There are many parts to a real estate transaction. While a real estate agent will guide you through the process, it is often a team effort with several professionals along the way to ensure a successful closing. At Tim Scott Real Estate, we have the privilege of working with many local professionals who really go above and beyond for their clients.
This blog is the first in a series focusing on our local professionals specializing in different areas of the home buying/selling process and companies who provide services for home repairs and upkeep.
If you will be financing your home, the first step in the process is to talk with a mortgage loan officer. Considering that first step, I thought it would be fitting for the initial blog in this series to be with a local mortgage loan officer. I decided to double the fun and talk with Melynda Miller and her twin sister Melyssa Whitcomb, both of Union Bank.
The sisters are Northeast Kingdom natives. They were raised in Burke, VT and both built houses close to their parents and reside there with their husbands and kids. Melyssa has 2 boys ages 20 and 13. Melynda has three kids ages 13, and the “lucky one” to have twins of her own, a boy and a girl, age 11.
TSRE: It’s a fun fact that twin sisters are in the same profession at the same company. How did it become that you both are mortgage loan officers at Union Bank?
Melyssa: I started in Dec 1992 as a teller and the bank was hiring so Melynda applied and was hired in July 1993. At that time it was Citizens Savings Bank and they employed a lot of family members. We both started out as tellers and have worked our way up the ladder.
TSRE: When a home buyer is ready to talk to a loan officer, what type of information can that person expect to provide?
Meylnda: I like to see their tax returns and current paystubs along with a list of their monthly debt. Before we get too far into the pre-approval process, I like to know that debt to income, to ensure they can qualify for purchase price they want to be in.
TSRE: How long does the loan process take?
Melynda: We can usually have the loan closed in approximately 8 weeks.
TSRE: Where do most Union Bank Loans go?
Melyssa: We are one of the top producers for first time home buyers with VHFA. These loans are transferred to US Bank. This is a great program so if the customer is a first-time home buyer, we really encourage them to go this route as there are many benefits. We also offer VA & FHA loans which are transferred to Colonial Savings Bank. The other loans that we do, we keep them in-house.
TSRE: Does Union Bank service all their loans?
Melyssa: We service all our loans except for VHFA, FHA & VA
TSRE: What are some advantages of using a local bank?
Melynda: The biggest advantage of using a local bank – you can stop in and speak to the lender in person. Even if we sell your loan and you have questions, we encourage you to stop in and speak to us. Most of the time, we can answer your question or we can tell you who you need to speak with to get everything resolved.
TSRE: What are some surprising factors that effect a credit score? What advice would you give to someone trying to improve their credit score?
Melyssa: Limits on credit cards. Anytime you go over the half way credit limit on a credit card, you are lowering your credit score. Also, the more credit cards you have, the lower your credit score will be. Quickest way to increase your credit score – is pay down on the balances. If you have no credit, I recommend you open a credit card, use it and pay it off in the same month. There are a lot of different ways to increase your credit score. The easiest way is for us to look at your credit report and then we can give you recommendations on what you need to do.
For more information visit unionbankvt.com or contact Melynda or Melyssa:
Melynda Miller, Union Bank Residential & Consumer Lender
364 Railroad Street, St. Johnsbury, VT, 05819
Melyssa Whitcomb, Union Bank AVP - Branch Manager, Residential & Consumer Lender
183 Depot Street, Lyndonville, VT, 05851