(Above l.-r.) Matt, Mary & Nick Catchur of Marimark Mortgage, which is located in the Tampa Palms Professional Center (Photos by Charmaine George) 

Since its founding by Mary Catchur in 2006, Marimark Mortgage has been a trusted mortgage brokerage for potential home buyers in the New Tampa and Wesley Chapel areas.

Mary received both her Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree in Accounting and Bachelor of Arts degree in French from the University of South Florida in Tampa. She also has earned licenses as both a CPA (Certified Public Accountant) and as a Realtor in Florida. 

Before founding Marimark, she worked as an auditor for public accounting firm Klynveld, Peat, Marwick & Goerdeler and also served as both the chief operating officer (COO) and chief financial officer (CFO) of New Homes Realty. Mary says that this experience allowed her to learn the business from the financial side. 

“Between my background as a CPA and then as the CFO for a real estate company, I think my skills are somewhat unique (for the mortgage business), particularly the CPA background, because I understand the financial part of it.”

Since its origination here in Florida, Marimark has been able to expand to also provide mortgages in Pennsylvania, where Mary is originally from, as well as in Virginia, where she says she had multiple clients due to the solid housing market there. 

Recently, Mary has been joined at Marimark by her sons Matthew (Matt) and Nicholas (Nick) Catchur. Matt works as a loan originator while studying at USF, while Nick is a real estate agent as well as a loan originator. With all of this combined expertise, Marimark strives to be a one-stop shop for people looking to buy real estate in New Tampa.

Marimark specializes in fixed-rate mortgages, which Mary says are the mortgages that her buyers are looking for the most, as well as being the most commonly recommended by Marimark. 

“I do a variety of different types” she says, “but I think that most people are still looking for the standard, fixed-rate mortgage, not as much the adjustable rates anymore.” She adds that the reason is that conventional, fixed-rate mortgages often offer lower down payments, such as 3 percent down, for first-time buyers.

Other loans offered by Marimark are Federal Housing Administration (FHA) loans, which are government-backed and also offer low (usually only 3.5 percent) down payments, as well as Veterans Administration (VA) loans, which allow U.S. military veterans to buy a home with no money down. 

Another type of loan that doesn’t require a down payment is a USDA (U.S Department of Agriculture) loan, which was originally offered as a way to develop areas that may not have been built up, although this type of loan is not as common in the New Tampa or Wesley Chapel areas due to the increased amount of development seen in our communities. 

Marimark also offers reverse mortgages, which allow borrowers over the age of 62 with equity (meaning the house is worth more than what is owed on it) to eliminate mortgage payments altogether, leaving only taxes and insurance to be paid.

Marimark also focuses on helping self- employed people find mortgages, as Mary says that finding a mortgage when self-employed can be harder because the tax return documentation needed can be harder to understand and obtain. To combat this problem, Marimark assists self-employed people with what are known as bank-statement loans, where, as the name implies, deposits into that person’s bank account(s) obtained from their bank statements are used to determine their income, as well as what loans they would be qualified to receive. Bank statement loans also provide pre-qualification letters, which can be obtained through a phone call. These pre-qualification letters allow buyers to get an idea of the amount of credit they may be given by a lender during the mortgage process. Pre-qualification letters then allow home buyers to effectively negotiate with sellers.

Another thing that Mary says is becoming more popular these days is what is known as a debt-service coverage ratio (DSCR) loan. This type of loan is useful for people looking to buy investment properties. Like bank-statement loans, DSCR loans don’t look at a borrower’s overall income, but instead consider how much money is going to come in from the investment property, and the borrower is qualified based on that amount. Debt-service refers to  principal, interest, taxes, insurance, as well as Homeowners Association (HOA) fees. DSCR loans look at whether the income from the rent of the property will cover these fees, rather than looking at whether or not other income made by the owner will cover them.

Despite the local real estate boom cooling off somewhat, as people wait for home prices to drop more, Mary says that business at Marimark is still busy. Although there may not be as many people refinancing their existing homes, people are still moving into the area and are still looking to buy here. Even the refinancing market, which seems to have been somewhat slowing of late, is still a big part of Marimark’s business.

“One of the main things I do in refinancing is where people want to consolidate their higher-interest credit card and other debt,” she says.

Overall, the thing that Mary says sets Marimark apart from other mortgage brokers in the area is its borrower-focused approach without sales pressure. While some who get into the business are taught a sales-first approach, “That’s never been my way,” says Mary. “My method is I’m going to explain to you why this mortgage is the best thing for you or give you the options of what you have and explain the pros and cons of them. My approach is from a financial standpoint and an educational standpoint.” 

Mary also says that she has some clients who have come to her after negative experiences in more high-pressure sales environments. Mary explains to clients what their rates look like, and notes that although rates could go up (as often said by people in high-pressure sales situations) they could also go down. This approach ensures that clients fully understand the process and are then allowed to make their own decisions. 

Another thing that sets Marimark’s approach apart from other mortgage brokers is its attentive communication with its clients. This is evident from what clients have said about working with Marimark when obtaining mortgages, as well as home refinances. 

“Refinancing with Mary has been an absolute pleasure,” says client Bret Brennan. “I had never been through the process before and she took the time to explain each step…The communication line alone made the refinancing process every bit worth it.” Communication is vital when making a big financial decision such as buying a home, so having good communication from the company allows clients to feel more comfortable throughout the whole process. 

“I’ve been doing this for 17 years and it’s changed every year,” Mary says. “Either there are new rules or new documentation…but the one thing that remains constant is communication. If you just do that and educate people, you’ll still do good business.” 

Marimark Mortgage’s office is located at 5327 Primrose Lake Cir. in the Tampa Palms Professional Center. For more info, visit MarimarkMortgage.com or call (813) 910-8020. 

Recommended Posts

No comment yet, add your voice below!

Add a Comment