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Shmuel Shayowitz (NMLS#19871) is President and Chief Lending Officer at Approved Funding, a privately held local mortgage banker and direct lender. Shmuel has over two decades of industry experience, including licenses and certifications as a certified mortgage underwriter, residential review appraiser, licensed real estate agent, and direct FHA specialized underwriter. Shmuel provides a uniquely holistic approach to comprehensive real estate and financial matters that goes well beyond any single transaction. Shmuel is an award-winning financier recognized for maximizing the short-term and long-term objectives of his client. As a contributing writer to many local and regional newspapers and publications, his insights have been featured in the media for many topics, including mortgages, personal finance, appraisals, and real estate trends.

It seems like an innocent enough request. On any given day, one might need to get change of a dollar for a myriad of things, such as buying something in a vending machine, feeding a muni-meter for parking, or to use a public pay phone (wait, what’s that?!). Perhaps we too often take for granted that requesting change for a $1 would lead to getting four quarters, or something very similar to that. The fact of the matter is, there are considerably more ways in which one can receive change given the variables of pennies, nickels, dimes and quarters. The number is quite surprising.

Breaking It Down

That simple request is a perfect contrast to the more complex demand of “getting a mortgage”. A multifaceted endeavor such as getting a loan is far more complex than simply breaking a dollar, but people fail to realize the many delicate variables that it takes to get from ‘start to closing’. As an example, we have been an early adopter of sophisticated technologies that help evaluate many loan programs and offerings to help get our borrowers the best loan program in the market place. By entering a few key fields in our loan profile, we are able to evaluate over 150 public, private, institutional and marketplace investors – each having close to 200 loan programs available on average. The result is quickly weighing close to 30,000 different loan options in a matter of seconds. On top of it all, we use our own internal overlays to carefully craft the most favorable loan offering with perfect precision to our clients.

Time For Change

This past week, I had yet another glaring reminder at how misguided people can be when getting the wrong advice. We received a call from a frantic person who was in jeopardy of losing his $32,500 escrow deposit that he put down on a house he wanted to anxiously buy. His loan officer had been coming back to him almost daily for the past two weeks with different demands that he acquiesced to each and every time, yet each time was told, “Sorry, my underwriter still says you don’t qualify”. It seems that despite his 30% downpayment, and strong credit and employment – his income was not enough to qualify for the loan. Within 5 minutes we were able to recommend that instead of putting down the full $195,000 for a down payment (representing a 30% down payment), that he use $30,000 of that money to pay down some of debts that we carefully and methodically identified which would now qualify him for his mortgage. After our quick solution, and better offer, he realized it was time for a change.

The Value Of A Dollar Video

I stumbled upon a video online called “Change for a Dollar” by Sharon Wright. The short movie follows a seemingly homeless man through the course of a day, in which he gives away the change that was dumped into his tin can. The video highlights the manner in how he used mere pocket change to have an impact in the lives of others who were at a crossroad in their life. The message of this award winning video – that it doesn’t take a lot of money or investment to make a difference in someone’s life – is something that could inspire all of us.

A Dollar And A Dream

A few weeks ago, I got a unique solicitation from someone regarding a fundraising campaign. A Sefer Torah is being written in Israel specifically for kids under the age of bat/bar mitzvah where every child is given the opportunity to buy 1 letter in this Torah for $1. Perhaps the simplicity of this endeavor makes it unimpressive, but after some thought I realized it’s quite the opposite. This illustrates how the value a simple dollar can have such an impact. This campaign already completed 5 Torahs and they’re in middle of the sixth one – a total of over 1.5 million Jewish kids. For more information on this project please visit www.kidstorah.org.

In all, there are 293 ways to make change for a dollar. It’s nice to get change of a dollar, but it’s even more valuable to be asked what you need the change for, and be given the exact denominations that you require from the get-go. I am thankful that we not only have the tools and resources to get the best advice and terms for our clients, but that the guidance we give them has the most favorable impact in their lives.

To learn more about Shmuel Shayowitz, click here or complete this form to be connected with Shmuel:

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