About Me, Richard Blair – Mortgage Banker – of Dwell Mortgage in Phoenix, AZ
I wasn’t always a mortgage banker. While I have lived in Arizona since 1992, I spent my childhood and early adult life growing up in a suburb of Chicago, Illinois. Attended the University of Illinois and after undergraduate I went on to Loyola School of Law in Chicago. In 1979, I graduated from Loyola and immediately started a law practice with a childhood friend. I inherited that entrepreneurial spirit from my father who left a family business in 1959 to start his own clothing store, Sid’s Clothing, located in downtown Chicago. After college my brother joined the family business and Sid’s Clothing just celebrated their 61st year in business at the same location. All through high school and college I worked with my father on weekends and during summers at the store and learned valuable lessons not just about sales, but how to develop lasting relationships with customers. Those valuable lessons about customer experience, gratitude, work ethic and core values of honesty have always stuck with me and remained the foundation of my business philosophy as a mortgage originator.Verify my mortgage eligibility (May 20th, 2022)
My real estate and lending experience began in 1980 as a real estate attorney in Illinois. My law practice was concentrated in real estate transactions. I primarily represented both sellers and buyers in residential and commercial real estate transactions. I also handled extensive work in title for Attorneys Title. In 1992, I relocated to Phoenix from Chicago and was admitted into the Arizona State Bar in 1993. I served as the Chief Administrative Law Judge for the Arizona Department of Real Estate and subsequently served as an Administrative Law Judge for the Arizona Office of Administrative Hearings and the Department of Economic Security.
In 1997, I made a life changing decision to leave my Administrative Law Judge position and return to what I really loved – working one-on-one with customers and helping families achieve their dream of home ownership. It was another entrepreneurial decision because I wanted to create a unique culture and experience for home lending that reflected my core values and beliefs passed on from my father and our family business. I thought back to my experience as a first time home buyer and how impersonal the lending process was and the poor communication. I set out to focus on a few key core values that would create an amazing customer experience and empower everyone we serve to make the very best financial decisions. The core values of my Team are to work hard, move with urgency, be transparent and honest, communicate proactively and treat everyone like family.
I began my mortgage origination career working for a national mortgage banker. From 2000 to 2008 I was an owner and day-to-day manager of all operations for a mortgage broker in Phoenix. After that, I worked with both local and national mortgage bankers. In 2020, I became part of the Dwell Mortgage family where we operate as a Hybrid mortgage bankers. For the past 23 years in the mortgage business I have served and helped more than 1,000 families with their home mortgage.Verify my mortgage eligibility (May 20th, 2022)
Why hire a mortgage banker instead of just going to your bank?
Going to a big bank, like Wells Fargo, Chase and Bank of America may be a good choice if you are a high wealth individual looking for a Jumbo Mortgage. The big banks are very competitive with their Jumbo Mortgage options. Or if you have very high credit scores, good cash reserves in the bank and are looking for a fixed rate loan the big bank may be a good start point. Typically, big banks underwrite conventional and Jumbo home loan products to their own guidelines, which in many instances are stricter compared to loan programs offered by a mortgage broker or mortgage banker. The bank has one set of interest rates that they set so you will lose the flexibility of shopping for a more competitive rate. Also, because of the big organization, expect less person-to-person direct contact during the transaction. On the other hand, a mortgage banker will have greater flexibility for loan programs, underwriting and interest rates. Additionally a greater selection of loan programs, including down payment assistance, niche programs for less than perfect credit and government lending programs. Expect a more personal connection and experience from your mortgage loan originator that will work with you from application to closing as opposed to the impersonal nature of the big bank operations.
Mortgage broker or a “hybrid” mortgage banker – what’s the difference?
The Mortgage Broker has great flexibility in many different loan programs and works with many different lenders because guidelines can differ from lender to lender. While the mortgage broker will have a great choice of loan programs and competitive rates, the downside is that the broker does not process, underwrite, or fund the mortgage loan. The mortgage broker takes your application, chooses the mortgage lender, but then sends your loan file to a lender for processing, underwriting, and funding. The mortgage broker loses control over the loan and the timeline for closing. While typically there is good personal contact with the mortgage broker, any questions for underwriting and closing your loan are dependent on how busy or responsive the lender is at the time.
The very best of two worlds is a mortgage banker that has the same flexibility as a mortgage broker with regard to loan programs and competitive interest rates, but maintains control of your loan from application to closing on your home. I call this a Hybrid Mortgage Banker. Personally, I have worked as a Mortgage Banker, Mortgage Broker and for a nationwide mortgage bank during the past 23 years of my career. Currently, dwell Mortgage operates in the Hybrid model and that’s why I chose to align myself with their company. This means when I am searching for rates, guidelines and products there may be 20 different lenders to choose from. Sometimes the hybrid lender may be acting as a correspondent, other times direct to Fannie Mae, or may choose to use a product from a bank or a credit union. This provides the ability to find the guideline that best suits the home buyer together with the best interest rate for that day among the different options. Like a big bank or the mortgage banker, dwell Mortgage has full control of the loan from start to finish- that means from application, processing, underwriting, closing and funding the file stays with dwell Mortgage to provide a better customer experience. This allows us to move faster, communicate better and control the timeline for closing.Verify my mortgage eligibility (May 20th, 2022)
Working with a Mortgage Banker: Here’s the process from start to finish working with mortgage banker
The very first step whether you are buying a home or refinancing is to have an initial discussion with a mortgage loan originator. In this preliminary discussion we can answer any questions, walk you through the pre-qualification process, and discuss how to get the best mortgage for your specific situation.
The second step is using our cutting edge technology: download the dwell Mortgage App and submit the on-line questionnaire. The App is secure, quick and convenient. At the same time you are provided a list of required financial documents for your pre-qualification. Gather your documents and simply scan it into the on-line App – this can be done right from your mobile phone.
The third step is my Team and I will review your credit, income and asset documentation in order to provide you customized mortgage options that make sense for you. The loan options are provided on a Customized Loan Planning software and emailed to you for review. A conference call is set up where your credit report and custom loan options are thoroughly explained and discussed. This high level personal review ensures that your mortgage experience is a 10 and the the loan process is quick and smooth.Verify my mortgage eligibility (May 20th, 2022)
The final step is the automated underwriting of your loan to provide pre-qualification and conditional loan approval. Congratulations…this means you can now start your home buying journey with confidence.
Once you have a signed Purchase Agreement, my Team will update your Loan Plan and prepare your loan file for Processing and Underwriting. My Team will send you updates by text and email every step of the way. Proactive communication is a core value of ours because we do not want you feeling stressed or overwhelmed by the mortgage process. Once the loan is approved your closing will be scheduled.
Conclusion – Why hire Richard Blair as your loan originator?
I believe in combining the human touch together with cutting edge technology, automation and great communication throughout the loan process to provide every client an amazing experience. With the hearts of teachers my Team and I educate and empower our clients to make wise financial decisions. By simplifying the loan process we take the uncertainty out of buying a home or refinancing a current mortgage. A custom loan plan together with a one-on-one planning session makes choosing the best lending option easy. Choosing the right option saves money, makes your home more affordable and helps your family achieve your financial goals. Combine our culture to treat everyone like family with technology, low interest rates, and expert personal guidance and you will understand why past customers agree we are not your average lender! Contact us today!Show me today's rate (May 20th, 2022)