What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I find that listening at the beginning of the process allows me to direct my customers into the appropriate loan that meets their current and future needs. The most important parameter is the timeframe a customer expects to own the property, what there intended use will be and how quickly they would like to pay the mortgage balance off. Someone purchasing a condo as a primary residence may convert it into a rental property, or someone that currently has an investment property may one day make that their primary residence by downsizing. Understanding my borrowers timeframe and intentions up front allow me to make sure that they use the most efficient loan that meets their needs.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
The best advice for new or first time home buyers is to ask questions. The more informed and educated a borrwer is throughout the purchase/ underwriting process, the more comfortable they will be at the closing table signing off on the largest purchase of their life up to this point. The nature of choosing a mortgage company and loan officer to work with can be challenging with the amount of information and mis information available. A new buyer should make sure that terms, options and process is clearly explained upfront and as well as have the expectations of timing, need for additional items and closuing process explained in detail.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
The key to a smooth underwriting process in the current environment is organization. The more organized a borrower is at the beginning of the process, the smoother the transaction will go. Most lenders require 2-3 times the amount of information that had been required in the past. If the customer has the ability to provide the items in the initial request for conditions, this will ensure that future requests for additional items/ clarification will be minimal. Sometimes less is more, but in today's market, underwriters are the most thorough they have ever been. It is our goal to request as much information at the outset in order to facilitate a smooth, seamless underwriting and loan process.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in Oak Park/ River Forest where I attended Fenwick High School. I graduated from John Carroll University outside of Cleveland, OH where I met my wife Meghan. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversay in October 2012. We live in LaGrange Park and have 3 children - Finn, Seamus, and Saiorse who keep us busy. I have two sisters and brother in laws that live in Chicago and we are currently encouraging them to move to the LaGrange area as well. When a free moment opens up, I enjoy cooking for family and friends and getting all of our kids together.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
My family bought me a smoker a few years ago - when time permits (and it does every other weekend ususally), I enjoy firing up the smoker and cooking a meal for family, friends and neighbors.