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Chris Barnes

Vice President of Mortgage Lending
10 Executive Court, Suite 3, South Barrington, IL 60010
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NMLS: 228060
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TestimonialsCustomer testimonials Read more

Chris and his team made the experience very easy for us. We received a thorough outline of the documents we were required to submit for the mortgage. If there was an open item or clarification needed, they got in touch with us quickly. Chris provided us with status updates along the way, including a notice of when the appraisal had been complete. In addition we learned when our mortgage was submitted to Underwriting for final consideration and when confirmation of when things were approved....

Kimberly S.

Chris was great! He was so patient with us, as first time home buyers, and was always on call to answer any of our questions! We loved working with him!

Ellen P.

Chris Barnes and his staff were amazing and made things easy..GREAT CREW

Kevin P.

Guaranteed Rate made this process very seamless for my wife and I. During a very stressful time for us, Chris Barnes and the team gave us one less thing to worry about. Once we submitted the necessary paperwork up front, it was pretty much out of our hands. As questions arose, Chris and Mary did an excellent job in helping explain things that were uncertain to us. I very much trust Chris and the job he did for us, and will recommend him and use him again in a heart beat!!! Thank you!

David K.

Chris Barnes is great, and was very patient with me and thoroughly explained things that I didn't understand. I also appreciated never feeling pressured like I did with other companies.

Lauren S. 8/18/16

Chris Barnes was great to work with. I was originally going to work with my credit union. However, it quickly became clear that they were going to be difficult to reach should questions arise. Meanwhile, Chris was easy to speak live with and he was very helpful. He explained everything pertaining to the loan in plain English and even helped me answer a few questions that technically my realtor or law office should have answered for me, but they were too busy to be bothered. I don't buy homes...

Jessica W.

I was overwhelmed by how easy Chris Barnes and staff made this process. Everyone I spoke with stated the loan process was a horrible experience and the closing would be delayed (don't rely on this date). I had the complete opposite experience. I had many questions they returned by call, always in a fast turn around. I am technologically challenged/not really "plugged in" and they were very helpful in letting me know documents were coming. Staff walked me through the entire process and explained...

Darlene B. 07/22/2016

Chris Barnes was fantastic during our mortgage process. He kept us informed and answered every call I put into him, even after normal business hours!

Joseph D.

Chris Barnes was outstanding all through the process. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a loan without hesitation.

Thomas P.

Chris Barnes was our Lender and he was awesome. I will definitely use Chris in the future. He was professional, responsive, and available. We were first time home buyers and Chris was able to help answer any questions we had during the process. I would recommend him to anyone in need of a lender.

Scott H. - Funded 6/24/2016

Chris was the biggest help out of anyone during my moving process. He was very personable and quick to find the answer to all my questions. I wouldn't use anyone else in the future.

John L. June 1, 2016

Chris and his team were awesome!

Kara S. - 5/26/2016

I was very impressed with Chris and Mary. Very detail oriented and organized!

Michael C. - 5/17/2016

Chris Barnes was very helpful with the whole refinancing process. It was an excellent experience.

Richard Waychoff March, 2016

Chris Barnes was great to deal with and the entire GR team was very helpful with explaining what was needed and answering questions.

James Z. May, 2016

Chris Barnes was very helpful with the whole refinancing process. It was an excellent experience.

Richard W. - Geneva, IL | MAR 2016

Chris and his staff were amazing as usual. His team is extremely knowledgeable and were able to help answer all my questions This is just one of the many reasons why we've worked with Chris over the past 10 years.

Leesa M. -- 10/2/2014

Love my VP Chris Barnes - he couldn't have been more helpful or responsive to my questions and concerns from the first day.

Ellen P. -- Libertyville, IL 8/19/2014

Chris Barnes was wonderful! He even came out to my house to pick up necessary paperwork to expedite the process!

Jennifer R. -- Skokie, IL 7/30/2014

"Chris was great! He and his team were very helpful, detail oriented, patient and attentive to our needs. I would recommend him to anyone looking for a mortgage!"

Kenneth S. -- Arlington Heights, IL. -- 10/2013

Hey, check out this amazing review from Sue about Christopher! “What a fabulous job Guaranteed Rate did refinancing our home! The rate was low, the closing costs were minimal and the service was truly exceptional Everything was done quickly and efficiently. Chris Barnes and his team are truly the best!!!”

Sue M. – Arlington Heights, IL – 5/2013

Everything went very well and as expected, no suprises except a lower amount needed for closing which was a pleasant suprise.

Joseph D. - Geneva, IL 7/2011

About Chris

Today's lending guidelines are continually changing and more complex than they were a couple years ago. When applying for a mortgage, it's vital to work with someone that can help you navigate the complexities of today's lending environment. And while getting a good interest rate is important, getting solid advice is essential.

Chris Barnes has been originating residential mortgages since 1986. He's developed a loyal following within the real estate community and has extensive experience working with first time homebuyers. Chris also works with financial advisors, accountants and attorneys as a mortgage resource for them and their clients. He knows the importance of making sure that your mortgage is structured in a way that will parallel your short term and long term financial goals.

Recently, Chris earned Guaranteed Rate's 2016 Customer Service award for his consistent above and beyond display to always put his customers first.

Chris is a graduate of Northern Illinois University. He and his wife reside in Chicago's northwest suburbs.

Creative Loan Structures

First Time Homebuyer Strategies

Multi State Lending

Local Processing and Underwriting

Mortgage Programs From Over 30 Lenders

Chris interview Q&A

What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
While getting a good interest rate is important, getting solid advice is essential. In order to recommend the best mortgage for my client, I need to find out about their entire financial picture. The mortgage needs to be structured in a way that is in line with their overall financial goals. Reviewing all their assets, current debt and any large future expenses is very important. We ask a lot of questions so we can give the best recommendation.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
One of the most important things I tell first time buyers is not to bite off more than they can chew. It can be easy to underestimate ongoing household expenses above and beyond the monthly mortgage payment. I also think it\'s important to have a discussion with them about a cash cushion. Many people want to have as large of a down payment as they possibly can in order to drive down that monthly payment. With interest rates as low as they are, money is cheap. It\'s just as important to have money left over after the closing. First time buyers are surprised at the number of things you have to buy for that first home. If not allocated for correctly, they can begin their new adventure quickly running up their credit cards. We don\'t want that to happen.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The part of the mortgage process that clients find the most difficult is getting a grasp on how much money they\'ll need to bring to closing. You would think that it\'s pretty straight forward but it\'s not. That\'s where being detailed and thorough are very important. There are a lot of moving parts here that have to be taken into account. Down payment, closing costs, earnest money and real estate tax credits from the seller. Explaining this to my clients in the beginning of the process makes my clients a lot more comfortable.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I was born in Madison, WI but have lived in Illinois since I was ten years old. I went to high school at Carmel H.S. in Mundelein then got an Economics degree from Northern Illinois University. When not at work, I like spending time with family. I also really enjoy traveling. My all time favorite trip was to the London 2012 Olympics. When time permits, my wife and I like entertaining at our home. And when I need to clear my mind, I\'ll go for a long run or bike ride.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I grew up living on Fox Lake and spent my teen years doing a lot of water skiing. I was even lucky enough to be the State of Illinois novice slalom champion in 1980.

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