How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in banking since I was 18 and in the mortgage business for the past 15 years. After purchasing my first home 25 years ago in San Diego, CA I realized I didn’t know much about the process. I had to trust my loan officer to give me the best deal. It was an FHA loan and to this day I have no idea if we got a good deal or not! I decided I would like to help people through this process in a way that they completely understand what is happening each step of the way and feel comfortable asking me any questions they may have.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I have first time homebuyers as well as seasoned homebuyers. Most seasoned borrowers are concerned with rate and closing costs. First time homebuyers usually have many questions from down payment to escrowing taxes and insurance.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I will ask my borrowers many questions to find out what they really need for their personal situation. I will decide which loan types they qualify for and review each one with the borrower to find the right one for them. I have many borrowers come to me stating they want a specific loan when in fact a different loan type may be a better option for them. It is my job to find the best product for borrower!
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I had a borrower that had someone else’s credit history attached to his credit report. Luckily this other person had good credit but it affected his debt to income ratio. My borrower was an over the road truck driver and not home much or near a computer. I worked with him by phone so that I could take care of disputing this with the credit bureaus and uploading needed documents so that we were able to close by the contract date!
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Talk to a loan officer you trust before looking for a home. Find out if your credit and debt allows you to purchase the home that you would like. There may be things that the loan officer can help you with in order to get the best loan and rate when you finally find the right home. Do NOT wait until you find the home to speak with a loan officer. We are there to help you every step of the way even if it is a year before you plan to purchase.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
There are different products that many borrowers are unaware of. For instance, while it's great to be able to have a 20% down payment, many buyers, particularly first time home buyers do not have the liquid assets to do so. There are many programs geared toward certain demographics such as first time homebuyers, or household income below a certain threshold that make a client's purchase more manageable. FHA allows lower credit scores and lower down payments. You can even renovate the home to the way you want it!! Also many veterans and their families aren't aware they might be eligible for a VA mortgage, with affordable interest rates and a down payment as little as 0%.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The main changes that I have seen are lots of documentation. We will ask our borrowers for everything except a blood sample! I make sure the borrowers know this upfront and that I am not trying to be difficult. This is the way this industry is now and the more the borrower and Loan Officer work together the smoother and faster the process!
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Understanding why I ask for so much documentation. I know how frustrating this can be. It feels like we have invaded every aspect of their financial privacy which we basically do. Keeping a good line of open communication and trust between the loan officer and the borrower helps to get through the process.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
The top 3 misconceptions that clients have about the home process are: 1. They need to have great credit. In fact, many borrowers have less than stellar credit. My job, as a mortgage originator, is to find a loan program that works for you or let you know what steps are necessary to make your home purchase a reality in the future. 2. They need to have at least 20% down for most loan programs. Quite the contrary, many of our borrowers either are unable or prefer not to put 20% or more down towards the purchase of a home. 3. They need to have sizable income to afford a home of their own. Many of our borrowers are hard-working individuals with modest incomes. If you're able to rent a home and comfortably afford it each month, then you likely could afford to purchase a similar property and have it be your own.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Always supply all needed documentation as quickly as possible. Always tell your loan officer if there are any changes to income, credit history etc. so we can resolve the issues if possible before closing.
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?
I have been in the Effingham Noon Rotary Club since 2002. I was past Treasurer for Habitat for Humanity Effingham County and still help on the Family Selection Committee. I volunteer for our local Blessings in a Backpack which provides food to children in need.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in Effingham IL. I moved away in my 20’s and lived about 3 years in Denver, Colorado before moving to San Diego, CA for about 10 years. I returned to my hometown when my daughter was small to raise her in smaller town and great community.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I love when I can help someone achieve their dream of home ownership! Sometimes I work with a client for up to a year getting them prepared to purchase! They become a good friend by the time they get the keys to their new home. It is really a special feeling when a client returns to me for their next home or refers me to family or friends.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I spend a lot of time with my family and my dogs! My husband and I also own a small miniature golf course/concession stand that takes up most of my spare time in the summer months.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I love dogs! Any breed any size. I have rescued many dogs who seem to somehow end up at my home! If I could keep them all I would! I currently have a rescued Great Dane and my own Rottweiler. This is the least amount I have had in a long time!