Anne Horvath has been in the mortgage industry since 1995. She started as a loan originator and has worked as a manager or vice president since 2003. She joined Residential Mortgage Services in 2011 as a branch manager. Last year, she was named the company’s area manager.
RMS describes itself as a provider of integrated loan processing, underwriting and direct-lending services. Based in Portland, Maine, RMS does business in 21 states, including all six New England states. In Rhode Island, the company has offices in Warwick and Lincoln.
According to Horvath, RMS is consistently among the top five companies for closed loans with the R.I. Housing and Mortgage Finance Corp., the state’s housing finance agency. She described RMS as a “decentralized” mortgage lender with on-site processing and underwriting. Among others, she added, the company focuses on first-time homebuyers.
PBN: With the recent drop in mortgage rates, the industry reportedly is experiencing a refinancing boom. What is your company experiencing in Rhode Island?
HORVATH: We are seeing a large increase in refinances over the last few weeks. Luckily, we are getting a large number of appraisal waivers through automated underwriting with both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, which is helping to streamline the process.
PBN: How active is the local market for first-time homebuyers?
HORVATH: It appears that the inventory has increased in the last year. As buyers are moving up [purchasing more expensive houses], it is opening up the ability for first-time homebuyers to obtain affordable housing.
PBN: Which loan services does RMS provide with R.I. Housing?
HORVATH: We are one of the only nonbank entities that is fully delegated with R.I. Housing, which means we underwrite their loans in-house and they don’t have to go to R.I. Housing for underwriting. This is a huge time saver for the buyers, and we close most of their loans in 30 days. We offer all of their products, including “203k” renovation loans and their “Spring 7500” down payment assistance program with income restrictions.
PBN: What’s the local trend with jumbo mortgages?
HORVATH This time of year, there is a large increase in jumbo second homes on the coastal region of Rhode Island. We still do see a large majority of people who are paying cash in this arena, but we have some excellent products that go to 10% down with competitive interest rates and terms for these buyers.
PBN: How much interest have you seen from customers seeking financing for home renovations and upgrades?
HORVATH: I would say cash-out refinances to do home improvement have been stable, not really increasing or decreasing. The equity position determines this obviously, but we do a fair amount of renovation loans at the time of purchase, with both 203k loans for [Federal Housing Administration] and “HomeStyle” loans with Fannie Mae.
Scott Blake is a PBN staff writer. Email him at Blake@PBN.com.