Who is Valerie Oliver? I am the Mortgage Maven. According to Wikipedia a maven is “a trusted expert in a particular field, who seeks to pass knowledge on to others”. I have been in the mortgage business for over 25 years. I started in 1986. I had been a teacher and a business consultant. I love to teach. When my husband and I bought our first home we sat across from a mortgage broker and I thought to myself, I could do this better than she is. That was the start of my journey.
Mortgage brokers are required to have Real Estate licenses. So I studied and passed the test. I found a woman who was definitely an expert and she agreed to teach me the business. She was absolute in her belief that in order to be a good agent, one must process from start to finish her first ten loans. This is what I did and there was so much to learn.
Loans were underwritten in the mid eighties very similar to the underwriting today. In the 1986 the mortgage world came alive. I would say that it was that year that people started refinancing. Rates had been in the 12% to 18% range. Most loans had prepayment penalties.
When I started in the business we mostly did adjustable rate mortgages. They were good adjustables. They usually had a six month adjustable period tied to the cost of funds index. I had a six month adjustable tied to the cost of funds index with a 2% margin. I kept that loan for fourteen years until I moved. Rates went down steadily with only a few blips up. This is the environment I learned the business in.