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Derek Lave

VP of Mortgage Lending
585 Stewart Avenue, Suite L-90, Garden City, NY 11530
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NMLS: 130846
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Derek interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
Since 2005 and my love for finance and helping others was my driving passion behind it.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
People looking to purchase a home. Typical questions are about the rates, process and what products or grants exist
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I ask them what their financial goals are, how long do they plan on staying. What payment makes them feel better, fixed rate or lower interest that will change later?
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
Top producer with Chase 5 years, most closed purchase units Suffolk county for Chase 2015, top ten customer satisfaction with Chase
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
Pros are always knowing what the mortgage payment will be before taxes and insurance, a steady payment is sometimes what is best- cons are higher interest rate to start and if you’re not staying more then a certain number of years the ARM may be the wiser choice
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
When Sandy hit long island the refinances that were set to close all had to have an inspection done before to ensure there wasn’t damage to the home after the storm. When being inspected one of my homes had the siding blown off. My borrowers were away and would be returning specifically to close the loan. So, to close on time, I went home, changed clothes and fixed the siding myself…. Loan closed no issues.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Communication make the stress fade away so make sure you ask your questions and ask them often. If your lender, realtor or attorney doesn’t give you access to them enough for you to feel comfortable change that person out for someone who will. Nothing is worse then feeling lost during one of the happiest times in your life.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
3% down conventional loans are largely underutilized. Most people think that FHA is the only way to go if you don’t have 20% down.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
When I first started doing this you didn’t need to prove your income to qualify and now you need to show everything. I expect this to stay the same for some time until they realize sometimes common sense needs to come into play.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Documentation and answering questions they feel are unnecessary are my biggest complaints. I help them by explaining why it’s needed and the knowledge of “WHY” helps them realize its not that big of an issue. Sometimes setting the expectation the right way and resetting them during the loan is all it takes.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
People assume having great credit makes a loan easier or with less paperwork. People assume because they bank with the mortgage company they will be approved easier or based off past payment history with that bank. People think that you must put 20% down to do a conventional loan otherwise its FHA
What 2 or 3 mobile apps would you recommend for home buyers or house hunters, and why? What Smart Apps do you recommend your customers use for the house hunting process?
Karl’s Mortgage calculator because it’s a great way to see what the payment would be and give an amortization schedule. Coldwell Banker app because it’s a great way to link up with the agent and get accurate info on the listings and always the Guaranteed Rate app since it's a good way to get approved.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
The best resource is your loan officer. Constantly communicating, asking questions and talk through the steps will make the process go smoothly. There is no such thing as a bad question only the bad idea of not asking the question
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Be prepared, talk through the process before it happens with the loan officer. Knowing what’s coming or what could happen makes it easier to overcome any issues. Also, keep a copy of every document you’ve sent in in a file ready to go in case its needed again. Sometimes things aren’t clear when faxed over or in the digital age we live in sometimes files get corrupt and can’t open. Having everything handy will eliminate stress of having to hunt paperwork down again.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
. I grew up in Suffolk county from second grade on, attended Suffolk Community College
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Knowing my buyers have been fully educated so their decision was the best possible for their needs and goals. I also enjoy being at the closing and seeing their face when the keys are handed over
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Coaching my younger daughter soccer team, going to the beach or just taking a drive in my jeep with the doors off and the wind blowing and making my kids smile
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I have helped deliver livestock, farmed on long island and I learned how to drive on a tractor when I was about 13.

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