😍 Featured Partner Fridays: Steve Johnson
What prompted you to get into mortgage lending?
I started off as a Junior Underwriter at a regional lender and learned the guidelines from the ground up. Once I was able to see the impact of how the loan process could effect a homebuyers experience I became hypersensitive to not over condition a buyer unnecessarily and to focus on their needs while adhering to the guidelines. So the short answer is I needed a job in which I could see the impact that my work had directly on people & make a difference and the mortgage lending field fit that need perfectly.
How long have you been in the industry?
Since 1996. It seems like yesterday and I can’t believe I’m going into my 22nd year.
What is the biggest piece of advice you would give today’s buyer as they prepare for the mortgage process?
Shop around and ask your loan officer as many questions as possible but specifically these questions: What’s is your APR today? What are your costs? Can you offer me a lender credit? If so does that change the rate? Do you recommend an Attorney? Why? What are their costs? How long have you been a Loan Officer? Do you have references that I can call? How many customers have you helped in the last 12 months? If working with a lender vs. a bank ask: Are you a direct lender? Do you have overlays? Do you underwrite to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and/ or FHA guidelines? When working with a bank vs a lender ask: How long will the closing process take? Depending upon the number of days the LO”s answer, ask: Why will it take 21, 30, 45, 60 days?
What is most rewarding and what is most challenging about today’s market?
Most rewarding is when I can help a buyer who is in a difficult situation. Whether it’s an out of the box type of self employed borrower, someone who’s credit score is below 580 but above 520 or a first time home buyer. It’s nice to see them happy at the end. The most challenging part of todays market is the lack of inventory. To combat that we as a company have implemented a full upfront approval process and it’s cut our signed P&S to close time down to under 30 days. This has helped our buyers to get more offers accepted and ease the minds of the sellers and their agents.
What are your hobbies and passions outside of work?
Spending time with my kids golfing or going to the beach with my wife in the summer or skiing in the winter help to balance me out. Without them supporting my efforts I’d truly be lost. They’re great at keeping me grounded.
☎️ Please feel free to reach out to Steve for all of your mortgage needs:
Branch Manager, Loan Depot
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