Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
The larger percentage of my business is purchase oriented, with a fairly even split between first-time and seasoned buyers. With pre-approvals, buyers want to know what they can afford and how long their pre-approval is good for. Borrowers also want a clear understanding of what options are available to them, as well as how the mortgage can further their interests.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I strive to gain a firm sense of their overall objectives, with a focus on their career plans and how long they plan to stay in the home. While a 30-year fixed loan can often equate to "cheap insurance", it can also translate to throwing money away if the borrower expects to be in the home for only a few years.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
The 3 most common misconceptions people tend to have are as follows:
1. Expiration of pre-approval: Most borrowers are concerned about getting pre-approved only to find they need more time and their approval may expire. While it's true that items such as pay stubs, bank statements, etc. will need to be updated at a certain point, the basics of their approval remain set. As long their employment remains current, they are generally good to go with minimal input, even if the home search is prolonged.
2. The belief that a 20% down payment is required. Many borrowers are unaware that competitive loan options are available with small down payments. We have a number of loan programs that require down payments of 5, 3, or even just 1%.
3. That self-employed borrowers can't get a loan. We have a number of loan options for self-employed borrowers whose tax returns show minimal income.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
The mortgage process is complex and most borrowers lack the time needed to gain a thorough understanding on their own. I find the most efficient way to educate them is to personally outline the process along with their mortgage options. I typically spend 30 to 60 minutes in the initial interview and am available whenever they have a question.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
It's a true pleasure educating and helping first-time buyers into their new home. I also enjoy outlining mortgage options for seasoned borrowers, especially when this brings them to an ideal mortgage solution that had seemed counter intuitive to them.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
Art collecting, cooking, travel, and foreign languages. I've had the great fortune of living in France and Mexico and have spent over 6 years living and traveling abroad.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
When I was 43 years old, I had a growth spurt and went from 5'9" to over 6.5' tall. Just kidding. My height remains average and my sense of humor twisted. But, judging from his shoe size, it looks like my 13 year-old son is soon to tower over me.