Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical customers are local clients who are either looking to purchase a new home for their family or to expand their investment portfolio.
So, I often end up helping a very wide variety of people. For example, someone fresh out of college on their first job, retirees looking to downsize, newlyweds looking to up-size, others looking to do refinances for a remodel, and many more. The best part of this job is that pretty much every loan is unique in its own way.
That said, there are definitely questions that are frequently asked. They mostly pertain to understanding what certain things mean (ie. "What are points?"), trying to understand what the process is, or what their monthly payment/closing costs will be. I've learned that in the mortgage industry everything can definitely be intimidating and/or hard to understand, so definitely don't hesitate to call or text if something pops into your head.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
Finding the best loan program for you starts with a brief call to introduce ourselves to each other, get a feel for your financial situation, and also answer any up front questions you might have. By the end of that call you'll know the next steps, which are to get me your loan application and paperwork. We will also schedule a follow up meeting either in person or over the phone to discuss your pre-approval.
By the time that follow up meeting comes I will have already narrowed down a bunch of loan options for you to choose from. As far as finding the best one for you, it really depends on the context of your situation. What are your long and short term goals? What sort of financial situation do you want to be in after we close? And also, why do you want to be purchasing a home? These three questions I think are key for all of my borrowers to answer.
By going through those questions with you, I'm able to point out different loan programs to best fit those criteria based on the pros and cons of everything we have available to us. So, finding the best loan program for me requires some introspection on your part and some background research on my part. Combining those two proves to be a winning formula.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
Top 3 misconceptions, in no particular order:
1) "You need a certain high amount of down payment to purchase a home".
Simply untrue, there are many low down payment options available to *everyone*, subject to certain guidelines, of course.
2) "You need excellent credit to purchase a home".
While having good credit certainly helps, you are by no means "hard-locked" out of getting a loan with what you might perceive to be "bad credit". There are so many loan options available that it'd be a mistake to preemptively lock yourself out of getting a new mortgage loan just because you think your credit is bad.
3) "You need two years of employment history in the same job in order to get a loan"
In most situations you will not need two years of employment history in the same job to qualify for a loan. There are a few exceptions to this, primarily if you receive variable income such as commissions, but those exceptions won't lock you out of getting a loan, it will just limit the amount of income we can use. So if you just started a new job, there is a very high chance we can use that income to qualify you.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Look, I've always been a guy who uses the internet for everything. How do you cook a good pot roast? YouTube. How do I get a splinter out of my finger? Google. Where are the best vacation spots? Google. Any question or curiosity I have, 99% of the time I will turn to the internet.
Even with my absolute devotion and advocacy to the power of the internet, I still think the best resource for mortgage information is to reach out directly to me. Over the years my clients have come to me with some information they obtained online or through hearsay, and it's always a challenge to correct some misinformation there might be.
The big reason for that is twofold. First, sometimes blogs or other mortgage articles might be outdated. Guidelines and loan programs are changing daily and it's just not feasible for many of these websites to keep their articles as up to date as possible. As someone working in the industry I'm always up to date with the latest updates and can easily relay that information to you.
Second, for websites that actually are correct, a lot of times they are so generic in the information they give that it really doesn't help your particular individual needs as a unique borrower. For example, they might say "there are low down payment options available!". But what does that really mean to you and your family? A lot of times they have to give you information this way because of strict mortgage advertising laws.
Whatever the reason is, a lot of mortgage related information you'll find online will often not be able to address the particulars of your own situation as a borrower. You'd be limiting yourself by relying on information you might find outside of speaking someone who specifically works in the business.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
The most satisfaction I have as a loan officer is following up with my past clients to find out about the joys of their new home purchases. Especially on first time home buyers or any others who thought it might be an impossible task to actually own a home here in Hawaii. Often times that comes from me following up personally after we close just to make sure everything is going great, and to also get some feedback on my service.
Often times it comes from when my past client refers me their friends and family. The fact that my past clients frequently trust me enough to help their friends and family makes me very happy.
However the word gets back to me it's always rewarding to know I helped another family through a pretty daunting task, and that at the end of it they were happy with my service.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
To me, there is no restaurant better than Curry House. I've been going there since I was about 10. Back then, my aunt had to take me to a weekly allergy shot appointment and we always went to McCully Curry House afterwards. Now, any excuse I get I try to make sure I can go there.
Even better, when we go to Japan, I always make it a point to try and go to the different Curry Houses in the area. They have a huge menu up there but still everything tastes amazing (curry is pretty much the same).
I'm an absolute crazy fan of Curry House and I'm always down to go (hint hint, nudge nudge).