If you’re shopping for your first home, considering an investment property or refinancing your current property, the Mortgage Team at Elevations Credit Union can assist with your funding needs. Mortgage Loan Officer Sabrina Lee has helped Colorado residents secure funding for over 30 years. Learn more about her approach to home loans in this article.
Sabrina Lee believes everybody can become a homeowner. It may not happen immediately, and the process may require coaching, but the dream of homeownership is attainable.
“That’s where you need a professional like me to help guide you. Maybe you don’t qualify today, but we’ll explore what you need to do so you can qualify in six months or a year or two years down the road. I have the patience to educate you through the process and help you improve your financial picture so that you can buy a house,” Sabrina explains. “I’m a firm believer that most everybody, with rare exceptions, can, at some point, buy a house. My goal is to educate you and get you through the whole process so that you can make your dreams come true.”
A career in banking and home loans
Sabrina started her journey in financial services in 1981 in savings and loans as a part-time bank teller. She worked her way up to a branch manager position and eventually joined a mortgage department as a processor and then worked as a loan officer. She was recruited to work with Elevations in January of 2012 on residential loans and refinances, and she hasn’t looked back.
She says she loves the members and the level of loyalty they have to Elevations and the Longmont community. The credit union leadership and loan servicing are top-notch too. Sabrina notes, “People come to us because they hate their mortgage company. That’s a huge difference between a credit union and a bank. We create relationships with our members.”
Over the years, Sabrina has seen the ups and downs of the housing market and how the economy can affect the mortgage industry and the lives of Colorado residents. She’s learned to ride the waves and keep members’ best interests at the forefront of each transaction.
“When choosing a mortgage product we consider what is in the member’s best interest. We want to do what’s right for them. Absolutely,” she comments. “I get the greatest joy out of helping people who didn’t think they could buy a house or helping people through their financial hardships with refinancing options.”
Preparing for a mortgage or refinance
It’s no secret Sabrina appreciates the convenience of modern technology when it comes to loan origination. She encourages any member who feels comfortable behind a keyboard to complete the mortgage application online.
But, she also loves visiting with people in person to gauge their understanding of the process and build a relationship. She understands the homebuying process may feel overwhelming especially for first-time homebuyers and slows down to make sure members genuinely understand the information she’s sharing and they don’t feel overwhelmed.
Sabrina likes to help members realize there’s more to life than a mortgage payment. She helps them evaluate their full life picture and other obligations to determine how much of a home loan makes sense in their budget. She says it’s a good rule of thumb to think about allocating no more than 25% to 33% of your income to your mortgage or rent expenses. Sabrina offers honest, common-sense scenarios to members to help them discover if it’s the right time to buy a home, or what they might do to poise themselves for homeownership in a few years.
“I’m quick to tell them whether or not it’s the best thing. And, they love that. I care about my members. I have years of experience helping people know the options available to them,” she says. “It’s really giving them that eye-opening experience and then being ready for the unexpected. For current home owners, I love helping improve their financial situations by refinancing their current mortgage. I want to make everybody have their dreams come true.”
It’s also clear that the follow-up care Sabrina offers members is appreciated. She’s happy to answer questions after closing day about understanding their first property tax bill or how to change insurance companies. After all, questions are always welcome, no matter where you are in the process. Elevations also offers mortgage resources online.
“Communication is key when buying a home. Having somebody who is accessible instead of talking to somebody on the 1-800 number makes a huge difference. This willingness to speak with and educate our members really sets us apart,” Sabrina explains.
Life beyond the mortgage team
When she’s not monitoring interest rates or helping members find the best loan to fit their lifestyle, Sabrina and her husband are most likely on the road visiting their two children and five grandchildren, who live in Colorado.
“Our main goal is to travel as much as we can,” she laughs before rattling off a list of picturesque destinations. “My bucket list is that I want to spend the night in all 50 states. I have no idea how many states I’ve spent the night in, but I’ve done most of them.”
Just this year, she’s spent time in Hawaii, New Orleans and Mexico. She hopes to make it to Europe this fall if the pandemic eases up by then to scope out possible overseas travel destinations for retirement.
Ready to buy or refi? You can visit Sabrina (NMLS# 257330) at the Elevations Credit Union Longmont Main Branch. She is also available by video chat, phone and email. Feel free to reach out to her at firstname.lastname@example.org and (720) 652-7115 with your mortgage questions.