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Hans Bruhner

Time travel for better interest rates

Wednesday, September 10, 2008 - Article by: Hans Bruhner - Pinnacle Capital Mortgage - Message

I love technology but I am crippled by it many times. Technology is supposed to help us out, save us time and make things easier..... I took a trip to San Diego to visit relatives recently and I ended up taking a trip back to a simpler time and I was very tempted to stay there. I flew out of Santa Rosa Airport. My friend dropped me off in front of the airport and I had to walk 20 feet to security. I made it through in about 1 minute (yes, I had to remove my shoes) and forward to THE gate. When it was time to board, I walked out onto the tarmac and a courtesy valet took my larger carryon bag for me while I walked the short distance to the plane, up the stairs and to my seat. A few minutes later, the captain started both engines (with props) and we were on our way. I had to make a connection at LAX and there I discovered that they have a secret little airport deep in the recesses of the huge international airport that seemed to be stuck in 1962. I walked across the tarmac and up some stairs to the tiny commuter terminal. I pulled out a book preparing to wait the 1 1/2 hours for my next short flight when I heard someone calling me to another gate. When I showed up at the other gate, they asked if I would like to board a flight immediately and I went right back to the tarmac, handed my bag to another courtesy valet and got on my next plane. I had a window seat AND an aisle seat at the same time! It was a very nice trip.

This all reminded me of the time I bought tires for my car..... yes, really! I was determined to get the best price so I shopped online and got thoroughly confused. Then I headed straight for Costco to get the best deal. At Costco I gave them the make and model of my car and the guy at the counter used his computer to look up options. He promptly came up with one choice at an amazing price and since I am a modern guy, I wanted at least a gazillion choices and so he looked again and came up with one more choice which was a lot more expensive. I asked him the "what's the difference?" and he actually said "About $90 per tire". This is the point where I thanked him and promptly headed to a small local tire shop in my little town. I have to admit that I expected to pay more but I knew I would speak with someone who actually knew what they were talking about, spend money close to home and feel good about my purchase. The guys at Benedetti Tire gave me several choices but almost insisted that I buy a specific tire because it would work perfectly for my car. He explained some technical aspects of the tire that I don't remember but he told me it would last longer and they would look really good on the car as well. I ended up spending somewhere in between what I would have spent at Costco but I ultimately saved a ton of money and I got peace of mind for FREE.

The tire story is the perfect parallel to my own business. You may find a better deal on the internet but you get no real advice and you may get the wrong loan. The internet or calling a big bank directly is a do it yourself proposition. My favorite argument is "I just want a 30 year fixed at the best rate". If you call a bank directly and you know all of the rules of the game and you have impeccable timing, you could save a couple hundred dollars this way. You may also lose tens of thousands of dollars by not getting good advice on how to structure the loan or when to lock it in. You may lose the house you are trying to buy or get a huge surprise at the end and find out your deal wasn't such a deal after all.

We can't go back in time but we can be smart about how we shop and we can step away from the computer and walk down the street and talk to real human beings in our community.

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