From Then to Now - 10 Years of Change

Mortgage and Lending with Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, Conventional Loans, Jumbo Loans, FHA, 203(k), USDA, VA, NMLS #138061 MMCD #1141

10 Years of Change


This month Jeff Dowler, CRS asked us to take a trip down memory lane and think about what's changed - 10 years ago feels like a lifetime, and so much has changed I could probably write a book (and maybe I will!), but professionally, 10 years has moved the needle a lot.  Personally, the needle has moved quite a bit, too.  Let's dive in:


- 10 years ago I was living in Northern Delaware in a suburb of Philadelphia (about a half hour from the city).  I'd bought my first home that year at the age of 23.  Fast forward to today and I'm on the other side of the country in California.


- 10 years ago I was a loan officer working as a mortgage broker with just over a year of experience, with no idea what was about to hit (the great recession).  Today, I'm still a loan officer, but that's a smaller role.  I work on the executive team of a national direct lender, Mason-McDuffie Mortgage, helping clients with loans in 15 states and managing a sales team of close to 100 people.

- Just about 2 years ago I made the decision to move from Southern CA to Northern CA - while not as big a change as Delaware to California, it was a pretty monstrous task to decide to start over again.  I was a loan officer in one of our Orange County offices and accepted a position to work with our corporate team where I am today in San Ramon, CA.  


- Just over a year ago I moved into a management role working with our sales team training them on the latest and greatest of our systems, and teaching them to provide value to their clients and real estate partners the way I strive to do in my personal business.


- Just about 9 years ago the bottom fell out of the entire industry.  For about 4 years, I went through about as tough a series of events as anyone could professionally - with companies going under daily, no one certain if loans would fund once started, and sitting with hardly any experience in an industry collapsing in on itself.  I made a decision to learn all I could and work my ass off to make it through, and the decision paid off.  One of my mentors told me "Trust me, if you can make it through this, you will never have to worry about money or work for the rest of your life.".  It's still too early to tell, but he was on to something.  Those terrible years taught me so much about myself, this business, and not only how to surive, but how to plan, grow in a shrinking market, and to find success even when it seems like there's none around.  


- Over 10 years I've had my share of heartbreak, hard times, and "dig deep" moments, but I've also been incredibly blessed to see more births of loved ones childrens than losses of anyone close to me.  I've learned to cherish the time I spend with the people I love, and to cherish the time I have with myself as well.


- About 6 years ago I decided I wanted to spend more time outdoors - this led to hiking, which led to trailrunning, which led to trail races, and today I couldn't imagine my life without time spent in the mountains or on the water.  Professionally, I learned that time away from the office is a necessity, and what I need to recharge physically, mentally, and spiritually.


- About 3 and a half years ago, I decided that faith was missing from my life.  I decided to go back to church, and that decision was one of the best I've ever made.  My life is infinitely better thanks to God.


- I've always been an athlete, but over the past 10 years I've learned what's best for my body.  I cut back on drinking, started eating a healthier diet, and learned to train in more specific ways for the goals I wanted and the things I enjoy being good at competitively.  Today, at 34, I'm stronger, faster, and much healthier than I was at 24...and 25...and 26.  And if you're wondering, yes, I plan on being better at 35 than I am at 34.


- Looking back over 10 years, a lot more has changed, too.  I don't have much hair left, and thankfully, I care less about it.  I'm a lot of years smarter, I've read a lot more books, have experienced more, and have met and learned from 10 years worth of people and relationships.  My industry still faces challenges, and my job isn't easy, but it's rewarding and I love a good challenge.  10 years ago I was intimidated by real estate agents and anyone with more than my entry level experience in the industry.  Today, I train others, offer advice to agents, and guide people to do better for themselves.  I'm not perfect, but I'm more self-aware and always trying to be better.  


Memory lane is littered with laughs, tears, people and relationships that have come and gone, great months, bad months, and moments that I'll always carry with me.  In 10 years so much has changed, and I'm sure the next 10 years will be filled with more - some for better, some worse.   I have no idea where I'll be in 10 years, but I know the sky's the limit.  I know the road isn't easy.  And I know there's going to be heartache on the way to more milestones.  And more than anything else, I know I'm looking forward to every step of the way.


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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi John- - -a good read and quite the journey not only in distance but in many ways. Here's to many successes in all aspects of life. In the next decades for you and always. 

Jul 01, 2019 06:09 PM #1
Rosalind Nicholas
RE/MAX Condos Plus Corporation, Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Toronto Condo Real Estate Agent, Toronto ON

10 years of change ....... interesting changes for you ....... I have been in the same city for the last ten years, and with the same Real Estate Brokerage. Nevertheless there have been changes ...... office renovations, policies. procedures, personnel, the traffic flow outside the office etc, etc.

Jul 01, 2019 06:12 PM #2
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi John:

I really enjoyed your post! You've certainly experienced alot of changes, personally and business. I like your philosophy!! No doubt the path of success you have been on will continue!


Jul 01, 2019 06:15 PM #3
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi John... what a heartfelt and heartwarming post! You've done well for yourself in the past decade and may the next decade be kind to you with more ups than downs.

Jul 02, 2019 05:41 AM #4
Paula Hathaway, REALTOR, LBA
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Southampton, NY
...The Most Informed Agent In The Hamptons!

Hi John: Boy!...and I thought I had gone through a lot in the last decade! Your post is so easy to read and I felt "it" all along the way. Thanks for sharing all of the struggles and the joys...Many happy years ahead, I am certain!

Jul 02, 2019 07:28 AM #5
Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

John Meussner, Fabulous entry into this month's challenge. You are wise beyond your years. So proud to know and work with you!

Wishing you tremendous success on your journey to the next fantastic decade.

Jul 02, 2019 08:19 PM #6
Lynn B. Friedman
Atlanta Homes ODAT Realty Call/Text 404-939-2727 Buckhead - Midtown - Westside -- and more ... - Atlanta, GA
Concierge Service for Our Atlanta Sellers & Buyers

John Meussner Proud to say - as a fan of yours - I have followed your success over the years. Look forward to all your future achievements as well. Best wishes, Lynn

Jul 02, 2019 09:41 PM #7
Kat Palmiotti
Grand Lux Realty, Monroe NY, 914-419-0270, - Monroe, NY
The House Kat

I enjoyed your post! What a decade you've had.. I'm sure the next one will be filled with adventure and change as well. Enjoy it!

Jul 03, 2019 03:09 AM #8
Vickie Teel
Allison James Estates & Homes - Port Charlotte, FL
Sharing Florida sunshine one homeowner at a time!

Great post John. It sounds like life gets better and better for you and with your hard work to make it so I don’t doubt it. I’ll bet your next 10 will be even better.

Jul 03, 2019 04:30 AM #9
Bernadine Eberle
Keller Williams Realty - Texas - Plano, TX
Home Sales in Collin County

John, I enjoyed your post. Challenges through life do make us stronger and wiser. Here's to the next 10 years with fun adventures along the way. 

Jul 03, 2019 07:47 AM #10
Steffy Hristova
HomeSmart Elite Group Tempe AZ Tel: 480-966-9353 - Tempe, AZ
Tempe AZ Realtor - Your Home Close to Your Work!

John, I enjoyed reading your post. What a great photo you have chosen - us looking together with you from a mountain, from a place you have come to love over the past 10 years.

Jul 03, 2019 09:46 AM #11
Richie Alan Naggar
people first...then business Ran Right Realty - Riverside, CA
agent & author

You only get so many decades and then.......

Jul 03, 2019 11:57 AM #12
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

I enjoyed reading this 10-year journey of yours, John. You've accomplished and learned a lot these past years, both professionally and personally. It's exciting to think where the next 10 may take you!

Jul 04, 2019 09:51 AM #13
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

Very personal and honest post. You really put yourself out there.  Every day is a gift..and we realize that more as we get older.  Especially appreciated your comment about missing faith

Jul 04, 2019 01:54 PM #14
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

You've accomplished a lot in the past decade. Congratulations, John. GREAT read and wishing you continued success in all your endeavors.

Jul 05, 2019 07:43 AM #15
Robin Wells
RAW Chimney Sweep and Inspections - Penetanguishene, ON
Giving Peace Of Mind One Chimney At A Time

Thanks for post.  A lot can change in a decade.. a lot of work and effort, a lot of challenges and failures .. but in the end hard work generally bring rewards.

Jul 06, 2019 06:26 PM #18
Kris Collis
Smart Way America Realty - East Stroudsburg, PA
Buy & Sell with Professional Results you Expect

Thanks for sharing with the personal touch, nice to know you better.

Jul 09, 2019 03:08 PM #19
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John Meussner - Reading your wonderful story made me think about my own journey in life. When we are young, we feel invincible and then, something happens. For you, it was the market crash. Yes! Those were very tough times and brought many people down to their knees. Some ended up in quicksand, others struggled more than the next one. Those who grit and did bear it made them stronger.  John, you definitely grew up fast in this business and I'm proud to know you!

Aug 15, 2019 06:38 AM #20
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
Selling Homes Changing Lives

John Meussner - I wrote a post today about the July Challenge. I read all the entries and include all the names of the participants, including yours with a quote from each one too. 

In reference to this post, it just seems to me there's always some type of financial drama going on in this world. But isn't it amazing how many people ended up buying homes for low-interest rates in recent years!

Aug 15, 2019 03:42 PM #21
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