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From the desk of Joshua M Thomas

Happy Springtime! I hope you appreciate my articles below. It’s such an amazing time to work in Real Estate. The inventory of listings is making history! We need more homes! And rates are always interesting to watch move in their rhythyms. Buying houses should be on everyone’s mind right now. If not, you’re missing the boat. The renter’s market is deep and growing rapidly. If you own one already, buy another one. If you already have 2, buy more. And let me help you finance it! 401k money is acceptable for down payment. Even if you’ve borrowed from it.


With the crazy high demand for housing right now, builders are an important part of our lives. We are creating 1 million new households each year in the US yet new construction has only been putting out 600k-800k new single family homes over the past 3 years ( New construction tends to cost more than existing, but many people like that alternative and are turning to it. As a result, some have noticed that builders often offer incentives for using their “preferred lender.” I’d like to shed some light on this for you.

First, many times, Academy is the preferred lender. In this case, you would continue to work through us and we’ll work with the specific loan officer assigned to that builder. If you haven’t been prequalified yet, you’ll want to do that with us first, then go to the builder. It costs you nothing more, but gets you all the benefits of working with us both.

Second, if the preferred lender is NOT Academy, please introduce us. We offer everything the builder wants and would love to become their preferred lender. There are simply tons of builders, it’s hard to find them all.

Third, if we’re not the preferred lender, don’t throw in the towel. Let us compare apples to apples. Often times, the incentives are smoke and mirrors. When we compare apples to apples, there’s often no incentive at all. So worst case scenario, let’s compare.

So in all cases, start with us. You’ll get the honest, thorough, low cost loans you’re used to. And if someone’s trying to offer you a better deal, we’ll at least make sure you’re really getting that better deal!


Congrats to Robert and Maria! I’m excited because other lenders told them no before we helped them get a yes! Also, they won their house from other buyers by offering to let the seller live there rent free for a few more weeks!

Congrats to Michael and Alexi! I helped single Mike buy his first house 100% financed years ago. Now married, they sold his house and used the equity to get our best financing today as well as pay off some debt! So excited for them! Smart choice Mike made years ago to buy while still single!

Wish I had space to congratulate the rest, but thank you all!!


Today, I just want to make one point about credit. When we pull credit, we use Beacon 5.0, FICO Classic 04, and Fair, Isaac Model II. These are software version names. For this to make sense, think about your smart phone. Apple and Android update that operating system all the time. Nobody is using iOS 1 today. Nor are we using Gingerbread (Android 2.3) anymore. But in mortgages, we use a software program that was written some 15 years or more ago. FICO has updated that software many many times since. But we still use these old ones. This means that things you hear about credit, may not pertain to mortgages. It means that auto loans, credit cards, landlords, employers, etc have different scoring models. I can’t speak to theirs. I can tell you all about ours though. This is why our scores are often different than others. Why haven’t they updated the software yet? Because banks make money with statistics. They know exactly how many mortgages with a 680 score will have a late payment this month for example. If we changed the model, their stats would be off. Then they’d be lending blindly and likely lose money. Will they ever update? I’m sure they want to. But the riddle must be answered first. How do we update it without putting ourselves in the dark?


I know loans. But I wanted to share a couple of life hacks that others shared with me.

Got kids in diapers? I don’t anymore. But I have four kids. So I’ve changed my fair share. On child #2, we learned a valuable lesson. My very smart daughter was 3 and still in diapers. We were frustrated as she knew what to do. Some wise person told us to go cold turkey and throw out all diapers immediately. And count. Wet accidents don’t count. But she wouldn’t make it past 12 dirty accidents. We were daring and tried it. Sure enough, 9 accidents and she was done. She learned. We were so pleased, we couldn’t wait to try it on our 18 month old. We waited till the day he turned 2 and boom. He made it to 12 and was done. He was a boy and a year younger than his sister, but learned as well. Man! We loved it. On our 4th, we could’t wait till she turned 2. She did and it worked again. I forget how many accidents we counted with her, but we never used any pullups, or anything else. It worked on them all. So here’s to hoping this wisdom serves someone else reading this!

Got nausea? Puking in a toilet bowl is gross! Someone taught us to grab a kitchen bowl and call it a buddy and then sick people can remain mobile. So when someone gets ill today, we grab them a “buddy” and the unpleasant is more bearable.


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