Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical clients are most often first-time home buyers or families making a move from their first home or condo into their “forever” home. Working with each group is rewarding for different reasons. For first-time home buyers, I enjoy educating them about the home-buying process and their various options and serving as an adviser for the biggest purchase of their lives. For clients moving into their second or third home, it’s great to help them determine which options are correct for them long-term and to help them develop roots for their families.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Guaranteed Rate offers several different down payment assistance programs, each of them with different advantages and requirements. In fact, you can receive up to 5% down payment assistance towards your purchase, depending on eligibility. I’ve worked extensively with each of these different programs and know the guidelines in and out. That way, I can ensure that my clients choose the program that best fits their needs and help them get the best deal possible.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
First, that the process is complicated and requires lots of documentation. I communicate everything up front and find out as much as I can about my clients to make things as smooth and straightforward as possible. Second, that some programs are available only to first-time home buyers. Several down payment assistance programs are open to any borrowers, so you may qualify for grants without even knowing it. That’s why it’s important to work with someone who is familiar with all the ins and outs of these programs. Third, that fixed rate mortgages are always the way to go rather than adjustable rate mortgages. ARMs can offer several advantages, such as lower rates and quicker pay down of principal, that may make sense depending on circumstances.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
My wife and I bought a beautiful, 1920s brick bungalow in Portage Park, on the Northwest Side, a couple years ago. I like to keep myself busy with projects to bring the house into the 21st century. Last year I took our back room down to the studs and completely renovated it. I also enjoy making woodworking projects- I might even surprise you with one at closing as a housewarming gift!
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I’m an avid home chef and love trying new things. Most weekends you can find me working on a new recipe, hosting friends or family for a group dinner or firing up my backyard smoker and making ribs, brisket, chicken, you name it.