Frank Mancino knew he wanted to be in the center of the action. That’s one reason the vice president and branch manager of Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services, L.P., is glad to have recently moved his office from its former location in West Trenton to Quakerbridge Road in Hamilton.
Mancino began working for Gateway Funding on March 1, 2005, but he has more than 20 years of experience in the mortgage business. For 10 years prior to joining Gateway, he had worked for Countrywide Home Loans in Hamilton. Gateway offers first and second mortgages, home equities, second home and investment property loans, or as Mancino puts it, “Anything to do with your house, we can finance.”
Today the office has 14 employees. “The staff that I have is really experienced, which is a big plus,” Mancino says. “They average over 10 years experience and no one is new to the industry.”
Mancino got started in the mortgage business when he answered a want ad for a part-time clerical position. He says the work comes naturally to him.
“I just seemed to know what I was doing when I started as a post-closing clerk, which is the bottom rung of the mortgage ladder. I worked my way up to processing, underwriting, loan officer and then originator, and I’ve been an originator of loans ever since,” he says.
Mancino says the best part of his job is seeing the happy faces of customers when they get their mortgage approval and they know they’re going to be owning their own home. He knows customers shop around for the best deal they can get on their mortgages, but he has confidence that Gateway can offer them what they are looking for.
“Most people just look for the best rate, but they ultimately want to work with a lender they can trust and who is going to deliver exactly what they say they are going to deliver,” he says. “We’re small enough to give them the service they demand, and large enough to give them the lowest rate and best product available. We’re also local to the marketplace we serve, so we are available to them 24 hours a day.”
He says he does sometimes meet with customers who have misunderstandings about the requirements of getting a loan.
“People should know that the traditional standard of good to excellent credit, gainful employment and a history of savings is what they need [to get a loan],” he says.
He also says buyers should be wary of advertisements that promise interest rates below market rate, because those loans come with consequences.
“You really can’t get something for nothing in the mortgage business,” he says.
With rates no longer at rock bottom, the refinancing craze has died down, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable option today. Customers these days are refinancing to get cash out of their home, or to work their way out of an adjustable-rate mortgage.
It wasn’t a complete surprise that Mancino took to the industry. His father owned a real estate company from the 1950s to the ’70s. Without ever realizing it, he says, he was in the real estate business his whole life.
Mancino, born and raised in Ewing, has lived in Hamilton for about 15 years. He is married and has two teenaged children.