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When you think Starkey Mortgage, think Certainty Home Loans

Ricki Whittle of Certainty Home Loans shows off the company’s new logo and talks to Corpus Christi Business News about why Starkey Mortgage changed its name. It’s all about expanded services and a reputation for certainty, she says. Staff photo

Starkey Mortgage has a new name, one that better describes the reasons for its success.

“Certainty Home Loans puts our biggest strength front and center: delivering confident closings,” said Ricki Whittle, vice president and branch manager of the Corpus Christi office.

Now known as Certainty Home Loans, the mortgage banker provides more services to an expanded market, including a program that can turn renters left homeless by Hurricane Harvey into homeowners. Another new program allows seniors whose retirement funds fall short to access their home equity to meet financial needs.

“Over the last several years, we’ve expanded into new states and new markets,” Whittle said of the company, which is based in Plano. “The name Starkey didn’t necessarily speak to these new markets.”

After surveying clients, builders and Realtors, the mortgage company found that with a generational shift in full swing, it was now time to rebrand in a way that resonates with current and future customers, employees and partners.

“We believe this is the right time for the name change and that it will position us for greater growth in the future,” Whittle said. “We have done a lot of listening to our employees, to partners and to customers on what resonates with them. We are all in the business of closing loans on time. The new name creates a positive and relevant connection to our key stakeholders.”

Certainty Home Loans is about confidence, Whittle continued.

“Confidence to our partners that we will deliver and confidence to customers that we will treat each loan as our own and will close confidently,” she said.

HURRICANE HARVEY HOMES

Along with the new name, Certainty Home Loans has also introduced new programs, including the FHA 203(h) loan aimed at anyone whose home is no longer livable after Hurricane Harvey. While most FHA loans require a 3.5 percent down payment, this new loan requires no down payment for home purchases.

“This loan is especially beneficial for someone who’s been renting and now finds themselves without a home because hurricane damage has made their residence uninhabitable,” Whittle said. “They can purchase a home without having to save for the down payment.”

REVERSE MORTGAGES

Designed to provide additional income for senior citizens, reverse mortgages are another new service at Certainty Home Loans.

“I am so excited about the reverse mortgage division,” Whittle said. “The beauty of it is that there is no payment on the withdrawn equity. They will have a mortgage but no mortgage payment. It frees up monthly debt obligations and provides additional income.”

The equity can be withdrawn in one lump sum, paid out monthly, or whenever the homeowner needs additional funds. It is available for seniors beginning at the age of 62 and works best when the house has accrued significant equity or the mortgage has been paid off.

One myth about reverse mortgages is that the mortgage company then owns the house. This is absolutely not true, Whittle said.

“They or their heirs can sell the home and pay off the reverse mortgage,” she continued, “and still enjoy the proceeds from the sale.”

“This mortgage provides senior citizens peace of mind knowing they can have additional income, and when they sell, they can pay off what they borrowed and still have equity. It’s a huge benefit for senior citizens to be able to face the future without fear.”

Along with these two new programs, Certainty Home Loans still provides a wide variety of home loan opportunities for its clients, including loans for veterans and a finance program that allows homebuyers to include the cost of renovations in a new home mortgage.

Whatever the package needed to turn residents into homeowners, Certainty Home Loans has an advantage over many other mortgage companies.

“As a mortgage banker, we loan our own money. We have our own closers, underwriters, processors,” Whittle said. “What I like about being a mortgage banker as opposed to a mortgage broker is that we have input into every single phase of the loan process.”

The name change has not altered the company’s mission.

“Our motto is that we are a company where people come first,” she said. “We live up to that slogan.”

Certainty Home Loans is located at 5402 S. Staples, Suite 102. Call (361) 980-1960 for more information. Visit the website at RickiWhittle.com for testimonials and details about more lending products.

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