Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I can't say that I have a "typical" customer. All of my business is referrals from past clients and many different business people throughout the community. Every file is unique in their own way therefore I get many different types of questions, some people have more than others, and I never get tired of answering questions even if it's the same question more than once! Some examples of some of the questions that I get are:
-Are there any first time homebuyer programs or any way to buy a house with no money down or a minimum amount of money down?
-How much are closing costs or how much does it typically cost to buy or refinance a home?
-How much money down will I be required to have on a 100k, 150k, or a 200k home?
-Am I better to go with a conventional loan or an FHA loan and what's the difference between the 2?
-what are some payment estimates if we spend 150k, 175k, 200k, 225k, etc for a house?
-What is pmi insurance and how does it work? When will it come off of my loan or how do I get it off of my loan?
-How much cash out could we get if we refinanced our house to pay off other debts and how much more interest would it cost me to add on that extra money to the loan and refinance it?
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
Most people like the "security" that you get with a fixed rate mortgage including myself. The rate never changes and your payment only changes if your homeowners insurance premium or your real estate taxes go up or down. In the interest rate environment we are in today most people choose fixed rate mortgages over adjustable rate mortgages for that reason alone. There are pros to an adjustable rate mortgage however, specifically the rate tends to be better and there are situations where they make perfect sense, for example if someone is buying a home and knows that they will only be there for 3-5 years before moving, an arm makes perfect sense and I would suggest a 5 yr arm as the rate is locked for the first 5 yrs on a 5 yr arm and it's still amortized over 30 yrs as is a 30 yr fixed but- the payments would be less per month on the arm in comparison to the fixed rate loan as the rate for example may be .5% better on the 5 yr arm. That would be money saved in their pocket over the 3-5 years that they would be living in the home. There aren't a lot of cons with a fixed rate mortgage other than yes you can get a better rate much of the time with the arm, however the cons with the arm is that you run the risk for the rate to adjust upwards after the 5 yrs is up in the above example. So most of the time especially with rates as low as they are now I will usually recommend a fixed rate loan unless again they are 100% confident that they will only be living in the house for a shorter period of time, and even then the rate difference isn't that much better on the arm and many people take the fixed just for the peace of mind.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Honestly the most difficult part for the client is at the beginning of the process in gathering the required documentation that we need to submit a clean file to underwriting. To go along with that, typically we request 2 months of bank statements to go along with the w2's, paystubs, etc required to submit the loan. The difficult part about bank statements is that many times after we receive and look at the bank statements, we need another consecutive months of bank statements or we need proof of where certain deposits into the bank account came from. That can get frustrating for a client, but I try and explain what's needed and why up front and explain what will be looked at on bank statements to head off any issues before they become an issue and get more documentation right away if I feel the underwriter will need something else. We all need to understand that times have changed in mortgage lending specifically and income and assets (if required) have to be documented to the T on every file.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Getting the loan to closing. The home loan process takes longer than most other loans to get finished. There are a lot of moving parts that many clients never realize go on in the background. It's just always a good feeling to get the file closed and makes me feel a since of accomplishment that I've helped someone to get their loan completed.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I mentioned a few things in an earlier question, there are some things that some would say are "wacky" or interesting about me. Most interesting maybe is the combination of my interests! I am a grilling and smoking fanatic. I make my own rubs and sauces and have a commercial ceramic cooker and love to make pulled pork and brisket and do 10-15 hour cooks many times throughout the year, even when it's 5 degrees outside! Over the past few years I have actually "catered" for some friends holiday parties and birthday parties (for free of course) and have even been asked to make meats for a wedding but that's where I had to say no and draw the line haha... I wouldn't enjoy doing it on that big of a scale. I enjoy singing and have been involved in music since I was a kid. I sing with a group mostly but sing solos for weddings, funerals, and other venues on occasion. I also love to help on our family farm. There's something about being out in the open fields and the simplicity yet hard work of the farming lifestyle that I have a great appreciation for.