Working as a loan officer has been an incredibly rewarding experience over the past 3 years. I could fill this space each month with a different aspect of the career that has driven me to love what I do, and not be finished writing for years. However, the part of the job that I treasure the most is being able to help others in my community. I’ve been fortunate to be a part of the home buying experience many times over, and seeing my clients accomplish amazing things for themselves is simply the greatest. In order to put this into perspective, I’d like to tell a short story about my experience with a recent borrower.
The Chef and The Waitress:
As a Cape Cod resident, I fell into the restaurant business at a young age. I got through College by pouring drinks at bars and restaurants alike. I love the business and respect the hell out of all those who cook, clean, serve, and pour their way to an honest living. I like the job so much that even after starting in Mortgages, I still moonlight a few summer shifts at a friend’s restaurant when they need the help. It’s there where I met Karen – a loving lady who was kind to everyone she met. Karen is married to Jeff, a chef at another restaurant nearby, and they have an adorable 10 year-old son. Now, the restaurant business dictates working hours that aren’t always kind to this family, as nights and weekends tend to be when they can go earn the best living. This family made it work however they had to, and damn did they work hard.
About a year ago, Karen asked me if I worked with any Realtors who may have a rental home available for them. Their current landlord had been negligent in maintaining the property in the past year – Whether it was the broken pipe, or lack of hot water, they needed to find a new home soon. Unfortunately, the rental market can be nearly unbearable for renters around Cape Cod. Eventually, we started chatting about what they would have to do to buy a home and get a mortgage. While they made ends meet, they didn’t think they had a chance to qualify, but figured they had to at least look. It turned out they were right at the time, as they had abandoned use of any credit long ago and didn’t even register a credit score when we first looked. At Homestead Mortgage, we gave them a plan toward qualifying with an eye on the FHA Loan – more flexible on credit scores and debt ratios, and a reasonably low down payment. Build credit up, keep debts down, save up 3.5% of what you want to buy, and eventually you will get there, eventually.
6 months after that conversation, Karen, Jeff and I, got together again. This time we met at the local registry of deeds as we closed on the purchase of their new home. With their adorable son still right next to them, himself signing mocked up closing papers just for him, Karen and Jeff accomplished what they worked so hard for. In those 6 months, they built up some credit and used it responsibly. They pinched every penny to get their down payment, along with some help from loving family. I have never seen such happiness in a person than I did in the moment when Karen received the keys to her own home. As she clenched her keys, her eyes welled up. I then got the best damn hug that’s ever been given, with a very simple, and repeated “Thank you…” There’s been no better day in this career, and I’m so thankful to be able to be a part of it.