How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been a mortgage professional for over 25 years. I started out in the business because
there was a local need for bilingual (Spanish speaking) loan officers in my community.
Immediately, I loved the incredible joy and satisfaction I got from helping borrowers get into a new home. I can’t imagine doing anything else!
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I always have an in-depth conversation with my customers regarding their specific and unique
situation such as: length of employment, income, liabilities, and the amount of savings they
have set aside for the purchase of their new home. I also ask about their goals for the use and
approximate time they plan to stay in the house to help determine the loan type and term to
best suit their needs…
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I had borrowers who were buying a new builder house. They had put significant funds in for upgrades, etc. They had already relocated. The underwriter issued a decline – due to back end debt ratio. Naturally, everybody was in a panic. There was nothing to pay off and no other income. So, in order to get them to qualify, I restructured the loan using LPMI (Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance). By eliminating the monthly MI, the borrower’s DTI fell in line to get approved, -and to every one’s contentment, the loan funded.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
I would encourage all borrowers, especially first-time homebuyer’s to listen intently to the advice of their mortgage professional and follow their recommendations for all items needed and things to do -all in advance of their loan application, so that their loan ultimately gets approved with less hassle. Don’t buy anything! Pay all bills on time. Don’t change jobs while trying to buy a house.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Lender Paid Mortgage Insurance
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
Since I became a loan officer, technology has drastically changed how we do business. The loan process has become so automated. Borrower’s loan documents can be “dragged and dropped” from their computer into their personal loan file without having to copy and scan or fax. I expect in the future that the technology trend will continue to develop and improve, in ways unimaginable.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
The top 3 misconceptions, in my opinion are:
1- That their income is what ultimately determines their loan amount.
2- That they need 20% down payment in order to get a loan.
3- That pre-qualification and pre-approval are the same thing.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
There are many online first-time homebuyer websites that help borrowers navigate and learn
about the home-buying and mortgage process. One of my favorites is MGIC.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Borrowers can help the mortgage underwriting process go smoothly by responding to communication and emails needing their acknowledgement and signatures right away. As well as by providing the updated documents required per the underwriter’s conditional loan approval in a timely manner.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in Southern California and spent summers on my grandfather’s farm in North Dakota. I graduated from High School in California, I was a member of Junior Achievement and a life-time member of California Scholastic Society. I graduated from NDSU in North Dakota, where I earned a BA, double majoring in Spanish and Business with a minor in Economics.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
For most people, a mortgage is the single largest financial decision they’ll ever make. I take considerable pride and satisfaction in helping families achieve the American Dream of Homeownership. With the exception of the most recent economic housing crisis, homeowner’s are now enjoying considerable equity in their homes.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
In my spare time and in my time off, I enjoy being creative. I like making jewelry, (beading) painting and refinishing furniture, re-purposing, and cooking and entertaining. I also love to travel, anywhere, but mostly anywhere where I can go to the beach! I am always looking forward to “the NEXT” adventure of a lifetime.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
After spending my senior year of high school as a foreign exchange student in Sweden, I came home, and then shortly after… I sold my car and bought a one-way ticket back to Europe. I made Barcelona, Spain, my home base for over two and a half years. From there, I traveled to many places which included Khartoum, formerly The Sudan, and I also lived and worked on a kibbutz in Israel. This was an incredible experience, I made life-long friends and I learned so much, much more than learning in a class room setting.