browsing through the camera roll on my iPhone, I found some photos of jumbo jets that I took during my last trip to Phoenix and, I thought they were a perfect parallel to the Jumbo loans that I wanted to write about this week. When we travel, I often photograph from the plane and have quite a few interesting shots that I have framed and am planning to exhibit one day.

Regarding mortgages, you might know that interest rates have recently gone up, and consequently slowed down refinance activities. We do have borrowers who buy new properties, as well as a few whom I can help to get loans without stating their income. Some banks have started lending these types of loans again, but one needs to know how to present their personal information to qualify.

Regarding Jumbo loans, there was an article in the Wall Street Journal pointing out that those loans might be better priced than conforming loans. The Federal Government who owns Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac does not know what to do with them, and the only reason why the interest rates stayed low was because the Federal Reserve was buying mortgage bonds. When the stock market started doing better, the Fed sent a message that the bond buying might slow down, and mortgage rates consequently jumped up.
Most banks made a killing from the low rate mortgages. At the same time, higher rates will increase their profit margin, and they will not need to fund so many loans. This will result in mortgage-industry related layoffs. For banks, mortgages are just one of the profitable products in good times and losses in the bad times.

For us, mortgages are our lifeline. This is all that we do and we are very good at it. During the tough years from 2008 until the summer of 2010, we barely survived. (You can read more about that in my book, “The Mortgage Game: The 5 C’s and How to Connect Them”. )


I think that interest rates will come down again soon. We need to be ready. I strongly encourage you not to wait. Prepare the paperwork now. When it happens, no one will have time to deal with the volume. Besides, even today I can get you 3.25% fixed for 7 years. Who needs it for 30? Most people change it down the road, anyway. Many borrowers in our area have Jumbo loans (over $625,000), which have relatively low interest rates as well.



Some time ago, I wrote about TICs (Tenancy in Common). According to a recent article in the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Francisco board of Supervisors introduced a significant change in the way TICs will be created in the future. All of these changes will affect getting loans for the purchase and condo conversions. You might know someone who might need my assistance. Lately I’ve helped quite a few borrowers with those loans.

Do not keep me as a secret.


Best Wishes,


We Are All Children At Heart

If we are children at the beginning of our lives and behave like them at the end, who are we in between?

An adult is a child in bigger clothing, and who plays in a game called Life. Learn the rules, break them, and have fun.”


Sometimes you need more than 10 fingers to play

I showed my assistant Samantha some of the photos of children that I’ve taken with my iPhone, to which she remarked, “You have to use those images in your next ‘Good News’ with the title “We Are All Children at Heart”. Luckily, this is the perfect fit for what I wanted to write about. Children play games, as do adults. This is why I titled my first book, “The Mortgage Game: The 5 C’s and How to Connect Them” I’ve mentioned in my previous newsletters, that I used this book as well as my next one “Mortgage Solutions for Smart People: 5 Easy Ways to Get Your Loan Approved” (which will be available as an ebook shortly–will keep you posted), to create an educational course: “How to Play the Mortgage Game and Win”.

A lot of people take their life and the process of getting a mortgage too seriously. It is all just a game. There are no winners or losers—just players. If you think you lost, practice, learn, and then the next time, you might win; as long as you have fun playing. It helps to know the rules of the game. I wrote two books to help you with the mortgage rules. In my class, there are 10 students, who have committed four Sundays to learn these rules. Of course, knowing the rules is not enough, one needs to practice. I have been playing the mortgage game for almost 30 years and every day I still learn something new.

We have to learn to smile early in life

Keeping a diary is good practice for writers

My new clients John and Beth wanted to buy a house in Piedmont for $1,150,000. The house needed improvements, but both felt that it was still a bargain. John had a very good salary. Beth—who also worked, had the money. There were only a few issues to resolve. Both were still married to other people, and were going through divorces.

John owned another house for which, his (soon to be) ex made the monthly mortgage payments. When we ran his credit, there were three recent late payments on the mortgage, which significantly lowered his credit score. As a result, I could not use John’s income to qualify for a loan.
There was a possible solution—to find a bank that could do a mortgage without stating income, (unlike loans in the past that required borrowers to lie about their income) and with only Beth as the borrower. We work with a few lenders who can do these kinds of loans, which require a significant down payment. I collected all of the documents and took them to the lender, only to discover that they do not lend in Oakland/Piedmont.

Buying food can also be a game

An art connoisseur

The next bank I considered has a branch in Oakland, and could approve the loan with a 40% down payment. The next issue was time. The real estate agent negotiated a close of escrow in 25 days which is very difficult to perform. The bank said they needed 35 to 45 days. Then there was also the issue to be sure that the house would appraise for the agreed upon price. During the fast growing appreciation of home prices, there are not always three comparisons (comps) available to get an appraised value. Luckily, the real estate agent was able to delay the appraisal removal date as well as the close of escrow.

When my clients got stressed with all of these issues, my advice was to look at the loan process as a game. Try to have fun instead of getting aggravated.


The images of children I took with my iPhone show just how much there is to enjoy in our lives, while playing a game.


Best Wishes,


How to Celebrate Father’s Day

Abraham is revered as the father of three religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Unfortunately, his children forget that they are brothers and sisters.”


In the Torah, there is a very disturbing (for modern readers) story about how God tested Abraham, whom he told that:

“You shall be a father of a multitude of nations.” Genesis 17:4

And then one day God said to Abraham:

“Please take your son—your only one, whom you love, Isaac, and bring him as an offering.” Genesis 22:2

This request obviously did not make any sense, but what is fascinating later on, it is said:

“And the two of them went together.” Genesis 22:6

Father and son walked together to their unknown destiny, where both of them were partners in the test.

I thought about this when on a trip to New York, I photographed a man and a boy in an over-sized jacket walking together.

One of the ways to save on gym fees
In our society, the celebration and recognition one day a year, Fathers, has become a commercial event. (Or perhaps it was created for this purpose?) Many live with the old stereotype that while the Mother takes care of the children, the Father is the breadwinner.

However, in these modern times, many of my clients have different circumstances. I refinanced a mortgage for a man who takes care of his two little children after his wife left them. I also helped a gay male couple buy a new home, both of whom work and raise their children together.

Joy of fatherhood is immeasurable
I am now helping a couple with three children, get a mortgage for their first home. In this family, the husband is a stay-at-home dad while his wife pursues her business career.

I am blessed to have two daughters who love and respect me, and we celebrate our wonderful relationship all the time. And I know other families who have this blessed relationship.

Father’s gift is to help his wife shop

A friend of mine, Johanna Forman, a great architect who designed the interior of my new office (you may reach her at johanna@veverka.com), told me about her recent visit to her father, who lives in Maine. With great pride, she shared that he was one of the first African American fighter pilots who served in the Korean War. After the war, he went on to develop some of the first computers, and until now at the wise age of 82, he still enjoys a good life and gives his daughter investment advice.

I think the best gift one can give to his or her father is to share with the world the pride and love they have for one who gave them their life.

Do not keep me as a secret.



Best Wishes,


What Photography and the Mortgage Business Have in Common

“Focus on the results. Even when you want to create a photo image that is out of focus, the result is what you focus on.


Wonders of nature

The word “photography” has two parts: photo, which means light, and graph, which means to draw (i.e. to draw with light).

The word “mortgage” also consists of two parts: mort, which means dead, and gage, which means pledge. (i.e. it is a dead pledge)

To be great at either taking a good photo or helping someone get a good a mortgage, one needs to keep the end result in mind.

Both occupations require a lot of patience and constant practice.

Mistakes are sometimes made, and it might take more than one attempt to get things right. In both cases, mistakes can be corrected as long as one knows how.

Information needs to be processed utilizing technology in order to get results.

Even though technology is involved, there is a need for paper.

Though photographers and loan originators can often do all the work themselves, assistants and processors are experts in their own field, and are great team members.

In both fields, light has to be shed on the dark areas. Sometimes there is a need to wait for a better time or circumstances.

The outcome is not always the expected one; nevertheless, it can still be very satisfying.


The Renaissance Man

I have no words to describe such beauty

Specific education can help, but an overall life experience can be an asset.

There is no compensation, until someone is happy with the results.

A good photo image evokes emotion, as does the process of getting a mortgage.

In photography, there are 5 connecting elements in each image: the subject, light, aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

In the mortgage business, there are the 5 C’s, that I describe in my first book,“The Mortgage Game: The 5 C’s and How to Connect Them” and explain in more detail in my forthcoming second book, “Mortgage Solutions for Smart People: 5 Easy Ways to Get Your Loan Approved”.

And of course, both photography and the mortgage business have me, and I humbly try to bring you the beauty in photography and the tamed beast in the mortgage business together in the “Good News From Dr. Manny”.

I do not have a specialty as a photographer, but I am drawn to four subjects: street scenes, portraits, nature, and abstracts.

In the mortgage business, I am also drawn to four subjects: residential, commercial, apartment buildings, and construction loans.


The sky is the limit


I included photo samples of each of the subjects, which I took with an iPhone. You can see more of my mortgage related photo stories in past issues of Good News From Dr. Manny.


Peter Karp—my extraordinary money manager, expressed his opinion that the Federal Government will probably react to the investors’ rush to unloan bonds (including mortgage bonds). This might be the reason of the increase of interest rates. Rates may potentially drop again for a short period of time. You can prepare yourself by locking your rate. Just send me your loan documents. Please do not procrastinate. I want to help you help yourself and lower your monthly payments.

Please do not keep me a secret.


Best Wishes,