Community Mortgage branch manager and loan officer Jason Woods left a solid career in technology to enter the mortgage business nearly 14 years ago. Today, he oversees an office that has been in DeSoto County for several years, but recently moved into its new location at 3964 Goodman Road at Malone Road in Southaven from a previous home in Olive Branch.
“I got started in 2004 after I left the computer industry as a computer engineer,” Woods said. “I had a friend who was in the mortgage business and I got started as a processor. I moved up to loan originator and now as a branch manager 14 years later.”
Community Mortgage, part of a Mid-South-owned mortgage company that has three decades of experience in the business, has had its presence in DeSoto County for several years, Woods said.
“We’ve been in this office for about six months, but we’ve been in DeSoto County for almost 20 years,” Woods said. “We’ve been around for about 30 years and we service all areas, in Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia, Florida. We’re a full-service lender, which means we’re funding all of our own money. We don’t broker anything out.”
Today, Community Mortgage has a solid imprint in the Mid-South, with its headquarters in Cordova, Tenn. and branch offices in East Memphis and Collierville, Tenn. as Crump Mortgage, along with Chattanooga, Tenn. and also in Oxford.
Woods said having a locally-owned mortgage company working with homebuyers provides an advantage.
“It’s always good to shop local, of course,” said Woods. “National lenders or online lenders are always going to have somebody else better than you out there. What we have here and what we offer is that on-time, personal touch.”
Woods added a local lender can compete with the national firms on rates, but it is the local touch that sets them apart.
“You can come in our office and see we have very competitive rates to those online lenders,” Woods pointed out. “But the main thing is that you’re going to get somebody on the phone against calling an 800 number, have to leave a message, and so forth. You can walk in here and talk to somebody from start to finish.”
The start-to-finish personal treatment includes underwriting and loan processing, said Woods, who pointed out that the entire process from application to signing the check stays in-house.
“All of our underwriting and processing is done in-house, so we don’t ship anything out,” Woods said. “Nothing is farmed out to anywhere, so everything is done in this building.”
The formula is apparently working because Woods said Community Mortgage has done well in an active housing market for DeSoto County. “The home market is booming,” noted Woods. “We’re going to close $70 million in volume just out of this office here from the DeSoto County office. We’re up about 10-13 percent from last year.”
Woods said he looks forward to working with future homebuyers and helping them fulfill their dreams of ownership. It’s a lot better than staring at a computer every day.
“It’s doing something different every day,” said Woods. “It’s not the mundane computer-type stuff, looking at a computer. You’re talking to someone different every single day. You’re dealing with several different personalities and are able to help someone achieve their dreams, by getting into home ownership.”
Bob Bakken is Staff Writer and may be reached at 662-429-6397 ext. 240.