How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I've been in the mortgage industry for 17 years and many friends already in the industry inspired me to get into the industry back in 1999.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
The mortgage industry has become much more difficult for consumers over the years. That’s why it’s extremely important for consumers to work with loan officers they know and can trust. I’ve always let my clients know what to expect and how difficult the process may be. I try not to “sugar coat” anything. I like to tell it like it is. I think my clients appreciate that point of view.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The mortgage industry has become much more regulated, which is a positive aspect of the industry. We all remember the subprime, alt-a, nina, sisa, and ninja loans of the past, that were all doomed for failure. Many people have recently become aware of the past problems through the release of the movie, "The Big Short". I've always been in the A paper, or prime mortgage side of the industry, and I'll always remain in that sector. Unfortunately, I've been seeing some lenders that are starting to resort back to the old portfolio subprime loans, that got us into trouble in the past. Hopefully, in the future, we don't continue down that path. Personally, I refuse to do so.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
The one thing I almost always mention to my clients is to just get proper documentation upfront. If the underwriter asks for additional documentation, don't question them. It's always easier to just get what the underwriter needs, and not fight them. That always makes the underwriting process much easier.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in Arlington Heights, Il. and then later moved to Barrington, Il. I attended Barrington High School where I played numerous sports, but I especially enjoyed ice hockey. I later attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Tx. I graduated with a degree in Finance, MSC, and Spanish. I continued to play ice hockey at SMU as well. Today, I enjoy working with Guaranteed Rate, as well as volunteering at the First United Methodist Church in downtown Chicago. I have volunteered as a head usher for 15 years. I have been married to my wonderful wife, Carrie, for 3 years.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
The one thing that provides the most satisfaction for me as a loan officer is the ability to save my clients money on their mortgage payments. I enjoy watching them close their new loans on refinances, knowing they've usually saved several hundred dollars a month. I also have used the HARP program for several clients, and have actually saved their homes from foreclosure by using that program. What better feeling can you have than knowing you've helped someone save their home?
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I think my former background as a commodity note/bond trader has really helped make me unique in the mortgage industry due to my increased knowledge of the bond market. Treasury and MBS bonds are the determining factors in mortgage rates. My ability to follow these bonds gives me a jump on rates, and whether to float a rate, or lock in a rate for my clients. I also enjoy watching the Fed, and using my knowledge of the Fed's actions to help determine future rates in the mortgage industry. It all ties together nicely, and gives me a distinct advantage over other loan officers from other companies.