How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the business for over 15 years. I was inspired by my love of being an entrepreneur and working with other business owners and those that wanted to constantly better themselves. This is the first mortgage company I've ever been at that constantly challenges its people and themselves to be better!
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical client is one who is appreciative of the expertise that our company brings to the table and just wants the transaction handled with no worries. They typically come to me because another company has turned them down or can't figure out their income or they have been around and need a solution provider. Our goal is to provide a fast and efficient closing and to deliver results and a client for life.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
We begin with the End in Mind. In this landscape of lending, a lot of rookies start out quoting rates and try to be the Kmart of the industry. We pride ourselves on gathering ALL the appropriate documentation so we can make sure the loan can be funded first, match it up with the best investors to ensure a smooth closing and then walk the client through the option or sometimes the only option that is available and then work diligently to close quickly.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
Over 15 years, I was in the President's Circle of Excellence at US Bank for being a top performer as a Sales Manager.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
When obtaining a fixed rate mortgage, some of the pros are the stability of knowing that your monthly principle and interest payment will not change from the time you close on your loan, one of the negatives is that the average person only keeps their loan about 4 years, so you can sometimes pay for the stability and never use it. One of the advantages of an Adjustable mortgage is that your initial monthly payment can be less and you will pay less in interest, but if rates change at the end of your fixed portion, you could be subject to an increase.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I feel like in today's day and age of lending, there is no such thing as an easy deal. There are more documents that are required than in the most recent history and sometimes it's just a matter of setting the clients expectations appropriately. I did get a client who was self employed who went to a large local credit union in town and they told the client they were approved in a few weeks, the client went out and shopped for a house in a competitive market situation, they had their earnest money at risk, and the large local credit union told them that they couldn't use their income they had disclosed, the client had less than 3 weeks to close and I had to pick up the ball and start running. Ordering a new appraisal, re-structuring the loan and getting all the appropriate documents to back up what the client's particular situation was and making sure all the i's were dotted and t's crossed. Especially when it came to the client's EXACT income, debt ratios were tight and it had to be perfect. WE closed the deal right on time and even had an extra 24 hours to spare. I love the thrill of that sometimes! But you have to have clients that are well aware of what is expected of them and that they must run with you and not against you. When we work together anything is possible is what I've learned.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
It's never too early to get the process started, the worse thing you can do is wait until you actually find a house you like, only to find out that you don't qualify for it or that you now have to scramble to get and create all the documents needed. What can ensure that we get you into the best program and can lock in at a good time is to be 100% honest with your lender, we are not here to judge people's spending habits or what they do with their money, we are here to simply get them into the home of their choosing and do it with the least amount of hassle, so they can focus on their families, their careers and enjoy the other things in life. I'd say you are better off working with a lender that is passionate about what they do and is excited to help you. I'm not saying you can't shop, but the worse thing in the world I've seen is the clients that shop a deal all the way to closing only to have it fall apart or actually miss out on rate or program that went away. You can't expect a mortgage company to commit to you 100% if you can't commit to them.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Our Opportunity Plus Mortgage Program. It allows for lower down payment, higher loan to value on multi-family units and standard conventional products. Most Real Estate agents will not even have a clue about this product. A 1 unit purchase allows for 100% to be a gift. It is only for a primary residence only. On the multi-family units, you can also use the rental income where as on some rental property purchases you cannot unless you have been a landlord already.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
When I started in the late 90s, it was all about fast appreciation, massive demand and pretty lackadaisical guidelines. The barriers to entry into our industry were virtually non existent and most loan officers were nothing more than order takers, which is unfortunately what you see at most local banks today. Now back in the day, any rookie could close deals, they were just there to quote you the lowest rate possible to try and get you in the door and then take whatever information you wanted to give them and they could make it work. Unfortunately that is not the case, you have to almost work backwards now. You have to research the investor and the back end to ensure that the loan you put together on the front end will actually close and can be delivered by a certain date. Although it is more difficult to get loans done today than in the past, it is the right way to do loans so that all parties are protected. It prevents the fly by night operations from setting up shop, trying to get your business and then closing up shop before anyone knows what happened.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Trying to alter the documentation that is requested. Often clients live in the past and they think that when a company requests all pages of the bank statements, they only mean the front side, or the odd pages. Unfortunately in today's lending, whatever the lenders ask for, they typically need it provided exactly the way they ask for it, with no alterations or modifications in the process or paperwork. Believe me if we don't need it, we will try not to ask for it, but sometimes we ask for it and sometimes won't need it...Which is better than not asking for it and needing it.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
That it's easier than you think
That it's harder than you think
That you can get the best rates without having to pay for it one way or another
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?
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Attend one of our first time home buyers classes. We typically do them every other month.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Trust your lender and provide all the documentation required. I always tell clients, "let me be your priest", I need to know everything about your situation so that we can close on time.
Are you active in any local associations or community groups, and at what level? What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve?
I am a proud board member of the Northshore Schools Foundation, I am also on the local Planning Commission, and the Parks and Recreation Board that hosts multiple events in our community. I helped create the PAWS patrol at my children's elementary school and was a past PTA President
Are you active in any fundraising organizations? What goals and/or success have you helped them achieve?
Northshore Schools Foundation - I not only volunteer my time, but my money as well. We sponsor multiple events throughout the school year, including our annual luncheon, winewalk, milkwalk, All in for Kids campaign, etc., etc.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I'm originally from Vancouver, WA where I spend time at least once a month to visit family, friends, etc. I went to Fort Vancouver High School and Graduated from the University of WA. We have multiple Facebook group pages if you are interested! My mother is from the Philippines and I have grown up around that culture and I'm proud to call Pinoy's my family. I have even lived there for a period of my life and I enjoy visiting.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I think I'm just a deal junkie, I love taking a client from start to finish and getting the deal done on time or early and feeling like no one else could have done that deal the way we did it from top to bottom. I also enjoy the relationships that you can develop when you are helping clients with what could be their largest purchase in their families history. I enjoy families that have kids and may be moving into their first home or upgrading to a larger home. I have always been a kid at heart, and I think it's just special when you have a place that you can truly call your own.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I love SPORTS, especially playing basketball, watching basketball, or playing football and watching football. I grew up playing basketball my whole life and although I'm not in as good a shape as I once was, I still play a couple times a week. I was also a Sonics season ticket holder for a number of years with some dear friends and most recently a blazer season ticket holder, so I'd like to think that I put my money where my mouth is. We have also been Seahawk season ticket holders since 2004 #GOHAWKS. I really enjoy hanging with the family, going out to eat, but the reality is, no matter where we go, we always have fun. Life is too short to get upset by the little things and I just think that if you live your life with an attitude of gratitude, there is no limit to what you can accomplish or the lives you can touch. You are only on this earth for a short period of time and all that you will be remembered for is the relationships you have and build and how you made people feel.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I like wearing sweater vests and people like to make fun of that I guess. I don't mind being the center of attention, just not all the time. I absolutely just love to make people laugh, be sarcastic and just not take myself too seriously, nor should you!