"The devil is in the detail," said Rob Karz, co-owner of Park City's Intermountain Mortgage.
Working in a myriad of federal regulations, credit scores, loan policies and big-time lenders, Karz admitted that there is a lot to know. And even though the difference between a good and bad broker has to do with only a small percentage of the work his office does, that small percentage really matters. In a quick calculation, Karz determined that roughly 90 percent of his job was "vanilla," the same day-in day-out routine. But that other 10 percent of the job is knowing enough tiny pieces of information to put together a loan application that could work, like "connecting the dots in a picture," he added.
Every little detail counts, so much that Intermountain Mortgage has been able to do what other brokers could not: rework a loan application and get it to pass. And for the past 20 years, that's been his passion. The company hit the 20-year-mark this month.
"It's a great feeling," he said, "we've made a mark on this community."
Karz first moved to Park City as a skier. His first job in town more than four decades ago was with Park City Mountain Resort. From there he moved on to real estate and finally landed in mortgage lending at a time where mortgage lenders in town were harder to find.
"It was an exciting time," he said. "I remember deciding there was a need for mortgage lending services. There were all these Realtors but only a handful of lenders I decided I could go out on my own and work with the real estate firms in town."
Karz and his partner Joe Thomas completed their first loan application with a friend, stopping by their home in person to process the paperwork. Since then, the company has grown, taken on new employees and expanded its services. But not without a few bumps in the road.
The company had its shares of ups and downs, especially following the mortgage crisis. Intermountain Mortgage survived the mortgage meltdown and Wall Street businesses floundering, but not without sacrifice. The company started as a mortgage lending company but incorporated correspondent lending into the practice, meaning Intermountain Mortgage could get a person in and out with a check in hand at the end of the visit. But with the economic crash came more regulations from both the government and lenders.
"We had to reinvent ourselves," Karz said. "It was very scary. There were so many changes coming at us. I really didn't see it coming to the degree it did, but for the most part our clients have been very credit worthy. They were good borrowers, and we did not have to repurchase a lot of loans."
Mortgage lending services operate as an intermediary, a broker of mortgage loans for those looking to buy a house, condo or business. Rather than sit in a bank office waiting to see whether the bank will approve a loan, a mortgage lender can help a buyer by shopping loan options against several lenders, meaning Intermountain Mortgage is familiar with all the major lenders such as Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, Wells Fargo and Citi Group.
"With all these sources, we can find a guideline that fits best," Karz said. "When we go down the path, that the loan will work, we want to make sure the chance for approval is very high."
2029 Sidewinder Drive (435)649-6660