How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
23 years. I got into the business through a family recommendation. I majored in finance in school and decided to give this a try.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I have the full gamut of buyers. The majority tend to be first-time buyers.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
A lot of buyers are unsure of what they need or how the mortgage process works. I take to the time to ask questions and set the proper expectations. I walk them through the entire process educating them so they understand everything from start to finish.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
Fixed rates give you long term stability. ARMs can be advantageous to a borrower who may only be in their home for short time by giving them additional savings over a term of 5, 7 or 10 years.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Get pre-approved before you start shopping. This is true not only for first-time buyers, but trade-up as well. This is the best road map to home ownership. It will set all the expectations upfront so you know exactly what you can afford, how much you will and uncover any surprises before you find a home.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
FHA is still a great mortgage to consider. The fact that HUD lowered the mortgage insurance can make it more affordable. FHA may also give a borrower more purchasing power.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The industry has gone full circle. We went from needing 5% or more for down payment and having to document everything to no-money down programs with no documentation back to a happy medium of needing to document your financial situation. The industry today has moved back to a very common-sense approach to lending.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The time frame. I stress how important it is to have all of their financial documentation when we meet.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
Despite what you hear, you do not need a lot of money for down payment. The mortgage process is not as difficult as you may think. The underlying qualification criteria have not changed, you need an employment history, good credit and some savings.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Ask questions and have all your financial documents in order.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in the western suburbs and currently live in the southwest suburbs with my wife and two kids.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
The greatest reward is hearing the excitement of a borrower when I tell them they are approved for their mortgage. I also enjoy hearing that they are pleased with myself and my team with the entire process.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
In my spare time I spend time with my wonderful wife and two kids. When I am not with them, you will probably find me an ice rink playing and coaching hockey.