At Homestead Funding, our employees are just as unique as our borrowers. Everyone’s experiences and life motivate their service to our borrowers and their home financing needs.
Our Spotlight this month is on Aletha Cummings, a Licensed Loan Originator in Eastern North Carolina.
“I started in the business when I was eighteen,” Aletha recalled. Soon after high school, Aletha began to work at a temp company and received a job as a Closing Coordinator. “I never went to college. This business was my education. I took advantage of all the training they had, took every course, traveled, and embraced the whole business.” She went on to work as a Processer and an Underwriter before becoming a Loan Originator.
When Aletha’s son Andy was born, working as a Loan Originator gave her the freedom to work anywhere while being able to build her new family life.
“I never really thought of myself as a salesperson,” she said. “And I still don’t. It’s just kind of what I do. I look at it more as a relationship business.”
When he was fifteen, Andy suffered a traumatic brain injury from an accident that resulted in a permanent disability. New York posed a lot of difficulties for Andy. In the winter, the snow and ice made it hard for his mobility and healing progress.
Aletha and her husband, Bob, had always wanted to retire in North Carolina. Five years after Andy’s accident, they figured, “why wait?” She explained, “As a family and as a team, we all needed a ‘reset’ on life. We were all affected by Andy’s accident.”
The move to North Carolina helped Andy in his recovery. “The weather is better for him,” she went on. “We have a big backyard, and we built a screened in porch with a swim spa that he can use every day.”
After browsing LinkedIn, Aletha saw a recruitment post from Homestead Funding. She was hesitant to reach out. “The answer is always ‘no’ unless you ask,” Aletha said. “I had a problem. I was a Licensed Loan Originator, but I had no book of business. Nobody would take a chance on me when the rates were so high, inventory was low, and I had no name recognition.”
She took a chance in reaching out, joined Homestead Funding’s team in North Carolina, and hasn’t regretted it. “I think I’m supposed to be here,” she admitted.
Rates and home prices all operate in a cycle. Aletha assured us that the current market frustrations are just a temporary adjustment. Even in an unsure market, what comes up must come down. “Everyone needs housing,” Aletha assured us. “And everyone deserves the chance to be a homeowner.”
She then recalled what interest rates used to be like. “I think the highest rate I ever closed a loan at was 10.5% and that was in the early 90’s,” she smiled. “These things have to happen so that you appreciate the 5.5% interest rate that I hope we can get back to sooner, rather than later.”
We asked her if she had any advice for new Loan Originators. She emphasized how important the relationships she’s built over the years have been for her development as a Loan Originator and a person outside of the office. “Learn from your mistakes,” Aletha said. “That’s kind of what makes you who you are: learning from your mistakes and just trying not to make them again. Be genuine and always do the right thing.”
As an organization, Homestead Funding is honored to have unique and dedicated employees who tirelessly work to ensure the success of their borrowers and their communities. To learn more about how we can help your dreams of homeownership, contact us today.
Homestead Funding offers exceptional customer service and a convenient mortgage process. Whatever your financing needs, our goal is to exceed your expectations.