Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I deal with a lot of first time home buyers and enjoy guiding them through one of the biggest decisions of their life, home ownership. I have experience working with all mortgage products ranging from conventional financing to JUMBO loans. Also, I have a focus on niche programs like the FHA 203k and Fannie Mae HomeStyle Renovation loans, CPS (Chicago Public School) grant, and Tax Smart programs for the City of Chicago. In addition, I conduct a lot of home buying classes and work closely with my clients and real estate agents educating them on the complexities of mortgages and what needs to be done to ensure a smooth and successful closing.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
I think a lot of clients I speak with about purchasing a new home think that if they don't put down 20% they must pay monthly mortgage insurance. This is simply not true. I have access to programs with as little as 5% down with no mortgage insurance. This not only gives you a lower monthly payment, but can save you thousands over the term of the loan.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
The most important thing to do to ensure a smooth underwriting process is to submit a complete file to the underwriter. The first thing to review is the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac automated underwriting results. This is the template the underwriter will use to review the file. A good rule of thumb is to make sure the file contains the last 2 years of tax returns and W2s, 2 consecutive pay stubs reflecting 1 month of salary, the last 2 billing cycles of bank statements (source any abnormal deposits), typed letters of explanation for any credit inquires, and home owners insurance information.
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 actively involved in the @properties Friends and Neighbors Community Fund (@FNCF). We address homelessness, education, and youth development in different neighborhoods throughout Chicago. This gives me chance to give back to the community that I live in and love. We most recently sponsored an ice cream social for one of our 2012 beneficiaries, "Off The Street Club," which is for children between the ages of 4-18. I also love to participate in local chili and bbq cook-offs that raise funds and awareness for local/national charity organizations.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I am originally from Wisconsin and enjoy craft beers, dining at supper clubs, and taking trips to Madison, WI with my family for Badger football games. I have a beautiful wife and 2 gorgeous and healthy kids. Life is great!