Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical customer is a first time home buyer. Generally they're most concerned with the amount needed for a down payment or how mortgage insurance plays a role in their monthly payment. After finding out what program the buyer qualifies for I am better able to address their concerns with the available products, some with no or low money down and reduced mortgage insurance.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I like to put myself into the buyers shoes after talking with them. As a buyer I want to be well educated on what is available to me and the strengths and weaknesses of each program in today's market.
Each borrower's needs vary. Some are ready to roll straight from the beginning, others need to improve their credit (which we have a program for that tells us the most effective way to increase their score), others need to bring their debt to income ratios down, or build up their funds for the down payment.
After speaking with them I am able to create a game plan geared specifically for them towards getting their home loan completed.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
A lot of times people have the misconception that they need a large amount of money done to qualify for a mortgage. This couldn't be further from the truth. One of most common loan programs I teach consumers about is the Mass Housing loan available only here in Massachusetts. With this loan eligible buyers can purchase a home with as little as 3% down. It has opened up many doors for customers who may have never thought of becoming homeowners.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
A mortgage requires 20% down
FHA is the only available loan with little money down Mortgage insurance is expensive
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
All I can ask of my borrowers is to please have your documents ready. Often times I will need recent pay stubs and up to 3 years tax returns in some cases. Being able to verify all of the information they provided me during the application process will reduce any hold ups and allow for a smoother close. Customers that are able to get me items in a timely manner are much calmer through the process knowing that we have met each deadline along the way.
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?
Greater Newburyport Association of Realtors
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
My hobbies include racing cars at different tracks through New England and going to car shows. I enjoy snowboarding in the winter and mountain biking in the summer. When I'm home I love being able to relax with my two dogs, Nala and Amber.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I have once went over 200mph on a motorcycle at a track in Maine.