Interview with Michael Timmons, Mortgage Lender, Gibraltar Mortgage

Today I am joined by Michael Timmons, Mortgage Lender with Gibraltar Mortgage.  If you would like to listen to the interview you can go to my iTunes podcast at Real Estate with Scott Culberson or you can listen on my Alexa Skill Real Estate with Scott Culberson. Here is the transcript…

Scott: Buying a house can be one of the most exciting and terrifying things you can do in your life.  Finding a trusted mortgage professional is paramount to a smooth process.  They know the guidelines and know how to help you navigate the transaction from start to close in smooth manner.

Scott: How do I find a trusted Mortgage Loan officer?

Michael: A realtor is probably the best source when it comes to finding a Mortgage loan officer (MLO).  Government regulations prevent any kickbacks when it comes to a mortgage referral.  So you can be assured that any referral given by your realtor is going to be with someone that has a great track record.

Happy clients refer more clients and help grow any realtors business, so not just being able to close on your home but confident that you will be happy is extremely important to their businesses growth.  So in turn you can be assured that they have vetted the Loan officer to insure their clients are getting taken care of from both a customer service and pricing standpoint.

Scott: Do I need 20% down?

Michael: It is always nice to have 20% or more down but the vast majority of loans originated are with less than 20%.  There are many different programs ranging from Zero to 5% down.  Even though those options will have mortgage insurance it is still better financially for most people to be paying a mortgage than paying rent – aka someone else’s mortgage.

Scott: Should I get a fixed interest rate?

Michael: There are many choices.  A fixed rate is the most common.  For a lot of people they aren’t staying in their homes forever so looking at a 5 or 7 year adjustable may be a good option and save some money in interest vs. a traditional 30 year fixed.

Scott: Do I need to meet with the lender in person?

Michael: It is always nice to be able to look someone in the eye and shake hands.  Working with someone local does afford that benefit.  However with technology that is in place it isn’t required.  But when there are questions you still need someone to speak with so human contact is not obsolete.  Every one of my clients has my cell phone number to reach me if need after hours or on the weekend.

I’m Scott Culberson, Broker Associate, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene.  A big thank you to my special guest Michael Timmons, Gibraltar Mortgage.  Let me know if you have any other questions for Michael or myself.   I am here to help you to…  Live Life to the Fullest.


How credit scores are calculated

home on a stack of cash

Today we have guest content provided Michael Timmons, NMLS# 894265, Mortgage Officer with Gibraltar Mortgage Services.

When you check your credit score, you get a number, usually between 500 and 800. But what does that number mean? What is weighed to come up with that number? Here are some facts about how your credit score is calculated.

  • There are 5 factors that are used to come up with the number you know as your credit score. 35%-Payment History, 30%-How Much you Owe, 15%-Length of Credit History, 10%-New Credit, 10%- Credit Mix.
  • Payment history is a heavy hitter here! Demonstrating on time payments is critical for good and above average credit scores. Multiple late payments especially in reference to a mortgage loan, can be extremely hard to fix down the line. That is why on time payments are so important.
  • The amount you owe is also a heavy hitter. Did you know: when it comes to revolving credit (aka credit cards), your balance to limit ratio shouldn’t be more than 30%. When you allow the balance to go over that 30%, your score will be affected! Low balances=better credit scores.
  • Length of credit history is sometimes something you cannot help, so it is weighed less than the first two. Young credit isn’t necessarily bad, it’s just young! Someone who is older and has lots of history can be approved quickly. Whereas younger credit, may require a co-signer or guarantor.
  • When it comes to new credit, the amount of new accounts opened is being referenced. Sometimes, multiple new accounts in a short period of time could be viewed as a risk! That is why it comes into play here.
  • Credit mix means just that. Having a well-rounded credit report means having a bit of everything. Revolving credit, installment loans, a mortgage, line of credit, all of these would be a part of a well-rounded credit report. Showing creditors that you are able to handle all kinds of credit is important to proving that you will present minimal risk.

In conclusion, your credit score is important in 2018! And building good credit is a lot easier and faster than fixing bad credit. Understanding why this number matters and what goes into creating your credit score is the key to making sure you are able to borrow what you want (and sometimes need) without issue.

A big thank you to our guest contributor Michael Timmons, NMLS# 894265 Mortgage Officer, Gibraltar Mortgage Services.  Give Michael a call  if you have Mortgage questions at 281-364-7879 or email him at

I look forward to helping you to… LIVE LIFE TO THE FULLEST, Scott Culberson, Broker Associate, Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate Gary Greene,, 281-467-4691


Jack and Jill Choose a REALTOR: The Home Buyer Checklist You’ve Been Looking for (3 of15)

ImageSo Jack and Jill decided to read all of “The Home Buyer Checklist You’ve Been Looking For” before they started to check off each item on by one….it just made sense to them.  They were getting more serious about their pursuit for their own home upon the hill and here is what they read:

#2 Choose a REALTOR

Choosing a REALTOR is not your full-time job, but it should be the FULL time job of your REALTOR….to be A REALTOR.  If you have made the commitment to buy or sell real estate you should have a REALTOR that is committed to forming a strong business relationship with you.  Here are some ideas on choosing a REALTOR:

1) Personal Referrals–Ask your closest friends who sold them their house.  Now think about this for a minute.  They bought that house five years ago; that’s a long time.  Your friend will have to think about it and get back with you.  They might have forgotten their REALTOR because they haven’t heard from them in five years.  Hmmmmmm, you are going to want a professional that is dedicated to serving your needs–before, during and after the sale.  Personal referrals are the best, because you have a friend you trust telling you that this is someone who they trust.  Key questions to follow-up with your friend:  Would you buy your next home with this REALTOR?  Would you sell this home with the REALTOR?  Trust is the key, would you want to use the hairstylist of a friend whose hair looks like a rat’s nest?  If you don’t like what their stylist has done with their hair you’re probably not going to want that stylist touching your hair.

2) Advertising–Think about the last time you bought something advertised on TV or in a magazine.  What were they selling?  Did you buy it because it filled a need or did you buy it for some other reason?  Just because a REALTOR has a billboard, park bench, TV commercial, shopping cart or Home Owners Association Newsletter Ad, does not mean their work ethic fits with your personality or needs.

3) Websites, Blogs and Facebook–This is separate from advertising because if done correctly they serve a REAL function to you.  Websites, Blogs and Facebook serve three functions: 1) Information 2) Call to action 3) Communication       As you are researching YOUR REALTOR: are they providing information, communication opportunities and a call to action?  These are all important and useful in your search for a home.

4) Communication–It is EXTREMELY important that your REALTOR communicate with you in a way that YOU WANT to be communicated (e-mail, text, phone calls to the cell phone, phone calls to the work phone, phone calls to the home phone, Facebook messages, twitter tweets, etc)  Who is number one in this situation?????  YOU ARE and don’t you forget it.  Make it a point to find out what communication methods are available.  If you love to receive text messages, you need to make sure that your REALTOR is on the same page.  Your REALTOR also needs to understand how handy you are with a computer and if you have access to a fax machine.

5) Home Search–Your REALTOR needs to be part of your home search, but not the beginning, middle, and end.  Here’s what I mean…you have to be an active participant in your home search.  In order to get the home of your dreams you need to be part of the game.  Suit up and get in the game.  Your REALTOR is a major player, notice that I didn’t say coach.  You’re the player coach.  Your REALTOR is the player agent, the pinch hitter, the announcer, the cheerleader, the medic and the relief pitcher.  They are what you need them to be at that moment in time and sometimes they will be everything at once.

6) Availability–Your REALTOR should be available to you on your schedule.  You are the client, you are important and you should be given priority.  This is the one way that a full-time dedicated Real Estate Professional is different from the part-time REALTOR.  They have another job four to eight hours a day, when do they have time for you?

7) Eating Real Estate Every Meal–Another way a full-time dedicated Real Estate Professional is different from the part-time REALTOR is that they are always working on Real Estate.  Their focus is directed at being the best REALTOR they can be.  They have one vision of success and that is to help you achieve YOUR Real Estate goals.  This can be seen through the weekly improvement meetings that they attend.  The professional company they keep.  The ongoing education that a full-time REALTOR takes is typically more than the State requires.  Even the amount and type of information that they provide to potential clients on a regular basis.

These are my seven tips for you based on clients, friends and family.  You have a tough choice before you.  Somewhere along the way you will need a REALTOR.  Take the time to learn who you’re working with.  Ask questions, conduct job interviews.  A REALTOR that does not want to be a part of your interview process…hmmmmmm…you make the call.  It’s your dream, who is going to be a part of your team to make it a reality?

“Hickory, dickory, Jill I think we should start looking for a REALTOR, right now to help us with our Real Estate goal” Jack said in a flourish of excitement.  “Jack, I agree that we will need a REALTOR to help us, but I think we should continue to read all the check points, so far we need a lender and a REALTOR,” Jill was cut off by Jack who said, “Yea, it’s like we’re gonna need all the kings horses and all the Kings men.” they were eager for the next check point entitled:

Jack and Jill Learn What COSTS Are Involved: The Home Buyer Checklist You’ve Been Looking For (4 of 15)

We hope you’re enjoying our series and that it helps you on your way to…………….

Live Life to the Fullest,


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