If shopping for a home or investment property is on your to-do list, the Mortgage Team at Elevations Credit Union would love to be your lending partner. Mortgage Loan Officer Alicia Bustamante has been educating Elevations members about their residential mortgage options at the Denver Tech Center (DTC) Loan Production Office since November 2021. Learn more about her 15 years in the credit union industry and approach to mortgage loan origination.
Alicia Bustamante helps Elevations members find the best home loans, but she isn’t one to solely rely on checklists and spreadsheets. She also likes to chat.
Learning about members and discovering what their ideal house payment looks like and reminding them that there are many types of mortgages available, helps her build both a solid working relationship and the ideal loan.
“I’m surprised at how many people will actually tell me, ‘We’ve talked with other loan officers, and nobody’s ever explained those types of things to us,’” she said. “That’s just kind of baffling to me.”
Bustamante simply doesn’t leave any questions unanswered. After all, a mortgage is probably the largest loan a person will ever take on in their lifetime. It’s best to understand every step of the process.
“I love how much Elevations allows us to tailor loans to fit the needs of the individuals we’re working with and how much they really care about their membership base and employees,” she said. “I love it here. Everybody is super-duper nice.”
Prior to joining the Elevations Mortgage Team, Bustamante worked at another credit union from 2007 to 2021. She started in the consumer lending department and eventually migrated to mortgage lending in 2017. During those years, she worked with Coloradans to secure personal loans, auto loans, home equity lines of credit and mortgages. She also worked in business development.
Explaining the loan approval process and mortgage choices
Bustamante said helping people get into a variety of loan types and teaching them about their credit helped her realize how much she enjoys the education component of loan origination.
Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer, rental property investor or property owner looking to refinance an existing loan, Bustamante is ready to explore all your options. She’s happy to explain the ins and outs of each loan type and suggest which ones would be best for your individual scenario.
“I love working with first-time homebuyers because I like educating them on the different products like the adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM), the conventional or the FHA, and explaining the differences so they fully understand what they’re getting into,” she said. “’Here are all the options on the table. You pick which one you like the most because, at the end of the day, you’re the one making the payment.’”
There for you before and after closing
It’s not uncommon for Bustamante to check in with members after they get the keys to their home. She wants to make sure they’re happy with their experience, are still getting their questions answered and know that she will be there for them for the next steps in the home-buying journey, whether it’s a refinance in a few years, or upsizing or downsizing as life moves forward.
“It’s not, you know, one and done,” Bustamante said about the home buying process. “I always tell people, ‘You’re kind of stuck with me.’ Even after the loan is closed, I’m always willing to tell people to call me if you have trouble with your payments, or if you’ve got questions on your escrow accounts. Even if it’s not mortgage-related, call me and I’ll get you to the right person.”
And if the questions are math-based, it’s a bonus. Bustamante’s dad is a trigonometry teacher for honors high school math students. That love of numbers was passed down to her, which explains why she enjoys diving deep into the calculations and percentages to make the mortgage process a bit easier for the people she works with.
A few tips for mortgage shoppers
If you’re a first-time home buyer, or it’s been years since you’ve navigated the mortgage process, Bustamante offers a few tips and reminders to be successful:
- There are no dumb questions — especially when you’re looking at taking on a large financial responsibility like a mortgage. So, ask away!
- Get a mortgage pre-approval before you get too far into house hunting. This helps you know how much of a home you can afford.
- Ask about current rates and loan types, including programs that may benefit your situation like down payment assistance or low-income financing options.
- Buying a home brings up a rollercoaster of emotions from excitement and happiness to stress and frustration. But, at the end of the day, signing those closing papers makes it all worth it.
- Work with a lender who has a personality you enjoy. You’ll be collaborating for several months and need to get along.
“I encourage people to shop around, make sure the lender you’re working with understands your needs, at the same time providing you the best loan option,” Bustamante said, adding that this helps members know what’s out there and realize the value and personal attention they receive at Elevations.
Having fun beyond crunching numbers
Bustamante and her husband are avid golfers and try to hit the course at least once a week during the season. When they aren’t on the fairway, they’re lacing up their sneakers to go on a nature hike with their three kids and extended family members.
During the school year, the family is focused on football practices and games for the two boys and cheering on their daughter at softball or volleyball games.
Are you ready to chat about your home financing options? Contact Alicia Bustamante (NMLS# 1026613) by phone at (720) 951-6427 or schedule an in-person visit at the Denver Tech Center (DTC) Loan Production Office. You can also send her an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elevations is an equal opportunity lender.