I recently had a parent of one of my son's friends say to me, "I thought you were in mortgage, are you an originator?" She had googled mortgage terms and was surprised to have discovered my blog.
This is my fault. I'm not really a salesperson. I don't push my business cards on people and often, I don't have any on me when someone asks for them…which isn't a good practice for any business professional. Sometimes I'll strike up a dialogue with someone who has read my blog and at the end, they'll ask if I originate mortgages. It's flattering to have my blog used as a resource for information on mortgages for the greater Seattle area, however originating mortgages is how I pay my bills and make a living. One day I may sell advertising on my blog…I'm not there yet and it probably wouldn't be enough income to keep the lights on! Plus, I enjoy helping people with their mortgage needs.
A real estate agent contacted me earlier this week wanting to work with me again (she had left for a spell due to an "in house lender"). She had some great questions that I would be fitting for this post:
What type of mortgages do I originate: Conventional, FHA (including 203k), VA, USDA and jumbo mortgages.
Are you a mortgage broker: Not really. Technically we are a Correspondent Lender which is similar to a mortgage broker as I can shop rates and programs from the banks and lenders we work with. A big difference is that we fund the mortgage and sell it after closing. A significant majority of my loans are processed and underwritten in-house at our main office in Kent. We make the underwriting decisions based on the loan guidelines. I think the last time I brokered a loan was 2-3 years ago!
The difference between us and a bank is that, again, we can shop different lenders based on rates and products. Most mortgage bankers are limited by their own products (or are paid better staying w/their products) and although many have their own processing and underwriting, they are typically down in huge remote centers and not "on-site". Also, mortgage originators who work for depository banks or credit union are not licesed per the SAFE Act with the NMLS (they're only registered).
Where do I take loan applications: I'm happy to meet people at my office, at the real estate agents office or at a coffee shop if needed (I prefer an office). OR my clients have the option of completing their application on line (see the link above) and I will review their application with them over the phone. Because the on-line application helps me to be more efficient, I offer a credit of $300 off closing costs (first mortgages only) at funding. Some clients would rather meet face to face, and I totally understand and will accommodate that, others prefer working "on line"…and of course the telephone works great too!
Will you prequalify people over the weekend? Of course. Preapprovals are possible too depending on if the buyer/borrower is able to provide all requested documentation. A prequalification is definitely quicker.
So I thought I'd take this opportunity for a quick commercial break to let everyone know that I am very happy to originate mortgages for homes located in Washington state. I've been originating mortgages since April 1, 2000, I'm NMLS licensed through 2011 and plan on continuing with my career as a Mortgage Originator.
And now back to our regular programming.