Eden Gelt – Minute of Mortgage – Become a Cash Real Estate Buyer with a Self Directed IRA

Eden Gelt – with interest rates rising, more and more buyers are hesitant to enter the real estate investment market. At the same time, old 401K investments or IRAs are taking a hit as the market continues to plummet with estimates of 20-30% drops. If you have buyers that are looking to become real estate investors, now is a good time to have them explore tapping into an OLD 401K. I’m not referring to their active 401K that is currently being contributed to at work but something that may be sitting from an old employer that either is still in the 401K account or has been rolled over to an IRA.

A self-directed IRA allows the owner, through a custodian, to reinvest their dollars elsewhere other than stocks/mutual funds, with one possibility being real estate, LLC partnerships and more. There are a lot of caveats to using the IRA and not being hit with an early withdrawal penalty or being taxed at today’s rate. Since I’m not an expert, have your buyers reach out to a company experienced with self directed IRA rollovers.

If done correctly, an old IRA sitting can be used to purchase real estate for investment purposes only (the buyer can’t use the property at all). If going this route, the IRA owner CANNOT take a loan or merge their IRA dollars with their own fund, so the amount in the IRA would have to cover the purchase of the real estate and any additional expenses. For example, if the buyer was looking to flip a $125K property and add $75K in repairs, they would need to have at least $215K to cover taxes, utilities, insurance and overages to still have a reserve to feel safe. The buyer can then flip the property with money going back to the IRA without paying taxes until the investment is used for retirement (just like a regular withdrawal when they hit the minimum age). There are some caveats to the amount of transactions that can be done and scale of transactions to not be hit with UBTI. Have your buyer talk to a CPA and an authorized self-directed IRA custodian to learn more.

I’m not an expert so all of my insight is based on being just a regular person highly interested in purchasing real estate. If you want more information on how this works, do your own research and partner with a self directed IRA company and/or accountant to learn more.

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Eden Gelt – Minute of Mortgage – Buying a Home After Bankruptcy

Eden Gelt – A bankruptcy to real estate agents is often synonymous with a four-year wait, finding a co-signer or a dead deal. At Key Mortgage, we have financing options for your buyers in as little as two years post-bankruptcy dismissal or discharge. There are limitations as to the chapter of bankruptcy, loan type, current credit and other factors.

The most common type of bankruptcy is Chapter 7 bankruptcy. This type of bankruptcy wipes away all of the debt and has a severe negative impact on credit. For a typical conventional loan, your client will need to wait at least four years after a court discharge or dismissal for a conventional loan but only two years for an FHA or VA loan. However, under certain extenuating circumstances (i.e. death of a wage-earning spouse) that time for a conventional loan can be cut from four years to two.

A Chapter 13 bankruptcy is not as restrictive as Chapter 7. This type of bankruptcy reorganizes debt instead of wiping it away and requires the consumer to continue to make monthly payments through the court. A borrower can apply for a conventional mortgage two years after the discharge date (vs. four years for a chapter 7). FHA and VA are even more lenient in that they allow a borrower to apply for a mortgage loan only after 12 months of entering into a Chapter 13 repayment plan provided they have made all payments on time and the court approves taking on the new mortgage debt.

For more information about helping your client determine what options are available to them, putting them in the best possible position to buy a new home, reach out to me, Eden Gelt, to be put in contact with a Key Mortgage loan officer.

Eden Gelt – Conforming Loan Limits Are Increasing for 2023

Eden Gelt – The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) just increased buying power for conforming loan limits.  The changes go into effect starting in 2023 and some limits have increased by nearly $100K. Here are the changes for the Chicagoland market and some other numbers you should know to help guide your client in selecting the right property for them. 

Max Loan Amount in Chicago Metropolitan Statistical Area as of January 2023:

Conventional Max loan amount:

  • 1 unit – $726,000
    • 2 unit – $929,850
    • 3 Unit – $1,123,900
    • 4 Unit – $1,396,800

FHA Max loan amount

  • 1 unit – $472,030
    • 2 unit – $604,400
    • 3 Unit – $730,525
    • 4 Unit – $907,900

Jumbo (call your LO for competitive pricing!)

  • 5% down – up to $1,000,000

Minimum Downpayment:

Conventional

  • 3% down for first time homebuyers – owner occupied
    • 5% down for repeat home buyers – owner occupied
    • 15% down for investment properties (does not include multi-family)

FHA (has to be owner occupied)

  • 3.5% down (1 – 4 Units)

            VA

  • 0% down (1 – 4 Units)

Keep this cheat sheet in your back pocket so that you know enough to be dangerous and know that if they’re ready to take the next step, your Key LO is ready to help!  As always, your Key Mortgage loan officer is available for a preapproval, application, or to answer questions at any time, reach out to me (Eden Gelt) for an intro.

Eden Gelt – Minute of Mortgage – Financing 2-4 Multi-Unit Properties

Guiding your clients through the process of investing in multi-family real estate can be a valuable way to help them build wealth.

Here are some things to know about buying and financing these types of properties:

● Homes with up to four units are considered residential for the purpose of financing.
● Buyers of a multi-unit home can use rental income to help qualify for a loan. This means if you have a client approved to purchase a single family home at a certain limit, they may have more purchasing power if they instead buy a two- to four-unit property that has rental income. Note that not all the income applies though. Typically, 25% is subtracted to account for vacancies and maintenance.
● Owner occupants of two- to four-units can choose among FHA loans, VA Loans or conventional financing, just like they would a single family home. There are some nuanced underwriting guidelines depending on the program and number of units, so always check with your Key Mortgage loan officer to uncover any requirements around the property’s self sufficiency or payment reserves.
● Investors that do not intend to live in the multifamily property have some limitations. A higher down payment will be required and they may notice higher interest rates because these loans are considered more risky.

Reach out to me, Eden Gelt, for an introduction to a Key Mortgage loan officer who can guide you and your clients through the purchase of a multifamily property. They will help you navigate the process of incorporating rental income, preapprovals and the different types of loans available to help your clients today.

Edan Gelt – Minute of Mortgage – Lowering Mortgage by Getting Rid of PMI

Have you purchased a home in the last few years and put down less than 20% and are paying Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI)?  If so, this is a great time to reconnect with your real estate agent or loan office to lower your mortgage payment by removing PMI.

Buyers pay approximately $30 – $70 per month in PMI per $100K borrowed.  There are several ways to remove a PMI payment. The most common is through the Homeowners Protection Act (PMI Cancellation Act).  This is when the principal balance is scheduled to reach 78% of the ORIGINAL value, then PMI is automatically removed.  The same Act also says that the homeowner can initiate PMI removal if they hit 80% LTV ahead of schedule by making additional payments.  

Here’s where a real estate agent adds values:  As a market professional, a real estate agent is more aware of market value increases.  In 2021 alone, median prices increased 11.1% in Illinois per data released by Illinois REALTORS(R).  In some areas, home values increased as much as 30%!  

If your agent or appraiser determines your home increased more than the 20% required, you will likely need to submit a written request to your lender to remove PMI and provide comps or an appraisal. If all else fails, you can determine if refinancing is a better option with a lower payment, or possibly, you will be so excited about your property value increase – you might consider selling and reinvesting.

Reach out to your Baird & Warner Real Estate Agent or Key Mortgage LO today to learn more about lowering your payment by removing PMI.

Edan Gelt – Temporary Rate Buy-Downs and How They Work

With rising interest rates, buyers and sellers can come together for a unique win-win with a temporary rate buy-down. Unlike purchasing points that lower an interest rate by a small amount (typically 0.125% – 0.5%) for the life of the loan, a temporary buydown lowers the rate much more significantly (up to 3%) at the beginning of the loan. This unique financing option can help buyers ease into the full mortgage payment and provide a unique value-add for sellers. It’s also an answer to buyer’s that still want to wait until “rates drop”.
At Key Mortgage, we offer several options for a temporary buydown that include: 3/2/1, 2/1 and 1/0. For a 3/2/1, the 1st year rate is 3% below, 2nd year is 2% below, 3rd year is 1% below, 4th-remaining term is the note rate. Here is an example of a 2/1 buydown if the buyer’s rate is 7%.
1st year rate: 5.000%
2nd year rate: 6.000%
3rd-30 year rate: 7.000%
Temporary buydowns can not be funded by the buyer so this is an excellent tool for sellers to make their property more attractive without having to lower the list price of the home.

For more information on how to work with your sellers to market a temporary buydown or to help your buyers negotiate this financing when purchasing a home, reach out to me to be connected to a Key Mortgage Loan Officer.

Edan Gelt – Rebrand from Marketing to Mortgage

After spending the last three years working alongside entrepreneurs, I wanted to share a bit about what I’ve learned about personal branding.  I spent a lot of time talking with agents and loan officers about their personal brand and how to reposition/rebrand themselves from a prior career to a new one.  Some agents spent decades in corporate America and now sell homes. Others used to work in occupational therapy and may now be a loan officer or agent; or were a real estate agent that decided to become a loan officer.  The transition from one expertise to another seems confusing and some shed their past experience and identities to focus on their new career path.  I believe that your past career and skills make you better and more relatable in your new one and it’s not something that should be hidden.

Today I am starting a new initiative, I am going to rebrand myself from a marketeer to a mortgage champion.  This is not my first rebrand.  I spent 30-days as a fitness expert, went back to my roots as a marketer during the pandemic to help small businesses and now that I’ve spent time working in the mortgage and real estate industry, I think a mortgage brand champion truly defines my genre.

Over the next few weeks and months, I will share information about mortgage but continue to post on my marketing platform, proving you can rebrand after putting down roots in another field.  

For all the agents and LOs that helped me think up the concept of implementing a rebrand– I am excited to deliver.  Without your feedback and experience, I wouldn’t have taken this challenge.  I am walking a mile in your shoes so I can help add value to your business.

Edan Gelt Presents Increasing Your Brand Awareness on a Budget

Increasing Your Brand on a Budget

In today’s environment, budgets are tight and you have to get the biggest bang out of every dollar spent. Learn how you can be increasing your brand awareness on a budget. You know you have to brand but now is not the time to hire out, you can barely cover payroll.

Don’t lose hope, here are a few simple things you can do without breaking the bank.

Why Brand?

Let’s start with the basics – the “why”.  The point of branding is to showcase what makes you different from your competitors.  Marketing conveys your unique value and consistency increases the power of your brand.

Stick to it

Identify your strategy, value and messaging at the get go.  When you waiver and change your position frequently, you waste valuable dollars and lose trust with your target market. Get it right, right away.  That’s not saying you can’t make small changes along the way or as you grow but know who you are and stay the course.

Laser Focus

Identify who you are trying to reach.  You can’t be everything to everyone or you will wind up being nothing to no one.  Come to the market understanding not only who you are trying to reach but also what their needs are. Identify your target market and learn about them; research what they value, where they look for content, what their pain points are and how your service, product or business fulfills that need or eases the pain.  

Network

This is the easiest and most effective way to market on a dime.  Learn how to mix and mingle at work events, conferences, virtual calls, lines at a coffee shop even your kid’s school functions.  Traditional old-fashioned networking can go a long way to getting your name out there. When you put a face behind the business or brand it goes a long way. Challenge yourself – try to introduce yourself and your brand to at least 3 new people a week.

Engage

It is no longer enough to just have a social media page and presence; you need to jump into your customers’ conversations and understand what they value and give it to them.

Create a concise social media strategy and curate your content, including company updates and trends, to maximize engagement on your platforms to establish yourself as an industry leader. Use specific hashtags and maybe even develop your own hashtag to group your content and make it easier for people to find. 

Lead by Example

Testimonials on Google, Yelp and Facebook lend credibility to your brand.  Ask your existing clients to write a review and share their experiences. Even better than written testimonials are those done in video format and shared to your Google page. 

Samples of your work or case studies can also be extremely helpful when closing a new client or attracting new ones.  Case studies share how your product or service created value for someone else and samples of your work exhibits how you did it. 

Partner

Double your reach and budget by partnering with another complementary brand that targets a similar audience.  If you engage with a brand that already has established trust with your clients, they are more likely to trust your brand. Make the most of your partnerships by finding businesses with similar but non-competing target markets and co-market. 

Be a Guest

Appearing on someone else’s platform, such as a podcast or blog, exhibits your initiative and your intelligence. Podcasts and blogs are all the rage and being featured on one gives you the opportunity to get in front of new clients.  It also positions you as an industry expert. 

You don’t have to spend a lot of money to increase your brand awareness.  Just try some of the tactics here to discover works best for increasing your brand awareness on a budget.

Learn more about other free and affordable marketing strategies HERE.

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Edan Gelt Presents Copywriting to Crush the Competition

Copywriting to Crush the Competition

Copywriting is key to articulating your message. Writing words and copywriting are not the same.  The goal of copywriting is to increase your bottom line, create brand awareness and/or deliver a strong ROI. 

Our consumers are bombarded with ads and have less time than ever to absorb what you are trying to say.  Although there are no official figures, it is estimated the average person consumes between 6,000 to 10,000 ads every single day! Compare that to the 1970’s when consumers only encountered 500 – 1600 ads per day. The rise of technology and the internet is changing the landscape for businesses with more than 400 million active websites online and all of them vying for your attention.   

Copywriting is Key to Selling

Headlines can make or break your campaign. Words hold a lot of power. A headline compels a viewer to read more by grabbing their attention or eliciting an emotional reaction. You are going to spend less of your budget to reach more people and be more effective in getting your desired response.

The intent of the headline is to get you to read the next sentence.  The purpose of that next sentence is to get you to read the following sentence and so on throughout the article.  If you do not have a good headline or impactful first sentence, you do not have good copywriting and in turn your article is unfortunately not being read as you intended. 

Capture Attention – Immediately with Copywriting

Which headline compels you to read more?

Headline: Get rewarded when you shop at XX Retailer?

Subhead: Dress your best and get a free gift, it’s as simple as 1-2-3!

-OR-

Headline: Receive a $100 Gift Card – FREE!

Subhead: When you spend $500 at XX retailer November 1 – 10.

Years ago, when I started working for a retailer client, I was told that gifts with purchase did not work for their brand.  Baffled, I looked at the offer to determine if it was strong enough and if it had value.  It did.  Then I looked at the research to determine if the advertisements were being served to the target market.  They were.  The graphics were beautiful as well. So, what was wrong?

The copy was not compelling.  The $100 free offer was buried in the body of a dense paragraph and not mentioned in the headline aka the first sentence or even the second.  Though the free $100 offer was highlighted in the body copy, the reader never got there because they were not compelled to keep reading.

By changing the headline from the first example above to the second and keeping all else equal, the retailer went from barely distributing their $100 gift cards to depleting over 500 during the 2-week campaign!

Copy and the Bottom Line to Articulating your Message

By holding the audience’s attention, good copy ensures that your call to action is well communicated to the audience. Also, that the audience gets to hear your story. Good copy does not just resonate; it gets people to take action. Copywriting is meant to boost sales, traffic and/or brand loyalty

Most purchasing decisions are settled in the realm of emotions. It stands to reason that good copy that connects with your customers on an emotional level offers value from the first glance.

Keep it Simple

Wordy descriptions, heavy jargon and communicating in platitudes does not work. Lengthy paragraphs and complicated ideas are not effective in holding the attention of your reader. The best content is scannable, meaning when someone glances quickly at your ad they should get an idea of what it is about.  Think of a billboard and imagine you have a split second to capture attention, that is your headline.   

Most people are overloaded with information and they miss many of the words around them. Paragraphs should look attractive to the eye, be short, sweet and simple.  Try cutting down lengthy paragraphs to only a few words – challenge yourself to be simple.  

Good copywriting is not about using overthought words and improving your punctuation skills.  It is about understanding what your customers value and creating a value proposition that fulfills that need – from first glance. Copywriting is key to articulating your message, use it wisely!

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Edan Gelt Presents Pandemic Brand Strategies

Brand strategies during the pandemic

There is no doubt about it, 2020 is perhaps the most difficult year any of us has had to face. This year is also challenging for many of the world’s top brands. Top brands are now being forced to rethink their communication strategies. These leading brand strategies are now focused on communicating in trust, taking responsibility, having direct interaction and effectively communicating to consumers all while remaining empathic and positive. 

Consumers and business leaders are suffering from unprecedented stress and uncertainties. With the lockdowns and restrictions coming and going and economic uncertainty hanging over everything. In this climate, brands are having to be more sensitive in their communication strategies. 

The last thing anyone wants to see right now is an advertisement full of smiling revelers having the holiday of a lifetime. While, the rest of us are stuck at home worrying about our health, jobs and when we will get to see families and friends next.

Businesses are having to think long and hard about how to get their messages across sensitively. These new messages focus on remaining positive. This current climate is driving significant shifts in the communication strategies of just about all the world’s top brands.

Communicating in Trust During the Pandemic

The trust economy existed before Covid-19. With the emergence of ‘fake news’ and Social Media’s ability to spread this information in the blink of an eye. Building consumer trust begins to take on as an important role. This is mainly in part of the product’s capabilities or taste. 

Since the Coronavirus outbreak, this leaning toward the building of consumer trust is amplified. Leading brands and companies are now placing less emphasis on selling by the quality of their product and more on building a trusting relationship with their consumers. For example: 

  • Southwest:  Announced leaving the middle seat open at the start of the pandemic and has stayed true to this commitment through November 30.
  • Tesla: The electric car manufacturer switched some of its production lines to build ventilators, which they subsequently donated.
  • Anheuser-Busch: Converted some manufacturing lines to produce sanitizer during the shortage.

These are examples that have an obvious mechanism toward the building of trust. Consumers have long memories and acts like this will serve these companies well for years to come. But, there are more subtle examples. 

In the Philippines, the CEO of the McDonald’s operation in that country created a video. This video details the safety measures McDonald’s is taking to protect both consumers and their staff. 

This might seem like an obvious approach. However, at the same time other companies are portraying their staff as ‘heroes.’ This approach is being criticized for ignoring the fact that the employees are in as much need of protection as the consumers are. 

Consumer loyalty was until recently something a brand achieved by offering quality product and slick marketing. Now, companies are building trust by being loyal to their customer base. 

Taking Responsibility of Branding During the Pandemic

These days we all must take a level of responsibility in whatever we do. Whether it is self-isolating with symptoms, wearing a mask in public places or just washing your hands frequently. These actions are the new norm. And top brands are taking the same level of responsibility in order to maintain consumer trust. 

Successful communication strategies tell the consumer about a brands responsible approach to the current situation. A classic example of this occurred early in the pandemic when a toilet paper manufacturer began a campaign designed to dissuade consumers to stop panic buying. 

Asking customers to not buy your product may seem counterintuitive. But what it is doing is building customer trust by making the consumer aware of the empathic nature of the brand. 

Another brand that is using a similar strategy is Nike. While a lot of the world is still reeling from the pandemic, Nike encourages people to ‘play inside.’ Again, from a company whose product lines are generally designed for outdoor use, this may also sound counterintuitive. But Nike is playing a clever game with an empathic approach. This approach does not lose sight of the brand’s main selling point.  Check out the campaign here.

It is this understanding of the situation, the ‘we’re all in this together,’ ethos that brands are increasingly turning to. 

Direct Interaction and Conversation in Brand Strategy

Directly communicating with their consumers, mainly through Social Media, is a tactic companies are increasingly resorting to during the pandemic. This brand communication strategy was in place before the pandemic struck. But with more of us being forced to use Social Media as our main form of communication with friends and loved ones, it has become increasingly important for brands as well. 

For example, Reebok used Twitter to establish what home workout equipment their consumers are likely to own. By utilizing Twitter, Reebok is able broadcast their newly established series of home workout routines based on the consumer responses. 

Another leading brand strategy during this pandemic, is the “Water Wipes” brand of baby products. They created a virtual group named “Early Days Club.” This group is designed to let parents interact with each other while sharing advice and tips. All while assisting each other while overcoming the challenges arising from raising a child during the pandemic. 

Many other brands are establishing similar communication approaches. Some online platforms offer free-for-all courses and restaurants publish their famous recipes for consumers to cook at home. 

Overall, there is a movement away for brands being admired for products to now brands being admired for trustworthiness and empathy. This new movement seems to be working. In a recent consumer survey, it is shown that during the pandemic, consumer trust in larger brands is increasing. 

Branding Looking Forward – After the Pandemic

These are seismic changes to the ways large brands communicate with consumers. Brands with foresight are switching more toward a communication strategy that involves building trust with consumers. These new efforts open more direct communication channels. 

It is a drive toward consumer centricity that is unlikely to change even after the pandemic eases. It was a world that was on the verge of major change anyway. The global pandemic is pushing many of these changes upon us without letting them ‘evolve’ naturally. 

As ever with global brands, leading brand strategies during the pandemic are quick on the uptake. It is the ones who fail to see this and don’t shift their communication strategies that will fall by the wayside. 

Stay up to date and continue to see how the trends are changing due to Covid-19 by following my next VLOG or blog.

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