Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Despite the government shutdown, average rates on fixed mortgages changed very little this month, just .01 percent, and stayed near their lowest rate in three months.

Financing a home can be a difficult task for anyone, but with normal home lending having continued through the government shutdown, now is not at all a bad time to finance a home.

Envoy Mortgage, whose local branch is located in Paramus, is a direct lender—not broker—that works out of 48 states to help individuals purchase houses. The home loan process usually begins with an individual approaching a broker who then contacts a lender who in turn contacts a bank for financing. Envoy takes the broker out of the equation.

“Working with a direct lender makes the process much smoother,” senior loan officer Stuart Greenbaum said.

With so many people typically involved in the loan process from start to finish, getting a mortgage can often be like a “game of telephone” with the message getting completely garbled as it gets passed through the chain, but that is not the case with Envoy according to Greenbaum.

“I do most of my work in Bergen County. I bump into them [clients] in supermarkets and restaurants. These are the people I see all the time so I want to do right by them,” Greenbaum explained about his work philosophy.

When someone approaches Envoy for a home loan, their ability to repay is assessed. After that, the client receives documents by email requiring electronic signatures. Most mortgage firms send out huge packets of paper via the mail to be signed, but Envoy does it all online to “be as green as possible” and to expedite the process. After the documents are signed, Greenbaum and others like him pass them onto the processor and get the loan underwritten.

“I’ve closed loans here in 10 days start to finish,” Greenbaum said. “I’m not at somebody else’s turn times.”

Greenbaum himself has been in mortgages, which he calls the most highly regulated business in the industry, for 12 years. After attending the Moriah School of Englewood and Frisch High School, he went on to Boston University’s School of Management and then into self employment producing clothing domestically. The ability of companies who outsourced to produce so much more cheaply convinced Greenbaum to move onto something new.

“I wanted to learn something where if I was willing to work hard I’d be successful,” Greenbaum said about learning a new set of skills for his career change.

The learning is ongoing as new Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac guidelines require licensing and testing for people working in the industry.

Federal Housing Administration guidelines allow people to get government ensured loans with as little as three and a half percent down. Loans at Envoy cover the gamut from FHA loans to multi-million dollar deals and, according to Greenbaum, all of their rates are competitive.

By Aliza Chasan

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