How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I have been in the business for over 20 years. I got into the business by accident. With my husband being in the Marine Corps, I needed a job that I could do from just about anywhere. The mortgage industry allowed me that flexibility.
Who is your typical customer and what questions do they typically have?
The Customer usually asks what their loan options are. They are mostly concerned with the monthly mortgage payment.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
I try to find out what the customer's 5 year goals are. That helps me determine what products are best for them and what makes the most sense for them. Many customers appreciate this attention to detail.
How long have you been in the mortgage business? What awards have you won?
I have been in the business for over 20 years. I was rated at the top 1% of originators at JP Morgan Chase.
What are the pros and cons of a fixed rate mortgage versus an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM)?
There are many pros to a fixed rate mortgage. The customer will have the same P&I payment for the entire life of the loan. The cons are, if a customer only plans on staying in the home for 5 years a 30 year mortgage may not be the best mortgage for them. They would benefit more from a 7/1 ARM where the rate is considerably lower and the payment is fixed for 84 moths. The cons on an ARM are if a customer stays longer than 7 years, the ARM fixed rate portion expires, and the rates could be higher and therefore, their payment could be higher.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
Every loan is like a snowflake (I know, very cliche), no two are exactly alike. The most challenging loans are where the borrowers have a foreclosure, short-sale, or bankruptcy on their credit. Those three items limit the products that are available to them. Also, self-employed borrowers that write-off most of their income. You have to work harder to find a product that has expanded debt-to-income ratios that they qualify for. Lending today is much more complicated then it was a few years ago. There are more restrictions and regulations.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
My advice to first time home buyers is to be diligent about their credit. If they have student loans they must be current to qualify for first time home buyer programs.
Tell us about a mortgage product that consumers may not be aware of?
We have a program that customers that are one day out of foreclosure, short-sale, or bankruptcy can qualify for. We also have a variety of down payment assistant programs available to our first time home buyers.
How has the mortgage industry changed since you started, and what would you expect in the future?
The mortgage industry has done a 180 since I started. It is more heavily regulated and guidelines are must more strict.
I see the mortgage industry and guidelines loosening a bit in the future. I also see rates getting higher.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
To ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process borrowers should work efficiently in providing required documents as soon as they are asked for them. Sometimes borrowers do not realize that unnecessary delays are caused by not providing information required right away.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
The absolute most satisfaction that I get from my job is when a past customer calls me back for their next loan or refers another customer to me. That is the most satisfying thing about my job, the trust a customer has.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
Being Greek, I am superstitious. It's hilarious, I know, but I just am.