I performed a study on the mail people receive after they purchase a home, and I found that many companies market to this demographic.Before homeowners buy any of the products or services solicited to them, they need to know that there may be less expensive – or free – alternatives. Here’s a list of 16 mailed solicitations I received within the first 30 days of closing on a home, and why people should consult with their mortgage professional about some of these before pulling out their checkbooks.
Below this video is the list.
Services and Number of Mailings
- Biweekly Payment Provider: 1 mailing. Don’t pay for this service. You can achieve the same results by sending in one extra payment per year. Whatever you would have saved on your mortgage through the additional benefit of the biweekly payment will almost always be expensed through the payment-plan invoice.
- Cable/Internet Providers: 1 mailing.
- Extra Mortgage Insurance: 5 mailings. I say buy a separate term policy. Your beneficiary can use the money as they see fit, and it may not be on the mortgage, giving him or her options.
- Free Smartphone: 1 mailing. Not sure what the gimmick is, but companies have to pay for the mailing somehow.
- Refinance Solicitations: 2 mailings.
- Hair Club: 1 mailing. I need to call these folks.
- Record Retention: 3 mailings. This one kills me. They advertise to provide a copy of your deed for the low cost of $86—this is free in public records!!!
- Termite Warranty Plans: 2 mailings.
Businesses typically get homeowners’ information from public records, such as the deed to a property and the recorded mortgage. Don’t be alarmed, as these documents do not disclose sensitive material such as social security numbers and dates of birth. In most cases, however, they do list the following:
- Property Address
- Mailing Address
- Purchase Price of Home
- Loan Amount
- Date of Purchase/Mortgage
- Marital Status
I suspect marketing companies compile and sell this information to service providers, as evident by my own experience.
So what have we learned here? If you recently closed on a home, do yourself a favor and consult with your mortgage adviser before paying for any of the above services.