How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
Since 2005 (12 years this week) I was inspired to get into the industry by a family member who was in real estate. Watching how he was able to help his clients and impact their lives and futures inspired me to want to do the same.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
A majority of my business is first time buyer, specifically VA. I am an active reservist and I take a lot of pride in introducing new home owners to the process and educating them on home ownership. Due to my clientele and their varying levels of experience, questions will range from the simple to the complex.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
As a mortgage strategist I encourage my clients to plan for the long term and together we look at their lives today and where they want to be in the next 5, 10 and 20+ years. Once we have a picture of where they want to be in the next stage of life, we can confidently select a mortgage product for them.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
2005. I am a multiple type top producer at my previous employer.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
To many home buyers, a fixed rate mortgage is the cornerstone of predictability and security. Everything is locked in and right there in black and white. You can see exactly what your payment will be in 20 years and how much will be applied to your principal at that time. Based on that and the recent history of the mortgage market, most borrowers look to this for long term strategies. However, if you know your employment, location or income situation will change in the next 3-10 years it may be financially beneficial to look at an ARM product. With the right strategy and planning, ARM loans can be safe and cost effective.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I had a borrower that was a US citizen living in Hong Kong and wanted to purchase a home in the states in anticipation of relocating home. His income was from China and he was paid in Hong Kong dollars. All of his documents needed to be translated and converted using two different services. Aside from that he owned a home in China and they do not have the same mortgage and insurance practices as the US. I had to work with a local real estate agent in the US who also had done business in China as well as an agent in China in order to get the proper documents to make the transaction work. Also, notary practices are different in China and he has to schedule a signing at the nearest consulate and document were express shipped back and forth. At the end of the day, we did the extra work and research to make it happen for the client. The client was not aware of the stress and had a great experience.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Find someone who is willing to educate and empower you during the process. Make sure they are accessible and “speak your language”. This is a big decision and you need to go to sleep at night understanding the process and with your questions answered completely.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The mortgage industry has been turned on its head since I started in the business.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
First, the misconception that “Getting a home loan is stressful and difficult”. Many first-time buyer or even current home owners starting the process to purchase a new home or refinance believe the process is difficult and messy. If you work with the right person and the loan is handled properly, the process should be stress free with little homework for them. Second, would be the misconception that “I probably done qualify”. There are a ton of programs out there that are available for people from all walks of life and for almost every financial situation. Talking to the right person who can help you plan for an upcoming home loan and help you select which option is right for you makes all the difference. Third, the misconception that “All loan companies are the same”. This could not be any less true, all mortgage companies and loan officers are NOT created equal. Having the right company handle your loan could mean the difference between an approval and a denial. Having the right loan officer, who has the right experience and knows the business inside and out, can be the reason you reach your goals while avoiding the stressful issues we hear so much about.
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?
I usually recommend that my clients use an app like Tiny Scanner. It is an awesome tool that helps them use their smart phone camera to create PDF copies of documents that they may not be able to email as easily or if they do not have scanner access.
Are you active in any local associations or community groups, and at what level? What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve?
What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve? I am a member of several Veteran advocacy groups, as well as, a local chapter of the American Legion. I volunteer time as an advocate to help other veterans make the right choices when it comes to home loans and credit decisions. There is a huge hole in the availability of information when it comes to financial guidance for veterans. Specifically, surrounding their VA loan benefits and how to properly manager their credit.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
Born and raised in North County San Diego.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I enjoy camping and backpacking with my family, surfing as much as I can and mountain biking the local San Diego trails. I play soccer two nights a week and I am a paratrooper in the US Army reserve, under the Army Special Operations Command.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I wear a lot of hats. :)