How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I\'ve been in the mortgage industry for 19 years (Since 1993). I started at the age of 16 by working for my family, as they owned their own mortgage company.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
We have a wide range of customer from first time homebuyers to seasoned homeowners. The typical questions I receive have to do with how to best finance the property for their specific needs. Of course we touch on how competitive the rate and fee structure will be for them, but we can quickly get past that. Allowing us to focus on their long and short term goals while matching the financing up with their comfort level.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
First step is to listen to their needs, then focus on the specifics of what they are looking for....at the same time provide advice on options they may or may not know about.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
The pros for a fixed rate mortgage are simple. The rate will never change, so there\'s peace of mind that a borrower doesn\'t need to or isn\'t forced to refinance or sell to avoid the rate adjusting. The cons of having a fixed rate would be targeted to a specific type of client. Fixed rates are typically higher than ARM\'s. If a client moves often either through employment/relocation or other factors, it might make more sense to look at a fixed period ARM to obtain the rate savings that option could afford a client.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
My advice to first time home buyers is to put less focus on Rate and Fees, which we all know are very important, but focus on education of what types of mortgages are going to be the best suited for their individual scenarios. Far to often lenders look to put clients into a specific loan that is a good option, but not the best option for them.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Lender Paid Mortgage insurance or negotiating the seller to buyout the mortgage insurance are good options for borrowers to look at, but are seldom mentioned or used by most loan officers.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The industry seems to have cycled back to the days when I started. Full documentation is required, showing income to support payment, and assets to close. The difference is more government oversight in the areas of appraisal, compliance, and documentation of assets. These are a little more extreme that when I started, and I don\'t anticipate these changing anytime soon. The good news is we have adapted to the needs of the industry and can educate our clients on what to expect.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
I find that most clients find the lack of common sense being used in the industry to be the most difficult. We help them through it by setting expectations for the process up front and explaining in detail why a specific requirement or document is needed.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Provide all the necessary documents upfront and put their financials on lock down (don\'t obtain new credit, don\'t move money all over, and let us know if there is a job change in the near future). Common sense is that you would move money around to prepare for a closing, but the idea is to check in with the loan officer or staff before doing so to make sure we are all on the same page and avoid last minute documentation requirements/fire drills
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in Streamwood with my parents and younger brother. On the weekends, I also spent time with my grandparents who owned a 2 flat in Chicago. So growing up I\'ve had the exposure to City and suburban living.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Creating a new friendship with a client that\'s built through the process. The trust and relationship that has been earned through out the process is what I enjoy most. Knowing I care, and being their go to person is important as well.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Spending time with my family is at the top of the list. Whether it\'s going to the movies, throwing a football around, games, or taking them to their variance activities definitely keeps my wife and I on our toes.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Along with being a mortgage banker, I have a black belt in Hapkido, enjoy working out, playing video games (yes, I\'m a gamer), and most of all being with family.