Simplifying the process and opening the door to your new home.
Buying your first home is one of the most exciting chapters in life, but it can also be one of the most stressful. From various home loan options, changing interest rates and determining how much loan you can afford, there are a lot of decisions you need to be prepared to make. The first one, however, is finding the right lender to help you finance your home.
For those in the Chippewa Valley area, Compeer Financial’s Steve Leffew is ready to help open the door to his client’s first home or help them put their name on their own slice of land.
Though Leffew didn’t intend for his career to be in mortgage lending, it lines up with his personal goal of helping others. Following his service in the United States Air Force, his Wisconsin roots brought him to Menomonie where he studied at the University of Wisconsin-Stout, earning a degree in business administration in 2015. For Leffew, the financial world was a unique avenue to take in continuing his passion of helping people. He began his career in the financial industry as an auto loan lender, before working as a branch manager and market manager. On paper, Leffew was taking all the right steps for a successful career, but it was important to him to not lose sight of the people he could help.
“The further I got up the ladder of management, the further I felt I got away from serving clients and helping people,” Leffew said. “I really wanted to get back to that. With some of the other jobs I’ve had, my career hadn’t necessarily tied me to the community. Here, at Compeer Financial, it does.”
After graduating from college, Steve and his wife, Alyssa, moved to Appleton for five years, but they were missing the community connection and feeling of home they had in Chippewa Valley. Having grown up near Mondovi, Alyssa knew the area well.
“We thought, if anywhere was the right place to settle down and start our family, it was the Chippewa Valley,” Leffew said.
A former coworker recommended Leffew consider a career as a Compeer Financial Lending Officer in the Chippewa Valley. After researching the not-for-profit, he found that his personal aspirations aligned with Compeer’s. Now, two years after starting at Compeer, that connection still rings true.
Working in real estate lending, Leffew is able to grow genuine face-to-face connections again. More than that, the process of helping a homeowner from start to finish is one that continues to do the nearly unimaginable: turn dreams into reality.
“If I’m able to take folks through the real estate lending process, educating them and working to give them the best situation possible, I’m doing my job right,” he said. “My goal is to simplify the process for my clients, and help them realize that their dream is possible.”
Whether people are looking to buy a home, purchase several acres of land for recreation, or an area to build their dream home, Leffew is ready to help. As a first-time home buyer himself, he has the unique experience of being on both sides of the table.
“In general, land is viewed as a very solid investment whether you keep it forever or eventually resell… You can’t print more land.”
He knows that a mortgage is a big undertaking and requires genuine trust with the lender.
“The first thing I want to do in any meeting is establish trust,” Leffew said. “I really roll out the red carpet for folks and identify any pressing questions they have. I want to find out what they don’t understand about the process, what their concerns are and what their end goals are. Once I understand what they’re looking for, I can educate them on their options, the pros and cons of each and explain the process from our first meeting to signing the final paperwork.”
Though many financial institutions offer real estate loan programs, Compeer Financial’s groundbreaking First-Time Homebuyer Program provides people the opportunity to finance with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI) costs.
“This new program is head and shoulders above what others are offering,” Leffew said. “It fits my own personal aspirations of wanting to simply help people, and we’re genuinely focused on that as an organization. This program is an incredible tool for not only first-time home owners but people who haven’t owned a house in the last three years.”
Compeer Financial also offers long-term fixed rate loans on homes and land. In the current housing and interest rate environment, that kind of offering is particularly relevant. Plus, Compeer Financial is a Farm Credit cooperative, making it uniquely qualified in supporting you through the process of making that special slice of land or rural property your own.
“In general, land is viewed as a very solid investment whether you keep it forever or eventually resell,” Leffew explained. “You can’t print more land.”
Having an in-house loan with Compeer makes you a member-owner of the cooperative, which comes with added benefits like the Patronage program. This unique program returns payments to eligible member-owners through a dividend or profit-sharing payment.
“With the new First-Time Homebuyer Program, people who maybe never thought they could become homeowners for many years, now have that opportunity,” he said. “To be able to open that door for people is what keeps me going every day.”
With a 24-person team, Compeer Financial’s Eau Claire location is able to offer the comprehensive kind of expertise you deserve. Find out how Leffew and Compeer Financial can help turn your dreams into a reality by visiting compeer.com.
Compeer Financial is an equal credit opportunity lender. NMLS #619731