How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in mortgage lending for 20 years and was inspired by my father, known as the Credit King for starting the “buy here pay here” business in the auto industry 50 years ago. Finance is in my blood! In addition, I am a third generation American, but the first woman in my family to solely own real estate. Home ownership is empowering and truly the American dream.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I work a great deal with first time homebuyers, but many of my clients have been with me since I started in the business. Typically, my clients want to know what the best loan is to fit their needs now and in the future.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I like to look at my clients like an extension of myself. I am a type A kind of girl, so details are important to me. I don’t believe in a one size fits all, so I like to give clients options that are my top few picks for their loan and coach them through the decision process. I serve my clients as a concierge, for whatever their needs may be, even if that it outside of my scope of services.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
I have been a top producer in the mortgage industry for the last couple of decades of my adult life. Most recently, I was elected by other lenders as the President Elect for the Mortgage Bankers Association of Western North Carolina 2018. There is no bigger compliment that your peers and competition voting their confidence in your abilities and knowledge.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
Fixed rate mortgages give borrowers security in their rate and payment, whereas ARMs can serve to allow clients a great way to save money. If a borrower does not need a secured rate for a long period of time, is not going to be changing their qualifying factors or will be restricting their mortgage within the fixed period, an ARM might just make sense.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I have assisted borrowers in overcoming challenges within the process for my entire career. Recently, we had a property that was damaged about 2 weeks before closing. Since the property was a bank owned foreclosure, the bank would not repair the property, only reduce the price. I was able to quickly change the loan type for the client to a renovation loan, and we closed on time. My clients were thrilled that they were able to not only build in the necessary repairs, but also finance in upgrades they were going to have to save up to pay for at a later date.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
The most important thing for first time home buyers to know is that they have the right to ask as many questions as they want. I love to educate people, so ask away! There are lots of programs and benefits available to first time homebuyers, so I enjoy informing clients of these programs and blowing their minds with low and no down payment loans!
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Long term locks are a great mortgage product for folks having a home built or folks wanting security during the home shopping phase!
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
I have been a lender for so long, I have really seen the industry change. Documentation requirements have really come full circle, but the technology changes are what is really mind blowing. Our Digital Mortgage App is cutting edge and hands down the best client driven tool I have ever seen!
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The scariest part for most folks is waiting on loan approval. They really want to know how much money is in the bank before they stroke a check. Totally understandable! I help them by working diligently and really drawing to their attention early and often any documents that will be needed by the underwriting for the cleanest loan approval possible.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
1. Mortgages are complicated. – I will make lists, show you payments details and make mortgage lending simple for you.
2. Underwriters eat people for breakfast. - Underwriters want to approve what comes across their screen. Pick a loan officer that has operational experience to avoid underwriting backlash for an unclear or incomplete file.
3. Prequalifications are worth something. – Truth is a prequalification is not worth the paper it is written on. Get your originator documents to review, fill out a complete application and get the real deal – a preliminary loan approval!
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Select a detail oriented, agile and honest loan officer. Return all requested information or documents within 24 hours of request. Tell the whole truth and nothing but the truth. Most mortgage issues that arise are due to late discoveries not disclosed from the start. People hear horror stories or have bad experiences with last minute issues cropping up. The truth is that if you pick a proactive loan originator that is detail-oriented, most last-minute snafus can be mitigated before the 11th hour. I like to dispel the notion that the end of process fire drills are the norm. Maybe for some originators, but I don’t work like that!
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?
I am President Elect 2018 for the Mortgage Bankers Association of WNC. This is a source or great pride for me in that my peers consider me a qualified leader and knowledgeable resource. I am taking steps to bring the MBA up to the future of mortgage lending and ensure we are at the forefront of our community. I am also working to build one touch connections as a resource to clients in our area to find the product they need, despite the lender.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I am an Asheville native, but grew up traveling and spending time in Florida, New York and the Bahamas. I attended the University of Florida in Gainesville and am a huge Gator fan.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I love helping people and educating them. Mortgage lending is satisfying in so many ways, but working with clients and referral partners allows me to touch someone’s life every single day. I am humbled and honored that my business is built on referrals and I accept each referral with a huge amount of gratitude.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
While not at work, I love raising my son. As a single mom, I am his world and he is mine. We love to garden, swim, watch movies, read, camp and play with our pit bulls.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I am a retired professional performer and still run and direct Asheville Aerial Arts, a 10-year old professional entertainment company. My passion for flying trapeze, cirque-style entertainment and aerial arts feed my creative soul and helps me look at life from a different perspective. I also require very little sleep, so this comes in handy being a busy working mom.