Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I typically deal with first time home buyers in my current market. They usually come to me with questions about how do they even start the process of becoming a home owner. It's so rewarding to be able to sit down and explain the process to someone and make sure they understand what they are doing. Buying a home is one of the biggest purchases they make in life.I never take for granted that I do this every day and they may do it once or twice in a lifetime. It's important that they understand all of the steps and processes to becoming a home owner. Most first time home buyers have questions about down payments, what is an escrow and some don't even know what their credit scores look like. Setting someone up to be a responsible home owner means educating them on the steps to home ownership.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I liked to get to know my buyers. I want to know about what they feel comfortable paying a month for a house payment, where they see themselves in 5 years or 10 years down the line. Life throws us curve balls when we least expect it. I want to look at the entire financial picture and help them make he best decisions to meet their changing financial and family needs.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
Some of the most common misconceptions I hear from buyers is that they think they need a 20% down payment to become a home owner - which just isn't true. Credit is a big one to - bad credit and no credit don't mean you can't own a home but you might have a little more work to do than an average buyer and you have to decide if your willing to put in the due diligence to work towards that goal. Another misconception is when people start the process and just start calling around for rates. There are a lot of factors when it comes to calculating an interest rate and a lot of fine print.
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 encourage my buyers to ASK questions. There are no questions not worth asking in this process. Feel comfortable with your loan officer - no matter what Lender you are using. If you can't go to your loan officer and get an answer - what are they really providing for you? Same with your Realtor - before you "settle" on one - meet with a couple and think of it as an interview process. What is that person bringing to the table? Are they listening to your wants and needs? The Buyer/Realtor relationship can be a long lasting relationship, so you better pick one that communicates and puts your wants and needs first for you! Communicating with your Loan Officer and your Realtor are key elements to a successful transaction and closing.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
Some of the most rewarding parts of my job are going to a closing with a single parent who never thought she could own her own home - seeing the excitement on someone's face when then get handed keys and they realize - those are their keys. I've had people cry at closing and it makes me shed tears of joy right along with them. The gratitude a buyer has when you help them accomplish this goal is so worth the long hours and hard work I put into my job. When you love what you do, it isn't really work! Being a Mortgage Lender - is part of who I am!
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I think one of the unique things about me as a Loan Officer is that I really understand that life happens. We all get hiccups along the way that affect us. I don't shy away from bad credit or no credit - I work hard to help someone get on track. Empathy - If you can't empathize with a persons situation and take the time to get to know them and understand their needs, then maybe you aren't the right fit for them. I want to take that time with my buyers. I work hard for a relationship with a buyer. I love when they send me an email or a text message and tell me about something new happening in their life. I recently had a closing that had a problem on the sellers side. I left the room and came back in and my buyer said "I mean this in a very respectful way - but you're like a bull dog - you just aren't gonna stop til you get what you want". I took it as a sincere compliment - I work for you - the buyer. That's my job - to get it done!