How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I've been actively involved in the mortgage industry since 1999 and a mortgage originator since 2006. My start in the industry was not typical as I began my career working with the Illinois Association of Mortgage Professionals and the National Association of Mortgage Brokers on promoting homeownership and supporting lobbying efforts. From there I went on to develop a marketing department for a mortgage banker/broker in Chicago. I saw first-hand that so few loan officers take the time to educate their clients. Many don't return phone calls or email promptly and many don't keep Realtors and attorneys in the loop during the process. So while I learned a lot from talented mortgage pros -- I also learned about what not to do. These experiences were invaluable and have shaped how I do business every day. I'm passionate about providing each client and referral partner a smooth, understandable and positive mortgage experience that inspires confidence and peace of mind.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
To decide on a lender most borrowers only know to ask "what's your rate?," but in today's lending environment what they should ask is "what are your mortgage solutions and your ability to close my loan?" Most lenders have very comparable rates and fees and getting a loan closed requires a proactive approach and lots of hustle, so you need to be confident that the largest financial transaction of your life is in the hands of someone who is capable of advising you properly on programs and rates and troubleshooting the issues that may arise along the way to closing. Chose a professional that provides you a written or web-based analysis of loan options that clearly shows you rates, downpayment and costs and most importantly monthly payment so you can compare and discuss which mortgage solution is best for you. The lowest rate does not always equal lowest monthly payment so ask about alternatives to mortgage insurance. Depending on how long you will have the loan a higher rate with no costs may be better than a lower rate paying full closing costs. Be smart. Ask for options and experience not just rates. The process is stressful enough without worrying if your loan pro can get it done.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
A Bradley University graduate of communications and business, I live in a beautiful Chicago condo with my husband of 10 years, young daughter & son and our aging cat. I'm a triathlete, Ovarian cancer fundraiser and a Chi Omega advisor at DePaul University. I love beach and indoor volleyball, playing euchre with my girlfriends, and watching sports especially Chicago Bears football. I enjoy a good cooking show although my husband is the chef of the family, and if I'm not at work or home you can find me at our New Buffalo, MI lakehouse or when I'm really lucky travelling abroad. Paris and wine country is next on the list. Then a safari or trip to Galapagos.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I'm super competitive in just about everything I do. I haven't met a board or card game that I don't want to dominate. I've been known to talk a little trash on the volleyball court. Oh and blackjack -- I could sit and play that game for hours. One time I played 14 hours straight at one table in Vegas thanks to the generosity of a neighboring player who spotted me $20 bucks to double-down on my last hand before going broke. I ended up winning over $5,000 that day!
And my fave teams like to lose BIG. I won't go to another major Illinois sporting event until they win a title because the Illini lose every time I go (Sugar Bowl 2002, Final Four 2005 and Rose Bowl 2008). I also watched drenched by hours of rain in Miami as my beloved Bears lost Super Bowl XLI. The one sports bright spot: the White Sox won both games 3 & 4 of the World Series on my birthday.