Author Archives: Ethan Atkinson

How Much Does a Mortgage Loan Officer Make?

Getting licensed as a mortgage loan originator (also called an MLO, or mortgage loan officer) has immense potential, and is much cheaper than many types of professional education. Having a skill for which a license is required makes your skill set unique and in greater demand, which is why doctors and lawyers often have high incomes. However, becoming licensed as an MLO is significantly easier than getting a medical degree. As a licensed MLO, you’re a highly skilled employee with significant pay potential, but you don’t need to spend $500,000 going to seven years of school.

You can find all sorts of information about how much mortgage loan officers make online. Most websites will confidently tell you they know precisely how much MLOs earn across the US, but these estimates are often based on non-representative self-reported salaries. In reality, there is a wide range of salaries and compensation structures for MLOs, so averages are very region-dependent and vary widely between companies. MLOs can make well over $200,000 per year, but they can also have a starting salary of $50,000 per year. There is no way to predict precisely how much you will make. There is immense potential to earn hundreds of thousands, but this will take time; do not lease a Maserati after you pass your MLO NMLS exam. At least, not yet.

A nice part about becoming an MLO is that you can always move up and do better, and your skills will always have value.

To get started as an MLO, you need to sign up in the Nationwide Multistate Licensing System (NMLS), and take 20 hours of national education and anywhere between 0-4 hours of state-specific education (depending on the state). You’ll then need to pass an exam and a background check.

This career path is challenging, math-oriented, and exciting, and can help you achieve your income goals much more quickly than many other professions!

To start your MLO journey, click here.

The Difference Between Title and Deed

Title and deed are often used interchangeably, but they are not the same. To start with, title is a concept, it is not a physical thing. Title is the idea of ownership, the idea of being entitled to something. Many cultures used to transfer title/ownership with spoken words only, or with a handshake. Title was simply a general agreement among people that you were entitled to land or other objects. This has not changed; title still is, in essence, a general agreement among people that a particular thing is owned by a particular individual or group.

What has changed about title over centuries is how it is referenced. Most jurisdictions require title to be referenced in writing. This is where the deed comes in.

In the United States, title must be transferred using written documents, or deeds. A deed is a legal instrument that transfers title. Deeds are carefully tracked and are usually recorded to be sure that they are unique. This uniqueness is essential to a deed; a deed cannot give the same ownership rights in a property to multiple competing people at the same time.

This seems fairly straightforward. However, title as a concept in the United States actually refers to a number of types of ownership. For example, the right to possess, build on, and inhabit a piece of property might be owned by one person, but the mineral rights to any oil, coal, or other valuable minerals from that same piece of property might be owned by another person or entity. In a big city like New York, the air rights to build over a property might be owned by yet another person.

Thus, title to a property involves many types of ownership. These types of ownership are referred to as title rights.

Most properties started out as a collection of title rights that were owned by one person. That is, the owner owned the title right to inhabit the property, as well as the title right to extract oil and minerals from it, and even owned the right to all of the airspace above it. After hundreds of years, multiple people or entities may now own separate title rights to the same piece of property.

As mentioned earlier, the way these title rights are transferred is generally through deeds. Thus, the same property might have one valid deed conveying the mineral rights to one party and another valid deed conveying the right to inhabit and build on the land to another party. Deeds are not title; they are how title is transferred.

To make things more complicated, someone may have most title rights in a property, but not have the deed to the property conveying these rights. This is what happens with a deed of trust. With a deed of trust, a borrower pays a lender over time for the right to own the property, much like a mortgage. However, the actual deed transferring title is in the possession of a trustee, who has the right to transfer the title (sell the property) only if the borrower defaults on their loan. The borrower has equitable title, which in this case means that the borrower may enjoy most of the title rights to the property (may inhabit it, build on it, etc.). However, the legal title rests with the trustee so that the trustee can quickly sell the property if the borrower defaults.

As you can see, title is a concept of ownership that has many different forms. Having title to a property and a deed conveying this title is not as straightforward as it may seem. Many property owners do not clearly understand the wide variety of title rights, and may not realize which ones they have and do not have. For example, owners who do not possess the mineral rights to their land are frequently unaware of this fact.

Though the concept of title and how it is transferred can be confusing, it is helpful to understand the basic theory behind it. Without this understanding, it is difficult to know what exactly you’re buying when you make what might be the biggest purchase of your life.

Deeded Parking vs. Assigned Parking: What’s the Difference?

In a condominium, the difference between deeded parking and assigned parking is significant. A deeded parking space is primarily under the control of the unit owner, while an assigned parking space is under control of the homeowners’ association. If parking is assigned, this means it is assigned by the homeowners’ association. A homeowners’ association serves the needs of all unit owners, not just one owner. Thus, the association controls the parking space, and can change or sometimes eliminate the space, possibly without the consent of the unit owner. However, if the parking space is deeded, changing the space or eliminating it is extremely difficult.

A deeded parking space is generally referenced in the original condominium declaration that created the condominium organization. Thus, a deeded parking space is generally appurtenant to the unit, which means it is attached to the unit in a legal sense (not necessarily physically attached). Thus, any transfer of ownership of the unit would automatically transfer the parking space to the new unit owner. It is essential to verify that a deeded parking space is in fact referenced in the condominium declaration.

It is important to note that there are ways to change almost anything in a condominium if enough unit owners vote to do so; however, to change a deeded parking space would likely involve an amendment to the original condominium declaration and official recording with the county. This would be a very difficult process.

The owner of a unit with a deeded parking space appurtenant (attached) to it generally does not own the actual land on which the parking space exists. Instead, the owner possesses an exclusive right to use the space for parking. To clarify, most common areas of a condominium are owned by all individual owners as a group; these areas are called general common elements. A deeded parking space falls into a category called limited common elements. Thus, it is part of the common elements, but is limited to use by one owner. The same could be said of a patio that is part of the common elements, but is restricted to use by one or a few owners.

Some deeded parking spaces are actually owned in fee simple by the unit owner. This means that the owner has title to the space, and thus absolute and complete ownership of it. The owner will likely pay property taxes on the parking space itself, separately from the taxes on their condominium. The owner may be able to sell the parking space to whomever they want, separately from the sale of their unit. However, nothing comes without restrictions; the homeowners’ association may limit the sale of a parking space to owners in the same condominium complex for security reasons. Even land owned in fee simple can have restrictions on its use or transfer.

There are many ways to own a parking space, and all condominiums have different rules. However, there are important, essential differences between assigned parking and deeded parking that every buyer and real estate broker should be familiar with. Hopefully this has helped clarify the basic differences between different types of condominium parking spaces!

Get a Mortgage License in Rhode Island

Need a Rhode Island Mortgage Loan Originator license? We got you.

At OnlineEd, we’ve helped thousands get their mortgage licenses, and we’re extremely proud of our new Rhode Island NMLS Course!

Our course is 100% online, takes only four days, comes with instructor support and deluxe exam prep with practice tests, as well as our live exam cram webinar, so you won’t be alone in this process!

All these are standard features of our course, so you don’t have to pay extra!

We also offer a price match guarantee, so you know you’re getting the best deal. 

At OnlineEd, we’ve been educating the real estate industry for over two decades, and we’re excited to share our expertise. Thanks for checking us out!