How long have you been in the mortgage business and what inspired you to get into it?
I am fairly new to the mortgage business, having started at the beginning of 2010. I previously worked in public policy, as a budget analyst for the state legislature. My husband, a realtor for 16 years, suggested I might enjoy the mortgage industry. I really love helping people with their home loans, ranging from the first-time home buyer to someone wanting to refinance in preparation for retirement. It's so rewarding and really an honor to help people with what is sometimes the most significant financial decision they will make in their lifetime.
What specific steps do you use to help your customers find the best home loan for them?
Clients love Guaranteed Rate's Digital Mortgage. This system allows buyers to get pre-approved and see current rate quotes instantly for various loan options. This allows borrowers to get a feel for what their home loan would look like, from any device at any time of day, within about 15 minutes. When completed, I have complete information to reach out to finalize and formally pre-approve borrowers.
Tell us about a specific challenging borrowing situation and how you got the mortgage closed and funded.
I recently had a loan that closed in 9 days, from submission to underwriting to closing table. The seller was a bank, so the closing date was dictated. Guaranteed Rate's remarkable team made it happen! The buyer was a first-time home buyer, so it was particularly rewarding that all went so well.
What advice would you give new or first time home buyers?
A buyer's experience is so much better when they get their loan in order BEFORE looking at properties with their realtor. This includes completing an application, providing some initial financial documents (typically current paystubs, W2s, and asset statements) and working with me to finalize the pre-approval. This puts buyers in the position to make an offer on a property, and I can provide a pre-approval letter quickly. Buyers that wait until they find a property to get pre-approved experience a lot of stress, and in the current competitive market, can miss out on going under contract because they're not prepared.
What part of the home loan process do customers find most difficult and how do you help them through it?
If a client is organized, they are pleasantly surprised at how really simple the process can be. Those who are not organized, or cannot access necessary documentation, or resist providing, struggle the whole way through. My team works hard to set expectations up front about the required documentation and the process, as well as gather documents thoroughly up-front, so we're not continuously going back for more. Our Digital Mortgage and Transfersafe system make the process secure and convenient for clients - they can view a checklist of necessary documents and upload documentation at their convenience.
What can borrowers do to ensure a smooth mortgage underwriting process?
The most important factor to ensuring we can process a loan in a timely manner is the borrower's participation. Borrowers must provide all required documentation, fairly quickly after receiving their loan package. While sometimes the documentation required seems unreasonable, current underwriting regulations require very thorough documentation of income, employment, assets, credit, and current debt obligations. One misconception is that underwriters pick on people, asking for additional documents that seem superfluous. This is not true! The same documentation is required of all borrowers.
What provides you with the most satisfaction in your job as a Loan Officer?
One of my favorite things about being a loan officer is making the process as seamless and easy as possible for the borrower. There is nothing better than a borrower's surprise at the closing table that getting a home loan is really not as bad as going to the dentist!
What do you enjoy doing most in your spare time when you are not helping people with their home loans?
My husband and I have 3 active teenagers - a daughter who is a junior in high school and 2 middle school boys. We spend a lot of time supporting them in their endeavors - cross-country running, competitive baseball, competitive go-karting, lacrosse, soccer. We also enjoy traveling as a family, and spend a lot of time with our 3 dogs.
Tell us something that makes you unique or something wacky, yet interesting about you?
I married into a family of realtors, and understand that the home buying business is not simply a job, but more of a way of life. Realtors and mortgage lenders must be available to their clients at all times, and understand each client's unique situation. Having insight to the real estate process for so long, I also understand how to make transactions successful for realtors. I consider it my top priority to be a good reflection of them.