the “secret recipe” for getting a mortgage


Everybody loves exclusive and privileged information — special deals, invitation-only events, inside-secrets (not to be confused with insider secrets, ala Martha Stewart), and secret recipes.  In the mortgage business there are some people who are so convincing about their “special deals” it is almost too hard to pass up.  I was driving home from the gym yesterday morning when I heard a guy on the radio say that he had “secured $10 million dollars of money at an interest rate so low that he had to agree not to advertise it on the radio”. . . to which he followed with the statement, “if you are paying more than 3% on your mortgage” you need to call him at (I changed the name to protect the not-so-innocent).  And if I remember correctly, you needed to call before this Friday or else you could miss out!?!  So, likely, by the time you read this post, you will have missed-out.  Sorry.

Could it be?  A secret, exclusive source of money?  So incredibly low that if you are paying more than 3% on your mortgage that you NEED to call??  Think of the savings!!  Think of what you could do with all that extra money!!  Really??  No, not really.

Let me tell you a story about “secret recipes” . . .

When I was growing up, I always looked forward to Saturday mornings.  Partly because I was a weird kid who liked to wake up at 6:00 AM to eat peanut-butter toast and watch the Woody Woodpecker and Tom and Jerry, but mainly because every now and then (on what we considered to be special occasions) my dad would set up shop in the kitchen with the griddle and spatula to make his “famous secret-recipe pancakes.”  (sing/bright light: “aaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh” )

I remember eating “secret-recipe pancakes” by the stack-load . . . 10, 12, 15 pancakes.  Sometimes they were in special shapes (maybe a Mickey Mouse pancake every now and then), sometimes they had M&Ms in them, but that’s not what made them special.  Sure, I was a growing and hungry boy, but most of the excitement (and appetite) came from seeing my dad so happy that his culinary-creation was being devoured.  “Ahh.  Twelve pancakes!  Jeffrey-boy!  Wow!” 

I hoped that one day the recipe would be passed on to me that I might be able to share the same Saturday morning-thrill with my children. 

The tradition of “secret recipe pancakes” followed me well into my 20’s and thankfully two of my four children were able to partake in a Saturday morning “Grandpa-Bill” pancake extravaganza.  But on one day-after-Thanksgiving morning at my parents’ house while Dad was warming up the griddle and getting his tools-of-the-trade ready for action, someone pointed out something quite unsettling . . . sitting next to the mixing bowl and spatual on the kitchen counter, right near the sink (gasp!)


You guessed it.  Just-add-water Aunt Jemima Pancakes.  Could it be??  

After a thorough family-investigation and questioning, Dad claimed that the secret made-from-scratch recipe had at some point been replaced by the much easier, and quicker (and curiously-similar tasting) Aunt Jemimas pancakes.  Nonetheless, the legend of secret-recipies lives on even beyond my father’s untimely passing away in 2003 and the memory of my father (and his famous pancakes) continues to manifest itself in other places:

Aunt Meredith’s secret stain remover:


many-a-mother’s secret cookie-recipe:


all people from Louisiana’s secret cooking ingredient:


So, back to the subject at hand.  Should you really call the guy on the radio if you are paying more than 3% on your mortgage (which, by the way, 99% of you are; the other 1% of you are in the very first month of a loan that has an introductory teaser-rate)?? 

radio guy’s secret recipe to a mortgage under 3%:  likely an MTA loan — a monthly adjustable-rate mortgage with a start-rate of 1.0%, to adjust soon after closer to an interest rate of 7.25% (by my math and by today’s MTA index). 

Check out my previous post for more information about this type of loan and to find out why you don’t need to call the guy on the radio . . . not before this Friday, not before his “special” $10 million dollars runs out . . . not ever.


One Response to “the “secret recipe” for getting a mortgage”

  1. Mimi Says:

    Re Grandpa Bill’s Secret Pancake Recipe:

    OK OK…It’s the RATIO of water to mix that’s the SECRET! Great memories, Jeffrey-Boy!


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