On one of my many trips back and forth from the BlogWorld Conventionto my hotel, a taxi driver asked me what was going on at the Las Vegas Convention Center. I told him it was a blogging convention and I received a weird glance from his rear view mirror. The rest of the conversation pretty much went like this:
Taxi Driver: What do you write about?
Me: mortgages for the most part.
Taxi Driver (seeming oddly interested in this): You actually write about mortgages? Are you a loan officer?
Me: Yes I originate mortgage loans and help people decide which program might best fit their needs.
At this point, the Taxi Driver is getting very excited…to the point I’m concerned he’s not paying enough attention to the road.
Taxi Driver: What are rates right now?
Me: Well, I’m a little out of touch because I’ve been in this convention for a few days.
Taxi Driver: What if you had to guess?
Me (feeling like I better give “the captain of the car” an answer): From what I’ve been able to track, probably high 4’s to low 5’s with excellent credit scores, 20% down payment and depending on other factors like loan amount and programs…but it’s really difficult for me to say for certain.
Taxi Driver (very excited): I’m buying a house. Can you please take a look at my mortgage papers to make sure they look okay?
I’m beginning to wonder if he’s going to drive me to his mortgage originator’s company…he actually had his file right next to him on the front seat of the cab. He starts waiving the file around with one hand on the steering wheel. Of course, wanting to get to my hotel in one piece and also not minding helping someone, I agreed.
He tells me how excited he is to buy this home and for his family to visit and that it has a pool. He never thought he’d have a house like this. He says he feels sorry for whoever lost the home to foreclosure.
We pull to the front of the hotel and the doormen are trying to let me out. The gruff Taxi Driver is waiving them off. His rate looked fine and everything seemed in order. All that I could recommend is that he contact his mortgage originator to get a written lock confirmation. He believes his rate is locked but there is no written documentation in the papers he had in his cab.
I’d say out of all the cabs I used in Vegas during BlogWorld, I had probably had a 40% chance of dealing with a taxi driver who would take the most direct route. Most would “steer me wrong” in order to jack up their cab fair. I realize that this is a much much smaller scale than someone who is buying a home and working with a mortgage originator…it’s a similar feeling (hopefully odds are improving with working with a quality mortgage professional).
I’m glad I could help the Taxi Driver know that he had a fair deal with his mortgage–now if I could only figure out how to do that with taxi’s the next time I travel!