Almost two decades ago, Melinda Zuppo transitioned from her original career path of Architecture into Home Financing. Her decision was driven by pivotal life circumstances; initially the change in course seemed like detour, but ultimately it became the road which lead Melinda to her ultimate purpose.
After starting a family of her own, Melinda decided it would be best to transition into a career that allowed her to support and show up for her children in every way possible. After several years working in the operations, behind-the-scenes side of the financing process, Melinda took the necessary steps to become a loan officer. It was evident soon after making the move that she had found a sweet spot: her love for homes, planning and strategizing, and serving others are now aspects of her everyday life as a Senior Loan Officer at George Mason Mortgage LLC.
Another reason Melinda particularly loves what she does is because her job allows her to establish long lasting relationships with people from a full spectrum of cultures, backgrounds, and income levels.
“All of the stressful moments become worth it because I go home every day knowing I’ve made a tremendous difference in people’s lives just by sharing the knowledge, resources and experience that I have,” she tells The Close.
It’s no secret that some people negatively associate the banking system as being scary and dangerous territory; Melinda works tirelessly to make sure her clients feel safe and empowered when working with her. One of the ways she does this is by making sure her clients and potential clients have access to her expertise whenever they need help. This may seem like a no-brainer, but she says, "So many loan officers are not in this field for people...They don't get to know their clients beyond the numbers, and they don't always respond in a timely way or offer much of their energy. For many of my clients, this transaction is a culmination of an entire life's work, and I recognize that."
“As a mortgage consultant, my job is to listen to my clients’ needs and guide them to the right mortgage financing solutions that meet their current and future goals,” says Melinda. Another aspect of the job that Melinda is very skilled at is direct and effective communication:
“When mortgage professionals send out disclosures they can be 40 or 50 pages long (or longer), and the material can be really confusing for someone who isn't already familiar with those terms and conditions,” Zuppo said. She went on to say, “That’s why home buyers need someone they trust, someone who is willing to be a point of reference for them throughout every step of the process...A Loan Officer who communicates well with the client’s real estate agent is also a huge factor in the success of the transaction.” By finding a team of people who work and communicate well together, the process is much more likely to to move in the buyer's favor because deadlines and deal-breaking actions do not slip between the cracks.
A great Loan Officer is someone who takes all of their client’s information into account, and who also looks ahead and is able to intuitively forecast what the borrower may need to address during the transaction. This is crucial for the success of the transaction, and for the client's financial wellbeing.
“There are several different loan programs and scenarios that factor in; So many different options are out there that most people just don't know about!"
She goes on to stress again how having a knowledgeable mortgage consultant, "allows people to take advantage of the best loan programs for their personal needs, ” she then passionately carries on to list several loan programs that George Mason Mortgage LLC currently offers.
“A common misconception among the general public is that people automatically need to have twenty percent to put down on a home...That’s not necessarily the case depending on the individual’s income, credit, and other various personal circumstances,” she notes.
After learning more about the variety of options available to consumers, the importance of Melinda’s role in the transaction process becomes even more clear. The consumer actually has a plethora of financing options available to them, but they will only benefit from those options by working with a consultant who is willing to take the time to educate them.
And this is what Melinda Zuppo is most passionate about:
Educating and Empowering individuals.
Her experience in Finance and working with so many different people has made her realize how common it is not understand crucial money concepts, making those who are uninformed less capable of making strong, sound financial decisions.
As a mother of two, she has made it her personal mission to make sure her children understand credit, savings, and other money matters. Beyond that, her professional goal is to spread financial knowledge and empower individuals by teaching them about all things Finance. There is definitely a need for Melinda's expertise, especially amongst younger people who are not typically learning these valuable skills in school.
We wanted to tap into Melinda's wealth of knowledge, and so we asked her: What should a potential homebuyer do at the very beginning of their home-buying search? And what should they know before meeting meeting with a lender?
Below are three simple pieces of advice Melinda had to offer someone who wants to learn more about the home buying process:
Consult with a lender early on. Most people don’t see a lender before they start going to open houses and finding a realtor – but they would benefit from doing so because this give the individual (and their real estate agent) a more realistic picture of the loans available to them, which translates directly into their spending budget...hopefully this cuts down on the number of homes you find, love, and have to walk away from because it's just out of your price range. That heart break is real and should be avoided at all costs.
Get pre-approved before going on too many showings. If you find your dream home before you’re officially qualified to put an offer down, you might end up getting attached to something that you don’t have enough time to bid on. Pre-approval also signals to sellers that you’re serious, and in hot real estate markets like Washington D.C., you’ll have a better chance of having your offer considered above others. Getting pre-approved before shopping is best because it allows you to present yourself as serious and as complication-free as possible.
Essentially, do nothing before consulting with a qualified professional. And do NOT make any large purchases or change jobs prior to closing on your home.
As one of our Preferred Lenders, Melinda has expressed interest in collaborating with us to produce more content that educates and empowers our viewers. Stay tuned for what The Close and Melinda have planned next!
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In order to create complete trust and transparency, Melinda encourages anyone who is interested in learning more to schedule a complimentary consultation with her.
Phone: (301) 571-2788 | Cell: (240) 498-0940 | Fax: (703) 653-3354 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
George Mason Mortgage LLC Branch Address:
700 King Farm Boulevard, Suite 620
Rockville, MD 20850
**This is not a paid endorsement**