Here To Guide You Home – Feat. Laura Triplett

– Hey, what’s going on guys Thanks for tuning into today’s episode of ACM Insider, featuring our very own Laura Triplett, who is both a Senior Loan Officer at ACM and the Branch Manager of our Prince William Market Laura, how’s it going today? And thanks for thanks for joining us – Oh, thank you for having me and for taking the time to ask me a few important questions about home buying – Absolutely So, Laura, you’ve been in the mortgage business since 1995 So, I think it’s safe to say that you have more than just a little bit of experience helping borrowers navigate the home buying experience So, tell us a little bit before we start diving into being able to guide home buyers through some of the topics we’re gonna discuss today Give us a little bit about how and why you chose the mortgage industry as a career path – Well, I kinda fell into that being in the banking business for so many years, I was promoted from a bank teller all the way up to a bank manager, and eventually I was a teller trainer They promoted me into teller training And one day I was trading the president of the mortgage company on a new computer system And I guess I impressed them because after I was done, he asked me how much money I made and whether I would like the triple it And I was like, “hey, sure.” (interviewer speaks indistinctly) (Laura laughs) So that’s how I kind of got into it And I was very lucky to have a very good branch manager on the mortgage business that was willing to share all of her knowledge with me and I grew from there – I love it And so kind of along those same lines, I mean, you were just talking about from technology, and teaching, and going kind of that route, right what do you feel like it means to be a modern day loan officer? I mean, how do you differentiate that between maybe a more traditional, I mean, using a wide gamut from 1995 to here how the industry has changed You’ve been one of those individuals who has constantly evolved and changed as the industry has changed and as buyer needs have changed So in your mind, what do you think, or how do you feel like, let me rephrase, I guess What do you feel like it means to be a modern day loan officer versus somebody who has maybe more traditional or a little bit outdated for lack of better words? – Well, I think the big thing about the modern day loan officers technology has really taken over our industry And no matter how much you give computer service or quick answers, there’s just still that backbone of knowledge that you have to have I mean, it’s still a very much a people oriented business It’s a very emotional business I mean, think about it You’ve got your whole life in boxes, you’re changing your kid’s school You’re making a big decision, your biggest financial decision of your life, and so you want to make sure that the person that you’re dealing with, isn’t a 1800 number That’s just plugging numbers into a computer and hoping for the best When I write a lender letter, it’s backed with tons of knowledge, tons of experience I’ve been living in Prince William County since 1972, I mean, I grew up with half of the realtors that are here Some of them are even my college classmates So I mean, it’s just It’s a very much a people oriented business and I the modern day loan officer definitely serves its place If you’re looking to do something that’s a very simple transaction but honestly, there is no such thing as a simple transaction and you know in the mortgage business especially in this environment – Now, I love that I think what I’m gathering from that is, technology is great and it’s important to leverage technology to better communicate and engage with your borrowers, but at the same time, you can’t miss that personal touch aspect of it (Interviewer coughs) Excuse me If anything, the technology piece should just elevate the personal touch to a different level Would you agree with that? – Absolutely And having that confidence that you’re gonna actually get to a closing on time – Right. Yeah, that’s key So along those same lines, what is the best way for a borrower to prepare financially to get a mortgage or someone who’s looking to buy a home? – Well, the best thing to do is not take it upon yourself to re-google and do whatever you feel like doing Definitely do not do that I’ve had so many people that have come to me, they’ve looked at Credit Karma, they’ve consolidated all of their bills and they’re ready to go and come to find out they’ve lowered the credit score So the first thing to do, yes, knowledge is good, go to Google, do what you need to do, but go to a professional loan officer It’s just like going to web MD and diagnosing yourself (both speaks indistinctly) Okay? Don’t do that (Laura laughs) So, come to us, it’s free You don’t have to pay, there’s no commitment

Just come to us, let us take a look at everything Yes it’s going to be a hard inquiry on your credit report, it’s not going to kill your credit Let us take a look at, where do you stand financially? If there’s anything that needs to be done, we’re gonna give you the professional advice and the roadmap to get there So taking it upon yourself is not a good idea Make sure that you collect your documents, collect some of them, things like, we’re gonna ask you for proof, are you getting paid? Where are your pay stubs? Do you have a bank account? What are your bank statements? Those kinds of things So, start looking for some of that stuff before it’s too late, because I know I can’t find my 2018 tax returns to save my life You might have to order a copy So, just make sure you have those things handy – Now, that makes that’s great feedback It makes total sense Along those same lines, since we’re kinda talk about the financial aspect of it, is there a way to purchase a home with no money down? I think that that’s a question that a lot of people ask, there’s some misinformation out there or confusion around that So, here to answer the question straight up, is there a way to purchase a home with no money down? – Absolutely there is And in the state of Virginia, we’re very lucky We have a lot of different programs that we can use for that Obviously, if you’re a veteran, veterans definitely have a great program in the VA If you’re a first time home buyer in the state of Virginia, there’s a great first time home buyer through Virginia housing, not only can you do it with no money down, but you can also get a grant, free money, no strings attached If you happen to be in maybe a lower to mid income range, there are some county programs And some of those County programs permit 30% down I mean, that’s just incredible And then if you’re not a first time home buyer and you’re buying in a specific geographical area, there’s also the USDA program So, some lenders do not offer all these programs If you call a 1800 number, they’re gonna look at you with three eyes and say, “I don’t know.” So being that local lender is really, really important to get access to those benefits – Now, that’s great advice And I think another thing that people have some confusion around or need clarity is when you were talking about the difference between prequalification and preapproval I know that sometimes people can kind of use those terms interchangeably and there may be confusion around this So I wanted to ask you if you can just clarify for us particularly those for first time home buyers that are kind of just trying to figure things out right now What is the difference between getting prequalified and getting pre-approved? – Well, a pre qualification is more, what kind of program might I qualify for? In other words, you’re giving me some verbal information or maybe even an internet application and just give me some preliminary information and I’m kinda saying, “okay”, well, it looks like you could be eligible for this program or you could be eligible for that program, but the preapproval is the meat That’s where you really get the good letter that says, “yes, this person can buy this house, and as long as the appraisal comes in, where it needs to be, this person is golden.” Okay? And it doesn’t necessarily mean that an underwriter has gone through the whole underwriting process, but when I take a loan in, I’ve pretty well documented your preapproval So I’ve collected and reviewed all of your documents Sometimes people submit documents and they just sit in a file until you get a contract We don’t do that We actually look at it, we ask you questions because the last thing you wanna be doing is answering a bunch of questions while you got your house and moving boxes – That makes total sense I think this all goes back to what we were talking about a minute ago, why so important to find the right loan officer and to have that person who’s there that can really help guide you along the way so that you’re not just kinda having trying to figure out yourself, and then you ended up making a misstep that’s gonna cost you more money whether it’s a higher interest rate or just not paying attention to the details So crucial to have that person there, same way, like you pointed out, I love the WebMD analogy It’s like, everybody looks at WebMD, it’s like, “oh, my elbow hurts.” And you go to look at WebMD and next thing you know, you think that you’re dying, right? (both laughs) – Yeah, I don’t do that anymore – Exactly Versus just actually going to a licensed physician that can take a look and say, “oh, this is what’s wrong Here’s the remedy that you need to implement or the solution you need to implement to fix the problem.” It’s the same way with this in the same way, with from the doctor standpoint And for that type of financial transaction that you’re actually making, particularly when it’s hundreds of thousands of dollars, I would think that you would wanna do that the right way and have that person, particularly like with you, since you’ve been doing it for so long, you have the experience, you have the knowledge,

you probably seen it all across the board in terms of people coming with issues or with not issues and being able to get them through that process and as painless process as possible or painlessly as possible Would you agree that? – Absolutely. We realized that’s my motto Stress-free loan processing – Yep, exactly So since we’re talking about from the financial side of things, there’s another key component, particularly when you’re looking to even, I believe from the prequalification, the preapproval process, which is your credit score So for the people who are saying, “what if my credit score is not where it needs to be to buy a home? What is the advice that you would give them from that standpoint to fix their credit if it’s not necessarily up to par where they want it or need it to be to get the type of loan they want? – Well, I absolutely that we get this a lot, I positioned people to qualify So by reviewing your report and you’re under the credit score limits so that we have to abide by, the first thing I do is I look at we have analyzers on the Credit Bureau System and we can say, “hey, if I pay this debt off or have I opened this account, will this improve my score?” So if you’re just a little bit off the mark, we can fix that pretty much in three to five business days But if you’re way off and it’s like, “whoa, okay, we got a lot of work to do.” When I have a little bit more backup support on that, because that’s not my expertise, but I do have experts that I refer people to It’s usually a fee for service it’s completely optional, but you can also do the self help You don’t have to pay for it I mean, if you’re willing to put the research in, go simply over to or and you can go right in there and you can find all the resources to file dispute letters, to order your own simple copy of your reports, you can see exactly what’s on there, how to talk to your creditor, any kind of counseling resources that each county has We have in Prince William County, we have the Virginia Cooperative Extension and they help people to talk to their creditors So there’s a lot of self help information but the problem is that it can be overwhelming if there’s a lot of entries on your report So sometimes getting the fee for service is a better way to go – Yeah, now, that’s great advice And I think that that kind of leads into the next topic, which is, we’re talking, you’re giving a lot of advice, you’re giving a lot of great direction and it begs a question of, how do you find out what you don’t know? Because at the end of the day, you don’t know what you don’t know So from that standpoint, being that you have the experience and you’ve worked with so many different borrowers, are there any tips that you have for asking questions of lenders, when you’re shopping for a mortgage or while in the mortgage process? ‘Cause there’s questions that people should be asking, but they just don’t know to ask So, could you give us a few pointers around that? – Yeah, absolutely I mean, I would find out who are the players in a transaction How are you going to communicate with me? When can we expect to hear from you? What kind of things do you do internally to make sure that you’ve well-documented my situation? When can I expect commitment letter? Does that commitment letter mean that, somebody has actually reviewed all the documents that the decision maker or are I still kind of teetering on the qualifying aspect? We have real estate agents that do the same thing when they get a lender letter, they usually ask, “are you contingent on the sale of a home? Do you have to have cash reserves, to buy another home when you’re keeping your other house? Is there a certain amount of minimum credit score required for the program? So I think just being once you start asking maybe one or two or three of those questions, it’s gonna keep the loan officer you’re dealing with on their toes and they’re going to realize, “oh, I got somebody that really knows what’s going on.” They’re gonna be calling me So I better make sure I do what I need to do because let’s face it Loan officers are busy If you’re not asking the questions and making the phone calls and following up, and I’m not saying be a thorn in their side, but communicate with them regularly, they’re just going to kinda put your file, there until you’re ready to write a contract and you really don’t want that to happen You wanna make sure communication really is key during the transaction How are you gonna help me after hours? When should I get my homeowner’s insurance? What about the appraisal? What of it comes in low? What do I do? Those types of, how are you to work with my agent? Those types of things – Yeah, now, that’s great I think the big thing that I’m hearing is really making sure that you are setting expectations up front,

particularly around some of the pieces of communication where it’s like, hey, I may not think of everything up front, but I also wanna make sure that that’s okay and that you’re gonna be available ’cause to your point, I think there’s a lot of times where there’s what I would consider it to be more transactional loan officers and more relationship based loan officers You are certainly on the category of the relationship based loan officer, where, again, going back to that type of care that you give each person I mean, I’ve seen that personally with you where you just devote that time and energy and whet, regardless of what time it is or what needs to be done like You make sure that those things are happening You make sure that you’re communicating effectively How would you differentiate if someone’s going to speak with a loan officer for them to really understand the difference between maybe those two different types of individuals, the person who is just a transactional type nine to five that’s when I’m available and more of that relationship type person – I think it’s that, the more experienced loan officers really do set the frame They really do set the frame They tell you what you’re gonna expect They offer training resources, they’re available to you Even if it’s after hours, they have usually some type of team, that you’ll be communicating with, they they’re just, they’re available to you You’re gonna be able to tell, especially in a 1800 number scenario, if you call like just a regular online lender, sometimes you don’t even talk to the same person twice So, having that same person, that professional team, it’s typically your local lenders, but not always And it’s as usually somebody you can go on NMLS consumer access, and you can plug in any loan officer’s name and you can see the resume I can do that when I recruit people So you can see exactly how long they been in the history, do they have any complaints filed against them? That’s what it’s there for All of us have a registered number – Yup. I love that And speaking of the local lender, I love that you touched on that ’cause I think it’s such an important aspect, a local lender versus the sort of anonymous kind of 1800 number, all digital, which again, technology digital is great in the right context And when it’s using to further the engagement, rather than abstract that away, right? So, when it’s used to enhance that relationship, versus just making it all automated is a great thing But along those same lines from the local inner standpoint, obviously you’re here at Atlantic Coast Mortgage, so I wanted to get your take and you’ve been in the business for so long What do you think the difference is between Atlantic Coast Mortgage and other lenders from what you’ve seen? – Experience I can’t even tell you the experience and the people that run this company, I’ve actually worked with for 20 plus years We are like a family here It’s it’s experience It’s just knowing how to anticipate It’s knowing where we can do better It’s knowing how we can serve you better as a client, as a lender It’s constantly supporting our staff and our operations and our production people It’s experience and no computer system, no marketing system, none of that is gonna ever replace that No matter how hard we try – I love that. I love that So Laura, as we are coming near the end of our time, our conversation today, which has been amazing, I wanna give you give you the final say here So if you could give one final piece of advice to home buying clients or those that are in the market to buy a home, what would that one final piece be to those home buyers – Do not wait. The time to buy is now And I am not just saying that I have been doing this When I started in the business rates were skyrocketing high It’s the rates right now and rate is not only the reason to buy I mean, real estate is just in general, an excellent investment And it’s just the most affordable that it’s ever been And if you have an inkling to buy right now, do not wait This is really, truly the best time ever to buy a home That’s why we’re so busy – Yup. Now, I totally agree with you Great. That’s amazing final thoughts So if you’re in the market, there’s never been a better time And this is coming from an individual who has been in the mortgage industry since 1995 So I know that if you’re saying there’s never been a better time, there’s nobody that knows better than you, that there’s literally never been a better time if you’re in the market to buy a home Laura, that being said for those that wanna connect with you or wanna find you online, where can people find you and where can they connect with you? – Well, we’re on online, obviously just like everybody I have my own page and all of my contact info is there

And also find me on Facebook, you can find me on LinkedIn, you can find me on Instagram, just put my name in, I should pop right up, thanks to our great marketing team So definitely, and you could probably ask just about any local realtor in Prince William County, who Laura Triplett is, and they’ll know my name – Yeah. I can attest to that for sure Well, Laura, thanks for tuning in today Thanks for giving us all this amazing advice to home buyers and those that are looking to whether it’s purchase or refinance during their Prince William market, Laura is definitely somebody that you wanna check out She’s somebody that would do an amazing job helping you get into your dream home or refinance your current home So thanks for tuning in We look forward to catching you in the next episode of ACM Insider, take care and we’ll catch you next time Thanks, Laura – All right. Thank you – Cya – Hey, really quick Before you go, if you enjoyed this content, be sure to follow us here on social and don’t forget to like, and share this content Thanks for tuning in and we’ll catch you in the next episode