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Expert Advice on Your Mortgage Options: An Interview with Eric Gausepohl of Summit Lending

By Eric Gausepohl

Tell us a little bit about your experience, company history and the services you offer.

I started out in wholesale lending back in 2000 in a company that only had four employees, myself included. At our peak we had approximately 160 employees. I worked directly with my sales staff and the underwriters to make sure we had quality loans submitted and we were all working at maximum efficiency. I now work with Summit Lending and we became a direct lender a couple years ago; we also have the ability to broker out deals which truly makes us a unique mortgage lender. We offer an array of products like FHA, Conventional, VA and Jumbo loans.

What are some of the most common misconceptions that people have about getting a mortgage for a new home?

I believe that people think going to a big bank is the best way to go because they have the brand name. In my opinion this cannot be further from the truth, the customer service is lacking, the rates aren't as good and the time to complete the loan process is longer. The other misconception I see is people think the process is difficult. The process can be as difficult as the borrower wants to make it, if they provide us with the items requested in a timely manner and provide what the underwriter is requesting, the process goes quickly also it is important that there is constant communication with the client throughout the loan process too.

What would you recommend as the first steps that someone who wants to buy a house should take to secure a mortgage?

Get pre-approved from a lender as soon as possible. Don't get pre-qualified over the phone actually have the lender review and approve the income and assets so you can then submit your offer knowing that there will be no hurdles once the offer is accepted. Also it would give you an idea of what you can be qualified for and what you feel comfortable paying. Make sure you get the cost upfront and what your payment will consist of.

Can you briefly explain the main types of loans and who they are typically best suited for?

Sure. Most loans in the market are conventional loans that all the lenders do, which adheres to the guidelines from Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. Even though there are certain guidelines to these loans, each lender might put an overlay or basically will not allow certain things that the guidelines actually permit. I do a lot of VA loans for military and retired military. These are great loans with no down payment and no MI. FHA loans are great for people that cannot afford a large down payment and have spotty credit history, they are easy to obtain and only require 3.5 percent down and sometimes less; these loans have been more expensive lately but are still good for people that have to use them.

Are there any things that prospective homeowners should not do when they're applying for a home loan?

Absolutely! Do not change jobs to a different field of work. Do not apply for any other credit. Don't deposit money that is not a payroll deposits and try not to transfer money from different accounts. The biggest mistake people make is they will deposit cash into their account and normally an underwriter will not allow that to happen because all money has to be sourced and seasoned, also do not transfer funds between several accounts.

What is one of the biggest regrets you've seen people in Southern California have when it comes to their mortgages?

I think the biggest mistake is people that refinanced their homes and cashed out to buy something they really didn't need and now they are underwater. Or borrowers that at the peak of the mortgage bubble got themselves in these pay option loans which they only paid the minimum amount and never paid down their principle thinking that their houses would continue to appreciate and they would be able to refinance.

What's the best way for people to get in contact with you and your company?

By cell phone 714-206-2391. I'm not a person that sits in the office all day, I'm out meeting real estate agents and my clients constantly.

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Phone: 714-206-2391

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