Shopping for a new home? Or, thinking of refinancing your current home loan? The Mortgage Team at Elevations Credit Union would love to help you along your journey. Today we’re chatting with Sarah Reams, a mortgage loan originator from our Broomfield Mortgage Office. She’s been assisting Colorado residents with their home loan needs at Elevations since September of 2011. This is how she works with Elevations members.
Sarah Reams’ philosophy around home loans is to educate and inform members. She’s also very creative with finding terms, rates and payments that take other expenses and life plans of our members into account.
As she explains this, she paused and laughed, “That’s funny, because my manager has told me multiple times, you’re getting very creative. So creative is definitely the word I would use to describe my style.”
Each member has a unique circumstance and home buying journey. Sarah realizes this, so she considers all applicants with fresh eyes and loan ideas.
“I look at every member’s situation like a story problem. There are all these little details that you have to take into account so you can figure out the best way to get them to their end goal,” she said. “I’ve always been kind of a nerd like that. Story problems have always been one of my favorites, trying to catch every detail to make sure that it all works out.”
Prior to joining the team at Elevations, Sarah worked in mortgage processing and closings for Countrywide Home Loans, which eventually became Bank of America. She’s also worked with a credit union, processing home equity lines of credit and first mortgages. The bottom line is Sarah knows mortgages inside and out, from all angles.
“I’m not super pushy. I just want to give you what you need to make a good decision,” Sarah explained. “I really like the first-time homebuyers because they have a lot of great questions and I enjoy helping them.”
Tips for first-time homebuyers
Speaking of those seeking their first home loan, Sarah happily shared a few ideas to make securing a mortgage an easier process. First, she says to not be afraid to ask questions, and every question is a good one. Ask how down payments work, what happens at a closing, how an appraisal affects the loan application and everything you come across as you learn about home buying.
Second, she encourages shoppers to be educated and gather as much information as possible from your mortgage lender, real estate agent and anyone else you loop into this process such as a home inspector, insurance agent or vendors you partner with during the shopping period.
When it comes to choosing your mortgage lender, “You need to find somebody that you work well with — that you kind of jive with as a mortgage person — because you are going to be working closely with them on this major decision.”
Sarah says you must trust your mortgage team. Securing a home loan is probably the largest loan you’ll ever take on in your life, so there must be open, honest conversations going back and forth throughout the process if you want to have a good experience.
Insight for seasoned homebuyers, too
On the other end of the spectrum, Sarah also works with seasoned homeowners who are looking to purchase investment properties, refinance a current home loan or downsize into a smaller property as they prepare for retirement.
She says that although these folks are smart about mortgages, it’s likely been a few years since they’ve gone through the application process, provided financial documentation and had a hard credit pull. Rules change often in this industry, so partnering with a local lender allows you to learn about the current home buying and selling climate in your community and how the process works now.
And, what if you’ve secured a home loan via Elevations in the past?
“You’re still qualifying for a new mortgage, which means there is going to be documentation and then probably updating that documentation before closing. You know we’re going to make it as pain-free as possible,” she explained.
Thinking outside the box
One of Sarah’s specialties is coming up with creative loan options. There’s more out there than the traditional 30-year fixed rate that is commonly discussed.
She enjoys talking with members to learn how long they plan to stay in the home, how soon they’d like to have it paid off, and what type of monthly mortgage payment makes sense for them during that time period. Sarah works to configure loan options that members probably haven’t even thought of, to complement their life plans.
Sarah says she enjoys being part of the Elevations Mortgage Team because the philosophy is to do what’s best for the member. They aren’t pushy with numbers and sales goals, but rather prefer for employees to focus on what’s right for the mortgage applicant.
A classic Colorado family
When she isn’t supporting Elevations members, Sarah and her husband are raising two daughters and a dog in Arvada.
Like many Colorado families, they are lovers of the outdoors and spend time camping as often as possible during the summers. They also love to go off-roading in their decked-out Jeep.
Are you ready to learn more about making a home purchase or refinancing your current loan? Call Sarah (NMLS# 501271) at the Broomfield Mortgage Office at (303) 402-5448. You can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.