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Christine DePaepe

VP of Mortgage Lending/Renovation Division Manager
320 W. Ohio St, Ste 410, Chicago, IL 60654
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NMLS: 170137
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My experience with Guaranteed Rate was amazing! Chris DePaepe and her team went above and beyond to make my loan experience both pleasant and time efficient. I'd heard so many horror stories around how long it takes to close a loan, especially one as complicated as a 203k/Homestyle loan. But, Chris and her team made the process seem effortless and they were able to close my loan in less than 30 days! They were always very responsive to all of my questions and proved that they cared about me as...

Brittany B., Chicago, IL

Chris DePeape is absolutely amazing. Answered all our questions and knows numbers inside and out. She was great and even our lawyer liked her and her team. She's in charge and definitely will recommend her. Made buying FHA less daunting.

Erin W. Chicago, IL.

It was a very friendly, knowledgeable, and professional team that made us feel fantastic throughout the whole transaction. The entire team at Guaranteed Rate was on the ball and always kept us informed during the whole process. Very prompt and easily accessible. Very pleased!

Sal T. Elk Grove Village, IL

Chris and Team, everything went fine with the closing tonight and I just wanted to say THANK YOU for helping me throughout this process. You are a great team and you made the process very efficient and easy to follow. This will work out great for my family and thank you again!!!

Juan O. Chicago, IL

We can't thank you enough for all your help with our renovation transaction. We really enjoyed working with you and admire your level of service and professionalism. We know it seems that most people take what your team does lightly, but just know that we are fully aware at how much work goes into this and we are very fortunate to have your team on our side!

Sal & Miranda T., Elk Grove Village, IL

Knowledgeable, patient, effective, and genuinely kind are adjectives not often used to describe people working in corporate America, especially when it involves purchasing a home. The 203k loan is at the top of the list when so many home buyers have it at the top of their "never again" lists. However, Chris and her team have raised the bar in client satisfaction during this challenging loan transaction. You have our sincere thanks and gratitude for helping us create our dream home.

Anthony W., Chicago, IL

We sincerely want to thank Christine for all of her hard work and efforts as our renovation lender. We know our situation was interesting and we didn’t do the simplest loan, but Christine and her team’s attention to detail and knowledge was unmatched. Thank you for getting us to closing!

Kelsey F. and Ben B., Chicago, IL

Chris is unparalleled in her knowledge of renovation loans. She and her team processed my file quickly and efficiently, even when faced with an extremely tight deadline. I cannot speak highly enough of them!

Charles L., Chicago, IL

Working with Guaranteed Rate was an overall great experience. Christine was very efficient with working with our situation, our timeline and ensuring the process was moving along in a reasonable timeline. She and Jennifer were very on top of it and we couldn't have done it without them!

Kelsey F., Chicago, IL

Working with Guaranteed Rate was an overall great experience. Christine was very efficient with working with our situation, our timeline and ensuring the process was moving along in a reasonable timeline. She and Jennifer were very on top of it and we couldn't have done it without them!

Kelsey F., Chicago, IL

Christine went above and beyond to make sure the application and the approval process goes smoothly. Everyone was very helpful, understanding, professional and efficient. I am extremely satisfied with the service I received!!! A big thanks!!!

Bilal C. – REGO PARK, NY | Apr. 2015

I just wanted to take a moment and thank everyone of you on the team for all the great work you have done. Christine knows that it was not a straightforward loan application and I was first time home buyer, but you were there to guide at every turn. I truly appreciate your help and wish you much success in career and life.

Bilal C., New York, NY

It’s been a pleasure working with you Christine! If I know of anyone looking to purchase a home using a 203k finance instrument, I will recommend you highly. The way you communicated and all hours you provided in explaining the process every step of the way, was just awesome! Thank you!

George C., New Lenox, IL

My husband and I secured a Homestyle Loan on a home in need of extensive renovations. When the contractor documentation took longer than expected, the team at Guaranteed Rate had to scramble to quickly close to ensure our seller stayed in the deal. This included lots of late nights and a few Saturday calls with Chris DePaepe. We're very grateful to all the hard work the team put in.

Kedra N., Chicago, IL 03/23/2015

My husband and I secured a Homestyle Loan on a home in need of extensive renovations. When the contractor documentation took longer than expected, the team at Guaranteed Rate had to scramble to quickly close to ensure our seller stayed in the deal. This included lots of late nights and a few Saturday calls with Chris DePaepe. We're very grateful to all the hard work the team put in.

Kedra N., Chicago, IL 03/23/2015

The process was smooth. Christine and the team were fantastic to work with.

Andrea B. – Chicago, IL | Jan. 2015

Christine DePaepe and her team really helped everything go smoothly. Christine has been second to none. She has patiently answered every question, email, and nonsensical voice mail I left her. She reevaluated the loan and made sure everything worked out when there were some questions regarding the rehab project by switching loan types. She is still helping me and I really appreciate her help.

Helen G. – Chicago, IL | Dec. 2014

Excellent customer service along with competitive rates and low closing costs. Total package

Jefree T. -- 11/10/2014

This was a huge purchase to me. Christine and her team went above and beyond expectations by answering questions, making themselves available outside of business hours and explaining the process several times so that I understood it. I felt like they truly were looking out for me! Because of their knowledge and expertise, they made me feel at ease.

Shannon M. -- Chicago, IL | Nov. 2014

Closed with in the deadline. All questions and concerns were answered quickly.

Jason L. -- Durham, C. | Nov. 2014

DePaepe was courteous, professional and easy to work with!

Stephen P. -- Conventry, RI. 9/15/2014

I would like to thank you for doing outstanding job in bringing Minal's very difficult file to closing starting from credit issues to financial issues at the end. I was in mortgage business before, so I understand how difficult it is,especially to work on 203K loan. I am very impressed that you were able to resolve all issues very calmly without blaming others. We are very fortunate to have you as our renovation Manager and I sincerely thank you for all your support and guidance.

Aswin P. Chicago, IL

"I just wanted to say thank you again to you and your team for pulling together these last few weeks and making sure we were able to close yesterday. I know it wasn't easy and you all worked very hard. My wife and I certainly appreciate it. The closing went well and now we're off and running!"

Stephen P. -- Smithfield, RI -- 9/2014

I just wanted to let you know that your loan process is by far the best I have seen. Keeping all stakeholders in the loop as the loan progresses is a great idea, the process is well designed and managed and it makes our job 100x easier.

Tony J -- Hartford, CT 9/10/2014

“I just wanted to thank all of you for all of the hard work that you put into our construction loan. There were certainly some bumps in the road and we know you had to put in a lot of work to hit some challenging time-frames. I want to make sure you know how much Taryn and I appreciate everything you did for us. It was wonderful working with all of you and we always felt as though we could turn to you for help! With all the struggles we had, it was very comforting to know that we had a...

Mike G. – Beverly, IL – 9/2014

Thank you to Chris and the team for the diligent and professional service!

Michael S. -- Chicago, IL 7/22/2014

Christine DePaepe and her team were really helpful throughout the process! They were timely and communicated very well!

Siddharth M. -- Chicago, IL 6/30/2014

Christine was fantastic! She was knowledgeable and capable of handling all of our questions in a timely fashion!

Ernest W. -- Chicago, IL 4/28/2014

Christine DePaepe was very meticulous and kept us apprised of what to expect. Guaranteed Rate worked with us to successfully close on the loan we needed.

Yvonne Woods -- New York, NY 4/27/2014

I was taken care every step of the way. After hours phone calls with Chris DePaepe, a hand delivered application, and emails between the team whenever anything came up was so helpful to me. I really felt like they cared! It was just outstanding customer service, a very knowledgeable team - they made it easy for me. Also, Chris came up with ideas and solutions quickly. She really knows her stuff!

Debra P. -- Chicago, IL 2/14/2014

"The staff was very organized and responsive. Christine and the team were phenomenal, exceeded all expectations, attentive, cordial, professional, very responsive, and stayed on top of the game during the entire loan process! We couldn't have been any happier with our overall experience during the entire process."

Marcelo T. -- Chicago, IL. -- 11/2012

"The team really went above and beyond for us and kept a great level of customer service through the whole process. Keep up the good work!"

Robert M. --- Chicago, IL. -- 11/2012

"Every time I had questions, they were answered quickly and they helped me see several steps ahead of where we were so we could keep moving smoothly along."

Ruth S. -- Chicago, IL. -- 11/2012

"Christine DePaepe and her team were phenomenal and made process simple and smooth. Ease of going through this loan and their expertise. Professional, responsive, knowledgeable."

Tara K. -- Somerville, MA. -- 11/2012

"This was a very complicated process on the seller's bank but the staff at Guaranteed Rate always made us feel at ease and kept our information up to date, even when we were delayed several weeks. They worked so diligently to ensure that when the seller's bank was ready to go, we were ready to go. Chris DePaepe and the team were fantastically flexible and friendly. Thank you everyone worked so hard to make our first home possible! I will certainly recommend this institution to family and...

Janine W. -- Bridgewater, NJ. -- 10/2012

“We were able to close successfully on the property, and it is now officially on the record with my name. Thank you very much for your wonderful help. We could not have done it without your help and your team's wonderful effort.”

Joe M. - Milford, MA

"Everything was quick quick quick! I really liked that! Christine's wonderful, anytime I had questions she always helpful. I emailed her late one night and even then she got back to me! The team was great, I worked with them a lot, and they were always there to help!"

Cynthia S. -- Chicago, IL. -- 9/ 2013

"Christine and her team were true professionals. My loan had extremely thorough guidelines, but Christine took the time to explain the process in detail and made sure I understood the ins and outs of this loan. We closed on-time and there were no surprises at the closing table. Christine and her team were always available to answer my questions and overcome any problems that came up. Guaranteed Rate really takes a "team approach" to getting your loan closed and keeps you up to date on the...

Christopher N. -- Hopkinton, MA. -- 6/ 2013

We are beyond grateful for all your help and guidance throughout one of the most important times in our lives. While we realize it was a long road, we are certain this new home was meant to be. You are awesome! Endlessly grateful. Thank you kindly,

Vanessa and Francisco P, Chicago, IL

Guaranteed Rate allowed for me and my family to purchase a home using a 203k mortgage and the process was very smooth. Christine Depaepe was really helpful and accurate in her predictions. She always called back when I had questions and was fast in any necessary responses. Christine's team were extremely helpful and comfortable with the process. Every snag that we came across was handled quickly and effectively.

Edward B. -- Vernon Hills, IL -- 5/2013

We just got the keys to our newly renovated home and are moving in tomorrow. Thanks for picking up the reins and helping us out so thoroughly throughout this process when the other lender could not get things to work out with our home loan. We were very impressed with the quality and timeliness of you and your team's work. I will strongly recommend you to friends and family.

Justin F., Chicago

Hey, check out this amazing review from Ann about Christine! “I have purchased a few homes in my lifetime and Guaranteed Rate was the easiest mortgage company to work with. They made our process seem much quicker with their fast response time and professionalism. Christine DePaepe and her staff really knew what they were talking about in order to expedite the process. I cannot say enough about how helpful Guaranteed Rate was. If you are considering any home purchase, do not hesitate to call...

Ann B. – Buffalo Grove, IL – 5/2013

Hey check out the amazing review from AB about Chris! “Everyone at Guaranteed Rate was wonderful to work with! This was our first home purchase and did not really know what to expect. Chris DePaepe and her team were on top on everything and very responsive. We were waiting for a short sale, and when we finally received approval, they were able to close our sale in less than two weeks! Highly recommend!”

AB. -- Chicago, IL -- 02/2013

About Christine

Over the course of a 20 year career, I have been actively involved in the mortgage lending industry, specializing in FHA, VA, renovation, commercial, jumbo, and super jumbo loan programs for residential homes, condos, and townhomes throughout Chicago-land and in all 50 US states. I was noted as one of the first renovation loan specialists in the Chicago area and came to Guaranteed Rate in 2011 to start the home loan Renovation Lending Division. I have a dedicated team of 17 staff members who can close renovation home loans in 45-60 days. My staff includes a team of dedicated underwriters to close all renovation loans, junior underwriters who pre-approve all borrowers, four supporting loan officers, architect to oversee the consultant and contractors, and a draw department to manage the construction funds. In an accolade by the Chicago Sun Times' nationally syndicated columnist, Terry Savage, my overall expertise in the industry has been highlighted as well as my in-depth knowledge of Fannie Mae's DU Refi Plus and Freddie Mac's Open Access refinance programs. I also have experience closing short sales, Real Estate Owned/Bank Owned properties, and City of Chicago programs for first time or repeat buyers. I present both locally and regionally to share my industry knowledge, specifically about renovation lending and how real estate agents can use these programs as a tool to increase their closing transactions and move hard to sell listings. I have been noted by the Scotsman Guide as a top 20 FHA Volume Originator for the past 2 years consecutively and also named to the Guaranteed Rate's President's Club for the past 4 consecutive years. I am a graduate of Rosary College in River Forest, IL with a degree in Business and a DePaul University graduate with an MBA in Finance.

Christine interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I've been actively involved in the mortgage industry since 1996 and have the experience and knowledge with a variety of loan programs such as FHA, VA, TaxSmart, Chicago Public Schools Teacher and first time home buyers. I am also a Renovation Loan specialist and enjoy educating other loan officers, Realtors and clients about these truly amazing and timely loan programs and how it can turn an ordinary house into a dream home. Purchasing a home is an exciting time in a person's life and educating a borrower and Realtors is critical to the success of purchasing a home. Even though it can be a stressful and long process, it is my goal to make the home loan process as painless as possible so that my clients are armed with the right information and we can get to the closing table as quickly and efficiently as possible.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Many borrowers that I have worked with are not familiar with a home renovation loan. These are great programs for home additions, estate sales, outdated properties, or foreclosed properties that need major or minor repairs. You can use these rehab products on a purchase or a refinance and it allows for rehab work to be included in the loan. There is a conventional loan product and a government insured product. Both are renovation loans with slight variations in guidelines and borrower qualifications. Typically there is an FHA certified consultant that oversees the repairs along with the General Contractor who completes the work. All work must start within 30 days of closing and be completed within six months. A complete rehab of the property can be done as long as the entire foundation systems remains in place. It can also be used to convert or de-convert multi-unit dwellings. I can also secure renovation funds for one unit investment properties.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
"Low down payments are a thing of the past." While it is true that "no money down" loans are restricted to VA loans with full entitlement, FHA loans have down payments starting at 3.5% and also allow gifted funds from family members to help cover the down payment. "I've purchased a home/property before so the loan process should be fast and easy." While you may be an experienced buyer working with an experienced lender, the mortgage industry has changed a lot over the past six years and there are many more lending guidelines and regulations in place these days. Many documents need to be provided up front and verified again before closing. Sometimes there are unforeseen bumps in the road that arise during the underwriting process. The underwriting department needs to again verify all of the information in your file to meet lending guidelines. If they ask you to submit more documents to justify your information, it is important to provide it to them in a timely manner. Also, for loan amounts over $417,000, the lending guidelines are much tighter now. In the past jumbo loan borrowers did not need to provide much information on a loan application. This is a 360 degree turnaround and jumbo loans go through much more scrutiny now. "I had a bankruptcy, short sale or deed in lieu and I need and excellent credit score of 800 or more to qualify for a home loan." Not exactly. The higher your credit score, the more attractive you are to a lender, but a typical qualifying credit score for a loan is between 620-640. But remember, your credit score also affects the interest rate you qualify for, so be sure to check your credit report for accuracy. Also, if you had a bankruptcy you can qualify for a home loan two years after the discharge, and for a short sale or deed in lieu, it is just three years after the date of the short sale.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I am a life-long Chicagoan - born and raised on the North Side and have never strayed far from the Windy City. I graduated from Rosary College in River Forest with a degree in Business and then went on to DePaul University where I earned an MBA in Finance. I love working with numbers, so my Masters in Finance is put to good use when determining what loan programs best meet my borrower's individual financing needs. In my free time, I enjoy all things Chicago - cheering on our professional and college sports teams, raising funds for local charity organizations, boating and water sports on Lake Michigan and spending time with my family.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I love to wake surf and cook gourmet meals. If I wasn't a loan officer in the mortgage industry, it would be my dream job to be a professional chef.

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