How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
My career in banking begin in 1986 and after many years in management I decided in 2004 to move to the mortgage side of the business. My team has enjoyed numerous years of success achieving in the top 5% of the company for over 10 years.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Stepping into home ownership is very exciting and rewarding. It does come with financial responsibility as well as home maintenance tasks and being a good neighbor! My first advice is to determine what the payment amount is that you are comfortable with as a monthly housing payment. Remember this amount will involve the mortgage payment, taxes and insurances and often homeowner’s association (HOA) fees depending on the area you target. The second aspect is to determine the amount of funds that you have available for purchasing a home. The down payment can vary with the loan type. VA loans are typically 0 down while FHA is 3.5% down and conventional loans typically have a 5% down minimum. If you want to avoid paying mortgage insurance you will need 20% down. There will also be typical closing costs for the closing of the real estate transaction. The third aspect is to review your credit to determine if there are areas you can improve as the higher the score the better pricing and more options you have. Once you have considered these 3 items I recommend getting a lender (like me) to pre-qualify you to confirm that you are ready for homeownership. The lender can help guide you on an estimated purchase price of a home based on the payment you can make and funds that you have. When you begin shopping it is key to actually look at the taxes, insurance quotes and possible HOA fees on the specific property you are considering as these factors influence the overall payment that the lender must qualify.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
The Renovation Loan option is an underutilized product. This product can often save the day! When a home will not meet required property condition standards the renovation loan allows the buyer to add the cost of the renovations to the purchase price of the home. This allows the cost of the renovations to be financed into the loan. The repairs/renovations are approved prior to closing and once the loan is closed and the buyer owns the property then the repairs/renovations are completed by the buyer selected and approved contractor. So, when the seller of a property cannot afford to repair the home they are selling or they don’t have the time or money to bring the property up to standard then the renovation loan becomes a great financing option. In addition to required repairs to bring the property to condition standards, the buyer can also include other upgrades or “wish list” items as long as the project will appropriately appraise. Also, existing home owners can also use this product as a refinance option to make home improvements!
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
I often meet people that tell me their mortgage experience was painful. While getting a mortgage “today” may be more cumbersome your experience has everything to do with the following: 1) The mortgage professional you choose. Does the lender have your best interest at heart? Does your lender return your phone calls? Does the lender have the experience to guide you thru the process and anticipate items that will need to be addressed to get you to the closing table?
2) The technology to move you & your paperwork & the loan requirements thru the process efficiently. Do you have the option to apply online or directly with your loan professional? Do you have various options for getting your documents to the lender? Does the lender offer esigning of disclosures? 3) Your involvement, cooperation and teamwork with your loan officer. The lender has requirements to be able to get your loan thru underwriting. Typically there are initial conditions and then there may be added conditions once the file goes thru underwriting the first time. Expect this and work quickly to provide documents requested. Ask questions if you want to understand why. Lending today requires verification of many aspects. My best advice is don’t take it personally.. it’s just the process.
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?
Have served with many community organizations over my career. Currently a member of the Englewood Board of Realtors and the Women’s Council of Realtors – Englewood on the Gulf Chapter. For the past 4 years I have worked on the WCR Fashion Show Committee to bring a charity show to the area to benefit the needs of children in our community.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
About 10 years ago, I attended a life-altering conference where I experienced the art of Qigong and it’s healing benefits. Qigong might look like Tai Chi to many. Qigong involves breath work along with meditation and also graceful movements that focus on gathering and circulating one’s internal energy. It so changed my perspective that I wanted to share this with others so I went on to obtain a Level 1,2,3 Qigong Facilitator Certification as well as Qigong Strength Training Certification. In addition, I obtained an Advanced Food Healing Certification. I facilitate a weekly class in my community. In the fall of 2016 I traveled to Kunming and Lijiang, China to study with a Tai Chi master. In China I was certified to teach Wu Style 18 Form Tai Chi.
I always find it interesting to discover the passions of my borrowers. Life is certainly a journey and a rewarding one when we help each other along.