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John Murrens

Vice President of Mortgage Lending
506 W. Higgins, Park Ridge, IL 60068
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NMLS: 227330
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John interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I started in 1983, over 30 years in mortgage lending.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I work with all types of individuals ranging from 1st time home buyers, people looking to move up, people looking at downsizing and retiring to people who are getting back in the market after going through a significant credit event. Every client is different. They typically will ask me 1. How much is my down payment? and 2. Can I qualify? It is important to listen to what they want and look at what is best for them.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
Conversation first, it is important to find out what they want not necessarily what they can afford. The client has to feel good about the transaction.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Ask questions. Don’t get caught up on a great rate you may see on the internet. Use a local realtor and a local loan officer who can hold your hand through the entire transaction.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
A lot of first time homebuyers don’t realize how easy it is to get a mortgage. How little down payment they need or how fast they can start building wealth with home ownership.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The industry has almost gone full circle. When I started in the business the joke was “did you get their dog’s blood type also?” In the 80’s we would worry about somebody getting approved if they had a back end ratio above 36%. Now granted we have not gone that far back but it is tougher to get a mortgage today than it was 5 years ago. I expect things to remain where they are right now for the most part. There is talk about loosening credit standards and less down payment. Personally I feel it is a mistake to mess with these 2. Owning a house should be a privilege not a right. Loosening theses 2 will cause more first time homebuyers and people who are re-buyers potential problems again. Just because we can get somebody approved doesn’t mean they should buy the house.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The paper work the client needs to bring can seem overwhelming sometimes. With our systems, they can download straight from their computer to a secure website.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
1. It is time consuming. 2. They think we don’t need all the items we ask for. 3. Since the computer (AUS) said I was approved aren’t we done?
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?
I’ll feel they should first pick a realtor and work with them for recommendations. There are a lot of apps available but a good realtor with the help a good Loan officer can get the pre-approved and ready to find the house that fits their needs.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
There is a lot of great info on the Internet. I personally feel they should sit down with a loan officer before they start their search and mortgage process. Don’t just settle for anybody on the phone or Internet who is promising the best rate in the universe. Use your head, there is no free lunch. Find a professional.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
A borrower should give us everything we ask for upfront. They should also tell everything we need to know and not try to hide something. A good loan officer can be the difference between closing and not closing.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
Grew up in beautiful Rock Island, IL which is part of the Quad Cities. I also graduated from Augustana College which is located in Rock Island, IL. I have 2 kids in college, a wife. I am currently living in the Lake County area for the last 25 years.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Seeing how excited people are when they get the keys to their first home after the closing. It is a life changing moment in their lives.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I am an avid golfer.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I am a closet singer. When I am alone I'll sing in the car, the elevator, you name it.

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