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Mike Tullio

VP of Mortgage Lending
6371 Business Blvd, Lakewood Ranch, FL 34240
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NMLS: 208860
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Mike and his team were very professional and easy to work with. They stayed in close contact with me throughout the process. I felt well informed and appreciated their attention to every detail. I would definitely recommend them to my friends.

Singit100 - Zillow Review | APR 2016

Mike helped us obtain financing when we bought our first house in Florida in 2011. He has stayed in touch since with emails and updates and just recently financed an investment property for us. He goes above and beyond when it comes to his relationships with clients which sets him apart from the competition. He values these personal relationships and considers them to be the foundation of his business.

Ayresjd - Zillow Review | APR 2016

Mike was easy to communicate with, if I had any questions he would answer them promptly. He, including his staff are genuine and honest. My whole process went smoothly with no headaches. I appreciate all the work Mike did for me.

Jaredpowell55- Zillow Review | APR 2016

Mike Tullio and his team helped me with the purchase of my first home. He and his staff were very professional and timely. I highly recommend using them for any of your mortgage needs. Mike was exceptionally knowledgeable and was able to answer every question that came up for me. 5 Stars!

James9455- Zillow Review | APR 2016

Mike was great in assisting us with our mortgage needs. We could call him at anytime and get the answers or help we needed. He is very knowledgeable and if he didn't have the answer he got it right away. Will definitely do business again. Thank you for helping us get our home.

Christine Gay7- Zillow Review | APR 2016

My wife and I could not have been happier! Everything related to our mortgage went smooth and quickly! Great people, great service, what else could you ask for.

Dennis F. -Sarasota, FL | MAR 2016

Mike and his team were very professional and timely. I was very pleased with their service. They helped me close on my first home without any issues.

James A. -Parrish, FL | MAR 2016

Mike made himself available to every phone call or email, with immediate response to any of my questions. Denee and the staff at Guaranteed Rate were very helpful and patient while we prepared all the paperwork for the loan. Thank you for all the assistance in making an exhausting task easy.

Gary H. -Gloucester, MA | MAR 2016

I was very pleased with all the help from Mike, Denee and Susan! You all seem to have fun while you are racing to get things done. I never expected such a positive experience. You are a wonderful team! I definitely would recommend you to a friend! Blessings to all of you!

Barbara G - Orlando, FL | Feb. 2016

About Mike

A lot of people ask me how I got into the mortgage business and it’s actually a pretty strange back story. Back in the mid 1980’s I found myself drawn to the quirky business department at the high school I attended in Girard, PA. Not that learning shorthand and typing really helped boost my social life, but I did find myself intrigued by finance and the systems that made it work. Granted, most days I was schlepping my teachers’ crusty coffee mugs half full with cigarette butts down to the cafeteria for incineration, but I was onto something. It was a seed that was planted & buried for a while. Money was magical.

I attended a small Christian liberal arts college about 45 minutes outside of Buffalo, NY called Houghton. After 2 years of pre-med, I really didn’t see a future in it (not to mention I got the first “C” of my life in Organic Chemistry), so I changed course and pursued a Business degree. No, actually, I got into Education. English for that matter. I really liked kids and figured that teaching English would give me the greatest opportunity to be an influence in their lives. And I was right.

I moved to Bradenton, FL in 1993 and started teaching middle school English at Harllee Middle School and then eventually moved up to teaching high school kids at Bayshore in 2000. That was such an incredible chapter of my life and I got to spend my days “selling” Shakespeare, grammar, Robert Frost, essay formats & more importantly, the belief that the world is full of opportunity and hope.

In 2003, I was part of a group of teachers that launched one of the first academies in our county, the Bayshore Business Academy. This was an infused curriculum centered on developing “real life” business experience and skill sets. I found myself really embracing this twist on my job description and I developed an alter-ego named Donald J. Tullio who led the class (red comb-over wig and all) in project-based adventures to see who could accumulate the most points and become the next “VP”. I was having a lot of fun.

In the meantime, I had been investing in real estate in Sarasota since 1996 and found myself running with an ambitious group of friends who were buying, fixing, renting and even selling properties. By 2004, I found that all of my past business experiences and “on the job training” led me to a point where I wanted to learn more. My wife Meadow was already in the banking world and was considering making a switch with some co-workers into the mortgage industry. At the same time, my neighbor who was handling some of my real estate transactions was a mortgage broker and I found myself asking a lot of questions.

Questions that began having some pretty compelling answers, especially as 2005 rolled around. So after spending 12 years with some amazing middle and high school kids, I decided to answer the “What if?” with a “Why not?” As much as I loved teaching, I connected with a passion that started 30 years prior plugging numbers into an adding machine trying to be the first one done with the problem. It was time to solve some problems for some people and come up with the best possible solutions.

So more than 10 years and hundreds of loans later, I’ve created a successful mortgage practice built on relationships and sound advice. I love being able to connect with clients and add value to their lives. Sure, at the end of the day, people just want their money (with the lowest rate & cost of course) and they want to close on time, but I guess it’s all in how you do that. Your delivery. And your team.

Do I miss teaching? Funny, I find myself doing it every day. And I’ve even had the joy of helping dozens of my former students find the perfect loan for the perfect home. Each morning brings new challenges, changing lending guidelines, unique scenarios and so many wonderful people and I can’t imagine doing anything else right now. It’s a great place to be.

And when I’m not in the office or closing loans, I am out creating adventures with my wife and my two kids, Tyson & Chloe. Whether we’re out on the boat spotting dolphins, at the beach kicking a soccer ball around, watching a Disney flick at home on a Friday night stuffing ourselves with popcorn or just sitting around the dinner table telling lame jokes, we know we’re in it together. And as crazy as the days can be, my job is to be present, to embrace the now & to lead them down the right path.

So that’s what I invite you to do. There is always going to be a cheaper rate. Other banks or people will promise things. But what I’d like to offer you is my experience, my ability to be present and figure out your needs & to have a world-class team handle things for you so we can go down the right path. Together. I look forward to meeting you and playing just a small part in your story. Until then, be blessed!

Mike interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
See my current BIO as I knocked this out when I wrote it recently.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
Funny, I don't really have a specific "type" of client. Although, 9 times out of 10, it's someone that has been referred to me by a past client or realtor partner. What that tells me is that my typical customer is looking for someone that they can trust and depend on for answers, guidance and expertise.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I like to leverage Guaranteed Rate's amazing Digital Mortgage technology to get the process started. Once I speak with a client and get a sense of what they are looking to do, I outline how to apply online and I gather "just enough" information to put the puzzle pieces together and find the right financial fit.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
This will be my 13th year in the business. I believe I've been awarded the 5 Star Mortgage Professional award 9 times and the cool thing about that is that you can only be nominated by clients.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
I've heard it said that most people keep their home loan for 5-7 years on average and if that's true, then it makes sense to take a hard look at ARM options. If you could pay a couple hundred bucks less a month over that time frame, that ends up being a pretty significant number. Some clients get nervous about the possibility of a future rate increase, but the facts can help people overcome their fear.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I had a husband and wife that were told that because of a recent foreclosure 2 years prior, they couldn't get a home loan. Once I dug in with them and asked some important questions, I found that the husband was eligible for a VA loan. Even though he was told otherwise, I knew VA loans only required a 2 year waiting period after an FC, so I was able to pre-qualify and successfully close a loan on a beautiful home for them. At 100% loan to value I might add. It's all about asking the right questions.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Get pre-qualified. Get a plan and a budget together. Don't be afraid to start the process now and meet or speak with me & my team because home prices and interest rates have nowhere to go but up in the days ahead. We enjoy helping first time (or first time in a long time) home buyers and thrive on answering the common, and sometimes uncommon, questions. I've had a lot of clients who didn't think they could do anything and we end up getting them into an awesome home for cheaper than what they were paying in rent. Start the process today!
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
There's a really cool product out there right now called Fannie Mae Home Ready. There are some income restrictions by county, but if you fit, you can get into a 97% loan product with killer rates and lower mortgage insurance. A lot of times, it's a better fit than an FHA loan. There is a 4-hour online course to take, but it's worth it if you can save hundreds of dollars a year on your mortgage. We'd be happy to see if you fit into the program!
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
It's been an interesting ride over the past 13 years in the industry, but what I do know is that loans have been, and continue to be like a puzzle. If you have the right pieces and put them together well, the picture is clear and complete and we close on your loan. The pieces were a LOT of paper back when I first started, but we have evolved into a more streamlined, paperless experience. With the sweeping regulation that rolled out over the past 5-6 years as a reaction to last decade's housing market collapse, the landscape has changed on how we get things done. But the reality is, there will always be rules, forms that explain what you are doing and a review of income, asset, credit and collateral. Fortunately what I am seeing now is a slow return to commonsense in the way loans are approved and that is good news for you, the client.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Paperwork. Between all the numbers and forms clients see & sign during the process AND gathering their life on paper, it's a bit overwhelming. Even if things are done digitally, it's time consuming. But we make sure the expectations are set properly as we know how to structure and close loans. We take our time with clients explaining the process and the paperwork so that their work is worth it, especially when they close on their loan!
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
That it is difficult, confusing and painful. The reality is, it doesn't have to be that way. We pride ourselves on proactively communication with clients and partners throughout the lending process and facts help eliminate fear.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Guaranteed Rate has a killer website full of useful information. In particular, the "Buying A Home" and "Refinance" pages have a lot of great content and hyperlinks to additional resources. Check it out!
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
The clients we work with that have the best experience through underwriting are the ones that respond to requests for documentation and signature within 24 hours or less. It is critical to keep things moving along and when me or my team reach out, it's very purposeful and necessary.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
See current BIO page.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
See current BIO page.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
See current BIO page.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
So aside from holding the chin up record at my elementary school and being able to levitate pencils with my mind power (not really), I've actually written a novel. It's called "Get Big" and it's about a young man's journey from twig to big. At some point, I'll publish the darned thing (had a publisher interested in Atlanta) but it's going to be the right time in life. I think it would help a lot of kids out who struggle with self-esteem, body image, bullying and anger, so it's not a matter of IF I'll finish this project, just WHEN!

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