Contact the Professional or Figure It Out on Your Own?

Recently, my wife and I decided to replace our water softener that had gone out a year ago. After a couple of weeks of research, mainly to find one that would fit into the small closet space where it is located, we headed to Menards to pick up the equipment and all the other items for the install.

My wife asked if we should contact a plumber for the install.  I disagreed with the idea as in the last month I had replaced our kitchen faucet.  It had only taken me six hours, but in the end I had it completed with no leaks!  So if I could do a kitchen faucet, surely a water softener could not be difficult.

The problem, not known to me at the time, started when I removed the old water softener.  There were two different small hoses which I yanked off and did not pay attention to what their purpose was.  I just pushed them to the corner of the closet, assuming they connected somehow to our whole house humidifier which we rarely use.

So my wife and I worked through the several issues on the install and conquered problems that would make any redneck proud.  We finally had the softener hooked up and had to connect a drainage hose.  Well, it was next to the water heater which sat in a large pan for overflow, so I figured we should just drain it there.  This is my second problem when my wife asked if I was sure that was right.  After over two decades of marriage, you would think I would learn that when my wife asks this question, I should reverse direction.

We finished the install and programmed the softener.  It worked like a charm for a couple of weeks.  Then this past week, when I was on a trip in another state, I received a text from my wife that we had no hot water.  I scrambled to find contact information for a plumber and gave it to her.  After hours of work, the plumber discovered my redneck drainage method for the water softener had shorted out a sensor in the water heater which eliminated our possibility of enjoying hot water.  So after, fixing the water heater and properly installing the drain hose, I probably spent an extra $200 over what I would have if I called the plumber in the first place!

One of the most valuable services we provide is counseling.  We often have CUs call us on a commercial deal or on a farm financing situation.  I always enjoy visiting with lenders as I think we have a wealth of experience across many different types of industries and loan types.  Often we can provide a different prospective than what the front line person is seeing.

On my travel back from North Dakota last week, I received a call from a credit union in the South.  The officer was getting ready to do their largest commercial loan they would handle in house.  It involved a construction project in another state with a long-time member.  I was able to walk him through the process of utilizing a third party architect or engineer to inspect the progress and using a title company or attorney to disburse funds.   We discussed proper pricing of the credit and what structure would be best for the CU.  At the end of the conversation, the officer thanked me as I had brought up several issues that he had not thought of.

Sometimes, we find CUs who will bring a deal to us that is in serious trouble.  The loan is already on their books and it is a problem.  How I wished that we could have assisted from the beginning, as it may have prevented a problem loan and provided a structure that would have benefited the borrower’s cash flow.  But if need be, we are here to help pick up the pieces.

The book of Proverbs tells us that a wise man seeks counsel.  I find that commercial lending is a constant learning experience and I am always growing as is the rest of the MWBS team.  Even as we are learning, we still have a lot to offer.  Please reach out and contact us when you are financing a new project you may be unsure of.  We are here to help.