Fairway Branch Manager Tyler Osby's advice for prospective homebuyers is simple: Don't miss this opportunity for low mortgage rates.
It’s not often that you hear of a 19-year-old who has found their career path, but that is exactly what happened to Tyler Osby.
Growing up in Iowa, Osby had always been a worker. He got his first job at 14, and by 16, he was working full-time. At 19, he was a top salesman in the car audio department at a big retailer in Des Moines, and he was hungry for new opportunities.
Osby asked to move to the TV department, where he knew he could excel at sales. But he was told, effectively, to wait his turn. Older employees who had families were given priority for the lucrative sales spots, but waiting years for his shot didn’t sit well with Osby.
Then he had a chance encounter with a customer who had purchased a radar detector that Osby helped him install.
“He had a cool car, a BMW M3,” Osby recalled. “I asked him what he did, and he said he was in the mortgage business. I asked him, ‘What’s that?’ I was living with my parents. I didn’t know what a mortgage was.”
The customer offered Osby a part-time job working at his mortgage company. Osby accepted, learning the mortgage ropes on his days off from the retail store. He took to the industry quickly.
“It felt a lot more gratifying at the end of the process when someone would buy a home or save hundreds of dollars a month by refinancing,” Osby said. “It was a lot more exciting and gratifying than helping a kid buy a CD player.”
As the holidays approached that year, he made himself a deal.
“I said, ‘If I can make this mortgage thing work, this is going to be my last Christmas in retail.’,” he said. “And sure enough, Christmas Eve was my last day in retail.”
Twelve years later, and Osby hasn’t looked back. The first four to five years in the mortgage business were tough, he admitted. “I repeated the first year a few times,” he said of the learning curve. But then he found his way, first as a mortgage broker and then as a loan officer.
“It wasn’t a pretty climb,” he said. “There wasn’t any formal training, so it was a lot of figuring it out myself.”
Osby witnessed the housing “meltdown” of 2008, and he saw it as an opportunity to be intentional about his place in the mortgage business going forward.
“I realized there were a lot of people who were doing it right, and a lot of people who weren’t,” he said of the 2008 housing crash.
He began looking for his “forever home” – a company where he could set down roots. He interviewed 33 companies in the process. Ultimately, he chose Fairway Independent Mortgage Corporation, which owns Home.com.
“I personally can’t imagine a better place to originate,” he said. “They understand how to get loans done. The culture is just really fun. They take doing business seriously, but they also have fun.”
Osby was also impressed by the company’s core values, one of which is “speed to respond.” He’s adopted it as a branch manager in Des Moines, where he and his team prioritize responsiveness and timeliness in helping homebuyers purchase their homes.
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Osby’s team exclusively helps Iowa homebuyers, who he says have the advantage of a fairly “steady eddie” market. Home prices have skyrocketed around the country since 2020, and the hottest markets often grab headlines. But Osby cautioned that “real estate is very local.”
And that’s good news for Iowans and homebuyers looking at the Hawkeye state. “Des Moines is about as steady eddie as they go,” he said. “In Des Moines, it’s still many times cheaper to own a home than it is to rent.”
Osby is passionate about homebuyer education and helping clients make the best decision for themselves. He often tells them that if they plan to be in a home for more than three years, buying a home is likely more cost-effective than renting.
But if they expect to move before the three-year mark, they may be better served by renting, because of the closing costs and the fees associated with selling a home.
For those looking to establish themselves in an area but not sure whether now is a good time to buy, market-wise, Osby has some advice.
“The cost of money right now is still ridiculously cheap. I don’t think people realize how much of a difference that makes,” he said.
As interest rates increase, the amount buyers may be approved to borrow could decrease, which means you could get less home by waiting.
“There’s a lot more to lose as rates go higher,” he said. “But it’ll probably still be cheaper to own than to rent in the long run.”
In his downtime, Osby coaches local mortgage entrepreneurs and attends live music shows when he can.
“There’s been less of that with COVID, but I still try to get to a concert or two,” he said.
Most importantly, he spends time with his family, including his three daughters.
“I’m 100% a girl dad,” Osby said.
To learn more about Osby, visit his website applywithtyler.com.