Loan company makes it easy for homebuyers

Compass Home Loans president Jon Whittington builds his growing business by bringing aboard positive and efficient individuals.

By Maria Kanai

Real estate is a hot topic here in beautiful Hawaii. As of this year, the median price for a single-family home is more than $750,000, and if you’re a serious homebuyer, you’ll need a qualified, skilled mortgage loan officer who knows how to navigate the complex home-loan process.

At Compass Home Loans, local mortgage industry professionals uphold and utilize more than 120 years of expertise to help their clients, whether they’re purchasing a home or refinancing a current mortgage. The company prides itself on delivering results so its customers are able to close on time.

With Oahu’s recent surge in construction, Jon Whittington, president of Compass Home Loans, said he’s seeing ongoing interest in the Kakaako neighborhood as a hip, urban living environment for home-buyers that’s accessible to both Ala Moana Center and Downtown.

Ewa Beach, Kapolei and Waimanalo also are popular areas people are looking to buy, as they are considered affordable locations for first-time homeowners.

Compass Home Loans works diligently with clients to ensure the home-buying process is as smooth as possible for local families. PHOTOS BY LAWRENCE TABUDLO

When advising prospective buyers, Whittington aims to clear up the misconception that you need a lot of money saved up for a down payment. The truth is, according to him, “You can put down as little as 3 percent and pay mortgage insurance. If you don’t want to pay for mortgage insurance, there are USDA loans and military veteran loans — there are options.”

At Compass Home Loans, clients go through a loan pre-approval process that can take place even before house hunting begins. During the process, clients will provide two years of income information, which can include bank statements, investment account statements, credit reports and tax documents. Then, an underwriter at Compass Home

Loans will review the information and determine whether the loan can be approved. Once pre-approved, clients are able to confidently take their time to search for their dream home, while the mortgage loan officer orders a final appraisal.

“We’ve found that this pre-approval process takes out much of the stress while looking for a home,” Whittington said. “You might have those normal, human emotions that (say), ‘They’re not going to approve me.’ By us doing it this way, we get the borrower all approved, and when they find the home they want, so there’s no stress of the possibility of a loan being denied.

“I like how it gets that guesswork out of the way,” he added.

Productivity and positivity are two values that make up the company culture at Compass Home Loans. During the hiring process, potential employees are assessed not only for their skills, but also for whether or not they appear capable of contributing positivity to the office team.

“That’s how we’ve been able to grow so fast so quickly — by meeting our commitments and getting the right people on the field,” explained Whittington. “Our differentiators are our positive culture and that we have a predictable delivery. We stand by our commitments and we will guarantee that we’ll close our transaction on time.”

Contact Patrick Klein at pklein@staradvertiser.com if you desire to have your company featured in this section.

THE 411

COMPANY: Compass Home Loans

LOCATIONS: 1357 Kapiolani Blvd., No. 1450 (Honolulu); and 98-167 Kaonohi St., Ste. 75-02 and 03 (Aiea)

PHONE: 518-3650 (Honolulu) / 513-3638 (Aiea)

WEBSITE: compasshawaii.com

PRESIDENT: Jon Whittington

EMPLOYEES: 38

BENEFITS: HMSA/Kaiser medical, dental and vision insurance; long-term disability, life insurance, 401(k), free parking

NOTEWORTHY: For first-time homebuyers, Whittington recommends carefully monitoring your credit score and striving for a score of 680 or higher.