Many people think that the greatest expense they will have in their life is the purchase of a home. This is true, but more specific and to the point is the cost of the mortgage you must attain to buy your home. Thousands upon thousands of dollars can be quickly saved or lost with the smallest of oversights. Dave Porter, Sales Manager with loanDepot, has a saying which goes like this: “Don’t underestimate that which you don’t know.” With more than thirty-nine years of experience in the industry, you can rest assured that Dave speaks from experience. In today’s interview, I speak with Dave about the gains and losses, failures, and victories that can occur when working with an experienced mortgage lender.
Hi Dave, welcome back to LocalsGuide. To begin with, will you please re-introduce yourself to all our new readers?
Thanks for the opportunity. I’m a mortgage lender with loanDepot based in Ashland Oregon. I have been a schoolteacher and Realtor in the past as well as having spent decades in home lending in a variety of positions. I’ve been married for 42 years and my wife and I have four grown children and three grandchildren.
Dave, you have built your career in finance helping thousands of people across your career. What has been the secret to your success?
Show up to work! Be available when the client needs me. Sometimes 10 minutes can make or break a deal. When I am asked to provide a preapproval letter, I try to get it done soon, to improve the odds of my borrower’s offer getting accepted. If the borrower can get me the documentation I need in a hurry, I can issue a preapproval letter in just a couple hours.
In your experience what are the most important skills and qualities you need to do the best job you can for your customers?
Listen deeply, uncover needs and goals, understand the client’s objectives. Then be the mortgage puzzle master and explore options and think outside the box. I am relational, not transactional. I will not only tell a borrower what they qualify for but will check in to see if that payment works for them.
Dave, getting down to the business of buying a home here in Southern Oregon—what are the key considerations that your customers need to be making?
Buyers need to prepare themselves for a tough market–it’s a seller’s market –which means offering a lower price or asking for closing costs paid by the seller may not fly. But getting fully approved by the lender can be a leg up. The idea is that the file goes to underwriting and is fully approved, the only things needed are title and appraisal. This can make an offer stronger than just a prequalification.
The other thing is the listing agents and sellers are looking at the preapproval letter and seeing who issued it, if it’s a reputable lender who has a reputation for closing on time, there is a better chance of the offer being accepted versus a .com preapproval.
You have a famous saying which is “don’t underestimate that which you do not know.” Please explain.
I love to learn and although I’ve been in lending for nearly four decades, I learn everyday. I think it’s important for my Realtor, builder and customers to know that they don’t know it all. And that we each should be open to new information. I find myself frustrated with those not open to new ideas and new concepts.
Dave, one of your specialities is in finding creative solutions for your customers. Please say more.
There are lots of ways to get to five. 1+4, 6-1, 0+5, you get the idea. In helping a couple with a refinance, I needed to keep the debt-to-income ratio ratio in line. They had wanted to refinance and pull some cash for home improvements. They didn’t qualify, so I looked at their debts and suggested a higher mortgage loan and with that extra money, pay off a high interest rate and high balance credit card, in doing so they qualified for the loan.
Can you share with us four to five real-life examples of creative solutions?
1. I helped a Veteran wanting to buy a home, the majority of her income was from VA disability. Another lender said she did not make enough.
Lenders qualify on taxable income and the VA disability income is not taxed; therefore I was able to “gross up” the non-taxable income by 125% thus making her eligible for the loan.
2. There was a single man wanting to buy his first home, he had excellent income and modest debts but no money for the down payment. As we discussed his situation, he informed me that he owns a 20’ travel trailer free and clear. Lenders say you cannot borrow the down payment, well that is true if you are borrowing in an unsecured way (like credit card or a line of credit), but you can borrow the down payment if secured. My borrower got an RV loan to cover the down and closing costs. The new payment on the RV was added to his debts but he was easily able to qualify for the mortgage.
3. Had a young couple buying a fixer upper. They started talking about using credit cards to add new flooring, new kitchen counter and appliances. I mentioned the FHA 203K renovation loan to them, where you can add the cost of improvements onto the loan. The mortgage rate was significantly different than the cards.
4. Once I did a loan for a young lady who had saved up the down payment but had not saved the closing costs.
The seller can pay the buyer’s closing costs if negotiated but in this market it’s difficult to negotiate that. Since she was very well qualified and was soon going to inherit some money, I suggested “par plus pricing” which means the lender raises the interest rate and gives the buyer a closing cost credit. Later she refinanced to a lower rate.
5. While assisting a veteran buyer, he mentioned the home’s hot water heater was working but on its last days. I told him about the VA energy efficient option to allow up to $3000 added on top of the loan. The buyer has to make the additional payment of a few dollars, but the appraisal does not need to support the additional funds nor did the veteran have to qualify. This program can exceed $3000, there are more details if anyone is interested.
Dave, what are some of the most overlooked aspects of lending and where do the biggest mistakes occur?
One big mistake is misinformation. “I don’t have 20% to put down so I can’t buy a house.” That is so incorrect! There are programs with zero down (USDA and VA for example) and loans with low down like FHA with 3.5% down and conventional first-time buyer programs at 3% down.
Another overlooked opportunity is with renovation loans where a refinance or purchase can add minor and major improvements. Add a room, update the kitchen and bath. There are also energy efficient mortgages where you can add energy improvement costs onto the loan amount.
Dave, is there a recent success story or two from the past year that particularly stood out to you?
Had a buyer and her sister wanting to buy a home for both families, they knew the seller well who wanted to make their purchase work. They had 15% to put down. Anything less than 20% down requires mortgage insurance. I suggested a seller carry back a second mortgage thus eliminating the mortgage insurance.
Please talk about the advantages that loanDepot provides to their customers.
There are several. I could have worked just about anywhere but loanDepot is supportive and leads the industry with technology. For example, we offer both the Fannie Mae loans and Freddie Mac loans, commonly referred to as conventional loans. We use an automated underwriting system for our initial approvals, we run these simultaneously and sometimes we’ll get a property inspection waiver on one or both of the approvals. A property inspection waiver means a faster closing and less costs by avoiding the appraisal. Another neat feature of my company is the ability to digitally verify employment and assets. I did a refinance a couple months ago where the borrower authorized income and assets to be digitally verified and we got a property inspection waiver. All we needed was the title report and we were ready to close! Not all lenders offer the Oregon Bond program with sub-market interest rates. It’s an amazing program and may be the solution for first-time buyers.
Dave, are you able to help additional family members around the country?
As a mortgage lender I am approved to provide home loans in the following states: Oregon, Washington, Idaho, California and Arizona. I’m happy to assist anyone needing to purchase or refinance in these states.
You have outstanding availability. Almost every time I call you, you answer your phone immediately.
Maybe you’re just lucky! I do pick up the line whenever possible. And reply to texts ASAP. To me it sets me apart to be available and I often work evenings and weekends when my customers need me.
I would love for you to share a few customer testimonials with us.
I’d be pleased to share a few and there are many more at my Zillow review site, https://www.zillow.com/lender-profile/DAVESPORTER/.
1. “As a first-time homebuyer, there were a lot of unknowns to me in the process of getting a loan. There were a lot more parts to it than I had expected going into it, from the preapproval for properties to all the documentation. Fortunately, Dave is very knowledgeable and fast to respond when plans needed to change, so any downtime through the homebuying process was never due to anything on his end. He was able to quickly and clearly explain everything I needed to know before things came up, so I was never blindsided by the process. Not to mention, he made sure that I was able to get a good rate so everything worked out perfectly. For a stress-free process, Dave is ideal to work with.”
2. “Dave is such a nice guy and worked around the clock with us! He was even answering his emails on weekends and after business hours to ensure all our questions were answered and that we always felt in the loop with what was going on. I would highly recommend Dave to friends and family looking to buy a home or with any loan needs! Thanks Dave!!!”
3. “Out of 10, Dave deserves 30. My own bank that had my mortgage denied which I HAVE never missed a single payment. I wanted to refinance for 30 years. A friend told me about Dave as himself retired had other difficulties with his own loan. Within 4 weeks I got the loan. Dave has this passion, the knowledge, he listens carefully and kept me informed each step of the way, most importantly fought for me with underwriters. A letter of a thousand words could never express me as saying two words: THANK YOU.”
4. “This was our second time purchasing a home. We did not use Dave the first time and I can tell you the difference was night and day. We were extremely impressed by Dave’s knowledge and commitment to making our experience seem less daunting; I don’t know when he sleeps as he was always super responsive, even late into the evenings. He explained every scenario to ensure the best possible solution that fit our needs – crunching all sorts of numbers and even lowering our interest rate. I will recommend Dave 10 out of 10 times to family and friends.”
Straight to the point, why should I choose you to help me with my mortgage?
I know my stuff. I am available. I care. I provide consistent updates on the progress of the loan. My company offers many types of loans and is very competitive.
Finally, do you have any last thoughts or comments you would like to share with our readers?
Even if you are not ready to buy just yet, let’s talk. Let’s build a game plan. Maybe we need to look at a credit repair plan or savings plan for the down payment. I see folks make mistakes because they don’t have the right advice. I love my work and enjoy helping anyone with a home loan. I want to thank the LocalsGuide for interviewing me.
And I would ask if any reader knows family or friends looking to buy or refinance in the states I work, that you give them my contact information, perhaps I can help them with a loan or perhaps I can just give them some good advice.
NMLS # is 483876
344 E Main St, Ashland OR 97520
This information is not intended to be an indication of loan qualification, loan approval or commitment to lend. Loans are subject to credit and property approval. Other limitations apply. Rates, terms and availability of programs are subject to change without notice. State disclaimer: loanDepot.com, LLC NMLS ID 174457. www.nmlsconsumeraccess.org Licensed by the OR Division of Finance and Corporate Securities, Mortgage Lending ML-4972.| WA: Licensed by the WA State Department of Financial Institutions, Consumer Loan Company CL-174457. | ID | CA: Licensed by the Department of Business Oversight under the California Residential Mortgage Lending Act CRMLA 4131040.