25-year mortgage veteran Diane Fry shares the importance of picking the right lender and why the housing market is going to stay hot.
Diane Fry is all about in-person conversations, especially when it comes to buying a home. And in her experience, so are young homebuyers.
“I think there is a misconception that young homebuyers want to do everything online. That’s not what I’ve found,” she says. “They want to connect.”
Trust is hugely important when you’re buying a home, says Fry.
“It’s really important to pick a real estate agent you’re comfortable with, pick a lender you’re comfortable with,” she says.
And comfort often comes down to trust.
That’s why Fry, who is a branch manager with Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation in Lawrence, Kan., and her team emphasize in-person interactions and fast communication. After meeting face to face, buyers often feel more comfortable asking questions, reaching out when something is confusing, and they’re more confident in the home purchase process.
“It just feels so good to sit down with people,” Fry says. “We are right here in the same town where you’re buying. It matters.”
Fry says developing a rapport with her clients encourages them to connect throughout their homebuying journey.
“They can call me at 6:30 on a Sunday night because they had a panic attack because I sent them an email and there’s something they didn’t understand,” she says.
Fry has been in the financial services industry a long time. She’s been doing mortgages exclusively for roughly 25 years, before which she worked in banking.
“I’ve always had an interest in the money side of things,” she says.
So she witnessed the 2008 housing crash and Great Recession, and she doesn’t see history repeating itself in today’s hot housing market.
“I just don’t see this market slowing down,” Fry says. “This is going to go on for at least five years. The market is really strong.”
Her advice to homebuyers in light of that? “Don’t wait. Let’s get moving.”
Interest rates have started to increase from the historic lows of 2020 and 2021, but they’re still quite low, Fry says. And although they’ll likely rise somewhat during 2022, homebuyers can still lock in fairly competitive rates on houses that will appreciate as the market remains robust.
“I question what people are waiting on,” Fry says. “To me, now is the perfect time to buy.”
If you’re ready now, that is. Fry says those who won’t be ready to buy until later in the year shouldn’t panic over interest rates. While they will increase, it likely won’t be in huge leaps.
“Let’s say you’re looking at a $250,000 house and rates go up 0.25%. The payment goes up $28,” she says.
The bottom line is that chances are, the monthly payment will still be manageable if you need to wait a few months before purchasing a new home.
Even if you’re not ready to buy right now but you plan to purchase a home this year, Fry recommends talking to a lender early on. They can preapprove* you and determine how much you can afford to borrow, as well as calculate how much your mortgage payment might increase if interest rates rise.
The preapproval component is critical, especially if you’re in an area with lots of buyers and high competition.
The Fairway Advantage Pre-approval** program can make you a more competitive borrower because it is underwritten except for the property details. That means you’ve already submitted your financial documents and been vetted as a qualified borrower.
“We don’t give out a preapproval unless we know that file is going to close,” Fry says of her team’s processes.
And for some of their clients, that has made all the difference.
“Many times we will get a contract where we’ve done the seller’s preapproval (when they first bought the home), and now we’re doing the buyer’s preapproval, and the seller accepts their offer because they know we’ll get it done,” she says.
Another way Fry and her team earn buyers’ and sellers’ trust is by being lightning quick and responsive.
“We pick up our phone often. We deliver good news quickly, we deliver bad news quickly. We are not procrastinators,” she says.
Most importantly, they show up.
“We are never going to miss a closing,” she says. “We are never going to miss a deadline.”
To learn more about Fry or to work with her, visit her website dianefrywebsite.com.
*Pre-approval is based on a preliminary review of credit information provided to Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, which has not been reviewed by underwriting. If you have submitted verifying documentation, you have done so voluntarily. Final loan approval is subject to a full underwriting review of support documentation including, but not limited to, applicants’ creditworthiness, assets, income information, and a satisfactory appraisal. **Fairway Advantage pre-approval is based on a full review of the borrower’s creditworthiness and is contingent upon there being no material changes in the borrower's financial condition or creditworthiness at the time of final loan approval. Final loan approval is subject to the following conditions: (1) borrower has identified a suitable property, and a valid appraisal supports the proposed loan amount; (2) a valid title insurance binder has been issued; and (3) borrower selects a mortgage program and locks in an interest rate that will support the pre-approved monthly payment amount. Loan must close before the expiration date provided in the pre-approval. Please note that submitting verifying documentation is not a requirement to receive an estimate of closing costs associated with a mortgage loan.