Mortgage Master Inc., one of the nation's largest independently owned mortgage companies originating $6 billion in loans annually, has opened an office in Manhattan to serve the city's housing market. The new office, which is licensed in New York, Connecticut and New Jersey, will handle the purchase and refinancing needs for thousands of residents in the Tri-State area. "The Manhattan housing market has been remarkably resilient," said Marc Kunen, head of Mortgage Master's Manhattan office and a veteran mortgage specialist. "Establishing a foothold in the city will allow us to compete as one of the lowest cost providers and avail those savings to our customers." Based in Walpole, Mass., Mortgage Master Inc. continues to see strong demand as low mortgage rates spur homeowners to refinance and renovate their homes. Kunen also expects to see more customers take out new loans as housing prices in the Tri-State area begin to firm. The company, which is licensed in more than 20 states with branches in nine of those states, funded approximately $6 billion in 2010 and continues to expand its reach in the mortgage market. "Our company has been successful because we open offices in markets like Manhattan where we know we are dealing with a stable, reliable community of borrowers," said Mortgage Master's Chief Executive Officer Leif Thomsen. "The housing market is growing in the Metropolitan area, and we want to contribute to that growth by offering low cost loans to the community." Prior to joining Mortgage Master to open the Manhattan office, Kunen was with GFI Mortgage Bankers Inc. as a managing director where he built their Manhattan branch into a $200 million residential mortgage division. He also worked for Preferred Empire Mortgage Company as a senior loan officer. He holds an MBA from NYU's Stern School of Business and graduated with a B.S. in Business from SUNY Buffalo. Marc is a native New Yorker, and is familiar with the local real estate market and its financing nuances.