How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
21 years- I was at the right place at the right time when a friend was starting a new firm.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I work well with NY area couples looking to buy their first home. We discuss the benefits of leveraging money at the lowest rate possible
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
Questions Questions and more questions and then I listen!
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
Fixed rates give people piece of mind and security. In some cases where the client knows they are in the property for less than 7 years an ARM can be the perfect product.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
In NYC we have many challenging coop and condo properties. I worked directly with the managing agent and the board to get the building the necessary insurance and reserve requirements to get the building approved This allowed my borrower to get a lower rate with less money down.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Make sure all of your professionals are familiar with each other. Even better if they have all worked together before. Your Realtor, RE attorney, CPA , Financial Advisor and Mortgage professional ALL have important information to share with you and each other to make the transaction go as smoothly as possible.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Reverse Mortgages- They allow Seniors to borrow money with less stringent income documentation and never make a mortgage payment again. You can even purchase a home with a Reverse Mortgage!
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
I have seen the good, the bad and the ugly! We started out asking for paperwork and making sure everything made sense to lend money to the consumer. Then we stopped asking for anything and there was no requirement for down payment, proof of income or good credit history. Now the pendulum has swung too far to the "right". Many of the guidelines make sense now. But some of them are just too debilitating for consumers who should be able to qualify. Most specifically a successful self-employed business owner.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
PAPERWORK- it is hard to manage but our system is the best out there.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
1- Rate is the most important thing 2- Better to go to a big bank 3- All mortgages are the same
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Prepare in advance. Gather your tax returns, bank statements and paystubs and have them reviewed well before you are ready to buy!
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 a Director for Manhattan BNI. www.Manhattanbni.com and President of the largest NYC group- Flagship CH 12. www.NYBNI12.com
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I was on the Howard Stern show!