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I Can’t Even…

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I have a friend who uses that phrase, “I can’t even …”, frequently. I often find myself waiting to see what she can’t even. Is something crooked that she can’t bend back in place? 😊 Is the rest of the sentence too hideous to complete? Or is she just in wondrous awe?

Apparently, yes, to at least the latter two of those suppositions. Our friends at Dictionary.com tell us:


I can’t even is an emotional exclamation in response to an event. Its abrupt ending implies something is too amazing, frustrating, surprising, exciting (or any other adjective imaginable) to handle, which renders a person speechless because they’re so incredulous.”

You may now be wondering what that has to do with the mortgage industry? The aforementioned friend is a mortgage industry employee. (Click here to consider that industry yourself!) I don’t hear from her as often as I did last year. But every time she calls, she starts with, you guessed it, “I can’t even …”. 

If she had this stat from Mortgage Calculator on hand, I am fairly certain she might end one of her, “I can’t even” statements with anticipation about 2021. That’s because the thirty year fixed rate may just be 2.8% through 2021, per FNMA Chief Economist Doug Duncan! 

Or let’s hum the old Helen Reddy song, “I am Woman” while we examine this chart from RocketMortgage. I can’t EVEN!!! And those numbers are from last year! The single woman trend is expected to grow.

It's also possible she saw this Statista chart and understands why she’s been just a bit more busy in 2020 than in previous years. But she knows she needs to soldier on!

Mortgage originations on one-to-four family properties in the United States from 1st quarter 2012 to 2nd quarter 2020, by type

And, of course, here’s why, courtesy of macrotrends:

30 Year Fixed Mortgage Rate - Historical Chart

Just in case you’ve been living on a remote island with population 4 and no tourism at all, those teensy rates are directly correlated to Covid-19. For a multifaceted, in depth examination of “COVID-19: The impacts on global residential mortgage markets”, I recommend reading here

Back to my trendy-phrase-using friend, here are some of her other actual conclusions to, “I can’t even …”

  • Believe I made so much commission income this year, I paid off my mortgage!
  • Admit I worked so much, my husband left me and I didnt notice for a week! [That didn’t really happen … at least not yet. 😊]
  • Grasp that I was able to buy my parents a new car!
  • Understand how I personally closed 90 loans last month!

You get the picture, I’m sure. Money is flying in the mortgage biz this year. But what about the flip side, the negative financial impact of Covid-19? Take a gander. [Sorry, I digressed and couldn’t resist adding that link].

From USA Today

An ominous note that over 6M households missed their rent or mortgage payment this past  September.

From TaxAct.blog

A reminder that those who refinanced to a lower interest rate should realize that those lower rates could possibly decrease their tax deduction and therefore increase their 2020 tax bill.

From Nasdaq

“While Fannie and Freddie and other government agencies are trying to fix the problem, it appears many of the borrowers who did nothing more than call their servicer and ask about forbearance are now being shut out of the mortgage marketplace.” Oops

Then there’s this from Investopedia,

“How to Get a COVID-19 Mortgage Forbearance Extension.” The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act was signed into law on March 27, 2020. That means the first expirations started at the end of October. Extensions are available BUT the borrower must request that extension prior to the expiration of the initial forbearance. 

Now that we’re in the midst of Covid-19, Part II (UGH, it’s BBBAAACCCKKK) and have started the holiday season, perhaps things like mortgages and real estate are slowing down. 

An indication of that comes from the National Association of Realtors. The NAR recently reported, “... Pending Home Sales Have Slowed Again.” Part of the reason for that is due to so many homes selling so quickly--and with associated bidding wars--affordability is a real issue now. Regardless, we are still outpacing last year due to the rock bottom interest rates and the mass exodus of homeowners from major cities into “We need more room and a place with a back yard” homes.

For the stat nerds among us, and again from the NAR:

“… contract signings were up 20% in October 2020 from October 2019, and the inventory of homes for sale and mortgage rates are still bouncing along at record lows. Meanwhile, the NAR reported earlier this month the median existing single-family home price climbed 12% on a year-over-year basis, to $313,500 -- a pace four times as fast as median family income grew (a 2.9% rate) at the same time.”

I can’t even!

Here’s the reaction to all of that from FHFA. The maximum conforming one unit loan limit in most of the US for mortgages to be acquired by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in 2021 will be $548,250, an increase from $510,400 in 2020. As always, that reflects the change in the average U.S. home prices from the previous year.

All in all, then, 2020 has brought us roses, with thorns ... paths, with puddles ... much light, with heavy shadows ... and much land, with large stones. OMG, I’ve become a philosophical poet! Nope, I am merely paraphrasing “Idiom for bad attached with good” which I stumbled upon while accessing my joke file. Yes, that’s right, it’s time for fun. 

No joke, available on Amazon in the “I can’t even” category. 

Here’s my friend’s Christmas present from me, yes, also on Amazon.


  • Why is it called a zoom meeting when it should be a co-vid?
  • I feel really bad for the class of 2020. They say the year really flies by. I just didn’t realize it would Zoom.

An Englishman, a Frenchman, a Spaniard, and a Dutchman are all on a zoom call with their boss. Their boss asks “Can you see me?” and they respond:





  • Me: This show is boring… Boss: Again, this is a Zoom conference!

Quickies You Can Use on Your Next Zoom Call That May Generate “I Can’t Even” Replies!

  • I used to think the brain was the most important organ. Then I thought, look what’s telling me that.
  • A farmer in the field with his cows counted 196 of them, but when he rounded them up he had 200.
  • The dyslexic devil worshipper sold his soul to Santa.
  • I told my doctor that I broke my arm in two places. He told me to stop going to those places.
  • A magician was walking down the street and turned into a grocery store.

And some cringe worthy holiday jokes for you. You’re welcome.

  • What do snowmen eat for lunch? Icebergers
  • What do monkeys sing at Christmas? Jungle bells
  • What do you get when you cross a snowman with a vampire? Frostbite
  • Who’s Rudolph’s favourite pop star? Beyon-sleigh
  • Why don't you ever see Santa in hospital? Because he has private elf care!

North Pole Job Fair

As 2020 (none too rapidly) comes to a well awaited close, I sincerely hope that your holidays bring you good health, laughter, hope and all the wonderful things money can’t buy. And may you utter, “I can’t even!!” frequently, and only to express positive amazement.🎇⛄✨🎅🎄🤶

About Kathleen Heck

Kathleen Heck has worked with hundreds of top sales professionals, authors, corporate executives, educators, and management level professionals. She started her career as a college and high school educator. Later she changed industries and moved to financial services, first as a Mortgage Loan Officer and then rising to lead of team of over 2000 financial professionals. She is the author of "After the Beep" and "Meltdown: I Need a Plan". Currently serving as the President of the Croyance Group, Ms. Heck is a Certified Professional Coach and holds several Masters Degrees and a PhD. See more at Croyancegroup.com

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