If you’re ready to buy a home or refinance your current property, the Mortgage Team at Elevations Credit Union will guide you through the process. Mortgage Loan Officer John Gilfedder has worked with individuals, families and real estate professionals at the Broomfield/Westminster Branch since September of 2018.
It’s the excitement in a buyer’s eyes at the closing table — a realization that the goal of homeownership is materializing — that keeps John motivated to help Elevations members each day.
With nearly 25 years of experience in the financial services industry, John uses his background in banking, annuities, pensions, retirement planning and 401(k)s to help homebuyers get their finances organized and prepare for managing a mortgage.
“It’s very closely related because you’re typically educating members on their financial situation. And that’s why I like Elevations so much — coming over from the bigger bank atmosphere, I’m now able to discover and identify needs by sitting down with members and going through their financial situation. Then, we put them on a path to ultimately get into a home in the future,” he explains.
John says a loan should both accommodate a member’s working budget and desired lifestyle. He does this by discovering the applicant’s whole life plan and how a mortgage can fit into the mix alongside other life goals such as saving for retirement, starting a family or paying for an auto loan.
How members can prepare for a mortgage
To get the best rates and ideal loan for a new home or refinance, John offers members a few tips. First and foremost, keep tabs on your credit score. This valuable number lets a lender know if your history indicates you may be capable of handling a mortgage payment over the long-term. If you’ve had a few financial mishaps — such as late credit card payments — that’s fine, but be aware of how this will affect your credit score and know there are ways to boost your number!
John also helps members understand their complete income flow. In addition to a paycheck from an employer, include supplemental income such as spousal support, a part-time job, income from a freelance side hustle or payments from a legal settlement. All these considerations give your lender a complete view of how you can manage a down payment and monthly mortgage payments.
Finally, he explains it’s important to disclose your current outstanding liabilities, such as car payments, credit card balances, student loans or other ongoing bills, like a gym membership or golf club dues. Having all these numbers not only helps you better qualify for a home loan but also allows John to recommend a comfortable spending limit on a home, so your monthly expenses are reasonable.
“What the mortgage process doesn’t take into account is what your style of living is before you buy a house. You don’t want to have to curtail everything to get into a house. So it’s important to look at not just the things we’re going to measure for your qualification, but your overall style of life and what your other expenses are, and what you’re going to be comfortable with as a mortgage payment,” John adds. “I always try to put myself in the member’s shoes. You know, it gives me a vision of what they might be dealing with.”
A connection to real estate professionals
In 1990, John moved from New York City to Colorado to continue his career in the financial services sector, eventually transitioning to mortgage loan origination, which he’s been doing for about six years.
During his time focusing on home loans and refinancing, he’s been mindful of building trusted rapport with Colorado real estate professionals. Their clients need mortgages, so together, they work as a team to help the dream of homeownership become a reality for Colorado residents. And, the reverse is true. When an Elevations member approaches John for information on starting the homebuying process, he has a list of Realtor® friends he can recommend.
John went on to explain how he loves the community feel at Elevations. From banking and financial planning to mortgages and refinancing, members have all the services they need under one roof to prepare for and enjoy a home. Collaborating with Elevations staff across teams behind the scenes makes each member’s experience as streamlined and educational as possible.
“I think the thing that differentiates Elevations from most places is the culture and team concept. I can honestly say that everybody on my team, or involved in mortgage production, has the same common goals to get that homebuyer to the finish line,” he explains.
Family time and fresh air
When he’s not helping members become homeowners, John is active with his family and hobbies. On a sunny afternoon, he might be leading his teenage son through football drills, teeing up for nine holes on the local golf course or enjoying a walk with his wife, son, daughter and their two Miniature Australian Shepherds.
“Golf has always been one of those sports that is very individualized, and you can work on your skillset at leisure. And hopefully, see the results on the course. Plus, it’s a good way to get together with friends to hang out and have a good time,” John adds.
Do you have questions about home lending? John would be happy to meet with you in-person at our Broomfield branch by telephone or video chat. You can reach John (NMLS# 743450) at (720) 285-9854 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.