How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the mortgage and lending industry for 26 years, inspired by a strong need to do something that helped people.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical customer tends to mostly be made up of first time homebuyers. They typically have lots of questions like: How much can I qualify for? , Do you have first time buyer or low down payment options? , What happens next when I do have an accepted offer on a home?. Last but not least... What would be my payment? , and of course what is my rate going to be? .
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
The first step in any home loan process starts with a good application. Asking the more in depth questions and not just the basics found on a typical application. You can find out much more about the customer by taking some extra time. This may also make the difference of actually getting them approved or not. I also take the time to find out what their long terms plans are so I can better serve them. We have various loan programs to choose from and one doesn't fit all. I like to put together a side by side program comparison chart as well, so they can see the difference in the programs which can vary in rate, down payment requirements, PMI, as well as the pros and con's.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
I have been in the mortgage business 26 years. I've been recognized by the companies I've worked for as a Top Producer, President's Club award, and Top Originator awards and recognitions. Letýs not forget about the cool trophies they give out too! LOL
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
The pro's on a fixed rate versus an adjustable is of course the fact that the principle & interest payment cannot change over the life of the loan. It tends to be perfect for first time buyers especially, since this is a way they can budget their money and never have to worry about payment going up. However; there are times when an adjustable loan is better. Usually adjustable rates are more common in a rising or high fixed interest rate market. The adjustable rate mortgage becomes more attractive then because the rates start off lower than what the fixed rates would offer, and you can also choose the length of time in which that introductory rate will stay fixed for ( i.e. 3, 5, 7, or 10 years). This is great for customers who don't plan to stay in their house for more than say 5 to 7 years due to continual job relocation, or those who know they will earn more income in future years as they progress in their careers. I always educate the borrower on how the adjustable rate works, the terms of adjustment, when this happens and how much it could go up over the life of the loan. Adjustable rate mortgages are actually fantastic for those who understand how it works.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
My advice to a first time home buyer is to take some home buyer education classes. In most cases they are free. Then work with a lender /loan officer you feel, like, and trust. Friends, family co -workers, and even their realtor are great resources for this referral. What better person to refer you, than someone who has already had the pleasure of working with you and has already established a good working relationship? After all, we all have one goal in mind, and that is to put that first time homebuyer in a new home.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
I could mention a few in fact, but most people don't know that a child can purchase a home for their elderly parent who is disabled or lacks supportive funds, under the provisions of an owner occupied property with Fannie Mae with as little as 5% down and market rates . This loan is called the Family Opportunity Mortgage.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
What hasn't changed!! Since being in this industry, I have seen nothing but change. Some for the better and mostly changes to guidelines, rules and regulations. Our industry has probably undergone the most change of any industry and the changes keep coming. We are the most highly regulated now with the formation of the CFPB who oversees all mortgage compliance. It used to be that pretty much anyone could get a mortgage. You name it, they found a product for it- Subprime, 100% financing, No Doc, low doc, to stated income. These products have but all disappeared today and tighter requirements put in place making it more and more difficult to obtain a mortgage in todayýs world. Every loan now is full documentation, and then some. There are systems in place to triple check things. Even disclosing a loan and how rates for a consumer are determined. Today is about documentation and verification.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Customers still struggle with which product and program is best for them.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Mass & RI Housing Authorities offer home buyer counseling and on home buyer courses for a nominal fee. These buyer education classes can be done on line and offer useful information to first time homebuyers about expectation in the mortgage process as well as use of credit. Guaranteed Rate has also provided a E-booklet called "Demystify the mortgage process" , that is very helpful to my customers and takes them through the mortgage process from A- Z.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Borrowers need to be truthful and upfront with their loan officer from the start of the application, and volunteer to provide them with the income and asset documents that will be used in the underwriting process. This will avoid any last minute surprises. Borrowers should provide the required documents in a timely manner , not open any new debt, and never make large deposits into bank accounts that cannot be sourced. Anything can happen during the loan process but doing these main things will help to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process.
Are you active in any local associations or community groups, and at what level? What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve?
I am a volunteer soccer coach for both North Attleboro and Attleboro youth soccer.
Are you active in any fundraising organizations? What goals and/or success have you helped them achieve?
Although I don't hold any lofty positions in any one fund raising organization , I am an active participant in several. I am a participant and monetary supporter of my own towns " Keeping North Attleboro Beautiful".
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in Medfield MA. A Honor roll student of Medfield High school. I went to Bryant College ( now Bryant University in Smithfield RI) where is studied business and financial management services and graduated with Dean's List honors. Both of these schools laid down a solid foundation which afforded me the benefits of what I do today.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
The most satisfying part of my job is the accomplishment of closing all my borrowers loans . However; not all deals are easy and straight forward. They often take some dedication of looking at ways to approve .
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
When I'm not helping people with their home loans, I enjoy coaching girls youth soccer . This gives me opportunity to spend time with my daughter, as well as putting smiles on other young girls . And when I am not a mother or coach, I'm a professional singer.. yes its true!
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Not many people know this about me, but I'm a professional singer. I am mainly hired for my vocal impersonations of Celine and Cher, and have had the honor of working with several Las Vegas entertainers. Its definitely an ice breaker.