House Flipping on HGTV – 3 Myths Busted

House Flipping on HGTV – 3 Myths Busted

If you had a dollar for every fix and flip reality show on TV, you wouldn’t need to save money for a down payment on a mortgage- you could buy a house outright! This trendy industry has been popularized by shows that feature gorgeous redesigns, high profit margins, and quick turnarounds. Flipping houses can make you a lot of money, but you need to understand what you’re getting into — and that means you can’t rely on HGTV reruns. Here’s a quick behind-the-scenes look at the reality of house flipping that you won’t see on TV.


Harder Than It Looks

Unfortunately, it takes a bit longer than a 30-minute TV episode to complete a successful fix and flip project. Reality TV often breezes by the less glamorous parts of the process, like finding the right property, planning renovations, and working with a lender to purchase the property. Then you have to coordinate with contractors to get the renovations done – and this is easier said than done if you don’t already have connections in the industry that you trust. Plus, you might face delays and unexpected costs that need to be accounted for.


Unexpected Problems

You also have to be ready for unexpected issues that may arise at the worst possible time. When these issues crop up on reality TV, it always looks like the hosts were blindsided – but these are faked reactions to create drama. Going into a fix and flip project with no backup plan can be a recipe for disaster, and experienced real estate professionals will always be prepared for the unknown. Always have a carefully planned budget with a ‘disaster fund’ to cover these kinds of expenses, and carefully research your property before you begin renovating!


Unpredictable Markets

It always seems like the fix and flip homes on TV have buyers lining up to submit above-market offers. Depending on the location and timing of your fix and flip project, this kind of response is possible – but if the home doesn’t sell right away, you need to be prepared for the increased costs of property taxes, interest on your loan, and upkeep costs. The faster you sell the property, the better off you will be, since properties that linger on the market begin to drop in value. To avoid delays, you will need a good real estate agent.



Despite the fact that reality TV often brushes over the more challenging aspects of the industry, house flipping is still a great option to achieve financial independence. For more guidance, contact us! We will help you achieve your homeownership dreams.


Meet Sharp Loan Team Member, Martin Valencia

Meet Sharp Loan Team Member, Martin Valencia

What is your role at Sharp Loan?

I am a Loan Processor.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

Seeing the end result of my hard work: getting people the money they need, getting them into their dream home, and helping them save money every month on their mortgage.

Can you share a memorable experience or story that happened while working?

Finishing a loan for a couple that had been living in their car for a couple of years so they could have enough for their down payment. It was a true privilege and a pleasure to finally get them in their home and see pictures of it.

What do you like to do in your free time when you aren’t helping clients realize their homeownership dreams?

I serve at my church on the weekends doing security, I love shooting guns at the range, and I love hunting.

What’s an item on your bucket list that you can’t wait to cross off?

I would love to shoot a machine gun from a helicopter, just like in the movies!

What is one important skill that every person should have?

I believe everyone should be CPR / First Aid Certified because it reminds us that our bodies are fragile and it gives us the confidence to be able to save a life in need.


Martin Valencia
Loan Processor


Are 3D Printed Neighborhoods the Future of Housing?

Are 3D Printed Neighborhoods the Future of Housing?

The housing market is very hot right now, and home prices are at an all-time high. Why is that? There are a number of factors, but the simplest explanation is based on supply and demand. People are eager to buy homes, but there are labor and material shortages keeping new housing from being built at a fast enough pace. In fact, there is currently an estimated national shortage of 5.5 million homes! Thanks to breakthroughs in 3D printing technology, however, that might be about to change.


A 3D-Printed Partnership

Texas-based ICON is one of very few companies that specializes in large-scale 3D printing. Working in tandem with a home construction company called Lennar, they will be creating the largest 3D-printed neighborhood in the world. Construction will begin on 100 single-family homes in Austin, Texas in 2022.


Environmental Impact

With this partnership, the two companies hope to circumvent the labor and supply issues currently plaguing home construction, and create new options for quality, affordable housing. The technology should allow for more efficient construction with less impact on the environment. The construction process would eliminate the need for formwork (the concrete molds that cement is poured into), saving money and materials while cutting back on waste and carbon dioxide emissions.


Logistics of Large-scale 3D Printing

ICON’s 3D printers are over 15 feet tall and use a concrete-based building material that is layered onto a predefined blueprint. They are capable of building the framework (both the exterior and interior wall system) of a single-family, one-story house in approximately a week. The remaining construction (doors, windows, roof, etc.) would be completed by Lennar.


Potential Benefits

ICON believes that their tech can be used to combat homelessness, and could also be a life-saving tool for disaster relief. They have not yet given estimates for the prices of these new homes, but they are being pushed as a more affordable housing option.



It may sound like science fiction, but make no mistake: the future is here. At Sharp Loan, we strongly believe in leveraging technology to innovate the lending process and make life easier for our borrowers. Contact us to learn more!


5 Reasons Why Now Is a Good Time to Refinance

5 Reasons Why Now Is a Good Time to Refinance

For many homeowners, refinancing could provide several potential benefits. One of the primary reasons why people refinance their mortgage is to lower the interest rate. If rates have dropped since you last financed your home, you may want to consider refinancing. Other common reasons to refinance include paying off a balloon payment, converting an adjustable rate loan to a fixed rate loan, or being able to extract cash equity from your home (cash out). Sometimes homeowners cash out to make home improvements, to create an education fund, or consolidate debt. The exact reasons why someone should refinance may vary and should be considered carefully. However, choosing the right time to refinance can be equally important. Here are five reasons why now is a good time to refinance.


Rates could be on the rise

The average 30-year fixed mortgage rate rose above 3.0% once again in the past week, and may continue to rise slowly. If you are thinking of refinancing your home, now may be a good time to start the process so that you can lock in rates before they have a chance to rise.


Interest rates are still low

Rates are still low! Looking at where rates have been historically, refinancing now is still an unusually great deal, despite the recent rate rise.


Don’t be left out

Over 70% of homeowners have not taken advantage of the low rates during the pandemic, and still have yet to refinance. The opportunity will eventually pass and you don’t want to find yourself wishing that you had seized the chance to save money.


Lower your monthly payments

Borrowers can cut down their monthly payments and free up more of their income going into the next year. This could leave more funds for home projects, savings, or offsetting the potential increase in monthly expenses due to the rising prices of consumer goods.


Higher home values

The real estate market has seen historic increases in home values in recent months. Many homeowners have more equity in their homes than ever before. This will give you a lower LTV (loan-to-value) ratio, which could potentially make it easier for you to get approved and qualify for an even better rate. It could also help if you are looking to cash-out.

If you are thinking about refinancing your mortgage, then give us a call to get a quick and easy interest rate quote and get pre-approved in less than 5 minutes! Or submit the form below to get started.


Talk to one of our knowledgeable agents and Get Pre-approved Today!


3 Easy Ways to Improve Your FICO Score

3 Easy Ways to Improve Your FICO Score

Is your credit score high enough? Whether your goal is to get a mortgage, buy a car, or go to school, odds are that at some point you will need to borrow money. Having a good credit score will make all the difference in achieving your goals, and it can drastically affect your access to good loan programs and competitive interest rates. Over the life of a loan, your credit score could mean a savings (or a loss) of tens of thousands of dollars!


Credit Cards

One of the best ways to improve your credit score is to pay down the balances on your credit cards. What is your credit utilization percentage? You can find out by dividing your credit limit by your current card balance. For example, if your limit is $3000 and your balance is $1500, that means you are using 50% of your credit. The lower your credit utilization, the better (try to keep it under 30% to see a change on your credit report). This will show your creditors that you’re not overextending yourself, and your FICO score will reflect that. 


Credit Limits

You can also call your creditors and ask for a credit limit increase. This will help you improve the ratio between your limit and your balance. Showing that you have a low balance on a good limit helps you improve your FICO score. Just make sure that when you call your creditors, you’ve demonstrated a history of making all your payments on time. You should also ask them not to run your credit, since a hard credit inquiry can cause your score to drop by up to 5 points.


Authorized Users

If you have limited credit, you can add yourself as an authorized user to someone else’s account. This can a be a friend, family member, or anyone- just make sure you choose someone who makes their payments on time and has a low credit utilization! This can directly improve your credit score, since it will add to your credit file and allow you to piggyback on the other account holder’s credit history. Just remember that the door swings both ways: if the account holder starts making late payments while you’re on the account as an authorized user, that will reflect negatively on your FICO score.



If bad credit is keeping you from realizing your homeownership dreams, we can help you get back on track. Call us at (888) 311-8339 or contact us below!


Meet Sharp Loan Team Member, Annisha Takhar

Meet Sharp Loan Team Member, Annisha Takhar

What is your role at Sharp Loan and how long have you been with the company?

My role is a Closer/Funder in Sharp Loan’s Closing Department and I’ve worked here for almost a year and a half.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

What I enjoy most is helping our borrowers achieve an important milestone in their lives. Especially when they’re purchasing their first home, I like that I can help be a part of that process while also making sure that every aspect of their close is understood and the transaction is a smooth and effortless experience.

Can you share a memorable experience or story that happened while working?

The most memorable experiences for me have always been our team lunches together. I always enjoy the moments I can connect and bond more with my team. I’m grateful I get to work with some very intelligent and hardworking people – all working together for the same goal.

What do you like to do in your free time when you aren’t helping clients realize their homeownership dreams?

I’m usually either at home in my kitchen whipping up my latest culinary creation or at my kickboxing conditioning classes 3-4 days a week.

If you could live anywhere in the world for a year, where would it be?

I really loved the cities of Vienna and Amsterdam during my Euro trip. I wouldn’t mind spending a year in either of those cities!

What’s an item on your bucket list that you can’t wait to cross off?

Visiting an elephant orphanage/sanctuary in South Africa!


Annisha Takhar


Buying a Home… For Your Pets?

Buying a Home… For Your Pets?

“I’m just trying to be successful enough to give my dog the backyard he deserves.”


Older generations might find the idea outlandish, but pets have become one of the most common motivators for homeownership among millennials. A recent survey found that for 33% of millennial home buyers, the decision to buy was motivated by their dogs. That’s a higher percentage than for marriage (25%) or children (19%).


“My Pet is My Child”


There are many factors that may explain millennials’ unusually deep love for their pets. The rise of the internet has certainly played a role; cute dog/cat videos have been a cornerstone of the online experience from the beginning, reminding us every day of the laughter and joy these animals provide. Thanks to modern science, we are also more aware than ever before of the intelligence and complexity of our furry friends. We know that they feel emotions like love, happiness, fear, and grief just as strongly as we do, and today’s pet owners may treat them more like equals as a result. In fact, most millennials would be horrified by the way older generations routinely treated their pets (e.g., shock collars, muzzles, physical discipline). Today, they are considered part of the family (including at Sharp Loan!).

There may also be a more practical reason for society’s fascination with dogs and cats; the cost of living is simply too high for many millennials to consider becoming parents. Many are waiting longer to have kids than previous generations did, and some are choosing not to have them at all. Pets are a significantly cheaper and easier alternative, and they still provide companionship and love.


Guide to Home Buying… For Your Pet


Yard and Fencing

Most pet owners envision a big backyard for their dogs to roam free, but it’s important to make sure they’re protected. If there isn’t a fence, you’ll likely need to add one (as per any HOA guidelines or restrictions in the neighborhood) to keep your pets safely inside and wild animals like possums and coyotes out.

The Neighborhood

With dogs, you have to consider how well-suited the area is for walks. Are there any trails or dog parks nearby? Are there coyotes and foxes roaming around at night that could pose a danger to your outdoor cat? How’s the car traffic on the streets surrounding your house? Are there any veterinary clinics or groomers close by? These are all important factors to consider during the home buying process.

The House Layout

Is there enough space inside for you and your pets to coexist comfortably and peacefully? If you have a large dog breed or multiple pets, this will be a crucial consideration. If you have cats, make sure that there is enough space to keep the food bowl, water, and litter box in their own areas. Another important factor is if the home has two or more floors; as your pets age, it may become difficult for them to use the stairs.


This is one of the most important issues when buying a home with your pet in mind. Your best bet for dogs or cats is to go with a hardwood surface and area rugs. Hardwood can be refinished when it gets scratched, and area rugs can be cleaned or replaced more easily than wall-to-wall carpet. Fully carpeted floors can be a disaster for pet owners, easily trapping odors, stains, and pet hair. It’s also not helpful for the resale value of your home.




Many of us love our pets like our own children, and we know a house wouldn’t be a home without them. If you’re looking for the perfect home for you and your fur baby, call us at (888) 311-8339 or contact us below! We can help you achieve your homeownership dreams.


Pets of Sharp Loan!

Pets of Sharp Loan!

Thanks to everyone who submitted photos of their adorable cats and dogs! Without further ado, we present the Pets of Sharp Loan.


7 300x300 1 1 300x300 1 13 300x300 1 Sharp Loan Pets 1 300x300 1 9 300x300 1 3 300x300 1 8 300x300 1 4 300x300 1 11 300x300 1 5 300x300 1 6 300x300 1 10 300x300 1 12 300x300 1 14 300x300 1 15 300x300 1

Do you have a pet who rules your world too? We want to see! Send a picture using the form below and we’ll share it on Sharp Loan’s Instagram stories.

Click or drag files to this area to upload. You can upload up to 2 files.

Meet Sharp Loan Team Member, Lauro Francisco

Meet Sharp Loan Team Member, Lauro Francisco

What is your role at Sharp Loan and how long have you been with the company?

I am a loan officer, Sales Supervisor, firefighter, problem solver extraordinaire, and class clown. I have been with the company since December 2017.

What do you enjoy most about what you do?

I love nothing more than getting a family into a home, especially first time buyers. It’s a huge financial decision and I enjoy guiding clients through the process. Seeing as a mortgage is typically the biggest expense a homeowner will have, it’s important to me to identify my clients’ needs and goals in order to get them the best loan for their specific scenario. No two borrowers are ever the same, and oftentimes I find that I’m advising clients on not just their mortgage, but their finances as a whole.

Can you share a memorable experience or story that happened while working?

The most memorable experience I have is every time I am able to deliver and close escrow when a buyer comes to me, either having been recently denied by another bank or when their escrow is about to fall through. I love being able to do what other lenders cannot.

What do you like to do in your free time when you aren’t helping clients realize their home ownership dreams?

I stay very active as it helps me decompress, and exercise pushes me to better myself on a daily basis. Whether it’s lifting weights, yoga, cycling, or running with my dog, as long as I’m moving my body I’m happy. I also sail a few times a month. Those close to me often say that if I’m not in the office, I’m probably at the beach.

If you were stranded on a desert island and could only take three items with you, what would they be?

A water filter, flint for fire, and a plane to fly the heck out of there.

What is one important skill that every person should have?

Self-awareness. When we practice self-awareness we see more clearly our values, aspirations, reactions, thoughts, feelings, and how they impact our own lives and the lives of those around us. Self-awareness pushes us to improve and allows us to communicate better, make sounder decisions, cultivate stronger relationships, and live a more purposeful, impactful, and fulfilled life.


Lauro Francisco
Sales Supervisor/ Loan Officer
NMLS: 1819667
Lauro@MySL.com | 714.224.6957


Need help with a home purchase or refinance? Contact us below!