How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the mortgage industry 14 years and got in for change.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I cover the board with customers from First Time Homebuyers all the way to investors, and an equal mix of programs throughout.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I look more at their overall financial picture, and the short and long term goals. Then I make recommendations based on their goals.
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)?
The pros of a fixed rate are, of course, having a fixed rate for the life of the loan. Pros of an ARM are having a lower interest rate and payment. The cons of the fixed rate are having a higher interest rate and possibly qualifying for less home due to the higher fixed. The con to the ARM is the ability for your payment to increase over time.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Since they just brought it back this year, many consumers are not aware of Freddie’s 97% loan, and that you do not have to be a FTHB for the program. Most companies do not have the Freddie/LP relationship so the realtors and customers are not aware of the program.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
It has definitely gotten much more regulated. I think that things will loosen some with guidelines and programs, but I feel that the CFPB is going to continue to try to over regulate us causing things to be more difficult for the actual consumer. It’s our jobs, but many changes they are making is causing confusion at the consumer’s expense.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The documentation. People are usually amazed that they could go buy an $80k Cadillac Escalade in about an hour but we need stacks of docs for a $100k home. I usually just prepare them on the front end on how much we have to document due to regulations and guidelines. I prepare them on the front end so they are not so surprised.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
How much they have to have for a down payment, how low the payments are on an actual mortgage, and how much credit they have to have to purchase. Everyone thinks that they have to have at least 10-15% to put down or else they canýt buy, or their payment will be out of control.
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?
In my area I currently just tell them to use Realtor.com app. Zillow is outdated or the listings do not get remove. Realtor is actual live listings so it’s more accurate for them.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
If it’s a direct borrower of mine then I recommend they use me as their resource. I tell them to email me or text me with any questions. The internet has too much information and can be overwhelming. Their friends do not know as much as they think they do and will just muddy the waters when it comes to understanding. My job is to guide them through the process and I pride myself on making sure they understand everything throughout the process.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Be honest, open, and responsive. There is too much technology out there now so do not try to hide things from us, it will come up. When we need docs, get them to us fast.
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?
Since we have two small children I have cut myself back to just one 501c3, Holidayfest. I have been on the board of directors for 5 years and we hold 25+ charitable events during the holiday season to raise money for local charities including our local Make-A-Wish foundation.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
Michigan and lived there until I was 10. My father worked for American Airlines and we transferred to the Chicago area in 1981. We lived there until I graduated high school in 1989 and then we moved to Tennessee. I received a 2 year degree here. I was in IT for right at a decade before getting into the mortgage business.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I still truly enjoy making people homeowners. I pride myself in not only putting my customers into the right mortgage for them, but in making them feel comfortable and informed throughout the entire process.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I have a son that will be 3 in a month and one that is 5 months old. I enjoy spending time with them and seeing the joy on their face as they discover the world.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Well, I would say the one thing that makes me a little wacky, is my goofiness. Having two young boys does not help that as I still enjoy a corny joke or antic and love to hear them laugh because of it.