a picture of a starter home with two dormers, green grass, and a full length front porch.

Construction was slow so, in 1992, I started looking for a new opportunity to support my family.  A friend of the family was a real estate broker and suggested going into real estate finance.  After passing my license exam, I found a mortgage broker who was looking for help and I signed on.  He said he would teach me everything he knew, failed to do so which, in the long run, was a blessing in disguise. 

Ed had Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac manuals in the closet behind my desk, I learned almost everything from self-study and ended up doing one loan that a 17-year veteran thought couldn’t be done.  KNOWLEDGE IS POWER!

Sadly, one young lady lost her job when working on one of my loan packages.  She didn’t believe me on several key items, submitted a horrible loan package to one of our best wholesale lenders, and would have cost me both financially and in reputation if I had not had the company reconstruct the package under tight supervision.  When it was submitted the second time, it went through easily.

One Realtor had a non-traditional deal… a family from India who were buying a family home.  Their culture expects brothers and sisters to go on title together but no spouses.  Only one could speak English.  At the beginning of our second interview, I gave each of the buyers a one-page checklist.  Their agent was upset at this and even more upset when I gave her a 1.5 page checklist to track her clients.  When I showed them I had a two-page checklist to stay on top of everything, the hard feelings were gone.  When the purchase closed in 32 days instead the normal 45 days, they were all happy.

TAKEAWAY:  Do what you need to do.

Another Realtor had a difficult deal, a husband and wife who were pre-approved for a loan but couldn’t qualify for private mortgage insurance (PMI).  After seven or eight attempts, she asked me if I could take a look.  The loan they were pre-approved for was a Bank of America adjustable rate mortgage (ARM) but their work history was such that they wouldn’t be able to make their payments if the rates went up.  I told the Realtor there was only one way for them to purchase the home they wanted and that meant using two programs in tandem – the Community Reinvestment Act of 1978 and a first-time homebuyers’ program (fixed rate mortgage, favorable qualifying ratios, etc., their loan succeeded with the first lender I sent it to.

TAKEAWAY:  Know your products and who offers what.

BONUS #1:  I was invited to many housewarmings.

BONUS #2:  Even though I haven’t done mortgages for 30 years, many of the same principles apply.  A good loan is a good loan.

For you:  My passion is helping where I can.  Let me know if you need help.

For first-time homebuyers:  There are many resources available to help you find and buy the house of your dreams or at least take a first step in that direction.  Rocket Mortgage talks about maintaining your credit rating, i.e.”Don’t attempt to influence your credit rating for better or worse.” https://www.rocketmortgage.com/learn/first-time-home-buyer-tips
I disagree.  Find out what ‘dings’ exist on your credit report and, if there are any there that don’t belong there, you can START cleaning up your credit report.

Case study:  One of my buyers had dings on his credit report because his ex-wife had not paid HER bills on time.  In their divorce decree, it was clear that the credit account with ten dings was her responsibility, not his.  After they reviewed the divorce decree I faxed to them, they confirmed they could remove the dings from his credit report.  By documenting that the cleanup was underway, the preparer of the Verified Mortgage Credit Report was able to remove them from the report sent to the wholesale lender.

Outcome:  Buyer goes from 11 dings to 1 ding in less than 48 hours.