How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the mortgage industry for 33 years. I was inspired to get into the mortgage industry because I saw a need for a true professional not only to help people achieve their dream of home ownership, but to also become an integral part of their long term financial planning strategy. Whether it’s a first time buyer that we develop a budget for to make sure there is money left over each month to invest so they can achieve their long term financial goals, or the borrower that needs to access equity in their home for their child’s college education; everyone’s needs are different. Taking the time to ask the right questions and listening to the borrower’s objectives is key to providing the right mortgage product for their needs.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
The best advice I can give a first time home buyer is to create a budget that takes into account every monthly expense incurred, that also includes provisions for putting money away each month into savings and investments. Creating a comprehensive budget is the only way to truly determine a comfort level with a mortgage payment. Preparing a budget and determining a comfort level with a mortgage payment should be done before a buyer starts actively searching for a home as part of the Pre-Approval process. Taking this necessary step will enable a first time buyer to confidently purchase a home with a payment that will allow the buyer to live comfortably within their means and achieve their long term financial goals. This step will also help define the buyer’s price point for their realtor, so the realtor can select homes to view that are within the buyer’s price range. First time buyer’s that take the time to prepare a budget have an enjoyable home buying experience with no unforeseen surprises.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
I think that borrowers are finding the loan documentation requirements and the break-down of fees on the Loan Estimate the most difficult things to understand about the mortgage process. With today’s lending guidelines, borrowers are required to provide more documentation than ever to obtain loan approval. I take the time to explain the reason I am asking for each piece of documentation needed for loan approval. I also take the time to review the Loan Estimate line item by line item, to insure the borrower understands why they are incurring each cost on the Itemization, and how I derived the estimate of cash required to close. I believe that educating the borrower at the time of application as to the costs they will incur, makes for a good customer experience at the closing table.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
As a Loan Officer I get the most satisfaction out of attending closings and seeing the look on borrower’s faces when they receive the keys to their new home. I take pride in the fact that I helped a borrower purchase the home of their dreams. The mortgage process is not easy these days. Helping guide borrower’s through the process and making the experience a pleasant one is my ultimate goal.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
When I am not working as a Loan Officer, I love to watch my son play hockey. He’s a goalie, so it’s always nerve racking. I also like to cook with my daughter. She always comes up with a new recipe for us to try. I really enjoy sailing on my catamaran at Lake Geneva. There is something very cathartic about being on a sail boat with a good breeze. I am a bicyclist and love to take forty mile rides early on a Saturday morning. It clears my head and it’s a great work-out. I love to snow ski and go every chance I get, even with my bad knees. Please don’t tell my orthopedic surgeon. Finally, I love to ride my Harley with a great group of friends. We always find unique places to stop along the way. Not much time for cleaning the house as I’m always on the go.