Tucson AZ Home Loan Info


I Need A Ballpark Estimate for My Client. What Are Your Jumbo Rates?

Ballpark by Kingdafy, Flickr

A Ballpark Estimate...

A financial planner found me on Active Rain, and sent me the following message:

Hello Mike,

We have a client who may look into taking a Jumbo loan on his residence. More than likely it will be a $900k loan so I wanted to check rates, how it underwritten and approximate payments.


It's not every day that I get a request like this.  The $900,000 part is interesting.  Here's my response:

Dear Sir,

Thanks for your email.

Without knowing...

  1. the borrower
  2. the borrower’s credit
  3. the borrower’s income
  4. the borrower’s debt ratio (obligations / income)
  5. the loan to value on the property
  6. the combined Loan to Value on the property
  7. and other specifics of the property

…there’s no way to say.   It’s sort of like my saying I’m shopping for an investment advisor, and I’d like to know what rate of return you’re going to get for me.  You’d want a little more information.

 I’d be honored to help; please call me to make an appointment.

All the best,


The ballpark is a big place, folks.  When you're looking for a "ballpark estimate," what you're actually asking me to do is to give you financial parameters with which to make a financial decision.

  • Is it okay with you if the estimate looks like a home run, and what you get is actually a little dribble single?
  • Is it okay with you if the guy in left field drops the ball?
  • Is it okay with you if you strike out?

Do your homework before you begin to ask questions, especially if your client's well being depends on the information you're giving him or her.

I'm Mike in Tucson, your preferred Tucson Mortgage Lender.

NMLS #223495

SUNSTREET MORTGAGE llc ~ Correspondent Mortgage Bank
Offices (AZ) Mesa, Tucson, Nogales, and Albuquerque, NM.

photo courtesy kingdafy, flickr photostream

Comment balloon 15 commentsMike Jones • September 07 2010 11:49PM


PERFECT blog, Mike.  Been there, done that.  Had a client say they wanted to look at buying investment properties in Maricopa County.  Would I  send him a list - well, um, any particular city of the 85 we have?  Any particular price range?  Any particular condition - fix up or move in?  Just to name a few of the many questions. 

I did feel tempted to send him al 49,952 listings at the time, just for fun, LOL> 

Posted by Juli Vosmik, Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739 (Dominion Fine Properties) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike!
First, what happened to your photo?
Okay...down to the meat.  I just did something I hate doing...gave an EOV without seeing the interior of a property. Now, I told the seller that it would have to be adjusted once I have seen the interior and I would be giving her a large range, all of which was fine with her.  However...and this is a BIG however...the only thing she heard was the top end of the range and now won't budge even though she needs to.  That's a BIG shame on me! I knew better and did it anyway!

Posted by Paula Swayne, Realtor-Land Park, East Sac & Curtis Park -Dunniga (Dunnigan, Realtors, Sacramento (916) 425-9715) over 10 years ago


Well answered!

To day more than ever these questions are nearly imposable to answer, if you're honest.


Posted by William J. Archambault, Jr. (The Real Estate Investment Institute ) over 10 years ago

That's a pretty vague request, MIke. Sort of like saying we want to buy a house in SoCal, can you tell us what is available.

You handled it well - hopefully you will get a follow-up call so you can realy show them how you work and how you can help.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) over 10 years ago


It would have been somewhat simpler to "ballpark" a conventional conforming loan, but a jumbo?  In this environment?  We'll see if I get a callback.


Thanks.  An answer, especially once removed from the borrower, would be pretty useless.


Did the photo not show up on your screen?  I thought perhaps that was the case, and closed down Firefox, started up Internet Explorer, but I have no problem with the photo.  Perhaps I'm missing the point, though...  (It's 2:45 in the morning)  Love your story!


Thanks for being the first to comment.  A ballpark is a big place, isn't it?

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

My contrary thinking:

A request for a ball park answer can be annoying, but then, you never know...  I have needed to seek ball park answers from time to time myself, while I am helping a client (or myself) think through various scenarios.  And I'll usually just keep asking (or searching the web) until someone gives me enough of an answer to help me think through the problem.

For example: "Is a new garage door installation closer to $400 or to $4,000" ... a client does not need an exact answer at that moment; but they need some vague idea to start the decision process.  And yes, the installation cost will vary widely based on all kinds of factors; but they just need some kind of an idea to start the thinking process.

So, in addition to everything you said, you might add something like "a typical borrower with a credit score above XXX, purchasing with a XX% down payment, could probably expect a rate today of between X.XX% and X.XX".

The same way, I might say "The average three bedroom home in this neighborhood usually sells in the high 300s right now."

Nothing committal, nothing exact, but it gives them enough of an answer to start thinking through whatever issue they need to think through.


Posted by Cheryl Johnson over 10 years ago


I learned something just now.  Thanks for a thoughtful comment and illustration.  I appreciate this a lot!

Mike in Tucson

Posted by Mike Jones, Mike Jones NMLS 223495 (SUNSTREET MORTGAGE, LLC (BK-0907366, NMLS 145171) ) over 10 years ago

Mike, really it never ceases to amaze me that many people, including those in our business expect a person to "Ballpark" in such a broad sense, an estimate that requires so much more information! I appreciate Sally's comment but frankly, I think when people ask such open endede questions expecting a more specific answer, it show s how little they know about the business which can be forgiven but worse how little they think it takes to do our jobs. Just sayin'

Posted by Russell Lewis, Broker,CLHMS,GRI (Realty Austin, Austin Texas Real Estate) over 10 years ago

Mike - I am also amazed that someone would ask for a 'ballpark' without giving you a LOT of needed information on the buyer!!! Every day a new surprise on how little some people think!

Posted by Barbara-Jo Roberts Berberi, MA, PSA, TRC - Greater Clearwater Florida Residential Real Estate Professional, Palm Harbor, Dunedin, Clearwater, Safety Harbor (Charles Rutenberg Realty) over 10 years ago

You are absolutely right, the ballpark is a big place and some many folks don't get that.  It's hard to get that message out to the public.  Good luck!

Posted by Donna Foerster, Metro Denver Real Estate Assistant (HomeSmart Realty Group) over 10 years ago

Excellent blog post -- and oh, so real!

I'm sorry I missed you at Rain Camp. Actually, I think I caught a glimpse of you coming into the room at lunch and lost track of you while answering a question from the person next to me. When I stood up to check the tables, I couldn't find you!

By the way, do you have any insight into why my posts stopped going to Twitter on September 1? I didn't change any settings and nothing is feeding through. Very weird.

Posted by Ann Heitland, Retired from Flagstaff Real Estate Sales (Retired from RE/MAX Peak Properties) over 10 years ago

Mike - andhere I thought ballparks is were one went to watch a ball game not a crystal ball used to determine financial parameters for uninformed third parties 

Posted by Kathy Clulow, Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results (RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage) over 10 years ago

Hi Mike,

As lenders, we get these kind of calls every single day. 

"Jan Mullins here, how can I help you?"

Caller:  "What'r yer rates?"

Sometimes we can turn them into loans, other times not. 

I did enjoy this post though.  Made me grin. And btw, thanks SO much for the beautiful card!  I'm showing all my friends.

Have a great weekend.



Posted by Jan Mullins (First Credit Union) over 10 years ago

Great Point!  People who are looking for refinance quotes do the same thing, and shoot themselves in the foot, I mean 'er drop the ball.

Posted by Eleanor Thorne, Equity Resources 919-649-5058 (Equity Resources) over 10 years ago

Once you explain all the factoring that goes into quoting a rate, they get it. We all have lots more explaining and teaching to do in our industry. That is why only the best of the best are still here my friend Mike!

Posted by Lori Martinez Equal Housing Lender, Personal Mortgage Professional (PEOPLES MORTGAGE CO. AZBK 0904164 NMLS 6274) over 10 years ago

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