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Home Mortgage: 4th Time is A Charm!


Obtaining a mortgage or refinancing can be a stressful experience. Often times, borrowers are left choosing between a banker they trust and terms they can accept.

After purchasing my 1st home as an MS4, refinancing it as a PGY1, then attempting to refinance it as a PGY2, I'm now preparing to purchase my second home.

Having worked with so many mortgage officers from a wide spectrum of mortgage companies in the past, I can honestly say I felt lied to and talked down to 99% of the time, and hence developed a severe aversion to the mortgage industry. I wanted to share my past woes and my recent pleasant experience with you and hope that you will avoid the negative experiences I went through before working with the most awesome mortgage banker ever, Travis Woods from Bank of America.

February-May 2014: BBVA Doctor's Loan

  • The mortgage banker was based in Florida while I was in California. This was a recipe for failure. Our time zone difference made a serious lag time in our communication.
  • The banker had 40 years of experience in the industry; I had 0 years, so there was a serious asymmetry in knowledge. The banker tried to be sympathetic and stoop down to my knowledge level (I was trying really hard to learn on the side and I ran all the numbers by myself in the dark, trying to keep up). The banker got impatient at times, understandably so.
  • The entire mortgage process was fear ridden. I insisted on getting a 30-year fixed rather than an adjustable rate mortgage (ARM).
  • Results: 4.375% 30-year fixed with 11% down Doctor's Mortgage.


January-March 2015: Multiple Mortgage Companies to Refinance My First Home

  • The first company I came across, Cardinal Financial, had a wonderful mortgage broker, but the numbers were not great.
  • The second company I worked with had the best rates and terms, but the loan originator was plain abusive, unkind, and crude.
  • I ended up signing with the second because the numbers were the best but developed a growing aversion to the mortgage industry.
  • Results: 3.375% 7/1 ARM with 80% loan-to-value ratio (LTV), switched out of a Doctor's Loan

February-March 2016: Multiple Mortgage Companies to Re-refinance My First Home

  • By this point, I was practically a mortgage banker myself. I could run all the numbers on Excel and predict what the loan officer would present to me: LTV, debts, liabilities, debt-to-income ratio, APR, interest rates, and terms.
  • The abuse had not stopped.
  • Many of the better loan originators (i.e. responsive, transparent, efficient) didn't offer the better numbers. The originator offering the best numbers was a jerk. If brilliant doctors can't be jerks, why can mortgage bankers with good offers be as*****?
  • Results: Elected Not to refinance to a 15-year fixed loan


The promised Fouth time is a charm, hopefully.

Yet to be seen as closing date is 6/17/16.

  • I'm selling my first home and purchasing a second one.
  • The Bank of America doctor's loan mortgage officer was a breath of fresh air from the moment we met (on the phone) to the time when my loan application was forwarded to the underwriting department.
  • This banker was empathetic, transparent, efficient, something of a workholic like me, and really good with his numbers. (I respect mortgage bankers who do math better than me, even though to some extent I Expect all of them to do math better than me.)
  • The mortgage process was not fear-anger-frustration-belittlement-ridden. This banker partners with me to make the most financially sound decision.
  • Results: I'm getting a 3% 7/1 ARM Doctor's Loan with 5% down. (no private mortgage insurance, as is typical of all Doctor's Loans.)


I have to quote Amber from the popular American television medical drama, House, MD,

"All my life I thought I had to choose between love and... respect. And I chose respect. And with Wilson... I know what it's like to have both."

I can now say, "All my life I thought I had to choose between the best mortgage and... the best mortgage banker. And I chose the best mortgage. And with this banker... I know what it's like to have both."

My humor at this point is the culmination of lots of tears and rage, I hope you don't have to go through what I did to get a purchase/refinance mortgage. Set yourself up for success with a good banker. Please see my recommendation page for a good banker.

  • What was your experience in purchasing in a home?
  • Did you like your mortgage banker? Why or why not?
  • Did you respect your banker? Did they demonstrate the same level of professionalism your patients expect from you?
  • Would you recommend your mortgage banker or do repeat business with him?

Comment below!

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