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Christine DePaepe, VP of Mortgage Lending/203k Division Manager, IL - Chicago River North

Christine DePaepe

VP of Mortgage Lending/203k Division Manager
NMLS ID # 170137

Phone: (312) 379-3542

Cell: (773) 848-4144

Fax: (773) 516-6724

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About Me

  • Actively involved in the mortgage industry since 1996.

  • Over the course of a 15 year career, has completed more than 2,000 loan transactions ”“ from FHA, VA, 203k, commercial, jumbo, super jumbo, and residential homes, condos, and townhomes ”“ totaling over $600,000,000 in loan value.

  • Noted as one of the first 203k specialists in the Chicago area.

  • A recent accolade by Chicago Sun Times’ nationally syndicated columnist, Terry Savage, highlighted Chris’s overall expertise in the industry as well as her in-depth knowledge of Fannie Mae’s DU Refi Plus and Freddie Mac’s Open Access refinance programs.

  • Experience with short sales, Real Estate Owned/Bank Owned properties, and City of Chicago programs for first time or repeat buyers.

  • Provides an intricate understanding of the mortgage industry ”“ Her know-how and devotion along with her diligence in educating buyers to a level of comfort and understanding, make her one of the most highly regarded consultants in the area.

  • Graduate of Rosary College in River Forest with a degree in Business and DePaul University with an MBA in Finance.

Loan Officer Interview Q&A's

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I've been actively involved in the mortgage industry since 1996 and have the experience and knowledge with a variety of loan programs such as FHA, VA, TaxSmart, Chicago Public Schools Teacher and first time home buyers. I am also a 203k rehab loan specialist and enjoy educating other loan officers, Realtors and clients about this truly amazing and timely loan product and how it can turn an ordinary house into a dream home. Purchasing a home is an exciting time in a person's life and educating the borrower and Realtor is critical to the success of purchasing a home. Even though it can be a stressful and long process, it is my goal to make the home loan process as painless as possible so that my clients are armed with the right information and we can get to the closing table a quickly and efficiently as possible.

Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Many borrowers that I have worked with are not familiar with the 203k rehab loan. This is a great loan program for home additions, estate sales, outdated properties, or foreclosed properties that need major or minor repairs. You can use this product on a purchase or a refinance and it allows for rehab work to be included in the loan. There are two types of 203k loans - A Full or Streamline. A Full 203k requires a minimum of $5,000 worth of work and an FHA certified consultant must manage the project along with a General Contractor. All work must start within 30 days of closing and be completed within six months. The property must be the primary residence/owner occupied. A complete rehab of the property can be done as long as the entire foundation system remains in place. It can also be used to convert or de-convert multi-unit dwellings. A Streamline 203k must meet many of the same requirements, but no structural work to the property can be completed, such as moving of staircases or load barring walls. For more information about how a 203k rehab loan works and requirements to qualify for, please contact me directly to discuss.

What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
"Low down payments are a thing of the past" - While it is true that "no money down" loans are restricted to VA loans with full entitlement, FHA loans have down payments starting at 3.5% and also allow gifted funds from family members to help cover the down payment. "I've purchased a home/property before so the loan process should be fast and easy." - While you may be an experienced buyer working with an experienced lender, the mortgage industry has changed a lot over the past five years and there are many more lending guidelines and regulations in place these days. Many documents need to be provided up front and verified again before closing. Sometimes there are unforeseen bumps in the road that arise during the underwriting process. The underwriting department needs to again verify all of the information in your file to meet lending guidelines. If they ask you to submit more documents to justify your information, it is important to provide it to them in a timely manner. Also, for loan amounts over $417,000, the lending guidelines are much tighter now. In the past jumbo loan borrowers did not need to provide much information on a loan application. This is a 360 degree turnaround and jumbo loans go through much more scrutiny now. "I had a bankruptcy, short sale, or deed in lieu and I need an excellent credit score of 800 or more to qualify for a home loan." - Not exactly. The higher your credit score, the more attractive you are to a lender, but a typical qualifying credit score for a loan is 640. But remember, your credit score also affects the interest rate you qualify for, so be sure to check your credit report for accuracy. Also, if you had a bankruptcy you can qualify for a home loan two years after the discharge, and for a short sale or deed in lieu it is just three years after the date of the short sale.

Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I am a life-long Chicagoan - born and raised on the North Side and have never strayed far from the Windy City. I graduated from Rosary College in River Forest with a degree in Business and then went on to DePaul University where I earned an MBA in Finance. I love working with numbers so my Master's in Finance is put to good use when determining what loan programs best meet my client's individual financing needs. I am an active member of the Women's Council of Realtors, Professional Women's Club of Chicago and Des Plaines Chamber of Commerce. In my free time, I enjoy all things Chicago - cheering on our professional and college sports teams, raising funds for local charity organizations, boating and water sports on Lake Michigan, and spending time with my family.

Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I love to wake surf and cook. If I wasn't in the mortgage business it would my dream job to be a professional chef.

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