If you are in the early stages of getting a mortgage, you may be wondering what the process entails. Who better to ask than our trusted and experienced loan officers? We spoke with Chris Miller from Red Bank, NJ and Dominick Antonino from Mount Pleasant, SC to get an inside look on the mortgage process and their thoughts on the industry. These Senior Loan Officers have extensive experience helping others secure mortgages that are best suited for their needs.
WHAT SHOULD A BORROWER HAVE PREPARED BEFORE APPLYING FOR A MORTGAGE?
- Photo ID
- Documents for a Pre-Approval: Paystubs, W2’s/1099’s/Tax Returns, and Bank Statements.
- Current Mortgage Statement (all properties owned)
- Homeowners Declaration Pages (all properties owned)
- HR contact information, job title, and start/end dates for ALL jobs in the last 2 years
Chris Miller explained how critical these factors are when applying for a mortgage. However, the most important job the loan officer has is using his/her creativity to determine the optimal type of financing for each individual client. “This involves sharing short- and long-term goals with the loan officer and listening to the various options. A lot of people have pre-conceived ideas about what type of financing they desire; however, they are unaware of how many different products and options are available nowadays. Be open to an in-depth conversation!”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE MORTGAGE/LOAN PROCESS?
While applying for a mortgage can be quite the stressful process, Dominick Antonino shared how your loan officer can help guide you. “It’s our job as loan officers to mitigate the stress, streamline the process as much as we can, and above all: communicate. To our clients, to our referral partners, to everyone.”
WHAT CAN YOU TELL US ABOUT THE CURRENT MARKET?
Chris Miller expressed that the market is very hot right now. “If you are looking to refinance, then you are in a great spot given the current historically low interest rate environment.”
Dominick Antonino shared valuable insights on the current market trends. “Most of 2021 has been an all-out seller’s market. We are starting to see the beginning of the end of that. Inventory is slowly starting to increase, listings are starting to stay on market long enough for people to actually see them, all while rates are still historically low. I think we will see listings slowly come out of the woodwork, but buyer demand will remain strong.”
WHAT’S ONE PIECE OF ADVICE YOU’D GIVE TO A FIRST-TIME HOMEBUYER?
Before you begin searching for your dream home, Chris Miller stressed the importance of speaking with a loan officer first. “So much emotion is spent dreaming and speculating about whether you can afford a particular home.” By starting a conversation with a loan officer before you begin looking, you will be able to focus on homes that are within your budget.
Dominick Antonino recommends a step that is commonly missed by first-time homebuyers. “Get pre-approved! You do NOT want to be standing in the home you want to buy not knowing if you can afford it.”
WHAT IS ONE OF YOUR MOST SUCCESSFUL/MEMORABLE CLIENT STORIES?
Chris Miller recounted on a time he was able to provide a solution for a family eager to find a new home with a safer commute to school for their daughter. “I was on vacation when I got a call from a woman looking to get her family in a new home. Her daughter was going to start middle school next year and busing wasn’t available to her due to proximity of the house to the school. I excused myself from the family activity and spoke with her for nearly an hour. When I arrived home, I had to break the bad news that they weren’t eligible for financing at the time.”
“However, I gave them a 6-month plan that would allow them to purchase a home. It involved extensive credit repair and a plan to reshape their employment so that it would show favorably in an underwriter’s eyes. Over the course of 6 months, I was able to help them stay on track and they are now enjoying their brand-new home!”
Dominick Antonino shared how his plan assisted a single mom when the pressure was on. “A woman I began working with in August of 2020 was unfinanceable at first, so I helped her with a plan to raise her scores. She needed to refinance her ex-husband off the mortgage he held on their marital home, which she was living in with their disabled daughter. We reconnected in early July of this year, when she told me that she had until July 30th to complete the refinance or she would have to turn over the house to her ex-husband.”
“We went to work. One co-signer and a same-day appraisal completed 4 days before closing, we closed at 5:30pm on Friday, July 30th. Her ex-husband showed up to sign his name to the deed transfer, and this awesome human became the sole owner of her home. Best day ever.”
WE’VE GOT YOU COVERED
With these insider tips, you will be able to begin your mortgage process confidently! If there is anything you are unsure about, reach out to your loan officer and they will help guide you through the process.
Thank you to this month’s featured Loan Officers for sharing their insights!
Learn more about Chris Miller: https://cmiller.fam1fund.com/
Learn more about Dominick Antonino: https://dantonino.fam1fund.com/