It is my pleasure to introduce Charlie Houssiere. Charlie Houssiere is originally from Louisiana. He graduated From USL University in Finance and Marketing. Charlie has 30+ years of experience in the residential mortgage industry. He has specialized in VA and Texas Vet Home Loans for the last 10 years. He has also written and taught an MCE course for the Champions School of Real Estate.
Tracy: What would you say is the area in business that you are most passionate about and why?
Charlie: 10 years ago I originated loans for many vets returning from the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. They told me of calling many large banks, mortgage companies and talking to loan officers and no one was able to assist them with their VA home loans. Most of them tried to talk them out of getting a VA home loan and pushed them into other easier loans that were easier for the banks and loan officers to originate. The vets told me that it was ignorance on the banks and loan officers fault for not knowing how to originate a VA loan even though it is the most difficult.
This upset me, the way they were treating our men and women of the armed services. Don’t they realize what they are giving up for our freedom and that Freedom is not free. Look into the faces of the disabled vets coming back and you would realize they deserved the very best we could give them.
Tracy: How are you different than your competitors?
Charlie: The major difference is my passion and knowledge of Veteran Benefits. The fact that I want to help the veteran and not just originate a loan for them. My knowledge and my ability and willingness to find the answers for Veterans who need to make the decision on being able to purchase a home for their family due to their unique situations.
Tracy: Please tell me about any recent business accomplishments that you are most proud of and why?
Charlie: The most current one that I take pride in discussing is my recent call from a young vet family that was rejected by one of the top VA lenders. She called crying and saying that they had been rejected, she was pregnant and wanted to be in a home prior to Christmas. They transferred the file to me for review. Once I digested the file, I found numerous mistakes that they made in underwriting the file.
I took the file restructured it and put it together. We closed the loan in 2 weeks, which gave her 2 weeks to move in and get ready for Christmas. We all cried at closing due to the excitement of them getting their first home in time to have their first Christmas there.
Tracy: What Leadership qualities in Leaders do you most admire and why?
Charlie: Empathy and compassion. When you work in the mortgage business you have to understand what the clients are going through. They are making one of the biggest financial decisions of their family’s life for 30 years. They are planning to move from where they are. They are having to put all of their lives in a loan application and be judged by an underwriter on their ability to own a home.
They are putting their children through a stressful process of changing friends, schools and starting all over again. what we have described is one of the top stressors that people have in their lives, the #1 is divorce #2 is moving.
Tracy: What has been a key element of your success?
Charlie: One of the reasons I have been able to be successful in the mortgage business for 30 years is that I work hard for my clients and close around 95% of all the loans that I originate. Many of the clients that I meet may not be ready for a loan, they need counseling on what they need to do to get ready to purchase a home.
My experience and knowledge of the industry allows me to review all of the factors in their loan and know if they can qualify or not for a mortgage. Should I question a situation they may be in, and then I bring in an underwriter to review my findings as a 2nd set of eyes to confirm what I am finding. When they deal with me they get someone who will get them an answer so that they don’t spend thousands on the purchase of a home and end up losing all of it because they could not be approved for a loan.
Tracy: What are some of the business projects that you are currently working on that you are excited about and why?
Charlie: I do a lot of work with nonprofit organizations that have veterans that work for them or get a group of veterans together so that I can give them a short course in their home purchasing benefits though the Vet Administration and Texas Veteran Association. There are many Veterans who have homes now that did not know about their benefits and I was able to educate them about what Veteran Benefits that can Access.
Teaching Realtors through my MCE Courses about Veteran Benefits. These are many times the first contact person for the Veterans. Once they have had my course they can identify benefits and opportunities that the veteran may have prior to me working with them.
Also, sellers of properties don’t want to sell their home through VA loans. This goes back 25+ years ago when things were different and more costly for the seller. Training realtors to be able to educate the sellers on the benefits of selling their home VA opens up more homes for veterans to purchase.
Tracy: What are 1 or 2 things you would like to say to a prospective client who stumbles across this interview?
Charlie: One of the most important things is to call me even if we don’t work together to get the facts of what benefits you have and deserve. There is not one class that I teach veterans that someone comes out of it saying ” I did not know I had this benefit or I never thought I could purchase a home, but you showed me how” You have a reference person to contact and will give you the answers you need to get a home for your family.