Gerwin Wallace has placed in the Top 3 every year since 2012 for "Favorite Lender" in The Anniston Star's Reader's Choice Poll. He has been in the mortgage business since 1996 and joined Silverton Mortgage in 2011.
Q: How did you hear about AHFA programs?
A: I was looking for a program that would help bridge the gap between 100 percent financing (which has strict income/geographical limitations for their product) and standard FHA financing, whose 3.5 percent down-payment requirement can be prohibitive for a lot of buyers in my market.
Q: What percentage of your monthly production utilizes AHFA programs?
A: Currently about 25-30 percent of my monthly production is AHFA related.
Q: What do you think is the greatest benefit of AHFA's Step Up program?
A: The ability to borrow the majority of the down-payment requirement via a 2nd mortgage. This down payment assistance is key to the success of the program. In addition, both 1st and 2nd mortgages have the same low fixed interest rate, which continues to be lower than standard pricing for other types of loans.
Q: What do you find most rewarding about your job?
A: Honestly, the ability to help first-time homebuyers realize their dream of homeownership. A large percentage of buyers come into the process initially feeling intimidated and unsure of their ability to get qualified for financing. It's important for me to take as much of the worry and stress out of the equation and to make sure that the buyer has a clear path to homeownership with my guidance.
Q: Anything else you'd like to say?
A: There seems to be the belief that you have to have excellent credit to get approved for these types of loans. That is absolutely untrue. While a lot of lenders won't take the time to work with a client who can't get approved today, I feel it's imperative to find ways to help the buyer improve their credit score and turn them into approved buyers within a certain time-frame, whether it's 30 days or 12 months. Every client is as important as the next, and continuing to help get buyers approved. That's what I'm probably most proud of about my career.