November 07, 2014

Stop believing your lies

NOVEMBER 7, 2014

Though I have only been in the mortgage business for a short period of time, I feel I’ve been a self-employed artist pretty much since the earth cooled.

My circle of friends and clients fall into the same category, a category that constantly gets a bad rap as something to be avoided at all costs, like.... touching anything on a subway car during flu season. Ok, that part is true...

Once, after singing with the symphony, I had a drink with “friends of friends” and was asked,

“Do you actually make money doing that? I mean really, it would be my worst nightmare if my child pursued a career in the arts.”

I won’t say that he was wrong to think that way but, I can confirm that his smug rudeness (dude!) was rooted in the way artists continue to present themselves and are perceived as starving bohemians.

I know that’s not true, and if you’re a regular reader of this blog, you know it’s not true, too. The problem, however, is that even if you know in your heart that you are an intelligent, responsible artist, who works your butt off, learning impossibly difficult repertoire, in a foreign language, memorized, performed in front of 3000 people, cool as a cucumber, that often means squat when you walk into your bank, no matter what your income: They don’t always see your value.

The bigger problem: you start to believe them.

Yes, you are definitely complicated: your income is sometimes taxed at the source, sometimes not. Automatic RRSP withdrawals happen when (at least for singers) your gig is under a union which, often, it is NOT. Don’t get me started on cash gigs, or literally singing for your supper. You have tons of write-offs and your net income looks like you live on fairy dust. I get it. I was you...quite frankly...I still am.

To further complicate things, if you live in Toronto, you reside in the 2nd most expensive / intimidating housing market in Canada. The average house price has soared to the mid $500,000 range
(TRANSLATION: 1/2 of a MILLION dollars!!! WHAT?!!!) and the amazing down payment you saved that equates to 10% on a house in Toronto, would be closer to 30% down in Winnipeg.

Life here is not a Dixie Chicks song. You don’t “move into houses in the same 'zip-code' where your parents lived.” You sit in your real estate agent’s car during in a bidding war, hoping you WIN a house that’s smaller than your apartment.

I hear the same story all the time, “my bank didn’t even bother with my application before they said no.” which is ASTONISHING to me and only indicates that the employee had no clue how to interpret their file, and was not going to take the time to do so. If they had, they’d find out that the self-employed artist is (in my experience) a saver & debt free.

I get it, I’ve been there,
and happily explain / defend that situation all the time. There are more lenders than just the 5 big banks and, contrary to awesome
branding messages, they are not your friends, they are a business.

What they don’t always realize is that 

Be smart with your “business.”

Find out about ALL of your options.

And above all, don’t give up!

: )

Thanks for reading!

note: all opinions expressed in this blog
are mine in their entirety