How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
Since 2002, 15 years. I started my professional career as an accountant, but I wanted a career that felt more rewarding and desired one that allowed me to bring more joy to my clientele. I bought a home for my family and it brought us great joy. At that moment, I decided that was the industry that I wanted to pursue.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical clients are first time home buyers. They typically need help deciding on a loan program, and how many homes can they afford.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I typically take an assessment of income, credit, and timeframe that the buyer plans on being in their new home. This helps me to determine which loan product suits their needs
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
15 years. I’ve won Top Renovation Originator for the Midwest Region for the years of 2010-2015
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
Pros... Fixed rate loan programs are great for buyers who plan on living in their home for a long period of time, and currently, have a great interest rate. It could provide security and peace of mind.
Cons… history has shown that the ARM has actually out-performed the 30-year fixed rate over the long run. With that in mind, some savvy buyers don’t mind taking an arm to save money with lower payments. Another thing to consider is that history also shows us that on average, homeowners are only in their mortgage for approximately 7 years before they either move or refinance.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I specialize in Renovation lending, so I meet challenging situations all the time that the renovation loan can resolve. I had a client pre approved using an FHA product recently. The inspection report came back mentioning cracks in the foundation and possible mold; not only that, the value came in $20,000 short. I was able to flip the borrower from FHA to our 203K renovation loan. The 203K product allowed us to make the required repairs after closing, and because the product allows us to finance up to 110% of the after-improved value, the low value was a non-issue. The deal got done and we had a very happy client.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Take your time to get organized first. Check your credit, save up for the down payment, and also think about putting up extra funds for reserves. When you buy a new home, you want some cash up for the unforeseen.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
The Renovation loan. Most people aren’t aware of it. You can buy and renovate a home all in one loan! The loan allows you to create equity and revitalizes communities!
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
When I started in the industry, loans were very easy to do… with almost anyone with a pulse. No income/no assets, stated income/stated assets, etc. The industry has tightened and has put some good regulations in place to protect both the homebuyer and the lenders. I expect for some of the regulations to ease a bit, but homebuyers should still be willing to provide sufficient credit documents for a loan approval.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The preapproval process. At Guaranteed Rate, we have the “Digital Mortgage” that allows customers to complete a quick and simple online application that gives them their credit scores and provides an instant Pre-approval to the borrower.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
•Lenders aren’t lending, and that it’s difficult to get a home loan
•The process takes forever, and that it’s cumbersome
•You need a very high credit score to get a loan
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?
•My Guaranteed rate mobile app for easy preapprovals, loan information and referring friends to me
•My NestMe app for private home searching nationwide
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
My Company website is actually a wonderful place for new buyers to go and learn more about the loan process. You can find answers to all types of questions, such as “How to calculate a mortgage payment”, the cost associated with home buying, and “can I buy an investment property”, etc.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Open communication with their loan officer
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?
NAREB (National Association of Real Estate Brokers). I serve on the Board of Directors. Our concentration is focused on revitalizing communities and increasing home ownership
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
II grew up on the south side of Chicago in the Englewood community. At that time, it was a great community revolved around family and economic advancement. I attended St. Sabina elementary school, and later went on to Lindblom Tech H.S. on the south side of Chicago. After high school, I attended WIU (Western Illinois Univ in Macomb, IL for my bachelor’s degree. I later studied accounting at Governor’s State IL.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
A satisfied, happy client
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Spending time with family whether locally, abroad, or right at home
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I’m very fond of large breed dogs. I especially love the Cane Corso Mastiff (Italian Mastiff). I’ve raised and bred them for over 10 years. They’re a very special breed.