Sibcy Cline Employee Spotlight: Damon DiBari

“My success is based on everyone’s success, and I truly enjoy being a part of everyone’s life and livelihood.”
  • Name:  Damon DiBari, CFP, ChFC, MBA 
  • Title: Senior Loan Officer 
  • Birthplace: Providence, RI 
  • Current home: Downtown Cincinnati’s West End
  • Proudest accomplishments:  Becoming a Certified Financial Planner and running three marathons 
  • Favorite local hangouts: Salazar’s in OTR and Washington Park’s bar area 

The virtual world that we live in now was only an imagined reality in the world Damon DiBari grew up in. “It’s like something from the 80’s sci-fi movies,” Damon says, “not something we thought we’d actually see in our lifetime. Now it is just the norm, the way we do business every day.” 

During the pandemic, the mortgage business couldn’t just come to a grinding halt, so making those sci-fi fantasies a reality has been a necessary move. People needed to buy and sell homes, so a pivot was the only option.  “In any industry, you have to have the ability to make a 180 change based on whatever the market is. You have to come up with your own method,” he says.

According to Damon, Sibcy Cline has proven its ability to shift in response to changes in the market and he believes that ability is what has made the mortgage division successful during COVID. “Covid pushed me to my limits on how efficiently I can handle our business.  I have changed processes, added new teammates, became virtual in a new virtual world.” 

In his 8 years with Sibcy Cline, Damon has been able to find a space for himself as a financial planner who gives advice and information to clients, rather than simply quoting rates and terms for a loan. One of his favorite parts about his job is the freedom it gives him to innovate and create personalized plans with clients, something he couldn’t do in his previous roles as a stockbroker and private banker. “The bigger banks I worked for in my career did not have that option. Here I can come up with a plan and Sibcy Cline helps me see it through.” 

It’s this kind of “personal touch” banking and the ability to innovate freely that Damon finds most rewarding in his job as a financial planner. “I have built excellent relationships that have been like family.  My success is based on everyone’s success, and I truly enjoy being a part of everyone’s life and livelihood,” he says.   

And the challenges that come along with that are not something that he shies away from. Rather, he sees fluctuations in the market as opportunities to learn and change so you can be better prepared for the future. “With the millennials seeing the housing crisis in 2008, they have been better prepared. They have saved carefully and are ready to buy houses. Right now, even with the Coronavirus, this is going to be the smartest group of buyers I’ve seen in my entire career. They know more, they’ve seen more,” he says.  

As someone who has seen tremendous change in his lifetime, Damon speaks from experience. In his own neighborhood in Cincinnati’s West End, he’s seen a huge shift from one of the most dangerous neighborhoods in the U.S. to what is now often referred to as “the Paris of the Midwest”.  “After college I got my first apartment downtown, right after the riots happened. It was rough time for downtown, before OTR was what it is now. You could find a property for $10,000 which are now selling for $500-600,000. It was a different time,” he says.

Being in the middle of so much urban upheaval in the early part of the 2000’s was far different than Damon’s upbringing on the outskirts of Cincinnati. “My parents moved here from Rhode Island and My dad worked for GE, so I grew up in Fairfield and West Chester in the 80’s, which was mostly farmland. I went to college at Miami, which was also pretty far out there…a gorgeous campus, but not in the middle of anything.”  

In spite of his rural-suburban roots, something about the urban life appealed to Damon. “They built a pocket neighborhood there in 2005 on the West End, where they built 15 brownstone rowhouses. I passed by there and I fell in love with them the first time I saw them,” he says.  Damon bought one of the brownstone houses and has lived there ever since, with no plans to leave. “Especially with the new FC stadium going in—I’m a big fan—I’m going to own that house forever,” he says.  

Another thing that Damon loves about the downtown life is being so close to the music scene. “I love music. I go to 20-30 concerts a year. I’m a Bunbury fan and I’ve been every year since its inception.” Damon’s also looking forward to downtown’s newest concert venue, The Icon Center. “It’s unbelievable. That is going to be a gem in the city.”  

It may seem like a distant reality to gather again in an indoor concert venue to enjoy live music, but Damon is confident that it’s not only imaginable, but possible. “Things will evolve,” he says, “there will always be something new, something we haven’t thought of.” 

Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services has a New, Mobile-Friendly Web Site!

SCMortgageWebsite.pngSibcy Cline Mortgage Services has transformed its website with a new look that is also mobile optimized. The site looks very fresh and current. Here is what you will find:

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Mortgage Calculators
Five easy-to-use calculators are featured on the site: How Much Can I Afford; Monthly Payment; FHA Monthly Payment; Refinance; and Rent vs. Own.

Built especially for Sibcy Cline, these calculators are some of the most comprehensive tools on the market providing not only just a principal and interest payment, but a full PITI (principal, interest, taxes and insurance) including mortgage insurance if the down payment is less than 20%.

The Rent vs. Own calculator includes average rate of return, inflation, opportunity costs and closing fees into its design and is updated to stay current. This is a great tool for current renters.

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Shop Local
Sibcy Cline is all about being local and 100% of Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services’ loan process is local. The interactive regional map allows potential home buyers to easily find a loan officer in their own neighborhood who in turn will refer those buyer leads to our local Sibcy Cline agents.

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Loan Product
Browsers on the site can learn all about the various loan products available from Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services. They can “like” the products of interest and opt to have more information emailed to them.

 

Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services Ranked Number Seven of Cincinnati’s Largest Residential Mortgage Lenders

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Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services has been ranked by the Business Courier as the 7th largest residential mortgage lender in the Greater Cincinnati region. Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services had 1,232 loans valued at $172.96 million from September 1, 2014 through August 31, 2015.

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The ranking appeared in the November 13, 2015 issue of the Business Courier.

 

Overlooked Sources of Down Payment Assistance

People
With interest rates hovering around historic lows, the main barrier to entry into the homeownership market is the cost of making a down payment. While saving for a down payment is still important, there are many sources of assistance that otherwise qualified homebuyers often do not consider. Knowing about these sources may help some buyers to enter the market earlier than they expected or purchase a home that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford.

Government Programs & Grants
Many prospective homeowners know that government programs exist, but either do not know about specific programs or grants that apply to them or assume that they are too affluent to qualify. In reality, applicants making as much as 140 percent of the median area income may qualify for government assistance. Additionally, there are specific programs that buyers may qualify for regardless of income.

Buyers who are new to the market or who have not owned a home in the previous three years often qualify for down payment assistance as a result of programs that are designed to encourage homeownership. Military veterans, service members on active duty, reserve personnel and their widows or widowers qualify for VA loans, which come with favorable terms including the possibility of a low down payment. Police, first responders and teachers may also qualify for government assistance through their work.

Interest-Free Loans
Another option may be to take out an interest-free loan to cover the down payment. These loans may come in the form of a secondary mortgage that only requires repayment after the original is paid off or the house is sold or some other, similar structure. Because homeowners who take out these loans will have no initial equity in their homes, this option is generally best for buyers who plan to own the property for many years.

There are a number of potential sources of interest-free loans, but a good place to start is your local government. Many cities offer interest-free loans to help area residents defray the cost of purchasing their first home.

Independent Options
If you have good credit, but you don’t have access to government programs, grants or interest-free loans, you may qualify for a down payment loan through a traditional lender. These loans are for well-qualified borrowers who do not have the money to make a down payment but who still represent attractive customers. Generally, these loans will have interest rates, meaning that they are not as attractive as other options. However, if these options aren’t available, traditional lenders may be happy to fill the gap.

Generous family members or foundations may also help buyers to clear the down payment hurdle. Many FHA programs allow up to 2 percent of a down payment to come from external funds. Properties that have been previously foreclosed upon by Fannie Mae may allow the entire down payment to be funded by a gift, grant or loan.

Making that first down payment is a major step in most Americans’ lives. It may be difficult, but most homeowners would agree that it is well worth it.

Need help with your mortgage? Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services!

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Brought to you by our preferred Partner, HMS Home Warranty.  HMS is an industry leader with over 30 years of creating success for clients and providing peace of mind for customers.  To learn more click www.hmsnational.com.

 

Common FHA Appraisal Repair Items

Here are some common appraisal repair items to note when a home is sold via a FHA mortgage loan:

Paint roller

Chipped/Peeling Paint
Any chipped or peeling paint inside or out of homes built prior to 1978 must be corrected (including scraping and repainting.) All paint chips must be removed from the home.

Working on roof

Roof Condition
The roof must not leak or allow any moisture in to the home. The roof must be able to function well for two years.

Electrical Wiring
No frayed or exposed electrical wiring is permitted and must be corrected. Missing light switches or outlet covers must be replaced. Outdoor electrical boxes require weatherproof covers.

Utilities
All utilities must be turned on for the house inspection and appraiser.

Dry Basement
Older homes, by nature, may have moisture from time to time, and this is acceptable as long as the appraiser says it is typical. Newer homes with water in the basement on any regularity will require an inspection by a professional to determine the source of the water and any corrective measures.

Whenever possible, it is best to prepare in advance and correct the above issues prior to the appraiser performing an FHA inspection.

Need help with your home mortgage loan? Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services.

Need help with home repair? Contact Sibcy Cline Home Services.

 

Why Home Loan Pre-Approval Is Important

Pre-Approved

If you are planning on purchasing a home, pre-approval for a home mortgage loan can make a difference when making an offer. Here is why:

You Are Serious
With pre-qualification, you are showing a seller you are a serious buyer and this may work in your favor. Your offer to purchase may look attractive since the seller will not need to wait days to see if you are approved for a mortgage. (In competitive selling markets, non-approved buyers risk getting offers accepted.) If there are multiple offers on the home, a pre-qualified buyer may be the most attractive one.

You Know What You Can Afford
Without pre-qualification you do not know how much home-buying power you have. Why waste time looking at homes you cannot afford?

Need To Be Pre-approved?
Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services.

 

All-Cash Purchases of Homes

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Did you know all-cash sales make up a large part of home sales? For the first quarter 2014 43% of home sales were all-cash nationally. (Prior to the housing crisis, all-cash sales made up 25% of sales.)

February 2014 All-Cash Home Sales By State

  • Ohio = 44%
  • Kentucky = 39%
  • Indiana = 44%

Why All Cash?
The demand for homes is high and the supply is low. Cash is a way to be competitive when making an offer on a home.

Cash Deals are Not Just Investors
Institutional investors purchased many distressed properties in the last few years with all-cash deals, but these type of purchases have slowed to just 5.6% of all US residential sales for the first quarter of 2014 (as compared to 7% one year ago.)

Want to read more about all-cash sales? Go here.

Don’t Have Cash for Your Home Purchase?
Do not worry – this blogger would not have the cash, either!

If you are looking to purchase a home and will need a mortgage, getting pre-approved will work in your favor when making an offer on a home. Contact Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services to become pre-approved.

Statistics source.

 

 

Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services – Ranked Among The Largest Area Mortgage Lenders by the Business Courier

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The Business Courier’s annual ranking of mortgage lenders has been published and Sibcy Cline Mortgage Services made this list among great Cincinnati’s top 25 largest mortgage lenders.

Sibcy Cline Mortgage ranked #14 on the list with over 1,000 local loans closed for $158.2 in loan dollar volume. The company was the only real estate broker-affiliated mortgage company to make the list.

FHA’s Back To Work Program

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The Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has a program called Back To Work – Extenuating Circumstances which helps borrowers obtain a FHA mortgage who would otherwise not qualify due to scenarios that may not truly reflect their ability to repay a mortgage such as:

  • Foreclosure
  • Bankruptcy
  • Short sales
  • Deed-in-lieu
  • Delinquencies, judgments or other indications of derogatory credit

Qualifications for Back To Work

  • Borrower must show how certain credit impairments were the result of a loss of employment or significant loss of household income beyond the borrower’s control
  • Borrower has to demonstrate full recovery from the event
  • Borrower must complete housing counseling

Housing Counseling

  • Counseling must be completed within a minimum of 30 days (but no more than 6 months) prior to submitting a loan application to a lender
  • A minimum of one hour of one-on-one housing counseling and/or homeowner education counseling from a HUD-approved housing counseling agency
  • Counseling must address the cause the borrower’s economic event and reduce the likelihood of it reoccurring
  • Housing education can be accomplished through a HUD-approved housing counseling agency, state housing finance agency, or an online course

Learn more about this program here.

Contact your Sibcy Cline Mortgage Loan Officer here.