How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I got in the business because I have a belief that everyone should have the opportunity to own their own home and have the security for their family.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I have customers from the first time buyer to super jumbo loans. Many of my clients are in the entertainment industry or self employed where they have complicated tax returns to young couples purchasing their first home.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I like to meet with clients face to face to discuss what their goals are for the home they are purchasing or refinancing. How long will they be in the home? A 30 year fixed is not always the best option. Everyone has a different financial situation and I like to give them a plan tailored to what their needs, goals and wants are
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
I have been in the business 28 years For the past five years in a row I have been the recipient of the Orange Coast Magazines Five Star Professional in Mortgage award. This is granted to only 7% of loan officers in Orange County and I am particularly proud of this award because it is awarded to loan officers that have the highest customer service surveys. Orange Coast Magazine sends out surveys to everyone in Orange County California who has purchased a home and only the loan officers with the highest ratings get this award. When I was in the Wells Fargo Builder Division I was in Leaders Club.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
It really depends on how long you are going to be in the home and what their particular financial goals are. If it is going to be their forever home then more than likely a fixed rate is a better option. If it is a first time buyer getting into a condo or small home then they will likely move up to a bigger home so that the fixed rate doesn’t make as much sense. They can have a lower rate for the initial term and build equity faster.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I had a couple that had experienced a Chapter 13 bankruptcy and were just a few months from paying off the bankruptcy in the entirety. They went and put in an offer on a new construction home. The lender for the builder was not able to approve them, they went to a second lender that was not able to approve them. We got their loan approved on an fha loan which does allow you to take out a loan to purchase a home with a 12 month history of paying the bankruptcy as long as the bankruptcy court allows. It. We were able to close on the loan for them and they are very happy and loyal customers.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Don’t waste your money on rent. Whether you buy or rent you are paying someones mortgage, either your own or your landlords. There are first time buyer programs that allow you to come in with very minimal or sometimes no down payment. Take advantage of these. Rents are going sky high and currently with low down and low interest rates there has never been a better time to buy.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Many people have the misconception that to purchase a home you need at least 20% down. We have loan programs with as little as 3% down. There are Jumbo loan programs with as little as 10% down. They also believe they have to have a high credit score There are many programs that do not require this. Best thing to do is to get prequalified and have a consultation to go over your specific situation. Getting prequalified is like a road map. Even if you are not ready now we can get on the path to getting you ready.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
I started in 1991 so I have seen so many changes in the market. When I started you could not have debt ratios over 36% of your gross income. If we were at 40 we were biting our nails that the loan would not be approved. Now, at least in California, where we tend to pay a higher chunk of our income on housing we routinely see loans at 43% debt ratios and higher. Then came the early 2000s with the stated income, negative arm loans and skyrocketing values, but what comes up has to come down. Now, really, we are back to common sense underwriting and it is very similar to the old days. Today I think it is easier to qualify than when I first started.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Just getting started with the prequalification process. Many customers are afraid they will not qualify so they want to fix things up a bit before they apply for the prequalification process but it makes more sense to come in and let us run your credit and collect your income and asset documentation and help you to formulate a plan to get you were you want to go.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
That is is difficult to get a home loan. It isn’t, it just requires more documentation.
That you have to have a high credit score. You don’t. That you have to have at least 20% down
What 2 or 3 mobile apps would you recommend for home buyers or house hunters, and why? What Smart Apps do you recommend your customers use for the house hunting process?
The Nest app, you can take photos of the homes you view and send them out.
There are many apps out there, the Houzz app is also great. Mortgage Coach is a great app. Your lender can communicate via the mobile device and send videos. We can send you new loan scenarios and updates.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Work with a qualified loan officer that will give you good advice tailored to your specific needs
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Start the prequalification process early so that we can iron out any of the kinks and be prepared by the time we get into escrow. Provide the documentation asap that is requested of you. Do not transfer money around in your accounts
Are you active in any fundraising organizations? What goals and/or success have you helped them achieve?
I am a member of BIA (building industry association). I have been on the market finance committee with them. I am member of the National Council of Jewish Women-Los Angeles chapter(NCJW)
I have gone on Habitat for Humanity projects in Orange County and Los Angeles
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in Santa Monica, California. I have two brothers, my parents were from Cuba and I came from Cuba at the age of 6. I attended Santa Monica High and attended UCLA.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I enjoy putting people in homes and seeing how happy they are when they close escrow. The look on their faces and the happiness that they will experience. A home is where your children grow up, where you go to relax and nothing compares to the feeling of having your own home or the memories that will be formed in that home.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I love to cook gourmet meals, salsa dance, play golf and just hang out with friends and family. And lets not forget travel, when I have the time.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I love the beach. I love going there whether winter, summer or whatever. I have lived my whole life by the beach.