Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer or a seasoned homeowner, the Mortgage Team at Elevations Credit Union would love to help you along your purchase journey. With over 40 years working in the financial industry, Susie Kiesling is ready to put her experience to work for you and help you find the best loan rates and products. Susie joined Elevations as a Mortgage Loan Officer in March 2017.
Lessons gleaned around the family dinner table as a child shape our future. For Susie Kiesling, that involved mastering the keen skill of observation. In her family’s central Illinois home, she watched her father interact with his six children, subtly teaching them each how to anticipate needs by way of silence and expressions. Susie learned what someone doesn’t say can be interpreted and leveraged to discover a person’s needs.
Like anticipating her father’s need for the salt shaker at the dinner table as a child, Susie works to intuitively discover what will enhance the mortgage process for Elevations’ members embarking on purchasing a home. Susie’s life and career depend on this observant nature and attention to detail — whether she’s working to close a mortgage loan or steer clear of sharks on a scuba dive.
A 40-plus year career and attempted retirement
In 1977, Susie embarked on her financial career at a national finance company working with individuals on personal loans. She then moved to a national savings and loan company as a processor before landing in Colorado in 1979, where she worked at a few financial institutions before opening Northern Colorado Premier Mortgage Group. There, she was part owner and managed operations.
After a fulfilling career, Susie retired in 2015. But after a year, her desire to assist potential homeowners literally came calling and knocking at her door.
First, the phone rang with her oldest son on the other end, who had taken over the business. Susie explains, “He said, ‘I need help structuring this loan. Help me!’ While I was on the phone with him, my doorbell rang. It was a longtime personal friend and real estate agent that I have worked with for years. She said, ‘I just had one blow up at the table. And we didn’t know how to save it.’ I thought, I need to focus on what I love, which is working with clients. That’s when I made the decision to come to Elevations.”
Back to her desk and loan origination
After she realized she missed providing hands-on assistance through loan origination, Susie chose to continue her career at Elevations, where she could focus on helping members in a nonprofit setting rather than making money for stockholders and owners.
“What drove me to Elevations was their philosophy: What’s in the member’s best interest?” she comments. Susie now spends her time working on residential loans for families, individuals and investors.
Her first priority is to discover a member’s familiarity with the homebuying process. Is this the first time, or are they on their second or third home and have a general understanding of the process? She then customizes her approach to fit the member’s needs.
“My very first question that I always ask the borrower is: What is your comfort level with payments? Because it doesn’t really matter what you qualify for. It matters more what your comfort level is,” Susie notes.
She also asks her clients about their down payment options, and whether they’re purchasing a long-term home or a short-term starter property. Susie also likes to recommend Elevations’ online seminars to first-time homebuyers and investors so they can learn about purchasing property and budgeting for this significant financial decision. These events help to establish a solid foundation for the homebuying process.
Elevations’ member-first philosophy drives Susie each day. “My goal is to hopefully make the mortgage loan the easiest part of the process because it’s a very stressful time, whether you’re buying or refinancing. It’s a big financial commitment.”
A little time for fun in the sun
Even though Susie has come out of retirement to do what she loves most, she and her high-school sweetheart husband also raise their oldest teenage grandson, scuba dive and travel. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, the two ventured to locales including Germany, Hawaii, Mexico and Micronesia.
Once travel becomes more accessible, Susie hopes to add Australia to her impressive list of adventures. By then, her grandson will be scuba certified, and the trio can dive together.
In the meantime, you’ll find Susie and her husband golfing, camping and browsing travel programs on The History Channel from National Geographic. Why? “Basically, to look at where we want to go. We might get a preview,” she laughs. Susie is standing by to assist homebuyers who need to secure financing. Chat with her today at 970.217.4950 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about the mortgage application process. Susie (NMLS# 121598) is happy to meet with members virtually or in-person.