Trust Your Mortgage Professional

...This question is asked a lot by today's borrowers!  If you have tried to apply for a home loan recently, the chances are high you may have even thought this question yourself more than once or twice.  It has been a while since my last post.  I honestly forgot this page even existed, but you can see that in 2010 (previous post) the writing was on the wall, and times really haven't changed a LOT since the lenders tightened up back then.

All is not lost though...and an experienced mortgage pro can take your loan from start to finish, advising you of potential road blocks along the way.  My job as your mortgage loan originator is not simply to get you a mortgage.  My job is to get you to the approval and closing table as quickly and painlessly as possible....and most importantly, keep you informed along the way!  I will explain why the underwriter may ask for additional documents, and I will answer your questions - regardless of how many times I have heard it :)

From the time our first conversation starts and my notes begin to take life, I am busy formulating the best ways to get your loan through the maze of processing and underwriting.  I am certain that no rookie loan originator can think several steps ahead in that same initial conversation and ask questions UP FRONT that can save you a lot of headache.  Perhaps you weren't aware that we could "possibly" get that self-employed borrower approved with less than 2 years history.  It's my job to know when this might be a very real possibility.  Maybe you weren't aware that your family member could help your approval along, by joining you on the loan.  That's what it might take sometimes...but YOU shouldn't be expected to just "know" that. 

Knowledge is gained in many ways...and a lot of it comes through experience.  My goal is to help you understand the "why" you will almost definitely experience when getting a new mortgage.  Knowledge is power, and I love empowering my customers!  The more you know, the better you feel about the experience, and the more comfortable you are on closing day.  I want to be Your Lender For Life...and I understand that it takes more than a "sign here" mentality to earn that! 

Put me to work for you, and I will be happy to explain the "why's" and the options you have when buying or refinancing your next home!

By Rhonda Pulver Smith

Posted in:General
Posted by Rhonda Pulver Smith on April 17th, 2013 5:33 PMLeave a Comment

July 5th, 2010 4:12 PM

When is the last time you applied for a mortgage?   Whether you refinanced or purchased your home, this question should bring about feelings of pride and accomplishment.  No?  You must have applied sometime after 2007, right?  Read're not alone.

Lending in the year 2010 has been on a fast-track away from the days of ease.  Gone are loans put in place to help the it is all about protecting the lender, and their ability to package and re-sell the loan on the secondary market.  The use of commonsense used to be an acceptable way to underwrite a file, but now the lenders have overlaying guidelines that prohibit an underwriter to make a judgment call when there is a situation outside the box.  The increase in foreclosures and short sales have cost banks money, and they are trying to regain some of that control back by making sure that the loans they approve will not leave them holding even more "unsaleable" (to other lenders), or uncollectible (from borrowers) debt.

As a loan originator, I understand the needs of both the bank and the borrower, and my position is one of a precarious nature.  I am always going to originate a loan that I believe in, and I will continue to ask an underwriter to see through the "red tape" of lending and approve a loan if it makes sense.  Each and every loan scenario that I put together is unique in some way.  It is my job to be sure that the borrower is aware of any lending guidelines that could be a potential concern for them.  It is also my job to make sure that the loans I put together meet the lending criteria set forth by the lending institutions.

Will your loan close on time in this market?  That depends on a lot of factors, but if you plan to close within 3-4 weeks, expect a lot of communication and participation in order to help the processing of your file along.  It's also a good idea to be prepared to to accept the call that asks you to extend your closing date just a little.  As much as it frustrates everyone involved, there are numerous working parts to get from beginning to end on a transaction, and we all want the same result...your closing.

Will it feel like your life is an open book?  Most likely.  The underwriters are going to ask about the source of your deposit 5 weeks ago, the reason someone else looked at your credit in the last 90 days, and they are going to question anything that is not thoroughly spelled out for them.  Take no happens to almost everyone these days.

When you are searching for someone to help you with your loan, make sure to exercise diligence in your research.  Ask questions, and listen to the questions they are asking as well.  A true seasoned professional will know the questions to ask...and should be asking enough to make sure you are educated enough to understand when something comes up unexpectedly.  In addition to the obvious question of whether or not the person is licensed, make sure they can handle objections that the underwriter is likely to put in your way.  You want someone in your corner, working with you to get your loan closed.

I look forward to being here after the storm blows over.  The industry is going through some serious changes, and I will continue to do my part to make things as easy as I can for my customers. 

Posted in:General
Posted by Rhonda Pulver Smith on July 5th, 2010 4:12 PMView Comments (1)


How about 0%, 3.5%, 5%, 10%, 20-30%?  Which category can you fall into?  The market that we are currently in is testing all of us.  As you are preparing to buy that home, you are probably limited on your available cash and you need to know how much of your money you actually need to spend.  So you start calling around, shopping for the best rate out there, and you keep hearing that 10% is the minimum down payment.  You heard that was the best thing to do, so now what?

For starters, notice that I said you start calling to ask for the best rate.  The reason I say this is because 9 out of 10 calls I get start this way, and that rate isn't going to matter if you aren't getting the right loan.  Rate is important, but having options, and explanations is often overlooked in exchange for that elusive "best rate".

Any mortgage professional that you work with should be able to explain your full list of options to you.  There is still an opportunity to purchase a home with 5% down - it is just not available to most banks, and not to every mortgage company.  As a Mortgage Broker we have the ability to fund your loan through several lenders, and I am fortunate to have a few places that I can still offer that 5% down for conventional financing.

In addition, I will review your entire scenario to make sure there isn't an even better alternative for you.  Perhaps you are not aware that your VA benefits are an even more tremendous value to you than you realized.  You could get in with no money out of your pocket at all if the loan is right.  AND, if you are buying a home within the FHA loan limits (they are up to $292,500 in my area - even higher in other parts of Florida) you can get in with 3.5% down.  Either way, I guarantee that you will know about the alternatives and how they compare when laid side by side.

YES - you can still go in with as little as nothing down, so go for it!  The time is right to buy a home.  Prices and interest rates are low, and depending on where you are, the area is likely trying to stabilize.  I will answer your mortgage questions, offer solutions you don't even know are available.

Rhonda Pulver
Trusted Mortgage Professional

Pinellas Mortgage Services, Inc.
2000 Main Street
Dunedin, FL 34698

Posted in:General
Posted by Rhonda Pulver Smith on June 7th, 2009 6:46 AMLeave a Comment


It happens every day.  Someone signs a loan application, and they don't really know what it is that they have just signed.  How can this still happen given the daily media coverage of homeowners losing their homes, and the devestation they experience as a result?

The process of getting a mortgage is complicated.  Don't think so?  Just watch the news and hear the stories of so many people who were taken advantage of.  It's unreal to me that someone can convince you to "sign here....and here...and here" without stopping to actually explain to you what is being signed.  Even more surprising is that the customers are not asking the questions.  They ask me...every I really do have a hard time believing that these people were not lied to (or at the very least that they were not told everything).  I believe that it is my DUTY to tell you, to guide you, and to answer each and every question or concern that you might have.

I see these stories and I want to yell out that "We are not all like this"!  It is unnerving to hear how mortgage brokers are being torn apart as the culprit of this "mess" we are in right now.  There are great mortgage brokers out there - working hard to keep the industry clean.  Where are the stories about them?

Now, more than ever, I implore you to interview that person helping you with your mortgage.  If you're thinking that "they work for a bank so they can be trusted", you are being misled.  If you think that "he works for a national mortgage company so he can't steer me wrong", you are again being misled.  So how do you know who to trust?  Investigate!!!  

Interview the Mortgage Professional you choose:
1.  How long has he/she been actually originating mortgages?
2.  What is his/her experience with structuring difficult loans - and getting them closed?
3.  Is this a person who can handle a challenge that comes up and could stop your closing?
4.  What do others say about them?  Get references - they should have plenty to share.
5.  Is this just a job for them, or is it their career...and do they demand excellence within it?
6.  How many lenders can they present your loan to?  You know that you want the "best" rate...but if they can only offer you their own product (like a bank), you are not getting the opportunity to shop other lenders.  A Mortgage Professional who is signed up with several lenders will give you options.
7.  Can they answer your questions in the evenings and on the weekends?  You will be looking at homes, talking with your significant other, and have more free time then-will they be there for you?

This is a "relationship business".  As much as this might sound like a cliche, it really is a two-way street between you and this person on the other side of the desk (or phone).  it is this person's duty, and it is your own responsibility to ask questions.  Know what you are signing, and really trust your Mortgage Professional.  This is my challenge to you, and I welcome your inquiries.

Rhonda Pulver
Trusted Mortgage Professional

Pinellas Mortgage Services, Inc.
2000 Main Street
Dunedin, FL 34698

Posted in:General
Posted by Rhonda Pulver Smith on June 2nd, 2009 4:44 AMLeave a Comment