What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I spend a lot of time with customers upfront on transactions and clearly spell out the closing costs they should expect from all parties (inspectors, attorneys, us, title companies, insurance companies, transfer taxes, etc.). It seems minor, but it's rare that somebody fully discloses all the fees involved with buying a home. It builds a certain level of trust with the client immediately. Then we discuss their short and long term plans and compare the various financing options to ensure they select the right mortgage.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
The vast majority to clients take a fixed rate loan and it is a safe and secure move on their part. However, a 30 year fixed rate also carries the highest rate of interest of any mortgage product. If a person knows they'll be selling the home or paying the mortgage in full in the next 5-10 years, they should at least consider an ARM program before making a final decision.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Borrowers seem to find the underwriting of their file the most difficult part of the process. We always try to take the time and explain why an underwriter is requesting additional information or clarification on the file vs. simply requesting additional documentation with no explanation as to "why".
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I coached youth baseball and basketball for ten years.