Real Estate Revealed

#4 - George Koutsos, Top 1% Mortgage Loan Officer

Eric Wilson
December 15, 2020


george, people,real estate, rates, home, mortgage, refinance, investors, property, buy,clients, investment, equity, pay, alternative investments, years, important,offer, money, dave


George Koutsos,Intro Voice Over, Dave Seymour


George Koutsos 00:00

Youknow, dropping early 80s, they cracked when I just started in the business,they crack an amazing only 9.9%. And the Fannie Mae limits were. So today, theFannie Mae limits are about 690,000, the Fannie Mae limit was about 90 somewhatthousand dollars. So homes were about, you know, 80% off, you know, compared totoday's prices. So, that was my first refinance boom and 1985 1986. And homesare going up about 3% a month was just crazy. That was mid to late 80s. Andthen, of course, we have the crash of net, you know, late 80s, early 90s. Andwe had a very slow decade of the 90s. And then the boom of the 2000s. Again,during the late 90s. During that late timeframe, I started working at a localcredit union, and grew their business from about 17 million and assets toalmost 100 million dollars in my tenure there, develop some phenomenalrelationship, thousands of relationships, and but over this long period oftime, I've elped assisted over 8000 families. Finance mortgages, so it's avery, very, so I love that, and I'm very proud of that fact. Yeah, I


Dave Seymour 01:19

know youare. I know, I know, you wear that as a badge of honor. Because I think,George, it's fair to say that, that what you do, yeah, it's how you it's howyou earn a living. And, and nobody, nobody, like sugarcoat that in any way. Butat the same time, it is a genuine, service oriented business that you're in.You know, if you think about And, look, my listeners know that, you know, I wasI was a firefighter in the city lane for many years. So, you know, I like Ilike the idea of service, I think it's important, you know, if you can helpsomebody else and still create income for your own families, I think that's a,you know, that's the ultimate win win situation. But, you know, as a historygoes back to the city of Lynn, and being able to build those long termrelationships is critical, you know, not only in your business, but but in mybusiness as well. But I want to I just want to unpack something a little bitbecause 18% interest rates for mortgages,





Dave Seymour 02:24

your Doyou remember where the credit cards were charged, like 33 and 30, my 36% interestrate


George Koutsos 02:29

in thebanks, you can get a CD for about 15% interest. So it's now 15? Oh, yeah, youcould get 15% CDs back then savings accounts, 6% rates? You know, it's amazingwhat's happened and how they


Dave Seymour 02:44

Well,wait, wait, George, you know, this? I know. I know you do. Because I thinkwe've had these these these discussions in the past. Whenever I talk about a CDtoday, I always say to somebody, so CD, what does it stand for? And they get acertificate of deposit. And they're all proud that they know the answer. And Isay no, you're absolutely wrong. It's it's a certificate of death. Yeah,today's environment. That's where money goes to goes to die. It's his last hislast thought. But CDs were at 15%. back then. Really?


George Koutsos 03:15

now.craziness. Yeah.


Dave Seymour 03:17

See, Iemigrated in 86. So, you know, you're giving me numbers. You're giving menumbers that are a little little pre pre David coming to coming to the UnitedStates of America. So I think what's also important to highlight from from yourhistory, George, is that you've been through market cycles.


George Koutsos 03:36

Yes.Absolutely. I call them rodeos. Yeah. So we been through a couple of rodeos,the ups and downs, cycles, you know, where fortunes were made, people got hurt.One thing that I've always prided myself on is when to tell people the numberswork or do not work. And, you know, so always on an a cautious approach.


Dave Seymour 03:59

See,that's, that's important. That's important, because, you know, I, I myself wasa, you know, suffered the wrong side of the equation and the 2000 and 789environment, you know, I wasn't, I wasn't financially literate and to be veryhonest with George, the people that I, you know, I got my mortgages from, youknow, they were they were more on a predatory side than a and a fiduciary sidefor me. And I think it's important that when somebody is exploringhomeownership or a refinance or anything of that nature, that it's veryimportant that there is consideration I think I can use that word George, rightconsideration, mom for what that that balance sheet looks like for thatpotential borrower. And you you take that into consideration of cross countrymortgage correct.


George Koutsos 04:53

Oh, ofcourse, and a little bit about me as well as my background is tax planning andfinancial planning and sumur credit. So working in the banking world, I've seeneverything from savings accounts, checking accounts to car loans, credit cards,installment loans. So I have a very well rounded, you know, view of people'sfinancial picture.


Dave Seymour 05:14

Yeah,yes. Yeah, it's Look, it's important. It's, you know, sometimes, I don't knowif you agree with this, George, and it's okay, that we don't always agree witheach other. But, you know, the this the selling of homeownership and theAmerican dream, it seems to be, you know, it seems to be like, if you don't ownyour own home, you haven't been successful. And I sometimes have wonderedwhether that messaging is is always correct. Look, home ownership has many,many benefits. And you know, with your background, like you said, coming fromthe tech side, and financial planning, you know, we get to write off theinterest, etc, etc, you know, the tax code is fluid, as we know, as well. But,you know, the majority of the time home ownership offers huge benefits. But,you know, George, I look at I look at my son, right, my oldest boy, Robert,he's now 25 years old, and has no desire for homeownership, like, you know,having a having a mortgage, and, you know, being being committed to that, thatone location or that one property, you know, isn't for everybody. And I'vealways appreciated the fact that, you know, in all of our dealings and theclients that we've shared with each other over the years, you know, if it's nota good fit for them, but you've always been okay, saying, hey, it's not a goodfit for you, maybe now, but it could be in the future. And that's what I thinkhas been important is playing a, and I use the word play and just just forterminologies, but it's a longer game, right? We agree with that. Like, younurture these relationships over time. Of course.


George Koutsos 06:52

Absolutely.Oh, it's


Dave Seymour 06:53

Yes.Yeah, absolutely. When you when you are, I tell you what we're gonna do, we'regonna I don't want to like go to a break when I when I open this question, andwe're gonna we're gonna take a quick break in a minute, George. But yeah, whenwe do come back from this break, what I'd like to know is I'd like you toeducate me because I've never experienced it myself, because I don't believe itwas in play back then. But I know that you're a big proponent and an educatoraround the first time homebuyer program, correct? Oh, absolutely. Dave Yeah. Solet's let's do this. Let's, let's take this take a quick break from for oursponsors, which is also including yourself, George. Let's take a quick break.And when we come back from that break, what we'll do is is I'd like you tounpack for me, the the first time homebuyer program, why you think it's soimportant? And what should somebody who potentially wants to own a home in thisin this landscape? You know, what do they need to do to be ahead of theircompetition? Because it's competitive George, right. I mean, the amount ofrevenue and houses out there right now, so if you're okay with that, I'd loveyou to unpack that for us. When we get back from this break. Is that a deal?





Intro Voice Over  08:06

RealEstate revealed We'll be right back. Today, the real estate market is boomingmortgage rates just at historic 30 year lows. And the New York Times recentlyreported that investors are snapping up real estate at rock bottom prices. Andnow savvy investors are buying real estate using their IRA that allows them toaccess their retirement funds to buy properties without paying any penalties orearly withdrawal fees. If you have funds in your retirement account, and youare interested to learn more call horizon for us today at 866712 to 007. That's866-712-2007 unlock the power of your retirement account and take advantage ofone of the most profound opportunities in real estate since the housing crisis15 years ago, call horizon trust retirement specialist at 866712 to 007. Andfor a limited time, get our free Ultimate Guide to buying real estate with yourIRA that's 866-712-2007 or visit horizon slash day. Horizon TrustCompany is an independent passive custodian and it's not associated or affiliatedwith and does not recommend promote organize any specific investment investmentopportunity investment sponsor, investment company or investment promoter orany agents employees, representatives or other such firms or entity arising forus is not providing investment advice, advocating or endorsing real estate.These options may or may not be a fit for individual investors investments arenot FDIC insured offer no bank guarantees and may lose value arising trustdoesn't receive any commissions or fees if I invest with any other sponsor.


Dave Seymour 09:35

Everwondered how to create cash flow outside of your job income or retirement plan?Have you considered large commercial real estate assets? Do you know what analternative investment strategy is? Well tune in for all the answers on my showreal estate revealed this is they see my my recognize me from the hit TV showflipping Boston's I'm also the CEO and co founder of freedom ventureinvestments to smarten up your real estate now by tuning in every Saturday. Forall investment details, visit us at info at freedom slash 104point nine call my team at 781-922-4418. Thinking of purchasing a new homesecond home or investment property or maybe refinancing to get a lower rate,consolidate debts,


Intro Voice Over  10:13

dropthem on or need cash out to do home improvements. George cuartos mortgageOfficer of cross country mortgage in Danvers is just the loan officer you willneed as Essex County's top loan officer with more than 8000 past happy clientsin over 30 years experience. George and his team will be happy to assist youwith rates the lowest in history don't have that pay act now you may be able tosave thousands of dollars call George at 978-777-4663. You're listening to realestate revealed with Dave Seymour from Amy's living Boston.


Dave Seymour 10:45

Allright. All right. Welcome back. Welcome back. We've been talking to probablythe number one mortgage originator and broker in Essex County. I think that's afair statement to make George kudos. You know, as you said, prior to the break8000 happy customers or clients. But we were talking before going to the breakabout the first time homebuyer program. I've heard that term before. And to bevery honest with you, George, I'm not educated in it. So I know you participatein it, please walk me through it. What is it? Why do you do it? What's theadvantage of it? And you know, how many how many folks do you think you'veprobably taken through that program in your career?


George Koutsos 11:31

I'lltell you this, Dave, you know, the real, the big. What's really pulled me intothis and what's really my draw is I grew up sleeping on a couch till I was 18years old, in downtown when very happy childhood. But I always wanted thatbedroom, I always wanted that home, I go with my parents took my mother fiveyears to finally parents to find a home. So I really, really that's one of mypassions is helping people create, you know, attain homeownership. So the Iteach these classes, and these classes are about 10 hours in total, they get acertificate from a group, nonprofit called chappa. Now, once they get thatcertificate, so there's about 10, as I mentioned, 10 course hours of mortgagetraining, credit budgeting, an appraiser, insurance agent, Attorney, you know,you know, so all of that is covered. And upon completion, they get acertificate, which allows them to take advantage of special programs, forexample, the mass housing program, which in some cases, someone can purchasewith as little as no money down with very low rates, oh, phenomenal, phenomenalprogram. But it basically a little a slightly lower rate. It allows lower downpayments. But they the most important part is that they get a phenomenaleducation. And they're fully approved. So you know, they go in with no mysterybecause that was a big problem in the mid 2000s. A lot of people went in notunderstanding what they were getting into taking very bad mortgage options andsetting themselves up for failure because of shysters in the industry. And thatthat's been eradicated the licensing is very strict. But again, we preparethose clients to put their best foot forward so that they have the highestchance of success and keeping them in the home. So that's my most importantdrive is to make sure they're educated. They do not over buy, they're, they'rebuying something that works for them. So that's a passion of mine. So I've I'vehelped hundreds of those people. I teach many of these classes, which will getsometimes 40 5070 couples that will attend but these are offered on chapra.comand the website first time homebuyer classes. So I have several coming up. ButI'll tell you this, you know, helping people take the mystery is very, youknow, out of the equation is very important to me. But I also there's a lot ofpeople now, because of this craziness is going on in the economy, people havecut their hours, their pay has been cut a little bit. This is also aphenomenal, phenomenal time for people to get their finances in order. And oneof the biggest parts of that is their mortgage. So with rates being the lowestin my 35 year history, it's unbelievable. Dave, I've never thought I'd seerates fall into the twos. Yeah. And home values going up. So a combination ofthe values going up. It's been explosive appreciation. I think homes that St.appreciated about 12% in Essex County this year, which is unbelievable. So whenwe help not only people buying, but help people help, we help a lot of peopleto refinance, get their payments down wipe out debt, you know, pay it get ridof PMI if they have the private mortgage insurance, pay off her first and ahome equity line so that people can save hundreds of dollars and sometimesthousands depending on how they consolidate. So it's it's amazing what this isafforded people to do.


Dave Seymour 15:14

So whenI love, I love everything you just said, and here's why I love it because youpreface it with removing the mystery. Okay, you know, let's just, let's just,you know, dial it back a little bit more, you know, my own experience, George,and I've shared this with you, you know, in conversation over the years thatwe've known each other, but, you know, I, I wasn't educated in AI. And in thefinancial piece of it, like it's the usually it's the biggest financialdecision that that somebody will make, is to purchase a home. And think aboutthat for a second like you, you've helped people purchase thousands andthousands of homes, right? As a real estate investor. Now I buy and sellhouses, you know, the same way I pick a shirt and a pair of pants in themorning. So it's like that it's demystified to the to the hundredth degree forus. I remember a friend of mine said to me one time he I saw him at a meetingsomewhere and he said, I don't know how you do it. I go what he said, I've hadmy house under agreement now for four months, and they keep on changing andthings are happening and, and the financing didn't work. And then it didn'twork. And it turned out that their proof of funds letter wasn't a real proof ofhow do you deal with it? And I'm thinking to myself, you need a George cootsauce.



You needsuper kudos


Dave Seymour 16:35

in yourback pocket. So you know you're teaching them to demystify them. You're notFICO scores, where do they need to be today to get to get the best rate? So Imean, what what is that, that that, you know, that gauge look like today,George,


George Koutsos 16:51

thetoday, a 745, go get you the A plus plus 740 or above, and we take the middlescore of the three major bureaus. But the 740 gets you that superduper rate,every 20 points that it falls below, there's a slight adjustment to either thecost or the rate. Not an enormous difference, but a slight difference. But whatwe also do is we look at the score, and we try to help the client during theprocess, get that score up as high as possible to try to benefit, you know,during the transaction.


Dave Seymour 17:27

Sothat's that that refers then over to that dti, right that debt to income ratio.So you can look at, you can look at their balance sheet and almost say to them,you know what, if you could find a way to pay down some of this debt, you'llget a better rate over here. So you begin to show them, right, but show themthe differences in what their capital outlay would actually be on a monthlybasis if they actually paid some things off. Is that correct?


George Koutsos 17:49

That iscorrect.


Dave Seymour 17:50

Yeah.What was what was the you used to? It was really powerful. Man, you used to puta flier together. I remember, Peter, and you actually created this my expartner, Peter Solaris there, but you created a flyer that you would have atthe open houses that actually showed show potential buyers, the power of youknow, the the interest rates that were available, and then also some of the taxbenefits. A little bit I it's been a while since I've seen a choice, so I can'texplain it. Obviously, you can.


George Koutsos 18:26

Yes. Sowhat we used to do, and this ties into our pre approvals and open house coverage,so that that letter, or the flyer, you know, would be when when you had a homeon the market. And we would show the client several different choices, whetherit was a 30 year fixed a 20 year fixed a 15 year or maybe an adjustable which Idon't believe in adjustable rate mortgages with the rate fixed rates being solow. I'm not a big proponent of that. But we would show them how much money wasgoing to principal how much was interest and in an average tax bracket, whatthat interest in taxes the interest in taxes that they were paying, how muchthat that would actually benefit them on their on their tax return becauserenting there's no tax benefit whatsoever. But on a on a per on our mortgage,your interest in sometimes your real estate taxes can be fully deducted. So,you know, there could be an enormous benefit owning the home, not only anequity, how much you're paying in principle, but how much of a tax benefityou're getting as well.


Dave Seymour 19:31

Yeah,yeah. Nice. I remember it was a powerful side by side comparison. I remember,you know, some of our open houses you could listen to, you know, some of thepotential buyers walking through there. And when when you really see thecomparisons and the value of home ownership structure properly. You know, I'mgoing to preface it that way again, George right. Not naming any kind of, youknow, trickeration or anything of that nature when somebody is fully aware ofwhat they're Walking into it's, it's, you know, they were just excited George,you know, you could sense the excitement in there knowing that there was a fullteam to support them through the process. You touched on something and I wantto I want to, you know, expand on that a little bit. In 2000. And, you know,seven, eight, the adjustable rate mortgage was, you know, you said it yourself,you know, it was it was it was a vehicle that was used, maybe not for, not forgood. for the, for the borrowers. Are there adjustable rate mortgages out thereright now? Can you still find the 135 arm and and all of that stuff that we hadback then because, you know, as like you said his values go high, and interestrates go low, when people can obviously purchase more real estate and still,you know, being an affordable monthly payment? Are they still out there Georgeshopping these these arms and stuff? Or is it just a real nice kind of likefixed 15 2030 year mortgage? what's what's the most common product that youthat you're seeing out there?


George Koutsos 21:08

Buttying the arms are almost non existent right now. Because the rates, you know,with the fixed rates being where they are, there's almost no benefit whatsoeverto the adjustable rate right now I find that the fixed rates are verycomparable. So I'm not even advising on those. But what I'm finding is a lot ofpeople because of the much lower rate are shortening their terms, they want tothey want to retire someday, they want to, you know, pay off debt. And then sothere's a lot more planning going on today that I find people are, you know,the savings rate has been, they said the average savings rates about 30%. Rightnow, people are staying home, they're saving their money, people are gettingmore financial savvy and financially savvy, more cognizant of their expenses.So they trying to find ways to get to the finish line and go and gain equity.


Dave Seymour 21:59

So areyou seeing cash out refinance or just straight up reef eyes? George, what doyou see?


George Koutsos 22:03

What doyou see out there a bit of both at IE Exactly. Dave, I'm seeing you know,people now, you know, a lot of people that are nearing the retirement cycle,and now just trying to shorten their term, but I see a lot of people that havesome debts. Some, some young people that have student loans, they've beenincorporated into their mortgages, I find people that have credit cards, a lotof Home Improvement going on right now. So people are taking money outcontractors that Dave, you know, better than anyone, contractors, I just, youcan't reach them, they're more valuable than a brain surgeon. So you know,right now, go there. You can't get them, you know, they don't call you becausethere's so busy. But again, people are taking money out, they want to put thisthing at home, they want to improve their their home. So that whole thing, youknow, is valuable. But as I said, we're seeing a whole mix of different things,but a lot of home based stuff going


Dave Seymour 23:03

on. Allright. Well, I'm going to we're going to take another quick break. When we comeback, I'm going to open up a topic with the Georgian. And we haven't, wehaven't practiced this. And I am I'm interested to get your take on it. BecauseI know you're not only a an originator, and you know, probably one of the bestin in the in the country. And I say that because I know you and I know youryour performance, but you're also an investor. And I'm going to throw somethings at you from an investment standpoint. And I look forward to get yourtake on the questions that I'm going to bounce around with you so don't goanywhere. I'll be right back with my very dear friend, George cursos crosscountry mortgage, and we'll pick it up in a little bit.


Intro Voice Over  23:48

RealEstate revealed We'll be right back.



SteveAlexis of Solaris reality as intimate knowledge of the North Shore market, withover a decade of experience and record of 300 real estate transactions. Whenit's time to buy or sell property. Give Steve a call directly at61776310016177631001


Dave Seymour 24:22

you everwondered how to create cash flow outside of your job income or retirement plan?Have you considered large commercial real estate assets? Do you know what analternative investment strategy is? What tune in for all the answers on my showreal estate revealed this is they see my mic recognize me from the hit TV showflipping Boston's. I'm also the CEO and co founder of freedom ventureinvestments to smarten up your real estate now by tuning in every Saturday forall investment details visit us at info at freedom slash 104 pointnine call my team at 781922441


Intro Voice Over  24:51

A todaythe real estate market is booming mortgage rates just at historic 30 year lowsand the New York Times recently reported That investors are snapping up real estateat rock bottom prices. And now savvy investors are buying real estate usingtheir IRA that allows them to access their retirement funds to buy propertieswithout paying any penalties or early withdrawal fees. If you have funds inyour retirement account and you are interested to learn more call horizon forus today at 866-712-2007. That's 866-712-2007 unlock the power of yourretirement account and take advantage of one of the most profound opportunitiesin real estate since the housing crisis 15 years ago, call horizon trustretirement specialist at 866712 to 007. And for a limited time, get our freeUltimate Guide to buying real estate with your IRA that's 866-712-2007 or visithorizon slash day. Horizon Trust Company is an independent passivecustodian is not associated or affiliated with and does not recommend promoteor advise any specific investment investment opportunity investment sponsor,investment company or investment promoter or any agents employees,representatives or other such firms or entities horizon trust is not providinginvestment advice, advocating or endorsing real estate. These options may ormay not be a fit for individual investors investments are not FDIC insured,offered opaque guarantees and may lose value or rising trust doesn't receiveany commissions or fees if I invest with any other sponsor. You're listening toreal estate revealed with Dave Seymour from Amy's living Boston. All right,welcome


Dave Seymour 26:23

back.Welcome back. I get excited when I get to talk to the very best in the corecompetencies, right. GEORGE Cotto says My guest today mortgage originatormortgage broker has decades of experience on the North Shore start I love itjoy started laying on a couch in Lynn trailer to homeownership, I laid out amillennium. And, you know, looking at us now buddy all grown up. But let's talkabout cuz this was important to me as a seller of real estate was the qualityof the pre approval letter, if you will, that the that a potential buyer wouldhave, I know you guys do something different. And just, you know, for theperson who wants to buy a house, your documentation to a seller and the agentthat represents that seller, it can be the make or break of you getting thatproperty. You know, I used to love getting those good quality letters that, youknow, you would approve Georgia. And then also, you know, as the seller of theassets that we bought, fixed and then sold back out in the marketplace, havinghaving a buyer Tell me why they wanted to buy the house that letter and I'msure you've coached them through that as as, as the realtor teams have was wasalso, you know, pretty impactful. So talk about your process for approvalletters and why it separates you from the you know, the What do you call themtoilet, toilet paper approval letters.


George Koutsos 27:53

Toiletpaper, pre qualifications letters.


Dave Seymour 27:56

Thereyou go. That's actually a legal term these days, I think, right?


George Koutsos 27:59

Yeah.Oh, yeah. Well, it's even more of a phenomenon right now. And what's happeningis, this is the busiest refinance boom, in, in US history. Almost everyone thathad a mortgage could refinance and save money. So what's happening is theseloan officers, they're one man teams, one woman teams, they haven't do not haveenough bandwidth. So they've been focusing on the low hanging fruit, which is arefinance. So when a purchase comes along, someone looking to buy a home, they,you know, they don't want to spend too much time because they're much more timeconsuming. So they'll take a verbal application and give a pre qualificationletter. I will never ever ever issue one like that. Because, again, very proudto work very hard to be the Top Producing loan officer in the county, withprobably two years ago, number one in the state for mass housing. I workedvery, very hard work harder now than I've ever worked. But, um, so what we dodifferently, is we fully approve the client before they shop, which makes justtotal sense. We'll never take just a verbal because there's too much room 30over 30% of these pre qualifications, which just verbal applications end upfalling apart prior to closing and people lose


Dave Seymour 29:20

myGeorge George do me a favor because it's critical because it is a separatorbetween you know, being lazy in the business and being a true professional inthe business when you say fully approve. Uh huh. break that down for me alittle bit. And well, what does that mean? Well,


George Koutsos 29:36

the mostimportant thing I've developed over 35 years I've realized I had to have alarge team I have eight loan partners that work for me that are very highlyskilled in seven days a week when people need us most Saturdays and Sundaysright when open houses for that we have a highly skilled one of my partnersworking dedicated to the phone one year out, they know their schedule, so Whensomeone's making an offer, we've already vetted them. We've asked for their taxreturns, their pay stubs, their bank statements. And the file has been approvedby an underwriter someone that is extremely knowledgeable on all the guidelinesso that whenever my name goes on this pre approval letter, it's going to close100% of the time. So doing that, in this extremely competitive market, we had onehomerun Dammers two months ago, there were 44 offers successfully able to winthe bid, my client was able to win the bid, we beat the other 43 because theytrusted my pre approval letter. The realtors know us they know that we alwaysdeliver they were terrified because it went way over asking. And they know thatwhat because I've run the office, I have total control of the process that theyknow as always, we will get that loan closed. Because they they're afraid theysee these online companies there. They don't know who to trust, but they knowthey can trust my team and I so


Dave Seymour 31:02

yeah,these online guys that like a national brokerage, in essence, right? They justget themselves in the way of the information, they don't actually really servicethe clients. Is that a fair statement? Or no, it's, it's very fair, and theyhide behind the veil of the company. So


George Koutsos 31:18

if itfalls apart, oh, who cares? You know, I'm a guy that by a walk down the streetin my community, I'm very, you know, I never have to hide because I always dothe right thing. If someone doesn't qualify, I'm not going to do somethingillegal or force them to get in, you know, in a precarious position, we'realways going to do the right thing to help our clients achieve success.


Dave Seymour 31:40

Now, youyou you belt, you know, you built this business on you know, authenticity andand commitment and all the things we've been talking about. But you also havebuilt your business, on your on your realtor relationships as the realtor,right? The realtor gets the the homebuyer, you know, I'm going to take youaround, I'm going to show you properties, blah, blah, blah. But that realtor,you know, also needs that that that lender, right, the the person to be able toget it to the closing table, because realtors only get paid when the dealcloses. Right? Right. So they do everything in their power. So how do you howdo you get a real good relationship with realtors? Because a lot of realtorslisten to the show ga and if they're not working with you, then they're workingwith the wrong with the wrong loan originator? You know what I mean?


George Koutsos 32:31

Well,how do I get them to work? Well, I mean, what it boils down to is they numberone, because of the incredible communication. My team is very communicative,we're always accessible. They know that we close all the time. They You know,when deals blow up elsewhere, they call us to resolve it. So, you know, webuilt that reputation over many, many years of trust and proven, you know,proven reliability.


Dave Seymour 32:57

Hmm. Letme ask you this question. I'd love you. I'd love your feedback on this. Sowe're going into Thanksgiving, you know, we're going into into the Christmasholidays, the New Year 2021. In your experience, is that a slow it's a slowerperiod of time for moving real estate. But is it? Is it a good time George topull the trigger and get involved and and try and find that home? I'll do thatrefinances. Is it a good time to do it would you say


George Koutsos 33:29

I thinknow is the very best time because the buying power has been greatly enhanced.So with the rates being this low, you get almost like a 40 to $60,000 freeboost in buying power, because of the lower payments, which are caused by thelower rates gives people higher pre approvals. It gives them a you know, forthe same amount of money, more bang for the buck in plain English.


Dave Seymour 33:53

Nice. Itell you what, I'll add to that a little bit as well. George, you know, fromfrom the standpoint of a property seller, okay, it doesn't have to be myprimary residence. And I've sold hundreds of properties. But, you know, fromthe standpoint of a property seller, this is the time of year where maybe,maybe it's COVID driven George Okay, I'm a seller, you know, I've had somefinancial challenges, and I want to sell my home. So I'm motivated to, to movethat price point a little bit during, you know, this next quarter than I wouldbe in the typical new, you know, New England spring time. Where are everythingis is is hopping and, and moving forward. So, you know, a combination of therates, like George said, and then also this time of year, I personally believethat that's a fantastic opportunity to to get the home of your dreams, or I'mgonna do a little bit of a pivot with you, George. Again, I haven't I haven'tcued you up on this, but I want your honest opinion. If you don't agree, I wantto hear it. If you do agree, I want to hear that too. Maybe from your ownpersonal perspective, rather than always servicing a client, but if I'm in aposition, I'm a homeowner, let's say I've got a half a million dollars inequity in value sitting in the house. Yeah. You know, I'm an investor. So Iknow you are as well, George, as well, as you know, being being the number oneguy in the mortgage biz, but, you know, there's $500,000 I look at that. And Isay, well, there's dead equity, that's money that's sitting still doingnothing. So with a low low interest rate, if I could borrow, I'll give you ahypothetical George, if I could borrow $200,000 you know, $300,000 of thatequity, right? cash out refi. Now I know or even a home equity line of credit.I mean, the interest rates on he locks are incredibly low right now as well. Solet's stay with the HELOC. I get a HELOC and I can pull on 150 $200,000 inequity out of my primary residence. Ronna he locked George good credit, youknow, good, good appraisal, what kind of interest rates are out there for thefor the A plus plus on a home equity line of credit? What does what does thatlook like right now? For the nose? Right?


George Koutsos 36:15

roughlyaround three and a quarter percent? All right. Oh, my Lord,


Dave Seymour 36:19

I got afloating out of mine. Yeah,


George Koutsos 36:20



Dave Seymour 36:21

We gotto talk.


George Koutsos 36:24

Well,you know, Dave, I know, you know, we're running out of time. But this is a realhot button for me too. Because as even a young man, I always wanted real estate,you know, passion for real estate, equity earns zero in earnings. So I've beenable to myself, you know, jump in, as you know, you know, you and I'veactually, you know, been to Chicago together and look it up out there. But wedid, you know, I have been able to leverage properties very wisely andcautiously and able to amass multiple properties because of leverage, equity,pulling equity out of properties to purchase other properties, tax deductibledollars that allow me to buy more and more and more property. So I know I'mkind of jumping in a little bit, but



it'sokay. I


George Koutsos 37:15

getsuper excited about the opportunities that Yeah, evil fortune. Yeah,


Dave Seymour 37:19

his hiswhy I bring it up because I look, we're okay for time. We can go a little overin this section, because I think it's, you know, it dials in two sides of theequation, right? The American dream of homeownership. And we're told asAmericans, you know, we're told is America, you know, homeownership, the Americandream, you know, pay down the pay down the ranch and retire, and all of thatstuff. And yeah, you know, I here's the way that I look at it today, just likeyou described, you know, equity pays nothing, it doesn't it doesn't doanything, it just sits still. So what we've been doing freedom ventureinvestments, we've created a Securities and Exchange Commission fund, George,okay, me and my partners, we purchase multifamily apartment complexes in theGulf Coast region of Florida, we buy these assets in the price range anywherefrom a million to $30 million. Our Deal of the Week, this week is a $30 millionacquisition. So let me ask you a question. How do you feel about this as anidea, an investor, property owner, you know, takes takes equity out of the house,or he locked at three and a half percent. But now they could take that threeand a half percent. And they could invest it into an investment like we targetdouble digit returns to our investors, based off of our past performances. Wehave a history of doing this in the Gulf Coast region of Florida for over 20years now. So you could borrow the bank's money, Georgia at three and a halfpercent. Invest it with professional real estate investors like ourselves, youare as well, you can get a double digit return targeted, there's no guaranteesin real estate, but we talk get anywhere between 10 and 14% to our investors,and then an internal rate of return of 20% does look, the average American isgoing to be absolutely petrified. Let's just be about this choice, if they'venever if they've never considered it. But let me ask you a question. Is that asmart strategy if you are educated enough, and you have confidence in the teamthat's putting that kind of a plan together?


George Koutsos 39:31

Oh, ofcourse, if you you know, know, the team and again, knowing someone likeyourself, Dave, you know, obviously the part that I draws me is a trust factor.You know, I don't if I don't know somebody and not know what their trackrecords all about, then you know, I'm not interested but knowing seeing whatyou've done your portfolio over the years, hit after hit, you know, win afterwin. Obviously, I know you would only work with proven products and proven, youknow, formulas.


Dave Seymour 40:04

So I, Iremember the first time somebody suggested that to me, they said two things.They said, is your retirement money working at a high rate of speed? Is it? Isit working in velocity? Right? Are you excited about your returns? And thenthey said to me, do you have equity in a property? And always is it sittingstill, whether it's an investment property or private, private residence? Andthe idea that I could borrow, you know, the bank's money? And like you said,George, the Federal the Fed right now is screaming at America saying, buy realestate, right? Yeah, that's what they're doing, whether it's, you know, with,with the programs that you're offering to your clients to get in there, andlower those interest payments, like you said, paying off PMI. And for us asinvestors, you know, we leverage 6535 65% is with Walker Dunlap is, is ourfirst position lender, but they come in at 5% charge on these commercialassets, we bring in the other we bring in the other 35% with our investorcapital, which puts us in a cash flowing position from day one. And straightout of the gate. There's there's the potential for these double digit returns.So anyway, I throw that out there. Just as a, just as a tease, if you will, tofolks that listen to this. There's a game that that, you know, we've beenplaying George for many, many years. You know, and you've, you've been aperfect passive investor. You know, you talk about Chicago, and what we did outthere with the six unit that we purchased out there and a few other deals thatwe looked at. So you don't have to know it all. You just have to know somebodywho does. Right. I think that's a fair statement. I don't know everything aboutthe mortgage lending business, but I know somebody who does and that's my verydear friend, George cursos. George, people are going to hear this and they'regoing to want to get a hold of you. They're going to want to talk to you. Howcan they find you and how can they connect with you my friend?


George Koutsos 42:05

The bestway is to call my phone number which is 978-777-4663. Or they can reach me at Gcode SOS k o u t SOS at my MY cC G cursos at my cc mortgage.comand we'd love to hear from them.


Dave Seymour 42:34

Give methat phone number one more time, George.


George Koutsos 42:36



Dave Seymour 42:42

So thereyou go. Guys, if you want to get the very best on your team, get my friendGeorge, Cujo. Suppose George, I appreciate you man. Thank you for your time.Let's talk offline and see what we can see what trouble we could get intotogether going forward to a Dave Thank you Take care buddy Take care.


Intro Voice Over  43:02

RealEstate revealed We'll be right back. Thinking of purchasing a new home secondhome or investment property or maybe refinancing to get a lower rate,consolidate debts, drop PMI or need cash out to do home improvements. Georgecuartos mortgage Officer of cross country mortgage in Denver is just the loanofficer you will need as Essex County's top loan officer with more than 8000past happy clients in over 30 years experience George and his team will behappy to assist you with rates the lowest in history don't have that paid actnow you may be able to save thousands of dollars call George at 97877746 630


Dave Seymour 43:40

you everwondered how to create cash flow outside of your job income or retirement plan?Have you considered large commercial real estate assets? Do you know what analternative investment strategy is? Well tune in for all the answers on my showreal estate revealed this is a see my might recognize me from the hit TV showflippin Boston. I'm also the CEO and co founder of freedom venture investmentsto smarten up your real estate now by tuning in every Saturday for allinvestment details visit us at info at freedom slash 104 pointnine call my team at 781-922-4418 Steve Alexis of



Solarisreality has intimate knowledge of the North Shore market with over a decade ofexperience and record of 300 real estate transactions when it's time to buy orsell property give Steve a call directly at 61776310016177631001


Intro Voice Over  44:41

you'relistening to real estate revealed


Dave Seymour 44:48

realestate revealed um you know surrounding yourself with experts has been one ofthe you know the the key pieces in my own Business Success, right? If you, youknow, if you're serious about getting in shape, if you're serious about losinga couple of the lbs, then you know, you surround yourself with, you know, apersonal trainer and nutrition and things of that nature. It doesn't, itdoesn't really change in anything that I think we try to achieve in life. Youknow, and financially, the question that I asked all investors who we interactwith, is, you know, are you happy? You know, are you? Are you confident? Can youcan you tell me with 100% certainty that you're, you know, your retirementplanning is where you want it to be. I had a great call this week with afinancial advisor, a certified financial planner, out of Houston, Texas,gentleman by the name of Tom Kennedy, good, good, New England name. And it'skind of interesting, because Tom and I were discussing in his podcast, youknow, the differences and yet the similarities and what we both do for clients.So Tom is a certified financial planner, you know, he has his standard toolbox,if you will of you know, stocks and bonds and Mutual's etc, etc, that theypresent to their clients, you know, accelerated growth, mid cap, small cap,etc, etc, etc. But what he didn't say or what he wasn't necessarily aware of,was the fact that retirement accounts are now beginning to look at andinvestors are beginning to look at, you know, what we do it freedom ventureinvestments, as a way to prop up what the bond market used to do. So let meexplain this to you. The standard portfolio used to be what they call a 6040.Right 60% was in the stock market, higher volatility, higher risk, the other40% was in the bond market, you know, lower lower volatility, much lower riskand that 6040 was like standard. Then as the the markets changed, and theenvironments changed, it kind of went to an 8020. Now, what we're beginning tosee in this conversation with this gentleman, Tom Kennedy highlighted, thepoint for me perfectly was is that investors are now beginning to look atalternative investments to prop up the fact that the bond market is almost at anegative yield. And what does that mean, people are still putting money intobonds. jp morgan put out a an article recently, that said that $37 trillion ofbond investments are, you know, show a negative yield, which is, which ishorrendous, you know, which is horrendous. So, the alternative investment worldand alternative investments include anything that really isn't stocks, bonds,you know, the standard investment strategies that are out there. And it wasinteresting to talk to this, this guy, Tom Kennedy, because here's what he saidto me. He said, I have clients who are looking for what you have. He said, Ihave clients who are looking for real estate investments. You know, it'sinteresting to talk to a guy like George because he wears two hats. He wearsthe hat of the proponent and the champion of home ownership. And that's adecision for everybody to make individually. But, you know, he guides himthrough that through through education and clarity. And then he wears the otherhat, he wears the investor hat as I do. And I think what's important is thatinvestor process also needs a lot of clarity to it as well. So you know, havingalternative investments in your portfolio is something that I would say couldbe explored. You can explore that with us at freedom venture investments, thatwould be info dot freedom info dot freedom you canreach out to us at 781-922-4418. And our team will walk you through exactlywhat an alternative investment looks like. Every week freedom ventureinvestments, we will do a podcast it's on Thursdays. It's not a podcast, it's awebinar. I get so confused. There's so many options out there right now. But Iwas looking at the Deal of the Week that my my acquisitions team, my ChiefInvestment Officer Walton Vicki sent over just to give you an idea and a flavorof what an alternative investment looks like and how it can be a realaccelerator to 12 portfolio, as long as it's worked with a team that makessense. So I deal of the week this week, which is an underwriting is a 93 units,it's a 90 unit garden style apartment complex. It's in the metropolitan areadown in Orlando, nice property, it's on the I four corridor is built in 96. Itwas renovated in 2018. But it's got some interior interior challenges it needsto it needs some upgrades, it needs some, some landscaping, some new roof andthings of that nature. So this 9093 unit property that we're looking to bringinto our fund, or buy with investor capital, so 35% of the acquisition and theand the repairs will be with with us as the investors, our investors who comeinto the fund, the 65% of acquisition then goes over to our bankingrelationships. But this is a property that that's prime, it's just it's breadand butter for us in the sense of it, it meets all of our requirements. So thisone we buy for 11 point 8 million, put in about a half a million inimprovements. It's got what we call a really nice unit mix, it has single beds,one beds, as well as two bedroom units. All the two bedrooms are vacant. Sothat's great for us vacancies mean free real estate for us because we only buythem based on the the income that they bring on the day of purchase. So we'lllease up those extra properties will increase the income on this property willwill will rehab all the two bedrooms, there'll be more valuable, help bring inan extra $132,000 a year, which based on the way that these assets are boughtand sold increases its value by about $2 million. It's almost microwaving realestate. It's flipping Boston, my old TV show on steroids, you know, targetingreturns on this particular little deals about 12.8% year one going up to 17%over five years. And then what's called an equity multiple is targeted at 2.8.So for every $1 that an investor puts in, when their money comes out at the endof the process, you know, they get that $1 back plus another dollar and 86cents. So that's those are the kinds of deals that are out there. So myquestion to listeners is, are you happy with your financial structure today? Behonest with yourself, that's all and then take a look at alternativeinvestments that are out there. We'd love to interact with you. share more withyou next week. I'm bringing in my self directed retirement account folks.gentleman by the name of Greg Helene will be joining us. Don't be scared. COVIDis COVID. The political landscape is the political landscape. We can makedecisions ourselves we have control over many many things. I look forward totalking with you soon. Again Dave see more. Real Estate revealed freedomventure investments, you can get us at 7819224 for 187819224418 god bless staysafe look after each other and I'll see you next week.


Intro Voice Over  53:02

Fine.Any securities being offered are under an exemption provided by sec regulationD rule 506 c only accredited investors who meet the SEC regulation d 501.accredited investor accreditation standard or in provide suitable verificationof accredited status may invest into these offer any historical performancedata represents past past performance does not guarantee future results. Tunein again next Saturday at noon for real estate revealed hosted by Dave Seymour,the star of age living Boston and CEO of freedom adventure investments inDenver.


Dave Seymour 53:43

You everwondered how to create cash flow outside of your job income or retirement plan?Have you considered large commercial real estate assets? Do you know what analternative investment strategy is? What tune in for all the answers on my showreal estate revealed this is they see my recognize me from the hit TV showflipping Boston but I'm also the CEO and co founder of freedom ventureinvestments to smarten up your real estate now how by tuning in every Saturdayfor all investment details visit us at info at freedom slash 104point nine call my team at 781-922-4418