Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical customers are first time home buyers. They have general questions about the overall home buying process.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
First, we discuss what’s most important about a mortgage to them. After getting a clear understanding of their short and long-term goals, I prepare a loan comparison that includes loan programs that are best aligned with what’s important to them.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
The top 3 misconceptions people have about buying a home;
1. You need a 20% down payment to get a mortgage.
While that used to be true a few decades ago, those days are long gone. For example, you just need a 3.5% down payment to qualify for an FHA mortgage.
2. It’s cheaper to rent than it is to buy.
Rent prices have skyrocketed over the last couple of years, making the cost of renting about the same as a mortgage payment would be. Most first-time home buyers are shocked buy how much home they could afford based on their current rent payment.
If you plan on staying in the same property for at least 5 years, buying is considerably cheaper than renting.
3. You just need enough for the down payment in their savings account.
This is a huge misconception! The down payment is just one of the costs to consider. There are several other upfront costs when getting a mortgage. For example, lenders will require you to pay for a home appraisal plus 12 months’ worth of homeowner’s insurance, before closing.
It’s not only unwise to use all your savings for a down payment, most loan programs won’t accept it. It’s typical for lenders to require at least 2 months of mortgage payments in reserves.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Educating home buyers is so important that I created a weekly first-time home buyer podcast, along with hosting a monthly home buying seminar entitled “Get Ready.” Each discusses everything necessary to ensure a successful and rewarding home buying experience. I would highly recommend borrowers find a trusted resource that will educate them on the entire process and set the right expectations. Absent those two things, the odds of having a rewarding home buying experience, drop significantly.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I get the most satisfaction by telling a borrower, who didn’t believe buying a home was possible, that their mortgage has been cleared to close.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Unique? Hmmm… I suppose you don’t meet many people, in the mortgage industry, who’ve performed stand-up comedy on HBO, NBC, or Comedy Central. I’ve been performing stand-up comedy, around the country, for 10 years.