Monday, December 28, 2009

So what's your New Year's Resolution?? Interest Rates ticked up a bit... should we lock or not?

I received much positive feedback on this last post, so I thought I'd resend it to you along with a few additional updates.

I pray you and your families had a joyous Christmas!

What's your New Year's Resolution? Eat Right, Exercise More, Get Organized.... or considering buying or refinancing your home?? This blog will hopefully help you make a good choice if it's regarding home financing!

If you have been considering buying a home or even refinancing, you've probably been asking one of these questions? Should I refinance now? Should I buy now? What if rates go down again? With the economy this way, surely rates will have to drop again? I heard the Feds are going to lower rates again to stimulate the economy, should I wait to lock in an interest rate then? Just since Christmas, mortgage rates have tinged up about 3/8 or .375%. Depending on your loan size, that can make a difference on whether it makes sense to refinance or not.
These are all great questions and very valid. In the past, before all the housing bubble began, the answer to these questions might of been to wait. Times have changed! It's a whole new game in the mortgage world. If you are considering waiting to buy or refinance, below is a few reasons not to:

1. Mortgage Lenders are tightening guidelines to protect against future losses. Mortgage lenders are reducing loan to value limitations. They may require you to have 20% equity or more? If you are an investor or a jumbo borrower, those equity requirements are even higher. Someone who could qualify today, may not be able to qualify tomorrow.

2. The value of your home could decline, maybe it already has and could again? Foreclosures and short sales lower the market value of every home in your neighborhood and surrounding areas. A home that is comparable to yours that ends up selling for less than yours is going to lower your home's value. Lower appraisals lead to higher loan to values and, often, higher mortgage rates.

3. Have you or someone you know lost their job in the last two years? Job losses are happening at a very rapid rate. Many are being laid off as employers fear for the future stability of the company. Many are downsizing to offset lower prof ts (or no profits at all). Without a job and a steady paycheck, lenders won't give you a mortgage loan. I work with Business Fellowship International, a ministry that helps folks get connected and possibly into a new job. If this is you, please email me and I will help you in any way I can.

4. Another rise in cost is mortgage insurance or PMI. This is required if you have less than 20% equity or down payment in your home. PMI is an insurance that protects the lenders in the event of default. Remember hurricane Andrew and the impact it made on the insurance carriers? What's going on in the housing market right now, is comparable to that. Mortgage insurance carriers are raising rates and tightening guidelines as well, making it very hard to qualify or not allowing your payment to drop with the interest rate reductions.

5. What is your credit score? Most people assume their credit is good. But what is good anymore? To get the "preferred" or "going" interest rate, you have to have excellent credit scores, that means over 700 and sometimes over 720/740. Now don't get me wrong, we are still able to do loans under 700, but we would need to review your situation to see if it makes sense for you.

If you are thinking about buying or refinancing, now's the time to do it. The pendulum for mortgage loans has swung from one extreme to the other and it may be a long long while before lenders will consider loosening guidelines again. Financial crisis has it America.

But there is hope! Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. If you have a relationship with the Lord, He will see you through! If you don't, consider asking Jesus into your heart, ask Him to forgive you of your sin and to cleanse you and make you new. He loves you so much and wants only good for you!

So, if your New Year's Resolution is to make a move or refinance your existing home, Jewel and I, the InSight Team, are here to help you make sound choices. We have many valuable resources and offer a variety of mortgage products.

For an Honest Approach to your Home Financing Needs, please give us a call or email us or visit us on the web at

Blessings Abundant!

Michele "MAC" A. Cole
Business Development

Jewel Callahan
Mortgage Consultant

Monday, December 14, 2009

Mortgage Rates - Lock or not to Lock? That is the question?

If you have been considering buying a home or even refinancing, you've probably been asking one of these questions? Should I refinance now? Should I buy now? What if rates go down again? With the economy this way, surely rates will have to drop again? I heard the Feds are going to lower rates again to stimulate the economy, should I wait to lock in an interest rate then?

These are all great questions and very valid. In the past, before all the housing bubble began, the answer to these questions might of been to wait. Times have changed! It's a whole new game in the mortgage world. If you are considering waiting to buy or refinance, below is a few reasons not to:

1. Mortgage Lenders are tightening guidelines to protect against future losses. Mortgage lenders are reducing loan to value limitations. They may require you to have 20% equity or more? If you are an investor or a jumbo borrower, those equity requirements are even higher. Someone who could qualify today, may not be able to qualify tomorrow.

2. The value of your home could decline, maybe it already has and could again? Foreclosures and short sales lower the market value of every home in your neighborhood and surrounding areas. A home that is comparable to yours that ends up selling for less than yours is going to lower your home's value. Lower appraisals lead to higher loan to values and, often, higher mortgage rates.

3. Have you or someone you know lost their job in the last two years? Job losses are happening at a very rapid rate. Many are being laid off as employers fear for the future stability of the company. Many are downsizing to offset lower prof ts (or no profits at all). Without a job and a steady paycheck, lenders won't give you a mortgage loan. I work with Business Fellowship International, a ministry that helps folks get connected and possibly into a new job. If this is you, please email me and I will help you in any way I can.

4. Another rise in cost is mortgage insurance or PMI. This is required if you have less than 20% equity or down payment in your home. PMI is an insurance that protects the lenders in the event of default. Remember hurricane Andrew and the impact it made on the insurance carriers? What's going on in the housing market right now, is comparable to that. Mortgage insurance carriers are raising rates and tightening guidelines as well, making it very hard to qualify or not allowing your payment to drop with the interest rate reductions.

5. What is your credit score? Most people assume their credit is good. But what is good anymore? To get the "preferred" or "going" interest rate, you have to have excellent credit scores, that means over 700 and sometimes over 720/740. Now don't get me wrong, we are still able to do loans under 700, but we would need to review your situation to see if it makes sense for you.

If you are thinking about buying or refinancing, now's the time to do it. The pendulum for mortgage loans has swung from one extreme to the other and it may be a long long while before lenders will consider loosening guidelines again. Financial crisis has it America.

But there is hope! Jeremiah 29:11 says, For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord, plans to prosper you, not to harm you, but to give you a future and a hope. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land. If you have a relationship with the Lord, He will see you through! If you don't, consider asking Jesus into your heart, ask Him to forgive you of your sin and to cleanse you and make you new. He loves you so much and wants only good for you!

Jewel and I, the InSight Team, are here to help you make sound choices with your mortgage. We have many valuable resources and offer a variety of mortgage products. Please give us a call or email us or visit us on the web at

Most Cordially

Michele "MAC" A. Cole
Business Development

Jewel Callahan
Mortgage Consultant

Friday, December 4, 2009

Who are you seeking advice from?

I've been talking with several folks recently all of whom are asking for advice? Should we pay off our debt? If we could pay off our mortgage would that be wise? I have good credit but my lender won't let me do a rate reduction to lower my payment unless I'm a few months late on my mortgage payments. Should I just not pay my mortgage? These are just a few of the questions I receive pretty regularly.

Who are you seeking advice from? If your answer is God, then you've answered correctly. It is not only the best advice you'll ever get, but there is no substitute for the wisdom God can provide you. God is much wiser than any man!

If you're advisor is one who seeks the Lord for wisdom and counsel, then that is who I'd recommend. The bible tells us to seek the kingdom of God first and His righteousness, and all things will be added unto you. Matthew 6:33. How do you know if your advisor is someone who follows God's Word? Ask? Find out what organizations they belong to? Find out where they've got their training?

One of the organizations I belong to and have become a qualified member of is Kingdom Advisors. ( Kingdom Advisors is an organization that equips the finacial professional with ongoing education to walk out biblical financial stewardship in our own lives as well as helping our customers make sound decisions.

Crown Ministries ( is a ministry whose purpose is to also teach and equip the believer to understand money God's way. One main thing I've learned through their ministry and study groups is that God owns it all! Money is not really yours. God owns it and has ultimate control over it (whether you realize it or not). God provides our every need (Phil 4:19). Once we learn to surrender to this realization, a weight comes off our shoulders. A pressing need to worry about our finances is lifted. That's why I highly recommend you work with an advisor that has this background!

There are many I can discuss and share with you but these are just a couple I am fond of. When we seek advice, we should first go to God for His infinite and timeless wisdom. "Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked."

If you are looking for a professional who can help you with sound financial wisdom, God's way, please email me and I will make the connection for you!

Blessings abundant to you and your family this Christmas Season!

Michele "MAC". A. Cole
Business Development
The InSight Team

If you are looking to refinance or purchase a home, please let the InSight Team lend insight in your home financing needs!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Economic Troubles - There is a way to turn this around!

Do you believe that you can change the country's economic situation? Galatians 6:7 says: "God is not mocked, whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap".

If a corn farmer sows seeds in his field he expects to reap a harvest of corn, what he has planted, right? I would find it odd if he sowed seeds of corn and the harvest came up tomatoes? Wouldn't you?

Just as the farmer sows seed, our country and us consumers have been sowing into materialism, paying for things on credit and buying bigger homes. Check out this article written by Margot Adler with NPR dated 11/20/09. "The average American house size has more than doubled since the 1950s; it now stands at 2,349 square feet. The move toward large homes has been accelerating for years.

Consider: Back in the 1950s and '60s, people thought it was normal for a family to have one bathroom, or for two or three growing boys to share a bedroom. Well-off people summered in tiny beach cottages on Cape Cod or off the coast of California. Now, many of those cottages have been replaced with bigger houses. Six-room apartments in cities like New York or Chicago have been combined, because upper-middle-class people now think a six-room apartment is too small".

When our countries leaders are adding to the nation's debt, why would we do any differently? A dog trainer I once knew said that "intelligence runs down the leash". So we are prone to follow our country's leadership.

However, YOU can make a difference. You can start sowing good seeds and begin to stop spending and start working on paying off debt and downsizing your home. Jesus said it like this, "Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore by their fruits you will know them" (Matthew 7:17-20).

If we are hoping for change in this country, we need to examine our own lives first and start planting a seed for change without compromise.

If you don't know where to begin or you just would like additional guidance, please feel free to email me. I have several connections depending on your situation that can help you start this process! It's never too late!

Let the InSight Team, lend insight into your home financing needs.
Jewel Callahan -
or Michele Cole -

Blessings to you!
Michele "MAC" A. Cole
Business Development Rep
The InSight Team
Mid-America Mortgage

Monday, November 9, 2009

Great News!! Tax Credit Extended and Expanded!!

President Obama signed into law legislation extending and expanding the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit. This a victory for consumers and the housing industry.

Under the legislation, home buyers will qualify for the tax credit until April 30, 2010* (as long as they have entered a binding contract), and have an additional 2 months (until June 30, 2010*) to close the transaction. Borrower income limits have also been increased to $125,000 for individuals and $225,000 for couples (up from $75,000 and $150,000 respectively under the current program). The legislation also includes a tax credit not exceeding $6,500 for move up buyers who have owned their current homes for at least 5 years.

If you are considering a move and buying a new home, NOW is the time to act. Not only for first time buyers but for buyers wanting to downsize, or up size who have owned their homes for 5 years or more, you qualify for some credit as well!

Interest rates have been staying stable and are still at record lows!!! There are still no downpayment loans available thru VA or USDA loans. Contact us to see how you may qualify!

You probably know someone who has been hurt greatly by the economic times. The InSight Team's heart is to help point you towards the right product for your home financing. One that even with economic uncertainity, you can have peace.

Pleaes feel free to give us a call at 816-510-1399 or visit us at

Michele "MAC". A Cole
Business Development
Jewel Callahan
Mortgage Consultant

Monday, November 2, 2009

What are you thankful for?

This weekend at church, my pastor taught on how to be content. Phil 4 - says that we are to be content in all circumstances. What does that really mean? My pastor shared a story of a lady who was ready to commit suicide because she had lost all hope. Her husband had lost his job, they had kids and wasn't sure how they could pay their mortgage and it seemed very doom and gloom for her and she felt there was no way out. The husband had called their pastor to come over and pray for her. When her pastor got there, he told her to start listing 100 things that she was thankful for. Her immediate reply was - I have nothing to be thankful for. The pastor then replied and said, what about your kids? She said yes, I'm thankful for my kids... and the story continued, she was thankful for her husband, her parents, her church,the rest of her family, her friends, the house she lives in, the food that they have to eat each day.... and so on and so on. With that, she came out of the closet and didn't feel hopeless anymore.

The Lord has been showing me how to be thankful and content in all circumstances. I am very thankful for many things. I sat down and just started giving thanks for everything I'm thankful for and wow the things I take for granted amazed me... such as how beautiful the sky was yesterday, the warm weather, the beautiful fall foliage, my dogs, the house I live in, the wonderful husband I have, the fact we have running water, hot too for showers, the ability to wash our clothes, makeup we get to wear, the hairdryer I use each day, shampoo and soap. The fact is we have so much more than folks in other countries and we are still wanting more more more!

I saw a quote by Zig Ziglar not long ago. He said this "The more you recognize and express gratitude for the things you have, the more things you will have to express gratitude for."

So, how does this relate to being content? Give gratitude and thanks to God for all you do have. Focus on what you have and not on what you don't. As you do, you will see it's very easy to be content. What are you thankful for?

If you are hurting or in need of prayer, please email me.

Michele "MAC" A. Cole
The InSight Team - for more information on home loans

Monday, October 12, 2009

Tax Credit Extended??

The current first time homebuyer tax credit is set to expire on December 1, 2009. However, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi says that the governement may extend it and expand it.

There is consideration that they may increase the tax credit from $8000 to $15,000 and possibly include all purchases or purchases involving new home construction!

This would be a huge benefit to the housing market as well as to the economy as a whole. The National Association of Realtors has asked Congress to extend the credit due the estimated 350,000 buyers who would not of bought homes without the credit. They also indicate that it brough 1.2 million new buyers into the market! Wow!!!!

At least, lawmakers are requesting a 6 month extension on the original first time tax buyer credit. Even if you are not a first time buyer, the tax credit may still benefit you. Please give us a call or email us and we will be happy to answer any further questions you might have!

The InSight Team is here to help you make choices you can live with today....and in the future.


Michele "MAC" A. Cole
Business Development Rep

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tax Credit Deadline Coming Quickly

The First Time Homebuyer Tax Credit deadline is near! If you are out looking for a home and haven't owned a home at all or haven't owned one in the last three years, this tax credit could be advantageous for you. For all the details and how it could benefit you please visit

The InSight Team will work with you efficiently to help you get your financing in place and your home loan closed prior to the December 1st deadline. Please visit our website at for information on how to contact us. We offer first time buyer financing loans as well as many other options, and have some of the better interest rates available in the area.

Let The InSight Team lend insight into your home financing needs.

Michele Cole

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Help for Trying Times

What do you do when you experience "trying times"? Many folks are feeling the pressures as the economy seems to be ever changing. I know almost daily I get a call from someone who is hurting financially and is need of some advice on what to do. The bible tells us to seek counsel and sound wisdom and to seek a multitude of counselors, but the ultimate counselor is God himself. There are many folks who are suffering the consequences of poor choices, whether there own or of someone else. Don't dwell on how you got there but how to get out of it!

If you believe in God there are three things we can do to help us through these difficult times.

1. Seek His face! Matthew 6:33 says, Seek ye the Kingdom of God first and His righteousness and ALL things will be added unto you. This is Good News! This means that if we seek God and we do what He ask of us, He will take care of us. What does it mean to seek Him and His righteousness. To me it means, getting into the Word of God and learning who He is. It means following His commandments for us. They aren't a bunch of rules that keep us from having fun. They are guidelines to help us live the life He wants us to live. They keep us from harm and they actually help us become a better person to ourselves and to others!! Psalm 34:4 I sought the Lord and He heard me and He delivered me from all my fears. Jeremiah 29:13 And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

2. Claim God's Promises! The bible is a wonderful resource of God's promises for those who believe in Him. These promises cover our spiritual needs as well as our physical and emotional needs as well. My favorite verse is Phil 4:19 which says, And this same God will supply ALL your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus! Jesus will provide ALL of our needs. We have to come to Him with a pure heart and be sure our character is free from the love of money (possessions, greed etc). He will never leave us nor forsake us!

3. Enjoy God's Provision! Just as we accept Jesus by faith, we can accept and receive God's promises of provision in faith. The only way to please God is through Faith - Hebrews 11:6. God can provide in ways we can't even think or imagine! Recently I went to the doctor's office to find that someone (anonymously) had sent a check on my behalf to cover the expenses there! That is God in action! There have been times that God has asked me to do things for folks to help them in their time of need. And as we give, it is given back to us. God loves a cheerful giver! Try it sometime. When you see someone in need, help them out and just watch how God will bless you back.

If you aren't a believer or follower of Jesus, you too can have this relationship. You just need to ask Jesus to come into your heart, ask Him to cleanse you from your past sins (mistakes). We all sin. Ask him to forgive you and help you turn from the ways of the world. He will wipe the slate clean and give you a fresh new start! Believe He died on the cross and rose again for YOU. Then receive His love by faith. And if you do this, let me know. I'd love to help you get connected to folks who will help you walk out your new relationship with Jesus!!!
The InSight Team

Friday, September 11, 2009

Hanging on in Trying Times

Do you know someone is who feeling the impact of the ever changing economy? Is someone you know experiencing a financial crisis? Bankruptcy? Foreclosure? Job loss? I sure have. Being in the mortgage industry, this is something I see or hear about every day. It's very sad. Some folks are experiencing these things because of the poor choices of others or because of their own poor choices. We all do this from time to time. Unfortunately, it's a fact of life. When we spend money on things such as nice homes, sports cars and other pleasures of life and if we do so without having the ability to pay cash for it, we can be setting ourselves up for financial destruction. We reap what we sow! Our national debt is a number too large for me to even fathom. The bible says, that just as the rich rule the poor, so is the borrower servant to the lender. When we take on debt that we cannot pay off, it puts us in a position of "bondage".

But there's hope! I know many people who can help you and offer you solutions. Sometimes refinancing is an option and sometimes it's not. Interest rates are still very good but now is the time to act. With the ever changing economy, the only way we can survive as a country is through inflation, which means interest rates go up.

For an honest approach - free consultation on what options you have, please give us a call or email. We care and we want to see you freed from bondage!

Blessings from The InSight Team
Michele "MAC" A. Cole
Business Development Rep

Jewel Callahan
Mortgage Consultant

Friday, September 4, 2009

LIfestyle Desires vs Family Needs

Yesterday I was at the monthly meeting for Kingdom Advisors,, an organization that equips the financial professional to walk out and teach about biblical stewardship. Yesterday's topic was very timely about our lifestyle desires vs our family needs. Have you ever sat down with your family and discuss needs vs desires? People are losing jobs and when finding new employment, accepting positions with companies at much less income than they ever made before. As I currently am in transition into a new position with no real predictable income. I am reevaluating my spending decisions. I was convicted in my spirit recently about my latte habit. I have many appointments outside my office in a local coffee shop for convenience. I love a good latte when I am there. I realized that a latte is a desire not a need for me. I chose to have a glass of water instead so that I could save a few bucks. I'm not here to make you feel guilty about what you do or don't do or what you have or don't have. I just believe now is the time to look inward, to discern the true nature of your lifestyle and see if there are any areas you could cut back on so that you could avoid unseen financial circumstances later.

We have to be proactive to avoid future calamity We can't bet on our future, we can't assume we will be employed tomorrow, we can't assume that we will always be in good health. Reality is that only God knows what our future holds. We need to press into Him, we need to abide in Him, we need to spend time in His Word. It is a light for our path. We need to look to Him for provision and trust that He will take care of us. Pray and ask the Lord to come into your heart and meet your needs. See what His Word has to say: Matthew 6:25-33:
25Therefore I tell you, stop being [a]perpetually uneasy (anxious and worried) about your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; or about your body, what you shall put on. Is not life greater [in quality] than food, and the body [far above and more excellent] than clothing?

26Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father keeps feeding them. Are you not worth much more than they?

27And who of you by worrying and being anxious can add one unit of measure (cubit) to his stature or to the [b]span of his life?(A)

28And why should you be anxious about clothes? Consider the lilies of the field and [c]learn thoroughly how they grow; they neither toil nor spin.

29Yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his [d]magnificence (excellence, dignity, and grace) was not arrayed like one of these. [I Kings 10:4-7.]

30But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and green and tomorrow is tossed into the furnace, will He not much more surely clothe you, O you of little faith?

31Therefore do not worry and be anxious, saying, What are we going to have to eat? or, What are we going to have to drink? or, What are we going to have to wear?

32For the Gentiles (heathen) wish for and crave and diligently seek all these things, and your heavenly Father knows well that you need them all.

33But seek ([e]aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness ([f]His way of doing and being right), and then all these things [g]taken together will be given you besides.

As we continue to see the media portray doom and gloom, we can turn to our Heavenly Father. He will provide you peace through difficult times!

Bless you this day!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


It is with mixed emotions that I share the following important news with clients, friends, and family.

As you have seen in the financial news through the variety of media and as I’ve discussed in several of my blogs, the mortgage business is changing on a daily basis. Some of it is positive and will help borrowers get affordable loan products. But many of the new regulations appear to be pushing the mortgage brokers out of business.

Conventional loans have been a mainstay of our business, but these days you need to have 20% down, a perfect credit file, and a perfect property with quality comparables for the appraisal. And we know how tough that is in today’s financial market. There is good news for first time buyers with the tax credit and some grant programs. FHA/VA seems to be the 2 most popular products right now - still allowing folks to get into homes.

After much praying and with God’s guidance, I made the decision to close down InSight Mortgage Group. BUT, there will an InSight Team! I am teaming up with Jewel Callahan at Mid America Mortgage. Jewel and I have been friends and business colleagues for several years, and she is the loan consultant to whom I have been referring all my FHA loans. Jewel and I have the same core values and strong work ethic and are working together to help you make good sound choices with your home financing needs. And we have a wide variety of loan products to offer you.

There will be more to come as we get this new venture rolled out. Please continue to visit our blog at and watch for the new website with the same address .

If you are looking to purchase or refinance, please contact us:

Michele “MAC” Cole,
Business Development Representative
Mid America Mortgage

Jewel Callahan
Mortgage Consultant
Mid America Mortgage
851 NW 45th St, Suite 200
Kansas City, MO 64116
816.510.1399 cell
816.455.7770 office
816.455.1232 fax

I value your support and continued business. Please remember that I am available if you have any questions. Feel free to contact me via email at


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

More Encouraging News

Hidden underneath all the headlines and stories on the proposed government health plan, there are signs of encouraging news that the recession may be easing.

The first full week of August saw some positive results in economic activity, but the news of the declining unemployment rate made investors optimistic. For the first time in the past 17 months fewer job losses were posted and we saw an improved unemployment rate. July saw the lowest number of job losses all year, and the number came in much lower than anticipated. The stock market climbed upward as well. The Dow is now up almost 7% for the year.

This isn’t to say the recovery is in full swing yet, but don’t we all deserve some good news!

And, we saw another positive housing report too. Pending home sales jumped an unexpected 3.6%, when a 0.7% increase was predicted by the experts. We’ve now seen 5 consecutive months of gains in pending contracts. That’s the first time since July 2003 we’ve seen that happen! Affordable home prices and low interest rates have been driving the market upwards. Construction spending was up slightly as well, much better than the drop that was expected.

The 28 major markets the real estate experts watch saw a drop in inventory of 2.5% from June. (The average drop over the last 25 years from June to July is 1%) AND, compared with the inventory in July 2008, there was a big drop of 27%!

Mortgage interest rates are still holding at low levels as well.

At InSight Mortgage Group we’re available to answer your questions regarding new home purchase loans or refinancing your current loan. Call us, 913-642-3334 or email us at or Look to us for integrity and ethical handling of your financial transactions. Blessings.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Our local Kansas City housing market is beginning to heat up this summer and the national economy is still showing signs of improvement. But, as a first-time buyer are you still on the fence? You could feel the pain if you don’t take action soon!!

Time is running out on the $8,000 federal government’s tax credit. Don’t be deceived by the December 1 end date. Remember, the purchase loan must be closed by December 1 in order to qualify for the tax credit. Having a signed contract or having loan approval isn’t enough for obtaining the credit.

Look at the timeline from the closing date backwards to see why you need to start NOW. The average time, from final signatures on the contract to sitting at the closing table and getting the keys to your new home, is generally 45-60 days. So, to meet the Dec. 1 deadline, you’ll need to have a home under contract by late September or very early October.

Are you thinking that it’s doable in only 2 months? Well, lots can happen during the home search and loan approval process, and two months can fly by fast. And then there are possible issues after the contract is in place which may affect the closing date. Please contact us, InSight Mortgage Group, to start your preapproval process now.

For first-time buyers the purchase process can take a bit longer than for experienced purchasers. Home buying is a complicated process, and you’ll need the guidance of a good realtor and lender.


Competition: Some neighborhoods with homes for sale (inventory) are selling fast in the greater Kansas City metro area. Certain areas are especially appealing for first-time buyers, and with the tax credit available only to first-time buyers, these areas are seeing a competitive market. Mix into that foreclosures with really low asking prices. Investors are very active in scooping up these low priced homes.

Contingencies & Disclosures: The seller must disclose any material facts about the property, including lawsuits or claims of ownership on the property, and any known property defects. If questions arise during the buyers review of the disclosure, final signatures on the contract can be delayed. Contingencies can also impact the negotiating process, causing additional delays.

Loan Approval: Right now, interest rates are at all time lows for credit-worthy buyers. But, new laws are impacting the approval process and lenders are requiring more and more detailed paperwork from buyers. Obtaining a preapproval prior to making an offer is a high priority in the purchase process.
Appraisal: The lender orders an appraisal on the property, which determines the value of the property being purchased. An appraiser looks at the interior and exterior condition of the property, and compares it to very recent sales of similar properties close by. Most appraisals are now ordered through a third party appraisal management company, adding another layer of time to the process. And, laws implemented recently also added more paperwork to the appraisal process, which impacts turnaround time for completion.

Inspections: It is generally recommended that buyers hire a professional company to conduct an inspection of the property. Depending upon the findings, if repairs are needed, negotiations are reopened and more time is required to come to some sort of resolution.

Holidays: When looking at a closing date it important to remember the upcoming holiday season. Many people are involved in the closing process for a real estate contract: the buyers and sellers real estate agents, lenders, attorneys, inspection companies, appraisers, appraisal management companies, and escrow/title company offices. A lot of people wait to the end of the year to take their vacation time, and especially near the Thanksgiving weekend. It’s not unheard of, unfortunately, to have crucial paperwork sitting in a pile on the desk of a vacationing worker.

Short Sales & Foreclosures : Offers on these properties almost always take much longer for an answer than traditional MLS marketed homes. Some agents have reported that the companies handling these homes are overwhelmed with paperwork, are understaffed, and that it can take up to 3 months before an answer to an offer is received!

With the encouraging signs in the housing market being reported recently i.e:
* Nationally there’s a 6 month supply of homes priced under $250k (CNBC)
* Existing home sales in June were up, 3rd straight month for increased sales
* Only 31% of all sales were distressed properties – indicating reduced inventory
* Median price of an existing home increased in June, to $181,800.
* Higher prices than six months ago, each month making small gains
those knowledgeable in the housing industry are predicting that average home prices may NOW be very close to fair value, and the bottom of the market is behind us.

If you, or someone you know, may still be sitting on the fence waiting for the “right time” to jump into homeownership, don’t wait any longer. Call us at 913-642-3334 or email us at or to start your preapproval process. Be smart and invest in your future today! Blessings.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

More Encouraging Signs

I’m seeing less stridently negative headlines these days; how about you? Not so much doom and gloom; a bit more moderate. That in itself is what I consider good news!

We’ve all made lifestyle adjustments -- cutting back or eliminating non-essential spending, hiding the credit cards and paying cash, maybe even refinanced a mortgage loan into a lower rate to save a few hundred dollars a month.

Within the past few days additional positive news has surfaced – though not screaming headlines; maybe “page 2” style.

Monday, July 20 saw a economic survey released which indicated an easing in the economy, but not an end to the recession. Sara Johnson, IHS Global Insight’s managing director of global macroeconomics, said “ the survey provides new evidence that the U.S. recession is abating, but few signs of an immediate recovery”. She assisted the National Association for Business Economics with the analyzation of the survey.

The recession, which started in December of 2007, is the deepest in 30+ years, and also is the longest since the Great Depression. Most economists are looking to the second half of 2009 for the return of economic growth, but a sluggish recovery is what is expected. Also, the survey indicated a wide disagreement about if the economy had bottomed out or not. 55% of those surveyed said the bottom has not been reached, while 45% replied that the worst was over.

Also on Monday, new construction starts for single family homes were up for the second straight month. The numbers were higher than expected according to economists.

National real estate brokerage ZipRealty released inventory data indicating our housing market is beginning to stabilize. They look at 28 markets across the country. The drop in MLS-listed homes was 2.1% from May through June 2009. And, they saw a slight increase in the median list price, June over May. Many of the hardest hit markets, such as California, have seen dramatic decreases of inventory; 14 straight months of sales growth! And equally hard hit Florida has seen 9 straight months of sales growth too. The word this summer appears to be “affordability”.

With the first time buyers tax credit, historic low interest rates, declining inventory of homes, and increased buyer activity, we should see sales prices and homes values increase as we go into autumn.

Let InSight Mortgage Group analyze your specific financial situation and offer solutions customized to your needs. Don’t sit on the fence any longer; the time is NOW to take action. Please give us a call,913-642-3334 or email us at or Blessings

Friday, July 17, 2009

Quick News of the Week

Most of the time it seems as if political activity in Washington D.C. is in slow motion. But this week several important announcements made news related to the mortgage industry. A quick summary:

$490M granted to Affordable Housing program: The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act received additional funds of nearlly $490 Million for the construction and renovation of affordable housing in 12 states. The Treasury Department says the stimulus program is designed to contribute to economic stability "one community at a time" through the creation of much needed jobs and development of affordable housing. The 12 states receiving funds are: Alabama, Arkansas, Connecticut, Georgia, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Montana, New Mexico, Vermont, New Hampshire and the Virgin Islands. The Treasury Department is also expected to award more grants in the coming weeks.

Loan Modification Efforts Need to Be Increased: Timothy Geitner, Treasury Secretary, is urging mortgge servicers to improve upon thier loan modification efforts so the administrations efforts to help struggling homeowners stabilize the ousing market will be successful. Srcterary Geitner sent 25 servicers a letter noting that a good start has been made, but "much more progress is needed." He indicated that there are many variations among servicers in their performance and in the borrowers experience, along with inconsistent results. He also announced that starting in August monthly reports will be issued showing each servicer's performance. Also, an expanded role for Freddie Mac as an auditor was announced -- with the abillity to take a "second look" at borrowers who were denied modifications.

And a reminder that the new Truth in Lending Disclosure requirements take effect on July 30, 2009.

At InSight Mortgage Group we are ready to answer your questions about how these, or other announcements, may affect your loan process. Call us at 913-642-3334 or email us at or

Friday, July 10, 2009

Expanded Mortgage ReFi Program

The Making Home Affordable plan, introduced by the Obama administration, has just been expanded to include homeowners whose loans are up to 125% of their home’s value. This allows more borrowers who are hit hard by deeply falling home prices to participate in the mortgage refinancing program. The previous limit was 105%.

Many parts of the country have seen drastic drops in home values and those borrowers were shut out of the original program. An example is Las Vegas, where almost 66% of homeowners owe more than their homes current valuation. A current report by, a real estate web site, indicates that about 20 million homeowners own homes that are worth less than their mortgages. Sections of Florida and California have lost 50% (or more) of their value.

Housing Secretary Shaun Donovan said that the presidents plan “is already helping far more than any previous foreclosure initiative and with this announcement we will extend it even further.” The Treasury Department indicates that so far approximately 20,000 loans have been refinanced.

This newly expanded program waives the 20% equity requirement. However, borrowers must still meet other major requirements: being current on their payments and having mortgages owned or backed by Freddie Mac or Fannie Mae. provides details.

But, refinances are slower than originally predicted. There’s been a recent rise in mortgage interest rates, from the lowest rate of a 4.84% on April 28, to the current mid 5% range. Also impacting the decline in refinances is the rising unemployment rate. When the program was introduced, lenders were overwhelmed with requests and were understaffed, thus slowing the actual numbers of borrowers able to complete the refinance process. Lenders have not yet added enough staff to adequately handle the requests, so processing times are extended. All we can do is have patience.

Those with Freddie Mac loans can apply now with their current servicer, but those who chose a different lender need to wait until October 1. Borrowers with Fannie Mae loans must use their current servicer and also must wait until Sept. 1 for a refinance if their home loan is more than 105% of its value.

Another part of the program addresses loan modifications. Eligible borrowers who are at risk or in default may lower their monthly payments to no more than 31% of their pre-tax income. This helps those who can’t handle their monthly payments due to reduced income, etc. Also, mortgage investors, services and homeowners can receive incentives in order to participate in the program. Nearly 200,000 trial modifications have been initiated according to the Treasury department. Three on-time monthly payments must be made prior to making the modification permanent.

At InSight Mortgage Group our mission is to provide up-to-date information on available programs to meet the individualized needs of our clients. Please call us at 913-642-3334 or email us at or with your mortgage or finance related questions. Blessings

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Don’t you love sharing good news? I know I do. All the gloom and doom of today’s headlines seen on TV, the internet, or even the paper, makes us a bit sour and irritable. We look for some joy or good news to brighten our day. I hope you find encouragemnt in the housing news presented below, for you and for our country's economy. It seems especially fitting on the eve of our country's Independence celebration; home ownership is a vital component of the American Dream. Happy 4th of July.

Part of our mission at InSight Mortgage Group is to educate our clients so they can make the best financial decisions for themselves. And to help achieve our mission, we research the market trends ( especially the good news parts which get buried deep below the negative headlines) and share this information with our clients.

Encouraging news on the home front continues. Existing home sales were UP 2.4% to a 4.77 million annual rate. This is the third month in a row showing increased sales. They’re now 6.2% above their January low. Additionally, the percent increase for the last two months is the largest since April 2004. Inventory of existing home dropped to 9.6 months from April’s 10.1 supply. And, the median price of an existing home INCREASED to $173,000.

New construction homes also saw a decrease in supply from April’s 10.4 months to May’s 10.2. Inventories of new homes are now down 49% from their peak in mid-2006, and are at their lowest level since 2001! And, the Mortgage Bankers Association reported purchase loan applications UP 7.3%

A recently released report from Harvard University indicated there will be millions more echo boomers than there were boomers who first grew the housing market. The report projects household growth between 12.5 and 14.8 million in the next 10 years. This report also notes that price declines and low interest rates have brought affordability to many housing markets across the country.

Important information if you're considering a purchase or refinancing your current mortgage:

There are changes in the mortgage industry - that are government mandated - taking place now and in the near future. These would be nationwide rules, though additional requirements could be added by individual states. The intent is to increase safety for the borrower, by providing more transparency, and adding steps to help prevent deceptive lending practices. Additional steps now add time to the closing timeframe. In the past it was possible to close a loan within 30 days; now 30-45 days will become the norm, for both purchase and refinance transactions. Basically, the new appraisal process of using a third party appraisal company and more documentation requirements, along with the new Truth in Lending disclosure requirements, impacts the entire real estate and loan process.
As with many past consumer related regulatory changes, we can anticipate cost increases; (think back to the US pharmaceutical business and how health care & drug costs have risen due to regulation).

So, for buyers, critical decisions will need to be made promptly: loan application, type of loan and rate locked. Then, inspections & renegotiations if needed. Anything that can affect the closing costs, price, or date of closing need to be addressed as soon as possible or closing can be delayed.

What do these changes mean to you, if you’re purchasing a home soon or thinking of refinancing? Well, getting a loan will not be as easy, or as inexpensive, as we have known in the past. Don’t be a “fence-sitter”, get into the market now – housing is still affordable, mortgage rates are still historically low, and the cost of obtaining a mortgage is still reasonable.

Call or email us at 913-642-3334; or for the most current information on rates and programs to best suit your individual needs. Blessings

Friday, June 26, 2009

Our founding fathers and principles of Christianity

The following article was written by Chuck Bentley, CEO of Crown Financial Ministries. I feel called to share this with you in its entirety. Please read it to its’ conclusion. I'd love to hear your thoughts, so please send me feedback via the blog or email.

233 years after the Declaration, our freedom is at risk

“As they penned their names in the summer of 1776, the 56 signers of the Declaration of Independence noted their “firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence” and pledged to each other their lives, fortunes, and sacred honor.

Their words illustrated the enormity of the sacrifices they might be required to make and their dependence on God’s help for the success of their cause. Victory would require nothing short of a miracle. America’s poorly trained Continental Army was outnumbered three to one by the British and their German mercenaries.

Years after America’s miraculous victory in that war, John Adams said that the “general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity.” Adams was among the signers of the Declaration of Independence alon with men like Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

Franklin said that Jesus’ system of morals and religion is “the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.” And Rush noted that the U.S. Constitution was “as much the work of a Divine Providence as any of the miracles recorded in the Old and New Testament”

These are just a small sample of the statements confirming the Christian worldview of our founding fathers and their dependence on God. They understood the need for divine protection and provision – something we must never forget if we hope to experience God’s continued blessing on our nation.

Because our foundations were built upon honoring God, He made our nation great. Our prosperity was a gift. We made a practice of rewarding merit, and the practice helped fuel continued progress. And, we became one of the most well-ordered societies in history.

Instead of looking to God, many Americans are now looking to man and human wisdom for solutions to the ongoing financial crisis. The majority appears open to more government intervention and control, consequently limiting the freedom we have enjoyed, which has allowed our creativity and innovation to flourish.

Today, on many levels, we have shunned God. We have taken his blessings of prosperity and made them a higher priority than Him. Our drive to preserve our national and individual prosperity is leading us to bigger government with more controls over the private sector and dependence upon foreign credit.

The same events that would have led us to fall on our knees and ask for God’s help now cause us to seek help from Washington. This help is extremely costly, and as a result, we’ll be adding trillions of dollars to our national debt over the next 10 years.

These massive government deficits must be covered by taxing Americans, borrowing from other nations, or printing more money. Tax increases hurt the economy and cost jobs, borrowing makes us dependent on nations like China, and printing more money devalues our currency and causes inflation.

All of these tactics are misguided attempts to restore prosperity and good times, and they will all result in less freedom and potentially, future bondage. President Obama was recently quoted as saying that our federal debt is “unsustainable” and that we are “mortgaging our children’s future.”

I believe there is a great urgency for God’s people to turn back, to reset our dependence on God rather than on man and man’s wisdom. However, this won’t happen unless we are willing to live a life of obedience to our Lord. Our example is Christ, who gave up much in order to fulfill God’s purposes for this world. Paul examined our Lord’s unselfish attitudes in Philippians 2.

He then addressed us as believers, encouraging us to obey God “with deep reverence and fear” (verse 12 NLT) to be effective, we must “Live clean, innocent lives as children of God, shining like bright lights in a world full of crooked and perverse people” (verse 15 NLT)

This means we must order our lives according to the principles of God’s economy, not man’s. We must reset our dependence upon those principles and make God, not His blessings, the object of tour our in the life. I too say, let us pledge to God our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor and live in firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence.

Considering the current course of events in our nation, we cannot afford to wait. We, and we alone, are the salt and light of America, and what we do in the next few ears could largely determine the course our nation follows for decades.*

We look forward to lending insight to your mortgage and financial needs. Please call us at 913-642-3334 or email us at or Blessings

* Reprinted with permission from Money Matters, a monthly economic magazine published by Crown Financial Ministries, Gainesville, Georgia. July 2009, Issue 376

Friday, June 19, 2009

Ethical Actions

Daily we are all faced with making ethical choices, some more obvious than others. And, as a business owner and manager, I must make on the job decisions that affect the success of the business, my staff and their careers. Success to me is defined by strong values and high integrity and not by dollar signs!

After many years as a mortgage consultant for other companies, (nationally known names) I became increasingly aware of the sometimes not- so- straightforward methods employed by these companies to obtain mortgage loan business. Clients weren’t individual with specific needs, they became a “transaction”, a number to add to the volume closed that month. So, we chose to put our client’s needs first and foremost. Thus, InSight Mortgage Group was founded on the principles of integrity, superior customer service, and biblical principles of stewardship. I am a qualified member, one of three mortgage professionals in the entire country, of Kingdom Advisors. Kingdom Advisors is an organization that equips the financial professional to walk out their faith and biblical principles in the marketplace and to pass along sound financial wisdom to their clients. You can learn more about them at

We’ve promised to deliver the best possible solution to our clients needs even if that means losing the loan. It disturbs us to see what many mortgage companies are continuing to do these days: over promising and under delivering. And in this tough economic climate it’s happening a lot. Typically what happens is a lender quotes a lower rate than the competition, and is charging additional fees and not disclosing them, or hiding them under the guise of other charges. And what impact does this have? First, the client who has just experienced a closing with unexpectedly higher costs, feels trapped at the last minute without other choices and ends with a highly negative attitude and end result. Then, the bad experience reflects poorly back on the industry as a whole, possibly lumping all mortgage consultants together as crooks or liars.

Proverbs 11:18 teaches us: “The wicked man earns deceptive wages, but he who sows righteousness reaps a sure reward.”

We believe in building relationships and have appreciated the repeat business of many clients, and the referral of business from their family, friends and associates. It’s a foundation of trust and the knowledge of being treated with respect and honesty. A mentor and friend, Rick Boxx, said it best, “Selling with integrity can be very difficult. It takes self control and a relational approach, rather than a self-serving transactional approach.”

"Michele is Believer who has based her Mortgage company, Insight Mortgage Group, on all the Christian principles from the Bible, and who does not believe in gouging the clients. In fact, her whole company is based on Christian love and care for each other and making sure that her clients are getting the best deal possible within the Mortgage industry. Of course, just like you, she needs to make a living along the way, but she does not make her living hi-jacking unsuspecting buyers. God rewards his trusted Christian believers for their service and for their honesty and caring of our fellow man." - V. Thomas

There will be daily temptations to give in to greed, take advantage of others, and cut some corners. Stand strong and do what you say you’re going to do, speak honestly, be responsible and accountable for your actions and make good ethical decisions. Let your actions show that you are a person of integrity. Talk is cheap. Do you want to work with someone who talks a good talk but then doesn’t deliver? Remember this one: Actions speak louder than words.

"What I can testify is the fact that Michelle, after many tearful phone calls of desperation, took a clear and unbias look at our situation and clearly explained our options, sure we could refinance or try to move and solve the short term problem. We would have been stuck with a crazy interest rate and a larger monthly payment, and have lost some equity in our home, but in my eyes we would have skipped a house payment, stopped our late pays and late credit reporting, and avoided foreclosure. Michele also gave me some hard words to hear in terms of dealing with our financial situation, it would not be in our best interest, and the amazing part is she put our best interest first in turning our eyes upon the true inner nature of our situation. I know she could have made money off of our unfortunate situation, but she didn't. She gave us some wonderful contacts and advice to dig in and work with our mortgage company to resolve the issue, save our home, and face the bad habits that put us in that situation to begin with. Looking back I am so UNBELIEVABLY thankful we never refinanced and put that bandaid on a quite larger wound. We worked with our mortgage company, had our loan modified, became current with our mortgage, and we learned some hard but awesome life lessons along the way. She will always have our business. And because we learned(and still learning) how to manage and handle our finances, that in turn enables us to move in the near future" E. Hammond

A principle we strive to embody is from Philippians 2:4 "Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others”.

At InSight Mortgage Group we want to help people make good sound choices, ones they can live with today and in the future. Please call us at 913-642-3334 or email us at or for trusted, client-focused answers to your mortgage or financial questions. Blessings

Friday, June 12, 2009


Aren’t we all ready for some good news about the economy, even if it’s a modest dot of light at the end of the tunnel?

Thursday (6/11) saw reports with better than expected results in the retail sales sector and jobless claims, which pushed stocks higher. As consumer spending accounts for about two thirds of our economic activity, investors watch retail sales numbers carefully. This piece of good news has lead to reports that “the recession may be easing” by those in the know on Wall Street.

Another piece needed to put the economy on the road to well being is the recovery in the housing market. And we do have some good signs in that direction as well.

Purchase and refinance applications are remaining steady following a burst of activity the past several months, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association, despite a small uptick in fixed-rate mortgage rates. As of Thursday, the average weekly Freddie Mac rate for a fixed rate 30 year mortgage was 5.59%, which was up from the previous weeks 5.29%, BUT down from a year ago, which was 6.32% .

According to the Federal Reserve’s Beige Book, which reports on real estate transactions,many Federal Reserve districts are seeing an increase in home sales. It's reported that new home construction “appeared to be stabilizing at very low levels”. This increase can be attributed to low interest rates, declining home prices, seasonal factors, and the tax credit now available for many first-time home buyers. (Also noted is a weakening of the commercial real estate market.)

The national media has tended to overlook some recent reports that indicate the housing market could be turning upwards finally. Instead, the focus in on foreclosures and increased delinquency rates. Trying to keep up with all the data and reports available to brokers on rates, activity on loan generation, and real estate sales keeps me hoppin’. We all know we need to focus on what happening in our local marketplace. But, by looking at the overall trend nationally, and at some specific areas, we can get a look at what’s happening on a deeper level than reported on the evening news. Remember, bad news sells more than good news, or gathers more viewers.

Clear Capital just released its Home Data Index report. It shows that within larger troubled markets small pockets of price stabilization are occurring; Cleveland and Sacramento – which are among the hardest hit markets in the US – as examples.It also reports that price declines are continuing, but appear to be slowing down, and especially in the Midwest and South.

The most encouraging signs are coming from the nation’s hardest hit markets, where a turnaround has started. The past three months in the San Francisco-Bay area, American and foreign investors, as well as first time buyers, are snapping up bank-owned properties as soon as they’re listed. And, amazingly, agents are witnessing bidding wars even on short sales according to a recent RISMEDIA report. In February 2008, California’s statewide inventory of unsold homes was a 15.2 months supply, compared to March 2009’s number of 5.8! Historically, a six month supply of unsold homes indicates a stable market; neither a buyers market nor a seller’s market.

Per RISMEDIA, Las Vegas, one of the worst markets in the country, has just seen March set the fourth best month for closed sales. The record months, set back in the "boom period", is predicted to be broken during this summer. A board member of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, Forrest Barbee, said “Things have been looking up but it’s going unnoticed. It’s going to take the data a little longer to catch up to the reality.”

The National Association of Realtors reported a rise of 6.7% in the number of pending sales of existing homes in April. It’s the biggest jump in more than seven years.

By looking at how the market is improving in the most depressed markets, we can evaluate the overall strength of the national market. The markets of Florida, California, Arizona, and Nevada comprise nearly half of the national foreclosures, so an upturn in those markets will be critical. I’ll be watching those numbers and sharing this data with you.

So, cautious optimism is the phrase of the day!

We want to thank you all for your continued business, and for sending InSight Mortgage Group, the referrals from your family, friends, and business associates. Please call us at the office, 913-642-3334 with any questions or comments. Regarding purchase loans or refinancing, email me at or We always look forward to providing you with the best customer care. Blessings.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Facing Pressure with God's Help

Being under pressure is a subject I seem to be hearing a lot about these days, whether in the news or in daily conversations with friends and clients. In the mortgage business I regularly interact with people who have a wide variety of financial needs, and I’m asked about ways to achieve financial good health. I like to consider both emotional well-being (making good decisions) as well as the bottom line.

Our success or failures can be related to how we react to pressure. Do you have a general pattern for reacting to pressure? Maybe you become cranky (or worse), play the avoidance game, or even fall apart entirely?

In our general day to day life we may feel the pressures pushed down on us, even as we believe and walk with the Lord. If life seems to be treating us well and the devil isn’t putting too much pressure on us, then we’re ok. But how do we react when the big problems crop up? Do we take our tension or anxiety out on our loved ones, co-workers or the boss at work, or even on strangers?

The best way to live more stress free is to “cast all of (our) cares on the Lord”, Peter 5:7. We may struggle with this at times, but when faced with adversity or pressure, this is the only way to become free of the anxieties and not feel overwhelmed by them. “I sought the Lord, and he heard me, and delivered me from all my fears. This poor man cried out, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.” Psalm 34:4,6

Kenneth Hagin gives some great advice on how to handle pressure by listening to the voice of God, focusing on Him and asking Him for direction. I’ve paraphrased his major points and hope you find these words helpful:

Maintain focus on God: Instead of seeing only the negative and what’s going wrong in our life, and having a feeling of hopelessness, we need to focus on God and believe that our situation CAN have a positive result. Replace worry and doubt with faith. As in ISAIAH 26:3 “Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” Have you had a minor challenge grow into a major problem because you focused solely on it, and soon it grew bigger and worse than at the start? We need to look to God and His Word to give us peace through these turbulent times. “Whatever is impossible with man, is possible with God” (Matt. 19:26) No one can control your thoughts other than you; your success and how you react to different situations is controlled by you. But with the focus on God, and not on the negatives we’re dealing with, we shall rise above these pressures.

Our own potential in God: We can focus on the potential we have in God, and not on any weaknesses we have. We can’t accomplish many things in our own strength alone. But we can accomplish anything with God’s help, “…let the weak say, I am strong.” Joel 3:10 Let’s make “I am strong” a daily affirmation. This belief of “us in God” will see us through adversity or crisis. We can overcome circumstances with our potential in God. Hebrews 12 can shed some more light.

What is God Saying: I’m sure we’ve all experienced the situation where we were talking to someone and realized that the person was not hearing a word we were saying, even though the person was standing right in front of us. His mind was wandering and not paying attention to what we had to say. Well, God talks all the time, but, are we listening while He speaks? The main way God speaks is through His Word. But do we take the time to find and read His Word while under pressure? We can find strength and peace in His Word. And with prayer and focused thinking on the Word, God will show us the path to take to walk through the difficult time. “…and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live …” Isaiah 55:3

Talk about God: “…talk ye of all his wondrous works.” Psalm 105:2 The Book of Psalms is filled with many different writers talking about the vastness of God, His goodness, and more. When under pressure, or experiencing adversity, it’s the perfect time for us to talk about who He is and how big He is. This talking about God being bigger than anything else puts the devil in his place. As we talk we will be refreshed anew and the pressure will be relieved.

No matter how dim the future may look, God is bigger. No matter what other negative comments people may make, God can bring you through. With Him all is possible.

So as this summer begins, and our busy lives go full throttle; we may get bogged down with the negative daily news reports, maybe even experience the pain of a lost job. Whatever causes the pressure, remain steadfast in your faith and remember:
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light. With your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.” Psalm 18:28-29

At InSight Mortgage Group, we strive to bring integrity to the mortgage loan business and treat all our customers according to the Golden Rule. Whatever your financial situation may be, we will work to find you the best solution. Please call us at 913-642-3334, or email us at or . Blessings.

Monday, June 1, 2009


A new national bill has just been signed which addresses the credit card companies seemingly endless ways of making arbitrary changes. We have all read or watched the news covering the issues of unexpected account closures, sneaky rate increases, big late fee charges and other nasty credit card related practices. And maybe you’ve even experienced one or two of these unexpected changes yourself?

So, does this new law provide actual relief for us as consumers and will it make an impact on our struggling economy? No easy answer to that, sorry. We’ll all have to take a “wait and see” approach. But, let’s review the highlights of the bill and think about what this means for us as borrowers.

* No overnight change: The bill allows nine months for the credit-card companies to implement the changes. Many consumers would be happier with a faster turnaround time in this tough economy; the good news is that these changes take place sooner than the new Federal Reserve regulations which become effective in July 2010.

* Free and easy bill payment: Credit card companies must now accept telephone and internet payments, and best of all, these services are to be free! This is a big change from current practices, where most credit card companies collect extra revenue from charges for online and telephone payments.

* New on-time policy: Did you realize that some companies required our payment to arrive by 9am or noon on the due date to be considered on-time? If it arrived in the afternoon mail delivery on the due date, it could be considered LATE. Now, if our payment arrives by 5 pm on the due date, it is to be considered an on-time payment.

* Be forewarned: We will get a notification 45 days in advance of an interest rate increase, according to the new rules. Meaning: we’ll see this coming and be able to make adjustments to our budgets or plans.

* Grace period: Once the bill is implemented, we will no longer be immediately charged a higher interest rate for being late on a payment. The lender has to give a 60 day grace period to us before they retroactively charge a higher rate to existing balances.

* Restoration: According to the new bill, if a borrower falls more than 60 days behind, we’ll be able to get back the earlier, lower rate after six consecutives months of on time payments.

* Promotional rates: The special promotional rates are allowed, but must be a minimum of six months and card companies won’t be able to raise rates during the first year an account is open.

Other provisions include making credit cards harder to acquire for college students under 21 years old, and eliminating tiny print in the applications and disclosures.

There seems to be a “but …” following the good news, right? Well, there is speculation that the issuing banks will add new types of fees and find ways to get around the new rules. After all, they profit from the fees they charge as well as the rates on balances carried month to month.

As with all things financial, use good common sense, ask questions, be responsible for your actions. Another resolve would be to just pay off all credit card debt. Prov. 22:7 says ”Just as the rich rule over the poor, so is the borrower servant to the lender.”

Avoid the financial stress by working on getting out of debt. Insight Mortgage Group has folks who can help you achieve financial freedom. Please give us a call at 913-642-3334 or email me at

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A crop of fake credit histories emerges - Kansas City Star

A crop of fake credit histories emerges - Kansas City Star

Shared via AddThis

I just recently had Julia Jensen from the FBI speak at InSight Mortgage Group's monthly Lunch and Learn about this very topic, credit fraud. The information she shared is absolutely amazing and unbelievable. Desperate times bring even more desperate measures. If you don't want to fall victim or prey to this, please consider using a lender who cares about you and your future. If you are looking for a home loan and a lender who will give you sound biblical advice, contact InSight Mortgage Group. Our focus is not about making dollars and cents, it's about helping you make sound financial choices!! Please give us a call at 913-642-3334 or visit

Thursday, May 21, 2009


Do you think that finances can be a real aggravation at times. Doesn’t it seem especially true these days with the ups and downs on Wall Street and the unemployment numbers growing? If you haven’t already surrendered your finances to God, now is the time to do so.

The subject of money and possessions is found in over 2,000 verses in the Bible. God makes the point of wanting us to handle money wisely. Jesus often spoke of being a good steward of the resources He entrusted to us. And He wants us to avoid making money an idol in our lives. Ecclesiastes 5:10 says: “ He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves abundance with its income.”

First, we can manage money wisely by practicing diversification. It’s also a biblical principal: “Divide your portion to seven, or even to eight, for you do not know what misfortune may occur on the earth.” (Ecclesiastes 11:2 NASB) There is no one perfect investment – bonds, real estate, stock market, precious metals; each can perform well or poorly, has it’s own advantages or disadvantages.

Secondly, pay attention to your financial investments. Don’t ignore your monthly statements, open them and review each. And not just quickly glancing at the bottom line. Solomon wrote “You should take good care of your sheep and goats, because wealth and honor don’t last forever. After the hay is cut and the new growth appears and the hevest is over, you can sell lambs and goats to buy clothes and land. From the milk of the goats, you can make enough cheese to feed your family and servants.” (Proverbs 27:23-27 CEV) This translates today to not take anything for granted and keep a good watch on your investments and your household finances in general. Don’t make careless mistakes, inviting more stress into your life.

Next, avoid taking on more debt. The stress from debt can induce health problems – from muscle tension and migraines, to severe depression. Proverbs 22:7 says "Just as the rich rule the poor so is the borrower servant to the lendee."

Money, and it’s use, can be a challenge to us. Maybe even a source of conflict. That’s why God has given us many basic principals to live by and incorporate into our lives.

We can lend insight to your home financing needs and personal financial situation. Call us at 913-642-3334 or email me at with questions or comments.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009


Watch your savings add up quickly!

Even if you’ve experienced a property value decline as a result of the economic downturn and mortgage crisis, you may be able to refinance your home loan into a very low fixed rate mortgage!

The Mortgage Refinance Affordability Plan recently implemented by President Obama offers many homeowners the chance to refinance their current mortgages. Many homeowners who have seen their property values drop the past several years can see real help with this plan.

And we at InSight Mortgage Group can answer your questions and see if you qualify for this or other refinancing programs. If you have a current 80/20, 80/15/5 or 80/10 loan, where you did a 1st/2nd combo in order to avoid PMI, we may be able to get you into a 105% LTV first mortgage.

Save thousands of dollars over the life of your loan by locking into a low interest fixed rate loan. Maybe a refinance could save your home from foreclosure.

Whatever your personal home loan needs may be, take advantage now and see your savings add up. Call Dick or Michele at InSight Mortgage Group, 913-642-3334. Email us at or or start your application online at

Thursday, April 30, 2009


Aren't there a lot of ads these days promoting "a great loan program that no one else has, so call immediately"? One of the most consistently promoted programs these days is the No Cost Home Loan.

It’s everywhere – radio, TV, the web, even in the shopping malls these days. “Refinance now with us and have no closing costs”. And you might think, “gee, with money being tight right now, that sounds good to me.” A free loan, save lots of money!

Didn’t Mom once say, “nothing in life is free”? And isn’t Mom usually right! Now, you actually can get a loan with little or no closing costs. But, what you’re not told is that you actually end up paying a higher interest rate than you really qualify for! This in turn means that you might save $3,000-4,000 in closing costs upfront, but the monthly payment could be $100-300 higher than it would have been if you had paid the closing costs.

Let’s walk through the process with the following example. Loan amount is $200,000. You will pay the closing costs on this loan, you qualify for a 6% rate. (not so perfect credit) Monthly payment (P&I) is $1,199. Banker ABC says “no closing costs, and 7%.” He may tell you, “the rate may seem just a little bit high, but you’ll save $3,000.” You think that sounds great!

What is not explained is the difference in the 6% rate you qualify for, and the 7% rate you choose to take for the “free” loan. Borrowing $200,000 at 7%, the payment is $1,330. So, that’s $131.00 more a month than the loan at 6%.

Now, if you choose the loan where you pay the closing costs and save $131 monthly, it will take you about 22 months to get your $3,000 back for the closing costs. And, if you stay in the house another five years beyond the “payback” time (22 months), you’ll save about $7,900 at the 6% rate. BUT, if you decide on the “no cost loan”, you’ll see about
$8,000 blow out the patio door into the wind.

Always ask what the difference in the rates is, and exactly what the closing costs will be. Figure the difference between the two programs – the loan with closing costs and the one without. Rule of thumb says that if in two years or less you’ll have paid back the closing costs, and you’ll be in the house for at least 5 years, then take the loan with the lower rate and pay the closing costs.

It’s our mission at InSight Mortgage Group to find the best loan program to meet your needs and to counsel you throughout the entire process. We specialize in making you, our client, our first priority. Please call us at 913-642-3334 or email me at with questions regarding refinance or purchase loans.

Friday, April 24, 2009


Although March saw a slowing in existing home sales, low mortgage rates and tax credits are drawing first time buyers into the market according the National Association of Realtors.

NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, indicated that with the modest ups and downs recently seen in the market, it appears to be stabilizing. “The share of lower priced home sales has trended up, indicating a return of many first-time home buyers, which we also see in a parallel member survey”, he said. “Sales in the upper price ranges have stalled because of higher interest rates on jumbo loans.”

March ’09 saw a rise in home prices, with the national median existing-home price for all types of properties at $175,000, although it is down 12.4% from March 2008. But, the increase in March was 4.2%, which is more than double the 1.8% seasonal increase usually seen at this time. Over half the March transactions were distressed properties which typically sell for 20% less than traditional homes.

The March survey conducted by NAR of its practioners indicated 53% of transactions were first-time buyers. Yun said “buyer traffic has been rising, and real estate offices are getting phone inquires about the tax credit.” “By early summer we should be seeing a positive impact on home sales from record low mortgage rates in addition to the stimulus provisions.”
The Midwest region has fared better than the other regions in the country. March’s median price was $141,300, a drop of 6.1% from a year ago, compared to an 18.4% drop in the Northeast, 12.2% in the South, and 11.1% in the West.

At InSight Mortgage Group we can provide you with clear, concise information on the $8,000 first-time buyer tax credit, in addition to finding you the right loan program to fit your specific needs. Call us at 913-642-3334 or email me at We look forward to working with you. Blessings.

Monday, April 20, 2009


Even with low, low interest rates and new government recovery programs, it can be a tough road to walk to get to the closing table on refinancing your home loan. At InSight Mortgage Group, we work to smooth out the few bumps you may encounter along the way – it’s our specialty.

Strangely, the tough part isn’t the “approval” process for borrowers, it’s keeping the approval!

I’ve recently blogged about the mortgage industry in general, starting in 2005, being understaffed. With these wonderful low rates, lenders are getting slammed with requests and are having a difficult time handling the volume. An underwriting logjam has been created.

These days taking a mortgage application from start to finish with some lenders can be as long as 2 months! That’s double the time it took about 6 months ago, when the average was 20 days to closing.

You know, a lot can happen in 60 days. More so than in 20 days. And while there are things outside your control which may affect the loan process, there are a number of things you can control.

Mortgage approvals are delicate things and nothing’s complete until it’s complete! Please keep in mind the following “rules” for the period of time when your loan is in underwriting and before it closes.

A. DON’T buy a new car, trade up to a bigger lease, etc. (incur more debt)
B. DON’T start a new company or quit your job
C. DON’T move to a commissioned job from a salaried job
D. DON’T transfer large sums of money between bank accounts
E. DON’T be late on paying your bills
F. DON’T open any new credit accounts -- even if it’s 0% interest for the next year
G. DON’T take a cash gift unless you have all the proper “gift” paperwork filled out
H. DON”T make random, undocumented deposits into your bank account

The above are red flags to an underwriter and only one is enough to slow or even derail the process. Situations arise, and it doesn’t mean that you can’t get a cash gift or buy a new car, it means talk to your loan officer first. We’re here to guide you each step of the way, so call us at 913-642-3334 or email me at to get started on your refinance.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


Mortgage rates are low but there are costs associated with acquiring a loan. Those borrowers with less than perfect credit have incurred increased fees recently implemented by Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae. Many of us in the mortgage industry think that with the uncertainty in the mortgage market, other costs will increase as lenders look to reduce their costs and anticipate rates.

Lending standards are really tight which means that borrowers who qualify for the really low rates must meet a strict and narrow set of guidelines.

In general, to get the headline making rates, borrowers are often paying more points, or prepaid interest, that brings the mortgage rate down.

Over the past year and a half there has been many changes in mortgage pricing, and from the borrower’s standpoint, it’s mainly negative. Fees are added based on a borrower’s credit scores according to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac’s new risk-based pricing. Now, borrower’s must have a FICO score of 740 or higher to avoid the extra fees, according to Dan Green, author of and loan officer with Mobium Mortgage in Cincinnati. Lenders incorporated the new rules into the rate sheets in the middle of January even though the official effective date is April.

These new fees, Loan Level Price Adjustments, are an unpleasant surprise for some borrowers wanting to take advantage of low rates. These fees create different pricing scenarios from one person to the next. What works for one borrower may cost the next person 1% more.

For those wanting to pull equity from their home through a cash-out refinance, fees have increased as well. And the lenders have added costs to condo financing.

A point is 1% of the mortgage amount, and is charged as prepaid interest. The more in points a borrower pays, the lower the rate. If points rise a bit, it’s a sign that lenders are looking for up front money as opposed to over time, thus covering a portion of their risk.

With government intervention in the mortgage market these days, rates are unpredictable, which generally causes lenders to price conservatively.

Why pay points? A borrower needs to decide whether paying a point (or more) makes more sense for them , or if a mortgage with a higher rate with no points would be better. Factors to consider would be how long does the borrower plan to stay in the home , and how long it will take for buying points to pay off. The more time a borrower plans to remain in the home, the more paying points makes financial sense. In the past one point in fees would buy a drop of 0.25% to 0.375%. These days the percentage is greater, dropping a rate 0.625% to 0.875%.

An example: A 30 yr fixed rate of 5.625% on a $417,000 loan with no points. By buying a point ($4,170), the rate dropped to 4.875%, which saves the borrower $261 monthly in interest cost. With that savings, it takes only 16 months to pay back the buy down. From this point on, everything is a benefit. Given traditional guidelines, the breakeven point would be double that 16 months.

Borrowers are also seeing some fee increases in underwriting and processing. It takes more expertise and work to process a fully documented file than the popular no-document loans of several years ago, thus the higher charges.

Mortgage rate lock fees are also more common. The largest increases in the title & settlement category are in the real estate transfer taxes charged by counties and cities. You may be able to save money when refinancing by using the same title insurance company who closed your first loan. Many title companies have gone out of business, or one company buys out another, so surviving companies are raising prices for title and settlement fees too.

A rule of thumb is that mortgage fees generally run 3% or so of the loan amount.

As a mortgage broker, InSight Mortgage Group has an advantage over the standard lender. We work with many different banks and lenders allowing us to shop around for you to find you the right product and best rate for your home financing. With so many banks and lenders discontinuing loan programs, constantly changing the guidelines or going out of business overnight, it’s good to have other options at our fingertips if the need arises. This keeps you from completely starting over.

Call us at 913-642-3344 for professional, integrity minded help in finding the right loan program for your specific needs. Or, email me at with your question or concern. My staff and I are ready to work for you. Have a blessed day.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Demand for purchase loans rose the first week in April even though interest rates rose slightly from record lows, even outreaching the demand for refinancing. This gives hope to the hard-hit housing market as Spring approaches, generally the high season for purchases.

The Mortgage Bankers Association and various lenders have reported an increase in applications these past few weeks. We,at InSight Mortgage Group, have been blessed with many new applications. Many economists believe that our economy will begin to emerge from its slump when the housing market stabilizes. And the growing demand of refi’s due to the low rates available, can provide some relief to burdened consumers by providing them with lower monthly payments.

A ray of hope is actually found in Calilfornia, the hardest hit state in the housing bust. The median single family home price recently was down 41% from a year earlier and new home construction starts had almost disappeared. But, is the worst now over? Inventory is shrinking, investors are coming back, and sales volume is increasing.

More than 600,000 homes were purchased in February this year. The numbers show that the majority of the sales were bank owned foreclosures. And some areas, according to the California Association of Realtors spokesperson, are seeing slight increases in price per square foot, which is a hopeful indicator. The market is seeing an increase of investor purchased properties too.

The best indicator of positive change is in the inventory supply. A year ago it was 15 months, now it’s at 6.5 months! Generally a six-seven month supply of homes is considered a “normal” market. Nationally, the market has an overall 9.7 month supply.

And, according to the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), model homes are seeing a lot more foot traffic due to combination of the first-time homebuyer credit, low interest rates, and affordable prices. Joe Robson, NAHB chairman, reports "consumer interest is increasing”. He also reported that approximately 1.5 M visitors have logged on to their website to learn more about the $8,000 tax credit for first time homebuyers.

And for us, locally the numbers are good too. According to the National Association of Realtors home sales in the Midwest jumped 14.5%. We should have the local Kansas City regional numbers for March soon.

If the hardest hit area begins to show signs of slight improvement, what does that mean for the rest us?

Call us at InSight Mortgage Group, 913-642-3334, for the good news on purchase and refinance rates. Please email me at with your good news stories to share. Have a blessed day.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Facing Crisis with Faith and Trust

I’ve blogged in the past about positive attitude and taking personal responsibility for maintaining a focus on fiscal steadfastness. I want to share with you some wisdom that addresses these same issues. These thoughts are from the pastor of my church. No matter what your particular faith may be, the impact of facing crisis with trust and faith in God gives each of us hope and peace in these turbulent times.

To paraphrase his words: Bail out, recession, layoffs, and foreclosure -- all are media headline material, and it’s hard to ignore that a national and global crisis exists. Most of us are impacted by, or know someone being impacted by, our current economic crisis. There are different types of crisis we encounter in daily life. It’s not a matter of IF a crisis will come, but WHEN it will come. It could be when a death of a family member occurs, a job is lost, someone we care about is assaulted, a divorce, or a diagnosis of cancer.

How do we respond to this? What is a biblical response to crisis? We need to look to the response we choose when crisis comes, no matter the cause of the crisis.

Pastor Anderson shares wonderful passages and stories of persevering, standing firm in faith, a biblical response to crisis. He talks of four central truths about God and these affirmed in the face of any crisis, will help us have a Godly response to crisis:

1. God is in control
2. God has a plan for the world
3. God has a plan for me
4. I can trust God

I encourage you to click on the link provided to listen to the sermon “Trusting God in the Face of Crisis”: Resources/Modules/MinistryTools/Sermon/default.asp

As always, any of us here at InSight Mortgage Group will be happy to assist you with your mortgage needs or questions. Please call us at 913-642-3334 or email me at May God bring you peace now and in your time of crisis.

Monday, March 23, 2009


Recently I attended a seminar by an FBI representative on various types of fraud affecting the mortgage and real estate industries, and of course, our buyers and sellers. Then I had an enlightening conversation with a business associate whose focus is consumer protection and education.

Did you know that identity theft is America’s fastest growing white collar crime? The average dollar amount charged in identity theft is $92,893 and only 1 out of 700 thieves are ever prosecuted. And,the identity theft victim spends on average up to 600 hours restoring their identity. Identity theft is to knowingly transfer, possess, or use without lawful authority another person’s personal information to secure services or products, or to commit crimes in that person’s name.

The mortgage industry has stringent rules and oversights in place to safeguard our business from accepting applications using fraudently obtained information. A new national Red Flags Rule was implemented recently, further enhancing safety practices. At InSight Mortgage Group we have policies and procedures in place providing for the identification, detection, and response to “red flags” that could indicate identity theft.

There are five types of Identity Theft:

1. Financial – your information to obtain money, goods, or services leaving you
with the bill
2. Drivers License – an identity thief could obtain a drivers license in your name and accumulate traffic tickets in your name
3. Social Security – your social security numbers could be used for employment purposes and you could get the tax bill
4. Medical – your personal medical information could be used to obtain
prescriptions or medical health which could affect your health or reduce your
5. Criminal – your information could be used to escape fines or jail time. You
could actually end up in jail.

Military personnel are at risk too. Social Security numbers are the basis of personal and medical administration. In our era of Internet, credit cards, and computer file-sharing, the element of risk increases. The prime target is the deployed military person who most likely will not view his/her credit report for a year or more according to a public affairs officer with Army Human Resources Command. He said contractors, soldiers, and civilians should be aware of the dangers of identity theft and know how to protect themselves from unauthorized release of personally identifiable information.

Everyone should review their credit reports and financial statements regularly for any fraudulent charges. The Federal Trade Commission also suggests being alert to signs such as bills not arriving as expected, denials of credit for no apparent reason, or calls or letters about purchases never made.

Everyone is facing challenging economic times. Finances are a concern for each and every one of us, and identity theft is a potential threat to us all. Please don’t shake it off as a “it can’t happen to me” attitude. I’ve become aware of a valuable service provided by a company with integrity. Adell Associates of Pre-Paid Legal Services offers a comprehensive service you can use right now to help with the tough decisions all families and businesses must make. Everyone needs a will/living will but puts it off, maybe you’re thinking of bankruptcy, everyone signs contracts, and everyone needs to be concerned about their credit score and identity. These are some of the important benefits this service provides. For more information and personal assistance contact Adell Associates at 913-780-2375 or visit

Any of us at InSight Mortgage Group would be happy to discuss how we protect your identity through the loan process, or answer questions you may have. Call us at 913-642-3334 or please email me at Have a blessed day.