Jamie Harrington, Homeside Financial March 2018

march 2018

Welcome Home 1730 North Center Street, Hickory, NC 28601 • 828.229.7877 • jharrington@gohomeside.com I get to do something I truly love every day — helping people become homeowners. It’s hard work, long hours, and more than a little stressful, but when someone gets to turn the key in their new home, it’s all worth it. WHY I DO WHAT I DO I just knowmy clients need someone they can trust, and the only way I feel I can do that is to be informed and ethical.

The clients who give me the opportunity to work with themmake this career a total blast for me. This is especially the case when working with Homes for Heroes, which you can read about inside this newsletter. These public servants are some of the most appreciative people you’ll ever meet and provide a profound sense of meaning to what we do. The financing industry wasn’t always my calling. As a matter of fact, I used to work as a CPA, but I felt restricted working in accounting. The mortgage business, on the other hand, requires an entrepreneurial spirit that you either have or you don’t. You have to be 100 percent dependent on yourself. Some people find that too risky, but I thrive on it. I love that I am in control of my own destiny. When I show up at work, it’s not work. I have a keen desire to understand this industry better every single day. That’s a big part of why I’ve been blessed with success. I take my education seriously, and this has given me a comprehensive understanding of the industry that my clients truly value. I’m not smarter or better than

anyone else; I just knowmy clients need someone they can trust, and the only way I feel I can do that is to be informed and ethical. With the drive to be ethical comes a necessity for moral responsibility. I’ve seen some unfortunate business practices in this industry. Before the recession, there was a mortgage business on every corner where I lived. People thought they could make an easy buck by getting into lending. For me, that focus is in all the wrong areas. In my mind, when you work with a client, you are representing them in their pursuit of a home. That means having a spotless reputation. Dedication to what’s right is not only important, it’s necessary. Would y’all want to be represented by someone who didn’t share these values? When I’m not working, you can find me spending time with the biggest goofball on the planet. No, not my husband or my grown son— I’m talking about my dog, Freckles. Whether it’s getting run over by the mailman or

just being goofy, Freckles is always up to shenanigans. He has a titanium leg from all the mischief he’s gotten into, but he’s always a happy dog. He loves taking rides in the car, which is usually an adventure in its own right. Freckles weighs 130 pounds. I drive a Mini Cooper. Have you ever seen that funny image of the elephant in the VW Beetle? Yeah, it’s like that. I get to work with good folks every day and do something I love. When I come home, I get to spend time with my wonderful husband and goofy dog. I don’t think I could ask for much more than that. - Jamie Harrington 1 828.229.7877

Mortgage Made Easy!

Wait — Screen Time Is Good for Kids? How a Balanced Media Diet Bolsters Child Development

If you Google the effects of screen time on children, you’re sure to be bombarded with horror stories. Numerous articles claim that, beginning in infancy, the more time a child spends in front of a TV, phone, or computer, the worse their developmental outcomes will be. At first glance, the research is utterly conclusive. It seems we should throw out every TV in our house, smash our kids’ smartphones, and usher our children into the great outdoors as soon as possible. But what most of these studies fail to take into account is the content of the electronic media. If a child spends two hours a day bingeing episodes of “The Big Bang Theory” or screaming obscenities into a headset while playing “Call of Duty,” it’s going to negatively impact their experience of the world along with their mental and physical health. But not all content is created equal. In the past, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommended strict limits on electronic engagement for kids, following the old line of thinking that any kind of screen time would be better spent climbing a tree or running in

the backyard. But in October of 2016, they offered new recommendations for parents. For infants and young toddlers, the research still sides pretty heavily against the use of iPads and television. Before 18 months of age, a child lacks the cognitive capabilities allowing them to apply the lessons of technology to real

life, and even after that, the APP recommends that media consumption should be limited to “high-quality programming, such as the content offered by Sesame Workshop and PBS.” But for kids ages 5 and up, parents should avoid banning screen time outright, but function as their child’s media mentor. Instead of decrying time spent building complex structures in “Minecraft” as hours that could be spent on the

Homes for Heroes is something that I am so passionate about. Being able to help these wonderful, appreciative people, can be the highlight of my day. Homes for Heroes started shortly after 9/11 to provide an option to give back to public servants. They help the heroes of our nation save on the purchase of their home as a way of saying “thank you” for all they do. This service is open to military, law enforcement, firefighters, EMS, and teachers. Homes for Heroes is a savings program that allows us to discount expenses associated with a home purchase, sale, or refinance. By implementing this, we are able to bring public servants one step closer to their new front door. Many of these hardworking Americans serve and protect this country with diligence and passion, and we want to make sure nothing stands in their way of putting a roof over their head.

After being established in 2002, Homes for Heroes took off and was able to go through a multi-state expansion program beginning in 2005. This allowed public servants in need all over the country to have access to the necessary funds to own a home. In 2009, Homes for Heroes had been met with so much success over all these states that it went national. This program has since been graced with awards, served tens of thousands of heroes, and given back over $25 million. I was able to help Judy, a recent client, get a wonderful home through this program. As a busy working mother, she was extremely grateful for the efficient process and how quickly everything was done for her. Of course, she also liked the stacks of cash we were able to save her. Most importantly, she loves her new home, and I love that we were able to help her get it.



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those three numbers How to Maintain Your Credit Score

In October of 2016, the American Academy of Pediatrics offered new recommendations for parents.

It’s hard to believe that so much of your life can come down to three little numbers, but when those numbers are your credit score, they’re not as little as they might seem. Your credit score powers your financial status and can affect your ability to own a home. Good credit takes time to build and a lot of com- mitment to maintain. Because your credit score is so important, I’ve included three ways for you to keep those three numbers as high as possible.

soccer field, we should set expectations and boundaries to ensure that children can deepen their experience of the world through media, not hamper it. The problem starts not with the screen itself, but when the consumption of media becomes problematic, replacing regular face-to- face interactions and physical activity. But with a balanced media diet, kids can have the best of both worlds.

Credit History/Mix

The relationship between your credit history and the different types of credit you have plays a role in your credit score. Having a mix of credit cards, retail debt, loans, and mortgages has a larger impact on your credit score if you don’t have much of an established credit history. The longer the history, the less of an impact credit mix has. Delinquency Perhaps nothing can derail your credit score faster than a late payment. The more payments you miss, the worse the effect on your credit will be. This includes bankruptcies, foreclosures, lawsuits, and liens. Your credit score takes into account how late the payments were, how much was owed, how recently the delinquencies occurred, and — most importantly — how many there are. Credit Utilization This is the relationship between your available credit and total credit. For example, if you have a credit card with a $1,000 limit and you’re using $970 of that card, that debt has a negative impact on your credit score. This is because credit companies view you as being at a higher risk of defaulting on your payment. If you have questions about your credit or need help improving your score, set up an appointment with my office or give us a call. I’ve helped people with a wide variety of credit needs. Don’t let the fear of the unknown hold you back from achieving your life goals. Stop by today so we can put you on a path toward new opportunities.

Zesty Zucchini enchiladas


• •

4 large zucchini

2 teaspoons chili powder 3 cups cooked, shredded chicken

1 tablespoon olive oil or ghee 1 large onion, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced

• • •

• •

2 cups shredded cheese 1 can enchilada sauce

2 teaspoons cumin



Heat oven to 350 F. In a large skillet, heat oil. Add onion, garlic, cumin, chili powder, and salt to taste. Stir to combine. Sauté chicken for 2 minutes, then add 1 cup of the enchilada sauce. Use vegetable peeler to thinly slice zucchini lengthwise. Lay out three slices, slightly

overlapping, and spoon chickenmixture on top. Roll the zucchini“tortilla” and place on baking sheet. Repeat until all zucchini and chicken is used. Cover the enchiladas with remaining sauce and sprinkle with cheese. Bake 20 minutes, and enjoy!



For a lighter take on enchiladas, go carb-free by swapping tortillas for zucchini!



Mortgage Made Easy!

1730 North Center Street, Hickory, NC 28601



Why I DoWhat I Do


When Screen Time Is Good for Kids HowWe Serve Our Public Servants


Build Your Credit Score With These Three Tips Go Carb-Free for Dinner


These Pets Make More Than Most Americans!

The World’s Wealthiest Pets

Since humans first domesticated dogs almost 40,000 years ago, people have happily kept pets around. We feed them, groom them, and occasionally let them sleep on the bed. Some people love their pets so much they make sure their animals will inherit a vast fortune in the case of their owner’s death. Here are a few pets who, thanks to their dedicated owners, are truly living the good life. Gigoo Fortune: $15 million When British publisher Miles Blackwell and his wife, Briony, passed away within weeks of each other, the childless couple left most of their fortune to a charity trust. About $42.5 million went to benefit arts, music, and animal welfare causes. However, the Blackwells didn’t forget about their favorite pet, Gigoo the hen. The $15 million Gigoo inherited to ensure she was taken care of made her the only bird on Time magazine’s“10 Richest Pets of All Time.” Gunther IV Fortune: $375 million German countess Karlotta Liebenstein left her entire $80 million fortune to her German shepherd, Gunther III. Trustees for the canine’s estate have made some excellent investments since then, growing the fortune

to $375 million— a sum that was inherited by Gunther III’s son, Gunther IV. Today, this top dog dines on steak and caviar, is chauffeured by limousine, and owns villas around the world, including a Miami Beach mansion once belonging to Madonna. Grumpy Cat Fortune: $1–100 million While most rich pets inherit wealth, Grumpy Cat, whose real name is Tardar Sauce, is a self-made millionaire. Born with a form of dwarfism, the world fell in love with Grumpy Cat when pictures of her perpetual frown circled the internet in 2012. The meme sensation soon made the jump to real world celebrity, becoming the official spokescat for Friskies cat food and starring in her own movie,“Grumpy Cat’s Worst Christmas Ever.” Sources claim Grumpy Cat is worth over $100 million. Her owner says this number is inaccurate, but one thing is certain—whatever she’s frowning about, it’s not her bank account. This list is a clear reminder of howmuch people love their pets. Of course, instead of a vast fortune, most of us are content to show our affection with an extra treat before dinner. After all, our pets probably don’t even know the difference.

Jamie’s dog, Freckles



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