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Episode 211

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Episode Description

Imagine how much easier buying a home would be if you knew exactly what lenders were looking for. Lenders take some significant factors into account when approving a mortgage. Knowledge is power, and understanding the mortgage approval process can give us that edge in our quest to find an ideal home at the right price and time.

In this episode, Brighton Gbarazia offers a behind-the-scenes look into some of the key factors that banks and lenders won’t tell you when applying for a mortgage.

Brighton is a financial and real estate expert with over a decade of experience working as a financial advisor and mortgage underwriter for some of Canada’s largest banks and credit unions. He is the Founder of Wealth Marathon and author of Master Your Mortgage: What the bank won’t tell you about buying the right home.

There are plenty of books about real estate, but more information is needed for real people looking at buying real estate. For the insider’s guide to a mortgage, pick up a copy of Master Your Mortgage.

About Brighton

As the CEO of Wealth Marathon, Brighton provides sound and straightforward financial advice to young professionals and families to help them create the kind of wealth and financial success that can only come with long-term planning and proper execution. His recently released book Master Your Mortgage offers a behind the scenes look into what the bank won’t tell you, so that you can truly understand.

Born in Nigeria, Brighton currently resides in British Columbia. When he isn’t talking about money, you’re likely to find him planning his next international trip or running in the nearest half-marathon.

Brighton’s Latest Book

Master Your Mortgage

Master You Mortgage:

What the bank won’t tell you about buying the right home.

Think the bank is giving you a good deal in your mortgage? It’s time to take another look.

The mortgage process is one of the most widely accepted—yet least understood—aspects of the home-buying journey.

Grab your copy at:

Get Social with Brighton & Wealth Marathon

Links Mentioned on This Episode

Episode Transcription

Click to Read Full Transcript

[00:00:00] Bob Wheeler: Welcome to another episode of Money You Should Ask, where everyone has something they can teach you. I’m your host, Bob Wheeler. In this episode, we are going to explore why we do what we do when it comes to money as a CPA for the past 30 years. Wait, let me say 25 because that makes me sound younger. I have seen it all when it comes to money and emotions, and if you think I’m talking about my.

[00:00:23] I’m not, I’m talking about myself. My relationship with money has been and sometimes still is an emotional rollercoaster. Maybe that’s something you’re also familiar with. Good news. You and I are not the only ones. Our next guest is going to share their money, beliefs, money blocks, and life challenges as well.

[00:00:43] Buckle your seatbelt and enjoy the ride.[00:01:00]

[00:01:06] Brighton Gbarazia is a financial and real estate expert with over a decade of experience working for some of Canada’s largest banks in credit unions as a financial advisor and mortgage underwriter. As the CEO of Wealth Marathon, Brighton provides sound and straightforward financial advice to young professionals and families in Canada to help them create the kind of wealth and financial.

[00:01:27] That only comes with long-term planning and proper execution. His recently released Book Master Your Mortgage offers a behind the scenes look into what the bank won’t tell you so that you can truly understand. Born in Nigeria, Brighton Curly resides in British Columbia. When he isn’t talking about money, you’re likely to find him planning his next international trip.

[00:01:47] We’re running in the nearest half marathon. Bright, and welcome to the show.

[00:01:51] Brighton Gbarazia: Thanks, Bob. Thanks for having me on. I’m excited to be here.

[00:01:54] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. Well, I’ll be honest. When somebody said, Hey, will you interview, this guy’s written a book on mortgages [00:02:00] and I thought, Riveting ,

[00:02:04] Brighton Gbarazia: I know. Try being the one that wrote it.

[00:02:07] Bob Wheeler: super exciting material, right? That’s when I tell people I’m an accountant or people do actuarial tables. It’s like, Oh, I think I have to go. But here’s the thing. What I love about this book, and we’ll get into all of this, is you didn’t just write a book with facts. Because facts are always just a part of the story when it comes to money.

[00:02:26] Yes. Whether it’s a mortgage, whether it’s investing, all of these things, buying a house, there’s that whole emotional component. And so we need the facts, but we also need to be aware of how we get excited. We are in a financial position where we’re, Oh, I just gotta make this happen, even though the numbers don’t add up, because it’ll somehow work out magically.

[00:02:46] And I think what you do a great job of is bringing some of those other components so that it’s not just a rate is this and you have to pay it over 30 years. You also bring in these other [00:03:00] pieces that really help people to understand, Oh, that’s what’s going on for me. I’ve read a lot of the books, so I know where you’re coming from, but for a lot of people listening, can you tell us how you got into this?

[00:03:11] You originally thought, Hey, I wanna be a financial advisor, which was sell, sell, sell, sell, sell. Then you wanted to do this not just for yourself, but you wanted to help people because of your own experience and because of your parents. So can you just say a little bit more to that, this journey of how you got here?

[00:03:27] Brighton Gbarazia: Yeah. Thanks Bob. You’re absolutely right, and I think I’ve listened to a couple of your podcasts and you’ve kind of hinted at this. Money is difficult because we’re human beings and we have emotional touches. It’s that simple at some level. So I’ll go back to my story. I’m a kid immigrated from Nigeria.

[00:03:45] My parents came to Canada and they didn’t know anything about how the system worked here North America, you know, they came from a society where everything is usually paid by cash cause there’s no credit back then. So coming from a cash basis to a world where [00:04:00] things are credit, And you kind of finance things was really difficult.

[00:04:03] My parents, they weren’t able to adapt and then that was made worse by, didn’t get good advice, just literally not get good advice. So seeing that experience as a kid and seeing how challenging and how emotionally difficult it is to be in a financial position where you can do things, probably. I’m really kind of inspired.

[00:04:23] I said, You know, people shouldn’t have to suffer this much. And for me, selfishly, I didn’t want to grow up in that environment. I wanna help my parents out. So I was like, I gotta figure out what they didn’t figure out. Right? And that’s why I kind of went into the finance world. But as I got there, I started to kind of understand why people get into that.

[00:04:41] Because you have an advisor sometimes. They’re trying to provide for their family and sometimes their goals and objectives doesn’t line up with your personal objective, and that’s really difficult For me, it was really a struggle because I was kind of the advisor where I would see my mom in that seat and I would go, Why would I give advice that [00:05:00] I know is completely wrong?

[00:05:01] And I could hear my mother like smack me on the head going, You’re trying to just set this family out for disaster just so you can make some money. So it didn’t fit with the way, I guess, my personal ethic and how I wanna run my business. Mm-hmm. , I’m not saying that everyone that is a financial advisor is out to get or whatever.

[00:05:18] There’s fantastic people in the industry that can find that balance. But for me it was really clear cut for me. It was like, I’m not gonna advise you something that I truly don’t believe in, or I don’t think it’s the best solution for your situation. I’m also upfront if I think that what you’re doing, I try to be more realistic with people in a sense.

[00:05:36] I understand that emotional thing. When I wrote the book, I said in the book, I grew up my whole life renting, and that was a huge factor why I wanted to buy a home. And I didn’t realize that until I kept talking to homeowners who own homes over and over and could kind of take that emotional out of me.

[00:05:54] And then keep in mind, I’m an advisor and I’m strong with this, right? Like you said in someone your past, gotta listen [00:06:00] to. It’s okay. We all struggle with this. It’s not like because I’m a financial expert and more like I don’t have these emotional impulses. I absolutely do. So the book was really trying to first let, well know it’s okay to have those and be recognized that that’s your biggest challenge in this.

[00:06:16] You’ve got something really emotional that you want. And therefore you’re willing to overlook the facts. So what I try to do is bring in the emotional tie, make it relatable to have someone who’s supposed to be an expert, but is struggling with the exact same thing you’re gonna struggle with during your journey.

[00:06:32] And hopefully when you can recognize those emotional traps, you can then take a deeper breath and you can start to look at the facts. And the facts can hopefully suppress the emotional impulse that you have with it. So that was the whole reasoning behind the book.

[00:06:45] Bob Wheeler: I think that’s so great and for people out there listening saying, Well, I don’t live in Canada.

[00:06:49] Here’s the thing. The rules are always slightly different wherever you are, but the foundational stuff is the same wherever you go. We’re people, we’re humans. We have emotions, and [00:07:00] that plays into our financial choices anywhere in the world. One of the things that I wanna pull back to that you said, and I think this is so important, and people get annoyed with me sometimes when I say, You said your parents didn’t know the system.

[00:07:12] Right now, you don’t have to like the system. You don’t have to agree with the system. But if you don’t know the system, you can’t work the system. So I don’t love paying taxes, but if I don’t know the tax rules and where I can push and do things in a legal way, Then I’m just beholden to the system. So I think what you’re doing here is helping people understand, hey, this is the system.

[00:07:38] Good or bad, you don’t have to agree with it, but you need to understand it if you’re gonna try and navigate

[00:07:43] Brighton Gbarazia: it. Absolutely right, Bob. And that’s my whole thing, because when you grow in this financial game, a lot of the stuff is just, we don’t know the information, therefore we make decisions. Again, may seem right from our standpoint, but really it’s not the way the system is designed to [00:08:00] award people.

[00:08:01] Yeah, so that’s what I charted with the book is like, if you can understand how your mortgage gets approved, now you understand the mortgage approval system. Therefore, you can then figure out what behaviors are needed for you to benefit from it. Or you can realize that, hey, this. The way it’s set up actually doesn’t benefit me personally, and these are the behaviors I need to do to make sure that system functions the way that I would like it to function for myself.

[00:08:25] Because home ownership is one of these things where everyone talks about, but countless times you have conversation with people. And they’re struggling. And I go, Okay, like this is a topic that’s constantly being talked about, but I think what I try to do is take a different approach, which was I was saying people don’t understand how their mortgages get approved.

[00:08:44] They don’t understand what the bank is actually doing from their system standpoint. So therefore they go into whether to work with a mortgage broker. Or bank, they don’t understand the basics of the system. Therefore, an individual can steer you into [00:09:00] whatever way they want because you don’t have knowledge of that and you’re relying on that individual.

[00:09:05] So what I wanna do is give individual home owners say, Here’s the information. Here’s what the bank looks for, here’s why they’re asking for this. Therefore, when you work with some myself or any other mortgage broker or the bank, you are a position where you understand how the system should. The questions are better because you understand the system.

[00:09:25] What you’re looking for from the individual is different because you understand the system. If you don’t have an understanding of a system, you’re blind. Therefore you need someone to hold your hand and they could deleted you to just walk off the edge, right? And you would know it until you eventually fallen off.

[00:09:39] But if you understand the system, then you can be like, Whoa, okay, I want to go in this. And you can determine if that person’s actually direct you in the right way. That way you can watch when they’re going the wrong way and call them out on it, because I agree with you. Finance is just understand the system.

[00:09:57] My parents struggle not because they want [00:10:00] hard workers or they want intelligent. They just didn’t understand the system. And when you don’t understand the system, it’s like trying to move a rock up a hill. When you realize you actually don’t need to do that, you could just let the rock fall down, it’ll be fine, right?

[00:10:12] But if you don’t understand that, you just keep doing that behavior over and over cuz it seems like the right thing to do. So that’s, thankfully what I’ve been able to do is work in the financial industry. I take that information, I just give it to people in the straightforward way that’s relat. That doesn’t have the bank joking in on it.

[00:10:30] Our industry finds a lot of fancy terms with pick. I just try to be straightforward people and hopefully in the book people get that, that it’s not really a bank book, it’s just a person who happens to have some knowledge sharing that with you.

[00:10:43] Bob Wheeler: Absolutely. When you talk about knowing the system, and in the book you talk about mortgage poverty and I think a lot of times people over buy and then they forget about the $50,000 worth of furniture they have to refurnish the house with cuz the old furniture wasn’t working or they didn’t have any

[00:10:58] Right? Yeah. I sometimes [00:11:00] joke because clients will get in and go, I didn’t realize it was this much work. And I think sometimes other people will say, Buy a house. Buy a house. Just so you can share my pain. Right? Yeah. Like join the rollercoaster with the rest of us. Why shouldn’t you get to have a happy life?

[00:11:13] I’m stuck trying to pay this mortgage working weekends. I’m gonna make you share my pain.

[00:11:17] Brighton Gbarazia: That is so true, Bob. But that is so true.

[00:11:22] Bob Wheeler: and sort of like, Come on sucker. Yeah. There’s a lot more to. I think the other piece that you talk about emotionally, I was fortunate, somebody taught me this early because the first time I bought a car, I always wanted a red truck.

[00:11:35] So when somebody showed me a red truck, I didn’t care about the pro. I way overpaid until my grandparents stepped in and threatened to sue them because they just knew I wanted a red car. And I was like, Yeah, yeah, yeah. So when I first was looking at a house, they told me, Look, if it has a fireplace and you really want a fireplace, you just look at that and go, Oh, great.

[00:11:52] A fireplace, something I’m gonna have to clean. So that they don’t know they have you hooked. Even if inside you’re like, Oh my God, there’s a fireplace. You’re like, Uh, [00:12:00] fireplaces. Oh, I didn’t wanna spare bedroom. Right. You can’t exactly get overly excited because they know you’re hooked. Yeah. If you sit there and go, Oh my God, this is my dream house, you’ll pay.

[00:12:13] Absolutely.

[00:12:14] Brighton Gbarazia: And that’s the weird thing about, that’s what makes us human though, is that we have this emotional side of us. It’s really what makes us human. But when it comes to money, it’s the worst thing you want, because like you said, in a system. The great thing about money is it really doesn’t care.

[00:12:31] Your story, your background, what color, but it really doesn’t care. All it cares about is there’s certain things that it’s supposed to do. If you make good decision, it rewards you. If you make bad decisions, it just punishes you. It’s nothing to do with you individually or where you’re coming from or your story.

[00:12:47] So that emotional impulse that we have so many things I personally we’re all dealing with from, you know, where you grew up and things you’ve had to gone through. And sometimes you develop these emotional tags and you’re talking about the car. I have a car [00:13:00] story too. My first job, I started working on a telecommunication company in Canada here, just in high school.

[00:13:06] And it was the first minimum wage at that time was $6 or something like that. And I went from $6 to $11 and with my commiss. I was making some like $20 in university, $20. Right. And I was living at home still, so I had no expense. But my parent, my dad always bought these old cars and it drove me bonkers.

[00:13:24] Cause it was like, Dad, like, why don’t you buy a new car? Right. So of course me being this naive idiot. As a young person making all this money feeling good about myself, what do I wanna do? Yeah, buy a brand new car. .

[00:13:36] Bob Wheeler: Buy a brand new car.

[00:13:36] Brighton Gbarazia: Yeah, . Buy a brand new car. I took my dad in. I was so proud. I’m like, Oh, he must be so proud.

[00:13:42] Look at his son, his son. I’m gonna drive the neighborhood a brand new car. We’re gonna see that my -parents have raised a good kid and I’m doing well. And what I didn’t realize that time is A, it’s a depreciating asset B, that’s like $350 a month that I’m given away at my prime age, where if I put that money in [00:14:00] compound wise, I can make way more money, right?

[00:14:03] Till today, Bob, I have that car to remind me that . I’m like that. I have to have those triggers to remind me like this is what happens when you do things sometimes that in the moment they’re great, but. Was I doing it or show off? No, I was trying to show my parents. They did a good job. Right. And my way of doing that was getting that new vehicle that was the emotional driver for me.

[00:14:26] It really wasn’t about the car. I just wanted my parents to feel proud so other people could feel proud in front of other people. Right. But it was a poor financial decision. My dad was trying to tell me, You don’t need this. Right. I had no old car Nissan, but it kept breaking down, so I was just getting frustrated.

[00:14:42] My dad kept telling me, Just fix it. It’s cheaper for you to fix it than to have a car made for the next six years. And he was absolutely right, but at the time, my emotional driver was trying to make him proud, and I didn’t recognize that, that that’s what was driving me to get that car. And when it comes to mind, that’s really [00:15:00] it.

[00:15:00] I focus on trying to get people to understand what is it that’s driving you, because it’s not just you want the car, but why do you want the car? Figure that out. And then you may find out you don’t need the car. Right? Maybe what I know was just to tell my dad, Hey dad, I’m really proud of the way you’ve raised me.

[00:15:16] Thank you for everything you’ve done, and you know what? Someday, hopefully I can repay you back when you’re older and take. Maybe that’s all I need to do. Right. As opposed to spending $350 a month. But you live and learn, right? .

[00:15:28] Bob Wheeler: You live and learn. And often we use money instead of just having a real conversation.

[00:15:33] It’s easier to throw the money at it. Yes. Whether it’s a difficult one or just saying, I really love you. Sometimes easier to just throw out the money and not have to be that

[00:15:40] Brighton Gbarazia: vulnerable. Yeah. Then again, I dunno if my dad would, he’d probably come that Jerry, she’d be like, Why are you telling me to love me?

[00:15:47] It’s like probably like, What’s wrong with you? What’s wrong

[00:15:50] Bob Wheeler: with you? Yeah. Now, your dad gave you a couple of other pieces of advice He told you to avoid extreme positions. Mm-hmm. , and he said that you should spend more [00:16:00] time judging your own actions than judging other people’s. Yes. Was that something that came easy or were there some hard lessons where you might have taken an extreme position?

[00:16:11] Or spent time judging other people’s actions instead of your own.

[00:16:15] Brighton Gbarazia: Yeah, I think the extreme position was easy because I saw you growing up. You know, this is the thing I would say to people, like, we tend to judge people by what they do, but we judge ourself by what we say. Right? So my dad was very good. My parents behaviorally, like they were always doing the things that they were saying.

[00:16:33] So for the extreme position came as just my dad was doing that. He never was an extreme position person. He would have a conversation. We’d always have people at our house, and he would debate his position passionately, but never to an extra position Afterwards. He’d be the guy like, Hey, let’s hug it out.

[00:16:50] I see where you’re setting your point. I could take my position down. We could meet in the middle somewhere. So I saw that, and growing up, that’s kind of how I was, because that’s what I saw. I [00:17:00] didn’t know any different. Yeah. But I saw there was a lot of people who were very extreme in their positions and they couldn’t move.

[00:17:06] And I think what I saw my dad doing is I saw that if you take an extreme position, it becomes a part of you. And what I mean by that is when you take something that you truly believe in, that’s part of you, it’s hard to give that out because essentially you’re kind of killing yourself, right? So there’s very few things you take self a position out, which is maybe your family, someone’s gonna hurt.

[00:17:26] That may be a position where you say, I’m gonna take an extreme stand. But when it comes to life and just dealing with people, very few things require to take extreme. You can always find a middle ground somewhere, because at the end of the day, those positions are now gonna be a life and death situation.

[00:17:42] But if you build it up to be in that manner, you certainly will take that position for the second one. Regarding to judging myself. Yeah, that one’s I think is a life journey for all of us. Mm-hmm. , I think we all get caught where we realize, Oh man, you know, I was a little harsh there. I didn’t really understand the full facts.

[00:17:59] I didn’t understand this [00:18:00] person was going through this and I was judging a blah. So as I go through that in my life and I start to see, as you get older, they say you start to reflect more and you start to see how you also then make great decision. And what I try to do now is be more respect, like looking on my decision because I have a lot of work I need to work on.

[00:18:20] Right. And certainly the work that I need to work on myself is enough to keep me busy. I don’t have time to constant look at Bob and constantly judging him on every single thing. But I could help Bob out if he wants that. I need him some feedback. Yep. But my position isn’t to be spending. Belittle and Bob, because I have a lot of stuff I need to work on and it’ll get me busy, right for the rest of my life.

[00:18:41] So that’s the way I’ve kind of looked at it now, but it’s still a hard thing because as you go on, you make mistakes and you learn. But ultimately I’ve just learned to adopt that, which is I look more when I’m doing. And less about what others are doing, and I’m looking at others. I try to be more sympathetic in terms of how I judge it, because I [00:19:00] don’t know what that person’s going through or I don’t know what their background is.

[00:19:03] And most of it, I think forget that you may see an action from someone, but it’s weird because to really judge something properly and fairly, you need to know the whole story. So it’s weird for me to hear something about Bob. and get upset about it when I don’t really know your story. Right? Right. Like it’s weird.

[00:19:22] I’m judging you on some that I don’t have the full context on. That doesn’t mean your decision’s right or wrong, it just means some, I keep in mind like I don’t know Bob’s whole story, so should I give him a chance to tell me his life story? And most of the time when you speak to people and you have the chance to talk to him, There’s some remarkable that happens, which you find out they’re just human beings, right?

[00:19:42] They make mistakes, and then you are more sympathetic to that, which isn’t the saying that that’s okay, it’s just you’re more like, Oh, there’s a whole story human being here and let’s see what he can do next rather than what he did before. Whatever it is, right? Yeah,

[00:19:57] Bob Wheeler: absolutely. And when [00:20:00] you met your wife, or now that you’re with your wife, Yes.

[00:20:03] Do you have these kinds of conscious conversations? Were you on the same page? Did you know that immediately? Because the reason I’m asking is I’m also aware a lot of people, their parents might have. Thought don’t take extreme position, but they didn’t name it right? Yes. And so some people don’t know to pass on the rules cuz they didn’t know they were passed to them.

[00:20:23] And if you’re not having these intentional, conscious conversations, then some of that gets missed and some didn’t get passed on. So I’m wondering the kinds of conversations you have with your wife, cuz a lot of people. Don’t actually talk with their spouses. They talk at them .

[00:20:39] Brighton Gbarazia: You know what I think if forgive wife, we would say we’re opposite and we balance that way because mm-hmm.

[00:20:45] sometimes when you’re like me, I have this world utopia sense of it. Mm-hmm. , and then there’s this reality of, I have to, you know, my dad always said, there’s still a reality of the world, a human beings. Right, Right. So I think my wife helps me balance that out by bringing me a dose. [00:21:00] This is how the world is.

[00:21:01] But, and I balance her by saying, you can be so over the top on that side because it needs to be a middle happy. So she knows, in terms of how I grew up, she grew up differently than I did different experiences. She was born in Canada, I was born outside of Canada. So naturally there’s just, we have different way of how we saw the world, but a good thing with having, you know, being with different people.

[00:21:24] Is that you bring different experiences to you and you learn that you like, Oh, I thought this way, but I see someone else is doing it. Sound different. And that seems to be fine too. So maybe it’s not one or the other, it’s just preferences. So I wouldn’t say we set the diving table, Bob, and we’re talking all this.

[00:21:41] But I both say for me, I’m always talking about world offense and everything and she probably tunes me out. Cause after a while you just kind of enough. But I do break it up and I try to be more mindful and you have to write bomb. My parents didn’t name like my dad didn’t say. You know, as parents, it’s always the things we remember is [00:22:00] the soundbites they gave you.

[00:22:01] Right? You were driving the car and he said something and then all of a sudden you’re now like, Oh, this is what he was kind of meaning. Or maybe he said something when I was a kid and I took a one way, and then as an adult I realized that’s not what he was saying to all, like he was saying something different.

[00:22:15] Right. So I think I talk a lot about these things because I have a very different experience. I’m a kid who grew up in a refugee camp. My role at Sprints and the way I see things are completely. Whereas my wife has a different experience. But again, I can appreciate that because that goes sometimes in the world.

[00:22:31] It helps me not be too extreme in the sense of over positivity. Too much. Right. And then I can bring a little dose of extreme positivity in maybe sometimes where she’s not there. Cuz she’s kind of grew up in this system with, there’s a ton of extremism, there’s, people are taking different positions. I said, You just gotta find out happy medium for yourself.

[00:22:49] So no, I don’t talk about it at the dinner table ball, but she probably tunes me out cause she says me . It’s the .

[00:22:57] Bob Wheeler: He’s too over the top. .

[00:22:59] Brighton Gbarazia: Yeah. [00:23:00] You know I have a kid now. Well, and that’s kind of the things I try to. It’s be more purposeful and kind of just saying the things I grew up with and the values that I think are important, and he’ll make his own path wherever that is.

[00:23:12] But it’s just trying to be more purposeful when my conversation with, as he gets older, the things that I think are important. And again, hopefully he can figure that out because he’ll grow up in a different time than I did when he gets older. Yeah,

[00:23:25] Bob Wheeler: that’s the hope, right? To make it a little bit better going forward.

[00:23:28] Absolutely. Maybe this time the kid will listen to the parent. I don’t know. ,

[00:23:32] Brighton Gbarazia: I dunno. I heard it’s still just a folks telling now one, so we’ll see. ,

[00:23:39] Bob Wheeler: you mentioned the refugee camps and having a different experience growing up than your wife. Looking back at that and what I was reading, it sounded like for you, the transit.

[00:23:49] It sounded like that it wasn’t a difficult transition. You had friends there, you shared a space with people that you knew. Would you say that the refugee camps and [00:24:00] having to immigrate to another country because of the violence going on in the community where your parents grew up, was that probably harder for them or harder for you?

[00:24:09] And did you feel a lot of the energy or the trauma that they may have experienced in having to pick up and leave their entire. Life behind.

[00:24:20] Brighton Gbarazia: Yeah, I think it definitely was harder on them, but no doubt about it. And the great thing I would say when you’re a kid, and I think it’s the thing we struggle as become older.

[00:24:29] Kids just live in the moment. Yeah. Kids are not concerned about what comes next. They’re just like, Okay, I got my friends. I’m gonna go play around. And things are fantastic. As adults, we help for context and we understand there’s danger ahead. So we’re trying to balance being present, but also prepare ourself for whatever danger may come our way.

[00:24:47] So for me it was just, okay, I don’t really wanna move. Why is my parents moving me? This is stupid, but okay, I got some new friends. Great, I’m playing. No problem. I’m not aware of the reality that’s [00:25:00] happening behind me because they’re trying to shout to me. And being a kid, my brain isn’t that developed enough to understand?

[00:25:07] I knew something was wrong in a sense. Like I knew that my parents were running from something. I didn’t understand the significance of. Until I got here and I was a little bit older, and then I started thinking, oh my gosh, they moved from like where they were born. They left all their friends, everything.

[00:25:27] That’s when it started to hit me more and realize that was a huge, huge jump for them and to go to a country that no one speaks to a language, right? They have to learn something different. New credit system. That’s when I started to really appreciate their journey as I got older, because I then started to have greater context of what was happening and my brain could process it a little bit better.

[00:25:49] But as a kid, no, but as a kid, I was out there in the refugee camp. We had soccer that would play between the various villages and I would play soccer. To me, it was just like a different place [00:26:00] my parents moved to. I didn’t know we were really quote unquote refugees because my parents really didn’t. My life was more or less seemed normal.

[00:26:09] Just in a different spot, which sounds weird I hope, but from a kid’s perspective, like I just needed very basic things that I have friends, right? Yes. Was that being fed? My parents were feeding me and the environment thing changed for me. It was still in Africa, so it was still the same kind of people I was seeing.

[00:26:25] It wasn’t until I came to Canada, probably closer to like high school, and then I started to look back on and I went, Wow. Like what a journey for them to pick up and. And that’s when I really was really thankful for them cuz I know that’s not, I can’t imagine myself having to move from where my family grew up to another country I know no one and trying to start life.

[00:26:47] Bob Wheeler: Yeah. How important is being able to pivot? You share a story. You love soccer, You’re just talking about soccer, and you played soccer, and then your family friend pulled you aside, your sort of [00:27:00] adopted grandfather and said, Soccer’s not a real popular thing here in Canada. Think you need to go to basketball, and then you pivot.

[00:27:09] Yeah, a lot of people would dig in and go, No, no, no. So talk about the importance of

[00:27:15] Brighton Gbarazia: pivoting. I think in life sometimes you have these moments where it’s scary because usually when you’re pivoting, especially if you’re doing a huge pivot, it usually means you’re making a dramatic change in kind of how you’ve been doing and living your life.

[00:27:28] So for me as a kid, I love soccer. That’s what I grew up on. And my adopted grandparents, he pulled me aside and he had an honest convers. He understood the system and he understood where my parents were at, and he was telling me and said, I hope you can read and honestly understand what I’m saying to you.

[00:27:46] Your parents are not gonna be able to fund your education, but you actually need to go to school to understand this system. And he said that, I’ve done an assessment of where I think you can do this. And playing [00:28:00] soccer, I don’t believe will get you that because Canadians are not into soccer. Right. But I do know universities, they love basketball and their scholarships they offer, and you seem to have all the natural abilities to make this.

[00:28:14] But you know, it was also a leap for him because I’ve never touched a basketball. But he just picked that and he said, Go get it. That’s your challenge. Learn this game and if you learned it, I think you need some scholarship offers to Bango University so you can learn the system that your parents did not.

[00:28:31] And it was a difficult thing for me because like, first of all, I didn’t know what basketball is about. What is basketball? So then I started watching little videos. He signed me up for some cams and Bob, I was horrible. I didn’t know what I was doing. I remember, you know, basically I have to do now in basketball.

[00:28:47] I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t dribble. The ball was unfamiliar to me. I was used to using my feet and now I gotta use my hands. So it was just a weird thing to kind of learn. And this was grade seven, so I think I was around 15 when I made that [00:29:00] transition. So I’ve gone probably about four years before university comes up to go all in and get that scholarship offer.

[00:29:07] So to pivot though and make that decision. It’s really critical, but want to make that decision the next night. Hope won the book. I had to work. I had to go all in because learning something that I did not know. Right. And that meant that, you know, I had a basketball court down the street from me. I was there literally every day.

[00:29:25] I was dribbling every day in front of my yard and my neighbors probably got sick of hearing the ball bouncing around, but I knew what he was saying. I could read between what he was saying is like, this is your. If you don’t get this ticket, you may end up in the same position as your parents, so you have to get this ticket.

[00:29:43] And the great deal with my grandparents that he did was he invested his time. And I always tell people, the biggest gift you can get from someone is not so much the money. It’s when they’re willing to give up their time, because none of us know when the end comes for us. So, Bob, you are [00:30:00] giving up your time right now to do this interview with me.

[00:30:03] That’s so much more value than if you gave me $2,000 because the time for you is such an essential and price commodity because you don’t know what tomorrow may bring. Right? $2,000, even though I’ll give you 2000, hosted it, right? Cuz I know I’m gonna make 2000 tomorrow, right? That’s not a big deal for me.

[00:30:21] But timing wise, really, people don’t know that. So they’re giving up their. That’s really the critical and valuable thing, and that’s what he did is he would show up to all the camps. He can’t tell my high school games cause my parents couldn’t come cuz they were working and he really was there present with his time.

[00:30:39] And the good thing he did early on, because he is a business guide. He did the first two years of sponsoring my camp and then he told me he’s not doing anymore. And I was like, What do you mean? He’s like, You gotta figure out how to train. I’m not paying for your basketball. I, I give you two years of camp.

[00:30:55] Figure out how to get more training without my money. And he was always trying [00:31:00] to like move me ahead that way. And it was great cause I learned so much from him. That my parents didn’t know because they were just not in this system. He was, he’s like, These are the behaviors you need to learn because for you to survive in this system, you can be dependent on people.

[00:31:14] You’ve gotta figure out how to do it, and you gotta go get what you need. And it was really important. So, Pivot is important. Embrace it. It’s always scary. It’s easier when you’re younger, like I said, cuz when you’re younger your brain is just full of they what’s taken all the information. When you’re older, we just get trenched in our idea.

[00:31:32] But just remember when you were a kid, how easy it was for you to just change things and just try to be more like your kid is, get older in terms of your mindset. I build it. Don’t be a kid when you’re like 40, like you need to be an athlete, but be an adult in terms of how your mind, your flexibility with your mind.

[00:31:50] Be okay to pivot when you see that it’s the right thing for you to do. And then go all in and know you’re gonna have to work hard to get to wherever you’re trying to go.

[00:31:58] Bob Wheeler: So you said [00:32:00] learning the system, he helped you to understand you needed to learn the system and pivoting all those good things. Now that you know the system, what are some things that will help people?

[00:32:11] The banks don’t tell them. What are a couple things the banks don’t want you to know or won’t share with you when you’re trying to get a mortgage?

[00:32:18] Brighton Gbarazia: So the big thing I think most people forget is, this is, we’ve talked a little bit earlier in the interview, but the biggest thing you have to understand is it’s really difficult cause you have to understand the system.

[00:32:30] A principle residents. By that I mean you live in it, right? Like it’s your home, you live in it. If we’re talking about a principal resident, That is not an asset, right? You can cut it however way you want. That doesn’t mean it’s not something that you may want. There’s lots of things we want that are not assets that we get derive value out of it.

[00:32:49] But from a purely financial standpoint, when you’re making that argument with someone and a lot of friends, they get upset with me. I say, The minute you break up investment, you lose me. If [00:33:00] you wanna buy a home for a lifestyle need, I’m all ears that I can have a conversation with you. You really need to understand that.

[00:33:08] So you need to understand that the system is set up to make the homeowners believe that they have an investment, because really what they’re buying is a lifestyle. So you need to separate those two. If you’re buying a home as your principal resident, you are making a lifestyle purchased. That is okay.

[00:33:25] There’s nothing wrong with that. It means that you value that lifestyle over the return possibility that you may get on that investment side, and that’s totally fine, but right off the bat, you need to understand that’s what the banks are trying to confuse you on. They’re telling you that it’s a good investment when really you’re making a lifestyle purchase.

[00:33:43] The reason that’s critical is if you think you’re making an investment purchase. You normally would not spend more than the investment’s gonna return, right? However, if you’re making a lifestyle purchase, you will, right? Yeah. So they’re telling you that it’s a good investment, but [00:34:00] really you’re making a lifestyle purchase.

[00:34:01] You need to distinguish those two. The second thing is you need to really understand credit. Credit is how the world works nowadays. Everyone has credit. No one really has, per se, cash on hand. A good business person should learn how to utilize credit for the future. So most people with the banks, the banks doesn’t really spend enough time teaching you that because what they want to do is give you the credit and receive the income on the backhand, right?

[00:34:29] This is why I go to that first point. Remember, it’s an investment for the bank. Because they get someone in the home and then you pay them an income stream. They take that income stream and they sell it to other investors who need income stream. So it’s not an investment for you as the homeowner. It’s an investment for the bank.

[00:34:47] However, if you understand credit, what you can do is when you buy your home. You can leverage that credit to other things that might be investment. For example, when you pay off your home, which is the idea. I dunno if that’s [00:35:00] possible nowadays. I dunno how it is for your Bob, but in Vancouver it’s crazy. It seems like no one’s paid off their home anymore.

[00:35:05] That’s kind of a gone dream. But as you get older, you’re paying down your mortgage. Yet where you could do them by understanding credit is you can move that equity. Per se, and again, I’m not giving financial advice here. I’m just topping concepts here. Mm-hmm. . And you can take that credit and say invest it in the market in Canada here.

[00:35:23] When you do that, you actually then can invest, well, asset of the stock market, whatever it is, but then that money can be deductible on the backend for you now. So you’ve taken asset that’s just equity or doing nothing and you bought an asset that will potentially pay you an income should immediately, and the.

[00:35:40] And you have the possibility of writing off those costs and expenses related to asset. So credit is so important the generation we’re in, and if you don’t understand credit and you’re still thinking in your parents’ day of cash, that’s important. But you really need to understand this new world of credit utilization [00:36:00] credit, leverage in and be smart about it and understand that if you’re the one paying someone a balance by that, paying credit to.

[00:36:09] You don’t have an asset. Someone’s making money off you, so you want to learn a lot of things where you are receiving that income stream and not paying out that income stream. That’s a long winded answer, Bob, so . No,

[00:36:20] Bob Wheeler: that’s all right. You know what it makes me think of though, when people talk about it being an asset, which I agree with you, it’s not an asset.

[00:36:26] But I have this happen a lot with my tax clients. They’ll sell their house and they’ll come to me and they’ll go, Bob, I think I’m gonna owe a whole bunch of taxes on the sale of my house, and I’m in California, so I’m selling it for a million dollars. What am I gonna owe? I’m like, What did you pay for it?

[00:36:42] Oh, well, I paid 800,000 and we spent 500,000 on a new kitchen and a new bathroom, and we put a pool. I’m like, You lost money ? And they’re like, What? No, no. You spent one point. , you’re getting 1 [00:37:00] million and you’re not even factoring closing costs, right? So many clients, yes. We have this conversation where they’re like, No, no, no.

[00:37:06] I’m gonna owe all this money. I’m like, No, you didn’t make any money. . You’re negative. And that’s not a write off .

[00:37:13] Brighton Gbarazia: No. Yeah. You know, it goes back to the point earlier where you said people try to get you to do things because they’re in misery. NYU to be just as miserable as they are. To me. That’s the thing I didn’t understand, but like you’re right Bob.

[00:37:28] And that’s before you, in fact, like the operating stuff, they’ve been taken care of. That’s right. The taxes. And so I’m not saying that you can’t make money by buying a principal residence. Sure. I’m just saying that we debate this. It needs to be more honest and clearer so people understand. But I think there’s a lot of people and a lot of different parties that have a vested interest in this, and it gets clouded and the conversation is always, well, it goes up in value.

[00:37:54] And I’m going, I tell her, You think you made money? What do you think someone did? Who was an [00:38:00] investor who bought a home? Right. To the doubt and hasn’t pan into law quotes like they’re made money. Right. And I always tell homeowners real estate is made up of two kinds of returns, capital appreciation, and.

[00:38:13] As a homeowner, you only have access to one, right? Most of the time, soon. You don’t have like a basement suite or something like that, but, and then furthermore, you’re not in control of that. You rely on what the market does. You rely on the Federal Reserve raising rates or decreasing rates like you’re not in control of your investment.

[00:38:31] All you are is just on a ride. And sometimes it works out for you and sometimes it doesn’t. And doin, that’s not investment. I don’t want to be an investment. I have no control over what happens, rather than me just being a rollercoaster and hoping that by the time I’m retire, it’s gone up in value. So it’s difficult.

[00:38:49] And Canada, in my book, 60% of us are homeowners. You’re not gonna really win a debate by telling someone that, Hey, your home is that asset. You’re just not going to . Yeah. But [00:39:00] you know, and I know when you break down the numbers, it’s not as pretty as they make it out to be. It’s just not right.

[00:39:06] Bob Wheeler: It’s just not.

[00:39:07] Principle residence is an emotional purchase. A rental property investment is a financial purchase. Yes. And when you evaluate rental properties, you’re actually looking at the value and the return versus I have a fireplace .

[00:39:22] Brighton Gbarazia: You know, that’s just it. And again, like I said, that’s okay. If you want to have a lifestyle purchase, that’s totally fine.

[00:39:30] Yeah. Maybe you grow up in that neighborhood and you wanna stay. There’s nothing wrong with that. Don’t feel guilty about. It’s just don’t let someone else convince you that you make a lifestyle purchase and tell you that it’s an investment purchase. It’s not right, because if someone’s telling me to buy an investment, like you said, if it’s a rental property, there’s metrics I have, and if those metrics are outside, Sorry, I can’t buy that.

[00:39:53] Like I’m not gonna make any money on it. That’s right. However, if it’s a home from like Kid Good School District or whatever, things [00:40:00] that I’m coming up with that it’s important to me, close to my parents, I don’t really have a set number as long as gonna qualify for it. Exactly. And then I’ll think about the consequences later on.

[00:40:11] So that’s why I try to hopefully come across is just like distinguish those two things and then if it is a lifestyle purchase, understand how the banks qualify you, so then you understand the system and you can make sure that even with a lifestyle purchase, it’s the type of purchase that works for you.

[00:40:30] And the reason I say lifestyle purchase is because once you have your home, it’s like buying a car. Once you have a car, after a week, the new car smell goes away, right? And you realize it’s just a transportation vehicle, right? And you realize whether it’s a Kia, a bmw, they all do the exact same thing, right?

[00:40:48] A home is just shelter. That’s all it is to cover. Put over over your. And you have to understand that what makes life enjoyable is in the shelter. It’s the other things you can do. Spending time with your [00:41:00] family, traveling. Same for retirement. Having options to go out for dinner. And if you have a roof for rehab because someone told you it’s a great investment, but you can’t do any of those things and really your personal lifestyle, ores, oh, you’re gonna hate that investment and you’re gonna have a horrible lifestyle at the same time.

[00:41:16] So it’s distinction about those two. And understanding basic rules like this, and this works for both US and Canada. The banks will take your girls income and they will qualify you for the mortgage of note, yet they expect you to make the payment back to them based on your net income. So right off the bat, if you get approved from anyone and it’s a 300 K law and you don’t do any kind of assessment, You are overleveraged overqualified.

[00:41:46] By default you are because they’ve taken an income that is not realistic as to what you actually bring home and qualified you on, and then they expect you to make the payment back right on less income. Like that just seems bizarre. [00:42:00] Right, but, but again, if you don’t work with the right professional or you don’t understand the information and you’re emotionally invested, of course, as long as it’s 300 K and you make 120 K and you take that loan and you don’t understand that, wait a minute, they’re gonna ask me to pay that back on the hundred K, actually get back after taxing everything else, why would I take that amount?

[00:42:20] That’s not what I actually have at the end of the day.

[00:42:24] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. Lot of factors. Lot of factors. Well, Brighton, we are at the fast five. We are at the fast five, brought to you by Acorns. Acorns, where you can invest, spare, change bank, Smarters, say for retirement and more. For more information about Acorns, click on the link in the show notes.

[00:42:42] All right, so Brighton, we’re gonna just sort of jump in top of mind. What do you think the number one habit of the wealthy is? They’re sp.

[00:42:54] Brighton Gbarazia: No, I, For a better way, let me better way of saying that. Frugal. Yeah. They’re very [00:43:00] frugal and they track everything. And this is coming from someone who’s dealt with clients who have had a million dollars in the bank. They track everything. They know it, everything coming in, everything going out. Yeah. I said St you, but I’m being appreci.

[00:43:13] But they’re just very diligent to track things.

[00:43:17] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. Has having money changed your outlook on the.

[00:43:22] Brighton Gbarazia: Thankfully, No it hasn’t. So I want to keep it that way, .

[00:43:27] Bob Wheeler: Yeah, absolutely. What’s something that you’ll splurge on no matter what, Food and

[00:43:33] Brighton Gbarazia: travel? Food comes first and then if I don’t have any leftover, then traveling, obviously that’s, Then you

[00:43:39] Bob Wheeler: can travel and go somewhere else and find it.

[00:43:41] Exactly. , what’s your favorite thing about your job? About what you do?

[00:43:47] Brighton Gbarazia: I get to meet different people in different situation and talk to them. I think it’s great. Just meet people I, you know, they have unique stories, so I love just interact with people and hear their story and being part of that. It’s.

[00:43:58] Bob Wheeler: That’s cool. [00:44:00] What’s the one thing our listeners can start doing today in order to get home ownership sooner rather than later?

[00:44:07] Brighton Gbarazia: Hmm. That’s a tricky one, Bob, because Depends your market, I mean. Mm-hmm. , I wrote a book on home ownership, but some markets. The traditional advice, I would say here, where’s an affordable market?

[00:44:17] I would say save up, right? Obviously cuz you need to save up to get the home. But I’m gonna take a different approach. I think if you’re in a high priced market, then this may sound weird coming from someone who works, you know, makes a living from broker claim here. Home ownership does not have to define who you are.

[00:44:35] So remember, it’s a shelter game. If the system has changed, where the way in which your parents. It’s no longer applicable to you. It’s okay to change. That’s a very definition of being like adapted. You don’t have to keep making the same decisions when the environment around you has changed dramatically.

[00:44:56] So that’s what I would say is just home ownership does not have to define who you [00:45:00] are, it’s just shelter, and you can get shelters in many other forms. Does it have to be co-ownership? Yeah.

[00:45:07] Bob Wheeler: Absolut. Well, we had our m and m moment, our sweet spot, Money and motivation. I’m wondering if you have a practical tip or a piece of wealth wisdom you could share with our listeners, something that’s worked for you.

[00:45:19] Brighton Gbarazia: Just keep going. Write your goals down. I know you hear that a lot, but it really does. You have to write ’em down because what happens is you think keep yourself accountable to it. A lot of things I’m doing, I wrote ’em down and I go back every year that checkup because if you write something down, now you’ve gotta go.

[00:45:35] If you just say in your. You can light yourself off the hook cuz you didn’t write it down. So write your goals down and know that you always have challenge in life. Like that’s just being human, but you get one shot at this. So don’t be afraid to fail. Fail many times it’s just learning And then keep moving forward and find your happy space.

[00:45:56] And yeah, just keep moving forward. .

[00:45:59] Bob Wheeler: Awesome, [00:46:00] awesome, awesome. Well, Brighton, this has been a great conversation. I love that you talked about being purpose. I hear a lot of gratitude. We didn’t talk about it a lot, but just really the appreciation for your parents and people that came in. And I know some of this I read and we didn’t talk about, but how many people came in and helped guide you along?

[00:46:19] And so that being able to see that we don’t do it on our own, that lots of little angels, you know, beneficiaries that come in and help guide us and help get us to where we’re going. I really appreciated having this conversation and you sharing that like you’ve made mistakes probably still make mistakes, right?

[00:46:38] Absolutely. That we’re all in this process of learning and like we get one shot. So make it worth your while. That’s right. Doesn’t have to be painful. Life can be incredibly joyful. Right. And where can people find you Online and in social?

[00:46:51] Brighton Gbarazia: I’m on LinkedIn, so if you search my name, Brighton naia, but here’s your ways just to go to website, ww dot wealth marathon.com, and [00:47:00] then from there you can access all my socials and reading the articles on the website as well.

[00:47:05] Bob Wheeler: Well, awesome. We will put that in the show notes. Brighton, it’s been

[00:47:08] Brighton Gbarazia: wonderful. Yeah, thank you Bob. This has been awesome. I love it. It’s just conversation, so keep up the good work. Like I said, keep telling people that emotional, it’s a trap, so we gotta figure out how to get. It

[00:47:19] Bob Wheeler: is a trap. It is a trap. Do you have a copy of your book?

[00:47:22] Can you hold that up? Show us your book.

[00:47:24] Brighton Gbarazia: Oh, sure. Let me give a sec. I’ll just grab it behind me here. . Yeah, so this is the book here and it’s on Amazon. If you like it, let me know and if anyone needs any help or anything, again, my contact’s on there, so feel free to email me. Happy to help out. As Bob alluded in the boat, I’m a firm believer that we all need angels, so I’m happy to help out if I can.

[00:47:45] If I can hope, I’ll direct you to someone who. Great.

[00:47:48] Bob Wheeler: Well, Brighton, it’s been amazing. It’s been a great conversation. I hope people will check out your book, read your story, learn about why you like half marathons and why. Check out your book, Read your story, Learn about [00:48:00] why you like half marathons and why running a marathon.

[00:48:02] It’s like trying to create wealth. There’s a lot of great stuff in there. Love what you’re doing and thank

[00:48:08] Brighton Gbarazia: you so much. No, thank you both. Thanks for the opportunity and again, keep up the good work. Awesome podcasts.

[00:48:21] Bob Wheeler: We hope you enjoyed this episode. Did you learn something new about your relationship to money today? Maybe you have a friend who has some financial blocks or beliefs that are holding them back. Please share this podcast so they too can get off the rollercoaster Ride of financial fears and journey towards financial freedom.

[00:48:37] To learn how to have a healthy relationship with money, visit the money nerve.com. That’s nerve not nerd. We’ll be back next week with another perspective on money and the emotions that bind us.[00:49:00]

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