Conversation with a Power Mortgage Banker
After 15+ years on the front lines at the closing table, we have worked with many Lenders and Mortgage Brokers/Bankers. We can pretty much determine from our first interaction with a Lender whether they can take the borrower to the finish line. A Lender’s job can be very difficult as some deals are full of surprises. Though the 2009 CFB reform greatly improved the Borrower’s Closing Disclosures and rights, the new loan rules possibly overarched and made conventional borrowing more rigorous than ever. We recently spoke to local power banker 25 year veteran Carlos Coloma, Mortgage Banker & Branch Manager at loanDepot in Coral Gables about the challenges for today’s borrowers and how he views the current loan process:
What are the biggest challenges borrowers face when purchasing today? Not being properly pre-approved by a lender.
What would you say are the Top 3 mistakes borrowers make as they consider a purchase? The top mistake that borrowers make before considering a purchase is not speaking to a Mortgage Loan Officer to prepare in advance of looking for a property. The more time they have to prepare the better the chances of correcting any pitfalls that may exist. For example, if there are credit issues I can help them clear those issues well in advance of them applying for the mortgage. This could potentially save them a lot of money as one of the main components in pricing a loan is credit score. It could also mean the difference between qualifying for their dream home and not qualifying.
Is there any average % they should plan on for closing costs? It depends on the loan amount but roughly 4-5% of the closing costs. It is a bit higher on smaller loan amounts. Its best that they call me to discuss that. I can give more exact numbers.
Are there any non FHA 3-10% down payment loan programs available? If yes, what do they require? FNMA and Freddy Mac offer up to 97% for first time homebuyers. We can also do up to 97% financing for buyers that qualify that have owned a home previously.
What should a buyer consider and ask about when considering buying a condo with financing? This is an excellent question. The main issue that prevents a condo from getting approved for conventional financing is that the association is not collecting for 10% of the budget in reserves. I always request that the client get a copy of the current budget upfront so I can review for that. If the association is collecting for reserves than we have a 90% chance of getting the project approved for up to 97% financing. This is the most cost effective way of finding out that a condo can potentially be approved for financing without spending money on getting a questionnaire from the association up front on every condo project they are expecting to make an offer on. Associations charge from $150.00 to over $350.00 to complete these questionnaires.
What is a red flag when considering buying a condo with a loan? That the association is not collecting for the reserves mentioned above. We have programs where we can finance up to 90% loan to value if the association does not have sufficient reserves but the association must not be currently involved in any major litigation such as a law suit for some construction repairs. This loan is of course subject to the borrower qualifying.
What do you feel is your greatest strength? My greatest strength is that I am very thorough when pre approving a client for their purchase. If I pre approve them, they will close as promised and there will be no surprises on our fees and closing costs when they go to closing.
Carlos’ deals predictably go smooth and he walks through the occasional lending landmine like the seasoned professional he is. Carlos knows his work provides borrowers a positive move in their lives and a revenue stream for the other professionals he works with. Yes, we are fans since we know our time and work won’t be wasted when he is at the loan helm.
Carlos Coloma NMLS#370518
cell 305-283-4189 CColoma@loandepot.com
Branch Manager, loanDepot