Every week, we ask an Boston real estate professional for their thoughts on the top trends in Boston real estate.
This week, we talked with Andrew Marquis, a Senior Loan Officer with Prospect Mortgage.
Boston Agent (BA): When financing a condo, is there any unique steps a homeowner should take that they wouldn’t when getting a mortgage for a single family home? How can agents prepare?
Andrew Marquis (AM): When someone’s financing a condo, we have to approve both the buyer and the property. Approving a condo property is far more in depth than, say, a single-family home, because we’re not only looking at the property’s value, but the the strength of the homeowner’s association as a whole. The unique steps I would suggest a buyer do is get ahold of a condo questionnaire, the condo documents and the financials. As a lender, those are the three things we’re looking at, which will tell us what percentage is owner occupied, how many user owners are delinquent, the particulars of how finances are being distributed, among other things. In summary, we want to take the proper steps upfront to ensure the property is going to meet our lending guidelines.
BA: A recent Metro Trends study found that one of the reasons mortgage rates had remained so low, is that demand for financing was down. Have you noticed this trend, and if so, do you expect demand for financing to increase throughout 2015?
AM: Boston specific, we haven’t seen demand fall that low. But what we’ve seen around the country is because lending guidelines have gotten so tight, it’s been more difficult for first-time buyers to get financing. Here in Boston, though, we’re blessed with a fairly sophisticated, younger generation – we have a strong academic community, a lot of professionals – so we’re not having too much trouble finding loans for young homebuyers. As of late, the weather here has been atrocious, which has slowed the market, but I expect demand to creep up further once warmer weather comes in.
BA: What advice would you today give yourself as a rookie loan officer?
AM: Be as responsive as you can, as promptly as you can. Be accurate in what you say. Don’t fluff an answer; look it up, figure out what you need to do, and then do it. Being a successful loan officer, we’re only as successful as our last deal. If we screw up a deal, for whatever reason, the referral partner is going to annihilate us. So it’s important to look at every deal as if it is your first and last. Also, I’d say, don’t get caught up with the day to day monotony. Always be generating leads and increasing your network.