How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I joined the mortgage business just a few weeks after closing on our first home in 2004. After experiencing what it means to be a first-time home buyer, I wanted to help others get through the sometimes difficult mortgage process as smoothly as possible.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
I receive a lot of calls from first-time home buyers, often they are referred by their real estate agent or attorney. The first-time home buyer needs a synopsis of what to expect during the entire transaction. I patiently educate and hand-hold the buyer throughout the process and even beyond closing. I aim to please with low rates & fees as well as exceptional service. Most of my business comes from past clients and referral partners who recommend me to others, so I know Iýve succeeded.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I try to put myself in their shoes and help them with the information they need to make an informed decision.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
Over 12 years in the business. I have been a President's Club member for almost three out of four years since joining Guaranteed Rate.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
One should know that while a fixed-rate mortgage is the most popular product, you are paying for peace of mind and it is no different than an insurance policy. We discuss the savings benefits of various ARM products and sometimes it makes a lot of sense.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
Had a few new-construction homes recently that took two years to close which meant a lot more time spent with the client cumulatively. Not only did I still close them with below market rates (3.375% 30 yr. fixed in one recent case) I didn't charge them a penny extra for all the extra hours of work.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
Find someone you can trust...ask around for recommendations and don't be afraid to shop around to be sure your mortgage originator is being competitive.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
Sometimes a Jumbo mortgage (over $417,000) can be better priced than Conforming loans.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
There has been a lot more regulation and a need for paperwork and signatures. I expect digital signatures to be available at closings in the near future.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
Providing the right documents the first time. We use a checklist, follow up and provide a secure-shared folder to help borrowers follow their progress.
What are the top 3 misconceptions people have about the home loan process?
That all mortgage originators are out to get them. I'm testimony that you can work with someone who is really there for you.
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?
Guaranteed Rate mobile app helps you shop rates and save.
What resources could you recommend that borrowers use to learn more about the mortgage process and how to ensure a successful home closing?
Read the home-buying packet we send our customers by mail. It has all the do's and don'ts for the mortgage process.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
Keep your credit profile and bank activity stable. If you aren't unsure if something will be a problem, check with your mortgage originator first.
Are you active in any local associations or community groups, and at what level? What goals and/or success have you helped these groups achieve?
I volunteer time helping the Daf A Week learning program which is a network of serious students of Talmudic study which has enhanced many lives over the past 11 years.
Are you active in any fundraising organizations? What goals and/or success have you helped them achieve?
I like to give back to my community by donating time and funds to local organizations. I am proud to be a sponsor of local sports teams.
Summary of where you grew up: family, affiliations, college, high school, etc.
I grew up in Philadelphia, went to high school in Scranton, PA and continued my education in Oak Park, MI, Jerusalem, Israel and Elizabeth, NJ.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
I work hard to provide top-notch service to my referral partners' and their clients and the best testimony to my success is that many real estate agents and attorneys have turned to me for their own mortgages.
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
I try to spend quality time with my family and I'm also an avid student of the Talmud. I love the Daf A Week program.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I can communicate using sign language as I grew up with hearing-impaired family members.