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Commercial Department: From the Editor: May 2015


From the Editor

See the whole picture

In nearly every aspect of life, more information is better. The clearer an overall picture you can get on anything, the more informed a decision you can make. c_2015-05_FTE_spot

We do this with massive decisions such as buying a house — getting inspections done, scoping out the neighborhood, making sure this is the right space for you and your family to spend its foreseeable future. We do it with tiny decisions like what movie to see on a Friday night — reading reviews, seeing which films won which awards. We even do it with prospective friends, romantic partners or business associates — looking through their social media profiles for any promising similarities, or for any red flags.

The same, of course, is true in the commercial mortgage industry. One of the most important steps in any loan transaction is underwriting, which also happens to be the focus of this month’s issue of Scotsman Guide. Underwriters dig into financial histories to give lenders the best — and most complete — picture of prospective borrowers.

Because we’re talking about getting the complete picture, why not start with a complete picture of underwriting? On Page 27, Lloyd Kagin from Chase Capital Advisors offers a crash course on what underwriters are looking for. New and seasoned mortgage brokers alike will benefit from brushing up on the “4 Pillars of Underwriting.”

Time is always of the essence when trying to close on a loan, and any mistake made in the underwriting process can cause unnecessary slowdowns. Corey Curwick Dutton from

Private Money Utah points out ways to prevent such errors with her article, “Help Your Hard Money Loans Blast off,” beginning on Page 55. HLM Investment’s Yanni Raz further dives into hard money with his article on Page 34, “The Times They Are a-Changin’.”

Aside from underwriting, Clare Broderick of Partner Engineering and Science Inc. looks at “ Putting a Price on Solar Systems” on Page 45. And on Page 58, York Commercial Finance’s Rob Diodato vouches for the largely untapped markets of co-op and homeowners association loans.

Underwriting is a fitting focus for this, my first issue as editor of Scotsman Guide’s Commercial Edition. Much like in underwriting, I have been trying to get the complete picture of my new employer — as I’m sure co-workers have been doing with me. I’m grateful to all the help and advice I’ve received so far, and have been excited to see what I’ll learn in the future.

From a personal standpoint, my picture also has completely changed. In the past few years, I’ve married an amazing woman, moved from the Midwest back to my native Pacific Northwest and purchased my first house (all while surviving the loan and underwriting processes). I’ve re-established friendships and relationships that had faded somewhat during a dozen years spent living away from the region I’ve always considered home.

And then, earlier this year, my wife and I welcomed our first child — a happy, healthy, beautiful baby girl. As any of you parents can attest, from the moment my daughter was born, nothing else was quite the same.

My picture will never be the same, and I couldn’t be happier.


Rob Crow was online content editor for Scotsman Guide Media. For questions regarding this article, e-mail

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