Living the Dream
Texoma LIVING WELL Magazine
Most people, as they grow into adulthood and enter the “real” world, dream of ownership. The possibility that a home, a business, or some other physical article might someday become theirs is looked upon as a wish come true.
But due to the economic downturn that began for most of us around five years ago, that dream began looking elusive. However, since the majority of United States citizens are a hardy bunch, with a good bit of hard work, luck, intelligence, planning and action, doors to dreams are now re-opening.
Your friends and associates at Landmark Bank, like you, collectively experienced the downturn. But with the turnaround, they’re not only aware, they’re prepared to take advantage of it. With the financial atmosphere now in what most of us believe is a sustained upswing—they’re developing ways to help those they serve realize their aspirations and meet their goals.
While all market areas have their own special footprint, there are similarities as well. For the past several months, through the bank’s three-state service area, record increases in deed of trust filings for commercial and residential real estate loan transactions have been recorded. Not only were these increases unprecedented in most of the markets covered by the bank, they’re continuing to grow.
To get an idea of what was going on in markets affected by the economy’s recovery and in loan demand increases, we talked to Ben Dye.
Dye is president of the Ben Dye Company, Inc., and is a known and respected builder in the North Texas market. Like many small businesses, he suffered through the decline and is now seeing definite turnaround signs. “Over the past six years, we built an average of about 10 homes a year. But in the past two, we’ve been in the low 20s. We hope to complete about 30 this year. That’s triple growth,” he says.
Dye points out that low interest rates and the loosening of credit requirements have been a strong factor. “Plus, people like Robert Sylvester are a great help. He’s a customer-oriented guy who calls you on the phone, asks how things are, and gets a pulse on what’s going on in the communities where he works.” (Sylvester, formerly president of the Landmark Bank in Denison, took over the reins at the Sherman location in April.)
Landmark’s Laura Glass is another go-to person,” Dye says. “She’s an excellent mortgage lender, and knows who to talk to in order to get things done.” And with prices stabilizing, that’s a good feeling. There are many of us now who I’m sure are starting to feel much better about the future.”
As most of us know, to help the economy stay in recovery mode, the Federal Reserve has remained steadfast in its efforts to keep long-term interest rates as low as possible. And there’s discussion that soon yet another low-interest plan will emerge—replacing the one now in place.
Making a move like this most likely will help drive yields even lower. And because mortgage rates are indexed against these yields, a drop in treasury bills means continued lower interest rates on mortgages.
If you’re a prospective homebuyer or looking to establish or build a business, and purchase inventory or equipment, this is great news. Having these lower rates in effect expands your budget, making it possible to do a little more, for less. Since the enhancement of lower rates fuels the ability to buy more for less, a ripple is created, and prices slowly rise.
These developments are especially good news for the men and women at Landmark Bank who specialize in real estate lending. In a more affordable atmosphere, carrying greater stability, they’re now in position to do more for their customers. First they’ll supply, in easy-to-understand terms as always, the information needed that will show you how it all comes together—made ready just for you. And then, using the highly attractive rates now available, they can map out a position that will hopefully go beyond meeting your needs.
There are, of course, other costs and issues always associated with home ownership—things that most likely won’t be a factor if you are leasing or renting. These include taxes, insurance, maintenance, down payments, closing costs and other transaction expenses. But right now, the signs are definitely green. The comparisons of buying over renting, and a low housing inventory are significant indications of a recovering economy. Today in North Texas and in most of the country, ownership over renting is becoming more competitive than it’s been for years.
From the evidence, at least where your friends and neighbors at Landmark Bank are concerned, the economy seems to be in full rebound. And from this notion one could surmise that this phenomenon is being felt by most major banks everywhere. Whatever the spread, it’s definitely one strong statistic that points directly to financial healing.
And it’s news that bodes well for just about everyone.
If you stop and think about how this upswing is affecting in a positive way the lives of most every adult in America, you can make several observations about what’s to come.
Across the 27 cities and towns in Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas that comprise Landmark Bank’s market, new tools are emerging, and are transforming the marketplace. As part of this promising mix, the bank’s folks are using them to make it easier for customers to improve their lives and enrich their standing in the world.
First there are the unique opportunities it presents for all of us—situations that can enlarge our lives, build hope and ensure confidence. After all, the capacity to purchase or refinance at a lower rate, lower payments, and possibility of being able to pay a loan off early, can put a smile on anyone’s face.
And now, in Landmark’s North Texas market, the bank has tacked on another positive that will make that smile permanent.
Taking the steps to secure or refinance a loan is a serious undertaking, and if possible, all the procedures and approvals needed should take place under one roof. Until recently, that wasn’t possible in this market. But as demand grew, those at Landmark Bank realized they needed something that would better serve their North Texas customer base.
They created the Landmark Bank Home Loan Center. Housed in its own building in Denison, the new center is a workplace where the total focus is on home loans, refinancing and real estate sales and purchases—with all the work done right here. New to the area, it’s staffed by professionals that their customers know—hometowners just like them—who take those looking for help through the total process, from start to finish. Creating an environment of trust, those who run this new financial center are pledged to making every step a pleasing experience.
And no outside forces are involved.
“Though all real estate guidelines are similar, we personalize them,” Glass says. “We not only execute every step locally, we offer better rates, better closing costs and better service. With this new center, Landmark Bank is making a commitment to its community in a way no other bank in this market has done before.”
Nine new jobs have been created to make this possible — all dedicated to providing faster service and turnaround time.
The Landmark Bank Home Loan Center’s official grand opening took place in May, and was a great success. As soon as the remaining hors d’oeuvres had been taken off the table, the workplace returned to doing business as usual. And, traffic has been brisk. If you’re not yet aware of the new loan center, you’ll find it, in its own facility, adjacent to the Denison Bank location, at 2820 W. FM 120, Suite 2, in Denison.
The opening of the loan center may not be the greatest thing that’s ever happened in this part of the world, but it’s a proactive move, and sure to improve things for the many who will take advantage of it.
And for some it will be the first step they take toward making their dreams come true.
Landmark Bank is a community bank with $1.8 billion in assets in 40 locations in 27 communities across Missouri, Oklahoma and Texas. For more information, visit landmarkbank.com or call 800-618-5503.