What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I always ask questions and never assume what the borrower's goals may be. This is important because a borrower needs to feel comfortable with the new loan. Sometimes a borrower knows that he/she is not going to be in the new place for more than 7 years, and so going with a 7-year ARM (adjustable rate mortgage) at a lower rate than a 30-year fixed mortgage probably makes better financial sense.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
People often think that you need a ton of money in a bank account to buy a house. This is simply not the case - there are down payment assistance programs out there that allow you to buy a house with very little money down. Borrowers also think that if they have had some credit issues in the past that this will prevent them from ever buying a home. I consider myself a credit expert and I am happy to provide my 21 years of lending experience in helping a borrower improve his/her credit scores. There are always concrete actions a borrower can take to improve the scores over time. Lastly, borrowers sometimes believe that getting their mortgage approved is a daunting task. It really comes down to the three C's in obtaining a loan approval - credit, capacity (i.e income and assets), and collateral (the subject property). Once you break down the mortgage approval process into these three simple components then understanding the steps needed to obtain a mortgage approval becomes much more simple and understandable.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
I always suggest for borrowers to start early and ask questions. I also suggest that they partner with a loan officer who is experienced and has been referred by someone they trust. The internet is great for some things but nothing beats a referral from a trusted business associate, friend, or family member.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
The biggest satisfaction I have is when the borrower tells me at the closing, "now that wasn't so bad". I love being able to guide a borrower through the loan approval process and put myself in his/her shoes. For me it's all about building a long-lasting relationship with my clients and always being there if they have a question or need help.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Playing and listening to music, helping my wife with her jam business, and having fun with my son and two dogs.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I absolutely love music! I played the saxophone all through high school and college and also play guitar, bass, drums, and piano. My father was a wonderful amateur musician and wrote musicals in my hometown of Decatur, IL and he passed his love of music on to me.