Saturday, September 22, 2007

Every Journey Begins with One Step

To the uninitiated, FHA lending can be seen as the most daunting of tasks. My mother was a bank lender through 3 decades, yet several years ago when I told her that I was "quiting mainstream lending" and pursuing FHA loans full time, she thought I was crazy. So did virtually anyone that I talked to. Too hard, time consuming or painful...I was told. I was determined to prove them all wrong.

When I decided to embark on this adventure, the real estate boom was reaching frenzy. Fortunes were being made over night and as we all know, virtually anything was approved. Like most of the industry, I worked in a shop that provided internet leads and required long days pounding the phones. The job was beginning to wear on me.

I knew there had to be a better way, but these were the golden days (as I was often told). For several years I had been troubled by the fundamentals of the real estate market, and knew that rapid gains could not be held. Working in the western U.S., it really was the wild west.

After losing one too many deals to other LOs who felt perfectly fine about lying to get a loan, I had enough. I knew the junk Sub-Prime and Alt-A loans that were being pushed and funded would eventually return to haunt us all. It was only a matter of time. I decided that I would go after the one type of loan that no one else wanted to touch...FHA Loans. I figured, "They can't be that tough!" I was sure to be a master within a few weeks.

After six months of hard-core research, I tried my first FHA Loan. Let me make this clear...THEORY and REALITY are COMPLETELY DIFFERENT!!! I was losing deals left and right because of items I never even knew existed. In the middle of the the greatest real estate boom in the past century, in one of the hottest markets in the country, I was as frustrated as a person could be. And let me make this clear, I grew up in this industry. I knew how a loan was originated when many were playing t-ball. And I was one of the top loan officers in my company prior to going after "govies."

I had spent six months talking to ever AE and underwriter I could. I talked to processors, appraisers and other loan officers. I spent countless hours on every website I could and left no stone unturned. I contacted every government wholesale lender that we were signed up with and got every pamphlet, handout, and Power Point presentation that they had. Yet after all this research, I was left high and dry. I was starting to lose sleep.

Luckily, I am an extremely stubborn person and refused to give in. This was about more than money now, it was about pride. What ended up transpiring was a no-holds-barred, multi- year journey into full time FHA origination. What I uncovered was that while FHA and Government Loans are the epitome of regulated black and white lending, the real secrets are in the grey area. There are no second chances on FHA misstep WILL COST YOU THE DEAL!

I created the FHA Loan Kit and wrote many articles about FHA loans for a simple reason, it helps us all. The consumers, LOs, banks, real estate agents, and more. In the coming weeks I will answer questions and cover common misunderstandings about FHA Loans. If you want to survive as a loan officer, you must be proficient in FHA loans...Period! There is simply, no other way. If a borrower is qualified for an FHA loan, they should be put in one. If you want to be treated as a professional in this industry, you must be proficient in FHA loans. The industry can make this almost impossible at times, but it is my goal to help you understand. Bookmark this page and check back often.

If you solely rely on AEs and underwriters for help originating FHA loans, you will be in trouble. So feel free to email me at and check out some of the articles that I have written at www. I will be posting several more articles in the coming weeks, and updating the blog as often as I can.

All My Best!