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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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TestimonialsCustomer testimonials Read more

What a smooth process. What I liked most about my experience is how the team explained everything to me and didn't assume I know what is going on. As a first timer I honestly was completely clueless and it's hard to admit. The team made me feel comfortable and it is apparent they know how a first time buyer thinks! Thank you Chris and the awesome team!

Monica W. | Chicago, IL

Chris DePaepe and her team were amazing. She always made time to answer any questions we had. Would highly recommend Guaranteed Rate to everyone!

Tim F. | Evergreen Park, IL

Christine was amazing. She was extremely responsive and helpful every step of the way. Thank you Christine for making my home buying experience a great experience!!

Yolanda M. | Chicago, IL

I had heard there were a lot of "hoops" to jump through for a renovation-type loan, however, Chris DePaepe and every member of her team made the process as smooth and pain-free as possible. Everyone involved at GRI was very responsive and helpful through each step. Thank you for all your hard work in making our home purchase possible!

Jesse P., New Jersey

Christine DePaepe and Chad Takach provided incredible customer service; always took my calls, answered questions, helped facilitate and expedite this process, and I ended up with an incredible loan.

John C., New Orleans, LA

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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