Preparation is Key!
Looking forward to being a homeowner over the next year 2023? Wondering if this is the best time to make a move?
Sharing some solid and valuable information for this week’s podcast episode is a Residential Mortgage Loan Officer in Goose Creek, South Carolina, SHAKELIA LEBLANC, with Premier Nationwide Lending. Providing value-bomb information that you need to make informed decisions that will eventually manage the entire loan process from beginning to end with ease. With an MBA holder, she worked for many years in the non-profit sector whose focus was to educate families and guide them toward financial stability before transitioning into the mortgage industry.
Buying a home takes some planning and preparation. With preparation, flexibility, and creativity, your journey to homeownership is possible, even in this competitive market. Thus, leading you to financial stability and generational wealth.
Listen as she discusses important steps on how to become a homeowner, how to prepare your credit score for the lending process, your debt-to-income ratio, and all those essential aspects that will guide you in your home-buying process.
Don’t forget to leave a positive rating and review if you’re enjoying the episodes.
What You’ll Learn From This Episode:
- Who is Shakelia LeBlanc, her passion, and what does she do?
- What do you need to know about preparation, the challenges she encountered, and how does she overcome them?
- The essence of becoming a homeowner.
- Things to prepare you for a successful mortgage process.
- How to improve and fix your credit score?
- Proper Credit card utilization. Having discipline and being prepared when using it.
- Myths when you’re working on your credit.
- How revolving debt affects your credit score?
- What is debt to income ratio (DTI), and how to calculate them?
- Avoid purchasing a car when planning to buy a house
Are you ready to commit to owning a home before the year ends?
Connect with Shakelia LeBlanc@
Connect with Corwyn @:
- Contact Number: 843-619-3005
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/exitstrategiesradioshow/
- FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/exitstrategiessc/
- Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxoSuynJd5c4qQ_eDXLJaZA
- Website: https://www.exitstrategiesradioshow.com
- Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/cmelette/
- Email @: firstname.lastname@example.org
Episode 65: Preparing to Own a Home This Season
Good morning. Good morning and good morning. Guys welcome to another fabulous episode of EXIT Strategies Radio Show. Hey, I’m your host, Corwyn J. Melette, Broker/Owner of Exit Realty Lowcountry group in beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, beautiful North Charleston, South Carolina. Hey, for today’s episode, I’m super, super duper excited. It is rare that you meet someone who has the passion for people that our guest today has. There are often times when the passion is limited to just a particular direction or what have you. But when you’re working with the attainable housing realm, when you want to create housing options for people that did not believe there were housing options that existed at all for them. Hey, this is the kind of person that you want in your corner. So today, I’m super, super excited to introduce myself, hold on she got to pay me for this. I got to figure out how am I billed for this. But Shakelia LeBlanc with Premier Nationwide Lending. Shakelia, how are you doing today?
I’m doing great. Yeah, so we’re happy to tell you something for that introduction.
Look here! Look here! And that was all on the spot. So look here, I got nothing refined now. I’m stroking, you got to stroke a nice little check to see him back over right there.
At the carry-around in my pocket, and saying I was quarantined, I introduced Shakeila.
Awesome, awesome. So thank you so much for taking time out of your busy schedule to be here on the show with us. So if you don’t mind, Shakelia, let us let our folks know who you are. And just introduce yourself. Who are you? What got you here? And what do you do?
Absolutely. So again, I’m Shakelia Leblanc. I am a Licensed Loan Officer. I am licensed in South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida. I am from the Sunshine State. So I’m from South Florida. But I’ve lived in Call Charleston, my home for about 10 years now. I help people who want to be homeowners, as you said, I have a passion for it. And I really do. My background is in nonprofit. And I worked actually in financial stability with Trident United Way here in the Lowcountry. And so I help people move beyond their basic needs to obtaining and sustaining their assets, which include home ownership. So I’m really big on education, and then going out myself and doing outreach for my clients. So for anyone that’s looking to be a homeowner, we know that New Year’s is coming, so anyone looking to be a homeowner the next year, I’m happy to help.
Awesome! Awesome! Well, that kind of, will lend to parts of what we may get an opportunity to talk about today. But you are someone who sees the picture differently. And your background obviously is a testament to that starting or coming through the trenches from the nonprofit world, where it was about service to the individual and how to get them to the next phase and the next step. That’s huge! That is huge. So bringing that over into this side, and we know, this side is not a full profit or a nonprofit arena. But bringing it over here on this side of having that same mindset and mentality obviously is taking you a lot of places. So, let’s talk about, you’ve been doing this and so let’s talk about the challenges like if you don’t mind that you’ve been encountering or seeing people encounter? So we can kind of talk about preparation. Yes. And I think that’s a word, right there. Preparation. Yeah. Okay. So hold on, let me sit back because I might mess around and leave right here. I used to be with our pastor one time. I thought about him this past weekend, CB Black. Oh, look here, I do, when he preached, I did, the sweat. He got to me and gave me a flashback. But if you don’t mind, can you tell our listeners, let’s talk about preparation? What do you need to know? What are the challenges out there and how they’ll overcome them?
Well, I will say as far as preparation, honestly, and I’m being completely honest, especially, if we want to take it too much, they always say the battle always fires. He said everything goes there. No way! The battle always starts in the mind, right? So really wrap your head around and be persistent. If you have decided that you want to become a homeowner, that battle in the process actually starts with you. Whether you’re writing it down or speaking with your children, whoever it is, that you are going to be a homeowner, and then taking those steps to make it happen. So obviously, one of the first steps would be speaking to a professional, not to your neighbor, not to your cousin. Speak to a professional who does this day in and out, hear their feedback, and then do two things after you speak with him. Trust them. If you went and you spoke to a professional, to someone that you know who’s working in this business day in and out, you gotta trust them, and you have to listen to what they say and apply those things. So that’s number one. Number two, obviously, if you want to be a homeowner, you gotta be organized. Because as a lender, I’m going to be asking you for a number of documents. And a lot of times sometimes the holdup in the process is just getting some of those documents. People can’t find their taxes. They can’t find their W2’s or they say they already sent it to me where they sent me their W2, not their taxes. And so starting a file where you are organizing those important tax paperwork, and they’re not just important for buying a home, they’re important for life. So you want to really start a file, whether it’s a paper file, file on your computer, or jump drive, and start organizing your documents. And then, of course, number three, starting the process. Starting a lot of time and I talked to clients and the number one thing that’s actually stopping them is fear. So fear of the unknown, fear of things they’ve heard of missed, they’re literally telling themselves no, they’re not even giving me an opportunity to say “no” right now. They have already told themselves, I can’t do this, because I heard this, or I heard this, so stop trying to get to know yourself outside of being a homeowner, and let me show you how it can happen.
I like what you just said, “stop knowing yourself at all”. Because that is very, very true. As an observation, professionally and personally how we’ll do that. And we’ll let other people know what’s out. You know, it’s impressive to me, it is extreme, people will talk you out of doing something that they’re afraid of doing themselves. Somebody who tells you that somebody is scared of heights will tell you not to go skydiving because they are afraid of heights. But you may love that you may get invigorated from the thrill of it all. But they don’t talk about doing it. We have that same thing on the homeownership side. I’ll say this and stop. But we have the same thing on the homeownership side. People are talking out of financial freedom, out of wealth generation. They’re talking them out of it because they’re afraid of or they can’t envision themselves being financially free or creating wealth in their own lives. And we have got to stop that from taking its route. As you said, it’s all mindset. So what else can people do in the, hold on, and our word, our subject for today is preparation. That’s what we don’t want other things to do.
So other things that you can do is think about what we’re going to be evaluating during the lending process and prepare those things. So the things that we’re looking at, the things that I look at, the underwriters gonna look at is number one, obviously, your credit. So we’re looking at your credit, and not just the score, we’re looking at the profile. So you want to make sure you understand your score. There are a number of scores out there, you can look to a lender to get your actual mortgage score, or you can go to, like my fico.com, it’s the only one that I know that will actually show your actual mortgage scores. But just know where you stand, right? Just don’t go out here and not know what’s been happening on your profile for the last couple of years. I’ll pull someone’s credit and I’m going over the credit with them and I’m sharing with them things that they seemingly have no idea about that is always so surprising to me that I am sharing with you what’s happening in your life. And so that’s where I want them to start, like just take a look at your credit, go to annualcreditreport.com And while it won’t show you a score, it will tell you what’s going on. It will tell you if you forgot to make a payment two months ago because you need to know these things and you need to be prepared for them. So we’re looking at credit. Make your payments on time. A lot of times people, you know, come in, they want to know how to improve their credit score. The number one thing I tell people is to make their payments on time. That is the thing that it sounds like it’s common sense, but it really is the answer. It’s number one paying on time, don’t get any late payments, don’t let anything go to collections. And then number two, we all know, mostly know to do those things. But also, don’t let your credit limit, don’t let your balances reach your limit. So if you have a $1,000 credit limit, you shouldn’t be using $999 of that 1000. And that is so important. And I tell you Corwyn, people don’t realize that as much as we think they may do. And so 35% of your credit score is going to be, are you making your payments on time? But the next thing right under that at 30% is credit utilization. That means if you’re over that 30%, you’re at 40 or 50%, your credit score has dropped. And I’m talking about a 70/60 points drop. And you will notice once you pay it down to under that 30%, your credit score increases. So if you’re doing that every month, your credit score can just be probably down or going up and down. And so pay your bills on time and then keep your credit scores, and credit utilization low.
That’s funny you should say that. So I’m gonna take you back. So you’re talking about having a conversation with people sharing their reports. And in my head, in my head. I heard “Wait a minute, wait a minute. I’ll never buy a car if you don’t.”
Exactly! Oh, yeah, I did. I remember that.
But the other part of it, though, and what you’re talking about is utilization. I know you get this because this is what I get. Well, I pay my bills on time. Okay, well, but your credit card is maxed out, or this one is over the limit? Well, my credit limit, my credit limit is 1000. But I owe, my bill is like 1100 because I’m over the limit I keep getting over. Yeah, so we need to get it inefficiently below that so that we can address that. And so we can see an improvement in the score. So that is people definitely missed that utilization part. So you know, if you don’t mind, I love to throw a hack in here for our listeners, guys, if you got high utilization on a card, get you another card, so you can balance it out. It was utilization, you get a credit score boost. I don’t mean go get another card and go run it up now.
Okay, can the other word be discipline if we’re talking about preparedness, discipline?
It cost me about that now. When someone says what she would tell you to do is say look, get the card, activate it, and then call me and I’ll come to pick it up.
And don’t take a picture of the card before he can pick it up.
Don’t you add that to your Apple wallet?
Exactly. It sounds like we had the same conversation and I say well you can cut the card. But did you memorize the numbers first?
So I used to tell him and I still say this in all cases, as a matter of fact, and speaking to that, so we probably need to change it because I would say put it in some water and put it in the freezer, put in a jar of water then put it in the freezer. So that way you got to wait for it to melt or you’re going to stand at work and run water on it to get your big picture, big or small because all but you ain’t got chip because you don’t want to mess the card up and you wake up to put it in the microwave because you don’t want to mess it up either. You’re gonna sit there and run water on it for a while to get to it. But we might need to use Kool-Aid or something now in the freezer because you’re trying to get to the number. You need to free some Kool-Aid, drop the card down, and put the big jug in the freezer. Yeah. Terrible, terrible, terrible, terrible. So what else do people need to do or consider in this world, preparation?
All right. So one of the myths that people come up with is, maybe they’re working on their credit Corwyn, so they got a good credit score. And so they believe that because their credit is 750, they can afford that house that they desire, just because of their credit score. And so the other thing that I want them to be prepared for is a word or phrase called debt to income ratio, DTI, which is their gross income monthly compared to their monthly debt. And so as you’re preparing to buy a home, it’s a good thing to know where you stand. And so the credit score just gets you in the door. It shows us your willingness to pay. But what we’re also evaluating is your ability to repay. So you may be willing because you have a good credit score, but are you able to pay the loan back? And so just do an exercise, and take a look at your gross income, that’s gross before taxes. So let’s say that you are making $3,000 a month, give us more money, and let’s give them some more money, more money in this market will give them a little bit more money. I’m gonna give them. I’m gonna give you $5,000. I’m gonna give you $5,000. Now that’s your gross income. Let’s say that you got a car payment, that car payment is $500, you’re on a student loan payment plan for $100. And then all your other debt credit cards equal up to $100. So that’s $500 for a car, and then $200 for the other two items. So that’s $700 of monthly debt, things that are reported on your credit. And let’s just say we want your debt-to-income ratio to be 50%. And so 50% of your gross income would be $2,500, right? We got $2,500 to spend, we have $700 already spent in your monthly debt, and then the rest of it can be left to your mortgage payment. So 2,500, subtract 700, and you are left with a $1,700 mortgage payment. So that is what you can afford now. Your mortgage payment can go up to $1,700. Because you have $700 in just credit debt, and then $1,700 in your mortgage debt, which is 50% of your gross income. So that’s like an exercise you can do at home.
Good deal. And just for clarity for our listeners, buying a house, when you’re married, you and a spouse are purchasing. If you’re not married, you and whoever are purchasing together, then we’re talking, you combine those incomes, but you also have to add, but you have to add up debts. So if you can combine the incomes to essentially get to a higher number, you also gotta calculate and add them in factoring the debts appropriately to get to where the debt ratio will fit and support what you’re trying to do. And that’s probably one of the, obviously credit pieces. I mean, it is what it is and we’ve been running through that loan for years. But that’s the other thing. I have clients now that I’m working with that, where I pay my bills on time. I do this. I do this. Yeah, but you got 13,000 car payments. And every time I check in this thing and that thing, all this revolving debt makes it difficult if at all possible to fit our house payment into. If you’re putting out that much money on revolving debt, then where does the house payment fit into that? Because it doesn’t fit. You got to pay off some of this debt. You got to get rid of it, I’m an old school. Okay, look here. Hey, look, I caught the need to disappear. I don’t know, you know, I don’t know. But I call this disappearing drop out of my method drop, I’m gonna say drop down, drop somewhere and forget and leave it running, and go and go for a while. And if it’s still there, then it was meant to be, but if it ain’t it guys, I’m kidding, I’m kidding What is this? What is the same concept though? You gotta look at it and say this is real. So can I know, you know this, there are people that I know that you run into, that have vehicle payments, as high as or higher than their house than what their house payment is, or would be when they want it to be, what they wanted to be. But they have a vehicle that prevents them from even buying a house.
Yep. And you know what, as we talk about credit, and then going into the debt to income ratio, what I’m seeing more often, and what I just like to reiterate, is that people are getting better at credit. They’re getting better at knowing what to do, they’re working with people and fixing their credit. But then they get the credit up enough and they go buy a car first. Like I don’t know how many times I’ve seen, of course, in the last year, I see people within the last year have got a car, but I mean, as recently as to, no, probably about three to six months before applying with me, they literally have a car in 2022. And I’m like this car is $650 like that, I see it and I just don’t even know what to say or do.
So it’s almost like before you take on the client, you gotta go on Facebook, find them and go back about six months and see if you see them standing there taking a selfie with the car in the background with a bow warning. They got to 22 and 22. Mostly gaming. Because that’s what it is, like you said, you’re going out and getting a car instead of purchasing the house. And I get it. I’m always reminded. I shared this story of a lady, who met me at a homebuyer workshop years and years and years and years and years ago. And I’m at the top ready to buy this year that in the third. Fast forward a couple of years, and okay, she’s ready to buy. But she comes into my office. And when she comes into my office, granted in the workshop, we had a similar conversation about the things not to do, all that kind of stuff, right? She came into my office, and she happened to be on the contract on a house already. And I’m like, well, first of all, when I tell you what, I mean, you want me to help you out, you’re already in something, I mean, what am I gonna do? But she said, “Hey, can you help me? I’m like, “Well, tell me what’s going on and explain it”. So she didn’t have an agent, but she was already in the middle of a transaction. And about a month or two before she bought this house or was close to the house, she bought a car. And then she no longer qualifies because the debt ratio was thrown out of whack completely. And I talk about this because we have to be careful, because that will prevent you, prohibit you, to qualify to make a home purchase.
So, thank you. So that is one of the things that we want to make sure that people kind of has an understanding of and in turn work on. They have, I mean, you got to have an understanding of it. I get it, you want to have the car, and oftentimes we’ve gotta get out of this mindset and mentality. We got to show off. And we got to show off, show people up. We’ve got to get off that and I don’t know where that came from. I guess you know that kind of goes back to the preparation. The preparation. We got to be in our mindset. We have to change that because oftentimes people, we’ve had clients that we’ve worked with over the years that are so intent on buying a house that’s bigger than the one that her friend bought so they either overload themselves with debt or they don’t buy what they could buy because my friend house is bigger than that. I gotta have at least this and you’re in a house, you buy yourself that you gotta have 3000 square feet of a house just you, just you just so you can I know, look here I know you know.
Thank you. When I tell you it is an ongoing conversation. The thing is that what we have to understand is that everyone’s situation is different. Every profile is different, that person may have just bought that house, and they’re not telling you everything that they went through the house, like, you may see someone literally working the exact same job as you, they got a brand new car, and then they bought their house late, somebody might have sought for that car, and they even know it and try to match to it for that. That’s not how it works.
I’m gonna give you something that you showed enough and thought about, you know what, they could be spending somebody’s life insurance money. They could have a loss. The same thing, they could have gone right to get there. And you don’t know that because they didn’t share that with you. Exactly! Because, okay, and it’s incredible to me how people think they’re supposed to know everything about everybody, whoever they want to know about, and whatever. Come on seriously. So that kind of mentality is one of the challenges that I see, that I experienced. And it’s more, more and more prevalent nowadays as we’ve got to prepare ourselves for this thing. So how can people get in contact with you? You say you’re gonna go to church. Hold on. And look here. I think I just saw somebody go by a minute ago with a place. Look here, preparation. That’s what we do and talk on Monday, preparation. So how can people get to you?
People can reach me at, I’m gonna give you my office number as well as my email. So my office number is 843-569-2812. You can also reach me via email at sleblanc which is SLEB as in boy LANC at pnlending.com. I’m also on Instagram and Facebook at loans by kelia, kelia.
Awesome! Awesome! So let’s back up a little bit. You’ve given, I believe, our listeners some solid information today, about loans. I want to thank you for doing what you’re doing. And I want to do that here. I don’t know why, but I’m doing it. But I want to thank you for what you’re doing. Because I know that the work, it’s easy when and for our listeners, guys, y’all please bear with me for just a moment. It is easy. And everybody wants an easy loan. Everybody wants a person who has got an 800+ credit score and has 10s of 1000s of dollars in the bank for a down payment, if not hundreds of 1000s of dollars in the bank for a down payment. And he’s buying a half million or million dollars plus property. Okay, everybody wants those loans. Right! But there are some people in this industry that will commit to working with you no matter what and Shakelia is one of those. You’re one of those that will commit to working with you, no matter what. No matter what your financial situation is, no matter what your demographic, no matter anything. There is no discrimination that I found or seen. None. You are a lender that works with all people. Yes. And while I know that it is easy to say, Okay, well look, that’s what equal opportunity says I got to do this housing and all this stuff. The little house and all that stuff say I’m gonna do that. There are people that do it with disdain, there are people that do it with joy, and you’re one of the ones to do it with joy. So keep doing what you’re doing. So for our listeners, guys, we’ve quickly come to the end of today’s show. I want y’all to make sure, I want y’all to run her email a mock. I mean that. For questions she is going to answer, she’ll get back to you. But I want you to reach out and let her know, one, that she’s doing a wonderful job in our community. But most importantly, I want you to patronize her. I want you to reach out and let her know hey, I need some help. Because you need some help guys. And you got the right one right here. We’re gonna take this old school with Ray Charles and I remember the Pepsi commercial, “You got the right one, baby”, as well. We want to take you any old enough to remember that. I kind of think. You remember that commercial but go look it up. Yeah. Ray Charles. And I think the Pepsi commercial, “You got the right one, baby”. About you. So for our listeners, thank you so much for tuning in. Thanks for making EXIT Strategies Radio Show the best real estate show in the land. We love you. We love you. We love you. And we gotta see you guys out there in the streets.