Meet Mark, an Elevations Mortgage Loan Officer

Are you house shopping or planning to refinance your current home? Consider partnering with the Mortgage Team at Elevations Credit Union. With over 26 years of lending experience, Mortgage Loan Originator Mark Sööt can help you discover the best loan option for your lifestyle. He’s been assisting Elevations members at the Boulder Downtown Branch since March of 2017. Learn more about Mark’s approach to residential mortgages and refinances in this article.

Mark Sööt lives in service to others. Why? It’s the kindness from those around him that helps him manage the challenges in his life. So, he feels called to be the light for people who cross his path.

“I think anything I’m grateful for, I’m responsible to,” he said while explaining his life philosophy on both mortgage lending and facing long-term health issues. “I’m grateful for the opportunity to be of service and be responsible to help others, because people were there to help me.”

This philosophy not only guides his personal life, but also how he approaches Elevations members who need assistance with home loans.

Mark has been in the mortgage industry since 1996. Over the years he’s worked as a senior wholesale account executive who purchased loans from mortgage companies and crafted home loans for individuals while employed in wealth management.  Mark’s experience has ranged from national and regional banks to credit unions dedicated to their communities.  He now uses this breadth of knowledge to help fellow Coloradans with their home lending needs.

For Mark, it’s like he’s come full circle. He warmly recalls his first Elevations account back in his undergraduate days at the University of Colorado.

“Members love Elevations for our great track record of performance and spirit of community localism,” he said. “I’m grateful I made the move to Elevations in March of 2017. Elevations opened the door for me and welcomed me with open arms. I’ve learned in my career, that if I just do the next right thing and ask how I can be of service, everything takes care of itself. Elevations has given me all the tools and support to build a business focused on raving fans.”

Connecting with Coloradans and their home needs

Mark works with residential mortgage loan applicants including first-time home buyers, seasoned homeowners looking for their next house and real estate investors.

“I work hard to earn the trust of my clients through experience, industry knowledge and vulnerability,” he added. “I connect by learning their objectives and coming up with solutions on how to meet their goals. We often talk about our personal lives and become friends through an organic process which focuses on meeting their home financing needs.”

He also shares gratitude for his entire team at Elevations, including his assistant Shana Bullock, and processor, Brandi Patton. Both Shana and Brandi help him stay on top of members’ needs as they work through the mortgage process together.

“It takes a village to get loans done,” he laughed as he explained a complicated mortgage purchase he tackled recently. “How can I make this scenario less complicated and more user friendly to provide a better member experience? I asked for help, and at Elevations, you can always find the right person to provide reliable direction. I reached out to other experts that I can discuss scenarios with, including my manager and underwriters. We just take it one step at a time to whittle it down to manageable pieces with the support of a great team.”

Informing first-time homebuyers in Colorado

For those who are dreaming of home ownership and working towards securing their first mortgage, Mark offers a gentle transition into the process. Come with your questions and he will carefully explain the documentation needed, various home buyer programs in the area and how the lending timeline works. As you chat, he will learn more about your home ownership goals and life plans so he can find the best loan to not only suit your budget, but also where you are in life’s journey.

“I’ve worked with a lot of first-time home buyers and have a thorough knowledge of conventional loan programs,” he said. “For example, if the client earns 80% of the area median income where the property is located, they can be eligible for a program that has improved pricing on condos with low down payment options and lower mortgage insurance rates. I like to clearly communicate all options to the first-time buyer.”

Mark enjoys setting up Zoom calls or in-person visits with all buyers to learn how their income is generated, learn what they have in mind for a down payment, to understand their credit history and to discuss their overall goals. He’s also ready to explain all the nuts and bolts including title insurance, escrow, homeowner’s insurance and the closing process.

“My job is to explain to my clients in detail how everything works so they have a thorough knowledge of the home finance process,” he said. “This improves service by avoiding any unpleasant surprises regarding qualifying requirements.”

Family moments and free-time nature adventures

When he’s not putting the puzzle pieces together for one of his loan applicants, Mark is probably out climbing, skiing or playing with his grandchildren. As we wrapped up our conversation, Mark said he was leaving in the morning for a long-awaited ski mountaineering trip to the remote Selkirk Mountains of Western Canada.

Mark adores time spent with his wife, children and four grandkids. His extended family and circle of friends is huge, which means frequent get togethers for weddings, anniversaries and holidays are always on the calendar. For fun, Mark likes live music and shared one of his favorite lyrics from his favorite band:

“Reach out your hand if your cup is empty

If your cup is full may it be again

Let it be known there is a fountain

That was not made by the hands of men”

~ Ripple, Grateful Dead

Are you ready to learn more about making a home purchase or refinancing your current loan? Call Mark (NMLS# 403853) at the Boulder Downtown Branch at (303) 817-0089 with your questions. You can also send him email to mark.soot@elevationscu.com.

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