How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been a licensed mortgage professional since 2006 although my banking career began over 20 years ago. I was inspired to get into the business because I wanted to offer myself to friends, neighbors and others as a resource that would always place their best interest at the forefront of the process.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical customer is a young couple looking to purchase their first home. Many of these first time buyers have been the friends of my own five adult children. Of course, I see the hopes, aspirations and future plans of my own kids in the eyes of these young couples. Seeing their smiles at the closing table is very gratifying.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I begin the process by asking my customer how I can help them. The answer to this question can elicit a wide range of responses but usually gets to the core personal and financial issues they have and the options they should consider. Then I want to gather information about their income and current debt so that I can relate their interests to their financial profile and offer financing options and loan programs for their consideration.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Begin the process early. As soon as you begin contemplating a purchase, reach out to a mortgage professional to assess your credit history, income and assets.
Even if you believe your purchase is twelve months away, the pre-approval process will inform you and guide your financial planning-and avoid stress down the road.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
I think it can best be summed up with the old adage: "You don't know, what you don't know." This is very true for home loan customers. When I first sit down with new customers, I ask "what questions do you have for me?" Answering these questions allows the customer to get off his or her chest the biggest concerns so that we can then focus on educating them on the other pieces of the process.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I am a native of the South Side of Chicago and a life long White Sox fan. I live with my wife in the same home in the Beverly community where we raised our five wonderful kids. I am a proud graduate of Mt. Carmel High School where I am still very involved with the school and alumni activities.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I am a Chicago history geek. My wife tells me I should have Jeffrey Baer's job doing documentaries on Chicago's history. The development, the neighborhoods, the architecture and especially the people of this city are all fascinating to me.
Have a Chicago history trivia question? Call me.