What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
While getting a good interest rate is important, getting solid advice is essential. In order to recommend the best mortgage for my client, I need to find out about their entire financial picture. The mortgage needs to be structured in a way that is in line with their overall financial goals. Reviewing all their assets, current debt and any large future expenses is very important. We ask a lot of questions so we can give the best recommendation.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
One of the most important things I tell first time buyers is not to bite off more than they can chew. It can be easy to underestimate ongoing household expenses above and beyond the monthly mortgage payment. I also think it\'s important to have a discussion with them about a cash cushion. Many people want to have as large of a down payment as they possibly can in order to drive down that monthly payment. With interest rates as low as they are, money is cheap. It\'s just as important to have money left over after the closing. First time buyers are surprised at the number of things you have to buy for that first home. If not allocated for correctly, they can begin their new adventure quickly running up their credit cards. We don\'t want that to happen.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The part of the mortgage process that clients find the most difficult is getting a grasp on how much money they\'ll need to bring to closing. You would think that it\'s pretty straight forward but it\'s not. That\'s where being detailed and thorough are very important. There are a lot of moving parts here that have to be taken into account. Down payment, closing costs, earnest money and real estate tax credits from the seller. Explaining this to my clients in the beginning of the process makes my clients a lot more comfortable.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I was born in Madison, WI but have lived in Illinois since I was ten years old. I went to high school at Carmel H.S. in Mundelein then got an Economics degree from Northern Illinois University. When not at work, I like spending time with family. I also really enjoy traveling. My all time favorite trip was to the London 2012 Olympics. When time permits, my wife and I like entertaining at our home. And when I need to clear my mind, I\'ll go for a long run or bike ride.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I grew up living on Fox Lake and spent my teen years doing a lot of water skiing. I was even lucky enough to be the State of Illinois novice slalom champion in 1980.