Page 46 - Network Magazine Fall 2018
P. 46

 Buying Real Estate in the Lehigh Valley;
Knowing your Lender Options
BASIL LEONETTI, BRANCH MANAGER, AMERICAN FINANCIAL NETWORK CORP.
Whether you are a first-time home buyer or a seasoned investor, the home buying landscape has changed dramatically over the past ten years. This is especially the case here in the Lehigh Valley where we have seen incredible growth in both new business and develop- ment. This has translated into a 20,000 + growth in the workforce, or almost a 10% increase from January 2008. This, combined with higher wages and a decrease in unemployment, has led to a boom in real estate. What does all of this mean? More people need mortgages! I recently read an article that said 40% of Americans felt “buying a home was the most stressful event in modern life.” How do you alleviate this problem? You do it by finding a lender you are comfortable with, one you feel a good rapport with.
Having direct communication during the mortgage process is critical. Being accessible seven days a week by phone or email has been essential to my success. Most importantly, taking the time to ask the right questions and to listen when first starting the mortgage process is key. Everyone has different expectations when working with a mortgage professional. You want to find the one who meets yours.
Another necessary component to have in a lender is flexibility. The wide range of diversity here in the Lehigh Valley means your lender needs to have the right program to fit your needs.
This is where many people run into challenges. Not all lenders offer the same programs or can structure
mortgages in the same ways. One group of people who can benefit from more attention is physicians. Lehigh Valley is considered a regional healthcare mecca with a tremendous amount of healthcare facilities and medical professionals, and these numbers are growing exponen- tially. Many of these healthcare providers are coming into the housing market with hundreds of thousands of dollars in student loan debt. Under traditional income and debt calculations for determining mortgage eligibil- ity, this level of student loan debt can be prohibitive, even with a physician’s salary. Fortunately, some lenders, myself included, have programs in place to work with physicians in this exact situation. In many cases, we can exclude some or all of the student loan debt from their monthly obligations in order to help them qualify. For medical residents about to complete their residency, often we can use their new higher salary upon comple- tion of their residency program. Physicians account for a huge part of the local economy; it is imperative to offer programs such as these in order to make their dreams of home ownership a reality.
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