How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
It is hard to imagine than I have been a residential mortgage lender for almost 30 years now and still welcome the challenge each day of matching clients with products that suit their individual needs.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I welcome the opportunity to work with all kinds of clients, so I cannot say I have a typical client. As my longevity in the business has afforded me the chance to help buyers get into their first home, progressively move up to larger homes, finance vacation homes and investment properties, and then help put their children into their first homes.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
We typically discuss budget, long term plans for the property, and financial planning. The most important factor for future security is their comfort level with the payment.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
Lately we have seen many clients recovering from the credit challenges of the previous market collapse. We work with them (sometimes for months) to try to restore or rebuild credit. We are delighted when we see credit scores move from the low 600s to the mid 700s. It opens the door to better pricing and more financing opportunities.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Their first step should be to create a budget, determine how much they can comfortably afford as a monthly payment and then stick to it. Don’t succumb to the temptation of buying outside your comfort zone.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Veteran’s Administration (VA) loans are the absolute best product on the market and so many veterans are unaware they are eligible for this incredible benefit. Veterans can purchase a home with zero down payment and no monthly mortgage insurance. VA loans have the best fixed rate pricing, modest credit score requirements, and beneficial underwriting standards.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
Amazingly, when I started in the business loans were handwritten, borrowers had to appear in our office with stacks of documents to photocopy and sign, and the underwriter had only her intellect and a calculator as tools for approving a file. We are now in the digital age…although the stacks of paperwork still exist, they are now in the form of digital files and Loan Officers and underwriters can quickly and easily tweak numbers to come up with the best match for our customers.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
With the introduction of Dodd Frank, lenders have very specific documentation requirements that borrowers try to short-cut. It is always daunting to explain that we need that last page of a bank statement, even though it might be blank, or all pages of a tax return. We try to be patient with each document submission and explain why we need exactly what we are asking for.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
The single biggest misconception is that once their loan has been approved they can do whatever they want…change jobs, buy a new car, open a credit card, or move money in and out of their bank accounts. We try to constantly remind each borrower that their loan is “contingent” on there being no financial changes in their loan profile until the day that loan is funded and closed.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Never be afraid to ask any question...there is no stupid question, only stupid answers. Everyone on the Loan Officer’s Team is here to keep customers informed and focused on the next step in the process.
What can borrowers do to insure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Immediately provide whatever documentation is requested and provide us with your best method of staying in touch. Some clients prefer phone, some emails or text…make your preferences clear.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
Was born in Milwaukee, WI…grew up in Louisville, KY…moved to Philadelphia, PA and then to Los Angeles, CA in 1980. Have four incredible sisters and my Mom and best friend just turned 95 this year.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I am thrilled to get the phone call from my borrowers on the day of closing thanking me for making their dream of home ownership come true. That is what motivates me each day!
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
The family loves traveling and being together. We are extremely close and truly enjoy each other’s company, and in so doing have developed good senses of humor.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
To have stayed in this business for this long, you have to be a little crazy!