How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the mortgage industry for over 30 years. When I started out, I was looking for an opportunity in finance which would allow me to help people and to set my own hours as an entrepreneur of sorts. I have worked with many borrowers for over 20 years, from the time they were first time homebuyers to now helping them buy homes for retirement or investment, as well as helping their children, grandchildren, nieces & nephews buy their first homes. The same is true of many of my realtor referral partners. I think its my excellence in customer service that have allowed me to be included in the Top 1% of Mortgage Originators Nationwide since 2012.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I can't say I have a typical customer. Many of my customers I have worked with for over 20 years, have bought/sold/refinanced several homes, or are investors with multiple properties. With these customers, the questions are often about long term financial decisions that are calculated and on a plan. However, we love first time homebuyers - and I would say half of my customers are nervous first-time buyers referred to me because my team and I know how to walk them through the home buying process easily. Their questions are often more about budget and the process so they know what to expect when looking for the home of their dreams. We also get many questions about Down Payment Assistant programs and 203K loans. Beyond this, I am known for being able to "get it done", so I have customers that have more challenging situations and need my 30+ years of industry knowledge for the financing they need. Their questions are often about bankruptcies, credit restoration, and short sales.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
Over my career, the mortgage business has gone from complicated, to oversimplified to somewhat complicated again. The only thing I can guarantee is that it will continue to evolve. My job has always been to know the process and programs inside and out so I can make good recommendations to my customers, and make the process simple for them no matter how complex the market has become. Having worked with first time buyers, Super Jumbos, construction loans and even FHA 203k loans, I can navigate whatever loan a customer needs. Right now it is a great market for First Time Buyers, for existing home owners to refinance, and for Jumbo buyers. As the economy continues to improve, we will continue to see value appreciation.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
The media has gotten people too concerned. Many people are worried that they need a lot of money for a down payment, wonýt qualify for a loan, or that the process will be difficult. In the first 10 minutes on the phone with my customers, I want to alleviate their concerns, hear what their needs are, and go to work on making a home loan easy no matter what their situation is.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I am a cyclist and triathlete. I love coaching kids and have coached youth and junior triathlon for 10 years. My best memories are running the Delnor Kids Tri and seeing the little kids race. The looks on their face tell it all - happiness, excitement, determination.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Come watch Cyclocross - cross country racing on a bike with twinkies! My college age daughters race too, and it is a lot of fun. Great entertainment for the crowd, and Chicago has a great series of races. Come on out and watch, and figure out why twinkies are integral to the sport - chicrosscup.com.