Caliber Home Loan
Where did you grow up?
I grew up in Paonia. My parents also graduated from Paonia High School and still reside there today. I moved to Grand Junction almost 30 years ago and love the Western Slope of Colorado.
Family: I am married to the love of my life and best friend Rod Smith who has made the last 20 years a dream come true. Our daughter Jennifer is grown with a family of her own. She and our son- in- law Tom have blessed us with two grandkids — our beautiful granddaughter Brookelynn, who is soon to be 5, and our newest addition, a grandson Bryson, who is not quite a month old.
How did you get started in lending?
I have a degree in accounting and while I enjoy numbers, I also enjoy working with people. I found lending to be the perfect blend of helping and being involved with a variety of people, yet still utilizing my accounting skills. I can crunch the numbers and find the best loan and best financial route to help people accomplish their financial goals. It is challenging, fun and very rewarding. Watching my customers sign at the closing table and knowing we did an outstanding job for them and provided them with a great loan is very fulfilling.
How has the industry changed since you got started?
It has gone through a full pendulum shift. When I first started, lenders were providing no-income/no-asset loans, stated-income loans, and loans to people with very low credit scores or no credit history at all. Of course, sadly, several of these buyers were unable to make payments and the homes went into foreclosure. The pendulum completely swung the other way and documentation for income, assets and credit history became a requirement once again. I think that we need to lend responsibly. Most of my clients state they are pleasantly surprised, as it isn’t over the top. We just have to support the income and assets stated on a loan application.
What should consumers look for in a lender?
First and foremost, I would make the sure the consumer can communicate well with the loan officer of their choice. Make sure they understand and feel free ask questions. Look for someone who can provide the communication needed and deserved throughout the loan process. Even the same lending institution with different loan officers will result in a different experience, depending on the loan officer’s lending style. I also feel it is important to know your options. Not all lenders provide all the same options. If mortgage insurance is involved due to a smaller down payment, knowing options and exercising the right one can save you literally thousands of dollars.
Is there a customer or loan type that you consider your specialty or prefer to do?
Caliber Home Loans has loans for, and promotes lending to, everyone: from the first-time homebuyers all the way to seasoned investors. We work with people who come in to our office and some we only talk to on the phone and have never physically even met. We provide everything from FHA, VA, Rural Development, Conventional with as little as 3 percent down and do refinances. Our jumbo loans are at excellent rates and we service 95 percent of our loans. Our whole team enjoys all aspects. I am particularly strong at self-employed borrower income calculation with my accounting background.
What do you enjoy when you’re not working?
We snowmobile in the winter and go side-by-siding in the summer. I love the mountains. We spend as much time as possible with our daughter, son-in-law and grandkids as well as getting together with four generations of family, usually at least four times a year. Dining with friends and living the dream. We also volunteer at our church that we have been a part of for 17 years.
What do you enjoy about living in western Colorado?
A strong sense of community is displayed here. Even if you don’t know someone – you can still reach out a hand to help. You usually find out you know someone they know. We are moments away from all kinds of outdoor recreation. It is a great place to enjoy our faith, family and friends… I know it is a cliché, but so true.
What do you feel is unique about Caliber Home Loans.
We just started servicing or keeping 95 percent of our loans. This is exciting because we can assist our customers even after we close their loan. We offer rate float-downs if rates improve after you are locked. We have in-house underwriting and processing and we work as a team to make your experience one that will keep you a customer for life.
Tell us a little about your team.
Buzz Moore is our sales manager, LeAnn Eckhart is our branch assistant, Mario Coringrato is a loan officer and Gayle Zimmerman is a loan officer. Caliber Homes Loans is large lender with national lending power. However, our team is made up of local experts who can provide a hands-on approach to helping you with all your lending needs. All of us have been on the borrower side of the table, buying and refinancing our own homes. We know the importance of the loan product and understand going through the lending process. We want people to feel and know they have an “advocate” when they choose Caliber Home Loans.
The HBA of Northwestern Colorado is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to help builders, developers and other associated businesses in the building industry better serve our communities.