The Lending Coach

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

Stay Positive On The Field – Don’t Re-Visit Negatives

As you probably know by now, one of my favorite mental coaches is Dr. Patrick Cohn of Peak Sports Performance. Dr. Cohn is a sports psychologist out of Orlando Florida.

He’s always preaching about mental toughness – as well as the techniques athletes can use to grasp it.

He sent out an e-mail blast recently that I’ve posted below regarding eliminating negative thoughts regarding past performance – and how to best get past it.

For instance, you whiffed the last two at-bats swinging at balls in the dirt and now you are facing the same pitcher with a runner in scoring position, “Here we go AGAIN!”

Or you walked the bases loaded and are having difficulty with your control and are now facing a hitter that has torched you in the past, “Here we go AGAIN!”

Or your team has blown the lead in the ninth inning the last two games and now you are clinging to a one-run lead in the bottom on the ninth, “Here we go AGAIN!”

This is a common problem among baseball players, but this mindset is based on a misconception. This misconception happened in the past will continue to happen in the present.”

It is an over generalization to believe the past will repeat itself but many baseball players, in the moment, buy into the “here we go again…” mindset.

When you allow past outcomes to influence your mindset in the present, the pressure heightens, which creates anxiety and tension.

Playing anxious and tight ball is a recipe for athletic disaster and under-performance.

In Action

The San Francisco Giants could have easily defaulted to the “here we go again” mentality after a breakdown against the Texas Rangers.

The Giants started out the first game of a three-game series against the Rangers with a tough game, blowing a six-run lead to lose in extra-innings at home.

To add to the potential pressure, the Giants had lost 10 of the previous 13 at their ballpark.

The San Francisco Giants had to quickly re-focus in Game 2 of their series.

The Giants quickly jumped out to a 5-0 lead but gave up three runs in the eighth inning.

Despite similar circumstances, the Giants fought forward and San Francisco relief pitcher Mark Melancon closed out the game with the bases loaded to secure a 5-3 win over Rangers.

Hunter Pence, who had a pinch-hit home run in the seventh, talked about their “keep attacking” mindset rather than succumbing to the “here we go again” mindset.

AP Photo/Ben Margot)

PENCE: “It’s very important to continue to send that message of relentless attack. Even where we are and as clouded as it may seem, you still never know. When there’s still a chance in this game of baseball, things can get hot in an instant.”

Knowing there is a chance is a great strategy to keep your head in the game and avoid the pitfall of “here we go again.”

Keeping Your Head in the Game

Knowing you have a chance comes in many forms:

*Knowing there is a chance to still win.

*Knowing there is still a chance to bounce back the next game.

*Knowing there is still a chance to hone your skills and improve your game.

*Knowing you can learn from the past and adjust.

If you can adopt the “there’s still a chance” mindset, you can focus on making things happen in the moment.

Let go of what’s already happened, look for signs to build momentum, and get things moving in a positive direction. Instead, take a trip down memory lane to when you did drive in that run!

Down Payment Options – 20% Down Not Necessarily Required

“How much should my down payment be for a house?”

It’s a question that I hear all the time from would-be home buyers.

And, the answer is:  “it depends,” as it really will vary by buyer.

I’d highly recommend that you check out Dan Green’s article at The Mortgage Reports for more.

Per Mr. Green: “If you’re a home buyer with a good deal of cash saved up in the bank, for example, but you have relatively low annual income, making the biggest down payment possible can be sensible. This is because, with a large down payment, your loan size shrinks, reducing the size of your monthly payment.”

Or, perhaps your situation is reversed.

“Maybe you may have a good household income but very little saved in the bank. In this instance, it may be best to use a low- or no-down-payment loan, while planning to cancel your mortgage insurance at some point in the future.”

Dan continues: “One thing is true for everyone, though — you shouldn’t think it’s “conservative” to make a large down payment on a home. Similarly, you shouldn’t think it’s “risky” to make a small down payment. The opposite is actually true.”

“About the riskiest thing you can do when you’re buying a new home is to make the largest down payment you can. It’s conservative to borrow more, and we’ll talk about it below.”

For today’s most widely-used purchase mortgage programs, down payment minimum requirements are:

Remember, though, that these requirements are just the minimum. As a mortgage borrower, it’s your right to put down as much on a home as you like and, in some cases, it can make sense to put down more.

Larger Down Payments Actually Increase Risk

Green continues: “As a homeowner, it’s likely that your home will be the largest balance sheet asset. Your home may be worth more than all of your other investments combined, even.

In this way, your home is both a shelter and an investment and should be treated as such. And, once we view our home as an investment, it can guide the decisions we make about our money.

The riskiest decision we can make when purchasing a new home?

Making too big of a down payment.”

The Higher The Down Payment, The Lower Your Rate of Return

The first reason why conservative investors should monitor their down payment size is that the down payment will limit your home’s return on investment.

Consider a home which appreciates at the national average of near 5 percent.

Today, your home is worth $400,000. In a year, it’s worth $420,000. Regardless of your down payment, the home is worth twenty-thousand dollars more.

That down payment affected your rate of return.

  • With 20% down on the home — $80,000 –your rate of return is 25%
  • With 3% down on the home — $12,000 — your rate of return is 167%

That’s a huge difference. Please do reach out to me for more information so we can figure out the best down payment strategy for you!

The Fed’s Latest Announcement Has Little To Do With Mortgage Interest Rates

The Federal Reserve board announced last week that they think the federal funds rate will remain at close to zero through at least 2023. 

That’s pretty bizarre…and they must have some sort of an amazing crystal ball that we don’t know about.  I don’t know of any Federal Reserve Board that has given 2+ years of guidance in one day. Evidently they’ve turned into economic soothsayers.

As a reminder, the federal funds rate that is set by the Fed and mortgage rates (not set by the Fed) are two totally completely different instruments. 

The Federal Funds Rate

The federal funds rate is the target interest rate set by the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee at which commercial banks borrow and lend their excess reserves to each other overnight.  It really has limited impact on the mortgage market.

I’d invite you to read this article that I’ve written that outlines what really drives mortgage interest rates: https://lendingcoach.net/mortgage-rates-the-fed/ (hint…it isn’t the Federal Reserve).

Mortgage Interest Rates

This graph shows the deviation of the 30-year mortgage versus the federal funds rate – and you can see there’s quite a dramatic difference.

Inflation Worries

Secondly, the fact that the Federal Reserve stated that they are OK with inflation levels over their original 2% target will not help the bond market or mortgage backed securities (the true drivers of mortgage interest rates). 

They stated that they would allow inflation to run moderately above 2% “for some time” – and many in our industry are worried that once inflation gets rolling (and it has been moving up, even in today’s COVID economy) it will be impossible to stop. 

Mortgage rates will be affected by inflation because inflation erodes the buying power of the fixed return that a mortgage holder receives.  And interestingly, the best way to combat inflation is by raising the Fed Funds Rate. 

If inflation begins to rise, and there are already some signs of this, Mortgage Rates will start to climb in response.  All this can absolutely still occur while the Fed Funds Rate is at zero. 

Today’s Opportunity

With all of that said, the current mortgage rate environment presents an incredible opportunity that should be taken advantage of for either a purchase or refinance. Contact me so I can help you benefit before things change too dramatically!

Baseball Dynamic Warm-Up | Flexibility and Stretching

One of the major performance enhancers for baseball players is muscular flexibility – and I bet that’s the last thing that players work on.  Players take loads of batting practice, fielding practice, do long toss – and spend a great amount of time on strengthening on the field and in the weight room.

But what about flexibility to both improve performance and prevent injury?

Well, I’m linking to a KBands Training article that outlines a great warm-up stretching protocol that all baseball players should check out here – Baseball Dynamic Warm Up – Flexibility and Stretch

I’d invite you to check out the video, as well!

Here’s an excerpt:

“All baseball players need to warm up properly before performing high impact activities or speed and agility training. Static stretching was considered the norm in the past, but in recent years static stretching has become an addition to the everyday dynamic stretch routine.”

“Baseball players must stretch their hip flexors, quads, hamstrings, calves, trunk, glutes, IT bands, groin, and upper body. Each and every muscle throughout the body is used to maximize a baseball player’s performing potential”

10 Ways to Improve Your Mental Game

Athletes do all sorts of physical things to prepare for competition…from nutrition, weight training, sport-specific drills and all sorts of other things.

But what about mental preparation?  Are you taking the time to develop a strong mental game that gives you an advantage over your competition?

I’m linking to an article from one of my favorite mental game teachers, Dr. Patrick Cohn of Peak Sports Performance. Dr. Cohn is a sports psychologist out of and he’s always preaching on how to build mental toughness – as well as the techniques athletes can use to grasp it.

I’d invite you to read the entire piece here…

Here are Dr. Cohn’s top 10 ways to improve the mental game:

  1. Pushing past the discomfort of a hard training session.
  2. Maintaining a positive attitude when you experience a rough patch during your season.
  3. Ignoring distractions and keeping your focus during grueling competitions.
  4. Sustaining motivation throughout a long season.
  5. Bouncing back after a mistake in competition.
  6. Rehabbing from injury and readying yourself for your return to competition.
  7. Managing your competitive emotions especially when playing in hostile environments or playing against opponents who try to taunt you.
  8. Being confident when your performance is not up to par.
  9. Overcoming comfort zones in sports and breaking out.
  10. Coping with high expectations from others to perform well.

Dr. Cohn has put together a free online e-book that can be found here: http://www.peaksports.com/baseball-softball-confidence-report/

If you are a player, or parent of a player, I’d recommend that you download it and get to know the contents!

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