How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been doing this for 16 years and basically, I was buying my first home and was in law school at the time. I thought I would start working at Guaranteed Rate and buy my house and then quit and go practice law. I saw what the business offered and put my own spin on it and decided this was the right route for me instead of being a lawyer.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I don't really have a typical client. I get a lot of first time home buyers and clients who are buying their 5th house. Usually after I do a loan for someone they have a great experience and refer their family and friends over to me. I can pretty much do it all from FHA, VA , investment properties, etc.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I start out the same way with every person. How much ideally do you want to put down and then I work different strategies from there. A lot of times it's better for a client to put down less and invest their money because they qualify for a specific type of program that they have no idea about. Really there 30 different ways you can structure a loan so I always give different options as if I was buying the home for my family. A lot of times I see loan officers just give one option because it's easy for them to do the loan. I don't subscribe to that theory. Do what's best for the client and let them decide on what they want.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Stay within your means. Your first purchase you will probably only be in the home for 5 years or less. Don\'t buy too much house where you become \"house poor\".
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
A lot of times a client thinks that just because their loan is over 80% they will have PMI. That is not the case. Depending on the client's credit you can split the loan into two loans to avoid PMI. There are special programs that you only have to put down 5% and you can do one loan and not have PMI.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
The paper work is the most difficult part. I am just upfront with the clients and tell them that they are going to have to give a lot of paperwork now since the housing crash 5 years ago. The process has changed where you can't just say what you make or what you have in the bank. You have to prove it and provide a lot more paper work. It's the same for every bank because we all play by the same rules so just get it upfront because underwriting will make you get it if you don't.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up In Wheaton, Illinois. I went to high school at Wheaton North and then went to college at Northern Illinois University. After college I went to John Marshall Law School in Chicago. I actually fell into the mortgage business my last semester of law school and I haven\'t looked back. I am active with all different sport teams like basketball, flag football, softball and golf.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I love coaching and playing sports. If I could coach full time I would. I find it so satisfying getting the kids to work and play hard. I can't stand coaches who just sit back and watch kids chase butterflies during a game.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I almost always pay for my client's refinances so they are free for them. The referrals I get from doing that has made my life easier on my family. Also, I played Michael Jordan one on one after his first championship and scored on him. After that I couldn't even get the ball past the 3 point line without him stealing it. He was the best ever!