Buying a home is a financial decision – so what does it mean to be “financially responsible”

by Heather Turner07 Jul 2016
“Life is a web of interdependent decisions and the choices you make today shape your tomorrow,” says Susan McHan, CEO of Opes Advisors, a financial services company that offers a wide range of mortgage solutions. If McHan seems more philosophical than most in the mortgage business it’s because her company blends its mortgage offering with financial planning and advisory services. As such, the future is close to McHan’s heart and she is a staunch advocate for financial responsibility.
“Buying a home is one of life’s most important financial decisions and our role is to help clients through the process,” says McHan. “We help clients act in a financially responsible manner and highlight how the choices they make today fundamentally shape their future. Every mortgage bank tells you how much they’ll loan you but only Opes Advisors shows you what you can actually afford.”
For McHan, this ability to connect the dots and to figure out how one decision affects the next is the very definition of “financial responsibility”.
McHan believes that when one is purchasing a home, one should be able to see how it affects future financial transactions. “It’s easy for clients to lose sight of where any given decision fits in their lives,” she says, “which is why we created software to illustrate decisions they’ll face at different points in their lives. Our advisors sit down with clients and undertake a holistic analysis of their real estate and financial decisions and, using their specific answers, create a financial roadmap for their lives.”
Helping construct this “roadmap” is Opes Advisors’ proprietary software, Opes Advantage. “We use Opes Advantage to answer our clients’ ‘What if?’ questions, before they actually buy a home. ‘What if they want to send their kids to private school?’ or ‘What if they want to retire at 55?’ We can show them how all these decisions fit together into a concentric whole,” says McHan.
Further complicating matters is the issue of longevity; life expectancy is running nearly double what it was 150 years ago and children born today are likely to live well into their 100’s, so looking to the future is of paramount importance. “Personal wealth seldom happens by accident; it’s architected,” says McHan. “We take our responsibility to our clients very seriously and firmly believe that our process – as well as delivering loans – delivers peace of mind in the present and financial stability in the future. That’s what we mean by ‘financial responsibility’; helping clients secure loans while showing them how assets support them through retirement and where their home fits in the overall scheme of things.”

Next week, Susan McHan will talk more about Opes Advantage


Should CFPB have more supervision over credit agencies?