Why Use A Local Lender?

Hey there!

I am still here but summer is in full swing, especially in the Cheyenne real estate market because just as I tell my clients, the real estate does not seem to slow down here, even with 6.5%-7% interest rates!

I had a few tough experiences this summer that I have a moment to talk about. My husband said I should be educating more on the subject of: Why You Should Go with A Local Lender!

I will not state names in this blog of any lenders that I had not had the best experience with working with but, I WILL name a few local lenders that I highly recommend. Seem fair? Great!

So, here are my reasonings that I have personally found on why a buyer should go with someone local for a lender instead of those “Big Corp Guys”:

Let me paint a picture… I had the sweetest family, ready and excited to buy their first home! My favorite! They were already prequalified with one for the “big wigs” I have never heard of before but I am always willing to work with any lender! So, after looking at a few homes and missing out on a couple of offers, we came across, drum roll please, the DREAM HOME that somehow, they were chosen by the sellers to purchase. Things could not be going more smoothly at this point! We were well on the way for this family to have their very own home, space, and land to fulfill all their dreams. It was within their fingertips, and I had gotten them there! Until I received the call…

The lender came across a small but major detail on credit that made him tell me that my super sweet, excited, young buyers no longer qualify for anything. I said, “nothing!?” If you did not know, that is me screaming: “nothing!?” And the answer was in fact, nothing…

I did not give up, however, after me and my buyers heard this I reached out to other lenders I trusted and some that I just knew could work numbers and squeeze people by. The response I received from everyone was that they should not have been qualified in the first place due to many reasons that I think only lenders can understand because if you do not know by now, A LOT goes into buying a house and a lender needs to focus on every little detail before giving that prequalification letter out.

Why is it so important to make sure that a buyer is prequalified correctly from the start? Well, it was not only the financial turmoil for my buyers who still had to pay for the inspections, appraisal, etc. because we were already that far in, but also the emotional distress of the sellers, me, and my buyers who had to say goodbye to the dream home that they almost had. It can be a very sad time for them and maybe even caused a little damage emotionally for them when and if they ever try to buy a house later.

This was just one example over the summer I had. I also had another buyer whose “big wig” lender had to delay closing a week, yes A WHOLE WEEK, due to a lender not being on the ball and getting items in when he need to. Can you can tell my frustration?

Needless to say, I have never had these problems with a local lender. Local lenders offices are in town, within reach. So, they are usually a little more cautious for that reason! Another big reason local lenders are more trustworthy and “on the ball” is due to the fact that they are also commission based. So, if you do not succeed in buying a home, they do not succeed with being paid! They want to make sure they are working diligently for you every step of the way and that includes talking with you and me to get all items needed during a real estate transaction.

I use CrossCountry Mortgage and Jonah Bank of Wyoming exclusively here when recommending lenders to new buyers. But, I have worked with so many here in town and have had so many wonderful experiences with, but not limited to:

Wallick & Volk Mortgage Banker, American Pacific Mortgage, Guild Mortgage, and Wyoming Bank & Trust!

Let me know if you are interested in talking with someone from these mortgage companies about buying a home, refinancing, and more!

Love Your Mortgage But Hate Your Home?

Let me ask a question many may not want to be asked… Are you one of the many that purchased a home or refinanced between the years 2020-2022? I have my hand up. However, here is a question I am most curious to ask many of you: Do you love your mortgage payment but hate the home you are in?

During the hottest seller market of American history, many people purchased a home, not because they felt super ready or knew what they were looking for, but purchased a home because it was suddenly just so affordable to do so! Interest rates averaging at a heart stopping 2.65%, it was hard not to get excited!  With that, however, came an inconceivable amount of short supply in houses across the nation. So many people purchased a home that may have not fit their growing or downsizing family or lifestyle. Now, a few years later with interest rates at an average of 6.5%, many feel well, stuck! They love that low mortgage payment, feel it is a blessing of a lifetime, but the home that they basically felt was their only option is not suitable anymore. So, now what? What would or should one do? Well, there are actually many creative options out there if you are this someone!


Guess what? We are not in a house crash. We are not 2008 again. And, we are not heading for it either! We are back to a “normal” real estate market, where buyers and sellers have about the same amount of motivation. How nice!

That also means that your current home is still increasing in value, definitely not at the rate is was a year or two ago, Cheyenne increasing in value in 2021 at about 12% a year, but we are now looking at about 3% increase still. Cheyenne’s average was about 7% in 2019. So, there is a slowdown, but still increasing, which means you will have equity in your home. Or if you payed over so much, that equity is catching up, but all still good news!

If you are interested in seeking out a different home that suite you better, today is still a fantastic time to buy. Why, if interest rates are not at 3% anymore? Well, because interest rates are not controlling the market anymore! People still have comps to justify a list price, but sellers are more willing to help with closing costs, repairs, and even helping out with that interest rates. Discount points are back in the picture and can decrease a buyer’s rate forever. Or, a 2-1 Buy Down option is out there now as well, which lowers the rate by 2 points in the first year, one point the next, and back to the full by the third year when, by then, many predict the rates to go back down again. Not to mention that there is a 2 month’s supply of inventory in homes again here now, instead of there being 2 homes for you to pick from right now before someone takes it-and it’s gone…

It is hard to let go of that low rate mortgage, but some people are willing to let another buyer take over that loan for them to be able to keep that low rate for someone out there. Did you know that you can assume a VA loan even if you are not a Veteran? Yes, you can!

So, let’s chat about the many options a buyer and seller has right now to be able to be happy with their home AND their mortgage still, too!


I Have a Story…

I have a story to tell you all. It is not going to be a super happy story in the middle but it will end with a bang!

After a few days at the NextHome Annual Conference, this year in Houston, I received a ton of knowledge, stats, and information about the real estate market right now. But before we get into all that, I wanted to share a story I had hear from a speaker that came to our conference. This story represents why NextHomes’ moto is “Humans over Houses.”

Years ago, there was a college boy out in Utah in his prime. Playing on the football team, getting his degree, and engaged to be married, what could possibly make things better? How about taking that next step into adulthood and purchase their first home on top of it all!

Scared, nervous, and excited, the first-time home buyer went to a local brokerage to find someone who could help him with this crazy and complex process of purchasing their very first home. He was already prequalified with a lender so he was serious and on the right track to getting started.

When he arrived at the brokerage, however, he did not receive the attention he thought he was going to have or desperately needed being to new to the process. The real estate associate helping him out told him that because he didn’t qualify for a whole lot, there was only 6 homes in the area that he could potentially buy. They also said that since she would not make a lot of money off them and that she did not have time to show them the 6 homes in town. She, instead, gave him some codes and sent him on his way to look at the homes himself.

He and his fiancé, nevertheless, did find a home they really liked after looking at the 6 homes alone. They wanted to give it a go! How excited and nerve racking! So, they called the real estate agent and told them the exciting news. She met them at the house to get paperwork signed for the offer. The offer she wrote up for them was a full price offer. He asked, “can we offer lower? Is that allowed?” And the agent responded with a sigh, “Yes, but then I would have to rewrite the paperwork…” Not to mention she would make even less now that they would offer even lower on one of the lowest priced homes in the area. So, needless to say, they did end up offering lower than asking price on the home against real estate agents’ wishes. But they got it accepted!

During the process of escrow, moving title and processing loans, the boy and his fiancé got married and went on a honeymoon. They were to be homeowners when they got back!

When they did get back and closed on the home, they walked into their first ever home together and realized something was very wrong. The oven, refrigerator, and so many other items were not done, were taken, and things busted and broken! How could this happen? They immediately called their agent in a panic and told her what they found when they walked into their home. All she said to her clients was, “this is not my problem, it is yours. I hardly made any money helping you in the first place…”

That college boy today is the National Association of Realtor President as of 2023.

After that horrible experience he went into real estate and is fighting for realtor rights, and most importantly, client rights!


His story at our conference was so significate because it is stories like his that are the reason people become real estate agent with NextHome. We want to put the human before the house, before the price, the paycheck, the effort it will take to help someone. We help people get their first or their nexthome that is perfect for them, and that is our only mission!

Renting vs Buying

Are you interested in the differences and benefits between buying and renting a home in Cheyenne, WY? Let’s dive into the numbers here:

Average sale price for a home in Cheyenne today is $352,791. With at least 5% down on that average price at the current interest rate of about 5.7%, the monthly payment would be $1945.22, and then depending on taxes and insurance the average price would be about $2,300.00 max a month to own a home here in Cheyenne, WY. When rates go back down to let’s say 4%, after paying some loan off, you refinance. Your payment would go down to roughly less than $1,600 a month before taxes and insurance! Interest rates are a big deal but here is the thing with what high interest rates are doing to the market right now that buyers should still be excited about and eager to purchase a home, when interest rates are low, that is the ONLY deal you get on a home. Higher rates, means you have less competition so you have a higher potential to be able to get a better price, possible equity in the home already, closing costs covered by the seller, more repairs done, etc. And that is not the best part, because you can get all that, and then refinance with a lower rate when they drop, you will basically have the best of both worlds!

Now, let’s talk about renting. Renting is great for many reasons depending on where someone is in their life. Maybe you are building better credit, maybe you do not want to live in that area for very long or you are not sure if this is the location you want to invest money and time into. Or, maybe you are just trying to get through school and have other plans then to settle down and buy and house, whatever it may be for someone’s reasoning to rent instead of buy, they are justified. We have personally used all these excuses to not buy a house in our past! However, if the only reason you feel that you cannot buy a house is simply because you feel you cannot afford a house right now, here are some numbers to look at:

We just talked about what the average mortgage payment looks like in Cheyenne today. With a quick search of average apartment cost, looks like it is close to $1,000 a month for a small one bed apartment. With a quick Zillow search, houses for rent here range from a small home for $1,400 a month to a large home for $3,050 a month, for an average rent cost of $2,225! That is roughly the exact same as the average monthly payment to buying a home in Cheyenne, but the only difference is, rent will only go up from there. We discussed early that your mortgage can go down with a quick refi, and you are not investing that money! Your money doesn’t go to pay someone else’s mortgage when you own a home, it goes towards your own home that increases in value, on average here in Cheyenne, about 7% a year! That is free money!

If another reason to not buy is you are saving for a down payment, very understandable. And some people, such as my husband and I, had a very strict plan for purchasing a home with X amount down, X year loan and loan type, X price, etc. so yes, buying a home should be done after some great consideration and planning. However, if down payment is the only concern, Wyoming has great down payment assistant programs and closing costs assistant programs that are basically another loan, with 0% interest, forever. Yes, I said interest free! That is another free money portion of this home buying process! It is like America wants you to own a home!


So, what fo you think? Are the pros outweighing the cons here? Are you ready to buy?

The Home Buying Process

It has been brought to my attention that many people do not actually know what all a real estate agent does for someone. The main job is to obviously make sure that you as a buyer or seller are able to find or sell that perfect home and make the process as seamless as possible. However, there is a lot that goes into the whole home buying/selling process that many aren’t aware of, and since I am strictly a buyer agent, I will go over all the steps to the home buying process and what all happens in the back end!

First step: We need to find you buyers and we need to make sure that it is easy for a buyer to find us as real estate agents! So, we do tons of marketing and buy lead generation sources to be able to get connected to that home buyer.

Step two: We help figure out what are needs, wants, and desires of this potential new home and send emails of homes to the buyer to look through and see what is available right now on the market. Then, we send them to a lender that will help with the cost of purchasing this perfect home!

Step three: This is everyone’s favorite step, and it is looking at homes! Us as real estate agents will call and schedule showings for homes that meet what the buyer is looking for and be able to access the home at certain times. This step can be the most time consuming for an agent and buyer, it takes time out of a lot of days or even weeks something to be able to step into homes that they could potentially buy. Many do not even get past this step. If the buyer is not finding what they are looking for in a home, they may decide to buy later or work on lending options.

Step four: This is probably the most stressful part of home buying because this is when a buyer finds that perfect house and is ready to make an offer and see if the buyer and seller of the home can come to terms with an option. The agent consults with the buyer about offer details and options that they have to consider, such as price, closing costs, time frame, etc. it can be an overwhelming time. There are three responses a seller can give a to buyers offer, and that is an acceptance, a rejection, or a counteroffer where the seller likes some of the terms of the original offer but would like to tweak a thing or two and see if the buyer agrees.

Step five: If buyer and seller agree on terms and everything is signed, then we are officially “under contract” or “pending!” This is when the agent will congratulate the buyer on making it this far, and on their way to home ownership! But also, the agent will be doing a lot of work on the side to get things to the finish line such as emailing all the necessary documents to the lender and title, so they are able to get started on their job from their end. The agent will also help the buyer consider ordering home inspections as well, and when they decide, the agent will order them, schedule them, and gets all paperwork signed for this, and they will also then let the inspectors inside the home at those scheduled times.

Step six:  After inspections have been done and the buyer receives the inspection report on their soon to be house, it is time for some more negotiating terms again, to see if sellers will make some fixes that the buyer is concerned with.

Step seven: We are so far into the process at this point that closing day is in the horizon! However, we just have the appraisal to come in left. Many things can happen here if the house needs appraisal repairs or it comes in under the agreed upon price. So, again, there will be more negotiating that takes place…

Step eight: Everyone still agrees and things are looking good for buyer and seller to proceed with closing at this point. The real estate agent has done all the talking and making sure that everyone is also doing their job for the buyer in a timely manner so closing can happen on schedule. They were also handling the paperwork and calls for all the “negotiating” periods and made sure the title commitment came in clear and that the settlement statements match what was agreed on from the start. Then, it is time to schedule the closing time on that day, schedule the final walk through to make sure all is still well, and get the keys from the house and a little closing gift for your fantastic and, at this point, probably, exhausted client!

Step nine: The client signs all the lender and title paperwork at title on closing day and the real estate agent gives the keys to the buyer who is now officially a home owner!

This is, however, not a good-bye for the buyer and the real estate agent. The agent will make sure to stay in touch with them if they have any questions, or if friends and family would also like your agents services as well!

Doesn’t seem so bad, right!?

2023 Year’s Market Predictions!

Interest rates at 2%, 40 houses on market, 300 buyers, 15 plus offers on a home that has been for sale less than 24 hours, $50,000 over asking…!

Sound familiar? PTSD for me as a buyers agent in the hottest sellers market in American history.

That was our nationwide, “unprecedented” seller’s market just a year ago!

With interest rates taking a few major hikes in the last few months, it has definitely cooled off this hot market, as I am sure many have been hearing in the news and media that this is a gloomy time for anyone during this holiday season. However, not from actual real estate professionals’ perspectives.

Many have been patiently waiting for this big market crash to happen due to all this, but, according to NAR (the National Associate of Realtors) and an article by Caroline Heller in The Residential Specialist magazine, their prediction for 2023 is looking very merry and bright!

Sorry folks, no crash in their predictions! Many are stating that we are actually heading into a market much like the one we were in in 2019, “a normal, healthy market.” That sounds like a great market to buy a home in!

We are going to see probably another hike in interest rates in early 2023, with possibly low number of buyers buying to continue to try and stabilize. However, there is still a housing shortage, especially here in Cheyenne, so home prices are not predicted to go down too much, but more of a leveling off, with an increase in appreciation to start going up again in 2024. What does that mean? Buy a house in 2023! Sure, your interest rate will not be at 3%, but it will still be a historically low rate, you will not be forced to prepay that appreciation to win the bid, and you will actually have more than a hand full homes to choose from and be able to pick the perfect one for you and your needs at a great price.

Many are stating that we will most likely never see 1-3% interest rates ever again. I have a hard time with the word “never,” but I do know that having such low interest rates are not very good for our economy. The FEDs like to see 5-6%, which makes for the most stable economy, housing market, etc.

So, no, having a few more %s in interest rates are not going to crash our nations housing market. We are in a state of recovery right now, but we are heading for stability and health for the new year coming. And with everything we went through in 2020-2021, I think that is what we all want and need!


Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Years!

All Interest in Interest Rates?

What is new in the real estate world today? We are all hearing about it: rising interest rates!

Do you know what rates are at right now? Or do you just hear that they are high now?

Interest rates today for a 30-year conventional loan are at about 7%. Back in January, 2022, rates were in the mid-3%’s. So, you can see that panic from many right now that there is no hope in purchasing a home. Not true!

An interest rate of between 5-6% means a stable market.  That is what we finally have here. After the 2+ years of the red-hot seller’s market we had from outrageously low interest rates, this should be great news to buyers. Why?

We are not only seeing sellers help buyers again with closing costs, but also with things like rate buy downs, repairs again, and even price. Welcome back to a normal real estate market! What I have learned in the past few years in real estate, is that when rates are super low, that is all a buyer gets. They get a low interest rate and nothing else; no help with many repairs, no help with any closing costs, and absolutely no budge on price. So, buy the house. Buy with a smoking deal and refinance when rates decide to lower again, because they always do.

Here is the thing as well, interest rates do not dictate whether people are going to sell or purchase real estate. Job change, growing families, downsizing, sick or overpriced rent, and so on, are why people decide to buy and sell a home. So, no crash, no real estate bubble, but what we have here is finally getting back on track to where we should be! Yay!

Fall HomeOwners Checklist

It seems that everyone’s favorite season is Fall. I am one of those people! With all the leaf colors and being able to wear cozy sweaters for the perfect temperature weather, there is so much to love about this time of year. Whatever it is about the Fall season you like most, there are some things that, as home owners, you should be getting done before Old Man Winter comes along and we will be stuck in the homes that you just got! Here are some items that the experts recommend doing this Fall to keep your home warm, comfortable, and top notch.

Check your furnace filters and probably just replace them:

So many homeowners forget about this simple chore that should be done about every other month to keep your furnace running at its best and to keep that heating bill down.

Check for drafts and put some weather stripping on your windows and doors:

Some windows are better than others, but if you want to make sure you are nice and sealed in for the winter, get some weather stripping at any hardware store. It is super simple and cheap way to keep your home warm this winter.

Clean out you gutter:

I don’t have any trees in my yard, but many homes in town do. So, clean out all these beautiful autumn leaves from your gutters and put them in your leaf pile in the yard to jump in later!

Drain your outdoor faucets, blowout sprinkler systems and put away the garden hoses:

This item is super important to do before the frost comes. It will save you from your pipes from freezing!

Check your smoke detectors or replace them if it is time:

Something very common in Wyoming are woodstoves and fireplaces. A great heat source for many but it can be more dangerous that the furnace. So, make sure your smoke detectors are less than 10 years old and that they are all operational. Also, for those who have stoves, clean those chimneys!


Lastly, if you are new to the Wyoming area and winter, a great idea is to have an emergency winter car kit. I have one with warm clothes, water, etc. You just never know! It has come in handy many times!

I hope you have a great rest of the year in your new home!

Why I Chose NextHome Rustic Realty

Wow! What a busy summer it has been in the real estate world here in Cheyenne, WY. The last post from me was this spring and I was trying to explain what the market was doing. Today? I feel like it is still a lot of unknown. However, it is not the HOT, HOT, HOT seller’s market that it was a year ago, and as a Buyer Agent, I am LOVING this new market for my buyers! It is a bummer that interest rates are a little higher than what we have been spoiled with the past few years, but my buyers have time to look, they have time to think if this home is the perfect one, and there is actual inventory here on the market! Six months ago, there was about 40 residential homes on market, today, over 300, with an average price of $350,000. That is a nice market for a buyer here, ya’ll!


Anyways, with a little market update out of the way, onto the what I really want to share with you all today, and that is: Why I Chose My Brokerage- NextHome Rustic Realty.

Did you know that I also have a real estate license in Utah? I had got all done with my schooling and testing there when a week later, we moved out this way, so I never got used it out there. However, when I arrive here, I knew I still wanted to pursue this new career so I did not waste much time getting my Wyoming license in real estate. I even made an awesome friend in the process. I loved this place already!

After Wyoming Real Estate school, it was time to pick a brokerage in a town I did not know much about. So, I hopped on google! There are actually quite a few brokerages in town. I has heard so many good things about so many of them. I called brokerage one, and went straight to a voicemail. I called another, and said they would call me back later; and then another, and another. I was feeling a little discouraged. I knew exactly what I wanted in a work place for my new career, however just felt I was not finding it.

I then saw a brokerage called “Wyoming Rustic Realty” listed on google. I giggled at the name. I called them last, and someone answered! The women on the other line was happy, she had time to answer my call, and was genuinely interested in that I would like to interview at their brokerage. SOLD!


I am going on three years at this brokerage, that was originally a little “mom&pop” type brokerage, that grew, joined the franchise NextHome, moved into a new building, and has become my family in a town that I was so new to. That women on the other line became a lifelong friend. This brokerage helped me blossom into an agent that has the top 80% of experience in town by simply keeping in mind that we are here to help people and not here to make the most bucks in town. This brokerage helped us buy our first home. This brokerage is the reason I have hit so many milestones. This brokerage even hired my real estate school friend who wanted the work environment NextHome offers! This brokerage was not the place I was originally going to stay long term… This brokerage is my forever home!

I picked NextHome for what they stand for, “Humans Over Houses.” That is not just a slogan they just put on a Facebook post, it is something I feel when I go to work, when I am in meetings, when I am with clients, when we are all out together volunteering and helping the community, and so much more!

Thank you, Rustic Realty! I can’t wait to see what our future holds!

What the Heck is Going on Here?

The number one questions for people interested and wondering about real estate right now that I have heard to so much lately; “Is this a bubble?”, “Is the market going to crash?” “Should we wait?” Although these are great questions and there are aspects of today’s unpredictable real estate market where I can see why many fear this, like rising prices, rising rates, the sudden rate of change etc. However, I would like to share some information about what the market is actually doing and where is it actually going.

Now, I want you to know that this is not just all my opinion. This information here is information from fellow experts at NextHome headquarters who nerd out on all this data and compile it in multiple classes that we as NextHomies are able to take and learn from! Here is what I have learned:

-Interest rates have risen before. Home prices have risen before.

-Over 40 years ago, in 1978, the average home was $59,000. Then less than 10 years later, it was $95,000. A 61% inflation rate happened even though interest rates were at 11-16%.

-We are headed for a recession. And what that means is we will have at least 2 quarters of negative GDP. We had a recession in 2000, no one noticed. Many predict this recession to be similar to that.

-In most parts of the country, there is about 2 months of inventory on market. 6 months means a balanced market, 7 months is a buyer’s market, and 4-5 months is a seller’s market. You didn’t need me to tell you that we are in one of the hottest seller’s market in American history.

-With inventory this low, home values will continue to increase even with a 5% interest rate, still a historic low, and  the cost of waiting to buy could cost you a ton of money in the long run! Take advantage of that equity!

-Real estate has always had its up’s and down’s. Everyone remembers the 2008 crash and maybe people are getting flashbacks from then. Today, though, it is not as easy to get a loan for a home anymore and there are some other differences, as well. The biggest being that people have substantial amounts of equity in their homes and employment is way better. In 2008, home owners had probably around $25k and many took it out and used it to buy things like trucks and fun stuff or pay off credit cards. Today, nationwide, people today have an average of $150,000 in equity! They are using that money to buy more real estate, causing inflation but securing the purchase. Many are paying cash! Even at these prices, y’all, I have seen it. And, you can’t go upside down on a home if you don’t owe anything on it.

-The market does not determine whether someone buys or sells a home, life determines that. Getting married, getting divorced, having a child, becoming empty-nesters, job change, etc. This is what will make people buy and sell.

-The federal government like interest rates to be at about 6-7%, they like homes to appreciate 4% a year, and inflation to increase 2% a year. The reason interest rates are rising so much at such a high rate is because we are headed for that recession and they need to be able to lower them then again to stimulate the economy. So, in other words, refinancing will be a great option to many soon who are not happy with that 5.1% interest rate we are at today.

-And lastly, real estate is always great asset to protect your money. Even now. And it will be again tomorrow. During a recession. During a boom. The market is going to be different everywhere you go, however. California’s market is not the same as Wyoming, so make sure to talk with a trusted NextHome real estate agent in your area to talk about what is going on specifically in your market. And, remember, it is always a great time to invest in real estate!