What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
The pros for a fixed rate mortgage are obvious. Longevity of the rate. The cons are, especially in Los Angeles, the average person/family stays in their property for 7 years or less. Meaning they pay more for a 30 year fixed rate loan that they don't need.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Get your finances together. Speak with someone well ahead of time. I see often how first time home buyers get wrapped up in the hunt of the property and not the hunt in their loan.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
7 year Interest Only. Easier terms to qualify and lower payment. I feel this is the cheapest option living in the expensive world we live in.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
When I started in 2010, after the market went nuts the Dodd-Frank Act was introduced. This act assisted borrowers to an extent, but also handcuffed lenders to the point where I had to turn away refinances due to a client not being able to "Afford" a $300 per month reduction in payment. I see the lending market opening up again, taking a more common sense approach and loosening on the 43% DTI world we live in now.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The most difficult part of the loan process is 100% the upfront collection of financial paperwork. It's a nightmare for clients and I get the frustration on the client's end. Unfortunately it's a necessary evil.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
Turn times. We quote turn times based on the lender guidelines and sometimes things change. As a loan officer, we are bred to be control freaks. Sometimes there are things out of our control on the back end.
What 2 or 3 mobile apps would you recommend for home buyers or house hunters, and why? What Smart Apps do you recommend your customers use for the house hunting process?
Zillow. I personally use Zillow for comps along with their mortgage calculator.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Loan officers are the best resource for any borrower. I have 50+ different lenders at my disposal. A lot of them do the same thing and it's a pure rate play. But there are niche lenders and if your loan officer is up to date then his or her knowledge regarding a specific product is priceless.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Financials. Make sure you speak with a lender 6 months prior to being serious. Go through your entire package. Ask a million questions. Make sure all of your ducks are in a row. Once that is complete, the process is so much easier.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Saving people money. I know it's a boring answer but money is important. People don't have a lot of it these days and to save someone $300 per month is a car payment. A couple extra date nights with their significant other. Updating their house. Saving people money gives people the opportunity to reinvest into them selves. That is what satisfies me as a loan officer.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Tennis. It's my happy place. Just myself in competition against someone else. It's a pure sport that is just as much mental as it is physical. When I'm on the court for that 2 hours everything else in the world disappears.