Sr Mortgage Professional
Brandon is a Loan Officer for Columbia Funding Mortgage licensed in both Washington and Oregon. He grew up in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan. After completing high school he attended Brigham Young University where he met his wife, Ashley. Brandon and Ashley reside in Mill Creek with their two children, Bennett who is 7 and Jackson who is 3. Brandon spent time from 2003-2005 living in Rome, Italy as a volunteer missionary where he learned to speak Italian fluently and appreciate the rich Italian culture.
Brandon has worked in the financial services industry his entire career providing his clients with financial solutions tailored to their needs. He most recently worked as a commercial loan officer for Bank of the West and previously in various management roles with Wells Fargo.
How I Invest In My Community:
I appreciate Columbia Funding Mortgage’s “CFM Cares” program and how we give back to the communities we serve. This program also encourages us as individuals to be involved in our communities. Brandon is dedicated to his community and demonstrates this through his involvement with the youth at his church and his contribution as a volunteer coach in the Mill Creek Little League. Brandon has always been passionate about sports and has found this to be the perfect avenue for volunteering and contributing to the youth in his community. Brandon spends several days a week operating a youth sports league in conjunction with his church. He has found that coaching and teaching youth is a very rewarding way to his impact the young people in the community and develop a strong mentoring relationship with our future leaders. During the Mill Creek Little League baseball season Brandon can be found on the baseball diamond teaching kids to love the game of baseball and the many life lessons that can be learned through participation in a team sport that requires focus, dedication and communication.
Brandon and his wife Ashley are also supporters of Days for Girls, a non-profit organization focused on putting freedom and opportunity back into the hands of women and girls everywhere. Days for Girls provides sustainable hygiene solutions and women’s health education around the globe. Ashley’s mother, Celeste Mergens, founded Days for Girls in 2008 and his family has been inspired and involved ever since.
How to Work With Brandon:
Millennials Want to Buy but Can’t (Save)May 25
A study conducted by Apartment List, a rental listing company, referenced in this Wall Street Journal article illuminates a very real tension at the heart of today’s housing market. The vast majority of millennials say they eventually plan to buy a home but the primary obstacle is they can’t afford it.
The reasons young people are falling behind include student loan debt, rising rents and the slow starts many got to their careers during the recession. These reasons combined with the rapidly increasing cost to buy in many housing markets across the country is placing home ownership out of reach for this generation.
The real issue up for discussion here is the choice/ability to save. Some of the statistics in the article indicate that only a small percentage of Millennials are able to save enough for a 10% down payment in the next 3 years.
Take a quick look at the article and let me know what you think. Is it really too hard for this generation to save enough money to buy a house or are they choosing to “experience” life in lieu of making the sacrifices necessary to save?
How to Buy a New Home When You Don’t Have a Lot of CashMay 15
I came across this New York Times article this morning in my Apple News feed. It piqued my interest as I spend much of my day talking to potential home buyers about mortgage options, down payments and interest rates. One of the greatest variables in the home buying process can be the amount of money available to use as a down payment.
The article does a great job summarizing some basic questions about down payment options and an even better job linking to various other articles that provide even more information for those seeking it. The main takeaways here are that a 20% down payment is not necessary when buying a new home and there are options available for putting as little as 3% down. The writer also highlights the fact that saving enough cash to put 20% down can take nearly 20 years and put a strain on your finances.
The best thing you can do when considering mortgage options is consult with an expert and determine which options are best for you, your family and your financial situation. This type of consultation is not something you can find on a Google search or with a spaceship mortgage. Let me know and I can help you make the right decision with your next home purchase.
What exactly are mortgage points?May 5
Going through the process to obtain a mortgage can be very overwhelming. Often, the most overwhelming aspect of a mortgage is the confusion surrounding certain terms and ideas. An idea to become especially familiar with is the notion of a “mortgage point”. The following article defines a mortgage point and highlights how to effectively use your knowledge of them in your hunt for the right mortgage loan.
Mission nearly impossible this spring: finding a home to buyApril 10
Here is an excellent article that discusses the major factors involved in the decline in homes for sale that we are seeing in today’s real estate market. The article also makes specific mention of Seattle and how a dwindling supply of homes has escalated the competition and increased pressure on buyers to offer more money and accept less favorable terms.
How to catch a break with your credit cardMarch 29
Credit cards can be great tools when they are used responsibly. Aside from earning points and rewards they often provide extra insurance on things like rental cars and cell phones. They are often necessary when booking hotels and vacations and can be very useful in managing monthly bills. However, the opposite can become true when balances accrue and payments aren’t made on time. Credit card debt and late payments can become a major hurdle when trying to qualify for a mortgage. Here’s a wonderful article from CNBC that talks about how to ask the right questions to your credit card company and get your rate and fees lowered, and it works 80% of the time.