Homestead Funding would like to welcome Linda Richards to our Corporate Office. She has joined the team as a Licensed Loan Originator. Before working for Homestead, Linda spent over eight years at a local mortgage lender and has been in the mortgage industry for almost 20 years. Linda says she got into the business so she could have a more flexible schedule since she was a single mother and wanted to be there for her son during school and his various athletic activities.
Linda is originally from Ohio and moved to New York in 1982. She came to the area so she could house sit for her older brother who was in the Navy and out to sea in a submarine for several months at a time. She has been in the area ever since. Her mother and three of her sisters still live in Ohio. She is one of 8 children.
She says she is passionate about her friends and family, which includes her son, daughter-in-law and two granddaughters. During her free time, Linda likes to read, do crossword puzzles and spend time with friends.
Linda is excited to be a part of Homestead because of the support the company gives its employees and the opportunities for growth.
Homestead Funding would like to welcome Dean Sunkes to our NY Capital Region sales team. Dean has been in the mortgage and real estate industry for more than 20 years and has helped facilitate the financing of more than 3,000 homes.
Dean recently completed a six-year term on the Board of Directors with the Mortgage Bankers Association of Northeastern New York. He attended SUNY Albany, where he received a BA in Rhetoric and Communications and Business Administration.
Dean grew up in North Greenbush and now lives in Averill Park. He says he is glad to join Homestead Funding because of the potential to expand the company’s market in the northern Capital District.
Homestead Funding would like to welcome Natalie Smith to our sales team. Natalie brings with her over 20 years of experience as a mortgage company owner. Recently she held a position in the Florida Keys as Branch Manager for Total Mortgage Services and as a Realtor for Re/Max Marathon Vacation Real Estate.
Natalie grew up in the East Bay of San Francisco, later moving to Connecticut, where she opened her first mortgage company while raising her children. Once her children grew up, she decided to move full-time to the Florida Keys and now calls the area home. She shares her home with two cats and a foster kitten named Chloe.
Natalie prides herself on helping others achieve their goals both professionally and personally. To that end, she is a certified Lakshmi Voelker Chair Yoga Teacher who enjoys working with special populations including the elderly and children with Autism and Downs Syndrome. She is a Kripalu Yoga Teacher and holds regular ongoing classes in Standup Paddleboard (SUP) Yoga. Natalie says she absolutely loves being a part of people’s vacation experiences in a sport that challenges them to take risks and grow in confidence.
Professionally, Natalie specializes in “the complicated”, including self-employed borrowers. Her favorite afternoon consists of going through her customers’ boxes of tax returns to qualify income to help self-employed buyers achieve homeownership. Natalie says that she sees each buyer as an individual and not just a file to close.
“I’m very excited to be working with Homestead, and I smile a lot” Natalie said; “because right up front Daniela [Bigalli, Vice President of Sales and Marketing] and Jane [Borbee, Senior Vice President of Operations] cared enough about me and our potential relationship to visit me in my office in the Keys before we had a full commitment to each other. I love the fact that Homestead is a people company focused on purchase business. Every person I’ve been in contact with is caring, happy and willing to share their resources and experience.”
Homestead Funding would like to welcome Lisa Fortin to the sales team. Prior to joining Homestead Funding, Lisa spent eleven years at 1st Priority Mortgage as a Mortgage Consultant and has been in the mortgage industry for 26 years. Lisa brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to the Homestead team.
Lisa says she is excited about working at Homestead Funding for several reasons, including the sales support and the products offered by the company.
Lisa attended SUNY Canton where she received her Associates Degree. She is also very involved in her community. Lisa is a member of the Delmar Rotary, Bethlehem Chamber of Commerce and is on the Foundation Board for the Center for Disability Services. When she is not working or volunteering, Lisa enjoys using her free moments to cook, travel and spend time with her husband, David, her daughter, Molly and cat, Yang. She has lived in Bethlehem, NY for almost 40 years.
Homestead Funding would like to welcome Janet Harder as part of the Capital Region’s sales team. She brings 15 years of mortgage industry business experience to the company.
Janet originally joined Homestead in 1997 as a loan opener and worked in many different departments within the company. She began working in sales when she joined 1st Priority Mortgage in 2004. It was her first experience with the sales aspect of mortgages and she said she has loved it ever since.
When asked about why she was excited to come back to Homestead, Janet had this to say, “The mortgage business has changed drastically over the past 10 years. In all that time, Homestead Funding has persevered and still managed to be the top mortgage lending company in the area. They are actually growing by leaps and bounds. They know how to get it done. It is a ‘can do’ company with an amazing teamwork mentality. They have superior customer service and a variety of loan products to fit every kind of home buyer. There is no question this is the place I wanted to be, where my referral sources needed me to be and where my buyers are going to want me to be.”
Janet grew up in Schaghticoke, NY and graduated from Catholic High School in 1989. She has a 22-year-old son who recently graduated SUNY Buffalo with Bachelor’s degree in Psychology and an Associate’s degree in Criminal Justice. She has been married to her husband, Kevin, for two years. They reside in Guilderland with their dog, Jack. Janet says her hobbies include gardening, traveling and most recently, curling.