Meet Chris Milbrath, an Elevations Mortgage Loan Officer

Whether you’re shopping for a new investment property, a getaway in the mountains or that coveted first home, the Mortgage Team at Elevations Credit Union can help. Mortgage Loan Officer Chris Milbrath has assisted Elevations members with their residential home loan needs, including new purchases and loan refinances, since 2012. Learn more about his approach to mortgage origination in this blog. 

Chris Milbrath loves dreamers. He says the best part of his job is when an excited member visits his office to learn how to make their dream of owning a home a reality. The second-best moment? Seeing them get the keys at the closing table. 

“To me, that part is always a fulfilling piece because it’s the end of the journey where they finally get the reward,” he explains. 

Chris started working in mortgage loan origination in 2002. Since joining the Elevations Mortgage Team in 2012, he’s handled a bit of everything — from first-time homebuying and jumbo loans for second homes, to investors looking to diversify their portfolios and retirees downsizing to condos. If your plans include a real estate purchase or refiguring a current loan, Chris can help. 

How to prepare for getting a mortgage 

With 19 years under his belt in the mortgage loan business, Chris has visited with numerous first-time homebuyers. He says you don’t have to come to your first meeting with a folder filled with bank statements and tax documents. Instead, bring an open mind and be ready to talk about your purchasing goals, current obligations and financial history. Together, Chris and his homebuyers can work through the online loan application and address any questions that pop up along the way. 

To prepare for the meeting, you can start thinking about a few things on your own, such as: 

  • How much of a house payment do you want to manage each month?  
  • How much can you offer as a down payment?  
  • What’s your credit score?  
  • Have you reviewed your credit report for accuracy?  

Also, Chris advises that borrowers make a list of questions as they think of them, such as ‘How much will I need to bring to the closing table?’ Together, you will work to understand the answers to your questions and which type of loan makes the most sense for your current life goals and budget. 

Sometimes the conversation turns into a financial wellness coaching session to best prepare the member for homeownership in the near future. Chris notes, “We talk about what we can do to help them get to a point where they’ll have a better financial picture to be able to buy and get the best possible rates and options.” 

Each applicant has their own unique story 

Chris says he listens closely to each member who approaches him for mortgage guidance. He wants to meet their goals and learn what they hope to find for themselves and their families. Each buyer is one-of-a-kind. Some wish to purchase a fixer-upper and work on remodeling projects each weekend because that’s what makes them feel accomplished and happy. Others want a house payment below their means so they can spend weekends traveling or playing sports.  

He also likes to discover how long the buyer plans to be in the home. Is it a stepping stone or a forever residence? For a buyer looking at a second home, do they plan to sell first or make it a rental to generate additional income each month? This helps him learn which type of loan (or refinance) makes the most financial sense in the current interest rate environment and informs his offerings for the buyer. After all, there’s so much more out there other than a 30-year fixed-rate mortgage. 

Elevations puts people before profits, which fits Chris’ approach to loan origination perfectly. “They stand behind their loan officers and their members to make sure that they’re taking good care,” he explained.  

Beyond rates and refis 

When he’s not finessing the perfect loan, Chris and his wife of 25 years are checking in on their two kids who are away at college or heading outdoors for fun in the Rockies. They enjoy mountain biking, hiking and spending time with their senior Golden Retriever dog.  

Soon, they hope to visit Chamonix, France, in the foothills of the Swiss Alps, where their daughter spent some time and fell in love with the culture and coffee shops. 

Are you ready to start your mortgage preapproval? Chat with Chris (NMLS# 306002) at the Elevations Mortgage Office in Longmont in person or by video chat. He is also available by email at christopher.milbrath@elevationscu.com or phone at (720) 652-7109.

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