Helping Our Daughter Shop For a Mortgage

Not that we potentially won’t make bigger investments in our lives. But you do have to admit, buying a home is huge. My daughter has been terrified of buying her own home and has made every excuse possible till now not to do it. Also I would like to recommend John Moel to anybody in KY or Indiana that’s looking for home loans.

Yes I helped my daughter shop her mortgage to death and we ended up using John from Broker House because he was neat and polite and he worked his but off and my daughter got a great rate on her home loan.

But lets get back to these kids and how to get them out of the nest.

Owning a home is part of the classic American dream. However, many young adults are reluctant to take the plunge and leave the confines of home, or an apartment. The common excuses people give for not buying a house often do not mesh with reality.

A House is Expensive

My daughter seemed to think that owning a home is “too expensive.” Owning a home is a more substantial investment than staying with mom or dad, but it does not impact your monthly budget any more than an apartment rental payment.

You can buy a $50,000 starter home with a $10,000 down payment on a conventional loan. Your monthly payment on a $40,000 loan for 30 years at 5 percent is $339.72, assuming a moderate amount for taxes and insurance. You do have to pay for utilities and other living costs, but the total bills do not exceed an apartment with the same amount of space.

You might also qualify for an FHA loan which has reduced credit score and down payment requirements. The minimum down payment is 3.5 percent as of 2014, which means you put just $1,750 down on the $50,000 property.

It is Too Much Work

When you own anything, it takes some time, effort and money to care for it. Your car requires basic maintenance and care, after all. A home needs basic cleaning, lawn care and routine maintenance, such as painting, yard trimming, deck staining, roof repairs and pest control.

The amount of resources you invest in these things are in your control, but some effort maintains your property’s value. Your house is an investment, so basic care helps it retain value so you get adequate cash on a resale. Whether you live at home or in an apartment, you have some basic maintenance responsibilities as well.

The Market is Bad

When the economy sours and home prices decline, some people choose the safety net of an apartment. In reality, the best time to get a great deal on a house is when prices reach a bottom. You get more home for your money and achieve a greater return on investment when it comes time to sell.

If you do not plan to live in the house for long, the “bad market” excuse is sensible. However, avoiding a stable property purchase because of low market values is not intuitive. Seize the opportunity to get an excellent deal in a buyer’s market.


Home ownership is not always the right move for a young adult. Apartments do make sense in certain circumstances. However, the “high cost,” the expected work load or a down market are not valid reasons to avoid buying a house.

And hey! She’s all moved in now and loving her new place and I got a whole extra room at my place to turn into a sitting room for me and my husband to relax in.


Shopping for Granite Countertops

I couldn’t get Mark (hubby) to go with me so I went alone, which is often the case. Shopping for home remodeling products and services is something I consider myself quite good at.

Before I go I always search all over online for whatever service or product, or in this case the combination is that I’m looking for.

So after hitting a few different showrooms looking for samples of granite and seeing what our local installers have in stock I ended up at Trademark Universal Stone at 4103 Bishop Ln.

I almost didn’t visit this location due to their website not having much along the lines of samples but it turns out I’m glad I did.

When I first pulled in I was still a bit hesitant because for a Saturday the place didn’t seem very busy, but it was obvious from the signange out front that they were indeed open. So in I went in full stealth mystery shopper mode, with all senses tuned to the highest state.

The minute I walked into their large showroom that is obviously having a considerable renovation done to it, I was impressed with the size of the place.

Within seconds a young lady came up and asked if she could assist me, and this is good. I like this when I’m shopping and especially when it’s something home related. So that’s when I met Rosie and she started showing me around the place.

Of course I asked to see some of their work and she took me into a mock up area that had several different sections laid out as kitchen areas with different colors and styles of stones for me to view. Also there were several sample racks with various types of granite samples displayed on them so that I could see them for myself.

While Rosie and I were talking, a young man that was passing through the showroom slowed down then stopped next to us and politely waited for a pause in the conversation we were having. When he saw a break he introduced himself to me as Henry Berroa the owner and wanted to make sure all was going well during my visit. Big points for Henry here! I love meeting business owners.

He asked Rosie to check my schedule and if my time permitted to take me back in the back and show me the processing area.. Really! Of course I wanted to go back into the back and see the inner workings. I’d never seen inside a granite fabrication and design facility past the showroom and couldn’t wait to see the back stage.

Wow!! I’m sure somewhere in the back of my mind that I new granite came in these monster slabs. But I had no idea they were so large and heavy that they needed to be lifted and guided with forklifts and big wenches. The workers were all doing their things and I must say it looked like a very efficiently run ship. But then I will admit that I don’t know that much about what I was looking at. However Rosie did lead me around and informed me what stages each individual piece of granite was going through at that particular station, and it was totally interesting to me because we are going to be having granite installed during an upcoming kitchen remodel.

Before leaving I scheduled to have Henry’s person out to our residence where they will measure our entire project in anticipation of putting together pricing for us. Rosie was kind enough to give me an adequate amount of literature and brochures about the individual styles and colors of granite that they carry so that I can bore my poor husband to death when I get home.

I reassured Henry that I’d read everyone of the customer testimonials on his website and thanked him for taking his time out to talk to me, and having Rosie let me see the back end of their business.

In a week or two I will drag my husband back over there with me to make what will in all likelihood be our choice of style and color. Not that we’ve hired Trademark yet, but I’ve shopped long enough to know that when I find a winner that’s what I go with. And barring Henry’s price not being crazy I will go with Trademark for my Granite because I like quality.

My over all rating of Trademark Universal Stone on a scale of 1 to 5 is a solid 5. Customer service was outstanding and they made me feel as though I was the most important person in the building and I was. The products are top notch and the employees and quality of work in the showroom was perfect. If the estimating process or pricing and installation proves otherwise I will report it here. Somehow though my years of experience tell me that I will not be disappointed.

So there you have it. Out of the 4 places I visited on Saturday to see Granite countertops in Louisville KY, one and one only stands out in my mind as the clear winner. TRADEMARK UNIVERSAL STONE.

Lets Go Shopping Louisville

So yes! Let’s go shopping!

Lydia Joyce here. If you haven’t realized it yet, you should know that I’ve elected myself to a newly created position in life. Starting now and hence forth I shall be known far and wide as the Louisville Mystery Shopper :)

I know! I know! It all sounds so crazy, but I love to shop and need an outlet where I can express myself about it. I have a lot of things to say and want you to be my audience. God only knows that my husband doesn’t want to here about the newest Louis Vuitton purses on the market. Or the latest set of Tommy Hilfiger F-Me pumps that are newly arrived on the shelves of some of Louisville’s better stores for women.

But not to fear. I’ll shop for anything just because I like shopping. It doesn’t matter, gardening supplies, cars, home remodeling stuff. I probably enjoyed shopping for a chandelier we bought 2 years ago more than anything else this last 5 years.

Shopping can be, and often is, very exciting to say the least. Having spent a considerable amount of time in retail to put myself through school I’m a fairly good judge of what constitutes quality customer service. Due to my engineering degree I know if a thing is properly built of quality materials, and whether adequate consideration has been given to the ergonomics of it’s design.

My criteria for judging a product is a lot different than the criteria I exercise when judging customer service. As it should be for anybody that’s critiquing a shopping experience. After all, if the best product in the world is being sold where customer service is part of the deal and there is no customer service, this girl will have a problem with that.

But at the end of it all, I’ll be honest about the area business’s I visit and more often will high-lite the positive without doing anymore than mentioning the negative.

Mystery shopping in Louisville KY and sharing the good, the bad, and the outright ugly