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James Gaines

Vice President of Mortgage Lending
585 Stewart Avenue, Suite L-90, Garden City, NY 11530
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NMLS: 25640
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About James

I'm entering my 17th year in residential lending. Becoming part of the team here at Guaranteed Rate is the highlight of my career in the mortgage industry. If there was a blueprint of how the lending process is to be, it is here at Guaranteed Rate. For me the best part of having a career in residential lending, is working with 1st time home buyers and those looking to upgrade from their current home. It is an exciting time for my clients and there is a tremendous responsibility on my part. Listening to my clients short and long term goals in order to present the appropriate financing options. The ultimate compliment from my clients, is when they refer their family, friends and coworkers to me.

I am a native Long Islander. My son Brandon is working towards his graduate degree in Music Education and is my greatest accomplishment.

During my leisure time I enjoy going for long rides on my bike, golfing (when I can actually get a tee time), reading, and watching the NHL during the hockey season.

James interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I am now entering my 17th year in residential lending. Having a career in sales, I was looking for a change. It just so happened that a very good friend of mine was buying his first home. I heard of the frustrations he was having with his lender. Not having messages returned and such. Hearing of how frustrations turned to horror when he almost lost out on purchasing his home. I thought, "Does this so called professional understand the responsibility he/she has towards their clients?" That's when I said, I wanted to make a difference to ensure that my clients never go through the experience my friend did.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical client is the 1st time home buyer or those looking to upgrade their current home. Questions range from: What mortgage programs are available to me? Do I need a 20% down payment? How much are closing costs?
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
The first step is to ask and listen to my clients short and long term goals. Many think that the usual 30 year fixed is the way to go. Yet once I have an understanding of my clients goals, I can then present various financing options to them.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Ask lots of questions and take notes. Having a mortgage is the largest debt you will have. Becoming a home owner is an exciting life event and educating yourself prior to is very important.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Submit your documents in a timely manner. Follow the instructions of your Loan Officer and their support staff. Our goal is to ensure a smooth process towards closing, yet the client plays a big role as well.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Quiet time with a good book, tending to my garden, helping with activities & various events at my church.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I'm a jokester (or I attempt to be lol) and it's fun to hear the laughter of others.

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