How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I first got my real estate and mortgage license in California in 1991. Being a more active person, I later gravitated to full-time real estate because I enjoyed taking buyers out into the cities, showing them houses and witnessing how their families interact on each property.
Moving to Las Vegas recently, I realized that I was not doing very well with the heat, I decided to enjoy the cool of the office, still in the housing industry, as a mortgage loan officer, instead. Experience on both sides of the purchase process is a great advantage and the transactions are smoother as I am able to foresee and advice borrowers on questions or confusion that arise from either side.
Buying a home is the single biggest purchase most people will ever make and I wanted to help people feel comfortable with that time in their lives and see the happiness on their faces when they sign the closing documents of their loan, knowing that in just a few days they will be holding the keys to their new home!
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
First time buyers do not automatically know what it takes to qualify to purchase a house. One came to me and said, “Macie, I have a good paying job, and have saved lots of money in the bank now. When can I start looking at houses?” While it is very important that they do have a job, it also is equally important that they must have had that job for at least one year, or been in the same line of job for more than that time.
Another important thing is that funds for down payment must be “seasoned” or sitting in their bank for at least 60 days to be acceptable as usable funds for down payment.
I would also advise first time home buyers to stay away from applying for credit cards, store cards or installment credit, at least 4-6 months before purchasing a home. Multiple credit pulls bring their credit score down, which affects the interest rate of their loan and ultimately raises their monthly payment.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
The best advice I can give to my borrowers, on our initial talk, is for them to tell me their exact desires for a home, the parameters their family budget can allow for a comfortable monthly mortgage, their present and past credit scenario, and their income. Having everything in the open helps me understand their full situation, their hopes, and from there I am able to give proportionate options and directions on how to reach their goal. Buying a home is a journey that starts with a dream and when put into action by getting the correct story to the lender’s team through proof of documents and explanations, a smooth underwriting process ensues. My greatest joy is when I see them at their housewarming party, showing their home off to friends and family. I always make sure I get invited to that party!
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?
I am the current secretary of the Las Vegas Spring Valley Lions Club, 2016-2017 term. We are a very active chapter and we have sponsored many fund-raising events to help an orphanage, the homeless, vision screening and medical missions to the Philippines.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Well, I am a musician. I used to sing, until I had vocal cord surgery a few years ago. I still sport a hoarse voice up to this point. And although it devastated me to lose my voice, I thank God that I still play the piano/keyboard. (I owned a music school and had 128 students a week, ages 4 to 64!)
I also volunteer keyboards with a gospel band about every 6th week, in Henderson. And I get to serve with great musicians that perform in the big hotels who, likewise, volunteer their talents for God.