Wednesday, May 28, 2014


As I meet new people and catch up with old friends, we inevitably end up on the topic of real estate. And one of the most common questions to come up is "Where do I start?"

What I, and a lot of Realtors will tell you is to speak with a mortgage lender.

This may seems like a simple pass off, but I assure it is not. Knowing what you have, what you anticipate having, what you need, and how much you can get is very important, and best to know before you start your home search.

Speaking to a lender, providing them with basic personal information, and even receiving a pre-approval letter is in no way an obligation from you to that lender. You could do more research or get a referral from a friend and opt for a lender that better fits your needs. You could stick with that lender but not even start seriously looking for a home for months or years. Or you could do nothing further at all. Either way, there's no commitment or cost to you to get the basic loan info you need anticipate a real estate deal, so don't be scared.

Just like Realtors there are a ton of mortgage lenders out there, and their companies all offer a variety of mostly the same, available loan programs. I suggest you find someone that you get along with, work well and on the same level with, as well as actually like. You don't want to dread making or receiving a call from your mortgage professional.

So, that being said if you need some direction or suggestion of who to work with, here are a few folks I recommend…

Brian Billups
Bay Equity Home Loans
office (503) 305-5826
Company Webpage

Dereik Mason
First Choice Loan Services
direct (503) 988-7258
office (512) 843-2717
Company Website

Peter Wease - or - Jason Marshall
Alpine Mortgage Planning
Peter office (503) 699-6444 / Jason office (503) 748-2804
Peter's Company Webpage
Jason's Company Webpage

If you give any of these fine folks a call, please tell them I sent you and that I say 'Hi.' (And then demand the 100% special ultra-secret discount! Just kidding!)

- Stephan

Tuesday, May 6, 2014


It's not always easy folks.

There's an old perception that Realtors don't do anything for their paycheck. I can personally vouch for the inaccuracy of that statement.

In my newly budding career I already experienced a wide variety of conditions. From old friends to complete strangers to new partners, the diversity of client and agent interactions has been great.

There have been "when will this happen", "wow that was fast", "how can this be", and "thank goodness it's over" moments. No matter the situation I am very grateful for the continuing on-the-job education, and am happy to report that everything thus far has had a happy ending for everyone.

That said, I'm not sure how many "regular folks" spend just about every waking hour contemplating, researching, or performing your typical working duties, but I know I do. There's not a lot of true down time, but there are pockets to relax throughout whatever you would call a "regular day" for me. It's very different from a traditional hourly gig, but I couldn't be happier that I made the switch!