Newsletter: November 2023

Hey Friends:

Greetings from People’s Home Equity, your local lender dedicated to finding and securing the right mortgage for your buyer.

Hard to believe November is winding down and the end of the year isn’t too far away. And that means the holidays are right around the corner. Seems like just last week we were getting ready to head into a new year, and now here we are, with the end on the near horizon.

Certainly, 2023 has been full of ups and downs, starting slow in 2023 and then falling pretty flat in June. But even so, there’s still movement even with a shortage of homes that are selling for premium dollars. That means buyers are still searching for their dream home, and anxious to find a mortgage they can secure and sustain.

Recently, I had a buyer call me and say, “My agent said I should shop for a loan. What’s the lowest rate I can get?” This wasn’t the first time a buyer asked me this. In fact, I hear it a lot. Buyers understand interest rates play a major part in their loan payment, but they don’t realize there are other components that also affect their payment. They don’t realize there’s some flexibility when comparing these items, and it comes as a surprise that the lowest interest rate isn’t always the best; it can actually have an adverse effect on their mortgage.

When they ask why, I always say, “It’s kind of like buying chicken soup.”

Chicken soup? Really? Yes, really.

Here’s why:

Say you go to Grocery Story #1 and walk down the soup aisle. The shelves are full of chicken soup. It seems like a fair price for your favorite brand, so you buy five cans. Yum!

Now, let’s say it’s the next day and you find yourself at the store again, only this time it’s Grocery Store #2. Once again, you walk down the soup aisle and see the shelves full of chicken soup. In particular, you see your favorite brand, the one you bought the previous day at Grocery Store #1. But…it’s a different price. It’s actually more expensive. It doesn’t make sense to you, so you head out to Grocery Store #3 to check the soup. Sure enough, they’ve got your favorite brand of chicken soup, and oddly enough, it’s cheaper. Cheaper than Grocery Store #1 even!

What? How can that be?

Well, it’s because of the costs associated with getting those cans of chicken soup to the market and on the shelves. All the soup is the same, but the costs are different for each store, so they end up selling the same soup for different prices.

It’s the same for mortgages.

Interest rates have different costs associated with each of them, and those costs play a major role in determining the interest rate we quote. Two loans might be the same in all respects except for closing costs, and this makes one loan more favorable than the other. It’s important to shop costs rather than interest rates. This is exactly the information a buyer needs to help them choose the best mortgage for themselves and their family.

So, when your buyer is out shopping for a loan, remind them to consider loan costs, because they can make a significant difference. And by the way, I’m always here to help them compare. It’s just one simple phone call to get started. The number is (865) 745-5626.

So, here’s to chicken soup, and as always, let’s mortgage!

John Fleming, Jr.
People’s Home Equity
Loan Originator | NMLS 1850409
(865) 745-5626

P.S. Don’t let your buyer settle on a loan that may not be right for them. Send them my way and I’ll help them find and secure the best loan for them.

Food For Thought

According to KAAR in a report published in May, 2023, housing affordability in the Knoxville area is at its lowest levels since the 1980’s. Home prices are high and interest rates are climbing. Buyers just can’t get much for their money, so it’s important they find the best loan out there that they can afford and sustain.


Don’t forget to visit the annual Festival of Trees in Gatlinburg. Go see these elaborately decorated works of art. There are all sizes and shapes, and unique decorating styles. You can also get your picture taken with Saint Nicholas himself! Let me know what you think. I’d love to hear which tree you liked the best.