© 2013 Catherine Hall Unlimited, Inc. All Rights Reserved Vol 18 June
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The Fastest Way to Success for an FHA Consultant - 877-869-4440


Summer is half way over and it has been hot in more than just the temperature. More and more lenders, real estate agents and buyers are seeking to use the FHA 203k loan.

In this month's newsletter, we have tried to provide some resources to help you understand the appraisal process and priorities management. 

Have a great and successful rest of your summer!

To your success, 
Catherine Hall, your mentor and
the "203k Queen"


Inside the "Box"


Congratulations to Kathy Weiner of Hill County Inspection for being the first to submit her reasons why 203k In A Box is giving her an edge over her competition! She is the winner of a FREE ticket to the COA conference in Las Vegas! Way to go, Kathy! Thank you to everyone for their entries. Keep a lookout for more contests from 203k In A Box!

Unique Appraisal you know the answers?

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The number of 203k's are growing and with each new 203k project comes new information and issues that I'm able to share with you. And this time is no exception. As I looked through the recent newsletters, I notice that I haven't talked about appraisal issues in a long time. Let's start with a pop quiz. Answer the following questions with a yes or no:

1.   Once the SOR is submitted to the underwriter, no changes are ever made to the scope of work?

2.   Is only the actual building that will be inhabited by the owner required to meet FHA minimum property standards?

So how did you do? You might have guessed it, but the answer to both questions is No. So let’s unpack these questions. I personally, and several of our members, have recently experienced a situation where an appraisal has come in lower than anticipated. When this happens, expect a telephone call from the loan officer asking you to indicate where they can experience some cost savings and shave money off of the scope of work to bring the loan down within the appraisal limits. The first places you should look to cut in the scope of work are desired options and recommended repairs. Suggest to the borrower that these improvements may be able to be completed using the contingency reserve once seventy percent of the required repairs are completed. Another way to help reduce the amount of the work write-up is to remove the reimbursement of allowable fees from the total cost of the project. The only allowable fees that must remain in the scope of work are the draw request fees. All other fees that the borrower has paid to you prior to closing can be simply out of pocket expenses. They will not be a credit to the client at close of escrow, but will also help reduce the total cost of the project.
The answer to the second questions is one that really needs to be put out there and not only to homebuyers, but also to the real estate agents and mortgage lenders your borrowers are working with. The answer, of course, is no. All buildings (that have power) are required to meet FHA Minimum Property Standards. This can affect whether or not a renovation project is feasible. That seriously deteriorated garage (that has electricity) must either be brought up to safety standards or demolished as part of the work write-up. (Always bear in mind how removing a structure will effect the appraisal) Several clients I have met recently have been heartbroken when they learned the outbuildings must be repaired as part of the scope of work. It is usually not within the budget to add these repair costs and will sometimes break a deal. I have verified this with an appraiser and, in fact, expect to have one as a guest on our All Power Teams call in August.
Do you have other questions you would like to ask about the 203k appraisal process? Send them in to We will be sure to get them addressed either before or during the call when we have our guest speaker “on the spot”. 

Success Supplies Section

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July was a hot month in more than just the temperature- and yes, here on the East Coast we experienced record breaking heat waves. We also experienced record setting activity in FHA 203k loans. I have had lenders that I never heard of before scheduling consultations for their clients. It reminded me that any loan brokerage can and now WILL use the 203k program. We all need to turn the HEAT up on our marketing efforts. For that reason, I am so excited by the timing of this month’s bonus material.
This month’s success supplies includes a new 203k related Power Point presentation. Four times a year you receive a new office presentation – Educational Training Session that  you can deliever to real estate agents and mortgage officers. The presentation I have created for you this month is entitled “WIFFM – Reason Every Real Estate Agent Should Know More About FHA 203k Loans”. The presentation was created from the input from you- our members during the June All Power Teams Coaching call. Wow! What a great session that was- that all our coaching calls are! Were you there? If you were, then you know that you will be getting a special email during the month of August with a reproducible postcard sized mail piece that highlights the points (USP’s) that were offered by everyone during that call. For those of you who were NOT able to participate- and to highlight just how great that call was- I have included a DVD of that call for you to watch, plus the audio portion of the call has been put onto a downloadable .mp3 file accessible through the e-version of this newsletter.
Power Team coaching and one-on-one mentoring calls are amazing learning tools that help all members shorten the learning curve. Do yourself and fellow 203k consultants a great service- make it a “priority” to attend at least one if not ALL monthly coaching calls regularly. You will be glad you did and I will be so happy to “see” you on the call.
And as a reminder- your monthly 30-minute coaching calls are a great time to practice a presentation on a receptive audience- me! Consider setting up a Skype account (it’s free) and invite me to your contacts. My Skype ID is: catherinehall203kqueen If you would like to have a private session where I can see your screen- to review use of the Rehab Estimator software for example- make sure to request a Skype coaching call. You will still receive an audio recording of this “webinar” style session.
Stay cool!
P.S. Please ONLY email me at Even if you receive email FROM me at, I don't check that inbox daily the way I do

Jessa's Corner

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Hello, everyone! I hope this newsletter finds you well and everyone is having a busy, fun and successful summer! Let's give an extra boost to everyone's 203k business by setting you up with a 203k FAQ webpage for your company website. Only those members who are certified and have the Rehab Estimator software will be able to provide the sample reports. If you are certified and for some reason do not yet have the Rehab Estimator software, please reach out to me so that I can put it in the mail for you. If you're not yet certified, please send me your information and I will still complete your personal website.

Here is your checklist of the things that I need to complete the page for you:
  • Company logo
  • Company phone number
  • Color scheme of your company website
  • Sample Feasibility Study
  • Sample Complete Work Write Up Package
  • Sample Draw Request Form
If you have any questions about completing your sample reports, schedule your monthly coaching call with Catherine! Click this link now -, secret passcode: 203kcoaching

Here's an example of one of our members webpage's, Carl Pennick of Wise Move Inspection, so you can get an idea of what yours will look like. You can also start to form some ideas for how you would like your page. This sample webpage doesn't contain all of the sample reports yet, but you get the idea.

Use your Rehab Estimator software to complete the sample reports. If you do not have the software, GET CERTIFIED! Last month, I gave you instructions on how to become certified...did you read it? 

Email me any time with your questions, comments, or kudos! :) I love hearing from all of you!

How To Prioritize When Everything Is Important

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In the Power Team Achievers call in July, many (including me) described not having time to get to their 203k consulting activities (marketing, training, etc.) It seemed like there was a great sense of overwhelm that was partly due to the busy-ness of our home inspection (forgive me- building consulting) businesses right now. A good thing- absolutely, but it has forced us all – including me – to put some important projects on the back burner and some have put the pot in the freezer. (Excuse the cooking metaphors- I will stop now.) Don’t get overwhelmed- it’s a problem that everyone faces at some point or another, and while it’s difficult to skillfully juggle multiple priorities and competing responsibilities, it’s not impossible. I did some research and found that there are ways to help deal with prioritizing tasts and projects when it seems that they all are critically important. Here’s what I learned:
First, Answer the Question: Is Everything Really Important?
Even if everything on your plate is supposed to be equally important, you still need a way to break down which ones you spend your time on, and how you slice up your time. The first question you have to get past is whether or not everything really is of equal importance. Here are a couple of tips to help you cut through the fog and get a feel for how important your responsibilities and projects really are.
Involve others. Finally, once you've taken some time to determine what's really important and arranged them based on what you think you should tackle first, it's time to put it in writing and share it with everyone involved. This is where your membership in the 203k In A Box Power Team and your private coaching sessions really can help. Set expectations with others for when you'll get your work done and set expectations with yourself for when you'll have time to work these projects. Involving others in your to-dos can keep you—and others—accountable.
Get Organized
In order for your priorities to even matter, you need to have some sort of a personal productivity system in place to which you hold yourself accountable—and in which your priorities will actually matter. If you've got a tried and true system, great. If not, check out our guide to building one that's right for you.

The goal of your system, whichever you select, is to take away the need for you to waste time deciding what to work on next, even when you have a lot on your plate. I've found that David Allen's GTD framework is one of the most effective methods for this, mostly because it focuses on what you should do now and what your next actions should be, and it emphasizes getting your to-dos out of your head and into some system that will help you work. There are plenty of other options, like Wunderlist and BaseCamp- find one that best fits your needs.  
Whichever tool and productivity method you choose, dump your to-dos and projects into it as quickly as possible. Make sure it's something you'll actually return to and use frequently, and something that's easy to fit into your workflow, and you'll be successful. In the end, you want something easy to refer to, easy to enter tasks into, and that gives you a great view of all of the balls you have in the air at any time.
Delegate, Delegate, Delegate
It's easy for us to toil away in obscurity, quietly hating our lives and our jobs and growing more frustrated with every passing minute. All the while, there may be a friend who's willing to help if we had only asked, or a boss who would be willing to help you out if you asked the right questions or gave them the right information.

We've talked about how difficult it can be to delegate, and how to delegate effectively, but however you go about it, it's important to remember that you need to be assertive, not aggressive when asking for help, and you need to make your case with all of the data you have available. By now, you should have your priorities laid out and you have a good idea what you need. Use that information to ask for help and prove you need it, and remember, don't be upset if your friends, family, or associates say no.
Buckle Up, It's Going to be a Bumpy Ride
Using this method to set your own priorities and keep track of your own responsibilities isn't just something you should do when you're starting to feel overwhelmed. If the walls are closing in on you, yes, it's definitely time to take a good, hard look at what's on your plate, what can come off, and what has to give, but waiting until you're already busy and stressed out will make it especially difficult to make the changes you need to get your head above water. Even so, it's essential, and once you do it you'll never look back. Hopefully, you can apply these tricks to your work, at home, and in your day-to-day life. Once you really understand what you have to work on and how long it takes, you'll be able to make smart decisions about whether you can take on that big new project at work, or help your best friend plan their bachelor party. A side benefit is that when done correctly, you usually can do both!

8 Ways the Law of Attraction Can Change Your Life

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Psychologists, New Age thinkers and religious leaders have been talking about the Law Of Attraction for years, though it gained popularity again when the book "The Secret" made waves in 2006.
The law is simply this: We attract whatever we think about, good or bad. Oprah is a fan of the law and devoted an episode of her show to how it could change lives. Whether or not you believe in the power of the universe, there is scientific research that proves the effects of positive thinking.

We've highlighted the most compelling elements from one of the most popular books on the topic, The Law of Attraction: The Basics of the Teachings of Abraham, by Esther and Jerry Hicks.

I am a firm and committed believer in the Law of Attraction and have seen it in my life and the lives of those around me. The book “Think and Grow Rich” is actually a business person’s guide to using this “law”.

1. You attract good or bad experiences based on your thoughts.
"The one who speaks most about illness has illness. The one who speaks about prosperity has prosperity," Esther and Jerry Hicks write. "You attract all of it." By focusing on something, you make it happen.

2. Thinking about something means you invite it in, even if you don't want it.
"When you think a little thought of something that you want, through the Law of Attraction, that thought grows larger and larger, and more and more powerful," according to the book. So keep your thoughts positive.

3. The more you focus on something, the more powerful it becomes.
This allows you to create your own reality by "attracting" the experiences you want to have. You probably brought bad things upon yourself by worrying about them, according to the laws described in the book.

4. It's better to trust your emotions than over-think a decision.
In other words: Listen to your intuition. Instead of over thinking your choices, let your emotions guide you toward what is right and what is wrong. This will result in a more satisfying life.

5. You can make good things happen more quickly by thinking about them more.
"Want" and "desire" consist of wanting "to focus attention, or give thought toward a subject, while at the same time experiencing positive emotion. When you give your attention to a subject and you feel only positive emotion about it as you do so, it will come very quickly into your experience," the Hicks write.

6. To make a change, you've got to see things as you hope them to be, not as they are.
This is something that successful people know about. It's also called visualization. Michael Phelps spoke about picturing himself winning every night before bed. "In order to effect true positive change in your experience, you must disregard how things are — as well as how others are seeing you — and give more of your attention to the way you prefer things to be," the book says.

7. You can increase your magnetic power by devoting time to "powerful thinking." each day.
Spend 15 minutes every day thinking hard about your goals, dreams and what you want from life. The Hicks say this increases your chances for success. 

8. Success isn't a finite resource; everyone can have it.
Others being successful doesn't limit your success. And by attracting abundance to yourself, you are not limiting another.

Let your mind chart the course of your life-not your life dictate your thoughts- try it!

The Art of Communication

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Do you watch commercials on TV? When I do watch TV, which is rare- I usually pay more attention to the commercials. TV advertisers are some of the best in the industry. The pro live and die because of their understanding of the principle "KNOWING WHAT YOU WANT WHEN COMMUNICATING."

It is difficult to effectively communicate if you do not know what you want in the communication. Living life by design means that you are empowering your life with true purpose and mission. OBT start at the macro level, then works its way to the micro level. As you live a designer's life, you begin to notice how most of what you do is within the larger context of your mission and pupose in life. The process of OBT is detailed below. Think of an upcoming event, appointment or situation where you will hope to effectively communicate with someone. Once you have something specific in mind, integrate that situation into the model below. 

Outcome Based Thinking Model

  • What precisely do I want out of the process?
  • What does the other person want? If I don't know, what are they likely to want?
  • What is the least I will accept out of the process?
  • What problems could come up in the process?
  • How will I deal with each one, and if possible, use the problem as a BENEFIT for the other person?
  • How will I bring the process to a conclusion?
You can use this model when you are negotiating the purchase of a new home. It's also simple enough to integrate into daily life communications with your life partner, children and friends. Excellence in communication often follows the discovery of your fellow communicator's values. This model allows you to more thoughtfully structure whatever message you are preparing to "give". By actually taking th time to think through this process in a step-by-step fashion, you become more comfortable in expressing your feelings, thoughts, and emotions with others. Similarly, it makes you very aware of what others needs and wats, or more simply, values are. Understanding the key values of other people is therefore tantamount to being an effective communicator. In other words, what is important to someone in a love relationship may have a different value in a business relationship. These differences are accounted for in the model we will discuss in next month's issue.

What's Inside?

"Breakthroughs usually happen as a result of pounding your head against a wall of frustration."
-Catherine Hall
Have a question for the 203k Queen? Use the link below to schedule a private call!
Secret Code: 203kcoaching
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Includes PowerPoint Presentation for Real Estate Agents!

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Quotes for your Success

"The secret of getting ahead is getting started."
-Sally Berger

"The secret of success is to do the common things uncommonly well."
-John D. Rockefeller

"In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure."
-Bill Cosby

"A mentor is someone who sees more talent and ability within you, than you see in yourself, and helps bring it out of you."
-Bob Proctor
National Clown Week

Did you know that almost any day or week or even month is "National SOMETHING"? For example, the first week in August in National Clown week. August is also Home Based Business Month and National Golf Month. There is no reason why we can't make our own date-so here it is next April will be the first ever National 203k Loan Awareness Month. Let me know your ideas on how best celebrate this important "national celebration"-this should be FUN!
Testimonials From Our Valued Members

“Being a member of 203k In A Box gives you a toolbox stocked full of everything to educate, motivate, market and guide you right past your competition.”
-Kathy Weiner, Hill Country Inspection

"The 203K training program is broken down for the individual so they can catch on. They are sensitive and considerate to each individual’s learning curve. Whether you are a person that learns by video or handouts, the 203K In A Box Team is there with you all the way."
-Brenda & Scott Julian, Full Service Property Inspection, LLC 

"It only took me 4 hours to put together the certification package.  After sending it in, the royal "Queen" called HUD and I was certified in less than a week. The day after I received my certification, I got my first job."
-Don Mathews, Mathews Inspections Group
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