How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I began my career as a mortgage analyst at an investment bank. Our group examined and analyzed existing residential mortgages from all over the country. Learning the underwriting guidelines of mortgage products and watching them evolve over the years was interesting. I eventually began developing the actual guidelines and products. As the credit markets tightened, I found that my knowledge of the mortgage markets was very valuable. I’ve been able to help many new and existing homeowners over the years.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
Once the home buyer has completed the usual steps in the home buying process such as choosing the area and determining what they need in a home, I then begin my work. My job is to strip away all of that and structure the most important part of the transaction, the financing. I analyze the borrowers income, debts and assets. I look at the costs of financing the home, the taxes, the insurance and other costs associated with homeownership. It's important that my borrowers purchase homes that they can comfortably afford, not just homes they qualify to afford.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
I advise all of my clients purchasing a home to buy a home they can afford. Plain and simple. I perform a full financial analysis for them, showing all of the costs associated with owning the home above the mortgage payment. The focus is usually on the purchase price, the interest rate and the down payment. It’s not the Realtor’s job to advise the client in this fashion, as the lender the responsibility is ours.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The mortgage industry has really always been about the available products offered by lenders to borrowers. When I began my career, the products and guidelines were somewhat strict and based on common sense. Mortgage guidelines slowly began to loosen, which I still believe was a good thing and helped millions of first time homebuyers enter the marketplace successfully. The problems started when we lost our common sense. Today, we once again have sound, common sense underwriting guidelines that produce quality mortgages for both the lenders and borrowers.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Guaranteed Rate is designed for the mortgage process to be seamless. We have the most trained and experienced staff in the industry. Our workflow and technology ensure the mortgage moves efficiently through the process up until closing. All the borrower has to do is be our partner in the process.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
It’s very satisfying when you ask for people to trust you and you’re able to reward them by coming through as promised.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I played ice hockey in my youth, but I haven’t played in 20 years. My youngest son now plays and he’s inspired me to get in good enough shape to play at a competitive level sometime in the near future. Hopefully.