“I grew up military and traveled the country and overseas, so I understand the joys and hardships of military life. I am very patriot and try my best to help all of our veterans obtain financing to purchase their dream homes.”—Traci Ramirez, President, Tri-County Mortgage, Russellville, Ark.
Unsung mortgage heroes are in every community, though it can be a tough search to find one. They are not often found in the spotlight, but the difference they make in the military lives they touch can be huge. Thus, I go panning for those nuggets of golden loan originators each month, and wish that loan originators everywhere would copy what they do. In typical fashion, this month’s Mortgage Hero, Traci Ramirez, president of Tri-County Mortgage in Russellville, Ark., fears she would fall very short, compared to what others are doing. But just ask the military folks who own homes today because of Traci’s commitment to persevere, no matter the obstacle, and you’d get a different answer. To each of those families, she is a hero.
“As a one-person office” said Traci, “I pride myself on taking all the time necessary for my clients so they understand the loan process and what it takes to get approved to purchase a home in this very volatile and changing market.”
Many military members think they qualify for a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) loan, simply because they were discharged and have their DD214. Traci educates them that the VA doesn’t provide financing, they guarantee the loan, and qualifying for a VA loan can often be more difficult than other programs. In her area, the USDA Rural Development loan is a good 100 percent financing option.
“If they qualify for both,” said Traci, “I show them the difference between interest rates and closing costs. This is very important when you have veterans using the entitlement for subsequent purchase. Several clients have come back to me to refinance their VA loan into the VA Interest Rate Reduction Refinance Loan or ‘IRRRL,’ which is a wonderful benefit for the veterans.
“For many years, I have helped Arkansans realize their homeownership goals,” said Traci. “I know the value of honesty, integrity and experience. One of my clients was 100 percent disabled and trying to get a VA loan, but a top federal credit union denied his home loan request due to credit issues. Together, we worked them through, and he was able to purchase his home as he’d hoped, through a VA loan program. I once had a VA client purchasing a home while still serving in Iraq, and because of time change and his duty, we were only able to speak on the phone at 10:00 p.m. We went over all of his loan documents and requirements late at night, and we did it! His wife and kids were able to move into their new home and have it waiting for him when he got home.”
Traci’s father retired from the Air Force after putting in 20 years, her husband was in the Army for six and her stepson has just completed four tours in Iraq.
“There have been many tears of sadness and pride,” she said, “but there are lots of us out there who still have American pride in our always faithful and fearless troops!”
Be a Mortgage Hero! This recognition is free to Certified Military Housing Specialists. Take the FREE Certified Military Housing Specialist course offered online by USA Cares and tell us how you are “Helping those who defend our homes, preserve their own.” Please contact Program Manager Beverly Frase at [email protected]
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