How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
15 Years. I was a bond trader at the Chicago Board of Trade and was introduced to the real estate market through a friend of mine. I obtained my real estate license but was quickly drawn to the mortgage industry and immediately found my true passion. The ability to help customers financially achieve home ownership.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I really take a great deal of time upfront getting to know the customer and helping them understand the process. Through this introduction we try to find a comfort level and monthly payment they feel comfortable with. Most loan officers send a borrower out to buy a home with a specific purchase price. I like to focus on monthly payment and work with the Realtor to find a home within this comfort range.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Many consumers always make the mistake of assuming it is difficult to get a loan. I always hear from customers at closing how much easier the process was compared to what they had expected. The mortgage industry has changed over the last 8 years but I truly believe the availability of credit to consumers is at a very sustainable level. This is good for every consumer who has the dream of home ownership. It is true that many consumers still think you need 20% down payment to buy a home, great credit scores, and long term employment. We help buyers every day that do not fall into this mold. It is always very important to sit down with a customer to alleviate these concerns and provide them the options that are available.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
The best way to ensure a smooth and efficient loan process is to be well informed. When you are well informed, you can navigate through the process a lot more efficiently. Not only do we get a buyer pre-approved upfront we will collect all documents and review all documents upfront. This helps us address any concerns we have, and better prepare you for the purchase. This also allows us to review payment comfort levels, cash to close, and interest rates with a lot more accuracy.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
We do more than help our customers buy a home. Many people recognize the tangible benefits of owning a home. Many studies have showed that people who purchase a home are more likely to be involved in the community, more volunteer time to help others, and more homeowners tend to stay in these communities longer. I think we help our customers succeed financially while also providing a great deal of support to the communities we serve.