The Lending Coach

Coaching and teaching - many through the mortgage process and others on the field

The Mental ABCs of Pitching

H.A. (Harvey) Dorfman’s book – The Mental ABCs of Pitching: A Handbook for Performance Enhancement – is one of those classic mental game pieces.

My friend Jordan Zimmerman (ZB Velocity) turned me on to Dorfman’s book, as he said it helped him become a mentally strong pitcher and was crucial to his success as a professional pitcher.

He still uses it today in his teaching…he told me he keeps going back to his highlighted and dog-eared copy.

Here’s the Amazon link, and I highly recommend that pitchers pick up a copy!

Brief Biography

Dorfman was best known as an mental skills/sports psychology coach who worked in education and psychology as a teacher, counselor, coach, and consultant. Prior to starting a business as a mental skills coach. he also wrote for a local paper, taught English, and coached basketball at Burr and Burton Academy in Vermont.

He earned World Series Championship rings by serving as a mental skills coach for the 1989 Oakland A’s and the 1997 Florida Marlins. In 1999, Dorfman became a full-time consultant teaching the skills of sport psychology and staff development for the Scott Boras Corporation, an agency that represents professional baseball players.

Through his books and his teaching experience, he helped thousands of people get more of what they wanted from life through his tough love and clear insight. Some baseball greats give him credit for their success in life as well as in baseball.

Editorial Reviews

When Harvey left our organization to go work for Florida, we didn’t even try to replace him because, quite frankly, his legacy was already throughout our system. All of the players and coaches and staff he touched over the years… had become imbued with his philosophy and approach to the game. They have become Harvey’s disciples.

-SANDY ANDERSON, former President and General Manager, Oakland Athletics, former Executive Vice President, Office of Major League Baseball, currently General Manager, New York Mets.

When you talk to Harv, you get the truth from him, whether you like it or not. He always says, ‘I don’t care about your feelings. I care about your actions.’

-TIM BELCHER, former Major League Pitcher and Pitching Coach.

He’s truly amazing. It’s clear most people don’t want to hear the truth about themselves, but Harv gets in your face, uses a few choice words to get your attention, and he’s got you.

-AL LEITER, former Major League Pitcher, currently Studio Analyst and Commentator.

Harv is absolutely unique. He’s for real – a straight shooter. He gives it to you right on the line, whether you like it or not. Not many people can – or will – do that.

-WALT WEISS, former Major League All-Star Shortstop, currently manager of the Colorado Rockies.

Now Is A Great Time To Refinance That Investment Property

Mortgage rates are at all-time lows.  Many homeowner’s are taking advantage and locking in for the long term.  But what about investors, are they doing the same?

Refinancing rental properties can unlock a good deal of wealth-building opportunities for investors, including the ability to lower interest rates and monthly payments, improve loan terms, and earn additional cash flow.

Interestingly, many investors have not taken advantage of today’s market.

For one reason or another, there are a number of investors that don’t even realize the opportunity that’s in front of them.

Should I Refinance My Rental Property?

In most cases, investors should consider a refinance to:

  • Lower the mortgage rate
  • Convert from an ARM to a fixed-rate
  • Turn a hard money loan into a conventional one
  • Pay off the loan more quickly
  • Upgrade a current investment property

Much has changed in a relatively short period of time regarding rates and valuations…and they are almost all in favor of the investor.

As mentioned earlier, interest rates are historically low…and they look a lot better than they did even this time last year, let alone a few years ago.

5.75% versus 4.5% example

If you purchased an investment property in October of last year, for example, many borrowers took on mortgages with an interest rate in the high 5% range.

Today, if that investor were to refinance their $250,000 loan from 5.75% to 4.5% for example, they would save nearly $200 per month.

There might be some discount points involved depending on the scenario, but they can be financed into the loan amount, so the only out-of-pocket cost would be that of an appraisal.

Assumptions: $250K loan, 70% loan-to-value and 760+ credit score

In Conclusion

When you own an investment property, the goal is to earn a solid rate of return…and refinancing that property can increase your short-term cash flow and help you build longer-term wealth.

Do reach out to me for more, as it would be my pleasure to help you look at different options and programs that might help you in today’s market.

Recession and the Housing Market

Earlier this month, the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) announced that the U.S. economy is officially in a recession.

Many experts had been predicting recession even before the Covid-19 virus, so it didn’t come as a surprise.  The new economic pressures added by the pandemic just intensified the problem and brought it to light more quickly.

The definition of a recession has been typically recognized as two consecutive quarters of economic decline, as reflected by Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in conjunction with monthly indicators such as a rise in unemployment.

Many are concerned that the recession will dramatically and negatively impact the housing market…but historically that isn’t the case.

Real Estate During Recession

Believe it or not, outside of the “great recession” of 2007 (which was caused, in part, to a housing crisis), home values and real estate generally appreciate historically during times of recession.

That seems counter intuitive…but because interest rates generally drop during recessionary periods, homes become MORE affordable to potential buyers. Even though property values are higher, buyer see lower payments provided by those lower rates.

When more people can qualify for homes, the demand for housing increases – and so do home prices.

Mortgage Rates During Recession

When a recession hits, the Federal Reserve prefers rates to be low. The prevailing logic is low-interest rates encourage borrowing and spending, which stimulates the economy.

During a recession, the demand for credit actually declines, so the price of credit falls to entice borrowing activity. 

Here’s a quick snapshot of what mortgage rates have done during recessionary periods:

Obtaining a mortgage during a recession might actually be a good opportunity. As mentioned, when the economy is sluggish, interest rates tend to drop.

Refinancing or purchasing a new home could be a great way to get in at the bottom of the market and make a healthy profit down the road.

With that said, borrowers should be market-wise and financially savvy when considering large real estate purchases in a recession.

The Great Recession and Home Prices

Home price appreciation continued during previous downturns, except for what is called the “Great Recession”.  While the recession officially lasted from December 2007 to June 2009, it took many years for the economy to recover to pre-crisis levels of employment and output.

So what made the Great Recession different? The housing boom that preceded the last recession was largely driven by an explosion in both home-building activity and mortgage credit.

Home buyers were able to get mortgages with no documentation of their income and no down payment. Many loans had introductory 0% interest periods that made them cheap to start but more expensive as time wore on.

Today, those loan products are no longer in existence.

Today’s Market

The growth in home prices seen during the current economic expansion has not been fueled by increased access to mortgage credit. In essence, today’s recession isn’t at all similar to the prior one.

Rather, it’s a simple reflection of supply and demand. Many Americans want to become homeowners, but the supply of homes available for sale is very low, pushing prices upward.

The housing market saw a drop in activity when stay-at-home measures went into effect throughout the U.S. in March. However, the good news is that home prices continue on an upward trend compared to last year.

The National Association of Realtors reports that the median price for existing homes in April was $286,800, a 7.4% increase from April 2019.

In Conclusion

Although no one likes to see recession, you can observe that it actually can be beneficial for homeowners and would-be purchasers to refinance or purchase during these periods.

If you have more questions and or would like to strategize about purchasing or refinancing, don’t hesitate to contact me, as it would be my pleasure to help you!

Establishing and Building Credit

The dilemma: a credit card is the quickest way to build credit, but it’s nearly impossible to get a credit card without established and/or good credit.

If you’re trying to build credit or improve it, a secured credit card is one of the best tools to help you achieve that goal.

What is a secured credit card?

A secured credit card works the same as a traditional unsecured credit card, with one major distinction…a secured card requires a security deposit to use as collateral. 

This deposit can be as low as $200 or $300 and is usually equal to your chosen credit limit. The credit card issuer holds onto the deposit in case you default on your payments.

What happens to that $300 deposit if you always pay your bill on time? You’ll eventually get it back. Use the card responsibly, and you can improve your credit enough to qualify for an unsecured card — one that doesn’t require a deposit.

How To Use It

Although they require a deposit, secured credit cards are a powerful tool for rebuilding credit. Most importantly, use the card carefully, making a few purchases every month – don’t go too close to your credit limit.

A generally accepted directive is to use less than 30% of your credit line each month.

When you keep your card balance at a reasonable level, it demonstrates to creditors that you are not relying solely on credit to meet your obligations.

Pay your balance in full (or just slightly short of it) every month before the due date. When you pay in full, you won’t be charged interest. Interest rates on secured cards are generally higher than those on unsecured cards.

Keep an eye on your credit score over time using a free service like Credit Karma; when it has meaningfully improved, ask your issuer about upgrading to an unsecured card

As you use a secured credit card regularly and make your payments on time (or even early) every month, you establish better and better credit through your payment history.

Key Tips to Follow

Make Sure It Will Help

Some secured cards don’t report your account activity to all three major credit bureaus. This means that even if you use the card responsibly, it may not help you build your credit history. Make sure that the card you choose reports to the credit bureaus.

Consider the Issuer

Some of the major credit card issuers offer secured credit cards, but most secured cards are issued by banks and credit unions you may not recognize.  That’s fine, but do your research to make sure the issuer is reputable and offers a good customer experience.

Look Out for Fees

Some secured credit cards charge an annual fee and other fees. Others, however, won’t charge you a fee unless you take out a cash advance or request balance transfers.

“The score doesn’t look at a secured card any differently than an unsecured card,” said Barry Paperno, a credit score expert who has worked with FICO and Experian.

“It will look at the fact it’s a credit card, when the card was opened, the credit limit and the balance, and of course the payment history. In that way it will help establish credit just like an unsecured card.”

In Conclusion

With the right secured credit card, you will have the benefit of being able to add positive payment history to your credit report. Consider a secured credit card as a stepping-stone to qualifying for a better credit card in the future. Please reach out to me for more, as it would be my pleasure to work with you in building your credit.

For more, check out the following links:

Nerdwallet

Self-Inc

Credit.com

Baseball Training During Your Covid-19 Off-Season

This has been an absolutely crazy year for sports, considering all that’s happened with the Coivd-19 pandemic. 

I feel terrible for all of the players who have had their season cancelled – this is unlike anything we have ever seen in our lifetimes.

Considering these circumstances, players must continue to work and get better, even though there may not be organized activities.

With that in mind, I’m linking to a fantastic piece by Brandon Voth and Robin Heilskov  on how to handle this unexpected sabbatical.  They have plan outlines and video and you can find all of that here…

Photography © 2019 olivejuicestudios.com. All rights reserved.

“As health care providers, we see this as a perfect opportunity for athletes to focus on proper pre-season preparation, injury prevention, and optimizing your baseball performance.”

Photography © 2019 olivejuicestudios.com. All rights reserved.

“In order to reduce the incidence of overuse injuries in youth baseball players, focus on 3 key areas: safe management of pitching volumes, baseball-specific exercise to improve mobility and strength, and correct improper techniques.”

Again, do check out their site and pass it on to others!

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