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Asked by David Frizzell, Saint Petersburg, FL Thu Jul 3, 2008

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Jed Lane, Agent, Petaluma, CA
Fri Jul 4, 2008
Many of us have seen presentations on these products. They appeal to some and not others.
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Don Tepper, Agent, Burke, VA
Fri Jul 4, 2008
I'm familiar with one of the products that offers that (a mortgage coupled with a HELOC, and a sophisticated program that advises owners when to transfer funds from the HELOC to the mortgage). It actually looks like it works.

I say that because some people worry about scams. Some people worry, understandably, that "If it sounds too good to be true, then it isn't." Still, the program I'm familiar with (and I think there are a few others out there) are getting business.

On the other hand, yes, that pitch does have a certain appeal. Some people just like to have their mortgage paid off. Or they like to track how much their mortgage has declined every month. And even though, in some cases, financially it might be better for someone to have a mortgage (for a tax shelter), some people just don't want a mortgage hanging over their heads.

As you know, those plans require the owner to have some discretionary income. Problem is, in today's market, that pool of owners is smaller; you'll get a lot of calls from people who not only are upside down mortgage-wise, but don't have the discretionary income necessary.

A word of caution: Some real estate firms discourage their agents from promoting those plans. I don't know how they'd feel about agents allowing others to pitch those plans. I'm with a major real estate firm in the Eastern U.S., and we received a memo a few months ago cautioning agents about involvement in such programs.

The program I'm aware of encourages its people to "buy" the program for themselves. If you've got the money and are considering it, I'd suggest trying it out yourself. See how it works. If you're comfortable with it--if it seems to work the way it's promoted--then give it a shot by promoting it to others.

Hope that helps.
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Sylvia Barry,…, Agent, Marin, CA
Fri Jul 4, 2008
Hi David:

It is always good to offer alternatives. However, if anybody approaches me with a product to sell, I would like to know all things upfront, instead of only offer information on what's great about the product and then (many hidden paragraphs later) finds out there are important things to watch out for in some fineprints - that would really turn me off on the product.

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Megan Manly, Agent, Nashville, TN
Fri Jul 4, 2008
David, In every market, in every economic time, the attracting factors are price, condition and location. With the extra stock that this market has brought, price is king no matter what. Promotions and gimmicks are everywhere. Attracting more buyers require smart marketing a great pricing.
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Dallas Texas, Agent, Dallas, TN
Thu Jul 3, 2008
Depends on how it is marketed.
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Keith Sorem, Agent, Glendale, CA
Thu Jul 3, 2008
Buying a home satisfies a need. It's almost like buying car. I see most buyers looking at the monthly payment, which is why buy down programs work. I agree with your premise, but many buyers in my market cannot see that long term.

Keep trying!
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