[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]
ARCHIVED  November 1, 1995

Mortgage lenders descend on Northern Colorado

As more and more people move to Fort Collins, so do more and more mortgage companies.

But just because the number of mortgage lenders in the local directories more than doubled since 1992 doesn’t mean home buyers can necessarily count on getting a better deal, said Dick Rule, president of the Northern Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association.

“I think we have healthy competition simply because of the number of players,” Rule said. “But I think it can also be confusing to the consumers. With such an active market, you open yourself up to people coming in and promising things that they never can deliver.”

And once they have you one on one, Rule said, “they say, ‘Oh, gee, we don’t have that program anymore.’ “

Three years ago, 29 mortgage lenders were listed in the Fort Collins Yellow Pages. Today, there are 66. Rule says the proliferation is due at least in part to the city’s population approaching 100,000. Including contiguous areas such as Lindenwood and the Country Club area, “where it’s hard to know you’re not in the city limits,” he said, the metropolitan area could exceed 100,000.

“And once you hit that 100,000 mark, you begin showing up on some of these national data banks.”

“Looking at Fort Collins and Greeley, there’s about 1,000 properties out there waiting for development,´ said Claire Richardson, a sales representative for ICM Mortgage at the Denver Technological Center.

Richardson recently completed a feasibility study on the Northern Colorado mortgage-lending market. The conclusion of her report was that “there’s a lot of market-share opportunities there.”

“I think the real estate industry in Northern Colorado has been growing over the last couple of years,” Rule said. “And with that, there has been growth in the number of appraisers, home-insurance agencies, home inspectors, surveyors – all the vendor services – and that includes mortgage lenders.”

Rule manages First Colorado Mortgage Corp.’s Fort Collins branch. Founded in Boulder in 1982, First Colorado Mortgage has maintained an office in Fort Collins since 1987. And compared with some of the legions of mortgage lenders now doing business here, that’s a long time.

At least three mortgage companies listed in the Fort Collins Yellow Pages are located in Longmont, and three others list “800” numbers. Two of the “800” lines have been disconnected, as have at least two of the local numbers.

One mortgage company doing business locally – Cherry Creek Mortgage Co. – has its headquarters in Cherry Creek. Another does business out of Broomfield.

“Just because the sheer numbers are up, you’re bound to see a greater number of failures,” Rule said.

But as for the idea that national chains or other franchise operations are counting on success in Fort Collins solely on the basis of a bullish real estate market, Rule has his doubts.

“I don’t know what some of them expect to get out of being here,” he said. “Sure, the number of mortgage lenders has doubled in the last three years, but I don’t think the business has doubled.”

What’s more, there have been at least two mergers of local mortgage-lending companies in the past year. According to Rule, Norwest bought Directors Mortgage Loan Corp., and Capital Mortgage Funding merged with Geneva Home Mortgage, in keeping with the national merger trend.

“It’s just like the banking industry,” Rule said.

As more and more people move to Fort Collins, so do more and more mortgage companies.

But just because the number of mortgage lenders in the local directories more than doubled since 1992 doesn’t mean home buyers can necessarily count on getting a better deal, said Dick Rule, president of the Northern Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association.

“I think we have healthy competition simply because of the number of players,” Rule said. “But I think it can also be confusing to the consumers. With such an active market, you open yourself up to people coming in and promising things that they never can…

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-reload zone="3"]

Related Content

[copperpress-advertserve-ad-interstitial zone="30"]