How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been a loan officer for over 11 years now. I was drawn to this business because of my passion for real estate and because I love selling and working directly with families in achieving the American dream of homeownership. It is always a rewarding experience when the keys to a new home get handed over for the first time.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
Adjustable Rate Mortgages (ARM) can be a useful mortgage tool for those that are looking to own and finance a property short term. An ARM is a mortgage product that has a fixed period term of 1,3,5,7 or 10 years where the rate is typically well below that of a fixed rate mortgage. At the end of the fixed term however most ARM\'s will adjust based on the margin of the contract which is typically 2.25% plus the index which is usually the LIBOR index. These adjustments have caps which are normally 5% adjustment max the first year and 2% max thereafter with a lifetime cap of 5% above the index so worst case today if you had one of these that were adjusting today your rate would adjust to 7.25% worst case scenario. Fixed rate loans never adjust but you will have a higher lifetime rate because of this safety in knowing your rate will never change. I am not a gambling man and believe that fixed rate options are almost always the way to go.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
To insure the smoothest underwriting there are a few things a borrower must do. First, having a game plan is the most important part and that means talking to a qualified loan officer ahead of time and making sure everything is in order and everyone knows what the expectations are in the process. The second most important thing a borrower must do is to have the right people working with them on the biggest purchase of their life. I have seen a lot of buyers that will use a realtor that is a family friend and they are unqualified or part time and that is when mistakes happen or the borrower over pays for the property or just gets bad advice, it is important to use the right people and interview a few agents and loan officers before making your decision.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I am a father of two beautiful girls that are 1 and 4 years old. My 4 year old is active in swimming, dance and ice skating so I keep busy driving her to practice and recitals, etc. In the summer months we enjoy weekends at our cabin in Paynesville, MN.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Along with being a loan officer I enjoy wood working and building furniture. I also run 5K races on the weekends from time to time and ran the 1999 Twin Cities Marathon.