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Paul Karas

VP of Mortgage Lending
4710B Freret St, 2nd Flr, New Orleans, LA 70115
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NMLS: 1020753
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About Paul

I grew up in a Real Estate business. Mom was an agent. Dad built houses and then started a company that financed them. I was the little kid waiting in the back seat of the car while she showed houses. (No iPads in those days!) I learned what title insurance was before algebra. My part time job through college was filled with a lot of data entry and a lot of copy machine time at my dad's mortgage shop. Why was I the only one surprised that I'd be in the real estate industry?

I went to a Jesuit high school (Loyola Academy) and went to a Jesuit college (Loyola University Chicago) and majored in Finance and Information Systems/Operations Management. I was eyeing a third major, but then I met a girl (see below). Aside from the ethics driven into you on a daily basis, those priests were pretty smart. I could have taken the same courses anywhere, but looking back, I don't think I would have learned as much.

My hometown is Chicago, IL and I was born in Lincoln Park. I met and married a girl from Mississippi and now I find myself in New Orleans, LA. Life is weird like that. We live by the zoo in the Audubon section of town and couldn't be happier.

Paul interview Q&A

How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I first obtained a license in 2003 and that might as well be a century ago. I would have never known it then, but the way the industry changes never amazes me and keeps me in.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
I was party to a transaction where the FHA 203k rehab loan was used to purchase and renovate a mixed use property. A downtown attorney was tired of his skyscraper office space and the commute. He found a run down shell of a building that had the same footprint on both floors. Although limited to what the funds paid for in the commercial space, the loan product got him in with only 3.5% down. The product has a very narrow use for commercial space and this was it. Both sides were surprised, to say the least.
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? there's no faster way to get info on a house when out and about. You open the app and one button press later, you've got everything for sale all around you. The other is a spreadsheet app. Most of the house hunting process is a giant waste of time if you don't know what you want. A serious person figures out 5 or 6 points of differentiation and rates their options that way.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
The tough deals. Whether or not they work out in the end, knowing that I did everything I could and exhausted every possibility lets me sleep at night.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
My chihuahua's name is Ham Sandwich.

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