How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I first obtained a license in 2003, and that might as well have been a century ago. I would have never known it then, but the way the industry changes never ceases to amaze me and keeps me in.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
My typical customer is smart and tech-savvy. Whether they found me themselves or were referred to me, they look all over for the lowest rate. They check reviews. They want an electronic mortgage process that is easy no matter what device they are on. They want someone with local expertise with the backing of a large company.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I stop talking and listen. Figuring out why this is the right time for this borrower and their family is the most important thing to know.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
If today’s rate is in the high 4’s, budget at 5% if it’s in the low 5’s, budget 5.5%, don’t put yourself in a situation where .125% or .25% difference in rate makes or breaks you.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
I was party to a transaction where the FHA 203k rehab loan was used to purchase and renovate a mixed use property. A downtown attorney was tired of his skyscraper office space and the commute. He found a run down shell of a building that had the same footprint on both floors. Although limited to what the funds paid for in the commercial space, the loan product got him in with only 3.5% down. The product has a very narrow use for commercial space and this was it. Both sides were surprised, to say the least.
What 2 or 3 mobile apps would you recommend for home buyers or house hunters, and why? What Smart Apps do you recommend your customers use for the house hunting process?
Realtor.com- there's no faster way to get info on a house when out and about. You open the app and one button press later, you've got everything for sale all around you. The other is a spreadsheet app. Most of the house hunting process is a giant waste of time if you don't know what you want. A serious person figures out 5 or 6 points of differentiation and rates their options that way.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Make yourself available, be organized, take our lead.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in a Real Estate business. Mom was an agent. Dad built houses and then started a company that financed them. Much of my homework was done in the back seat of mom’s car while she showed homes. I learned what title insurance was before algebra. My part-time job through college was filled with a lot of data entry and a lot of copy machine time at my dad's mortgage shop. Why was I the only one surprised that I'd be in the real estate industry?
I went to a Jesuit high school (Loyola Academy, outside of Chicago) and went to a Jesuit college (Loyola University Chicago) and majored in Finance and Information Systems/Operations Management. I was taking summer classes in Hawaii and eyeing a third major, but then I met a girl (see below).
My hometown is Chicago, IL and I was born in Lincoln Park. I met and married a girl from Mississippi, and now I find myself in New Orleans, LA. Life is weird like that. We live in the Carrollton section of town and couldn't be happier.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
The tough deals. Whether or not they work out in the end, knowing that I did everything I could and exhausted every possibility lets me sleep at night.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
My dog’s name is Ham Sandwich 2 (RIP Ham Sandwich 1)