How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
21 years, had worked with homebuyers as a realtor and was interested in the financing side of the transaction since I majored in accounting and finance in college.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
First it is important to find out what the customer wants to accomplish. An examination of their income situation, credit report, and available assets will help determine the best way to accomplish their objective.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
The fixed rate mortgage offers the security of a stable monthly payment, which is very desirable for folks on a limited or fixed income. It is also best in a rate environment that has low fixed rates, such as now. The advantages of the ARM are lower rate and payments to start out with and the possibility of having that interest rate fixed for a number of years, such as 5, 7, or 10 years. This is good for somebody that does not plan to be in that home for more than 5 years.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Get yourself preapproved before you start seriously shopping for a home so that you are looking in the right price range. Itýs pretty tough going back to Kansas once you have been to Oz.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The mortgage industry has become much more highly regulated and therefore more complex since I started 21 years ago. I expect that trend to continue.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
1. They donýt realize that credit scores will vary depending on the type of credit report that is run. They think that the scores they received when they applied recently for a car loan or credit card should be the same as those pulled on a mortgage credit report.
2. They have a lack of understanding of the importance of the seasoning of funds in the same account prior to application to ensure a smooth closing. Oftentimes they donýt understand why the source of funds is as important as the amount of funds.
3. A large down payment is required, yes some still think that is the case. Conversely, others think that no down payment monies are required.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Provide complete documentation that is requested by the lender as quickly as possible, keep funds for down payment in one account not moving it around, and refrain from opening any new credit during the time of the loan application and processing. Wait to buy that new furniture until loan is closed. Don’t step foot inside of an auto dealership.
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 actively involved with Bethany Christian Services, which is a large international adoption and foster care agency. I have specifically been involved in the Refugee foster care division at Bethany as a foster parent and volunteer for the past 14 years.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in South West Michigan and have stayed there my entire life. I graduated from Wayland High School and Aquinas College. Most of my family is also located in South West Michigan.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Assisting home buyers in getting happily moved into their new home. The first time home owner is especially rewarding.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Hanging out at the lake with family and friends, and gardening.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I have six adult children, three birth children and three who came to our family from their war torn native country of South Sudan. In 2009, I travelled back to Sudan with two of them and was with them when they were reunited with their families after many years of separation. The country had been in civil war for decades so there were no modern conveniences. There were no travel books to consult because the official government position at that time was a recommendation to not visit that country. It was a life altering experience and something I will always remember.