By Andrea Harwood Palmer
The Glens Falls branch of Homestead Funding is finishing it’s second year in strong fashion and building its team of in-house loan officers.
Maureen Ginter-Grabowski is the branch manager and senior loan officer of the branch, located at 3 Warren Street, Suite #3A.
John Homkey is a licensed loan originator, and opened the Glens Falls branch with Ginter-Grabowski in 2017.
“It was just the two of us in the beginning. Now, including myself, we have eight loan officers in our office,” said Ginter-Grabowski.
Ginter-Grabowski and Homkey have worked together since 2013, when Ginter-Grabowski was managing a different mortgage firm. Recruited heavily by Homestead Funding, she transitioned to Homestead Funding as the branch manager and senior mortgage loan officer of the Glens Falls branch in 2017.
“I told John I was leaving, and he said, ‘Where are we going?’ He was on board right away,” said Ginter-Grabowski.
Ginter-Grabowski started in the title insurance industry at the age of 17. A client told her she would be good at mortgages, and in 2000 she transitioned into the industry as a loan officer.
“The mortgage industry began to implode around 2006, 2007. It got really ugly, but I stayed in. I just love what I do,” she said.
“One good thing that happened in the industry during the housing crisis is that a lot of the poor practices were rooted out. You could see how people got taken advantage of. I never did subprime mortgages. It was an education problem for a lot of people. They just didn’t know what they were getting into,” said Ginter-Grabowski.
“I was always the one looking out for what was best for the client. And Homestead has that model. It’s about the clients and what they really need,” said Ginter-Grabowski.
Homestead Funding has 34 offices in Saratoga, Clifton Park and throughout New York state and Connecticut. The corporate office is located in Albany.
“We are essentially financial and moral counselors. People come in here tell me their whole life story,” said Ginter-Grabowski.
“What sets us apart from everyone else is we’re always 100 percent client-focused and what is best for them. We don’t try to kill deals. We try to make things work, as opposed to figuring out how it doesn’t work. We make sure the consumer is getting the best product available to them,” said Ginter-Grabowski.
“If you ask any realtor out there, they’ll say they feel better if they have a pre-qualification letter from Homestead Funding. They know we can get it done. It doesn’t matter if it’s me, John or someone else. They know the company behind the loan officer is a great company. You’re not just doing business with Maureen or John. You’re doing business with Homestead Funding,” she said.
“With us, mortgages are our sole focus. It’s all we do. We don’t sell checking accounts or savings accounts or other products. We don’t care where you bank. When mortgages are the only thing you do, you have to be really good at it—and we are,” she said.
Future plans include growing the loan officer team, as well as having processing and underwriting in the same building. Ginter-Grabowski and Homkey are each involved in nonprofit organizations.
“We want to get more involved in the community. In the short time we’ve been here, we’ve done a lot to invoke ourselves in the community. I’d like to do more,” said Ginter-Grabowski.
By Andrea Harwood Palmer