Meet Carmen, an Elevations Mortgage Loan Officer

Is shopping for a new home or refinancing your current property on your mind? Consider partnering with the Mortgage Team at Elevations Credit Union. Mortgage Loan Originator Carmen Hanagriff would love to help you secure a pre-qualification letter or discuss loan options. She’s been navigating the residential home loan needs for Elevations members at the Denver Mortgage Office since July of 2020. Learn more about her approach to lending in this article.

For Carmen Hanagriff, the best part about assisting Elevations members with residential mortgage lending is being able to help them accomplish their goals and educating them on their home financing options throughout the process.

“When my members purchase their new home, I love being able to celebrate with them. So many people have the dream of becoming a homeowner, I’m thankful I get to be a part of that process for so many people,” she noted.

Buying a home isn’t a clear-cut path, and Carmen knows this first-hand from navigating the home-buying journey with her husband over eight years ago before working in residential lending. Her experience was less than enjoyable, with little guidance. Now, she’s vowed to make that path much more accessible for every member she partners with on their mortgage needs by nurturing them to make informed decisions and understand the steps to buy a home or refinance a mortgage from start to finish.

“You can’t just assume because of somebody’s age, experience or profession that they should or would understand what all goes into purchasing a house,” she added.

Creating loans for a variety of Colorado residents

Before joining the Elevations Mortgage Team as a Mortgage Loan Officer, Carmen worked in the financial services industry for fourteen years in various roles, including commercial lending, loan management, consumer lending, consumer banking and small business lending. These experiences have created a solid foundation for her work with Elevations members seeking all types of residential home loans for new home purchases and refinance options.

“I work with quite a few self-employed borrowers, and my experience in commercial lending has helped me immensely to help them through their buying journey. When we look at a self-employed borrower, we calculate their income differently,” she explained. “My experience in commercial lending helps me to better understand how to read and analyze tax returns and bank statements to calculate qualifying income for a borrower.”

Carmen said she works with everyone, from first-time homebuyers through multiple programs available with the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and small business owners to executives purchasing multi-million dollar homes. She also takes pride in helping veterans obtain VA loans thanks to the local Buckley Space Force Base and many military families in the area.

“One thing I appreciate about Denver is that it’s very eclectic. We have many different types of people who are buying homes here and that have different needs and qualifications. You need to be ready to pivot and work with all borrowers to customize their experience based on those specific needs and qualifications,” she elaborated.

Always looking for the best options for members

Carmen works hand-in-hand with a member’s real estate agent. She finds that understanding the whole picture of the home purchasing process helps her find the best loan options for her borrowers. Sometimes the type of home changes during the search. For example, if someone is looking at single-family homes but decides to start browsing condos, that changes the options and rates for a mortgage. Carmen will work through different scenarios so her members understand the difference between the multitude of financing options available for each type of property they are interested in pursuing.

She says having a working relationship with her borrowers is a top priority. As soon as an application comes through, Carmen reaches out by phone or email to let the member know the information was received and what the next steps are. She knows this process isn’t always the protocol for larger national chain lenders, which may leave applicants in limbo for weeks. She wants members to know she is local to Denver and ready to answer questions on any part of the process, from application to closing.

With her wealth of experience, Carmen could originate residential home loans anywhere; she chose to join the Elevations Mortgage Team because of how community-oriented the company is and how they genuinely care about their members.

“Being at Elevations, we think outside of the box. We don’t fit into corporate guidelines. We have the same underwriting guidelines as any other mortgage company, but when issues arise, we can get a little more creative to do things to help our members. Elevations is not only member-centric but also very community-oriented,” she added.

Carmen says she is proud of where she works because Elevations has the same values she holds dear as an individual. She admires the Elevations Foundation and how it’s stepped in to assist local youth with education scholarships and community members during times of tragedy, like the 2021 shooting at King Soopers and the recent Boulder County wildfires.

A future of travel, camping and adventure

Carmen grew up in central Denver and now makes her home here with her husband and three children. As a family, they love to travel, go on hikes, play sports and be involved in their community.

“Typically, our travels would include at least one or two trips up to the mountains to walk around town and explore our great state. We love Breckenridge and Vail,” she explained.

The family is currently thinking about trading in the minivan for a truck and a fifth wheel to expand their travels in a pandemic-safe way. They’d love to visit family in Houston and campgrounds throughout Colorado, eventually.

Are you ready to learn more about making a home purchase or refinancing your current loan? Call Carmen (NMLS# 1915620) at the Denver Mortgage Office at (303) 402-7924 with your questions. You can also send an email to carmen.hanagriff@elevationscu.com.

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